Aug. 16, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The ninth-ranked Boilermaker volleyball team picked up another vote of confidence on Thursday as the league coaches picked Purdue third in the preseason poll and senior outside hitter Ariel Turner was named as a unanimous Preseason All-Big Ten selection.
The Boilermakers were picked third behind 2011 Big Ten champion Nebraska and Penn State, which tied Purdue and Illinois for second place in the conference a year ago. Minnesota, Illinois and Ohio State rounded out the coaches' preseason rankings.
For her part, Turner, the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year, was one of just two unanimous preseason selections along with Penn State junior outside hitter Deja McClendon. The first team All-American led the Big Ten and the Boilermakers with 4.84 kills per set and 5.46 points per set in 2011. She ranked third nationally in points and sixth in kills. The Highlands Ranch, Colo., native, set a season record for hitting attempts with 1682, snapping Colleen DeMeyer's 1979 mark of 1512. Turner posted double-digit kills in 32 matches, including 20 or more nine times, and managed 17 double-doubles.
For her career, the outside hitter has racked up 3,956 hitting attempts and 1,351 kills, ranking third and 10th on Purdue's all-time career lists. Turner has posted double-digit kills in 80 matches and double-digit digs in 23, while also giving the team a stalwart on serve receive.
In addition to her success on the court in 2011, Turner was named as a second team Academic All-America honoree, making her Purdue volleyball's first dual athletic and academic All-America selection since 1984.
Turner and the Boilermakers are ranked ninth in the AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll. They are slated to face eight ranked foes in 2012, beginning with No. 21 Northern Iowa in the season opener. No. 3 Penn State, No. 4 Nebraska, No. 7 Illinois, No. 14 Washington, No. 16 Minnesota, No. 23 Michigan and No. 24 Ohio State round out the group.
Four other Purdue opponents are receiving votes in the national poll. Michigan State, Louisville, LSU and Cincinnati make up that group.
Purdue kicks off the 2012 season at 7 p.m. August 24 when the team faces off with the No. 21 UNI Panthers on Belin Court. George Washington and Pittsburgh round out the field at the six-match Mortar Board Premier.
2012 Big Ten Preseason Poll
1. Nebraska 2. Penn State 3. Purdue 4. Minnesota 5. Illinois 6. Ohio State
Preseason All-Big Ten Team
Jennifer Beltran, Illinois, Jr., L Liz McMahon, Illinois, So., OH Alexis Matthews, Michigan State, Jr., MB Tori Dixon, Minnesota, Jr., MB Ashley Wittman, Minnesota, Jr., OH Lauren Cook, Nebraska, Sr., S Gina Mancuso, Nebraska, Sr., OH Hannah Werth, Nebraska, Sr., OH Stephanie Holthus, Northwestern, Jr., OH Emily Danks, Ohio State, Sr., OH *Deja McClendon, Penn State, Jr., OH Arielle Scott, Penn State, Jr., MB Katie Slay, Penn State, Jr., MB *Ariel Turner, Purdue, Sr., OH