The Opening Serve: The regular season comes to a close this weekend, as the Bulldogs welcome Horizon League foe Wright State to town on Friday (Nov. 14) beginning at 7:00 p.m. The match will also serve as Senior Night, with seniors Chloe' Blasingame, Dana Daprile and Nina Inic being honored in a pregame ceremony.
Senior Day Ceremonies: The Bulldogs will recognize their three senior members - Chloe' Blasingame, Dana Daprile and Nina Inic - prior to Friday's match against Wright State. The trio has combined for 509 kills, 3,337 assists and 2,147 digs in their four-year careers with the Bulldogs and has help the team to 51 victories during that span.
Butler Volleyball On The Web: Butler's match against the Raiders will feature live streaming video through the Horizon League Network and can be accessed by clicking on the "Watch on HLN" link on www.ButlerSports.com. The contest will also have in-game scoring and statistical updates online through Gametracker that can be followed by clicking on the Gametracker link on the schedule at www.ButlerSports.com.
Keep On Rolling: The Bulldogs are having one of their finest seasons in recent history. Butler's 18 are the most since the 2004 season, while the nine losses are the fewest since the 1997 campaign. This year's squad also has a chance to become just the ninth team in school history to record 20 wins.
Setting Up The Tournament Seeding: With an 8-7 record in Horizon League play, Butler finds itself in fourth place in the conference standings and trails third-place Wright State (9-5) by a game and a half. A win over Wright State on Friday and an ensuing loss by the Raiders to Valparaiso the following afternoon would tie both teams for third with a 9-7 record. The Bulldogs, however, would earn the No. 3 seed in the upcoming Horizon League Championship by virtue of their 1-1 record against league-leading Milwaukee and Valparaiso. WSU would finish 0-2 against both the Panthers and Crusaders. Butler can guarantee itself at least a fourth-place finish with a win against the Raiders and a Loyola loss to either Green Bay or Milwaukee. The Bulldogs can finish no lower than fifth in the standings.
A Look At This Week's Opponent: Butler will take on Wright State for the 44th time in school history on Friday, with the Bulldogs holding a 23-20 edge in the all-time series. The Raiders, however, have nabbed wins in the last seven matches, including a 3-1 decision in Dayton on Oct. 8. WSU enters Friday's contest with a 14-14 overall record and a 9-5 mark in Horizon League play. Becca Awaa and Lexi Leonhard are tied for the team lead with 2.45 kills per set, while Leilani Tafuna boasts a team-high 3.84 digs per game.
Last Week's Results:
UIC 3, Butler 0 - Friday, Nov. 7 - Chicago, Ill.
Jessica Wolfe notched her 11th double-double of the season, Maureen Bamiro added a career-high 12 kills on a team-best .550 hitting percentage and the Bulldogs combined to hit .263 as a team, but the offensive effort would leave Butler just short, as host UIC held on for a 25-23, 25-22, 25-22 decision at the Flames Athletic Center. The two squads battled through 20 ties and nine lead changes in the match, including 12 ties in the opening set. Butler out-hit the Flames, .263 to .229, but UIC's seven more kills (49 to 42) helped to make up the difference in the end.
Loyola 3, Butler 0 - Saturday, Nov. 8 - Chicago,
A late third-set rally by the Bulldogs would fall short in the end, as host Loyola claimed a 25-15, 25-19, 30-28 victory over Butler at Alumni Gym. Jessica Wolfe led the Bulldogs with seven kills in the match, while Maureen Bamiro added six and Dana Daprile chipped in five on a team-high .308 hitting (5-1-13). Bamiro also finished with a team-best five blocks, while Katie Daprile paced the squad with 10 digs.
Weekly Honors: Three Butler players have been honored by the Horizon League with Player of the Week awards this season. Dana Daprile was tabbed as the Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 27, while Jalesa Lee (Sept. 15) and Katie Daprile (Nov. 3) were both named Defensive Players of the Week. The three recognitions are tied with the 2005 squad for the most in a season since the 1997 campaign, when the Bulldogs earned four awards.
Digging It: Katie Daprile has been one of the top defensive specialists in the Horizon League this season, ranking fourth with 4.71 digs per set. Additionally, her 485 digs this year are already the sixth-highest single-season total in school history and are just 38 shy of the school record of 522, set by Laura Baire in 1993.
A Blocking Trend: The Bulldogs continue to be one of the premier blocking teams in the Horizon League this season. Butler is second in the conference with 2.35 blocks per set and has notched double-figure blocking totals in 13 matches, including a season-high 14 against Maryland-Eastern Shore.
Leaders In Blocking: Three Butler players rank in the top-10 in the Horizon League in blocks per set. Jalesa Lee is fifth in the conference with 0.99 per set, Maureen Bamiro checks in at eighth with 0.91 per set and Porshia Allen ranks 10th with 0.85 per set. The Bulldogs are the only team in the league to feature three players in the top-10. Melody Austin (0.98 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 sixth on the charts.
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 stats, including opponent hitting percentage (.165), kills per set (12.83) and blocks per set (2.35). Butler also ranks third with a .208 hitting percentage and 11.78 assists per set while placing fourth with 16.55 digs per set.
Among The Best: Butler's block assist total this season ranks among the best single-season totals in school history. The Bulldogs currently tout 426 block assists on the year, which ranks as the ninth-highest mark all-time. The 2002 squad's 439 block assists is next up in eighth, while the 1998 team finished the year with a school-record 499 block assists.
Accuracy Counts: The Bulldogs' .208 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 10th-best average.
Miss 3,000: With her second assist of the contest against Milwaukee on Oct. 25, Dana Daprile became just the fifth player in Butler history to record 3,000 assists in her career. She currently touts 3,181 assists in her career and is
We're Going Streaking: Butler boasted a nine-match winning streak from August 30 to 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.
Next Up: The Bulldogs will open up the Horizon
League Championship in the quarterfinals on Friday (Nov. 21) at
Woodling Gymnasium in Cleveland, Ohio. If Butler finishes the
regular season as the No. 3 seed, it will face the No. 6 seed
beginning at 5:00 p.m, while if it places fourth or fifth, it will
open up play at 2:00 p.m.