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Freshman Porshia Allen leads the Bulldogs in kills this season.
 
Freshman Porshia Allen leads the Bulldogs in kills this season.
 
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Volleyball Hosts Cleveland State, Youngstown State This Weekend

Oct. 3, 2006

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This week in Butler Volleyball...
Oct. 6 vs. Cleveland State, 7:00 p.m.
Oct. 7 vs. Youngstown State, 4:00 p.m.

The Week Ahead: Horizon League play continues this weekend as Butler hosts Cleveland State at 7:00 p.m. on Friday (Oct. 6) before welcoming Youngstown State to Hinkle Fieldhouse for a 4:00 p.m. contest on Saturday (Oct. 7).

Previewing The Bulldogs: The Bulldogs (5-12, 0-3 Horizon League) welcome Cleveland State and Youngstown State to Hinkle Fieldhouse for their first Horizon League home matches of the season. Freshman Porshia Allen has been the strongest offensive player for the Bulldogs in her first collegiate season, pacing the squad with 178 kills, including 35 in three conference matches. Senior Krystal Hendrix continues to be a force both on offense and defense, hitting a team-high .299 and averaging 1.27 blocks per game, while junior Michelle DeGeeter leads the team with 151 digs and touts 158 kills. Sophomore Dana Daprile, the team's leader with 492 assists, has split time at setter during the past week with freshman Adrianna Higle, who recorded 33 dishes of her own in the past two contests. Head coach Sharon Clark is in her seventh season with the Bulldogs and is just one win away from her 100th with the program.

Young Guns And Vets Continue To Make Strides: Despite dropping matches to Ball State and Wright State last week, the young Butler team continued to build towards success. Freshman outside hitter Porshia Allen led the way for the Bulldogs offensively last week, knocking down 14 kills, while sophomore libero Nina Inic dished a team-high 27 digs. Butler also received steady performances from its seniors, with outside hitter Susana Henri stepping up with 12 kills and middle blocker Krystal Hendrix adding 11 kills and a team-high nine blocks.

Block Party: The Bulldogs continue to have a significant edge on their opponents when it comes to blocking, sending back 143.5 to their foes' 92.5, a difference of over 1.5 to 1. In fact, the team is third in the Horizon League in total blocks with 2.43 per game.

Making It Happen In Conference: The Bulldogs have been even more impressive in the three Horizon League matches this season, putting back 2.65 blocks per game for the third-best mark in the league.

Moving Up The List: Senior Krystal Hendrix leads the Bulldogs with 75 total blocks and, with 402 total blocks in her career, is just eight blocks away from passing Keely Norris (409) for sixth on the all-time list. Hendrix also paces the team with 62 block assists on the year and is second all-time with 365. The top mark is held by Amy Pickett, who totalled 413.

Inic To Win It: Not much has gotten by sophomore defensive specialist Nina Inic in Horizon League play this year. The Belgrade, Serbia native leads the team with 51 digs in three games and has committed only four errors for a .907 reception percentage. Additionally, her 5.10 digs per game in conference matches rank fifth in the league.

Welcome To The Show: Freshman outside hitter Porshia Allen made quite a first impression against Marian (August 25), pacing the Bulldogs with 21 kills in helping the team to a 3-1, season-opening victory over the Knights. She currently leads the team in kills (178) and is sixth in the Horizon League with 3.50 kills per game in conference play.

...And Welcome Back: Sophomore setter Dana Daprile returned to the Butler lineup this season following a break-out freshman campaign that was cut short due to a knee injury. She wasted no time getting back to her stellar form in the season opener at Marian on August 25, dishing out a then-career-high 51 assists. She has continued her success since then, topping her career mark yet again with 57 against Evansville (Sept. 2) while averaging 8.63 per game.

DeGeeter Meter: Perhaps no Bulldog has been more consistent in all facets of the game this season than junior middle blocker Michelle DeGeeter. She currently leads the team with 151 digs, is second with 58 total blocks and is third with 158 kills.

Doubling Up: Not only has Porshia Allen been a considerable threat on offense, she has been a strong defensive performer as well. The freshman has posted double-digit kills and digs in four games this year, is second on the team with 146 digs and is third with 37 total blocks.

Triple Your Pleasure: Dana Daprile put together an all-around impressive performance in the Bulldogs' match against Army (Sept. 2), recording a triple-double with 11 kills, 30 assists and 17 digs while hitting a team-high .450 (11-2-20) in the match.

Steele Named To All-Tournament Team: After leading the Bulldogs with superior serving in at the Courtyard by Marriott Classic, freshman Stephanie Steele was named to the All-Tournament Team as the tournament's Best Server. In matches against Duke, Notre Dame and Arizona State, she recorded three service aces and only two errors in 35 attempts for a .943 service percentage. She also chipped in 18 digs and added three total blocks. On the year, Steele touts 13 service aces and a .917 service percentage.

They Come From Near And Far: Three of the Bulldog's six newcomers didn't have to travel too far to reach campus this fall. Sophomore transfer Corissa Foster and freshman Porshia Allen both hail from Indianapolis, while freshman Stephanie Steele comes from Sellersburg in southern Indiana. The other three, however, covered quite a bit more distance in their relocations. Freshmen Melody Austin (New Orleans, La.), Adrianna Higle (San Antonio, Texas) and Stephanie McGurk (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) combined for nearly 4,100 miles in their trips to Indianapolis.

Four Out Of Five Scorers Agree: The Bulldogs boast four of their top five scoring threats from a year ago in seniors Krystal Hendrix and Susana Henri, junior Michelle DeGeeter and sophomore Alicia Coltrane. The quartet was responsible for 70 percent (857 of 1,224) of the team's kills in 2005.

The Biggest Test: The Horizon League volleyball season provides challenging competition every year, and coach Clark planned accordingly when scheduling non-conference opponents. Last weekend's match-ups featured the most demanding non-conference matches for the Bulldogs this season, including bouts with Duke, which advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championships in 2005, and Notre Dame, which reached the Sweet 16 of the national tournament last season.

Head Coach Sharon Clark: In her 14th year of coaching and seventh season with the Bulldogs, head coach Sharon Clark earned her 200th career victory against Evansville on Sept. 2. She now needs only one victory to eclipse the century mark in total wins as the head coach of Butler. Clark has compiled a 201-203 record in 13-plus years as a head coach, including a 99-95 record at Butler. During her tenure with the Bulldogs, she has coached a two-time All-American, nine All-Horizon League Team members and seven all-newcomer team members.

Clark Recognized by NABJ: On August 18, head coach Sharon Clark was named as a recipient of the Sam Lacy Pioneer Award by the Sports Task Force of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). She was presented with the honor for her success as one of the few black major-college volleyball coaches and the leadership she has shown in American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and NCAA activities. The Pioneer Awards, which pay tribute to black ground-breakers in the sports world, are the most prestigious honors bestowed by the NABJ Sports Task Force, which is comprised of black print and broadcast sports journalists nationwide.

Next Up: The Bulldogs head to Wisconsin next weekend when they battle UW-Green Bay on Oct. 13 at 3:00 p.m. CT before teaking on UW-Milwaukee on Oct. 14 at 6:00 p.m. CT.