The Week Ahead: Butler closes out a six-match road trip this weekend when it heads to Valparaiso, Ind. on Friday (Oct. 19) for an 8:00 p.m. ET contest against the Crusaders at the Athletics-Recreation Center. The Bulldogs then kick-off a season-ending six-match home-stand on Sunday (Oct. 21) when they host non-league foe UMKC beginning at 1:00 p.m.
Previewing The Bulldogs: Butler boasts a 10-11 overall record and a 4-6 Horizon League mark heading into the final leg of a six-match road trip at Valparaiso. The Bulldogs have been one of the top defensive teams in the conference this season, ranking third with 2.46 blocks per game and a .164 opponent hitting percentage while placing fourth with 18.20 digs per contest. Sophomore outside hitter Porshia Allen paces the team and ranks fourth in the league with 3.78 kills per game and has added confident back row defense with 1.97 digs per contest. Senior Michelle DeGeeter continues to be one of the top middle blockers in the league, ranking fourth in the conference with 1.16 blocks per game and seventh with 3.41 kills per game while adding 2.40 digs per game. Butler has received significant support on both offense and defense from a trio of freshman in outside hitters Jessica Wolfe and Katie Daprile and middle blocker Jalesa Lee. Wolfe is third on the team with 2.78 kills per game and 2.65 digs per contest, while Daprile has excelled all-around with 2.21 kills, 1.00 assist, 2.98 digs and 0.51 blocks per game. Lee has added a strong presence in the middle with 0.85 kills and 0.99 blocks per game. Junior Dana Daprile and sophomore Brittany Awai have split time at setter with the pair combining for 10.69 assists per game, while junior libero Nina Inic paces the team with 4.40 digs per game.
Last Week In Review:
Oct. 12 - Cleveland State 3, Butler 0 (Cleveland, Ohio)
Sophomore Porshia Allen paced Butler with 17 kills and freshman Katie Daprile added 15, but Cleveland State held off several valiant Bulldog rally attempts to score a 3-0 decision at Woodling Gymnasium. The Bulldogs hit .215 in the match and held an eight to seven edge on blocking over the Vikings, but Cleveland State took advantage of seven service aces and a flawless effort on receptions while hitting .231 in the contest.
Oct. 13 - Butler 3, Youngstown State 2 (Youngstown,
Five players registered double-doubles and the Bulldogs hit .238 in the match as Butler battled to a grueling 31-33, 30-24, 30-20, 30-32, 18-16 victory at Youngstown State. Butler rallied back from an opening game defeat to claim two-straight strong wins before the Penguins answered in the fourth contest to force the deciding fifth game. The Bulldogs came up big when they needed in the deciding contest, getting the game-tying points on two consecutive YSU match points before snagging the win. Four players finished with double-figure kills in the match as the Bulldogs finished with a season-high 83 kills. Porshia Allen (24 kills, 14 digs), Katie Daprile (18 kills, 20 digs), Michelle DeGeeter (15 kills, 18 digs), Dana Daprile (10 kills, 39 assists) and Brittany Awai (11 digs, 25 assists) all notched double-doubles.
Too Hot For A Penguin: Butler has certainly gotten the best of Youngstown State this season, claiming strong wins in both meetings with the Penguins. In fact, the Bulldogs' two highest single-match kill totals of the year have come against YSU. Butler shelled-out 79 kills in five games when it hosted the Penguins on Sept. 14 before notching a whopping 83 at Youngstown State on Oct. 13. The latter total is tied for the fifth-highest single-match total in the Horizon League this season and is one shy of the 10th-best mark in Butler history.
Gimme Five: Maybe they just enjoying being on the floor more, but the Bulldogs have been one of the best teams in the league when it comes to winning in five games. Butler boasts a 4-1 record in league matches this season when they go the full five, topping Green Bay and Loyola once and Youngstown State twice, while the lone defeat came at the hands of UIC. The five matches averaged over 2:22 in total time, with the first match against YSU the longest at 2:32.
