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Purdue Volleyball: Maryland and Wisconsin Preview

Boilers face Maryland Wednesday night, then hit the road to play #3 Wisconsin Saturday. Purdue has been showing improvement, true test will be against the Badgers.

Purdue Volleyball

It seems Purdue (14-9, 4-8) might be turning the corner, we’re not sure though. Two weeks ago they lost to Northwestern then beat #22 Illinois. Last weekend they beat #13 Michigan, who was coming off a win over Penn State, then lost to #15 Michigan State. While Michigan State is way better than Northwestern it was still disappointing that they couldn’t beat the Spartans. Purdue was on a win streak for the first time in conference play and playing at home, but couldn’t get it done against a tough serving Sparty team.

A win this weekend over #3 Wisconsin could turn this conference season around. First though, they face Maryland Wednesday night at 6:00 ET on BTN. Saturday they play in Madison at 8:00 ET.

Key Players

class, position, # name , stats, (statistical rank nationally, in the conference)

Postions: M- middle blocker, OH- outside hitter, Opp- opposite hitter, DS- defensive specialist, L- libero, S- setter

Stats: K/S- kills/set, B/S- blocks/set, D/S- digs/set. .000- hitting percentage, A/S- assists/set, SA/S service aces/set

So. DS 3 Brooke Peters- 2.16 D/S

Jr. S 5 Ashley Evans- 10.69 A/S (41, 5), 2.17 D/S, 0.28 SA/S

Fr. L 7 Natalie Haben- 3.07 D/S (12), 0.25 SA/S

Jr. OH 10 Azariah Stahl- 2.67 K/S, 2.41 D/S

Sr. M 13 Faye Adelaja- 2.23 K/S, .392 (23, 3), 0.75 B/S

So. Opp 16 Sherridan Atkinson- 0.62 B/S

Rs Fr. M 17 Blake Mohler- .287, 1.01 B/S

Jr. OH 20 Danielle Cuttino- 4.0 K/S (49, 3), .275. 0.61 B/S

Purdue will have to shore up their passing after surrendering, 13 aces to MSU, nine to one server. Wisconsin serves tough, 1.38 aces per set, fourth best in the conference. Besides passing, another ongoing issue has been the lack of production from Azariah Stahl. Stahl can get it done, against Minnesota she was 17 for 29 committing only two hitting errors. We haven’t seen a performance like that from her since though. When we lost to Wisconsin in five sets Z had seven hitting errors to go with her eight kills. When there is a bad pass and Purdue is out of system, Z and and all the other hitters have got to keep it in play. Purdue will also need production from the middles to keep teams from keying in their block on Cuttino and Stahl.

Today the AVCA announced the Under Armour High School All-Americans. Three future Boilers were honored. Outside hitter Hayley Bush from Union, KY and libero Julianna Reisinger from Rancho Santa Margarita, CA were third team selections. Jena Otec, an outside hitter from Festus, MO was honorable mention.

Wisconsin Preview

Since Purdue faced Wisconsin (18-3, 10-2) the Badgers have gotten swept by Minnesota and Nebraska and beaten Penn State. Since the loss at home to the Gophers Kelli Bates has played libero, with the exception of the match against Rutgers. This stability has seemed to help Wisconsin and looks like a lineup they will stick with. The Badgers are balanced and do a lot of things well.

Key Players

Sr. S 1 Lauren Carlini- 11.47 A/S (9, 2), .84 B/S, 2.76 D/S (14), 0.35 SA/S (6)

Sr. OH/Opp 2 Romana Kriskova- 2.15 K/S, .261

Jr. OH/L 4 Kelli Bates- 3.86 D/S (8)

Jr. OH 3 Lauryn Gillis*- 2.96 K/S (15)

So. M 11 Tionna Williams**- 2.22 K/S, .355 (7), 1.29 B/S (42, 5)

Sr. M 13 Haleigh Nelson- 2.49 K/S, .381 (34, 4), 1.07 B/S (13), 0.32 SA/S (8)

Fr. DS/S 19 M.E. Dodge- 2.36 D/S

Fr. OH 23 Molly Haggerty- 3.21 K/S (11), 2.25 D/S

* Gillis is a New Castle native.

** Williams went to Concordia Lutheran in Fort Wayne

Maryland Preview

Despite being only 2-9 in conference play, 10-13 overall, Maryland has been competitive. Last week they got an upset win over then #19 Ohio State in five sets. They pushed Michigan and Illinois to five sets. They’ve played a fairly rigorous schedule, only facing one other team that is in the bottom four of the conference thus far. A strength for the Terrapins has been their blocking, 2.64 blocks per set, fifth best in the conference.

Key Players

Jr. MB 2 Hailey Murray- .251, 0.89 B/S

Fr. S 7 Taylor Smith***- 8.63 A/S (12)

So. L 8 Kelsey Wicinkski- 4.33 D/S (2), 0.27 SA/S

So. OH 12 Liz Twilley- 2.22 K/S

So. Opp 13 Angel Gaskin- 1.05 B/S

Fr. OH 14 Gia Milana- 3.96 K/S (6), 2.35 D/S

Sr. MB 18 Ashlyn McGregor- .311, 1.49 B/S

*** Smith is from Garrett, IN

Big Ten Standings

AVCA Rankings

Top 5

  1. Nebraska
  2. Minnesota
  3. Wisconsin
  4. Kansas
  5. Texas

Kansas leapfrogged Texas after they beat the Longhorns in five sets. San Diego fell out of the top five after losing to BYU.

Big Ten teams:

11. Penn State

16. Michigan State

17. Michigan

22. Ohio State

Receiving votes- Purdue, Illinois

The win over then #13 Michigan was not enough to get Purdue back into the top 25 after the subsequent loss to #15 MSU. Also hurting their case was the fact Michigan also lost to IU.

RPI Standings

Top 5

  1. Nebraska
  2. Wisconsin
  3. Texas
  4. Minnesota
  5. San Diego

Big Ten Teams in top 40:

11. Michigan

12. Michigan State

17. Purdue

24. Penn State

25. Ohio State