Jan. 22, 2011
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - An Elite Eight run, three outstanding seniors and a season of firsts were among the celebration highlights at the Boilermaker volleyball team's annual banquet on Saturday.
The squad's three seniors, middle blocker Kristen Arthurs, setter Jaclyn Hart and student assistant coach Lisa Pierce , were honored throughout the afternoon, during which yearly awards also were handed out.
Hart, who was named as an AVCA Third Team All-America, All-Mideast Region and Unanimous All-Big Ten selection, wrapped up her Boilermaker career with more outstanding accolades. She garnered the Carol Dewey Mental Attitude Award, the team's Red Mackey Award nomination and the Gold Block booster group's Strive for Excellence Award. The Dewey Award is bestowed on the individual voted by her teammates as the player who best exemplifies the positive image represented by Purdue Volleyball. Each team at Purdue nominates and individual for the Mackey Award and three student-athletes are chosen at the end of the year to receive another year of scholarship money for their continuing education. The Strive for Excellence Award is given to an individual who has contributed to the betterment of the Purdue volleyball program in the most significant manner.
An all-around threat for the Boilermakers throughout her career, Hart dished out 4,918 assists, second most in Purdue history, while also putting up 307 block assists, 10th most in Boilermaker lore. The Palos Hills, Ill., native, also registered 818 digs and 533 kills, while hitting at a .307 clip, ranking tied for fifth all-time. Hart belongs to the elite triple threat club, having recorded a 12-kill, 41-assist, 10 dig effort vs. UCF on Sept. 5, 2009. She posted 25 double-doubles in her career, including five in 2010. All told, Hart played in 132 matches, starting 122.
In 2010, Hart dished out 10.68 assists per set, sixth most in the Big Ten, while also accounting for 1.75 digs, 1.38 kills and 0.76 blocks per set. The senior posted a team-leading .394 hitting percentage, good for the second-best season mark in program lore, including a .384 effort in conference play, second best among league players. In the Boilermakers' NCAA first round contest against Kentucky, Hart posted nine kills and 12 swings with no errors for a .750 hitting percentage, the best mark by a Purdue player in NCAA Tournament history. In the team's upset of No. 1 Florida in the Sweet 16, she dished out 39 assists and guided the team to a .327 hitting percentage, Purdue's best mark in NCAA Tournament play.
Arthurs was honored for her academic prowess and assault on the Purdue blocking records book. The Newport, Mich., native garnered Academic All-District V first team honors each of her final three seasons becoming the first Boilermaker volleyball players to do so and just the second three-time All-District selection in team lore. A three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, Arthurs also excelled on the court, ranking second all-time in career block assists (403) and sixth in total blocks (451). She posted a hitting percentage of .300 or better in 56 matches, put up double-digit kills in 35 matches and five or more blocks in 35 matches. The middle blocker registered an NCAA and Big Ten record 1.000 hitting percentage with 10 kills on 10 attempts on Aug. 28, 2009. Arthurs garnered Honorable Mention All-Mideast Region honors in 2008 and Preseason All-Big Ten accolades in 2009.
In 2010, Arthurs saw action in all 35 matches, putting up a team-leading 1.00 blocks per set, ranking 10th among Big Ten players, while also adding 1.57 kills per set. She led the team in blocks 14 times, including a team-best 12 against Michigan, which ranked as the fifth-best total in program history. The senior put up 1.11 blocks per set during conference play, ranking seventh among Big Ten players. She posted double-digit kill tallies five times and registered a .300 or better hitting percentage 14 times, including a .500 or better effort on six occasions.
