Volleyball Closes Regular Season At Home This Weekend
The Week Ahead: The Bulldogs close out the regular season at home this weekend beginning with a 7:00 p.m. contest against Green Bay on Friday (Nov. 9) at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Butler then welcomes league-leading Milwaukee to Indianapolis on Saturday (Nov. 10) starting at 2:00 p.m.
A Big Day: Butler's Saturday bout against the Panthers will feature much more than a battle against the top team in the league. Prior to the match, the Bulldogs will honor senior Michelle DeGeeter, who will be playing in her final match at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The afternoon contest will also serve as the first part of the "Double Dawg Dare" double-header, which includes volleyball at 2:00 p.m. followed by the Butler women's basketball team's regular season opener against Ohio at 4:30 p.m.
...And A Big Weekend: The outcomes of the final two matches this weekend could have a big impact on where the Bulldogs finish in the regular season standings and who they match up against in the league tournament. Butler currently stands in fifth place with a 6-8 league record and are a half-game in front of sixth-place UIC, which boasts a 6-9 record with one match to play (Valparaiso), and a game behind fourth-place Valparaiso, which touts a 7-7 mark with two left to play (Loyola and UIC). The Bulldogs could finish as high as fourth if they defeat both Green Bay and Milwaukee (to finish at 8-8) and if Valparaiso loses to both Loyola and UIC (to finish 7-9). Butler can also lock up fifth place by simply winning at least one of the matches this weekend to finish at 8-8. A win by the Flames would give them an 8-8 record as well, but the Bulldogs would earn the tie-breaker for the fifth-seed in the tournament by virtue of winning five of the eight games played against UIC during the year.
Previewing The Bulldogs: Butler touts an 13-13 overall record and a 6-8 Horizon League mark after claiming dominant victories over UIC and Loyola last weekend. The Bulldogs have been one of the top defensive teams in the conference this season, ranking second with a .158 opponent hitting percentage and third with 2.57 blocks and 18.63 digs per contest. The offense has also come to life in the recent weeks, as Butler ranks fourth in the conference in both kills per game (14.48) and service aces per game (1.44). Sophomore outside hitter Porshia Allen paces the team and ranks third in the league with 3.94 kills per game while adding 2.27 digs per contest. Senior Michelle DeGeeter continues to be one of the top middle blockers in the league, ranking fourth in the conference with 1.20 blocks per game and ninth with 3.22 kills per game while adding 2.50 digs per game. Butler has received significant support on both offense and defense from a trio of freshman in outside hitters Jessica Wolfe and Katie Daprile and middle blocker Jalesa Lee. Wolfe is third on the team with 2.73 kills per game and 2.51 digs per contest, while Daprile has excelled all-around with 2.19 kills, 0.92 assists, 2.93 digs and 0.52 blocks per game. Lee has added a strong presence in the middle with 1.10 blocks per game, the sixth-best total in the league, and 1.02 kills per contest. Junior Dana Daprile has been the Bulldogs' primary setter with 7.92 assists per game, while junior libero Nina Inic paces the team with 4.49 digs per game, the sixth-highest total in the conference.
Last Week In Review:
Nov. 2 - Butler 3, UIC 0 (Hinkle Fieldhouse)
Porshia Allen led all players with 16 kills and Jessica Wolfe added 10 kills of her own as the Bulldogs held UIC to a meager .080 hitting percentage in claiming a 33-31, 30-21, 30-22 sweep of the Flames. After a nip-and-tuck opening game, the Bulldogs slammed the door in the final two, holding UIC to .000 hitting in the second game and .065 in the third. Freshman Katie Daprile led the Bulldogs with 12 digs, while senior Michelle DeGeeter posted 10 digs and a team-high five blocks.
Nov. 3 - Butler 3, Loyola 1 (Hinkle Fieldhouse)
Butler hit .269 in the match as four players finished with double-figure kills and the Bulldogs held visiting Loyola to just .090 hitting in claiming a 30-22, 31-33, 30-15, 30-18 victory over the Ramblers. The Bulldogs once again clamped down on the defensive end, limiting the Ramblers to just .040 hitting in the opening game and a smothering -.045 hitting in a dominant third contest. Porshia Allen and Michelle DeGeeter each notched their team-leading 11th double-doubles of the season, with Allen finishing with 21 kills and 20 digs and DeGeeter adding 11 kills and 15 digs. Katie Daprile tallied her seventh on the year (12 kills, 13 digs), while Jalesa Lee came just one block shy of her first with 11 kills on .435 hitting and a match-best nine block assists.
