Nov. 13, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Boilermaker volleyball team has signed four Top 50 recruits to national letters of intent to play for Purdue beginning in 2014. Outside hitter Christina Ambrose (Orlando, Fla.), middle blocker Danielle Cuttino (Indianapolis, Ind.), setter/outside hitter Lydia Dimke (Ham Lake, Minn.) and outside hitter Azariah Stahl (Elkhart, Ind.) make up the signing class.
"We are very excited about the athleticism of this group and the type of experience that they bring," head coach Dave Shondell said. "We feel like we have four premier athletes coming in. It is a great class and one that I think all Purdue volleyball fans should be excited about."
Ambrose, a 6-4 outside hitter from Orlando, Fla., was named as PrepVolleyball.com's No. 20 Senior Ace and garnered Under Armour first team All-America selection in November. As a senior, she set the Winter Park High School record for kills in a season, while also garnering Bright House Sports Network athlete of the week honors for central Florida. Previously, Ambrose was selected as one of Volleyball Magazine's 30 Underclassmen to Watch as well as one of PrepVolleyball's Top 50 Juniors. As a junior, Ambrose was named first team all-central Florida after leading her team to a state runner up finish and setting the school record for kills in a match with 42. She also was the runner up for Class 8A Player of the Year honors after posting 363 kills, hitting at a .298 clip and adding 67 aces, 281 digs and 60 blocks. A 2012 PrepVolleyball High School All-American, receiving highest honorable mention acclaim, Ambrose was forced to sit out her sophomore year after transferring schools. As a rookie at Lake Highland Prep, she garnered second team all-central Florida honors and her team's top offensive player award after post team-bests in kills and blocks as a middle blocker. The daughter of David and Margot Ambrose, Christina plans to major in psychology at Purdue. The honor roll student plays club volleyball for Orlando Volleyball Academy, which was the AAU National Championship in 2011. Ambrose was an AAU All-American in 2011 and 2012 and a member of the USA Volleyball Girls' Select A1 team.
Prep Volleyball's John Tawa had this to say about Ambrose:
"Both a supreme power hitter and shot maker, Ambrose is a true terminator and prolific blocker in the outside hitter position. A dedicated weight training program over the past 18 months has turned this Canadian-born player into a physical beast who now soars to 10-4. An excitable player with a fierce desire to win, Ambrose plays best in the biggest matches and she has played in a lot of big matches with her OVA club team. She notched 41 kills in the Florida 8A finals for Winter Park last fall. A strong worker, Ambrose has the ability to develop into a strong passer and defender as well. Committed to Purdue, look for Ambrose's hard-hitting style to be a good fit in the rugged Big Ten."
Cuttino, a 6-4 middle blocker from Indianapolis, Ind., was PrepVolleyball.com's No. 10 Senior Ace and garnered Under Armour All-America second team honors in 2013. Thus far as a senior, she has garnered second team all-state accolades. One of Volleyball Magazine's 30 Underclassmen to Watch and one of PrepVolleyball's Top 50 Juniors, Cuttino garnered all-county accolades that year. Ben Davis High School's Offensive MVP as a sophomore, she garnered special mention among the 2012 PrepVolleyball Soph 79. Also a basketball standout, the three-year letterwinner garnered all-state, all-conference and all-county honors and was named a Junior All-Star her third season. The daughter of Daniel and Tacila Cuttino plans to major in pharmacy at Purdue. The two-sport athlete plays club volleyball for Circle City VBC and was a member of the U.S. Youth National team, which finished second at the under-18 FIVB World Championships.
Prep Volleyball's John Tawa had this to say about Cuttino:
"Six-foot-four and looking for more, the tall and very long Cuttino may be the break-out player of this past year. A force in the middle for Circle City VBC, the high flying Cuttino was a late pickup for the USA Youth National Team and received raves from that coaching staff, who touted her potential to one day be on the Women's National Team. Awesome attacking the ball in front of or behind the setter, this extremely athletic middle blocker's competitiveness, work ethic and sportsmanship surpass her abundant physical traits. The future is ridiculous for Cuttino as she looks forward to a college career at Purdue University. Full of energy, Cuttino is one of those players that volleyball lovers can spot from 20 courts away in a convention center because of her size and stature, but the real secret to her development is her attitude and personality. Look out Big Ten!"