Block Party: Blocking has been a strong point of Butler teams in recent years and this season is no exception. The Bulldogs have out-blocked their opponents 199 to 166, 20 percent more than their foes, while ranking third in the league with 2.46 blocks per game. Additionally, Butler's 31 block assists against Valparaiso on Sept. 29 ranks as the most in school history for a four-game match and the second-highest single-match total all-time.
DeGeeter Meter: Senior middle blocker Michelle DeGeeter has been one of the best all-around performers during her tenure with the Bulldogs, but her blocking ability has her ranked among the best in the program's history. She currently ranks eighth all-time with 307 career block assists and could move past both Chris Essington (315) and Areal Bienemy (316) with just 10 more. Her 357 total blocks places her in the Bulldogs' top-10 list and leaves her just six shy of Candice Washington's ninth-place mark of 363. Additionally, DeGeeter's 10 block assists against Valparaiso on Sept. 29 are tied for the third-highest single match total in Butler history.
What Sophomore Slump?: Sophomore outside hitter Porshia Allen had a lot to live up to entering the 2007 season after leading the team with 315 kills at 2.98 per game and earning a spot on the Horizon League's All-Newcomer Team as a freshman in 2006. There has been no let-down to speak of this season, as the Indianapolis native is just 24 kills shy of her rookie season total (291) with at least eight matches left in the season. Her 3.78 kills per game are the fourth-most in the league this year.
The Double-Double Club: Six Butler players have registered double-doubles this season. Senior Michelle DeGeeter boasts a team-best nine, and sophomore Porshia Allen and freshman Jessica Wolfe have each tallied eight. Meanwhile, sophomore Brittany Awai and freshman Katie Daprile have added five double-doubles a piece this season, while junior Dana Daprile notched one on the year.
...Make That A Triple: Michelle DeGeeter did one better than a double-double against Valparaiso on Sept. 29, registering the Bulldogs' first triple double of the season with 10 kills, 10 digs and 10 blocks. DeGeeter had Butler's only kills-digs-blocks triple-double last year, finishing with 21 kills, 11 digs and 12 blocks against Loyola.
A Wolfe Among Bulldogs: Jessica Wolfe has already proven to be one of the top newcomers in the Horizon League so far this season, averaging 2.78 kills and 2.65 digs per game, but she has also already made her mark in Butler's record book. The Plainfield, Ind. native's 29 kills against Youngstown State are not only a single-match high for the Bulldogs this season but are tied for the sixth-best total in school history. Kali Carter set the top mark with 32 kills against Western Illinois in 2004.
Digging The Record Book: Junior libero Nina Inic has made a habit out of re-writing the Butler record book. So far this season, she has twice added her name among the single-match record totals for digs, tallying 30 in the season-opener against Jacksonville to tie for 10th all-time before recording 35 against Youngstown State to match the mark for sixth-place. Inic also holds the third-place total (40) and the ninth-place total (32), which were both set in 2006.
The Best Offense Is A Great Defense: Butler certainly took that idea to heart in claiming nine-straight games at the WVU Volleyball Classic on Sept. 7-8. The three opponents were held to a miniscule 0.99 attack percentage over the weekend, with each team having progressively less success as the tournament went on. After holding East Tennessee State to just .128 in the opening match, Butler held West Virginia to just .114 in the second before slamming the door on Indiana State to the tune of a .057 average.
...And The Cougars Got The Message Loud And Clear: Butler amassed its most staggering defensive performance of the year against Chicago State on Sept. 28, holding the Cougars to -.046 hitting in three games. No CSU player had more than six kills as the Bulldogs held their foe to a season-low 24 kills in the match. Butler's .164 opponent average on the year ranks third in the Horizon League.
Butler Volleyball On The Web: All of Butler's home matches for the remainder of the year 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. The matches can also be viewed through live video courtesy of the Horizon League Network by clicking on the "Watch" links on the volleyball schedule.
Up Next: Butler returns to Horizon League
action next week as a home match against Wright State serves as the
lone competition on the weekend schedule. The Bulldogs host the
Raiders on Oct. 26 beginning at 7:00 p.m.