The Butler volleyball team is off to a 6-3 start, and contributing to this record are two new Bulldog faces.
Junior Morgan Peterson and sophomore Erica Stahl are transfer students who have made the transition to the Butler community both on and off the court.
Volleyball coach Sharon Clark said she is very pleased with the additions of Peterson and Stahl.
“They’re phenomenal,” Clark said. “They are both great additions to the program. They’re great with the team and fit right in.”
Both Peterson and Stahl had different ways of finding out about Butler.
Peterson discovered Butler through a friend who knew a graduate assistant. She attended Middle Tennessee State prior to coming here.
Peterson originally transferred to Butler because of the pharmacy program, not to play volleyball.
“I knew that Butler had a good pharmacy school,” Peterson said. “I did not know much about the volleyball program.”
Peterson realized that it was a good program and decided to play after talking to Clark and meeting some of the players.
“I really like everything about Butler,” Peterson said. “I like the coaching staff, the players that I met, and I like the campus.”
Clark is also happy with Peterson’s decision to play volleyball at Butler.
“She is serving really aggressively and very physical, and we haven’t had that in a long time,” Clark said.
Peterson was named to the All-Tournament Team at both the DePaul and Pittsburgh Invitationals. Through nine matches, Peterson has tallied 36 kills, 329 assists, 11 aces, 82 digs and 38 blocks.
Stahl was at the University of Cincinnati prior to arriving at Butler.
Butler was Stahl’s second choice when she was making her college decision. Stahl said that Cincinnati and Butler both recruited her to play at their schools.
Stahl, an Indianapolis native, already knew several of her teammates who are also from Indiana.
But Stahl said the ultimate reason to change schools came from her respect for the coaching staff at Butler.
“Honestly, the reason I picked Butler was because of the coaches and because of Sharon (Clark),” Stahl said.
Stahl described her transition to Butler as being easy and smooth, despite having shoulder surgery in the offseason.
Stahl had a great outing at the DePaul Invitational, where she was named to the All-Tournament Team.
“When she gets going, that really changes the game for us,” Clark said.
The middle blocker has played in all 11 matches for the Bulldogs this season, recording over 90 points for the team.
Both Peterson and Stahl expressed their excitement for playing in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
“When I heard about it, I was pumped,” Stahl said. “I know a lot of girls that play on the Dayton team.”
The Bulldogs have finished four consecutive seasons with a winning record.
Peterson and Stahl said they want to continue this level of play, but their ultimate goal as a team is to win the conference.
“It’s going to be tough,” Peterson said. “I do think we have the potential.”
The first A-10 match will be at Dayton on Sept. 21.
In the meantime, the team will continue to mesh and get prepared for its inaugural A-10 season.
“We love having Peterson and Stahl,” Clark said. “They add so much to us. We’re thrilled that they’re here.”