August 31, 2011

Bulldogs Will Play Four Matches At Portland Classic

2011 BUTLER VOLLEYBALL

Portland Classic - Portland, Ore. (Sept. 1-3)
Thursday, Sept. 1 - at Portland - 3 p.m. ET
Video  |  Live Stats
Friday, Sept. 2 - vs. Texas A&M and Nevada
Live Stats
Saturday, Sept. 3 - vs. Washington State 
Live Stats 

 

MATCH NOTES  |  TWITTER

The First Serve

Butler will aim for its first victory of the season this weekend with four matches at the University of Portland Classic. The Bulldogs will play Portland Thursday, Sept. 1 before taking on Texas A&M, Nevada and Washington State over the weekend.

BU (0-3) opened its season with three matches at Notre Dame last weekend. Had a few points gone differently, the Dawgs would’ve been 2-1. Butler lost 3-2 to Idaho and Eastern Michigan before a 3-1 loss against host school Notre Dame. 

Sophomore Maggie Harbison was named to the all-tournament team at Notre Dame after averaging 2.93 kills and 1.21 blocks per set over the weekend. Harbison had 17 kills, 11 digs and nine blocks against Eastern Michigan.  

The defending Horizon League champion Bulldogs made their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 13 years after winning the 2010 Horizon League Volleyball Championship in Milwaukee. The No. 2 seed Dawgs took down Cleveland State (3-1) and Valparaiso (3-0) to claim the title. BU advanced to play national No. 14 seed Dayton in the NCAA tourney. The Flyers ended Butler’s dream season that night in Dayton, but UD lost to Ohio State the next night in the second round. 

After last year’s championship, Butler was picked third in this season’s Horizon League preseason poll. Last year’s regular season champ, Milwaukee, was tabbed as the favorite. Milwaukee was followed by Cleveland State, Butler and Valparaiso. 

Head coach Sharon Clark is in her 19th season as a collegiate coach and her 12th at Butler. With 177 wins at BU, she is now the all-time leader in wins at the school. Clark now owns a career mark of 279-266.

LEAGUE CHAMPS: Butler won the league tourney in 2010 and advanced to NCAA play for the first time since 1997. BU defeated UIC and Loyola en route to the ‘97 title. The Bulldogs then traveled to Nebraska and fell, 3-0, to Michigan State. Last season was Butler’s second volleyball NCAA appearance in school history.

BU HITS ON 21: Butler has won 21 matches in each of the last two seasons.That’s the most in a 2-year span since 1996-97 (54 wins). BU went 21-14 in 2009 and 21-10 last year.

GIVING ‘MO’ THIS YEAR: Maureen Bamiro, an All-Horizon League and All-Midwest Region last year, ranked in the Horizon League’s top 10 in three different categories last season. She was second in blocks (1.11) fifth in hitting (.289) and eighth in points (3.40).

TOP COMPETITION: This weekend’s matches will continue Butler’s trend of playing some very tough competition. After traveling to Notre Dame last weekend, playing in Portland puts the Bulldogs up against bigger schools for the second straight weekend.

AVCA HONORS: Jessica Wolfe, who has joined the coaching staff as a student assistant, finished her time at BU by capturing all-region and All-American status from the AVCA for the second straight year. Wolfe became only the second Bulldog player to become honorable mention All-American twice (Areal Bienemy, 2003-04). Maureen Bamiro was also selected all-region by the coaches association.

LEADING THE BLOCK: After the first weekend of the season, Maggie Harbison is leading the Horizon League with 1.21 blocks per set. The 6-1 sophomore  put up nine block assists last Saturday vs. Eastern Michigan, a career best. Harbison, who hit .312 and had 41 kills last weekend, was a Horizon League All-Newcomer Team member a year ago. 

DAPRILE DIGS THE HL RECORD: Katie Daprile finished her career as the Horizon League’s all-time leader for career digs with 2,009. She broke the HL career record of UWM’s Lauren Felsing last year on Nov. 13. She’s the only player in league history with 2,000 career digs. 

LEAGUE HONORS: Jessica Wolfe, Maureen Bamiro and Katie Daprile each captured All-Horizon League honors in 2010. It marked Wolfe’s fourth postseason award from the league. She was all-newcomer in 2007 and has been an all-league pick 2008-10. Freshmen Maggie Harbison and Claire Randich were named to the league’s all-newcomer team. 

BU ALL-TIME vs. THIS WEEK: Butler is 1-0 all-time against Portland, having defeated the Pilots in 1997. BU is also 0-1 vs. Washington State. The Bulldogs have never played Nevada or Texas A&M. 

ALL-TIME WINS LEADER: With Butler’s 3-1 victory over Loyola on Oct. 16 last year, Sharon Clark became Butler’s all-time leader in volleyball coaching wins. In her 11 seasons at BU, Clark owns 177 wins, surpassing former coach Sharon Dingman’s mark of 169.

LONE SENIOR DAWG: Even with four returning starters, Butler is still a young team. Maureen Bamiro is Butler’s lone senior this year. No Horizon League team lists fewer than two fourth-year players on its roster.