The Butler Lady Grizzlies volleyball campaign last year was a record breaker and a disappointment. Butler won a team season record 37 games in 2008, but closed out by losing to Coffeyville in the district semifinals in four games.

The Lady Grizzlies, ranked 12th in the preseason NJCAA Division II poll, bring back most of the talent that helped last year, and coach Rick Younger said the freshmen he signed will make Butler even more competitive this season.


The Butler Lady Grizzlies volleyball campaign last year was a record breaker and a disappointment. Butler won a team season record 37 games in 2008, but closed out by losing to Coffeyville in the district semifinals in four games.
The Lady Grizzlies, ranked 12th in the preseason NJCAA Division II poll, bring back most of the talent that helped last year, and coach Rick Younger said the freshmen he signed will make Butler even more competitive this season.
“We haven’t proven anything yet, but (the ranking) is a complement to what our program has done,”?Younger said.
Returning players for this season include outside hitter Crystal Blue (a first-team NJCAA Division II All-American last season), middle blockers Demetria Williams (second team Jayhawk East selection) and Janelle Mason (who will move to a right outside hitter position in 2009), and libero Natalie Caldarera.
Joining them this season are middle blockers Megan Glandon (Littleton, Colo.) and Amanda Newlin (Clearwater); outside hitters Leah Becker (Aztec, N.M.), Lindsey Williams (Valley Center), Dani Riemann (El Dorado) and Kylee Steuver (Wichita Bishop Carroll); and setter/liberos Nicole Lund (Wichita Bishop Carroll), Lindsay Wigger (Lyndon) and Kayla Zoglman (Goddard).
Younger said the work ethic involving the entire squad is good.
“Both of our new middle blockers are showing they are capable of being strong,”?Younger said. “The other big plus is the outside hitters coming in are really complementing Crystal big. They are very aggressive and they really put the ball away.
“We have scrimmages, these kids are hitting. It’s fun to watch the depth we have compared to what we had last year. The cool thing is that it’s going to be hard figuring how who’s going to be off the court because everybody we have on the team can play on the court.”
Younger also cautions all that hard work does not necessarily mean the season record is in jeopardy considering the strength of the schedule the Lady Grizzlies will be facing this year — starting this weekend in the White Eagle Invitational at The Power Plant.
“This is just kind of a unique team,”?Younger said. “I’m excited about seeing our program grow. We’re playing a lot more Division I teams this year and moving on with the strength of schedule improvements in the tournaments.
“We might have the same win-loss thing like last year; but down towards the end, if we jell at the right time, then I think we’ll have a very successful year.”