Game Notes: NCAA Tournament

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM The No. 22 Boilermakers will face off with Colorado State in the NCAA First Round at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
The No. 22 Boilermakers will face off with Colorado State in the NCAA First Round at 4:30 p.m. Friday.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

Nov. 27, 2012

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The Slate
NCAA Tournament - Tallahassee, Fla.
Tournament Central: here

Friday, Nov. 30
4:30 p.m. (EST) Colorado State vs. Purdue
Webcast: seminoles.com
Radio: WSHY 1410 AM; purduesports.com

6:30 p.m. (EST) Hofstra vs. #9 seed Florida State

Saturday, Dec. 1:
4:30 p.m. (EST) Winner of Match 1 vs. Winner of Match 2
Webcast: seminoles.com

The Book on the Boilermakers
At First Glance: The No. 22 Boilermakers (21-10, 12-8 Big Ten) are making the program's third straight NCAA Tournament berth and eighth in the last nine seasons. The team, which finished fifth in Big Ten play, brings a two-match win streak into the tournament. Purdue's roster features 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 went 2-0 in the final regular season weekend, sweeping Indiana on Wednesday to keep possession of the Monon Spike traveling trophy and topping Wisconsin in four sets on Senior Night on Friday.

Statistically Speaking: Outside hitter Ariel Turner paces the Boilermakers with 4.43 kills and 2.75 digs per set, while also serving up 27 aces. Outside hitters Catherine Rebarchak (2.19) and Annie Drews (2.15), middle blocker Kiki Jones (1.86), outside hitter Val Nichol (1.72) and middle blocker Anna Drewry (1.61) also contribute offensively. Jones is hitting a team-best .362 clip. Drews also is hitting over .300 at .302.

Defensively, libero Carly Cramer has posted 4.21 digs per set, while Turner (2.75), setter Rachel Davis (2.31), and defensive specialists Amanda Neill (2.23) and Hilliary Fox (1.77) follow. Cramer has served up a team-leading 33 aces, while defensive specialist Amanda Miller has added 12. At the net, Drewry and Jones pace the team with 1.02 and 0.92 stuffs per set. Jones and Neill also add 11 aces to the team tally. As a team, Purdue is hitting .246 and has served up 119 aces.

Series Information
Colorado State (Series tied 1-1): The Rams won the first meeting between the teams on Sept. 11, 1987, at the University Park Holiday Inn Invitational. Purdue won the most recent meeting in the NCAA Tournament first round on Dec. 2, 2004. Both previous matches have taken place in Fort Collins and have gone five sets.

Hofstra (Purdue leads the series 1-0): The Boilermakers won the lone previous meeting in the series with the Pride, with a sweep in Durham, N.C. on Sept. 26, 1987.

Florida State (FSU leads the series 4-3): Purdue won the first meeting in the series with the Seminoles taking a 2-0 victory in the AIAW National Tournament on Dec. 7, 1979, in Carbondale, Ill. FSU got its first win in 1981 and the teams split the next four meetings. The Seminoles broke the 3-3 series tie with a four-set win in the Sweet 16 in Minneapolis on Dec. 9, 2011. Purdue leads the series 2-1 in neutral site meetings.

What a Difference a Win Makes...
If the Boilermakers top Colorado State on Friday

• They will move to 22-10 on the season and extend their current win streak to three matches.

• They will advance to the NCAA second round for the eighth straight time and 13th time in program history.

• They will improve to 20-14 all-time in NCAA Tournament matches, including a 13-7 mark under Coach Shondell.

• They will take a 2-1 lead in the all-time series with the Rams, including a 2-0 mark in NCAA play.

• They will move to 188-157 all-time in the month of November, including a 5-2 mark on Nov. 30.

Reading Up on the Rams
At First Glance: The Colorado State Rams (21-13, 13-3 Mountain West) are making their 18th-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance after earning the Mountain West Conference's automatic berth by winning their fourth-straight regular season title. CSU returns nine letterwinners, including five starters, from the 2011 squad which posted a 24-6 record and advanced to the NCAA Second Round. The Rams are coached by Tom Hilbert, who is in his 16th year with the team.

Last Time Out: CSU sewed up the Mountain West regular season title on Nov. 23 with a win over New Mexico in the season finale.

Statistically Speaking: Outside hitter Dana Cranston leads the CSU offense with 3.65 kills per set and also adds a team-best 26 aces and 2.04 digs per set. Middle blockers Megan Plourde (2.92) and Brieon Paige (2.59) follow. Plourde also has put up a team-leading 1.54 stuffs per set and is hitting at a team-best .361 clip, while Paige adds 0.98 blocks per set and is hitting .360.

Defensively, libero Izzy Gaulia paces the team with 4.24 digs per set, while also adding 16 aces. Right side hitter Adrianna Culbert (2.42), setter Deedra Foss (2.22) and Cranston (2.04) also add two digs per set, while defensive specialist Jaime Colaizzi chips in 1.99 saves per stanza. Foss also adds 0.85 blocks per set to the team's tally. Colorado State is hitting a .269 clip and has served up 107 aces.

