2011 Butler Volleyball
The First Serve
The Butler volleyball team has a chance to climb the Horizon League standings with a pair of wins at home this weekend. BU hosts Loyola Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. before hosting Green Bay at the same time the next day. Both matches will be streamed live online.
The Bulldogs enter the weekend with the momentum of a 3-0 win over Wright State earlier in the week. Butler, which had previously lost four straight matches, rolled past WSU 25-17, 25-16, 25-15 in decisive fashion. The Bulldogs played some of their best defense of the year, registering 13.0 team blocks in the three sets.
Butler is currently second in the Horizon League with 2.29 blocks per set. The Dawgs only trail Milwaukee’s mark of 2.43 at the net.
Loyola, under first-year coach Chris Muscat, are winless in league play at 0-5. The Bulldogs defeated the Ramblers twice last season. LUC is led by Laura Purcell’s 2.96 kills and 2.06 digs per set.
Butler is chasing Green Bay in the standings, trailing the Phoenix by one game. Green Bay has a similar overall record to Butler’s 6-12 mark, and UWGB’s marquee win is a 3-0 win over Valparaiso back on Sept. 23. The Phoenix are coming off a 3-0 loss at home to Cleveland State, a team that also beat Butler 3-0. Carmen Leitermann is the leading scorer for Green Bay, averaging 2.77 kills with a .320 hitting percentage.
Following this weekend’s matches, Butler will travel to Youngstown State and Cleveland State. BU plays at YSU Friday, Oct. 14 and at Cleveland State Saturday, Oct. 15.
SNAPPING THE SKID: Butler snapped a four-match skid on Tuesday night, by routing 2-16 Wright State in three sets. The Bulldogs, who had 13.0 team blocks, ran off a stretch of 11 straight points in the first set and never looked back. WSU was never in the match after that. The Bulldogs held the Raiders to .019 hitting.
DEFENSIVE POW: Back on Sept. 12, Brooke Ruffolo was the first Bulldog to claim a weekly award in 2011. She was named Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week after averaging 6.00 digs per set during the Butler Invitational.
BU ALL-TIME vs. THIS WEEK: Butler and Loyola will be meeting for the 60th time when they play Saturday afternoon. Loyola holds a 30-29 advantage in the series. BU is 28-8 all-time against Green Bay, and the teams have split the last six matches dating back to 2008.
TOP COMPETITION: Butler finished 4-8 in what was a very challenging non-conference schedule. BU's non-league slate was highlighted by Notre Dame, Portland, Texas A&M and Washington State. Notre Dame and Texas A&M have at some point received votes in national polls.
ALL-TOURNEY DAWGS: Four Bulldogs were named all-tournament during the three weekends of non-conference action. Maggie Harbison was tabbed all-tournament at Notre Dame after hitting .321 with 1.21 blocks per set and Maureen Bamiro was on the all-tourney team at Portland after averaging 1.14 blocks and 2.43 kills. Brooke Ruffolo and Kelly Kyle were each honored after standout performances in Butler’s invite. Kyle averaged 3.90 kills per set during the event, while Ruffolo had 6.00 digs.
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.
HOME SWEET HINKLE: The Bulldogs are 24-6 in their last 30 matches at Hinkle Fieldhouse. BU was 9-0 at home in 2009 and 10-3 last season.
SINGLE-MATCH HIGHS: Gina Vera’s 45 assists against Austin Peay is the highest total in the Horizon League in a three-set match. Maggie Harbison hit .700 in a 3-1 win over Elon, the league’s best percentage in a four-set match.
FRESHMAN IMPACT: Four freshmen have started at least one match for Butler this season. Kelly Kyle and Brooke Ruffolo lead the Dawgs in kills and digs, respectively. Additionally, the young Bulldog team has seen two other freshmen see starting action. Belle Obert has started 14 matches this season and Stephanie Kranda has started 10 times. Other rookies Jadyn Yarling and Christina Saenger have combined to play in 48 sets.
GET ‘MO’ BLOCKS: Maureen Bamiro, an All-Horizon League and All-Midwest Region player last year, has moved into seventh on BU’s all-time list with 412 total blocks. She needs 44 more stops to catch Chris DeWell for for sixth.
GINA’S MOVING UP: Gina Vera is now sixth on Butler’s all-time list with 3,179 assists. Current assistant coach Dana Daprile is fifth on the charts with 3,320.
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.