Twitter - @ButlerVB
Sept. 6: at Arizona – 10:00 PM
Sept. 7: vs. Utah Valley – 3:30 PM
Sept. 7: vs. Eastern Kentucky – 7:30 PM
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The undefeated women's volleyball team will participate in another non-conference tournament this weekend when they take on the competition in the Arizona Classic. The Bulldogs will play the Wildcats on Friday night at 10 p.m. and end the weekend with two matches on Saturday.
The start of the 2013 season couldn't be any better for the Bulldogs as the team is off to their first 4-0 start in 12 years. Butler defeated Cincinnati 3-0 in the season opener and improved to 2-0 later that day with a 3-1 victory over Morehead State. The final game of the opening weekend tournament matched Butler up against Tennessee and the Bulldogs responded with a 3-0 win over the Vols.
Cross-town rival IUPUI nearly ended the Butler winning streak as they visited the Hinkle Fieldhouse on Tuesday to play the Bulldogs in the Butler home opener. The Jags had Butler down 2-1 going into the fourth set, but the Bulldogs came back to tie the match at 2-2 and a 15-9 win in the fifth set moved the team's overall record to 4-0.
Belle Obert and Morgan Peterson have played great for Butler early in the year with Obert leading the team in kills with 52 (3.47 per set) and Peterson pacing the offensive attack with a team-high 150 assists (10.0 per set). Obert and Erica Stahl also provide a defensive presence on the court as they lead the team in blocks with 22 and 27 respectively.
Scouting the Wildcats
Arizona is 2-1 overall with wins over Morgan State (3-0) and Central Arkansas (3-1). The team most recently took their first loss of the season vs. No. 20 Kansas (3-1). The Wildcats use a one-two punch offensively as Madi Kingdon and Jane Croson each have over 40 kills on the season. Penina Snuka sets up the hitters at the setter position as she leads the team with 119 assists on the year.
Kingdon and Taylor Arizobal are Arizona's biggest threats when serving the ball as Arizobal leads the team with six service aces and Kingdon is right behind her with five. Defensively, Candace Nicholson serves as the team's defensive specialist with a team-high 59 digs.
Scouting the Wolverines
Utah Valley is 1-2 heading into the weekend after hosting the La Quinta Inn & Suites Invitational at the end of August. Arizona State handed the Wolverines a 3-0 loss on the 30th but the team came back to split a pair of matches on the 31st defeating North Dakota State 3-0, but losing 3-0 to No. 24 Wichita State that night.
Macky Treanor had a good weekend for the Wolverines by averaging 5.11 kills per set during opening weekend. She has a team-high 46 and is also tied for the team lead with three service aces. Treanor and McKenna Tait lead the team defensively with 27 and 38 digs respectively and the player in charge of setting the offensive pace is Brookelyn Hall who leads the team with 93 assists.
Scouting the Colonels
Eastern Kentucky is also off to a 4-0 start as they enter the Arizona Classic with wins over Kennesaw State (3-2), Radford (3-2), North Carolina A&T (3-0) and most recently Marshall (3-1). The Colonels won two five set matches in the La Quinta Inn & Suites Highlander Invitational and then made quick work of North Carolina A&T 25-22, 25-18, 25-18. The first home match of the season for Eastern Kentucky was an exciting one as they defeated Marshall for the first time since 1995 (30-28, 22-25, 26-24, and 25-23).
Six different players have at least 10 kills on the year giving the Colonels a balanced offensive attack. The team leader in the category is Ashley Edmond with 65. Edmond also has five service aces and she is second on the team with 53 digs.
Mallori Moffat is in charge of setting up the Eastern Kentucky hitters as she leads the squad with 151 assists and Dena Ott picks up the defensive responsibilities with a team-high 75 digs. Another impact player to keep an eye on this weekend is Tori Anderson who leads the team in service aces with 10 and is also near the top of the blocks category with 13.
Three players recorded a double-double performance in the 3-2 win over IUPUI on Tuesday night. Belle Obert posted huge numbers with 20 kills and 17 assists while Mary Striedl also got involved with 13 digs and 10 kills. Morgan Peterson set the team up offensively leading the Bulldogs with 56 assists. She did her part defensively as well by recording 18 digs.
Butler is off to a perfect 4-0 start after sweeping the competition at the Cincinnati Invite and most recently holding off the IUPUI Jaguars 3-2. The last women's volleyball team to start the year 4-0 was the 2001 squad that went undefeated in the Butler / Double Tree Invitational. The Bulldogs got off to a hot start by collecting wins over Delaware (3-0), Austin Peay (3-2), Saint Louis (3-2) and North Carolina State (3-0).
Butler is 0-1 all-time against Arizona. The Wildcats defeated the Bulldogs 3-0 in the first match of the 2010 Arizona Classic to take the lead in the series.
Utah Valley holds the upper hand against Butler although the two teams have only faced off once before. The Wolverines beat Butler 3-0 in game two of the Butler Invitational during the 2007 season.
The Bulldogs do lead the all-time series over Eastern Kentucky at 2-0. The most recent match was played in 1992 as Butler defeated the Colonels 3-0 in the first game of the Tennessee Hilton Classic. The first meeting between the teams came the year prior as the two squads faced off in the UAB/Pizza Hut Invitational. Butler also won the match by the final score of 3-0.
With a tall starting rotation, it's no surprise that the Bulldogs would lead the block category on the season stats report. What might catch you off guard is the fact that they dominate the category with 52.5 team blocks compared to just 17 from their opponents.
Erica Stahl leads the team with 27 blocks and Belle Obert is close behind at 22. Both Mary Striedl and Morgan Peterson have 11 blocks on the year, and senior Claire Randich is third on the team with 14 blocks.
Cincinnati Invitational All-Tournament Team
Belle Obert, Morgan Peterson and Claire Randich were all recognized for their high level of play at the Cincinnati Invitational. Obert was crowned Tournament MVP and both Peterson and Randich earned spots on the All-Tournament Team.
Butler will host Wright State at the Hinkle Fieldhouse on Tuesday, Sept. 10. That match will help prepare the Bulldogs for back-to-back home tournaments with the Butler Invitational slated for Sept. 13-14 and the Butler Classic to follow Sept. 20-21.