November 4, 2008

Volleyball Wraps Up Road Swing In Chicago

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The Opening Serve: The Bulldogs conclude a four-match road swing this weekend when they travel to Chicago for a pair of Horizon League contests. Butler opens up at UIC on Friday (Nov. 7) beginning at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time (7:00 p.m. Central) before battling Loyola the following afternoon (Nov. 8) starting at 5:00 p.m. ET (4:00 p.m. CT).

Butler Volleyball On The Web: Both of the Bulldogs' matches at UIC and Loyola will feature in-game scoring and statistical updates online through Gametracker and can be followed by clicking on the appropriate Gametracker link on the schedule at www.ButlerSports.com. Additionally, Butler's match against the Ramblers will have live streaming video available through the Horizon League Network and can be accessed by clicking on the "Watch on HLN" link on www.ButlerSports.com.

Keep On Rolling: The Bulldogs are having one of their finest seasons in history. Butler's 18-7 record is the program's best mark through 25 matches since the 1997 squad opened up at 20-5. This year's squad also has a chance to become just the ninth team in school history to record 20 wins.

A Look At The Standings: With three matches remaining in the regular season, the Bulldogs sit in fourth place in the Horizon League standings with an 8-5 conference record and are just a game-and-a-half behind first-place Milwaukee (9-3).

Weekly Honor: After putting together a historical defensive performance last weekend, Butler sophomore libero Katie Daprile was named the Horizon League's Defensive Player of the Week. Daprile put together another dominant weekend in the back row, averaging 6.75 digs per set in eight sets at Cleveland State and Youngstown State. Friday (Oct. 31) against the Vikings, she led the team with 18 digs in a three-set match before totaling a career-best 36 digs against the Penguins the following afternoon (Nov. 1). Her 36 digs were also tied for the fifth-best single-match total in Butler history. Daprile is the third Bulldog to receive one of the league's weekly awards. Daprile currently leads the team and ranks fourth in the league with 4.76 digs per set. Her 462 digs this season are just seven shy of tying the 10th-highest single-season total in school history. Older sister Dana Daprile was named the conference offensive player of the week last Monday (Oct. 27) while sophomore Jalesa Lee earned defensive weekly honors on Sept. 15.

A Look At This Week's Opponents: Butler will take on UIC and Loyola for the second time this season. The Bulldogs earned a 3-0 sweep of the Flames at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Oct. 12, a day after falling in a 3-1 battle with the Ramblers in Indianapolis. Butler will take on UIC for the 39th time in school history, with the Bulldogs holding a 23-15 advantage in the all-time series, while Butler and Loyola will tangle for the 54th time in a series in which the Ramblers hold a 28-25 edge on the Bulldogs.

Last Week's Results: Cleveland State 3, Butler 0 - Friday, Oct. 31 - Cleveland, Ohio
Junior Porshia Allen notched her team-leading 11th double-double of the season and the Bulldogs tallied a three-set best 61 digs, but the effort would not be enough as host Cleveland State squeaked out a 25-21, 25-22, 25-22 decision over Butler at Woodling Gymnasium. Allen finished with 10 kills and 10 digs for her 11th double-double of the season, Jessica Wolfe finished with nine kills and a team-high six blocks and Jalesa Lee boasted a team-best .333 attack percentage (4-0-12). Dana Daprile added 31 assists, while Katie Daprile picked up a team-high 18 digs.

Butler 3, Youngstown State 2 - Saturday, Nov. 1 - Youngstown, Ohio
Junior Porshia Allen led an explosive Butler offense with a season-high 24 kills and sophomore Katie Daprile anchored a stingy back-row defense with a career-best 36 digs as the Bulldogs held off a late charge from host Youngstown State to secure a 25-22, 26-24, 17-25, 22-25, 15-9 victory at the Beeghly Center. Allen tallied a season-high 24 kills and added 19 digs for her team-best 12th double-double of the year, while Jessica Wolfe chipped in 12 kills and 16 digs for her 10th of the year. Melody Austin led the way with six total blocks. Dana Daprile put together another exception effort, dishing 49 assists with eight kills and eight digs while hitting a team-high .318 (8-1-22). Katie Daprile and Nina Inic, meanwhile, combined for 52 digs, with Daprile notching a career-best 36 and Inic collecting a season-best 17.

Continuing The Domination: The Bulldogs' victory over Youngstown State on Saturday (Nov. 1) continued their run of success against the Penguins, improving their all-time record to 17-0 when playing YSU.

A Blocking Trend: The Butler blocking corps has shined all season long, as the Bulldogs have notched double-figure blocking totals in 13 of 25 matches this year, including a season-high 14 against Maryland-Eastern Shore.

...And A Blocking Advantage: Butler's blocking stats are even more impressive when comparing them to their opponents' totals. The Bulldogs' 233.0 blocks this season are nearly 45 percent more than the amount registered by their opponents (161.5).

Butler In The League Rankings: Butler finds itself ranked among the Horizon League's best in several statistical categories. The Bulldogs are second in the league in three stats, including opponent hitting percentage (.161), kills per set (12.89) and blocks per set (2.40). Butler also ranks third with a .209 hitting percentage and 11.79 assists per set while placing fourth with 16.36 digs per set.

Point People: The Bulldogs feature two players ranked among the Horizon League's top-five in points per set, with Porshia Allen checking in at fourth with 3.80 points per set and Jessica Wolfe ranking fifth with 3.72 per set.

Block Party: It should come as no surprise that the Bulldogs are near the top of the league in blocks because they have some of the best middle blockers in the conference. In fact, two of the top 10 blockers in the league play for Butler, with Jalesa Lee in third with 1.03 blocks per set and Maureen Bamiro in 10th with 0.88 per set. Sophomore Melody Austin (1.08 per set) also has impressive blocking numbers, but they fall short of the minimum sets played to make for the list. If they did qualify, Austin would rank third on the charts.

Among The Best: Butler's block assist total this season ranks among the best single-season totals in school history. The Bulldogs currently tout 412 block assists on the year, which ranks as the ninth-highest mark all-time. The 2002 squad's 439 block assists is next up in eighth, while the 1998 team finished the year with a school-record 499 block assists.

Accuracy Counts: The Bulldogs' .209 hitting percentage not only ranks near the top of the Horizon League standings this season but is on pace to be one of the best single-season marks in program history. The 2008 squad's percentage would currently rank as the 10th-best average.

All Good Streaks Must Come To An End: Butler's nine-match winning streak came to an end when IUPUI handed the Bulldogs a 3-2 defeat on Sept. 16. The streak was the program's longest since the 1997 season when the Bulldogs opened the year with 11 wins in a row. The 1986 squad set the school record with 15 straight victories.

Next Up: The regular season comes to a close next weekend when the Bulldogs welcome Wright State to Hinkle Fieldhouse on Friday, Nov. 14, for a 7:00 p.m. contest. The match will also serve as Senior Night, with seniors Chloe' Blasingame, Dana Daprile and Nina Inic being honored in a ceremony prior to the match.