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Purdue Volleyball: Boiler Box Challenge Preview

It's Family Weekend on campus and the Purdue Volleyball team has some sibling rivalry matches to celebrate the occasion, not to mention a match in Mackey Saturday night.

Since the last time we checked in with the team they've gone 3-2 for a 6-2 overall record. In St. Louis Purdue swept UAPB; the team was led by Azariah Stahl 18 kills, Ashley Evans 30 assists, Brooke Peters 4 aces, Amanda Neill 12 digs, and Faye Adelaja 2 blocks. Next the team was swept by #12 BYU; Annie Drews 14 kills, Evans 27 assists, Evans and Peters 2 aces, Evans 10 digs, and Adelaja 2 blocks. Purdue ended their time in St. Louis with a 3-1 win over the host Billikens; Drews 23 kills, Evans 47 assists, Alexa Smith and Peters 2 aces, Neill 26 digs, and Danielle Cuttino 3.5 blocks. Last weekend the team played at the LSU Tournament. Purdue played well in their first match sweeping the LSU Tigers; Drews 11 kills, Evans 33 assists, Drews 1 ace, Neill 12 digs, Cuttino 4.5 blocks. Against Miami (FL) Purdue lost a five set battle; Drews 23 kills, Evans 48 assists, Neill 2 aces, Neill 19 digs, Cuttino 3 blocks.

This weekend Purdue is hosting the Boiler Box Challenge and will play a match in Mackey Arena Saturday night; teams competing are South Dakota, Ball State, and Notre Dame.

The first of two Friday, sibling rivalry matches pit sister against sister. After missing the first weekend of play Lydia Dimke is back in the lineup. Friday morning at 10:00 A.M. she'll square off against her sister Sydney Dimke who is senior outside hitter for South Dakota. The Coyotes are 4-6 this season having played some stiff competition losing to #13 Ohio State, #16 Arizona, and Wyoming who is receiving votes. Syndey Dimke is one of the Yotes statistical leaders with 3.19 kills/set and 2.50 digs/set. Other statistics for the Yotes: Audrey Reeg 3.22 k/s, 2.53 d/s; Lindsey Brown 1.78 k/s, .298 hitting percentage; Kelsey Biltoft 1.75 k/s, .352, .88 blocks/set; Brittany Jessen 9.5 assists/set, 13 aces; Lauren Mattison 3.25 d/s; and Kaitlyn Hastings 2.5 d/s. As a team the Yotes hit .196 and have served 47 aces so far this season.

Friday night it will be Shondell vs Shondell. Head Coach Dave Shondell and assistant John Shondell will take on BSU head coach Steve Shondell. After having an illustrious career as head coach at Muncie Burris Steve took over Ball State's women's program and is now in his sixth year. This isn't the first meeting for the brothers back in 2011 Purdue defeated the Cardinals, the latest win a run of 20 to lead the series 20-4. BSU assistant Kelli Miller is a former Boilermaker who is the program digs leader. Current Cardinal leaders are: Alex Fuelling 3.79 k/s, .279, 2.96 d/s; Ellie Dunn 2.36 k/s; Kelly Hopkins 2.32 k/s, .97 b/s; Mackenzie Kitchel 2.73 k/s; Jenna Spadafora 10.0 a/s, 10 aces, 2.31 d/s, .79 b/s; Bailey Baumer 2.21 d/s; Katie Vasalakis 4.21 d/s; Merissa Hine 2.09 d/s, Jessica Lindsey 1.0 b/s; and Amanda Raker .96 b/s. The Cards hit .183 and have served 37 aces.

Purdue will the end weekend with a match in Mackey against Notre Dame Saturday night at 8:00 P.M. Notre Dame is under new leadership this year. New coach Jim McLaughlin has won National Championships on both the men's and women's side as a coach. While ND is certainly not there yet I'm sure this series (Purdue leads 13-7) will tighten up in the coming years. Right now though Notre Dame is 4-5 on the season. Key players for the Irish are: Sam Fry 3.09 k/s, .86 b/s; Katie Higgins 2.27 k/s, .274, .77 b/s; Rebecca Nunge 2.12 k/s, 1.0 b/s; Haley Bonneval 2.05 k/s; Maddie Dilfer 9.03 a/s, 10 aces; Syndey Kuhn 2.20 d/s; Ryann DeJarld 4.17 d/s; and Meg Morningstar 1.12 b/s. ND hits .172 and has served up 54 aces.

If you're on campus this weekend you should definitely try and make it to the volleyball game Saturday night, it's a great environment and tickets are cheap and easy to come by. Students get in free and tickets are $5 for the lower bowl $2 for the upper.

At this point in the season Purdue's statistical leaders are: Faye Adelaja 2.27 k/s, .438, .88 b/s; Annie Drews 4.07 k/s, .228, .78 b/s; Azariah Stahl 2.33 k/s; Sam Epenesa 2.00 k/s; Danielle Cuttino 1.78 k/s, .320, 1.33 b/s; Ashley Evans 10.63 a/s, 2.63 d/s; Brooke Peters 15 aces; and Amanda Neill 3.96 d/s, 10 aces. As a team the Boilers hit .260 and have served 47 aces.

AVCA Rankings

Two weeks ago Purdue stood at #24. They then moved to #20, and in this week's rankings they fell to #22. Penn State still stands at No.1. Other B1G teams in the top 25 are #4 Nebraska, #6 Illinois, #11 Wisconsin, #13 Ohio State, #20 Michigan, and #23 Minnesota. Iowa and Michigan State are receiving votes. So far Purdue's only ranked opponent has been BYU, but Miami and Ohio received votes In the latest poll.