Match Notes 15: NCAA First and Second Rounds

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM The No. 19 Boilermakers will face off with the Central Arkansas Sugar Bears in the NCAA First Round.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
The No. 19 Boilermakers will face off with the Central Arkansas Sugar Bears in the NCAA First Round.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

Dec. 3, 2013

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -

The Slate
2013 NCAA Tournament
Hearnes Center; Columbia, Mo.
Tournament Central page

Friday, Dec. 6:
5:30 p.m. (EST) Central Arkansas vs. Purdue
Video: http://www.mutigers.com/allaccess/?media=422978
Audio: purduesports.com

7:30 p.m. (EST) IUPUI vs. Missouri Video: http://www.mutigers.com/allaccess/?media=422969

Saturday, Dec. 7:
8:30 p.m. (EST) Winner of Match 1 vs. Winner of Match 2
Video: MizzouNetwork.com

The Book on the Boilermakers
At First Glance: The No. 19 Boilermakers (20-11, 11-9 Big Ten) are making their fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance and ninth in the last 10 seasons. Purdue posted a 23-11 record, including a fifth place finish in Big Ten play and a Sweet 16 berth in 2012. Purdue's roster features 11 returning players, including five starters, from that team. Head coach Dave Shondell is in his 11th season with the team.

Last Time Out: The Boilermakers finished out the regular season on a four-match win streak, sweeping Indiana in Bloomington on Wednesday to maintain possession of the Monon Spike travelling trophy and outlasting No. 19 Michigan State in five sets on Senior Night at home on Saturday.

Statistically Speaking: Outside hitter Catherine Rebarchak leads a group of six hitters averaging nearly two kills per set or more. Rebarchak is averaging 2.92 kills per set and also adds 0.67 blocks per set. Setter/outside hitter Val Nichol has put down 2.76 kills per set, while also dishing out 6.00 assists per set and managing 1.74 digs and 0.61 blocks per set. Outside hitters Sam Epenesa (2.27), Annie Drews (1.90) and Katie Griffin (1.74) and middle blocker KiKi Jones (2.09) round out the group. Jones is hitting at a team-best .393 clip and adds a team-leading 1.20 blocks per set and 23 aces to the team's tallies. Redshirt freshman middle blocker Faye Adelaja adds 1.09 blocks per set to go with 1.36 kills per stanza.

Defensively, libero Carly Cramer leads the way with 4.02 digs per set. Defensive specialists Hilliary Fox (2.61) and Amanda Neill (1.89), setter Rachel Davis (1.95), and Nichol (1.74) follow. Cramer has served up a team-best 31 aces, followed by Neill (28), Jones (23) and Nichol (20). As a team, Purdue is hitting .240 and has served up 134 aces.

Series Information
Central Arkansas: This is the first meeting between the Boilermakers and the Sugar Bears.

IUPUI (Purdue leads the series 2-0): Purdue has won both previous meetings with the Jaguars, winning via sweep in West Lafayette on Oct. 9, 2001, and Oct. 29, 2002.

Missouri (Purdue leads the series 2-0): Purdue has won both previous meetings with the Tigers, taking five set wins on Sept. 15, 1984, at the Louisville Invitational and on Sept. 4, 2004, at the Badger Challenge in Madison, Wis.

What a Difference a Win Makes...
If the Boilermakers top Central Arkansas on Friday:

• They will move to 21-11 overall and extend their current win streak to five matches.

• They will advance to the NCAA Tournament second round for the fourth straight year and ninth time under Coach Shondell.

• They will improve to 23-20 all-time when playing in the month of December, including a 3-0 mark when playing on Dec. 6.

Scouting The Sugar Bears
At First Glance: The Central Arkansas Sugar Bears (29-3, 18-0 Southland) are making their second straight NCAA Tournament appearance after earning the Southland Conference title and tournament title for the second year in a row. UCA brings a 22-match win streak into the postseason, the team's last loss coming on Sept. 14. The team returns eight letterwinners from the 2012 squad which went 30-5, finished 15-3 in Southland play and made its first ever NCAA appearance. Central Arkansas is coached by David McFatrich, who is in his seventh year with the team.

Last Time Out: The Sugar Bears have won 22 straight matches including three to secure the Southland Tournament title, Nov. 24. Central Arkansas swept Stephen F. Austin, topped Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in four sets and outlasted Northwestern State in five sets in Corpus Christi to claim the title.

Statistically Speaking: Outside hitter Heather Schnars leads the UCA offense with 3.57 kills per set, while hitting at a .275 clip and adding a team-best 54 aces and 1.75 digs per set. Middle blocker Jessica Nagy (2.98), outside hitter Scout Brooks (2.28) and middle blocker Paige Gantar (2.19) also add more than two kills per set. Middle blocker/outside hitter Alicia Dittrich (1.82) and middle blocker Fulani Petties (1.78) follow. Gantar is hitting at a team-best .342 clip, while Dittrich and Petties come in at a .322 and .320. Gantar also leads the team at the net with 0.83 blocks per set.

