Game Notes 4: Active Ankle Challenge

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Head coach Dave Shondell is within striking distance of his 200th career win as the Boilermakers host the Active Ankle Challenge in Mackey Arena this weekend.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Head coach Dave Shondell is within striking distance of his 200th career win as the Boilermakers host the Active Ankle Challenge in Mackey Arena this weekend.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

Sept. 12, 2012

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -

Active Ankle Challenge - Mackey Arena; West Lafayette, Ind.

Tournament Central: here.

Live stats, live audio, live video - purduesports.com

Friday - 10 a.m. vs. Jacksonville State
7:30 p.m. vs. UAB

Saturday - 7 p.m. vs. Bowling Green

Promotions
Youth Volleyball Team Weekend: $2 admission for youth/high school teams that preregister with Kyle Waters (kyle.waters@purdue.edu).

Friday - 10 a.m.: $2 admission for Purdue students and retirement home groups; Breakfast available - $5 for a smasher sandwich and juice; $4 for a bagel with cream cheese and juice.

Saturday - 7 p.m.: $2 admission with Eastern Michigan football ticket stub.

The Book on the Boilermakers
At First Glance: The No. 14 Boilermakers (6-2) return home to host the Active Ankle Challenge after two weeks on the road in Houston and Cincinnati. Purdue returns 12 players, including five starters, from the 2011 team which advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. Head coach Dave Shondell is in his 10th season with the team, which was picked third in the 2012 Big Ten preseason poll.

Last Time Out: The Boilermakers went 1-1 at the Big Ten/Big East Challenge in Cincinnati last weekend, falling to No. 24 Louisville and rebounding with a four-set win over the host Bearcats. Purdue (29-5, 16-4 Big Ten) made its 14th NCAA Tournament appearance and knocked off seven ranked foes in 2011. The Boilermakers finished tied for second in the Big Ten and went on to advance to the Sweet 16 before falling to No. 21 Florida State.

Statistically Speaking: Outside hitter Ariel Turner paces the Boilermakers with 4.00 kills and 2.54 digs per set, while also serving up a team-leading 13 aces. Outside hitter Val Nichol (2.11), middle blocker Anna Drewry (2.10) and Catherine Rebarchak (2.00) follow, while freshman outside hitter Annie Drews (1.88) also contributes offensively. Drews is hitting a team-best .472 clip, while six others are hitting .250 or better.

Defensively, libero Carly Cramer has posted 4.41 digs per set, while Turner (2.54) and defensive specialist Hilliary Fox (2.08), setter Rachel Davis (2.00) and defensive specialist Amanda Miller (1.95) follow. Cramer and Miller also have served up 10 aces. At the net, middle blockers Kaisley Fisher, Kiki Jones and Drewry pace the team with 1.33, 1.00 and 1.00 stuffs per set. As a team, Purdue is hitting .262 and has served up 42 aces.

All-American outside hitter Ariel Turner, the reigning Big Ten Player of the Year, paced the offense in 2011, averaging 4.84 kills per set, while also adding 2.84 digs and 20 aces. Outside hitter Val Nichol ranks second among returners in kills per set with 2.11. Outside hitters Katie Griffin (1.84) and Catherine Rebarchak (1.77) follow. Middle blocker Kiki Jones led Purdue at the net with 1.22 blocks, while also adding 1.44 kills per set. Middle blocker Anna Drewry added 1.23 kills and 0.90 blocks per set. Turner is the team's top returning defensive player with 2.84 digs per set. Carly Cramer (2.70), setter Rachel Davis (2.51) and Hilliary Fox (1.45) also contributed defensively.

Series Information
Jacksonville State (Purdue leads the series 1-0): The Boilermakers won the lone previous meeting with the Gamecocks via sweep at the 2011 Active Ankle Challenge.

UAB (Purdue leads the series 2-0): The Boilermakers won both previous meetings with the Blazers, taking a five-set decision on Sept. 9, 1994 at the Sooner Invitational in Norman, Okla., and a sweep on Sept. 5, 1998 at the Mortar Board Premier in West Lafayette.

Bowling Green (BGSU leads the series 1-0): The Falcons won the lone previous meeting in a five-set match on Sept. 2, 1987 in West Lafayette.

What a Difference a Win Makes...
If the Boilermakers top Jacksonville State on Friday ...

• They will move to 7-2 on the season and extend their current win streak to two matches.

• They will move to 9-0 in Active Ankle Challenge matches at Purdue since 2009. (The 2009 Challenge later became the Big Ten/Big East Challenge). The current four-team format began in 2010.

• They will improve to 263-145 all-time when playing in the month of September, including a 6-3 mark when playing on September 14.

• They will move to 3-0 when playing in Mackey Arena under Coach Shondell. (Also a Oct. 2, 2005 match with Northwestern and a Oct. 17, 2008 contest with No. 19 Wisconsin.)

Gameplanning for the Gamecocks
At First Glance: The Jacksonville State Gamecocks (6-5) return seven letterwinners, including four starters, from the 2011 squad, which posted an 11-19 record, including a 9-11 mark and sixth place finish in Ohio Valley Conference play. The Gamecocks are coached by Joseph Goodson, who is in his second year with the team.

Last Time Out: The Gamecocks went 2-2 at the Central Arkansas Invitational last weekend. JSU topped Jackson State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff, but ended the weekend with losses to South Dakota and Central Arkansas.

Statistically Speaking: Outside hitters Hivya Leite (2.63), Jen Meyer (2.54) and Kelsey Anderson (2.18) lead the JSU offense averaging more than two kills per set. Middle blocker Nichole Merget (1.95), outside hitter Taylor Long (1.63) and middle bocker Kaitlyn Zelhart (1.50) also contribute offensively. Meyer boasts a team-best .314 hitting percentage and adds 0.83 blocks per set, while Anderson has served up a team-leading 17 aces. Merget paces the team at the net with 1.05 blocks per set.

