Dec. 6, 2013
By Tom Schott
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The 19th-ranked volleyball team (20-11, 11-9 Big Ten) is making its ninth appearance in the NCAA Tournament in the last 10 seasons, opening play at 5:30 ET today against Central Arkansas (29-3, 18-0 Southland Conference) at the Hearnes Center in Columbia, Mo. Fourth-ranked Missouri, the only undefeated team in the country at 34-0, plays host to IUPUI in the other first-round match in Columbia, with the winners to square off at 8:30 p.m. ET on Saturday. The Boilermakers finished the regular season with four straight wins and have been ranked in 47 consecutive national polls, dating to Nov. 29, 2010.
Junior setter/outside hitter Val Nichol was named first team All-Big Ten after averaging 2.76 kills, 6.00 assists and 1.74 digs per set to go with 20 aces. Redshirt senior libero Carly Cramer earned honorable mention All-Big Ten acclaim for the second straight year.
Men's Basketball Impressive in Big Ten/ACC Challenge
Men's basketball improved to 7-2 on the season with its fifth straight win in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, an impressive 88-67 showing against Boston College on Wednesday at Mackey Arena. The 21-point margin of victory was the largest of the 12 games this season. The Boilermakers' five straight Challenge victories mark the longest current streak by any team in the series, followed by Minnesota (3), Duke (2) and Nebraska (2). The Big Ten is 3-0-2 in the last five Challenges after splitting this year's contests. Purdue is back in action at 2 p.m. tomorrow against Eastern Michigan at Mackey.
Webster to be Recognized at Big Ten Football Championship Game
Cody Webster will be recognized prior to tomorrow night's Big Ten Football Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for being the Eddleman-Fields Punter of the Year. The senior first team all-conference performer averaged 43.5 yards per punt to lead the Big Ten and rank 21st nationally. Of his 70 punts, 24 landed inside the opposition's 20-yard line and 17 covered 50 or more yards. As a unit, Purdue's punt team led the conference and ranked second in the country with a 41.7-yard net punting average.
Webster, who ranks second in school history with a 43.0-yard career average, is one of three finalists for the Ray Guy Award, presented annually to the nation's best punter. The winner will be announced Dec. 12 at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show in Orlando, Fla.
Good Sports and Good Deeds
The following fall sport student-athletes have been honored with the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award: Katie Griffin (volleyball), Rob Henry (football), Matthew McClintock (men's cross country), Brynn Olinger (women's cross country) and Hadley Stuart (soccer).
Senior women's basketball player Courtney Moses is a nominee for the 2014 Allstate Good Works team, one of 52 NCAA Division I women's players to be recognized. Former teammate Drey Mingo earned a spot on the inaugural Allstate Good Works team last February. You can read more about Moses' commitment to service and volunteerism and the Allstate Good Works team here.
The 19th-ranked wrestling team competes in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational today and tomorrow, while the track and field squads open their indoor season tomorrow at the Southern Illinois Invitational in Carbondale, Ill. ... The 16th-ranked women's basketball team (5-2) plays host to IPFW at 2 p.m. Sunday. Senior guard KK Houser became the 28th 1,000-point scorer in school history at Duke on Thursday ... Women's swimming and diving is ranked in the top 20 in two polls - No. 14 by CollegeSwimming.com and No. 17 by the College Swim Coaches Association of America... During last Saturday's Old Oaken Bucket Game between Purdue and Indiana, the Crimson & Gold Cup was renamed the Indiana National Guard Governor's Cup. Since 2001-02, the two schools have conducted an all-sports competition. It originally was known as the Titan Series until the fall of 2004, when it was renamed the Crimson & Gold Cup ... Three former Purdue baseball players were honored as Minor League Baseball Organization All-Stars: Dan Black (Chicago White Sox first baseman), Kevin Plawecki (New York Mets catcher) and Nick Wittgren (Miami Marlins relief pitcher) ... On Tuesday, former Purdue pitcher Josh Lindblom was traded by the Texas Rangers to the Oakland A's in a four-player deal ... Congratulations to Tom Mitchell, assistant athletics director for compliance, and his wife, Betsy, on the birth of their second child, Jackson (Jack) James, born Dec. 1.