Dec. 16, 2011
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Boilermaker volleyball team will celebrate the 2011 season, including a Sweet 16 run, as well as the careers of three seniors at its annual postseason banquet on Jan. 14.
The event, which will take place at 12:30 p.m. on Jan. 14 in the Buchanan Club of Ross-Ade Pavilion, is open to the public. Tickets may be purchased for $30 from volleyball secretary DeEtta Hawkes (firstname.lastname@example.org or 765-494-4776). Checks should be made out to Purdue Federal. Deadline for purchase is Friday, Jan. 6.
The team will celebrate the season, which marked Purdue's best since 1985. The Boilermakers posted a 29-5 record, its best since a 34-4 mark in 1985, and a 16-4 Big Ten finish, also its best since 1985 when the program went 17-1 en route to a Big Ten title. Purdue finished second in the Big Ten, its best conference placing since 1987. The 2011 Boilermakers defeated seven ranked opponents, a program record.
The squad advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fifth time since 2005 (also 2006, 2008, 2010). The accomplishment makes Purdue one of just nine schools with at least five third round appearances in the last seven years.
The team also will recognize its three seniors, who have contributed heavily to the Boilermakers' success. Since Blair Bashen's arrival five years ago, the Boilermakers have put together a 112-56 record, including four NCAA Tournament berths and three Sweet 16 appearances. The squad is 93-42 since Emily Ehlers and Tiffany Fisher's true freshman season in 2008, with three NCAA appearances and 16 wins over ranked opponents, including five over Top 10 teams.
In her five years as a Boilermaker, Blair Bashen earned a spot on the career digs list, ranking seventh with 1,265, and is one nine players in the 30-dig club and one of only four players to reach the milestone twice. The Houston, Texas native recorded her 1,000th career dig against No. 9 Penn State earlier this season, and wrapped up her career ranked eighth on Purdue's all-time list with 1,265. All told, she posted 10 or more digs 60 times, including 15 efforts of 20 or more and two 30-plus dig performances. The defensive specialist played in 111 matches, averaging 3.21 digs per set, good for fifth-best all-time, and racking up 72 aces and 192 assists along the way. An organizational leadership and supervision major, Blair will graduate in May of 2012.
Emily Ehlers became the 14th Purdue player to reach the 1,000 dig milestone on Nov. 10. All told, she pulled up 1,087 digs, including 50 double-digit efforts and 20-or-more saves on three occasions. She has averaged 2.51 digs per set, while also recording 48 aces and 176 assists. The Mishawaka, Ind., native also made good on 97 percent of her serve reception opportunities in 116 matches. A selling and sales management major, Emily will graduate in May of 2013.
Tiffany Fisher, an honorable mention All-America and unanimous All-Big Ten selection, ranked 10th nationally in hitting percentage this season (.394) and second on the Purdue season list, while putting down 2.52 kills per set. The senior ranks ninth in career block assists at Purdue with 322. All told, the Topeka, Ind. native averaged 2.25 kills per set in her career, while hitting at a .322 clip, third-best all-time, and putting up 0.88 blocks per set. Fisher posted 10 or more kills in 38 matches and five or more blocks 25 times. An Honorable Mention All-Big Ten selection in 2009, she also managed 64 aces, including a team-leading tally in 2010 and 2011, and 204 digs in her 115-match career. An education major, Tiffany will graduate in May of 2013.