Oct. 21, 2013
Big Ten Week 5
Holloway Gymnasium - West Lafayette, Ind.; Cliff Keen Arena - Ann Arbor, Mich.
Tuesday, Oct. 22: 8 p.m. Indiana at Purdue
TV: BTN; PxP: Mike Wolf; Color: Liz Tortorello-Nelson
Live Stats/Radio - purduesports.com
Saturday, Oct. 26: 7 p.m. Purdue at Michigan
Live Stats/Radio/Video - purduesports.com
The Book on the Boilermakers
At First Glance: The No. 21 Boilermakers (13-6, 4-4 Big Ten) return home to face instate rival Indiana in the midst of three road contests. Purdue posted a 23-11 record, including a fifth place finish in Big Ten play and a Sweet 16 berth. 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: Purdue took a pair of road Big Ten matches last weekend, sweeping Iowa and upsetting No. 8 Nebraska 3-1.
Statistically Speaking: Outside hitter Catherine Rebarchak leads a group of six hitters averaging nearly two kills per set or more. Rebarchak is averaging 3.00 kills per set. Setter/outside hitter Val Nichol has put down 2.54 kills per set, while also dishing out 5.94 assists per set and managing 1.92 digs and 0.65 blocks per set. Outside hitters Sam Epenesa (2.26), Annie Drews (1.99) and Katie Griffin (1.86) and middle blocker KiKi Jones (2.10) round out the group. Jones is hitting at a team-best .387 clip and adds 1.15 blocks per set and 16 aces to the team's tallies. Redshirt freshman middle blocker Faye Adelaja leads the team at the net with 1.21 blocks per set to go with 1.39 kills per stanza.
Defensively, libero Carly Cramer leads the way with 4.03 digs per set. Defensive specialists Hilliary Fox (2.21) and Amanda Neill (1.96), setter Rachel Davis (1.94), and Nichol (1.92) follow. Cramer has served up a team-best 22 aces, followed by Neill (21), Jones (16) and Epenesa (11). As a team, Purdue is hitting .239 and has served up 92 aces.
Indiana (Purdue leads the series 56-34): The Boilermakers won the first two meetings in the series with the Hoosiers, which began on Oct. 4, 1975, but Indiana took eight of the next nine. Purdue launched a 24-match win streak on Sept. 20, 1978, which lasted through the end of the 1985 season. The teams split the next 14 matches. The Hoosiers took 16 of the next 21 contests from 1992 to 2002. The Boilermakers swept the 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 seasons. An IU win in Bloomington snapped the streak, but Purdue has won nine of the last 11, including season sweeps in 2008 and 2010 and 2011. The teams split the 2012 contests, each winning on its home court.
Michigan (Purdue leads the series 44-24): Purdue won the first four meetings in the series which began on Oct. 31, 1975. Michigan took its first win on Oct. 24, 1981, but the Boilermakers responded with 19 straight victories from Nov. 7, 1981 to Nov. 2, 1990. The Wolverines countered with nine wins in the next 14 meetings from 1991 to 1997. Purdue won five straight from 1998-2000, but Michigan won eight of the next nine. In 2005, the Boilermakers kicked off a string of three straight wins. Purdue swept the 2007 contests, but Michigan took both in 2009 and 2010. The Boilermakers swept the 2011 and 2012 meetings.
What a Difference a Win Makes...
If the Boilermakers top Indiana on Tuesday:
They will move to 14-6 overall and 5-4 in Big Ten play this season.
They will extend their current win streak to three matches.
They will move to 18-3 against the Hoosiers under Coach Shondell, including a 10-1 mark when playing in West Lafayette.
They will improve to 265-199-1 all-time when playing in the month of October, including an 8-4 mark when playing on Oct. 22.
Among The Nation
The Boilermakers rank 46th nationally in blocks per set with 2.57. Individually, junior KiKi Jones ranks 35th in hitting percentage (.387), and fourth in the Big Ten. Redshirt freshman Faye Adelaja ranks 65th nationally and fifth among Big Ten players with 1.21 blocks per set.
