Oct. 15, 2013
BIG TEN WEEK 4
Carver-Hawkeye Arena - Iowa City, Iowa; Devaney Center - Lincoln, Neb.
Live Stats/Radio/Video - purduesports.com
Friday, Oct. 18: 8 p.m. Purdue at Iowa
Saturday, Oct. 19: 8 p.m. Purdue at #8 Nebraska
The Book on the Boilermakers
At First Glance: The No. 25 Boilermakers (11-6, 2-4 Big Ten) hit the road for weekend matches at Iowa and Nebraska. Purdue posted a 23-11 record, including a 12-8 Big Ten finish, made the program's eighth NCAA Tournament appearance in the last nine seasons and sixth Sweet 16 showing in the last eight seasons in 2012. The team, which finished fifth in Big Ten play, ended the season in the Sweet 16 at their own West Lafayette Regional. Purdue's roster features 11 returning players, including five starters, from that team as well as three redshirt freshmen and one true freshman. Head coach Dave Shondell is in his 11th season with the team.
Last Time Out: The Boilermakers split home matches last weekend, topping Illinois 3-1 in Mackey Arena on Friday and falling to Northwestern in five sets on Saturday.
Statistically Speaking: Outside hitter Catherine Rebarchak leads a group of six hitters averaging nearly two kills per set or more. Rebarchak is averaging 2.79 kills per set. Setter/outside hitter Val Nichol has put down 2.48 kills per set, while also dishing out 5.75 assists per set and managing 1.80 digs and 0.66 blocks per set. Outside hitters Sam Epenesa (2.31), Annie Drews (1.95) and Katie Griffin (1.91) and middle blocker KiKi Jones (2.14) round out the group. Jones is hitting at a team-best .401 clip and adds 1.11 blocks per set and 14 aces to the team's tallies. Redshirt freshman middle blocker Faye Adelaja leads the team at the net with 1.30 blocks per set to go with 1.38 kills per stanza.
Defensively, libero Carly Cramer leads the way with 4.06 digs per set. Defensive specialists Hilliary Fox (2.21) and Amanda Neill (2.00), setter Rachel Davis (1.95), and Nichol (1.80) follow. Cramer has served up a team-best 20 aces, followed by Neill (18), Jones (14) and Epenesa (11). As a team, Purdue is hitting .230 and has served up 82 aces.
Iowa (Purdue leads the series 48-20): The Boilermakers won the first 10 meetings in the series with the Hawkeyes, which began on Oct. 28, 1977. Iowa took seven of the next 12 contests, before Purdue launched an eight-match win streak, sweeping each season 1990 to 1993. The Hawkeyes won 11 of the next 20 from 1994 to 2003, but the Boilermakers took each of the next 11. Iowa snapped the streak with a five-set win in Iowa City on Nov. 27, 2009, but Purdue won both contests in 2010 and 2011. The teams split the 2012 meetings, with each winning on the road via sweep.
Nebraska (Nebraska leads the series 12-5): Purdue won the first four meetings in the series with the Cornhuskers, which began on Oct. 17, 1980. Nebraska took the next 10 meetings from Oct. 14, 1984 to the Oct. 7, 2011, match in Lincoln. The Boilermakers swept the No. 2 Huskers on Nov. 12, 2011. Nebraska won both contests in 2012.
What a Difference a Win Makes...
If the Boilermakers top Iowa on Friday:
They will move to 12-6 overall and 3-4 in Big Ten play this season.
They will move to 18-3 against the Hawkeyes under Coach Shondell, including each of the last four matches played in Iowa City.
They will improve to 263-199-1 all-time when playing in the month of October, including a 9-8 mark when playing on Oct. 18.
An Inkling About Iowa
At First Glance: The Iowa Hawkeyes (9-9, 0-6 Big Ten) take on a ranked opponent for the fifth straight match when they face Purdue on Friday. The Hawkeyes have played ranked opponents in six of their last seven matches. The Iowa roster includes 15 letterwinners and all seven starters from the 2012 team that finished 10-23 and placed 12th in the Big Ten. Iowa is coached by former Boilermaker player Sharon Dingman, who is in her sixth season with the team.
