Nov. 22, 2011
Wednesday, Nov. 23: 7 p.m. vs. Indiana
Video: BTN.com; Radio: WSHY 1410 AM, purduesports.com; Live Stats: purduesports.com
Friday, Nov. 25: 8 p.m. vs. Wisconsin
Video: uwbadgers.com; Radio: WSHY 1410 AM, purduesports.com; Live Stats: purduesports.com
The Book on the Boilermakers
At First Glance: The eighth-ranked Boilermakers (25-4, 14-4 Big Ten) are off to their best start since the 1985 season (26-3), including the most conference victories since 1987, and boast their highest ranking since Nov. 14, 1983 (7th). Purdue returns 12 players, including five starters, from the 2010 team which went 24-11, defeated three Top 10 foes and advanced to the NCAA Regional Final. Head coach Dave Shondell is in his ninth season with the team.
Last Time Out: Purdue split road matches at No. 25 Ohio State and No. 12 Penn State last weekend. The Boilermakers swept the Buckeyes and fell to the Nittany Lions in four sets.
Statistically Speaking: Outside hitter Ariel Turner paces the Boilermaker offense with 4.83 kills per set, while also adding 2.77 digs per set and 16 aces. Middle blocker Tiffany Fisher has put down 2.49 kills per set, while hitting .396, putting up 1.00 blocks per set and serving up a team-leading 24 aces. Outside hitters Val Nichol (2.17), Katie Griffin (1.91) and Catherine Rebarchak (1.81) follow. Middle blocker Anna Drewry chips in 1.27 kills per set and 0.93 blocks per set, while middle blocker Kierra Jones paces Purdue at the net with 1.27 blocks and adds 1.35 kills per set.
Defensively, Blair Bashen leads a group of five players with more than two digs per set. Bashen manages 4.07 saves per stanza, while serving up 22 aces. Turner (2.77), libero Carly Cramer (2.70), defensive specialist Emily Ehlers (2.67) and setter Rachel Davis (2.52) round out the group. Cramer adds 12 aces to the team's tally, which Davis also contributes 10.92 assists per set. Purdue is outhitting opponents .259 to .148 and outblocking foes 2.81 to 1.52.
Indiana (Purdue leads the series 54-33): 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 seven of the last eight, including season sweeps in 2008 and 2010 and a five-set win on Oct. 19 in West Lafayette.
Wisconsin (Wisconsin leads the series 37-28): The teams split the first six contests of the series which began on Oct. 11, 1975. Purdue surged ahead in the series with 10 straight wins from 1981 to 1986. The Badgers won 11 of the next 19, but never more than two matches in a row. Wisconsin went ahead in the series with 17 straight wins from 1996 to 2004. The Boilermakers stopped the streak, taking two of the next three matches in four sets. The Badgers swept the 2006 and 2007 meetings, but Purdue swept the 2008 and 2009 contests, winning three via five-set decisions. The teams split the 2010 meetings with each winning on its home court.
Hearing About The Hoosiers
At First Glance: The Indiana Hoosiers (9-20, 1-17 Big Ten) are looking for their second conference win of the season as Big Ten play wraps up this week. The Hoosiers return 10 letterwinners, including four starters, from the 2010 roster which posted a 23-12 record and advanced to the Sweet 16. Indiana is coached by Sherry Dunbar, who is in her fifth year with the team.
Last Time Out: The Hoosiers were swept by No. 12 Penn State and No. 25 Ohio State last weekend. The losses followed a Nov. 12 win over Iowa which snapped a 17-match losing streak for IU.
Statistically Speaking: Outside hitter Kelcie Marschall leads the IU offensively with 3.08 kills per set, while also adding 20 aces and 1.82 digs per set. Outside hitter Ivie Obeime (2.09), middle blocker Samantha Thrower (2.05), middle blocker Morgan Leach (1.95) and outside hitter Kristen Seaton (1.81) also contribute to the Hoosier offense. Leach leads the team at the net with 0.88 blocks per set and has served up 15 aces, while Thrower adds 0.82 stuffs per stanza. Opponents lead Indiana in all major statistical categories, including hitting percentage (.233 to .166) and aces (136 to 124).
Libero Caitlin Cox paces the defense with 4.14 digs per set, while also serving up a team-leading 29 aces. Setter Whitney Granado (2.00), defensive specialist Caitlin Hansen (1.89), Marschall (1.82) and defensive specialist Melanie Hicks (1.74) follow. The Hoosiers utilize two setters: Granado and Mary Chaudoin. Granado has dished out 8.41 assists, while Chaudoin has handed out 6.04 assists.
Words About Wisconsin
At First Glance: The Wisconsin Badgers (16-14, 8-10) have split their last three Big Ten weekends and stand seventh in the league with two matches remaining. The Badgers return 10 letterwinners, including five starters, from the 2010 roster which posted a 16-15 record and finished 10th in the Big Ten. Wisconsin is coached by Pete Waite, who is in his 13th year with the team.
