Volleyball Starts Four-Game Homestand with Northwestern, No. 21 Illinois

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Downers Grove, Ill., native Courtney Gosewisch and the No. 13 Boilermakers will face Northwestern and No. 21 Illinois in week two of Big Ten play.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Downers Grove, Ill., native Courtney Gosewisch and the No. 13 Boilermakers will face Northwestern and No. 21 Illinois in week two of Big Ten play.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

Sept. 26, 2012

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -

The Slate
Friday, Sept. 28 - 7 p.m. vs. Northwestern
Promotion: Residence Hall Night - Residence Hall with the largest attendance receives a pizza party.
Multimedia: Radio, live stats and video - purduesports.com

Saturday, Sept. 29 - 8 p.m. vs. #21 Illinois
Promotion: Family Weekend - $2 admission with Purdue-Marshall football game ticket stub
Multimedia:
TV - Big Ten Network; Play by Play - Mike Wolf; Color - Audrey Flaugh
Radio, Live Stats - purduesports.com

The Book on the Boilermakers
At First Glance: The No. 13 Boilermakers (11-2, 2-0 Big Ten) kick off a four-match homestand on Friday against Northwestern and bring a six-match win streak into the weekend. 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 picked up a pair of five-set road wins to start Big Ten play, downing No. 25 Michigan State and Michigan. Redshirt junior Carly Cramer recorded her 1,000th career dig in Set 5 against the Wolverines. Cramer was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week for her efforts, while rookie outside hitter Annie Drews earned Freshman of the Week honors.

Statistically Speaking: Outside hitter Ariel Turner paces the Boilermakers with 4.09 kills and 2.55 digs per set, while also serving up a team-leading 18 aces. Outside hitters Annie Drews (2.18) and Catherine Rebarchak (2.04) also add more than two kills per set, while middle blocker Anna Drewry (1.97), outside hitter Val Nichol (1.85) and middle blocker Kiki Jones (1.70) also contribute offensively. Drews is hitting a team-best .412 clip, while four others are hitting .250 or better.

Defensively, libero Carly Cramer has posted 4.40 digs per set, while Turner (2.55), setter Rachel Davis (2.40) and defensive specialist Amanda Miller (1.90) follow. Cramer also has served up 15 aces. At the net, middle blockers Kaisley Fisher, Drewry and Jones pace the team with 1.36, 1.11 and 0.98 stuffs per set. Jones also adds 10 aces to the team tally. As a team, Purdue is hitting .257 and has served up 65 aces.

Series Information
Northwestern (Purdue leads the series 47-25): Purdue took the first three meetings in the series which began on Oct. 28, 1977. The Wildcats answered with three of the next four, but the Boilermakers won seven straight from 1981 to 1983. The teams split the next eight meetings, before Purdue kicked off a string of 21 wins in 28 tries from 1987 to 2000. Northwestern won eight of the next 10, including five straight, but Purdue took six of the next seven meetings, sweeping the season series in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Northwestern won the next three meetings, but Purdue took the final contest in 2010 and swept the 2011 meetings.

Illinois (Illinois leads the series 41-34): Illinois won the first match in the series, which began on Oct. 25, 1975 in Champaign. Purdue countered with four of the next six before kicking off a seven-match win streak dating from Sept. 28, 1979 to Oct. 26, 1981. An Illini win stopped the streak, but Purdue responded with five more victories. Illinois won 29 of the next 38 contests from 1985 to 2003. The Boilermakers won six of the next seven including season sweeps in 2004 and 2006. Illinois took six in a row, but Purdue stopped the streak with four-set win on Nov. 27, 2010. The teams split the 2011 series with each winning on its home court.

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

• They will move to 12-2 on the season and extend their current win streak to seven matches.

• They will move to 3-0 to start Big Ten play for the second straight season and third time under head coach Dave Shondell (also 2006).

• They will move to 48-25 all time against Northwestern, including four straight wins.

• They will improve to 268-145 all-time when playing in the month of September, including a 11-4 mark when playing on September 28.

News About Northwestern
At First Glance: The Northwestern Wildcats (11-2, 0-2 Big Ten) hit the road after a five-match homestand when they journey to West Lafayette on Friday. Northwestern returns eight letterwinners, including six starters, from the 2011 squad which posted a 16-15 record and 10th place Big Ten finish. The Wildcats are coached by Keylor Chan, who is in his 13th year with the team.

Last Time Out: The Wildcats fell to Wisconsin and No. 12 Minnesota in four-set matches to open Big Ten play last weekend. The losses ended an 11-match win streak for NU.

