It's finally almost here! Purdue takes on Northern Iowa tomorrow in a matchup that Juan will preview for all of you before the game. The player we're profiling today is Rachel Davis, and there's no doubt that she's the one holding the keys to the offense, even if Ariel Turner is the engine that makes it go.
Rachel Davis (Redshirt Junior)
Kalamazoo, Mich. (Plainwell HS)
2012 Projection: Starter
Rachel Davis is the hypothetical point guard of the offense and it's her sets (10.04 per set, good for 5th in the Big Ten) that let the big guns like Ariel Turner and Val Nichol wreck havok on opposing teams. She came into Purdue as the 56th best prospect in the country and redshirted for a year because we already had a very talented setter in Jaclyn Hart. Following Hart's graduation, Rachel stepped right in last year and picked up where Jaclyn left off bringing a combination of skills to the setter position for Purdue.
In addition to getting the ball where it needs to go on offense, Rachel brings another assortment of skills as well. At 6 feet tall she was good for 50 blocks in 34 starts last year. She also averaged 2.51 digs per set, posting double-digit digs 13 times, each time getting a double-double with assists. With 5 aces she was a solid server as well, so there was never a need to take her off the volleyball court.
This year we're going to see more of the same with Rachel with high level play in all phases of the game. The difference is that we're going to see her move around a little bit more with Valerie Nichol taking setting duties at times to throw the defense off. Because of Rachel's well rounded play (if I hadn't made that part clear) she should be able to work well in this system and it will make our offense much less stagnant than we were at times when everyone knew the ball was going to go from Davis to Turner each time and they geared up to stop that and only that.