Bulldog Volleyball Ready For League Tournament
2009 Butler Volleyball
2009 Horizon League Volleyball Championship
The Butler volleyball team will travel to Cleveland for the Horizon League Volleyball Championship this weekend. The Bulldogs, the No. 4 seed, will take on UIC in the quarterfinal Friday, Nov. 20 at 7:30 p.m. The lowest seed remaining will play regular season champion Cleveland State Saturday at 1 p.m.
This season marks the 1st time league teams have had to play their way into the tournament. The top six teams qualified for the championship, with the top seed serving as host. The Bulldogs spent most of the season in 3rd place, but a pair of losses in Wisconsin brought BU into a tie with Milwaukee at 10-6 in league play. UWM had the tie-breaker and Butler was seeded 4th.
If seeds hold, Butler would advance to play Cleveland State in the semifinal. The championship match is set for Sunday, Nov. 22 at 1 p.m.
Butler and UIC split the season series, with each team winning at home. The Bulldogs recorded a 3-2 home-finale victory over the Flames on November 7, which clinched an undefeated home season for Butler. The Flames set the Bulldogs in Chicago on October 10.
Junior Jessica Wolfe finished the regular season as the league leader in kills per set (3.98) and points per set (4.58). She also finished 3rd in the HL in aces (0.31). Senior Porshia Allen also finished among the league leaders in kills (7th, 3.31) and points (6th, 3.80).
DOGS HIT ON 21: Butler is having one of its best seasons in years, winning more than 20 matches for the 1st time since 1997. 2009 is Sharon Clark's best at BU; her 2003 team went 20-12.
...AND GOT ALL 9 AT HOME: The Bulldogs finished a perfect 9-0 at home, including an 8-0 mark against Horizon League opponents. The Dogs won 27 sets in Hinkle this season while losing just nine.
WOLFE THE TOP DOG IN HL: Outside hitter Jessica Wolfe continues to lead the Horizon League in kills per set (3.98) and points per set (4.61). She also ranks 3rd in aces (0.33). If she can maintain her 3.98 kills rate, it would be the 8th best season of hitting in school history. Wolfe was named all-tournament in three of Butler's four tourneys, and was named Horizon League Offensive Player of the Week on September 7.
BUTLER IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS: BU is ranked among the national leaders in two categories. The Dogs are 49th in kills (13.68) and 48th in digs (16.41).
BU IN THE LEAGUE TOURNEY: Butler won the league tournament in 1997 and advanced to the final match in 2000 in Sharon Clark's 1st season. Since then, Butler is 3-8 in the tourney and hasn't advanced past the semifinals.
COACHING MILESTONES FOR CLARK: Butler's 3-0 win over Alabama A&M on Homecoming was career victory No. 250 for Sharon Clark. The Bulldogs' head coach, in her 10th season at Butler, now has 156 wins at Butler. The school record for wins at Butler is 169 by Sharon Dingman (1992-99).
DAPRILE KEEPS DIGGING: Junior Katie Daprile ranks 5th in the Horizon league in digs (4.41) and is 3rd in the HL in conference play (4.85). The Bargersville, Ind., native was named Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 19 after picking up 27 digs in a 3-0 win over Youngstown State. She has reached 15+ digs 16 times this season.
VERA SETTING IT UP: The setter on the other end of Butler's attack success is freshman Gina Vera. The Joliet, Ill., native ranks 2nd in the Horizon League with 10.70 assists per set, and she has been in the national assist rankings for the majority of the season. Vera was named all-tournament at IPFW and Kent State.
ALLEN CLIMBING ATTACKS, KILLS CHARTS: Senior Porshia Allen continues to amass impressive career totals. Allen has 4,133 career attacks, good for 6th on Butler's all-time list. She is also 5th in school history with 1,450 kills, 148 swats behind Kali Carter (2001-04).
UP NEXT: With three wins in Cleveland, Butler can advance to the NCAA Volleyball Championship for the 1st time since 1997.