WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - The Boilermakers went 1-2 at their home opening Mortar Board Premier last weekend. Purdue fell to No. 4 USC 3-1 in the opener, rebounded with a sweep of Alabama A&M, but dropped a five-setter to No. 21 Western Kentucky to wrap the weekend.
In each loss the Boilers held a one set advantage against ranked teams in USC and Western Kentucky but weren't able to close out either one.
"We saw some spurts from some people that were really impressive, we've just have got to get some consistent play and I think again that comes down to the fact that for 78 matches in a row we relied a little to much on one player," said head coach Dave Shondell.
That one player Shondell is referring to is outside hitter Ariel Turner. During her senior season, Turner averaged 4.48 kills per set, while also compiling 5.12 point per set, ranking 13th and 11th nationally in the categories and ranking first and second in the Big Ten. She also contributed 2.75 digs per set to the team's tallies. The senior became Purdue's seventh member of the 1,000-kill, 1,000-dig club as she posted her 1,000th career dig against Colorado State in the NCAA First Round.
It hasn't been an easy transition but Dave Shondell believes this team has the talent and leadership to continue where Turner left off.
"Other people are going to have to step up and say I want the ball at crunch time, it's my time to go out and get something done for Purdue and we haven't quite gotten there yet. It may take some time but we don't have a whole lot of time to get there," said Shondell.
The No. 22 Boilermakers (1-2) will play a Friday exhibition match vs. Dabrowa, a professional team from Poland, before wrapping up the Golden Dome Invitational this weekend. The exhibition match is the first for the program since facing off with the Japanese U. All-Stars on Oct. 29, 1984.
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