Defensively, libero Shelbee Berringer leads the way with 4.89 digs per set. Setter Marissa Collins (2.26), Brooks (1.84) and Schnars (1.75) also aid the defense. As a team, Central Arkansas is hitting .259 and has served up 185 aces.

Talking About the Tigers
At First Glance: The No. 4 Missouri Tigers (34-0, 18-0 SEC) are playing in their first NCAA Tournament since 2011 and 11th all-time after earning the SEC title and the conference's automatic bid. Missouri returns seven letterwinners, including six starters, from the 2012 squad which went 19-12 and finished 10-10 in SEC play. The Tigers are coached by Wayne Kreklow, who is in his 14th year with the team, including nine years as head coach.

Last Time Out: The Tigers have lost just eight sets all season, most recently sweeping its last five foes. Last week, Mizzou topped No. 16 Kentucky and Arkansas on Nov. 24 and 27 respectively.

Statistically Speaking: Outside hitter Lisa Henning headlines the Tiger offense, averaging 4.29 kills per set, while hitting at a .339 clip and adding 2.21 blocks per set and 26 aces to the team's tallies. Outside hitter Carly Kan has put down 3.19 kills per set, while hitting .360 and chipping in 2.71 digs per set and 34 aces. Outside hitter Emily Wilson (2.57) and middle blocker Whitney Little (2.35) also average more than two kills per set. Little is hitting at a team-best .473 clip, while also putting up a team-leading 1.23 blocks per set.

Defensively, libero Sarah Meister leads the way with 3.99 digs per set, followed by Kan (2.71), setter Molly Kreklow (2.41) Henning (2.21) and setter/defensive specialist Loxley Keala (1.83). Kreklow also dishes out 12.65 assists per set and has served up a team-best 35 aces. Middle blocker Emily Thater and Kan follow with 34 aces apiece. As a team, Missouri is hitting .362 and has served up 172 aces.

An Inkling About IUPUI
At First Glance: The IUPUI Jaguars (19-13, 11-3 Summit League) are making their NCAA Tournament debut after winning the Summit League regular season and tournament titles. IUPUI returns seven letterwinners, including five starters, from the 2012 squad which went 22-10 and won the Summit League regular season title. The Jaguars are coached by Steve Payne, who is in his 16th year with the team.

Last Time Out: The Jaguars ended the regular season on a four-match win streak, including Summit League Tournament wins over IPFW (3-2) and Denver (3-0) on Nov. 23 and 24 in Indianapolis.

Statistically Speaking: Outside hitters Moriah Fair, Kaitlyn Hickey and Kelly Wachtel provide the bulk of the Jaguar offense. Fair averages 3.87 kills per set, while also adding 2.59 digs per set and 23 aces. Hickey has put down 3.39 kills per set, while chipping in 3.25 digs per set and 22 aces. Wachtel adds 2.67 kills per set, while hitting at a team-best .281 clip.

Defensively, libero Beth Howard leads the way with 4.76 digs per set, followed by Hickey (3.25), setter Alexis Meeks (2.77), Fair (2.59) and outside hitter Meredith Farkas (1.97). Meeks also has dished out 10.71 assists per set and served up 30 aces, while Farkas has registered 47 aces. At the net, middle blockers Kortni Wright and Logan Walling lead the team with 0.84 blocks per set each. As a team, IUPUI is hitting .227 and has served up 172 aces.

Common Foes
Central Arkansas played Penn State on Sept. 14 at the Florida Gulf Coast Tournament, falling 0-3. The Boilermakers fell to the Nittany Lions in a five set match, Oct. 5 and in three sets on Nov. 8.

Missouri played Pittsburgh August 30, winning in four sets, while Purdue topped the Panthers in five sets on Sept. 14.

IUPUI faced Ohio State Sept 13 and Northwestern Sept. 22, falling to both via sweep. Purdue split with the Buckeyes, winning in three Oct. 4 and falling in four Nov. 9, and lost both of its meetings with the Wildcats, falling in five on Oct. 12 in West Lafayette and in four sets in Evanston, Nov. 15.

Poll Position
The Boilermakers moved up a spot to No. 19 in the AVCA Coaches Poll after spending last week at No. 20. 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 47 consecutive polls dating to Nov. 29, 2010.

This week's ranking is Purdue's 143rd 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 2.51, and 61st in hitting percentage (.240). Individually, junior KiKi Jones ranks 29th in hitting percentage (.393), and fourth in the Big Ten.