Butler is Named Honorable Mention All-NWC

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University sophomore middle blocker Mary Butler (Robbins, CA/Yuba City HS) has been named Honorable Mention All-Northwest Conference in voting by the league’s head volleyball coaches, the NWC announced today. Butler was one of eight players in the NWC to receive honorable mention status. A total of 21 athletes were chosen All-NWC with seven players named to the first team and six players selected to the second team.

Butler led the Bearcats with a .171 hitting percentage, as she recorded 185 kills on 539 attacks, with 93 attacking errors. Her 185 kills ranked third on the team. She was the only Willamette player to see action in all 93 games during the Bearcats’ 26 matches this fall.

Willamette counted on Butler to lead the team’s efforts in blocking at the net. She responded by leading the Bearcats with 79 total blocks on 20 solo blocks and 59 assisted blocks. She ranked ninth in the NWC with 0.85 blocks per game.

“I’m pleased with her progress,” Willamette Head Coach Tricia Wright said. “She worked hard in practices. She worked hard in the games. With that kind of work ethic, she’s only going to get better.”

Butler recorded eight or more kills in 12 different matches, including 14 kills in a home match against George Fox University on Oct. 6. She registered a season-high 13 digs at Lewis & Clark College on Sept. 30 and contributed 10 total blocks against Lewis & Clark at the Sparks Center on Oct. 28. She accumulated 24 serving aces during the season.

Butler was one of nine middle blockers in the NWC who were selected for All-NWC honors. Three of the seven first team selections and three of the six second team selections were middle blockers. The NWC Player of the Year, Kati McGinn of Pacific Lutheran University, played middle blocker for the Lutes.

“The best athletes (in the NWC) were middles and she had to play that position. And, she played it well all season,” Wright said regarding Butlers efforts.

As a freshman in 2005, Butler achieved 133 kills and a .160 hitting percentage. She ranked second on the team with 35 total blocks (10 solo, 25 assisted). She played in all 76 games in Willamette’s 20 matches.

In high school, Butler played outside hitter. She moved to middle blocker as a freshman at Willamette during the 2005 season.

“Last year was new to her,” Wright said about the change to middle blocker. “I think she’s bought into it ... she’s done a good job.”

During her career at WU, Butler has accumulated 318 kills and 114 blocks. She has produced a career hitting percentage of .166. She has provided the Bearcats with 30 service aces, 30 solo blocks and 84 assisted blocks.

2006 All-Northwest Conference Volleyball Team

Player of the Year -- Kati McGinn, PLU
Coach of the Year -- Kevin Aoki, PLU

First Team
Kati McGinn, Pac. Lutheran (MB/OH, 5-10, Sr., Puyallup, Wash. - Puyallup)
Lauren Kreiger, Linfield (MB, 5-10, Sr., Olympia, Wash. - St. Martin's College)
Gina Di Maggio, Pac. Lutheran (S, 5-10, Jr., Olympia, Wash. - Tumwater)
Rachel Gross, Puget Sound (RS, 5-6, Jr., Santa Monica, Calif. - Milken)
Chelsey Gellatly, Linfield (S, 5-7, Sr., Philomath, Ore. - Chemeketa CC)
Kate Borsato, Whitman (S, 5-8, Sr., White Rock, British Columbia - Semiahmoo)
Monica Groves, Puget Sound (MB, 5-9, Jr., Keizer, Ore. - McNary)

Second Team
Rosa Brey, Whitman (MB, 5-10, So., Bozeman, Mont. - Bozeman)
Elizabeth Anderson, George Fox (MB, 5-10, Jr., Sherwood, Ore. - Westside Christian)
Cassie Moore, Whitworth (LIB, 5-6, Jr., Spokane, Wash. - Mead)
Sara Kettler, Lewis & Clark (MH, 6-2, Jr., Dana Point, Calif - Saint Margarets)
Anela Iseke, Pacific (S, 5-8, Jr., Hauula, Hawaii - Kamehameha)
Jamie Eggers, Puget Sound (LS, 5-7, Sr., Walla Walla, Wash. - Columbia Basin CC)

Honorable Mention
Katelyn Baker, Linfield (MB/OH, 5-9, Jr., McMinnville, Ore. - SW Oregon CC)
Megan Kosel, Pac. Lutheran (DS, 5-7, Jr., Puyallup, Wash. - Emerald Ridge)
Angie Florence, Whitworth (OH/MB, 5-8, Sr., Yucaipa, Calif. - Yucaipa)
Mary Butler, Willamette (MB, 5-11, So., Robbins, Calif. - Yuba City)
Stacie Matz, Pac. Lutheran (OH, 5-10, Jr., Tacoma, Wash. - Western Oregon University)
Karina Philliber, George Fox (OH/DS, 5-7, Sr., Battle Ground, Wash. - Bethel)
Leslie Compean, Whitman (OH, 6-0, Jr., Everett, Wash. - Cascade)
Hannah Veley, Linfield (OH, 5-8, So., Tualatin, Ore. - Tualatin)