Dimke, a 6-2 outside hitter/setter from Ham Lake, Minn., was named as PrepVolleyball's No. 50 Senior Ace and earned first team Under Armour All-America selection in November. One of PrepVolleyball's Top 50 Juniors and a 2012 PrepVolleyball High School All-American, she is three-time all-state selection and has also garnered all-conference honors each of the last three seasons. A two-time all-metro honoree, Dimke led the state of Minnesota in aces as a junior, while also earning team MVP honors after leading her team to the conference and section championships and a third place finish at state. An all-state honorable mention selection as a sophomore, she chipped in 74 aces, 611 assists and 191 digs while ranking second on her team with 221 kills. The setter garnered PrepVolleyball's Soph 79 Highest Honorable Mention accolades after leading her team to conference and section titles. In 2011, Dimke was named to the site's Frosh 59 listing as an honorable mention selection after posting 160 kills, 44 blocks and 22 digs. The daughter of Bob and Mary Dimke, Lydia plans to major in psychology at Purdue. The honor roll student plays her club volleyball for Northern Lights Volleyball Club. She received 15 Open MVP honors with the club at Junior Nationals in 2011.
PrepVolleyball.com's John Tawa had this to say about Dimke:
"Fast and smooth, Dimke is a tall setter who excels in all phases of the game. She is adept at running an up tempo, smart offense that puts her hitters in position to score. Her ability to find her middles with less than perfect passes gives opposing blockers fits and opens up the pin hitters as well. Dimke is a strong decision maker whose setting skills seem to improve daily. In a 6-2 offense, Dimke is a lethal threat in three rotations on the right side. She is an explosive hitter with a bazooka-like arm. Dimke also defends tenaciously and has a wicked arsenal of serves that helped her lead the state of Minnesota in aces last fall. A natural leader, fierce competitor and flat-out winner, Dimke has committed to Purdue and has the size and athleticism to compete all six rotations in the rugged Big Ten. She will graduate early to get a head start on leading the Boilers for seasons to come."
Stahl, a 5-11 outside hitter from Elkhart, Ind., was listed as PrepVolleyball.com's No. 21 Senior Ace and was named as an Under Armour All-American second team selection. Thus far as a senior, she has been named as a first team all-state selection, the Northern Indiana Conference MVP and a first team all-NIC selection. Among Max Preps Player of the Year watch list, she garnered MaxPreps/AVCA Player of the Week honors three times during the season, while leading Elkhart Central to a state final four appearance. The three-time team MVP boasts school records for career kills (2386), hitting percentage (.549), digs (984) and aces (250), as well as season marks for kills (804), hitting percentage (.573) and aces (92). Stahl earned first team all-state accolades, was a finalist for Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year honors, and earned PrepVolleyball All-America and MaxPreps All-America third team honors her junior season. She also was one of Volleyball Magazine's Girls 30 Underclassmen to Watch and PrepVolleyball's Top 50 Juniors. As a sophomore, she was named to PrepVolleyball's Soph 79 after posting 729 kills (7.0 per game) and earning first team all-conference accolades and All-America special mention honors. As a rookie, she led the team with 461 kills and hit .533 while leading the team to a record 25 wins, earning a spot on PrepVolleyball's Frosh 59 and All-America special mention lists. The daughter of John and Yolanda Stahl plans to major in liberal arts at Purdue. A PrepVolleyball.com club all-american second team honoree, "Z' plays club volleyball for Circle City VBC and was a member of the 2012 Junior National Team that earned the bronze medal at the Norceca Continental Championships.
Prep Volleyball's John Tawa had this to say about Stahl:
""Z" is a household name in the Midwest. Coaches who have taken her on have her quickness and electric style of play seared on their brains. Able to touch 10-6, Stahl's calling cards are her high-flying and acrobatic attacking skills and strong desire to win. Z, who has played at the 18s level since she was in eighth grade, has the ability to take over matches by herself, swinging over, around and through people. Her back row skills have improved dramatically over the last couple of years and her lateral quickness makes her a defensive menace to would-be scorers. Blessed with long arms and fast off the floor, Stahl is a productive blocker as well. A tireless worker who traveled 3.5 hours each way to club practice the past two years, Stahl will be a crowd pleaser at Purdue who paints the sky in the Boiler Box."
The four signees will join 10 returning players from the 2013 team. Ambrose and Dimke will join the Boilermakers for the spring 2014 semester, while Stahl and Cuttino will join the roster in August. Three additional players are expected to join the team for the fall 2014 season. Information on those athletes will be available at a later date.