Statistically Speaking: Outside hitter Stephanie Holthus headlines the Wildcat offense with 4.31 kills per set, while also adding 3.31 digs per set and 10 aces to the team's tallies. Middle blocker Katie Dutchman (2.71) and outside hitter Yewane Akanbi (2.60) also add more than two kills per set, while outside hitter Monica McGreal contributes 1.81 kills per set. Dutchman boasts a team-best .438 hitting percentage and also paces the team with 19 aces and 1.02 blocks per set.

Setter Madalyn Shalter leads the way defensively with 3.67 digs per set to go with her 11.73 assist per set average and 12 aces. Libero Julie Chin (3.35), Holthus (3.31), defensive specialist Abbie Kraus (2.44) and McGreal (2.40) also chip in more than two digs per set. Kraus also has served up 15 aces. Northwestern is hitting .237 as a team and has served up 80 aces.

Facts About the Fighting Illini
At First Glance: The No. 21 Illinois Fighting Illini (7-5, 1-1 Big Ten) continue a roller-coaster season at Indiana on Friday before heading to West Lafayette on Saturday. Illinois returns nine letterwinners, including five starters from the 2011 team which went 32-5, advanced to the NCAA Championship game and finished second in the Big Ten. Illinois is coached by Kevin Hambly, who is in his fourth year with the team.

Last Time Out: The Illini went 1-1 to open Big Ten play, falling to No. 12 Minnesota in a sweep, but bouncing back with a five-set win over Wisconsin on Sunday.

Statistically Speaking: Outside hitter Jocelynn Birks leads the Illinois offense with 4.26 kills per set, while also serving up a team-best 11 aces. Three other players - outside hitters Liz McMahon (2.45) and Morganne Criswell (2.18) and middle blocker Anna Dorn (2.02) - also add more than two kills per set. Dorn is hitting at a team-best .461 clip and adds 1.19 blocks per set, while McMahon chips in 1.09 blocks per set.

Defensively, libero Jennifer Beltran leads the way with 4.00 digs per set. Outside hitter Ali Stark (2.03), setter Annie Luhrsen (1.98) and Birks (1.72) follow. Middle blocker Erin Johnson leads the team at the net with 1.38 blocks per set. As a team, Illinois is hitting .253 and has served up 50 aces.

Poll Position
The Boilermakers climbed four spots to No. 13 in this week's AVCA Coaches Poll. Last week, Purdue was ranked 17th.

On August 27, the team was ranked seventh, a listing 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 120th 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).

Among The Nation
The Boilermakers rank among the nation's top 50 in winning percentage (19th with .846) and hitting percentage (36th with .257). The team also ranks 57th in blocks per set (2.46). Individually, Annie Drews ranks 16th in hitting percentage (.412), while Ariel Turner ranks 29th in points per set (4.86), 39th in kills per set(4.09) and 64th in aces per set (0.41).

Big Ten Honors
Redshirt junior libero Carly Cramer was named Defensive Player of the Week, while rookie outside hitter Annie Drews garnered Freshman of the Week accolades for their efforts in five-set wins over No. 25 Michigan State and Michigan.

Cramer tallied her 1,000th career dig, while pulling up 4.70 digs per set for the Boilermakers in two road wins. The redshirt junior also dished out seven assists, served up four aces and handled 98 percent of her 55 serve reception opportunities to steady the Purdue defense. Cramer's passing helped Purdue to hitting percentages of .250 or better in five sets, including .300 or better in four stanzas.

Drews led the Boilermakers at the net against #25 Michigan State and Michigan, racking up 1.10 blocks per set, while also adding 2.40 kills per set and hitting at a team-leading .439 clip.

Cramer Joins 1,000-Dig Club
Redshirt junior libero Carly Cramer recorded her 1,000th career dig in Set 5 of Purdue's Sept. 22 match with Michigan. Her 19th and final dig of the night made her the 15th Boilermaker player to reach the milestone. Cramer needed 47 digs to reach 1,000 heading into the weekend and picked up 28 against No. 25 Michigan State and 19 against Michigan.

Small Screen Queens
The Boilermakers are slated to make six television appearances in 2012, including three on Belin Court in Holloway Gymnasium. The Big Ten Network will air the team's Saturday, Sept. 29 home match vs. Illinois. Purdue will make five showings on the small screen in October, beginning with the Friday, Oct. 5 home match against Nebraska. BTN will then air the Boilermakers' Friday, Oct. 12 match against Penn State in University Park. The squad also will have its Tuesday, Oct. 16 road match with Indiana aired. BTN returns to Belin Court for the Oct. 26 match with Michigan. The following Wednesday, Oct. 31, the Boilermakers will take on Illinois in Champaign, on the network. All six matches will air live on the Big Ten Network at 8 p.m. ET.

Purdue is 20-26 all-time in televised matches dating to 1995, including a 4-1 mark in 2011.