VB Set for No. 13 Utah
Dec. 1, 2017

Purdue vs. Utah
Friday, Dec. 1 / 9 p.m. ET
Jon M. Huntsman Center / Salt Lake City, Utah
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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - Following the first round NCAA Tournament victory over High Point, No. 16 Purdue (23-9, 12-8 B1G) is set to take on No. 13 Utah (23-9, 13-7 PAC-12) Friday, Dec.1, at 9 p.m. ET at the John M. Huntsman Center. Utah is the 10th ranked opponent Purdue will face this season and its the first ranked opponent the Boilermakers will face this season that is not ranked in the top 10.

The contest is the fourth time in program history the two teams will square off and the Boilermakers won the last meeting on Utah's home floor back in 2008. This is perhaps the best Utah team in the history of the program as its 13 conference wins are the most in program history. With its win over Cleveland State in the first round of the tournament, the Utes are now 13-13 all-time in the postseason, 4-1 in tournament matches on their home floor and are now seeking their third-ever Sweet 16 appearance. The last time the Utes made it to the Sweet 16 was in 2008.

Purdue's win over High Point marked head coach Dave Shondell's 12th victory in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in as many trips to the postseason. Shondell has led Purdue to seven Sweet 16 appearances as well as two trips to the Elite Eight. This is Purdue's 19th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history.

The Boilermakers finished the regular season fifth in the Big Ten, marking the 10th time in the last 15 seasons Purdue has placed fifth or better in the nation's toughest volleyball conference. Purdue's record marks the 10th time Purdue has earned 20 or more wins and 10 or more Big Ten wins with Shondell at the helm. This year's Purdue team is unique as it's the only squad in program history to defeat four top-10 programs in a single season.

With four top-10 wins this season, Purdue has 56 ranked wins under head coach Dave Shondell and of those wins, 41 were upsets. The Boilermakers have the chance to advance to 5-5 against ranked opponents this season.

Following dominant seasons, Danielle Cuttino and Sherridan Atkinson were both named unanimous All-Big Ten selections while Carissa Damler earned the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award. Cuttino and Atkinson are the 64th and 65th All-Big Ten honorees in program history and the 25th and 26th recipients under Shondell. With Purdue's win over No. 10 Michigan State in its regular season finale, Ashley Evans was named Big Ten Setter of the Week for the third time this season.

Notes

  • Purdue finishes the regular season at No. 16 in this week's AVCA Top-25 Coaches Poll and has been ranked in all 15 polls this year. The Boilermakers boast the nation's 25th best RPI.
  • Purdue's total home attendance of 35,749 fans this season ranks 12th in the nation.
  • Purdue hit .301 in the regular season season to rank second in the Big Ten and eighth in the country.
  • Ashley Evans finished the regular season as a three-time Big Ten Setter of the Week (10/2, 11/13, 11/27). She became the only Boilermaker in program history to register 4,000 assists and 1,000 digs. She's one-of-three three-time Academic All-District honorees in program history and has the chance to become the first three-time Academic All-American in the history of Purdue Volleyball.
    Evans is averaging 11.50 assists per set ranking her third in the conference. She ranked second in the Big Ten play with an 11.65 assists per set average.
  • Danielle Cuttino earned her second espnW Player of the Week honor of her career this season and was named a unanimous All-Big Ten selection for the second time in as many seasons.
  • She's is hitting .335 this season with a 4.10 kills per set average. Her kills per set average is good for second in the Big Ten and she leads the Big Ten in total kills with 459. Cuttino finished conference play as the leader in kills per set (4.17) and total kills (300).
  • Danielle Cuttino is hitting .329, averaging 3.94 kills per set and 1.12 blocks per set since she moved to the middle back on October 20 against Penn State.
  • Sherridan Atkinson earned her first unanimous All-Big Ten selection after she's set career best totals in every statistical category in 2017. The redshirt junior has registered 387 kills on 837 swings to earn a .324 hitting percentage, along with 23 aces, 99 digs and 79 blocks over the course of 112 sets. In league play she posted similar numbers with 252 kills, 3.50 kills per set, a .329 hitting percentage to go along with 15 aces, 71 digs and 46 blocks in 72 sets
  • Danielle Cuttino and Sherridan Atkinson elevated their game in each of Purdue's four wins over top-10 opponents. In just 15 sets, Cuttino averaged 4.73 kills per set with 71 kills and a .417 hitting percentage while blocking 1.13 balls per set. Atkinson also averaged 4.00 kills per set with 60 kills and a .350 hitting percentage in 15 sets while averaging 1.20 digs per set and .80 blocks per set.
  • Brooke Peters continues to improve in her first season as Purdue's libero as she has earned a 3.81 digs per set average in conference play to rank sixth in the league. The average is the second best in the conference among first-year liberos.
  • Freshman Jena Otec finished her first season in the Big Ten as the conference's leader in service aces in league play. Otec registered a .38 service aces per set average with 27 total over the course of 72 sets.
     

     

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