Feb. 23, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue volleyball freshman class expands to six members with the additions of three players: Amanda Neill (Lafayette, Ind.), Bridget Powell (Oak Lawn, Ill.) and Kate Workman (Valparaiso, Ind.).
The trio joins Faye Adelaja (Baton Rouge, La.), Annie Drews (Elkhart, Ind.) and Sam Epenesa (Glen Carbon, Ill.) who signed National Letters of Intent in November.
"I believe these three ball-control players will add outstanding athleticism and attitude to our team," head coach Dave Shondell said. "Bridget, Amanda, and Kate are three of the best defensive players in their respective classes - across the Midwest - and I think they will enhance an already impressive defensive tradition at Purdue. Our program will graduate six defensive specialists in the next two years - including Blair Bashen and Emily Ehlers who finished their eligibility this past season. Because of the value we place on ball-control, Bridget, Amanda, and Kate will be very instrumental in the success of the Boilermakers for years to come."
Neill, a 5-9 outside hitter/defensive specialist from McCutcheon High School, was one of 13 Indiana players listed on the AVCA Under Armour Girls' High School All-America watch list. The Journal & Courier's Big School Player of the Year also was named to the 3A-4A North All-Star team and as McCutheon's team MVP as a senior as the team won the sectional championship under head coach Cheryl Sutter. She posted 392 kills, 303 digs, 52 aces and 40 blocks as in her final year. Neill is a two-time Hoosier Crossroads Conference selection, garnering first team honors as a sophomore and honorable mention as a junior. The two-time Davis L. Ellison Mental Attitude Award honoree also garnered team MVP and MAV Desire Award honoree her sophomore season. Neill is a two-sport star, also lettering on the basketball court, where she earned all-conference accolades each of her first three years, including honorable mention honors as a freshman. The daughter of Herman and Lonnette Neill, a national honor society and honor roll member, plays club volleyball for the Lafayette Volleyball Academy.
Powell, a 5-6 defensive specialist from Mother McAuley High School in Chicago, is a three-time all-conference player, picking up the honors each of her last three seasons. She was named to the AVCA Under Armour All-America watch list as a senior, while also picking up Chicago Sun Times All-Area second team honors. Powell was named as a top 25 defender by prepvolleyball.com as her team won the GCAC Conference title and ranked eighth nationally under coach Jennifer Dejarld. She was picked as a prepvolleyball.com Defensive Dandy as a junior, a season in which she also led the state of Illinois in digs and earned her second straight all-area nod. Her sophomore season brought all-area and all-conference nods as well as billing as one of the top high school sophomores and a 2010 Defensive Dandy by PrepVolleyball. Mother McAuley won the GCAC Conference title in 2009, 2010 and 2011. The daughter of Thomas and Joanne Powell, a four-year honor roll member, plays club volleyball for the First Alliance Club.
Workman, a 5-5 defensive specialist from Valparaiso High School, was an AVCA Under Armour Honorable Mention High School All-America selection in 2011 under head coach Katie Lenard. The Duneland Athletic Conference's MVP broke school records for digs in a match, season and career and garnered first team all-area honors from the Times of Northwest Indiana and the Gary Post Tribune as a senior. Workman posted 743 digs and 53 aces her final season en route to first team all-conference and team MVP honors as her team won the conference and sectional titles. The two-time team captain was a first team all-conference selection and picked up team MVP accolades as a junior after tallying 531 digs and 77 aces and setting game and season records for digs. The four-year letterwinner earned the first of three all-conference accolades as a sophomore, a year which also saw her named as her team's defensive MVP. The daughter of Matt and Kaye Workman played club volleyball for the Nike Gold Circle City and Dunes volleyball clubs. The Dunes club placed ninth in the open division in 2010.
The Boilermakers posted a 29-5 mark in 2011, including an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance and a second place Big Ten finish. The team kicks off its spring season on March 31 in Plainfield, Ind.