Pierce also was celebrated at the banquet. The Darien, Ill., native spent the 2010 season as a student assistant coach after knee injuries ended her career following her redshirt junior campaign. As an outside hitter from 2006 to 2009, Pierce played in 73 matches, accumulating 206 kills, 94 digs, 62 blocks and 20 aces. She played in just seven matches her rookie campaign before succumbing to a season-ending ACL injury. As a redshirt freshman, Pierce played in 14 matches while working back from the surgery. She finally hit her stride as a junior, racking up 109 kills, 47 and 34 blocks, while playing in 29 of the team's 35 matches. In her final campaign, Pierce saw action in 23 matches before nagging knee injuries relegated her to the sidelines. She racked up 71 kills and 35 digs, while hitting above .300 in four matches, including a .500 outing against Portland.
The team honored four players with Sue Jurkonis Strength Awards, which are given out annually in honor of former Boilermaker Sue Jurkonis who played volleyball for Purdue form 1994 to 1996. Jurkonis was an avid weight lifter and one of the Boilermakers' strongest athletes before losing her two-year battle with brain cancer in 1998.
Redshirt junior defensive specialist Blair Bashen garnered Strongest Upperclassman honors, while sophomore outside hitter Ariel Turner was named as the Most Improved Upperclassman. Bashen saw action in all 35 of the team's matches, pulling up 2.52 digs per set, including 13 double-digit tallies and two efforts of 20 or more. She served up 19 aces and made good on 97 percent of her serve reception opportunities. Turner posted a team-leading 3.73 kills per set, ranking fourth among Big Ten players, with double-digit kills 28 times, including 20 or more six times. She led the team in kills 24 times and blocks three times, while managing five double-doubles en route to Active Ankle Challenge MVP honors and all-tournament team accolades at the Mortar Board Premier and Big East/Big Ten Challenge.
Outside hitter Elena Perri was named as the Strongest Freshman, while middle blocker/outside hitter Hilliary Fox received Most Improved Freshman accolades. Perri saw action in five matches, posting a block against Central Michigan and against Tulane and recording two kills in three swings against Duquesne. Fox played in four matches, pulling up one dig against Duquesne and registering two hitting attempts against Belmont and Iowa.
Hart was recognized for her various accolades, including All-America and Unanimous All-Big Ten selection, while redshirt freshman outside hitter Catherine Rebarchak was recognized for being named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team. Rebarchak saw action in 32 matches, putting down 2.19 kills per set, fourth most on the team. She posted double-digit kills 11 times and registered two double-doubles with 10 kills and 10 digs against No. 19 Minnesota and 10 kills and 11 digs against No. 10 Illinois. Rebarchak hit .300 or better in 11 matches, while also averaging 0.74 blocks per set.
The Boilermakers also recognized the academic accomplishments of the student-athletes.
Arthurs garnered the Helen B. Schleman Award from the Reamer Club for being the junior or senior with the highest GPA on the team over the last two semesters. The speech/language and hearing sciences major was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District V first team and the Academic All-Big Ten team for the third straight year.
Arthurs and five other players received Academic All-Big Ten accolades. Sophomore defensive specialist Carly Cramer, redshirt freshman setter Rachel Davis, sophomore defensive specialist Courtney Gosewisch, redshirt freshman outside hitter Katie Griffin and sophomore outside hitter Ariel Turner round out the group. Student-athletes must be in at least their second academic year and carry a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 to be eligible for the honors.
The Boilermakers ended a breakout 2010 season ranked 11th in the final AVCA Coaches poll after a season of firsts. The team advanced to its first NCAA Elite Eight in the 64-team era and posted its first win over a top five opponent 9vs. No. 4 Penn State, Oct. 8), followed by its first ever over a No. 1 ranked foe (Dec. 10 against Florida). The Boilermaekrs finished the year 24-11, including a 12-8 fourth-place finish in Big Ten play, after defeating four ranked opponents, including three listed among the Top 10.
The 13 returning players will soon be back in the gym to begin preparations for their spring campaign, which includes four tournaments. Fan can see the team at home on April 16. The full spring schedule is below.
March 26 - Circle City; Indianapolis
April 2 - KIVA; Louisville, Ky.
April 9 - IU Tournament; Bloomington, Ind.
April 16 - Purdue Tournament