Hearing About The Hoosiers
At First Glance: The Indiana Hoosiers (8-11, 0-8 Big Ten) are looking to snap a 10-match losing streak. The Hoosiers return 10 letterwinners, including four starters, from the 2012 roster which posted a 12-20 record and finished 12th in the Big Ten. Indiana is coached by Sherry Dunbar, who is in her sixth year with the team.
Last Time Out: The Hoosiers went 0-2 on the road last weekend, falling to No. 8 Nebraska via sweep and to Iowa in five sets.
Statistically Speaking: Middle blocker Morgan Leach leads a group of four hitters averaging two kills per set. Leach has put down 2.81 kills perset and is hitting at a .256 clip. Middle blocker Awele Nwaeze (2.45) and outside hitters Jordan Haverly (2.41) and Amelia Anderson (2.39) round out the group. Haverly has served up a team-best 16 aces and added 2.23 digs per set, while Nwaeze is putting up a team-best 0.81 blocks per set and has served up 12 aces.
Defensively, libero Caitlin Hansen leads the team with 3.77 digs per set. Haverly (2.23) also adds more than two digs per set. Setter Katie Gallagher (1.43), setter Megan Tallman (1.26) and defensive specialist Taylor Lebo (1.25) also aid the team. The trio also has added more than 10 aces apiece. As a team, Indiana is hitting .206 and has served up 87 aces.
Words About the Wolverines
At First Glance: The No. 17 Michigan Wolverines (13-6, 3-5 Big Ten) face a pair of ranked foes this week in No. 10 Michigan State on Wednesday and the No. 21 Boilermakers on Saturday. Michigan returns 13 letterwinners, including five starters and the libero, from the 2012 team that finished 27-12 overall and advanced to the NCAA Final Four. The Wolverines are coached by Mark Rosen, who is in his 15th season with the team.
Last Time Out: The Wolverines split their Big Ten contests for the third straight weekend, sweeping No. 15 Wisconsin in Madison, but falling to No. 10 Minnesota in four sets in Minneapolis.
Statistically Speaking: Outside hitter Lexi Erwin, middle blocker Jennifer Cross and outside hitter Molly Toon headline the Michigan offense. Erwin has put down 3.19 kills per set to go with 2.14 digs per set and 11 aces. Cross has chipped in 3.03 kills per set, while hitting at a team-best .365 clip and adding 1.04 blocks per set. Toon adds 2.83 kills per set, while middle blocker Abby Cole registers 2.01 kills per set and 0.84 blocks per stanza. Middle blocker Krystalyn Goode has put down 1.48 kills per set to go with a team-leading 1.07 blocks per set.
Defensively, libero Tiffany Morales leads the way with 3.92 digs per set. Defensive specialist Ally Sabol (2.75), Erwin (2.14) and setter Lexi Dannemiller (2.03) also adds more than two digs per set. Dannemiller and Sabol have each served up a team-best 17 aces. As a team, Michigan is hitting .253 and has served up 77 aces.
Nichol Named Big Ten Player of the Week
Junior setter/outside hitter Val Nichol was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Oct. 21 for her efforts in a pair of road wins at Iowa and No. 8 Nebraska.
Nichol narrowly missed a pair of triple doubles while posting 3.00 kills, 3.00 digs and 7.71 assists per set for the weekend. She helped the Purdue hitters to efforts of better than .300 in each match (.347 vs. Iowa, .309 vs. Nebraska). With a 22-assist, 14-dig double double against Iowa and a 13-kill, 32-assists effort against Nebraska, the Normal, Ill. native recorded her 10th and 11th double-doubles of the year. She posted a career-best 14 digs against the Hawkeyes, while putting down eight kills with no errors for a .571 hitting efficiency. In the upset of Nebraska, Nichol pounded down 13 kills at a .545 clip and also chipped in seven digs and three blocks. Nichol has now put down double digit kills 9 times in 2013 and double-digit digs three times.
The Player of the Week honor is the first of Nichol's career and the first for a Boilermaker since Ariel Turner received the accolade on Nov. 26, 2012.
The Boilermakers moved up four spots to No. 21 in the AVCA Coaches Poll after spending last week at No. 25. 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 138th 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).