Nov. 20, 2013
Big Ten Week 9
Belin Court at Holloway Gymnasium ~ West Lafayette, Ind.
Friday, Nov. 22: 7 p.m. Purdue vs. Nebraska
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Promotion: Military Appreciation Night - $5 admission to those in military uniform or with a military ID.
Saturday, Nov. 23: 7 p.m. Purdue vs. Iowa
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Promotion: $3 admission with Purdue/Illinois football ticket stub
The Book on the Boilermakers
At First Glance: The No. 25 Boilermakers (16-11, 7-9 Big Ten) return home to face Nebraska and Iowa after a four-match road swing. 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: The Boilermakers fell to Northwestern and No. 25 Illinois on the road last weekend, falling to the Wildcats in four sets and the Fighting Illini in three.
Statistically Speaking: Outside hitter Catherine Rebarchak leads a group of six hitters averaging nearly two kills per set or more. Rebarchak is averaging 3.01 kills per set and also adds 0.62 blocks per set. Setter/outside hitter Val Nichol has put down 2.69 kills per set, while also dishing out 6.05 assists per set and managing 1.80 digs and 0.59 blocks per set. Outside hitters Sam Epenesa (2.29), Annie Drews (1.88) and Katie Griffin (1.72) and middle blocker KiKi Jones (2.08) round out the group. Jones is hitting at a team-best .381 clip and adds a team-leading 1.17 blocks per set and 22 aces to the team's tallies. Redshirt freshman middle blocker Faye Adelaja adds 1.10 blocks per set to go with 1.35 kills per stanza.
Defensively, libero Carly Cramer leads the way with 4.03 digs per set. Defensive specialists Hilliary Fox (2.60) and Amanda Neill (1.92), setter Rachel Davis (1.95), and Nichol (1.80) follow. Cramer has served up a team-best 29 aces, followed by Neill (25) and Jones (22). As a team, Purdue is hitting .235 and has served up 117 aces.
Nebraska (Nebraska leads the series 12-6): 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, but Purdue upset the then-No. 8 Huskers on Oct. 18 in Lincoln.
Iowa (Purdue leads the series 49-20): 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 has won six of the last seven, including season sweeps in 2010 and 2011 and a 3-0 win in Iowa City on Oct. 18.
What a Difference a Win Makes...
If the Boilermakers top No. 6 Nebraska on Friday:
They will move to 17-11 overall and 8-9 in Big Ten play this season.
They will snap a four-match losing streak.
They will record their fifth win over a ranked foe in 2013 (also #12 Ohio State, #8 Nebraska, #17 Michigan, #15 Wisconsin).
They will record their seventh win over a Top 10 foe since 2010. (#4 Penn State, #10 Illinois & #1 Florida in 2010; #5 Illinois & #2 Nebraska in 2011 and #9 Nebraska in 2013).
They will have swept the season series with the Huskers.
They will even their record at 3-3 against Nebraska under Coach Shondell, including two wins on Belin Court (also Nov. 12, 2011).
They will improve to 190-162 all-time when playing in the month of November, including a 6-5 mark when playing on Nov. 22.
News About Nebraska
At First Glance: The No. 6 Nebraska Cornhuskers (21-4, 14-2 Big Ten) bring an eight-match win streak into Friday night's match, their last loss coming at the hands of the Boilermakers on Oct. 18 in Lincoln. 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 swept No. 16 Michigan State and topped No. 19 Michigan in four at home in Lincoln last weekend.
Statistically Speaking: Outside hitter Kelsey Robinson paces the Nebraska attack with 4.55 kills per set. The senior transfer from Tennessee is hitting at a .331 clip and also adds 3.43 digs per set and 25 aces. Outside hitters Kadie Rolfzen (3.58) and Amber Rolfzen (2.12) also add more than two kills per set. Middle blocker Cecilia Hall leads the team at the net with 1.30 blocks per set, followed by middle blocker Meghan Haggerty (1.02) and Amber Rolfzen (0.90).
Defensively, libero Justine Wong-Orantes has pulled up a team-best 3.49 digs per set. Robinson (3.43), Kadie Rolfzen (2.38) and setter Mary Pollmiller (1.86) follow. As a team, Nebraska is hitting .275 and has served up 87 aces.
An Inkling About Iowa
At First Glance: The Iowa Hawkeyes (10-18, 1-15 Big Ten) face off with Indiana on Friday before coming to West Lafayette. The Hawkeyes have lost eight straight since beating the Hoosiers on Oct. 19 in Iowa City. 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 fell to No. 19 Michigan and No. 16 Michigan State via sweep last weekend in Iowa City.
Statistically Speaking: Outside hitter Alex Lovell leads the Hawkeye offense with 3.45 kills per set, while also adding 2.45 digs per set and 18 aces. Outside hitter Rachel Bedell (2.62) and middle blocker Alessandra Dietz (2.00) follow. Dietz is hitting at a team-best .274 clip and adds a team-leading 0.91 blocks per set. Outside hitter Erin Leppek adds 0.79 blocks per set to go with 20 aces and 0.67 kills per set.
Defensively, libero Bethany Yeager paces the team with 4.14 digs per set. Lovell (2.45) along with setters Alyssa Klostermann (2.16) and Nikki Dailey (2.07) also averages more than two digs per set. Klostermann and Dailey split time at setter averaging 4.37 and 5.43 assists per set respectively. Each has also served up 22 aces. As a team, Iowa is hitting .168 and has served up 133 aces.
The Boilermakers moved down seven spots to No. 25 in the AVCA Coaches Poll after spending last week at No. 18. 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 45 consecutive polls dating to Nov. 29, 2010.
This week's ranking is Purdue's 141st all-time since the AVCA polls began in 1982, including preseason and postseason listings.
Among The Nation
The Boilermakers rank 58th nationally in blocks per set with 2.50. Individually, junior KiKi Jones ranks 38th in hitting percentage (.381), and fifth in the Big Ten.
In The Record Book
Junior KiKi Jones put her name among the career Top 10 in block assists, boosting her tally to 328 to rank ninth all-time. She is just two block assists away from the No. 8 spot on the list. Jones is just 14 total blocks away from breaking in the career top 10 in that category.
Senior Hilliary Fox is just five digs away from her 500th career save. Junior setter/outside hitter is approaching her 700th career kill (671) and redshirt senior Catherine Rebarchak (864) is coming up on her 900th career putaway.
Junior middle blocker KiKi Jones recorded her 600th career kill at No. 25 Illinois, Nov. 16. She now has 601 putaways in her career.