Defensively, libero Kelly Cole leads the way with 3.74 digs per set. Anderson (2.23), setter Abbey Heredia (1.97) setter Alina Agamy (1.77) and outside hitter Emily Rutherford (1.59) also aid the Gamecock defense.

Understanding UAB
At First Glance: The UAB Blazers (1-6) hit the road for the fourth-straight weekend when they come to West Lafayette for the Active Ankle Challenge. The Blazers return 10 letterwinners, including six starters from the 2011 team which went 23-9 and finished second in the Conference USA. UAB is coached by Kerry Messersmith, who is in her seventh year with the team.

Last Time Out: The Blazers went 2-2 last week. UAB posted a four-set home win over george State and then went 1-2 at the Carolina Clash in Columbia, S.C., topping Winthrop and falling to South Carolina and Clemson.

Statistically Speaking: All-C-USA selection Sam Serley leads UAB with 2.66 kills and 1.32 blocks per set, while hitting at a team-best .376 clip. Outside hitters Kate Morrell (2.38) and Ally Slaughter (2.19) and outside/middle hitter Sam Skinner (2.10) also add more than two kills per set. Outside hitter Michele Simmons (1.97) and middle blocker Kiriana Hirini (1.78) follow. Hirini also adds 0.86 blocks per set and hits at a .321 clip. Slaughter and Morrell each chip in 10 aces to the team tally.

Defensively, libero Rachel Fairbanks leads the Blazers with 4.83 digs per set, while Morrell adds 3.21 saves per stanza. Setters Alison Woods and Becca Howard add 1.95 and 1.68 digs per set, while defensive specialist Bethany Stanford (1.67) and Slaughter (1.63) also help out.

Facts about the Falcons
At First Glance: The Bowling Green Falcons (2-6) wrap up the non-conference season in West Lafayette, marking their fourth straight road weekend. BGSU returns nine letterwinners, including six starters, from the 2011 squad, which posted a 19-12 record, including a 6-10 mark and third place finish in Mid-America Conference East Division play. The Falcons are coached by Danijela Tomic, who is in her first year with the team.

Last Time Out: The Falcons went 1-2 at the BYU Nike Invitational in Provo, Utah, last weekend. BGSU topped Portland State and fell to No. 21 BYU and Utah.

Statistically Speaking: Outside hitters Paige Penrod (3.83) and All-MAC honoree Danielle Tonyan (3.33) pace the Falcon offense with more than three kills per set. Outside hitter Lindsey Butterfield adds 2.41 kills per set. Penrod has served up a team-best 16 aces and adds 2.33 digs per set.

Defensively, libero Ashley Dunn leads the way with 3.73 digs per set, followed by Penrod, setter Laura Avila (2.13) and defensive specialist Libby Dachenhaus (2.10). At the net, middle blockers Kaitlyn Skinner (0.97) and Leah Shaw (0.81) pace the team.

Poll Position
The Boilermakers fell three spots to No. 14 in this week's AVCA Coaches Poll. Last week, Purdue was ranked 11th, down from seventh on Aug. 27, which tied the highest ranking in program history, matching the No. 7 listing from Nov. 14, 1983. Purdue was ranked No. 9 in the 2012 Preseason AVCA Coaches Poll, marking their highest starting listing in program history.

This week's ranking is Purdue's 118th all-time since the AVCA polls began in 1982, including preseason and postseason listings.

Purdue was listed among the Top 10 in six straight polls from Nov. 7, 2011 to Aug. 27, 2012 - its longest stay there since 1983 (eights straight polls: Sept. 26 to Nov. 28).

An Ace in the Hand
Senior Ariel Turner served up seven aces against Cincinnati, Sept. 8, marking the first seven ace effort by a Boilermaker since Katie Gibbons did so at Michigan State on Nov. 8, 1997. It was the most by a Purdue player in the rally scoring era, topping Tiffany Fisher's five vs. Iowa on Nov. 5, 2010, and Brittany Dildine's six at Illinois on Nov. 18, 2006.

Tournament Honors
Redshirt senior defensive specialist Amanda Miller was named MVP of the Mortar Board Premier, while outside hitter Ariel Turner and setter/outside hitter Val Nichol garnered all-tournament team nods. Turner and libero Carly Cramer earned all-tournament team honors at the Tiger Classic in Houston. Cramer and middle blocker Anna Drewry received all-tournament team accolades at the Big Ten/Big East Challenge.

Approaching Career Win 200
The Boilermakers have posted a 197-109 record in just over nine seasons under head coach Dave Shondell. Under his watch, the program has become part of an elite group nationally. Purdue is one of 12 schools nationally to make seven NCAA appearances in the last eight seasons, advancing to at least the second round each time. In addition, the Boilermakers have made five Sweet 16 berths in the last seven seasons, making the program one of just nine in the nation that can boast the accomplishment.

Under Shondell, Purdue has posted five 20-win seasons, including 29 victories in 2011, the program's highest total since 1985, and defeated 30 ranked foes. In 2011, the Boilermakers finished second in the Big Ten, its best conference placing since 1987. Shondell has coached four All-Americans and two Academic All-Americans. His charges also have earned 15 All-Big Ten and 55 Academic All-Big Ten accolades.

Aiding Shondell in leading Purdue are assistant coaches Kathy Jewell and John Shondell. The trio are the longest tenured complete staff in the Big Ten Conference.

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. Like Purdue Volleyball on Facebook. Follow the team on twitter at twitter.com/PurdueVB or Boilermaker coach Dave Shondell's tweets at twitter.com/daveshondell.