Butler Volleyball On The Web: All of Butler's remaining home matches can be viewed live online via Gametracker by clicking the link next to the match on the schedule at the bottom of the main page of www.ButlerSports.com. The matches can also be viewed through live video courtesy of the Horizon League Network by clicking the "Watch" links on the volleyball schedule.
Just Like Butter: ...because Porshia Allen is on a roll. In the Bulldogs' nine Horizon League matches since topping Loyola on Oct. 2, Allen is averaging 4.46 kills per game and 3.24 digs per game while recording six doubles-doubles. She has tallied more than 20 kills in four matches, including a season-high 28 against Wright State. Allen leads the team and ranks third in the league with 3.94 kills per game and is fifth on the squad with 2.27 digs per contest.
DeGeeter Meter: Senior middle blocker Michelle DeGeeter has been one of the best all-around performers during her tenure with the Bulldogs, but her blocking ability has her ranked among the best in the program's history. DeGeeter boasts 333 block assists in her career, moving her past Beth Christiansen for fourth all-time, and has 383 total blocks in her career, the eighth-most in school history. Additionally, her 102 block assists this season are just eight shy of tying Sharon Casper for the 10th-best single-season mark, while her 10 block assists against Valparaiso on Sept. 29 are tied for the third-highest single match total in Butler history.
Fast Out Of The Blocks: Freshman Jalesa Lee has emerged as one of the Bulldogs' most defensively-dominant middle blockers this season, especially in the latter portion of the season. The Indianapolis native has posted five or more blocks in nine of the last 13 matches, including a career-best nine both at UIC on Oct. 3 and against Loyola on Nov. 3. Her 1.10 blocks per game are the second most on the team and rank sixth in the Horizon League.
Double Trouble: The rest of the Horizon League already had their hands full trying to contain one Daprile, and now they have twice as much to contend with. Older sister Dana leads the squad with 7.92 assists per game as the team's primary setter and is fourth on the team with 56 total blocks. Younger sister Katie, meanwhile, has already made a huge impact in her first collegiate season, ranking second in digs per game (2.93), third in assists (0.96) and fourth in kills (2.19).
A Wolfe Among Bulldogs: Jessica Wolfe has already proven to be one of the top newcomers in the Horizon League so far this season, averaging 2.73 kills and 2.51 digs per game, but she has also already made her mark in Butler's record book. The Plainfield, Ind. native's 29 kills against Youngstown State are not only a single-match high for a Bulldog this season but are tied for the sixth-best total in school history. Kali Carter set the top mark with 32 kills against Western Illinois in 2004.
Block Party: Blocking has been a strong point of Butler teams in recent years, and this season is no exception. The Bulldogs have out-blocked their opponents 257 to 203, a difference of 54, while ranking third in the league with 2.57 blocks per game. The Bulldogs have posted double-figure block totals in 15 matches, including four with 15 or more. Additionally, two Butler players are among the top-10 in the league in blocks, with Michelle DeGeeter ranking fourth with 1.20 per game and Jalesa Lee ranking sixth with 1.10 per game.
The Double-Double Club: Six Butler players have registered double-doubles this season. Senior Michelle DeGeeter and sophomore Porshia Allen are tied for the team lead with 11 each, while freshman Jessica Wolfe has added eight. Freshman Katie Daprile boasts seven double-doubles, followed by Brittany Awai's five and Dana Daprile's three.
...Make That A Triple: Michelle DeGeeter did one better than a double-double against Valparaiso on Sept. 29, registering the Bulldogs' only triple double of the season with 10 kills, 10 digs and 10 total blocks. DeGeeter had Butler's only kills-digs-blocks triple-double last year, finishing with 21 kills, 11 digs and 12 blocks against Loyola.
Up Next: The Horizon League Championship begins
for the Bulldogs on Friday (Nov. 16) with the possibility of
entering the tournament as the No. 4, 5 or 6 seed. Butler's first
match will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET as either the No. 4 or 5 seed,
while a No. 6 finish will pit the Bulldogs against No. 3 at 5:00