Preparing for the Pride
At First Glance: The Hofstra Pride (21-13, 6-6 CAA) is making its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2006 after winning the Colonial Athletic Association's tournament title. Hofstra returns 11 letterwinners, including four starters, from its 2011 team which posted a 14-17 record and finished seventh in CAA play. The Pride is coached by Kristina Hernandez, who is in her fifth year with the team.

Last Time Out: The Pride defeated two-time defending CAA champion Delaware in five sets in the 2012 CAA Volleyball Championship match on Nov. 18, extending its current win streak to seven matches, including three conference tournament victories.

Statistically Speaking: Outside hitter Kelsie Wills headlines the Hofstra offense, turning in 4.40 kills per set as well as 39 aces and 2.21 digs per set. Right side/outside hitter Nikki Kinnier (3.25) and outside hitter Emily Burke (2.43) follow. Kinnier is hitting a team-best .229 clip and adds 0.68 blocks per set. Middle blocker Adama Aja leads the team at the net with 1.17 blocks per set, followed by middle blocker Sara Campolina, who registers 0.89 stuffs per set.

Defensively, Hofstra is led by libero Kylee Maneja, who has pulled up 4.13 digs per set and added 23 aces. Wills (2.21) and setter Catalina Charry (2.17) also add more than two digs per set, while defensive specialist Corrina Delgadillo chips in 1.81 digs per set and 28 aces. Charry has served up a team-best 40 aces. As a team, Hofstra is hitting .182 and has served up 179 aces.

Scouting the Seminoles
At First Glance: The No. 12 Florida State Seminoles (27-3, 18-2 ACC) are making their fourth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance after winning their third Atlantic Coast Conference title since 2009. FSU returns eight letterwinners, including five starters, from the 2011 squad which posted a 28-7 record and advanced to the NCAA Final Four. The Seminoles are coached by Chris Poole, who is in his fifth year with the team.

Last Time Out: Florida State won the ACC title with a four-set win over Miami (Fla.) on Nov. 23. FSU has won 26 straight matches in Tully Gym dating to 2011.

Statistically Speaking: Four hitters are averaging more than two kills per set to lead the FSU offense. Outside hitters Fatma Yildirim (2.95) and Olivera Medic (2.45) and middle blockers Sareea Freeman (2.39) and Ashley Neff (2.23) make up the group. Freeman is hitting at a team-best .447 clip and adds 1.01 blocks per set, while Neff boasts a .394 hitting percentage and puts up a team-leading 1.64 stuffs per set. Medic has served up a team-best 25 aces and adds 3.14 digs per set.

Defensively, libero Katie Mosher leads the way with 4.41 digs per set, followed by Medic (3.14) and Yildirim (2.69). As a team, FSU is hitting .279 and has served up 114 aces.

Poll Position
The Boilermakers fell one spot to No. 22 in the Nov. 19 AVCA Coaches Poll after spending two weeks at No. 21. Purdue has been ranked in the Top 25 throughout the 2012 season. The final poll will be released on Dec. 18, 2012.

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.

The Nov. 19 ranking is Purdue's 128th 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).

Among The Nation
The Boilermakers rank 45th nationally in hitting percentage (.246). Individually, Ariel Turner ranks 14th in points per set (45.10) and 16th in kills per set (4.43), while Kiki Jones ranks 42nd in hitting percentage (.362).

Turner Garners Big Ten, AVCA National Player of the Week
Senior outside hitter Ariel Turner has been named Sports Imports/AVCA and Collegiate Volleyball Update National Player of the Week as well as Big Ten Player of the Week for the final weekend of the regular season. The national honor is the second of Turner's career, following a Nov. 1, 2011 accolades, while the Big Ten honor is the 10th of Turner's storied Boilermaker career and third of the season, along with Oct. 11 Player of the Week and Oct. 15 Defensive Player of the Week accolades. Turner averaged 6.00 kills, 4.43 digs and 1.29 blocks per set, while also serving up four aces and hitting at a .373 clip as Purdue secured fifth place in the Big Ten with a pair of home wins over Indiana and Wisconsin.

Turner, Cramer, Drews Garner All-Big Ten Honors
Four Boilermakers were honored as the All-Big Ten teams were announced on Tuesday. Senior outside hitter Ariel Turner was named as a unanimous All-Big Ten selection, while redshirt junior libero Carly Cramer garnered honorable mention All-Big Ten acclaim and rookie right side hitter Annie Drews earned All-Freshman Team honors. Redshirt junior Rachel Davis was named as Purdue's Sportsmanship Award honoree.

Turner and Cramer boost Purdue's All-Big Ten tally to 52. The Boilermakers have had at least on All-Big Ten honoree every year since 2003. Drews is the most recent of Purdue's All-Big Ten Freshman Team honorees, joining eight others. The Boilermakers have had a freshman team honoree each of the last four years.