Last Time Out: The Hawkeyes dropped a pair of road matches last weekend, falling to No. 7 Michigan State in three sets and No. 17 Michigan in four sets. Iowa has lost its last seven matches.
Statistically Speaking: Outside hitter Alex Lovell leads the Hawkeye offense with 3.75 kills per set, while also adding 2.38 digs per set and 11 aces. Outside hitter Rachel Bedell (2.32) and middle blocker Alessandra Dietz (2.28) follow. Dietz is hitting at a team-best .315 clip and adds 0.90 blocks per set. Outside hitter Erin Leppek leads the Hawkeyes at the net with 0.92 blocks per set to go with 18 aces and 0.77 kills per set.
Defensivley, libero Bethany Yeager paces the team with 4.25 digs per set. Setter Alyssa Klostermann (2.46), Lovell (2.38) and setter Nikki Dailey (2.16) also average more than two digs per set. Klostermann and Dailey split time at setter averaging 4.90 and 5.65 assists per set respectively. Klosterman also adds 17 aces, while Dailey has served up 19. As a team, Iowa is hitting .193 and has served up 107 aces.
News About Nebraska
At First Glance: The No. 8 Nebraska Cornhuskers (12-3, 5-1 Big Ten) boast a 7-0 record at home this season. The Huskers return seven letterwinners, including three starters, from the 2012 team that posted a 26-7 mark, tied for second in the Big Ten and advanced to the Elite Eight. Nebraska is coached by John Cook, who is in his 14th year with the team.
Last Time Out: The Huskers snapped a five-match win streak, falling to No. 7 Michigan State in East Lansing Saturday. The loss came after a five-set win at No. 17 Michigan on Friday.
Statistically Speaking: Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson paces the Nebraska attack with 4.59 kills per set. The senior transfer from Tennessee is hitting at a .323 clip and also adds 3.79 digs per set and 14 aces. Outside hitters Kadie Rolfzen (3.30) and Amber Rolfzen (2.13) also add more than two kills per set. Middle blocker Cecilia Hall leads the team at the net with 1.17 blocks per set, followed by middle blocker Meghan Haggerty (0.94) and Amber Rolfzen (0.92).
Defensively, Robinson has pulled up a team-best 3.79 digs per set. Libero Justine Wong-Orantes (3.38), Amber Rolfzen (2.44) and Kadie Rolfzen (2.07) follow. As a team, Nebraska is hitting .260 and has served up 52 aces.
Among The Nation
The Boilermakers rank 42nd nationally in blocks per set with 2.60. Individually, junior KiKi Jones ranks 26th in hitting percentage (.401), and fourth in the Big Ten. Redshirt freshman Faye Adelaja ranks 35th nationally and fourth among Big Ten players with 1.30 blocks per set.
The Boilermakers moved down five spots to No. 25 in the AVCA Coaches Poll after spending last week at No. 20. Purdue was ranked 16th in the 2013 Preseason AVCA poll after wrapping up 2012 at No. 15. Purdue was ranked in the Top 25 throughout the 2012 season and has been ranked in 36 consecutive polls dating to Nov. 29, 2010.
On August 27, 2012, 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 137th 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 (eight straight polls: Sept. 26 to Nov. 28).
Striking A Perfect Balance
Six Boilermakers have posted nearly two kills per set in 2013, while seven players have led the team offensively in at least one match this year. Junior Val Nichol has led the team nine times. Sophomores Annie Drews and Sam Epenesa and redshirt senior Catherine Rebarchak each has posted team-bests three times. Redshirt senior Katie Griffin, junior KiKi Jones and redshirt freshman Faye Adelaja each have posted team-high kill tallies once.
Tracking The Boilermakers
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