Jan. 24, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Junior outside hitter Ariel Turner, who became Purdue volleyball's first double All-American (athletic and academic) since 1984 in December, picked up a few more honors for the 2011 season as she was named Honorable Mention Player of the Year and first team All-American by Volleyball Magazine.
The honors, which were announced in the February issue of the publication, put the Highlands Ranch, Colo., native in elite company. Turner was the only player listed as an Honorable Mention Player of the Year selection behind USC's Alex Jupiter. She also was only 12 student-athletes that garnered first team All-America accolades from the magazine.
The Big Ten Player of the Year, who received AVCA first team All-America honors and second team Academic All-America accolades, ranked in the top six nationally in both kills per set (4.84) and points per set (5.46), also leading the Big Ten in both categories. Turner posted double-digit kills in 32 matches, including 20 or more nine times. She also picked up a league record-tying five Big Ten Player of the Week nods in 2011, while pacing the Boilermakers offensively and adding 2.43 digs per set, second most on the team.
Big Ten Coach of the Year Dave Shondell also received praise in the publication, as one of four coaches to garner Honorable Mention Coach of the Year acclaim behind winner Kevin Hambly of Illinois. UCLA's Mike Sealy, Florida State's Chris Poole and Kentucky's Craig Skinner also earned mention on the listing.
The Boilermakers advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fifth time since 2005 and finished the year with a 29-5 overall mark and 16-4 record in Big Ten play, both bests for the program since 1985. Purdue tied for second in the Big Ten, its best placing since 1987.