Game Notes: Denver Invitational

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Junior outside hitter Ariel Turner, a Highlands Ranch, Colo., native, will lead the team to her home state this weekend at the Denver Invitational.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Junior outside hitter Ariel Turner, a Highlands Ranch, Colo., native, will lead the team to her home state this weekend at the Denver Invitational.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

Aug. 31, 2011

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -

The Slate
Friday, Sept. 2 - 7 p.m. vs Air Force; LiveStats: purduesports.com; Radio: WSHY 1410 AM, purduesports.com

Saturday, Sept. 3
3 p.m. vs. Bryant; LiveStats: purduesports.com; Radio: WSHY 1410 AM, purduesports.com
9 p.m. vs. Denver; LiveStats: purduesports.com; Radio: WSHY 1410 AM, purduesports.com; Video: denverpioneers.com

The Book on the Boilermakers
At First Glance: The 13th-ranked Boilermakers (3-0) return 12 players, including five starters, from the 2010 team which went 24-11, defeated three Top 10 foes and advanced to the NCAA Regional Final. Head coach Dave Shondell is in his ninth season with the team.

Last Time Out: Purdue (3-0) swept Baylor, Virginia Commonwealth and College of Charleston en route to the Mortar Board Premier title on the home boards of Belin Court last weekend. Freshman middle Kierra Jones was named tournament MVP, while senior middle Tiffany Fisher and junior outside hitter Ariel Turner garnered all-tournament team nods.

Statistically Speaking: Outside hitter Ariel Turner paced the Boilermaker offense with 4.44 kills per set on the weekend, while also adding 2.11 digs per set. Middle blocker Tiffany Fisher put down 3.11 kills per set, while hitting .392, putting up 1.00 blocks per set and serving up three aces. Middle blocker Kierra Jones registered 2.33 kills per set, while hitting at a team-best .581 clip and a team-leading 1.44 blocks per set. Outside hitter Val Nichol chipped in 1.83 kills and 1.33 blocks per set, while outside hitters Catherine Rebarchak (1.75) and Katie Griffin (1.40) also aided the offense.

Defensively, libero Carly Cramer leads a group of four players with more than two digs per set. Cramer managed 3.33 saves per stanza, while serving up a team-best seven aces. Defensive specialist Emily Ehlers (3.00), setter Rachel Davis (2.67) and Turner (2.11) round out the group. Defensive specialist Blair Bashen added 1.78 digs and four aces to the team's tallies. Purdue outhit opponents .265 to .086, outblocked foes 3.00 to 1.56 and served up 17 aces, while allowing just two.

Series Information
Air Force: This is the first meeting between the Boilermakers and Falcons.

Bryant: This is the first meeting between the Boilermakers and Bulldogs.

Denver (Purdue leads the series 1-0): The Boilermakers took the previous meeting with the Pioneers, winning in five sets on Sept. 11, 1998, at the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic in Laramie, Wyo.

All About Air Force
At First Glance: The Air Force Falcons return seven letterwinners, including two starters, from the 2010 squad which went 4-25, and add 10 newcomers to the mix. Air Force is coached by Matt McShane, who is in his second year with the team.

Last Time Out: The Falcons posted a 1-2 mark at the Kristen Dickmann Invitational in Annapolis, Md., last weekend. The team dropped 3-0 decisions to Bowling Green and St. John's, but rebounded with a sweep of host Navy.

Statistically Speaking: Middle blocker Ayesha Hein and outside hitter Cami Richen led the Falcons offensively over the weekend with kill tallies of 2.89 and 2.44 per set repectively. Hein hit at a team-best .333 clip and served up a team-leading seven aces, while Richan added 2.11 digs per set and three aces. Outside hitters Claire Bieber (1.86), Victoria Foster (1.40) and Lizzy Carpenter (1.11) also contributed offensively.

Defensively, libero Maiya Perich led the way with 2.89 digs per set, followed by Richan (2.11), Defensive specialist Emma Dridge (1.22) and Carpenter (1.11) also provided digs. Dridge also has served up five aces. The Falcons outserved opponents, but trailed in all other statistical categories.

Bulldog Bites
At First Glance: The Bryant Bulldogs (1-2) are looking to build on an 18-17 mark from 2010, the program's first winning season since joining Division I in 2008. Bryant is coached by Theresa Garlacy, who is in her 16th year with the team.

Last Time Out: The Bulldogs posted a 1-2 mark at the West Point Invitational in Smithfield, R.I., last weekend. The team topped UMKC in five sets, but dropped a five-set match to Hartford and a four-setter to host Army to cap the weekend.

