May 30, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The 2013 Purdue volleyball slate features 16 matches on the friendly home boards of Belin Court as well as 10 contests against NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago, including six that advanced to the Sweet 16 or farther.
Purdue, which finished the 2012 season at No. 15 in the national rankings, will face off with eight foes that were listed in last year's final poll. The Boilermakers are set to take on No. 3 Penn State, No.5 Michigan, No. 6 USC, No. 7 Nebraska, No. 8 Minnesota, No. 16 Michigan State , No. 21 Western Kentucky and No. 22 Ohio State.
Season tickets to see the Boilermakers play at home on Belin Court go on sale June 3.
The Boilermakers open the 2013 season at home with the annual Mortar Board Premier, which will feature USC, Alabama A&M and Western Kentucky. Purdue will play its season opener against the No. 6 Trojans, a team which posted a 30-6 mark and an Elite Eight berth in 2012. Western Kentucky also advanced to the NCAAs for a third straight season, while tallying a 33-4 record and its second-straight Sun Belt Conference title. Alabama A&M is looking to improve on a 12-20 season and a second place finish in the Southwestern Athletic Conference's East Division.
Purdue will then hit the road for two weekends, first at the Golden Dome Invitational in South Bend, Ind., then at the USF Tournament in Tampa. In South Bend, the Boilermakers will face off with defending Midwest Athletic Conference tournament champions Bowling Green State and Big East runnerup Notre Dame as well as the Polish national team. BGSU went 22-11 and finished second in the MAC regular season before taking the tournament title and going on to earn the first NCAA Tournament victory in program history. The Fighting Irish posted a 20-10 record, marking their first 20 win season and NCAA Tournament berth since 2009.
In Tampa, the Boilermakers will take on Florida Atlantic, Pittsburgh and USF. The FAU roster will feature 12 newcomers, including four transfers, in addition to the core group that posted a 7-19 record and sixth place Sun Belt East Division finish. Pittsburgh and USF are both looking to build on winning records and Big East Tournament appearances. Pittsburgh went 17-14 and finished tied for sixth in the conference in its final season before joining the ACC. USF went 17-15 and also finished sixth in the Big East with a 7-8 mark.
Purdue wraps up the non-conference slate with its annual Active Ankle Challenge, which will feature up-and-coming Northern Kentucky as well as Syracuse and Florida International. NKU posted a 25-7 record and finished third in the Atlantic Sun Conference in its first season of Division I play. Syracuse and FIU are both in the midst of rebuilding efforts. The Orange posted a 12-18 record in 2012 and tied for 12th in the Big East, while FIU went 10-20 and finished third in the Sun Belt East Division.
Twenty Big Ten matches round out the schedule. The Boilermakers will play home and home contests against 10 conference foes, but will play Michigan and Michigan State once each, taking on the Wolverines only in Ann Arbor, and the Spartans in the season finale in West Lafayette.
Seven Big Ten teams, including Purdue, advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2012 with each making it to at least the second round. MSU and Purdue both saw their seasons end in the Sweet 16, while Minnesota and Nebraska made the Eight Eight and Penn State and Michigan earned Final Four berths. Four Big Ten teams finished the season in the national Top 10.
Purdue posted a 23-11 record and finished fifth in the league a year ago. The Boilermakers must replace four seniors, but add three redshirt freshmen and one true freshman to the roster mix.