Jan. 30, 1997

Grimes, White Named 1996 Co-MVP's

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Seniors Lauri Grimes and Brooke White were named the Purdue volleyball team's co-Most Valuable Players for the 1996 season at the team's 18th-annual recognition banquet held Dec. 7 at the University Inn in West Lafayette. The banquet again was sponsored by the Tippecanoe Professional Women.

Grimes, who also received the Best Defensive Player Award for the second straight year, led the Boilermakers in service aces (38) and digs (3.02 per game), ranked second in kills (4.47 per game) and was fourth in blocks (0.54 per game). Her average of 4,47 kills ranks third on the school season list, while her total of 501 kills is ninth and her average of 3.02 digs is 10th. Grimes finished her career with 1,437 kills (sixth all-time), 1,012 digs (eighth), 301 total blocks (14th) and 102 aces (18th). She is one of just four players in Purdue history to reach the 1,000-kill plateau, 1,000-dig plateau, 300-total block plateau and 100-service ace plateau. Grimes was named Most Valuable Player in 1995, as well, making her the third repeat recipient in school annals.

White, who also received the Best Offensive Player Award for the second straight year and the Cover Award (for getting to the most blocked hitting attempts), paced Purdue in hitting percentage (.335), kills (school-record 4.85 per game) and blocks (0.93 per game); ranked second in service aces (32); and was third in digs (2.40 per game). She totaled 577 kills to rank second on the school season list, while her .335 hitting percentage is tied for sixth. White finished her career with 1,642 kills (second all-time), 396 total blocks (sixth), 152 aces (tied for eighth) and 961 digs (ninth). She is one of only three players in school history to rank among the top 10 in each of those categories.

Other awards presented were the Most Improved Player Award to redshirt freshman Connie Paul, the Vision/Black Hole Award (for getting to the most balls in the middle of the court) to senior Kelli Kerkhoff for the second straight year, the Helen B. Schleman Academic Award to junior Sarina Harris for the second straight year and the Coaches Award (for always giving 100 percent and doing whatever it takes to help the team) to junior Linda Menconi. Kerkhoff also was the team's Red Mackey Award nominee (for a fifth year of scholarship aid).

Earlier, White was named first team All-Big Ten, and a school-record tying seven players received academic all-conference honors: Grimes Harris, Sue Jurkonis, Kerkhoff, Menconi, Paul and White. Purdue has had 45 Academic All-Big Ten salutations, the most of any conference school.

The Boilermakers, under second-year head coach Joey Vrazel, finished the season with a 13-19 overall record and a 6-14 Big Ten Conference mark for eighth place. They won five more matches overall than in 1995 (8-20) and moved up one spot in the Big Ten standings. The 13 victories are just one fewer than the Boilermakers had in 1994 and 1995 combined and are the most by a Purdue team since the 1993 squad finished 15-14 overall.