October 7, 2010

Volleyball Faces Pivotal Road Weekend

2010 Butler Volleyball

Butler (10-7, 5-1) at Milwaukee (9-7, 6-0)
Saturday, Oct. 9 - 3 p.m. ET
Klotsche Center - Milwaukee, Wis.
Live Stats   |   Live Video 

Butler at Green Bay (6-13, 2-4)
Sunday, Oct. 10 - 3 p.m. ET
Kress Center - Green Bay, Wis.
Live Stats   |   Live Video 

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The First Serve

The Butler volleyball team, which has six of its last seven, can make a run at the top spot in the Horizon League standings this weekend with two matches in Wisconsin. BU plays league leader Milwaukee Saturday afternoon in a pivotal contest before playing at Green Bay the next day. 

The Bulldogs (10-7, 5-1) enter Saturday’s league tilt after splitting a trip to Northeast Ohio this week. Butler had its five-match win streak snapped in a loss at Cleveland State, but the Bulldogs rebounded for a 3-0 win against Youngstown State on Wednesday night.

Butler and Milwaukee enter Saturday’s match with a lot at stake. UWM is 6-0 and Butler is 5-1, as is Cleveland State. Following a tough test at Milwaukee, BU then travels to Green Bay, which is coming off a five-set loss at UIC. Green Bay had two starters miss that match due to injury. 

Senior Jessica Wolfe ranks second in the Horizon League in kills and points, while ranking in the nation’s top 70 in both categories. However, it’s been blocking that has gotten the Dawgs on the winning track lately. Butler has climed to second in the league in team blocking (2.21). Junior Maureen Bamiro and freshman Claire Randich are among the league’s blocking leaders.

Senior libero Katie Daprile, author of 1,718 career digs, needs 19 digs to tie the school record held by Megan Knightly (2002-05).

Following this weekend’s trek to Wisconsin, the Bulldogs will host Valparaiso and Loyola Oct. 15-16 at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Butler has defeated both of those teams on the road already this season. 

 

FAST LEAGUE START: Butler is 5-1 in Horizon League play for the first time since 2004, when the Bulldogs started 6-1. BU went 12-2 in conference play that season. The Bulldogs also achieved that feat in 2003, starting 5-1 en route to a 9-5 HL record. 

WOLFE THE TOP DOG IN HL: Outside hitter Jessica Wolfe, named league player of the week on August 30, stands second in the Horizon League in kills per set (3.78) and points per set (4.25). Last year, she led the league in both categories en route to first team All-Horizon League honors. Her 4.01 kills rate last season was the eighth best season of hitting in school history. The Plainfield, Ind., native has nine outings with at least 14 kills this season to go along with six double-doubles. 

WOLFE REGIONALLY AND NATIONALLY: Not only was Jessica Wolfe prominent among the Horizon League leaders, the 6-2 outside hitter also garnered national attention. Wolfe was named AVCA All-Midwest Region and then capture honorable mention AVCA All-America honors. Wolfe is currently 54th in the country in kills per set and 68th in the nation in points. 

COACHING MILESTONES FOR CLARK: Sharon Clark is closing in on the the record for volleyball coaching wins at Butler. Now in her 11th season at BU, Clark owns 166 wins, just three shy of Sharon Dingman’s (1992-99) record of 169. Last season, Butler’s 3-0 win over Alabama A&M on Homecoming was career victory No. 250 for Sharon Clark. 

DAPRILE DIGGING FOR RECORD: Katie Daprile has 283 digs (4.52) this season, and in the process has moved into third on Butler’s all-time digs list with 1,718. Daprile needs four digs to reach second place in school history and 19 to tie the school record. The 5-11 senior has put together two of the most prolific digs seasons in school history, posting a school-record 541 digs in 2008 and beating that with 556 digs last season. She currently ranks fourth in the Horizon League in digs per set.

VERA SETTING IT UP: Gina Vera, who was named to the league’s all-newcomer squad last season, had 32 assists in BU’s win at Youngstown State. The Joliet, Ill., native stood second in the Horizon League with 10.79 assists per set last season, and she finished 45th in the national assist rankings.

BU vs. THIS WEEK’S OPPONENTS: Butler is 39-34 against Milwaukee and Green Bay, including a 27-7 mark against the Phoenix. The Bulldogs have won five of their last six against Green Bay. BU split two matches with UWM last season, with both teams winning at home.

LESTER TRYING ANOTHER SPORT: Susan Lester, now a volleyball starter, was a standout basketball player for BU the past four years. The Anderson, Ind., native scored 1,275 points and grabbed 781 rebounds. The all-league hoops player, now in grad school, posted a career-best 24 digs in BU’s win at Valparaiso on Sept. 18.

UP NEXT: Butler hosts Valparaiso Friday, Oct. 15 at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Loyola comes to Hinkle the following afternoon.