Last Time Out: The Badgers swept Iowa and fell to No. 4 Nebraska in four sets on the road last weekend.
Statistically Speaking: Outside hitters Ellen Chapman (2.77) and Crystal Graff (2.63) lead a group of four Wisconsin hitters averaging more than two kills per set. Middle blocker Alexis Mitchell (2.25) and outside hitter Bailey Reshel (2.04) round out the group. Mitchell is hitting at a team-best .321 clip and adds 1.00 blocks per set, while Graff pulls up 2.22 digs per set. The Badgers also feature a pair of well-rounded setters. Courtney Thomas adds 1.95 kills of her own, while dishing out 5.68 assists and pulling up 2.59 digs per set. Janelle Gabrielson managed 1.20 kills, 5.66 assists and 2.59 digs per set set.
Libero Annemarie Hickey leads the UW defense with 4.68 digs per set. Thomas (2.59), Gabrielson (2.59) and Graff (2.22) follow. The Badgers are outdigging foes 15.57 to 14.34.
What a Difference a Win Makes...
If the Boilermakers top Indiana on Wednesday ...
They will keep possesion of the Monon Spike travelling trophy for the fourth straight year and win it for the eighth time since 2003.
They will move to 26-4, marking the program's best mark through 30 matches since 1985 (27-3).
They will move to 15-4 in Big Ten play, the best record since the league went to a 20-match format in 1991 and the most conference wins for Purdue since 1985 (17-1).
They will move to 106-174 all-time in Big Ten Conference matches played on the road.
They will improve to 182-154 all-time when playing in November, including an 8-5 mark when playing on Nov. 18.
Comparing the Teams
Stat. Purdue Indiana Wisconsin Hit.% .259 .166 .223 Kills 13.76 11.85 13.44 Assists 12.66 11.04 12.53 Aces 1.14 1.15 1.03 Blocks 2.81 1.88 2.37 Digs 15.55 13.02 15.57
As part of the annual rivalry between Indiana and Purdue, the volleyball programs play for the Monon Spike travelling trophy at an alternating match each year. This year's match is in Bloomington, Ind., on Wednesday. The winner of the designated match earns possession of the trophy until the next season's contest and also adds a link to the chain, a "P" link for a Purdue victory or an "I" link for an Indiana victory. The Spike currently boasts 25 Ps and 12 Is. Purdue has taken seven of the last eight Spike matches dating to 2003. The Boilermakers lead the all-time series with the Hoosiers 54-33.
The Spike match also is a part of the annual Crimson and Gold Cup multi-sport challenge between the schools. A point is awarded to the victor in each of the head to head meetings between the schools' 18 common sports. In the event of a tie or series split, each team is awarded one-half point. Football will play for its point in the annual Old Oaken Bucket game in Bloomington on Saturday.
Garnering National Recognition
The Boilermakers stood strong at No. 8 in this week's AVCA Coaches Poll, marking their highest listing since Nov. 14, 1983, when the team was ranked seventh. This is the third week Purdue has spent in the Top 10, its longest stay there since 1983 (10 weeks: Sept. 26 to Nov. 28). This week's ranking is Purdue's 112th all time since the AVCA polls began in 1982, including preseason and postseason listings.
Among The Nation
The Boilermakers rank among the top 50 nationally in four statistical categories. With a 25-4 record, Purdue ranks ninth in winning percentage (.862). The Boilermakers also are 10th in blocks per set (2.81), 22nd in hitting percentage (.259) and 47th in kills per set (13.76). The team also ranks 58th in assists per set (12.66).
Individually, junior outside hitter Ariel Turner ranks fourth in points per set (5.44) and fifth in kills per set (4.83). Senior middle blocker Tiffany Fisher ranks 11th nationally in hitting percentage with a .396 effort. Freshman middle Kierra Jones ranks 33rd in blocks per set (1.27). Redshirt sophomore setter Rachel Davis ranks 42nd in assists per set (10.92).
Rewriting the Record Books
The Boilermakers are making a dent in the season and career record books this year. Junior Ariel Turner ranks fourth in career hitting attempts (3,709) and is second on the season list (1,435). She is three kills away from the season Top 10 and just 47 out of the career Top 10.
Redshirt senior Blair Bashen ranks eighth in career digs (1197). Senior Tiffany Fisher needs just two more block assists to match Jaclyn Hart's 10th place spot of 307 on that career listing. Fisher is 50 total blocks out of the Top 10 in that category.
Tracking The Boilermakers
Follow Purdue volleyball on the web with streaming video, live audio and live statistics on purduesports.com. Live statistics are available via the GameTracker feature, while free audio broadcasts are available by clicking the listen links on the schedule page. Streaming video is available for a monthly fee via the Purdue All-Access Pass.
Be a part of Purdue volleyball online via the social networking services Facebook and Twitter. Join the Official Purdue Volleyball group on Facebook. Follow the team on twitter at twitter.com/PurdueVB or Boilermaker coach Dave Shondell's tweets at twitter.com/daveshondell.