Purdue Volleyball vs. Illinois - October 20, 2006 (Photos by Richard Myers-Walls)
2008: Academic All-Big Ten ... started 34 matches at outside hitter, missed one match due to injury ... posted six double-doubles, tallying double-digit digs and kills each time ... led team in kills 17 times and digs once ... registered double-figure kills in 24 matches and double-figure digs in 10 matches ...tallied a season-high 21 kills at Northwestern (11/28) ... recorded a career-high seven total blocks and a season-high 60 attempts vs. #18 Michigan (11/1) ... posted best hitting night of the season (.391) with nine kills and no errors in 23 attempts vs. Northwestern (10/18) ... ranked first at Purdue in career total attempts (5,216) and second in career kills (1,720) ... named Mortar Board Premier MVP ... earned all-tournament team honors at the Active Ankle Challenge and the Dayton Flyer Invitational.
2007: Academic All-District V and Academic All-Big Ten selection ... started all 33 of the team's matches ... surpassed 1,000 kills against Florida A&M (8/31) ... averaged 3.71 kills and 3.21 digs per game ... recorded double-digit kills in 27 matches, and more than 20 kills in four matches ... boasted a team-leading 19 double-doubles ... posted 10 or more digs 20 times, including 20 or more on three occasions ... tallied career-high 24 digs at Clemson ... led Boilermakers in kills 13 times, blocks four times and digs four times... in Big Ten play, ranked 10th among conference players with 3.75 kills per game ... named to the Duke Invitational and Big Orange Bash all-tournament teams.
2006: Academic All-District V and Academic All-Big Ten selection ... saw action in all 34 of the team's matches, starting in 32 ... named Big Ten Player of the Week (10/9) ... recorded double-digit kills in 26 matches, and at least 20 kills in four matches, including a career-best 29 at Iowa (10/7) ... racked up a team-leading six double-doubles ... averaged 3.78 kills per game ... led Boilermakers in kills 18 times and blocks five times ... posted double-digit digs on seven occasions ... served up at least four aces three times, including a career high six vs. #13 Ohio State (9/29) ... named to the Mortar Board Premier all-tournament team and the Mizuno Challenge all-tournament team.
2005: Saw action in all 34 of the team's matches, starting 30 ... All-Big Ten Freshman team selection ... recorded first career double-double with 16 kills and 10 digs in NCAA First Round match against Virginia Commonwealth ... recorded double-digit kills in 23 of the team's matches including a career-best 22 at Northwestern (11/4) ... led team in kills in 19 matches and in blocks once ... averaged 3.64 kills per game, a tally which ranked seventh in the Big Ten ... chalked up best hitting night of season with a .536 (16-1-28) effort at Butler (9/7) ... recorded season-best 10 digs vs. VCU (12/2) ... put up career-best six blocks three times, most recently at Illinois (11/16) ... pulled up 86 digs and dished out seven assists ... added 0.57 blocks per game ... named to the GlaxoSmithKline Classic all-tournament team.
High School: Ranked No. 8 recruit in the nation by prepvolleyball.com ... named High School All-American by both Mizuno and prepvolleyball.com as a senior ... one of 10 finalists for National High School Player of the Year ... 2004 Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year ... 2004 IHSAA 4-A Mental Attitude Award winner ... listed among Volleyball Magazine's Fab 50 players ... named Indianapolis Star Metro Super Team Player of the Year ... a 4A All-State and Honorable Mention Academic All-State honoree as a senior ... earned honorable mention All-State honors as a sophomore and junior ... led team to the state Final Four all four years ... won state title her freshman and junior years and was runner-up her senior campaign ... named "30 Underclassmen to Watch" by Volleyball Magazine and one of prepvolleyball.com's "Top 50 Juniors" ... a member of the Indianapolis Star All-City team her first two years ... owns Cathedral single-season records for kills (572), aces (118) and aces per game (1.06) ... owns career record for block assists (254) and aces (212) ...member of USA Volleyball National Training teams from 2002-2005 ... played for Munciana Club 2002 to 2005, placing among top 25 in nation each year ... National Honor Society and honor roll member.
Personal: Given name is Danita Nichole Merlau ... born Sept. 19, 1986 ... parents are Purdue alumni John and Cathy Merlau ... has three sisters, Amber, a Purdue alumna, Crystal, and Raven, and one brother, Eric, a Purdue alumnus ... has 18 relatives who have attended Purdue ... majoring in management ... nickname is Dee.