Statistically Speaking: Outside hitter Jazmin Stoner leads the Bulldog offense with 2.86 kilsl per set, while also adding 2.07 digs per set and three aces to the team's tallies. Outside/middle hitter Alexandria Clyburn (1.79), middle blocker Marica Scocca (1.64) and outside hitters Kendall Gaffney (1.21), Kaitlyn Klein (1.20) and Mariah Burgess (1.10) also contributed offensively.

Defensively, libero Macy Mitravich leads the way with 5.00 digs per set. Four other Bulldog players pull up more than two digs per set: Gaffney (3.57), defensive specialist Mikayla LaRosa (2.22), setter Jadith Lorenzo (2.21) and Stoner (2.07). Lorenzo has served up six of the team's 17 aces and dished out 7.79 assists per set.

Points About the Pioneers
At First Glance: The Denver Pioneers' (1-2) roster features just seven letterwinners, including five starters, from the 2010 team which posted a 14-18 mark and finished third in the Sun Belt West Division. The Pioneers are coached by Beth Kuwata, who is in her 16th year with the team.

Last Time Out: Denver went 1-2 at the Sheraton Classic in Tempe, Ariz., last weekend. The team fell to Arizona State in three sets, topped San Jose State in four, and dropped its finale to UW-Milwaukee in five sets.

Statistically Speaking: Three Pioneer players are putting down more than two kills per set, while a fourth is not far behind. Middle blocker Faimie Kingsley (2.75), middle blocker Alyssa Bonelli (2.42) and outside hitter Alex Turgeon (2.10) make up the initial group, while outside hitter Kate Acker (1.83) is nipping at their heels. Kingsley also paces the team at the net with 1.67 blocks per set, while Acker and Turgeon each have served up three aces. Outside hitter Colleen King has chipped in 1.17 kills and 0.92 blocks per set.

Defensively, libero Lyndi Johnson is tops on the team with 5.08 digs per set. Acker follows with 2.83 saves per stanza, while setter Julia Cawthra adds 1.82 to go with her 8.75 assist per set tally. Defensive specialist Samantha Berger (1.45) and outside hitter Kate Oakes (1.40) also aid the team.

Comparing the Teams

Stat.    Purdue   Air Force    Bryant    Denver
Hit. %   .265     .159         .135      .171
Kills    14.11    9.89         10.86     11.42
Assists  12.44    9.33         10.36     10.67
Aces     1.89     2.78         1.21      0.75
Blocks   3.00     1.11         1.43      2.33
Digs     14.44    9.56         16.21     14.33

What a Difference a Win Makes...
If the Boilermakers top Air Force on Friday ...

• They will move to 4-0 to start the season for the first since 2008 and the fifth time in the Dave Shondell era (also 2004, 2005 and 2006).

• They will move to 92-70 all-time in neutral site games.

• They will improve to 249-144 all-time when playing in the month of September, including an 8-4 mark when playing on Sept. 2.

Garnering National Recognition
The Boilermakers remain at No. 13 in this week's AVCA Coaches Poll after earning the same ranking in the preseason poll. The listing is Purdue's 101st all time since the AVCA polls began in 1982, including preseason and postseason listings. Purdue moved down two spots from the No. 11 spot it owned in the final poll of 2010.

Making A Splash
Rookie middle blocker Kierra "KiKi" Jones made quite a splash her first weekend as a collegiate volleyball player, nabbing Big Ten Freshman of the Week accolades to go with the Mortar Board Premier MVP title.

Jones garnered led the Boilermakers with a .581 hitting effort, including 2.33 kills per set, and 1.44 blocks per set as Purdue went 3-0 en route to the home tournament title. The rookie hit better than .400 in each match, including an .818 effort against College of Charleston in the tournament finale, marking the second best hitting effort ever by a Purdue player in a three-set match. The Fishers, Ind., native, also added nine blocks in the contest with the Cougars, including eight block assists which rank sixth on Purdue's three-set match records list. Jones started all three matches for the Boilermakers. She posted two set-ending kills against Virginia Commonwealth, while accounting for four kills and four blocks in Purdue's 26-24 first set win over CofC. The freshman of the week honor is Purdue's first since Anna Drewry was so honored on Nov. 23, 2009. Purdue garnered five rookie accolades that season.

Tracking The Boilermakers
Follow Purdue volleyball on the web with streaming video, live audio and live statistics on purduesports.com. Live statistics are available via the GameTracker feature, while free audio broadcasts are available by clicking the listen links on the schedule page. Streaming video is available for a monthly fee via the Purdue All-Access Pass.

Be a part of Purdue volleyball online via the social networking services Facebook and Twitter. Join the Official Purdue Volleyball group on Facebook, or follow Boilermaker coach Dave Shondell's tweets at twitter.com/PurdueVB.