April 21, 2011
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will host Mackey Celebration Weekend from Nov. 10 to 13, 2011, and over the four days, four Boilermaker teams will compete a total of five times in their respective home venues.
The Purdue volleyball team, which advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time in program history in 2010, will open the weekend slate on Thursday when it plays host to Iowa in Holloway Gymnasium at 7 p.m. ET.
Head coach Dave Shondell returns 13 players from a squad that was ranked No. 11 in the final national poll of the 2010 campaign, including kills leader Ariel Turner and Big Ten All-Freshman Team selection Catherine Rebarchak.
Friday night will bring about the eagerly anticipated first rededication of Mackey Arena, as the men's basketball team will take on Northern Illinois on Keady Court. The game will mark the official celebration of the three-year, $99.5 million renovation that represents the most comprehensive and significant facility undertaking in the University's athletics history.
The Boilers have faced NIU only once on the hardwood, taking a 112-85 decision at Mackey Arena on Dec. 7, 1971.
One of eight programs in the nation to win at least 25 games in each of the last four seasons, the Boilermakers finished second in the Big Ten and made their fifth straight NCAA Tournament appearance in 2010-11. Head coach Matt Painter returns three starters and 10 letterwinners from a squad that posted a 16-0 record at Mackey Arena last season, and is also set to welcome back All-America forward Robbie Hummel after a redshirt season in 2010-11.
Both the football and volleyball teams will be in action on Saturday, as head coach Danny Hope will lead the Boilermakers onto the gridiron to face Ohio State in a rematch of Purdue's 26-18 victory over the seventh-ranked Buckeyes in the teams' last meeting at Ross-Ade Stadium.
The Boilers return 10 of their 11 defensive starters from a year ago, and seven starters on the offensive side of the ball, including quarterbacks Rob Henry and Robert Marve, as well as running back Ralph Bolden.
Saturday's volleyball match against perennial national power Nebraska is slated for 7 p.m. ET in Holloway Gymnasium.
Head coach Sharon Versyp and the Purdue women's basketball team will punctuate the weekend's festivities on Sunday when they welcome IUPUI to Mackey Arena for the weekend's second rededication game. The Boilermakers and Jaguars have had just one previous meeting, an 80-44 Purdue home win on Nov. 16, 2008.
The Purdue women return all 12 players from last season's squad that reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Rising seniors Brittany Rayburn and Drey Mingo were both third-team All-Big Ten selections after last season, while Courtney Moses was named honorable mention All-Big Ten and placed on the Big Ten All-Freshman Team. The Boilers have been ranked as high as No. 16 in early preseason polls.
The Jaguars' head coach, Austin Parkinson, was a four-year letterwinner at Purdue under the legendary Gene Keady, and holds the program record for career assist-to-turnover ratio with a mark of 2.70. His 386-career assists also currently rank 11th on the school chart.
Details of fan-related activities and events for Mackey Celebration Weekend are being finalized, and will be announced at a later date.