After the first weekend, Purdue volleyball looked to be one of the best teams in the country after sweeping the Mortar Board Premier and then #21 Northern Iowa. But then came now #5 Washington and #12 Louisville, each sweeping Purdue in the LSU Tiger Classic and the Big Ten/Big East Challenge respectively, causing Purdue to fall out of the top 10 down to #14 in the country, with other teams behind them catching up. To make matters worse, Northern Iowa, Purdue lone quality win so far, has fallen out of the Top 25 after starting the season 7-4.
Purdue now comes into the Active Ankle Challenge limping (no pun intended) after two rough weekend. Though Jacksonville State, UAB, and Bowling Green aren't that impressive, Purdue NEEDS to do well this weekend before Big Ten Play starts next weekend against Michigan State and Michigan up in East Lansing and Ann Arbor respectively.
The Active Ankle Challenge this year will be unique as it will be hosted in Mackey Arena instead of Belin Court and the IAF. My guess is because this will help prepare Purdue staff get ready for the NCAA Tournament and the West Lafayette regional this December. Purdue hasn't had a game in Mackey since before 2009 (not sure on the exact year, I just know they haven't played in their the entire time I've been at Purdue). I don't think it will get as loud as the Boiler Box, but the fans will still be able to make some noise in there.
For those who are going to the football game this Saturday, if you bring your football ticket stub to the ticket office, tickets for the volleyball game that night against Bowling Green are only $2! I expect Purdue to win all 3 games, but if they continue to play the way they did the last two tournaments, I wouldn't be surprised if they struggle a little bit, I just hope there are no upsets this weekend.
Since I'm in the middle of graduate school applications, I am just going to provide links after the jump that will allow you to scout each team on your own.
Jacksonville State University Gamecocks
2012 Record: 6-5
Ohio Valley Conference (OVC)
UAB Women's Volleyball
2012 Record: 4-6
Conference USA (C-USA)
Bowling Green Falcons
2012 Record: 2-6
Mid-American Conference (MAC)