Oct. 19, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Senior outside hitter Ariel Turner has been named as one of 10 finalists for the 2012 Senior CLASS Award, which honors student-athletes for their achievements in community, classroom, character and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their community.
The 10 finalists are: Alaina Bergsma (Oregon), Dana Cranston (Colorado State), Ashley Frazier (Kentucky), Altrese Hawkins (Memphis), Rachel Iaquaniello (Eastern Michigan), Rachael Kidder (UCLA), Rachel Krabacher (Dayton), Gina Mancuso (Nebraska), Sam Serley (UAB) and Turner.
The 2012 candidate class of 30 volleyball players included 16 AVCA All-Americans from last season, including Turner, who garnered first team accolades. Turner was the lone member of the candidate pool that received Capital One Academic All-America honors in 2011, although 24 of them boasted a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better.
Fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote here through Nov. 26. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches' votes to determine the winner, which will be announced during the NCAA Final Four, Dec. 13 and 15.
Turner is the epitome of a true student-athlete, garnering both First Team All-America and second team Academic All-America honors in 2011. A mechanical engineering major on track to graduate in May 2013, she has earned Academic All-Big Ten honors the last two seasons. Despite the demands of balancing athletics and a challenging mechanical engineering course load, Turner earned dean's list, semester honors and AD honor roll accolades from 2009 to 2011 and was on the coach's honor roll in spring 2012. Turner is the first dual academic and athletic All-American for Purdue volleyball since 1984.
The outside hitter headlines the Purdue volleyball roster. The 2011 Big Ten Player of the Year ranked in the top six nationally in kills per set (6th, 4.84) and points per set (3rd , 5.46), while leading the Big Ten in both categories. The Highlands Ranch, Colo., native was named Big Ten Player of the Week a league record-tying five times in 2011. Turner set a Purdue season record for hitting attempts with 1,682 in 2011, snapping a 32-year old mark. She led the Boilermakers in kills per set with 4.84, ranking second on the Purdue season list, while standing second on the squad with 2.84 digs per set. Turner is one 15 Boilermaker players to have posted more than 1,000 kills and 500 digs in her career with 1,485 and 771 respectively.
In 2012, Turner is pacing the Boilermaker offense with 4.16 kills per set, a tally which ranks fourth in the Big Ten and 36th nationally. She also has served up a team-leading 20 aces and pulled up 2.73 digs per set, second most on the team. Turner has led Purdue in kills 17 times, including 14 double-digit efforts. The outside hitter also has posted double-digit digs in 11 matches and nine double-doubles (kills/digs). The Big Ten Player of the Week on Oct. 1 and Defensive Player of the Week, Oct. 15, has upped her game in conference play, averaging 4.36 kills and 3.03 digs per set, leading the Big Ten in kills and ranking second in points per set (4.89).
All told, she has posted double-figure kill tallies in 94 matches, including 20 or more 20 times, while also adding double-digit dig tallies in 34 matches. Turner owns two spots among the Purdue match records for hitting attempts with 85 and 81, which is the four-set match record. The senior has moved into second in career attempts (4814) and third in career kills (1642) along the way.