October 21, 2008

Green Bay, Milwaukee Invade Hinkle This Weekend

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The Opening Serve: The Bulldogs return to Hinkle Fieldhouse this weekend when it welcomes a pair of Horizon League opponents to Indianapolis. Butler battles Green Bay on Friday (Oct. 24) beginning at 7:00 p.m. before hosting league-leading Milwaukee on Saturday (Oct. 25) at 4:00 p.m.

Dig Pink: October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the Butler volleyball team will be promoting awareness by wearing pink warm-ups prior to all of their October home matches. The Bulldogs also held a Breast Cancer Awareness Day that coincided with their Oct. 12 home contest against UIC. Butler Athletics and the Panhellenic Council sold pink Butler Volleyball t-shirts during the match and raised nearly $1,800 for the Side-Out Foundation.

Butler Volleyball On HLN: The Bulldogs' match against the Phoenix and the Panthers will feature free live streaming video on the Horizon League Network. Additionally, all of Butler's home volleyball matches can be viewed live online through HLN, with Cory Stark providing play-by-play. 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 Great Start: The Bulldogs are off to one of the best starts in program history. Butler's 15-6 record is the program's best mark through 21 matches since the 1997 squad opened up at 18-3.

A Look At This Week's Opponent: Butler faces both Green Bay and Milwaukee for the second time this season, with the Bulldogs claiming a 3-2 victory over the Phoenix in Green Bay after falling in four sets to the Panthers in Milwaukee. UWGB enters Friday's match with an 8-11 overall record and a 4-5 mark in Horizon League play after dropping its last three matches against Cleveland State, Youngstown State and Wright State. Milwaukee, meanwhile, brings a 15-6 overall record and an 8-1 league slate into a Friday match against Valparaiso before taking on the Bulldogs on Saturday. The Panthers had won five-straight matches - all coming in league play - before falling to Marquette in five sets on Monday.

Last Week's Results:
Valparaiso 3, Butler 1 - Friday, Oct. 17 - Valparaiso, Ind.
Porshia Allen notched match-highs with 16 kills and five blocks and the Bulldogs combined for double-figure blocks for the 12th time this season, but the effort would not be enough as host Valparaiso rebounded from an opening-set defeat for a 23-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-16 decision at the Athletics-Recreation Center on Oct. 17 evening. Allen finished with a team-high 16 kills and five blocks while adding eight digs. Jessica Wolfe also finished in double-figures with 11 kills and added eight digs, while Kelsey Labrum tallied eight kills and 13 digs and Maureen Bamiro totaled four blocks. Katie Daprile paced the squad with 18 digs.

The Last Time Against Green Bay: Kelsey Labrum tallied 20 kills and both Porshia Allen and Jessica Wolfe recorded double-doubles as the Bulldogs rallied from down 2-1 in the match for a grueling 26-24, 16-25, 19-25, 25-19, 19-17 victory at the Kress Center on Sept. 27. Labrum finished tied for the match-high with 20 kills, tying for the Bulldogs' season best mark. Wolfe added 14 kills and a 20 digs for her fifth double-double of the year, while Allen chipped in 13 kills and 15 digs for her fifth.

The Last Time Against Milwaukee: Butler totaled double-figure blocks in its eighth match of the year, but the steady defense would not be enough as host Milwaukee held off the Bulldogs, 25-16, 25-21, 20-25, 25-19, at the Klotsche Center on Sept. 26. Dana Daprile finished with a team-best seven kills and 23 assists, while Jalesa Lee added six kills and a team-high five block assists

A Blocking Trend: The Butler blocking corps has shined all season long, as the Bulldogs have notched double-figure blocking totals in 12 of 21 matches this year, including a season-high 14 against Maryland-Eastern Shore.

...And A Blocking Advantage: Butler's blocking stats are even more impressive when comparing them to their opponents' totals. The Bulldogs' 199 blocks this season are over one and a half times the amount registered by their opponents (133).

Butler In The League Rankings: Butler finds itself ranked among the Horizon League's best in several statistical categories. The Bulldogs are second in the league in three categories, including hitting percentage (.216), opponent hitting percentage (.162) and blocks per set (2.49). Butler also ranks third with 12.85 kills per set and fourth with 11.59 assists per set.

Point People: The Bulldogs feature three players ranked among the Horizon League's top-10 in points per set, with Jessica Wolfe in third with 3.79 per set, Porshia Allen ranking fourth with 3.63 per set and Kelsey Labrum checking in at eighth with 3.33 per set. Butler is on the only school in the league with three players on the list.

Block Party: It should come as no surprise that the Bulldogs are near the top of the league in blocks because they have some of the best middle blockers in the conference. In fact, two of the top 10 blockers in the league play for Butler, with Porshia Allen in fourth with 1.00 per set and Maureen Bamiro in seventh with 0.94 per set. Sophomores Jalesa Lee (1.11 blocks per set) and Melody Austin (1.08 per set) also have impressive blocking numbers, but they fall short of the minimum sets played to make for the list. If they did qualify, Lee would be second and Austin would be fourth.

Approaching 3,000: Senior setter Dana Daprile has been the Bulldogs' primary setter in every season she has been with the team, and she has etched herself into the Butler record books during that time. With 2,946 career assists, the Bargersville, Ind., native ranks fifth all-time in program history and is just 54 assists away from becoming the fifth player with 3,000 assists. Fourth-place is a ways off, however, as Amanda Matthews totalled 3,994 assists during her four-year career. Jennifer Kintzel holds the school record with 5,483 assists.

Heading Towards The Best: Butler's block assist figure this season is approaching some of the best single-season totals in school history. The Bulldogs currently tout 352 block assists on the year, which is just 29 shy of surpassing the 1995 team's total of 380 for the 10th-most all-time. The 1998 Butler squad finished the year with a school-record 499 block assists.

Accuracy Counts: The Bulldogs' .216 hitting percentage not only ranks near the top of the Horizon League standings this season but is on pace to be one of the best single-season marks in program history. The 2008 squad's percentage would currently rank as the seventh-best average and is less than .001 behind the sixth-place 1990 team's .216 mark (.2156 to .2161).

All Good Streaks Must Come To An End: Butler's nine-match winning streak came to an end when IUPUI handed the Bulldogs a 3-2 defeat on Sept. 16. The streak was the program's longest since the 1997 season when the Bulldogs opened the year with 11 wins in a row. The 1986 squad set the school record with 15 straight victories.

Anatomy Of A Winning Streak: It should come as no surprise that Butler's nine-match winning streak featured some impressive statistics. During the trek, the Bulldogs fell in only six of 33 sets while delivering sweeps in four contests. Additionally, Butler held a commanding edge in both offense and defense, out-hitting its opponents .256 to .122 and registering 2.80 blocks per set to its foes' 1.15 per set. The Bulldogs also picked up tournament championships in both the Kennesaw State Owls Challenge and in the Buffalo Ramada Invitational.

Next Up: Butler kicks off a four-match road swing next weekend, as the Bulldogs head to Cleveland State on Friday (Oct. 31) for a 7:00 p.m. match before moving on to Youngstown State on Saturday (Nov. 1) for a 4:00 p.m. contest.