Volleyball Returns To Hinkle For Butler Invitational This Weekend
The Week Ahead: The Bulldogs make a stop in Cincinnati, Ohio on Tuesday (Aug. 28) when they take on Xavier beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Cintas Center. Butler then returns to Hinkle Fieldhouse for the first time this season when it hosts the Butler Invitational on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. The Bulldogs take on Tennessee Tech beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Friday before concluding the tournament on Saturday against Utah Valley at 12:00 p.m. and Northern Illinois at 6:00 p.m.
Gametracker Available: All Butler matches this week can be viewed live online via Gametracker by clicking the link next to the match on the schedule at the bottom of the main page of www.ButlerSports.com. All Butler home matches will feature live scoring and statistics through Gametracker during the year and will be available at www.ButlerSports.com.
Previewing the Bulldogs: Butler enters this week with a 1-2 record after claiming a win over Jacksonville in the opening match of the Orange and Green Challenge in Coral Gables, Fla. last weekend. Hofstra and host Miami dealt the Bulldogs their two defeats in the tournament. Freshman Jessica Wolfe put up some bigs offensive numbers in her first three collegiate matches, putting together back-to-back 18 kill performances to open the weekend while recording a pair of double-doubles. She currently paces the squad with 3.85 kills per game. Sophomore Porshia Allen follows closely with 3.73 kills per game thanks in large part to a career-best 26 kills against Hofstra, while senior Michelle DeGeeter has been consistent on both sides of the ball with 2.38 kills, 1.46 digs and a team-high 1.08 blocks per game. Freshman Katie Daprile has also been a spark in all facets, averaging 2.08 kills, 1.15 assists and 3.46 digs per game. Sophomore Brittany Awai and junior Dana Daprile have split playing time at setter, with Awai averaging 5.62 assists per game and Daprile touting 4.75 per game. Junior Nina Inic leads the team with 5.31 digs per game as libero.
Recapping Last Week:
Green and Orange Challenge - August 24-25 - Coral Gables, Fla.
August 24 - Butler 3, Jacksonville 1
The Bulldogs turned to a Wolfe in garnering a strong victory in their season opener against Jacksonville, as freshman outside hitter Jessica Wolfe knocked down a match-high 18 kills in helping Butler to a 3-1 decision over the Dolphins. Senior Michelle DeGeeter and freshman Katie Daprile each added double-doubles in the win.
August 25 - Hofstra 3, Butler 2
Sophomore Porshia Allen ripped for career-best 26 kills and freshman Jessica Wolfe duplicated her 18-kill performance from Friday evening, but Hofstra rallied for wins in the final two games to hand Butler its first defeat of the season, 3-2. The Bulldogs rode a staggering offensive display from Allen, who hit .444 (26 kills, 2 errors, 54 attempts) in the match. Wolfe followed up her dominant initial collegiate contest with her first career double-double on 18 kills and 16 digs.
August 25 - Miami 3, Butler 1
Freshman Jessica Wolfe registered her second double-double in just the third match of her collegiate career and sophomore Porshia Allen added double-figure kills, but host Miami benefited from four players with double-digit kill totals in earning a 3-1 decision in the final match of the Orange and Green Challenge.
All-Tournament Honors: After her career offensive performance against Hofstra, sophomore Porshia Allen was named to the Orange and Green Challenge All-Tournament Team. Allen hit .444 (26-2-54) in the match and notched a career-high 26 kills, topping her previous mark of 21 by five.
A Wolfe Among Bulldogs: It didn't take long for freshman Jessica Wolfe to get comfortable in the collegiate game. The 6-0 Plainfield, Ind. native paced the team with 18 kills in her first college match against Jacksonville on Aug. 24 in helping the Bulldogs to their first win of the season. She followed up that performance with back-to-back double-doubles against Hofstra and Miami on Aug. 25, including another 18-kill performance against the Pride.
Dealing Aces: The Bulldogs certainly had a few aces up their sleeves against Jacksonville on Aug. 24; fourteen of them, to be exact. Butler's total is a single-match high in the Horizon League this year and was just three shy of tying the school record of 17, set against both Western Illinois and Xavier in 1990. Junior Chloe' Blasingame paced the team with a career-high five aces, while junior Dana Daprile tied her career mark with four.
Digging The Record Book: With her 30 digs against Jacksonville on Aug. 24, junior Nina Inic etched her name into the Butler record book, tying for the ninth-most in a single match. This is nothing new to the Belgrade, Serbia native, however, as Inic essentially re-wrote the single-match records for digs last season. Three of the top eight single-match marks in Butler history were registered by the defensive specialist in 2006, including a career-high 40 digs against Green Bay for the third-highest total all-time. Meanwhile, her 35 digs at Green Bay rank sixth-most, while her 32 against Loyola are eighth-most.
Double Trouble: The rest of the Horizon League already had their hands full trying to contain one Daprile, and now they have twice as much to contend with. Older sister Dana returns for her junior season as the team's starting setter after pacing the team with 8.25 assists per game and recording six double-doubles and a triple-double. Younger sister Katie, meanwhile, enters her first collegiate season after earning all-state honors as an outside hitter and defensive specialist as a senior in 2006.
Home Sweet Home: After criss-crossing the Midwest for much of October, the Bulldogs will spend the final three weeks of the season playing in the friendly confines of Hinkle Fieldhouse. Following a three-week, six-match road trip that takes the Bulldogs through Chicago, Dayton, Cleveland, Youngstown and Valparaiso, Butler returns home on Oct. 21 to host non-conference foe UMKC. From there, the Bulldogs welcome Wright State (Oct. 26), UIC (Nov. 2) and Loyola (Nov. 3) to Indianapolis before closing the regular season the following weekend by hosting Green Bay (Nov. 9) and Milwaukee (Nov. 10).
No Second Guessing: Perhaps no Bulldog was more consistent in all facets of the game last season than middle blocker Michelle DeGeeter. The Warsaw, Ind. native finished her junior campaign in 2006 by ranking second in three major statistical categories, averaging 2.79 kills per game, 2.75 digs per game and 1.01 blocks per game. She also chipped in 44 assists during the year, the third-highest on the team and the most for a non-setter.
Up Next: Butler heads to Morgantown, W.Va. for the WVU Volleyball Classic from Sept. 7-8. The Bulldogs take on East Tennessee State the opening day before battling the host Mountaineers and Indiana State the final night.