Game Notes 13: No. 15 Ohio State, No. 2 Penn State

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Head coach Dave Shondell will lead his troops against No. 15 Ohio State and No. 2 Penn State in a pair of key Big Ten matches this weekend.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Head coach Dave Shondell will lead his troops against No. 15 Ohio State and No. 2 Penn State in a pair of key Big Ten matches this weekend.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

Nov. 14, 2012

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -

The Slate
Friday, Nov. 16:
7 p.m. vs. No. 15 Ohio State - Holloway Gymansium
TV: BTN.com (purduesports.com All-Access)
Radio: WSHY 1410 AM, purduesports.com
Live Stats: purduesports.com

Saturday, Nov. 17
7 p.m. vs. No. 2 Penn State - Mackey Arena
Video: BTN.com (purduesports.com All-Access)
Radio: WSHY 1410 AM, purduesports.com
Live Stats: purduesports.com
Promotion: Operation 14K/Volleyball Alumni Night - Join us as we look to pack Mackey Arena for the match and as we honor our alumnae at intermission.

Packing Them In
Purdue volleyball looks to snap its attendance record with the Operation 14K event on Saturday night when the Boilermakers take on No. 2 Penn State in Mackey Arena. The Boilermakers are looking to fill Mackey Arena and top the record crowd of 10,645 that watched the Oct. 29, 1985, match between Purdue and Western Michigan in the original Pac Mac event. More than 8,000 fans have attended the other two Mackey matches with 8,512 watching Purdue take on Northwestern on Oct. 2, 2005, and 10,570 viewing the most recent, an Oct. 17, 2008 event against Wisconsin.

Tickets for Operation 14K are available for $2 for upper bowl and $5 for lower bowl tickets. Tickets may be purchased online here,, by calling 1-800-49-SPORT or by stopping by the Purdue Athletics Ticket Office located in Mackey Arena.

The Book on the Boilermakers
At First Glance: The No. 21 Boilermakers (19-8, 10-6 Big Ten) begin a four-match home stand which will wrap up the regular season. 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: Purdue split road matches last week, topping Iowa 3-0 on Thursday and falling to No. 9 Nebraska 3-2 on Saturday.

Statistically Speaking: Outside hitter Ariel Turner paces the Boilermakers with 4.28 kills and 2.62 digs per set, while also serving up 23 aces. Outside hitters Catherine Rebarchak (2.21) and Annie Drews (1.92), middle blocker Kiki Jones (1.88), outside hitter Val Nichol (1.75) and middle blocker Anna Drewry (1.70) also contribute offensively. Jones is hitting a team-best .381 clip. Drewry also is hitting over .300 at .306.

Defensively, libero Carly Cramer has posted 4.19 digs per set, while Turner (2.62), defensive specialist Amanda Neill (2.40), setter Rachel Davis (2.26) and defensive specialist Hilliary Fox (1.90) follow. Cramer has served up a team-leading 26 aces, while defensive specialist Amanda Miller has added 12. At the net, Drewry and Jones pace the team with 1.07 and 0.90 stuffs per set. Jones also adds 11 aces to the team tally. As a team, Purdue is hitting .247 and has served up 102 aces.

Series Information
Ohio State (OSU leads the series 41-37): The teams split the first 14 matches in the series which began on Oct. 31, 1975. The last of those contests kicked off an eight-match streak for the Boilermakers. Purdue would go on to win 17 of the next 20 in the series, including the eight straight victories from 1980 to 1983. Ohio State dominated the series over the next 15 years, posting 29 wins in 32 attempts from 1990 to 2005. One of the misses was a four-set Purdue win in 2003, which marked the Boilermakers' first victory in Columbus since 1988. Purdue has won 11 of the last 13, including the last six in a row. Purdue topped the Buckeyes in four sets on Oct. 13 in Columbus. The Boilermakers are 19-14 all-time against OSU in West Lafayette, including a 6-3 mark under Coach Shondell.

Penn State (PSU leads the series 47-6): The Boilermakers won five of the first six contests with the Nittany Lions in the series which began on Nov. 7, 1981. Since 1988, Penn State had won 42 straight, including 36 in 3-0 sweeps, before Purdue took a five-set decision on Oct 8, 2010. The win marked the first time the Boilermakers had taken two sets from the Nittany Lions since a 2005 meeting in University Park and the first Purdue win over PSU since Dec. 4, 1987. PSU has won the last four contests, including a season sweep in 2011 and a three-set win in University Park on Oct. 12.

What a Difference a Win Makes...
If the Boilermakers top No. 15 Ohio State on Friday ...

• They will move to 20-8 on the season and 11-6 in Big Ten play, securing the sixth 20-win season under Coach Shondell. (also 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011) and 18th in program history.

• They will secure a winning Big Ten record for the seventh time under Shondell (also 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011).

• They will defeat their fifth Top 25 foe of the season. (also #21 Northern Iowa, #25 Michigan State, #21 Illinois, #19 Ohio State)

• They will sweep the season series for the third straight year and extend their current win streak over Ohio State to seven matches.

