The Opening Serve: Off to it's best start in over a decade, the Butler volleyball team returns to Hinkle Fieldhouse on Tuesday (Sept. 16) when it hosts cross-town rival IUPUI beginning at 6:00 p.m. The Bulldogs then kick off the Horizon League schedule when they welcome Valparaiso to town on Friday (Sept. 19) for a 7:00 p.m. contest.
Butler Volleyball On HLN: All of Butler's home volleyball matches can be viewed live online for free through the Horizon League Network, with Cory Stark providing play-by-play for the Bulldogs this season. The games can be viewed by clicking on the "Watch on HLN" link next to the match on the volleyball schedule at www.ButlerSports.com.
A Good Start: The Bulldogs are off to one of the best starts in program history. Butler's 10-1 record is the best since the 1997 team opened up at 11-0 and the second-best record through 11 matches in school history.
We're Going Streaking!: Butler is currently riding a nine-match winning streak, which is the program's longest such trek since the 1997 season when the Bulldogs opened the year with 11 in a row. The 1986 squad set the school record with 15 straight victories.
A Look At This Week's Opponents: IUPUI enters Tuesday's contest with a 6-5 record after dropping three-straight matches to Central Michigan, Boise State and Wisconsin over the weekend. Lauran Thompson leads the Jaguars with 3.14 kills per set. Valparaiso, meanwhile, will take a 7-2 record into Friday's match after having a four-match winning streak end against Western Kentucky on Sept. 13. Angie Porche is the team's leading offensive player with 4.75 kills per set.
Lee Earns League Honor: After leading the Bulldogs with 1.62 blocks per set and notching a career-high for blocks in a match, sophomore Jalesa Lee was named the Horizon League's Defensive Player of the Week. After finishing with four total blocks against Indiana State on Sept. 9, Lee went for a career-best 10 block assists in the first match of the Buffalo Ramada Invitational against Maryland-Eastern Shore. In the final two bouts of the tournament against Maine and the host Bulls, she registered six total blocks in each match to help Butler to the tournament championship.
Champions Again: Butler claimed its second regular season tournament title in as many weeks after claiming wins over Maryland-Eastern Shore, Maine and Buffalo at the Buffalo Ramada Invitational last weekend. The Bulldogs also won three matches in claiming the Kennesaw State Owls Challenge (Sept. 5-6).
Last Week's Results:
Butler 3, Indiana State 1 - Tuesday, Sept. 9 - Indianapolis, Ind.
Sophomore outside hitters Kelsey Labrum and Jessica Wolfe combined for 29 kills and 25 digs in notching a pair of double-doubles and the Bulldogs rebounded from a tough opening-set defeat to score a 15-25, 25-15, 25-12, 25-22 win over Indiana State on Sept. 9 evening. Labrum finished with a season-high 19 kills and added 13 digs for her second double-double of the year, while Wolfe chipped in 10 kills and 12 digs for her second. Porshia Allen, who also tallied double-figure kills with 10, and Maureen Bamiro each notched match-highs with seven block assists each.
Butler 3, Maryland-Eastern Shore 2 - Friday, Sept. 12 -
Butler knocked down a season-high 14 total blocks, including a career-high 10 by Jalesa Lee, as the Bulldogs rallied for a 22-25, 25-20, 23-25, 25-17, 15-10 victory over Maryland-Eastern Shore on Sept. 12 afternoon at the Buffalo Ramada Invitational. Jessica Wolfe led the squad with 19 kills and added 18 digs, while Porshia Allen finished with 18 kills and 11 digs. Kelsey Labrum finished just one dig shy of a double-double with 12 kills and nine digs.
Butler 3, Maine 0 - Friday, Sept. 12 - Buffalo,
Jessica Wolfe and Porshia Allen combined for 25 kills and the Bulldogs totaled 10 blocks, as Butler held off Maine in a closely-contested 27-25, 25-23, 25-23 sweep of the Black Bears at the Buffalo Ramada Invitational on Sept. 12 evening. Butler finished with double-figure blocks for the third straight match while holding Maine to just .127 hitting in the bout.
Butler 3, Buffalo 1 - Saturday, Sept. 13 - Buffalo,
Jessica Wolfe, Kelsey Labrum and Porshia Allen each tallied double-figure kill totals and the Bulldogs combined for nine blocks in the match as Butler scored a 22-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-19 victory over the host Bulls to claim the Buffalo Ramada Invitational title on Sept. 13 afternoon. Wolfe finished with a match-high 15 kills, while Labrum added 14. Allen notched her third double-double of the season with 12 kills and 14 digs.
Allen, Daprile And Wolfe Earn Tournament Honors - Again: Following the final match of the Buffalo Ramada Invitational, Porshia Allen was named the tournament's MVP, while Dana Daprile and Jessica Wolfe were tabbed alongside on the All-Tournament Team. Allen averaged 3.50 kills, 2.33 digs and 1.08 blocks per set, while Daprile dished 9.50 assists per set and Wolfe added 3.92 kills and 2.75 digs. Coincidentally, the same three Butler players also earned the same honors at the Owls Challenge the previous week.
Blocking Trend: The Butler blocking corps has shined in the early going, as the Bulldogs have notched double-figure blocking totals in six of 11 matches this year, including nine or more in the last four and a season-high 14 against Maryland-Eastern Shore.
Butler In The League Rankings: Butler finds itself ranked at the top of the Horizon League standings not only in wins and losses but also in three statistical categories. The Bulldogs lead the league with a .251 hitting percentage as a team and also hold a league-low .143 opponent hitting percentage. The Butler blocking corps ranks as the best in the conference as well with 2.56 blocks per set. The Bulldogs also rank second in the league with 13.25 kills and 11.80 assists.
Block Party: It should come as no surprise that the Bulldogs lead the league in blocks because they have some of the best middle blockers in the conference. In fact, three of the top four blockers in the league play for Butler, with Jalesa Lee ranking second at 1.14 blocks per set, Porshia Allen in third with 1.11 per set and Maureen Bamiro fourth with 1.09 per set.
Offensive-Minded Setter: Dana Daprile has quite a knack for helping her teammates register kills, as the senior setter ranks third in the Horizon League with 8.70 assists per set. But she isn't afraid to take matters into her own hands either, and has had a lot of success as well. Daprile currently ranks second in the conference with a .321 hitting percentage (62-17-140).
Double-Trouble: Four Butler players have registered double-doubles on the year. Junior Porshia Allen and sophomore Jessica Wolfe have each notched three double-doubles with kills and digs, while sophomore Kelsey Labrum has added two. Senior Dana Daprile, meanwhile, boasts one with assists and digs.
Next Up: Butler continues Horizon League play
on the road next weekend when it heads to Wisconsin for matches
against Milwaukee on Sept. 26 and Green Bay on Sept. 27.