WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - The 2013 Purdue volleyball slate features 16 matches on the friendly home boards of Belin Court as well as 10 contests against NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago, including six that advanced to the Sweet 16 or farther.
Purdue, which finished the 2012 season at No. 15 in the national rankings, will face off with eight foes that were listed in last year's final poll. The Boilermakers are set to take on No. 3 Penn State, No.5 Michigan, No. 6 USC, No. 7 Nebraska, No. 8 Minnesota, No. 16 Michigan State , No. 21 Western Kentucky and No. 22 Ohio State.
Season tickets to see the Boilermakers play at home on Belin Court go on sale June 3.
The Boilermakers open the 2013 season at home with the annual Mortar Board Premier, which will feature USC, Alabama A&M and Western Kentucky. Purdue will play its season opener against the No. 6 Trojans, a team which posted a 30-6 mark and an Elite Eight berth in 2012. Western Kentucky also advanced to the NCAAs for a third straight season, while tallying a 33-4 record and its second-straight Sun Belt Conference title. Alabama A&M is looking to improve on a 12-20 season and a second place finish in the Southwestern Athletic Conference's East Division.
Twenty Big Ten matches round out the schedule. The Boilermakers will play home and home contests against 10 conference foes, but will play Michigan and Michigan State once each, taking on the Wolverines only in Ann Arbor, and the Spartans in the season finale in West Lafayette.
Seven Big Ten teams, including Purdue, advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2012 with each making it to at least the second round. MSU and Purdue both saw their seasons end in the Sweet 16, while Minnesota and Nebraska made the Eight Eight and Penn State and Michigan earned Final Four berths. Four Big Ten teams finished the season in the national Top 10.
Purdue posted a 23-11 record and finished fifth in the league a year ago. The Boilermakers must replace four seniors, but add three redshirt freshmen and one true freshman to the roster mix.
It's been nearly a month since a tornado damaged Southwestern Middle School and Mintonye Elementary School, giving faculty the task of helping students transition to their new surroundings.
Donations are being accepted to help around 300 seniors receive a holiday gift.
Donations are needed for Food Finders Food Bank to aim at matching a grant that would match funds up to $20,000.