• They will move to 186-155 all-time in the month of November, including a 12-5 mark on Nov. 16.

An Overview of Ohio State
At First Glance: The No. 15 Ohio State Buckeyes (20-8, 11-5 Big Ten) have won six of their last seven matches entering the weekend. OSU returns 10 letterwinners, including five starters from the 2011 team which went 21-15, finished seventh in the Big Ten and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16. Ohio State is coached by Geoff Carlston, who is in his fifth year with the team.

Last Time Out: The Buckeyes wrapped up a four-match homestand by topping Northwestern in four sets and edging Illinois in five last weekend.

Statistically Speaking: Outside hitter Mari Hole headlines the Buckeye offense, registering 4.13 kills per set, while also adding 2.55 digs per set and 14 aces. Outside hitters Kaitlyn Leary (2.71) and Emily Danks (2.70) and middle blocker Mariah Booth (2.06) follow. Booth is hitting at a .305clip, while Danks has served up 43 aces.

Defensively, libero Davionna DiSalvatore leads the way with 4.03 digs per set, followed by Hole (2.55). Setter Amanda Peterson adds 2.06 digs and 8.64 assists per set. Middle blocker Andrea Kacsits posts a team-best 0.85 blocks per set. As a team, OSU is hitting .251 and has served up 122 aces.

Prepping For Penn State
At First Glance: The No. 2 Penn State Nittany Lions (25-2, 15-1 Big Ten) bring a four-match win streak into Friday's match with Indiana. Penn State returns 13 letterwinners, including six starters, from the 2011 squad which posted a 25-8 record, finished second in the Big Ten and advanced to the Sweet 16. The Nittany Lions are coached by Russ Rose, who is in his 34th year with the team.

Last Time Out: PSU swept Illinois and Northwestern last weekend to wrap up a four-match home stand.

Statistically Speaking: Right side hitter Ariel Scott and outside hitter Deja McClendon lead the Nittany Lion offense with 3.64 and 3.27 kills per set respectively, while middle blocker Katie Slay adds 2.43 kills per set. Slay is hitting at a team-best .432 clip and has put up a team-leading 1.36 blocks per set. McClendon adds 2.83 digs per set, while Scott chips in 0.78 blocks per set. Setter Micha Hancock dishes out 11.47 assists per set and has served up a team-best 53 aces, while also adding 2.38 digs and 0.69 blocks per set to the team's tallies.

Defensively, defensive specialist Dominique Gonzalez paces the team with 3.67 digs per set, followed by McClendon (2.83), Hancock (2.38) and setter/outside hitter Megan Courtney (1.92). As a team, PSU is hitting .298 and has served up 135 aces.

In The Records Book
Senior outside hitter Ariel Turner is climbing the all-time statistical rankings. Having taken 5,207 swings as a Boilermaker, she is just 40 attempts behind Danita Merlau's record of 5,247 from 2005-08. Turner moved into second place on Oct. 16, passing Debbie McDonald's total of 4,783.

Turner ranks second on the career kills list with 1,770, having passed Merlau's tally of 1729 with a 16-kill effort against Northwestern, Nov. 3.

Redshirt junior libero Carly Cramer ranks ninth in career digs with 1,204, just 39 out of eighth place. Cramer moved into ninth on Oct. 31, passing Kim Corwin's tally of 1,145.

Redshirt junior setter Rachel Davis recorded her 2,000th career assist on Oct. 13. She ranks 10th on Purdue's all-time list in the category with 2,352.

Among The Nation
The Boilermakers rank among the nation's top 50 in hitting percentage (45th with .247) and rank 56th in winning percentage (.704). Individually, Kiki Jones ranks 27th in hitting percentage (.381), while Ariel Turner ranks 22nd in points per set (4.92) and 30th in kills per set (4.28).

Poll Position
The Boilermakers remain at No. 21 in the AVCA Coaches Poll for the second straight week. Purdue has been ranked in the Top 25 throughout the 2012 season.

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 127th 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).

Giant Slayers
Up until Oct. 8, 2010, Purdue had not beaten a Top 5 ranked opponent in 37 tries. On that date, the Boilermakers toppled No. 4 Penn State, snapping a 42-match skid against the Nittany Lions. Purdue followed that win up with a sweep of No. 1 Florida on Dec. 10 to earn its spot in the Elite Eight. The Boilermakers added two more historic wins in 2011, taking down No. 5 Illinois on Nov. 2 and No. 2 Nebraska on Nov. 12. Under coach Dave Shondell, Purdue has defeated 34 ranked opponents, including seven in 2011, and eight ranked in the Top10.

Turner Named Senior CLASS Award Finalist
A leader on the court and in the classroom, senior outside hitter Ariel Turner was 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. The winner will be decided by media members and Division I coaches (2/3) as well as a fan vote component (1/3), and will be announced at the NCAA Final Four in Louisville. Fans can vote once daily per device here.

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 2012 candidate class of 30 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.