The Opening Serve: Butler kicks off a four-match road swing this weekend when it heads east to Ohio for a pair of Horizon League contests. The Bulldogs open up at Cleveland State on Friday (Oct. 31) beginning at 7:00 p.m. before heading to Youngstown State on Friday (Nov. 1) for a 4:00 p.m. bout with the Penguins.
Butler Volleyball On The Web: Both of the Bulldogs' matches at Cleveland State and Youngstown State will feature in-game scoring and statistical updates online through Gametracker and can be followed by clicking on the appropriate Gametracker link on the schedule at www.ButlerSports.com. Additionally, both contests will have live streaming video available through the Horizon League Network and can be accessed by clicking on the "Watch on HLN" link on www.ButlerSports.com.
Keep On Rolling: The Bulldogs are having one of their finest seasons in history. Butler's 17-6 record is the program's best mark through 23 matches since the 1997 squad opened up at 19-4.
Weekly Honor: After providing the driving force behind the Bulldogs' offense in two big wins last weekend, senior setter Dana Daprile was named the Horizon League's Offensive Player of the Week. Daprile was the most productive offensive player for the Bulldogs in their two Horizon League victories, totaling 101 assists while adding 18 kills at a .375 hitting percentage. In a five-set victory over Green Bay, she dished a match-high 52 assists, added 12 kills at a .545 clip (12-0-22) and chipped in 19 digs to post the team's first triple-double of the season. The following afternoon against league-leading Milwaukee, she led all players with 49 assists and added 14 digs for her fourth double-double of the season. Her 49 assists were a team-high for a four-set match this season. Daprile is the second Butler player to be honored with one of the league's weekly awards. Sophomore Jalesa Lee picked up the Defensive Player of the Week award on Sept. 15.
Miss 3,000: With her second assist of the contest against the Panthers, Dana Daprile became just the fifth player in Butler history to record 3,000 assists in her career. She currently touts 3,047 assists in her career.
A Look At This Week's Opponents: This weekend's meetings with the Vikings and Penguins will be the second contests against the two foes this season. Cleveland State, last season's Horizon League tournament champion, has struggled this year to a 5-16 overall record and a 4-7 mark in league play. Friday's match will be the 31st meeting between the two schools, with the Bulldogs holding a 21-9 advantage in the all-time series. Youngstown State, meanwhile, enters a Friday contest against Valparaiso with a 10-12 overall mark and a 3-8 clip in conference play. Butler will try to continue its run of dominance against the Penguins when the two squads meet for the 17th time in program history, as the Bulldogs tout a perfect 16-0 record against YSU.
Last Week's Results:
Butler 3, Green Bay 2 - Friday, Oct. 24 - Indianapolis, Ind.
Dana Daprile notched a triple-double while hitting a team-high .545 and Porshia Allen posted a double-double with 21 kills and 21 digs as the Bulldogs rallied from a 2-1 deficit with a dominant fourth and fifth sets to come away with a 25-22, 20-25, 22-25, 25-15, 15-10 victory over visiting Green Bay. The two squads battled through 31 ties and 11 lead changes in the grueling five-set bout, as the Bulldogs finished with a season-high 108 digs in the match - including double-figure totals by Katie Daprile (28), Allen (21), Jessica Wolfe (20) and Dana Daprile (19) - while out-hitting Green Bay .211 to .163.
Butler 3, Milwaukee 1 - Saturday, Oct. 25 - Indianapolis,
Porshia Allen, Dana Daprile and Jessica Wolfe each notched double-doubles and the Bulldogs held off several late-set charges en route to 25-23, 20-25, 25-20, 25-18 victory over league-leading Milwaukee. The Bulldogs set season-highs for a four-set match with 57 kills, 55 assists and 85 digs while hitting a steady .178 (57-26-174) to Milwaukee's .146 (52-26-178). Wolfe led the way for the Bulldogs with 16 kills and added 15 digs for her ninth double-double of the year, while Allen posted her team-best 10th double-double of the season with 13 kills and 10 digs. Dana Daprile dished a match-best 49 assists and chipped in 14 digs for a double-double of her own, and Katie Daprile tied her season-best mark with a match-high 31 digs.
Ending The Skid: The Bulldogs' win over Milwaukee was the team's first since recording a 3-2 victory at Hinkle Fieldhouse during the 2004 season. Prior to last weekend, Butler had dropped seven straight.
A Blocking Trend: The Butler blocking corps has shined all season long, as the Bulldogs have notched double-figure blocking totals in 12 of 23 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' 214 blocks this season are nearly 50 percent more than the amount registered by their opponents (144).
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 five categories, including hitting percentage (.213), opponent hitting percentage (.161), assists per set (11.18), kills per set (12.97) and blocks per set (2.40). Butler also ranks fourth with 16.36 digs 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 fourth with 3.72 per set, Porshia Allen ranking fifth with 3.71 per set and Kelsey Labrum checking in at 10th with 3.23 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, three of the top 10 blockers in the league play for Butler, with Jalesa Lee in third with 1.03 blocks per set, Porshia Allen in seventh with 0.93 per set and Maureen Bamiro in eighth with 0.93 per set. Sophomore Melody Austin (1.04 per set) also has impressive blocking numbers, but they fall short of the minimum sets played to make for the list. If they did qualify, Austin would rank third on the charts.
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 378 block assists on the year, which is just three 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' .213 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 ninth-best average.
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 wraps up its four-match road
swing next week when it heads through Chicago for contests against
UIC (Nov. 7) and Loyola (Nov. 8).