Dec. 13, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Outside hitter Ariel Turner garnered the ultimate honor for a volleyball student-athlete as she was named as the Capitol One Academic All-American of the Year on Thursday.
Turner is the first Academic All-American of the Year for Purdue in any sport since Drew Brees received the honor for football in 2000. A two-time Academic All-American, the outside hitter garners first team accolades this year following second team honors in 2011. She is Purdue volleyball's first two-time Academic All-American since Barbara Meeker received GTE second team honors in 1987 and third team accolades in 1988.
"This is a huge honor," Turner said. "There are a lot of great student-athletes in the country. It is great to be recognized for my accomplishments in the classroom and on the court. It is nice that people recognize that student-athletes are more than just athletes. To be recognized for doing both really well is really cool."
The honor comes just a day after Turner received second team AVCA All-America acclaim for her performance on the court and is the latest for the Highlands Ranch, Colo., native who also was named as a Senior CLASS Award finalist, an AVCA All-Mideast Region and Unanimous All-Big Ten selection in 2012. The senior also received Academic All-District V first team and Academic All-Big Ten honors for her work in the classroom.
Turner averaged 4.48 kills per set, while also compiling 5.12 point per set, ranking 13th and 11th nationally in the categories and ranking first and second in the Big Ten. She also contributed 2.75 digs per set to the team's tallies. The senior became Purdue's seventh member of the 1,000-kill, 1,000-dig club as she posted her 1,000th career dig against Colorado State in the NCAA First Round. She was named Big Ten Player of the Week twice (Oct. 1 and Nov. 26) and Defensive Player of the Week once (Oct. 15) before garnering unanimous All-Big Ten honors after posting 4.64 kills and 5.26 points per set in league play.
Turner led the Boilermakers in kills 30 times, while posting 28 double-digit efforts, including 20 or more on 10 occasions. She also added 2.75 digs per set, including 18 double-digit performances and six team-leading efforts. The senior put together 16 kills/digs double-doubles. She also put up 83 blocks, including five or more four times and three team-leading efforts. The 2011 Big Ten Player of the Year served up 28 aces, including a career-best seven at Cincinnati, a tally which ranks tied for fourth in Purdue history and tied for third in a four-set match. She also aided the team in the passing rotation, making good on 94 percent of her 346 serve reception chances.
All told in 2012, Turner took 1,622 swings, ranking second in season attempts, while also piling up 555 kills and 4.48 kills per set, ranking sixth in each category. She led Purdue to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the third straight season and was named to the West Lafayette Regional All-Tournament team.
Turner is the Purdue record holder for hitting attempts with 5,578 and also wraps up her career ranked second in kills (1,906) and kills per set (3.89). She tallied double-digit kills in 108 matches, double-digit digs in 41 matches and 38 double doubles. In 2011, she became Purdue's first dual athletic and academic all-America honoree since 1984 and first Big Ten Player of the Year since 1985. Turner garnered first team All-American honors and second team Academic All-America honors last year.