WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — Danielle Cuttino, Sherridan Atkinson and Carissa Damler earned Big Ten postseason awards following their efforts through the 2017 regular season. Cuttino and Atkinson were both unanimous All-Big Ten selections while Damler earned the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award.
It didn’t matter where Cuttino was on the floor, she has set the bar for Big Ten hitters this season. The senior out of Indianapolis, Indiana, began the season as an outside hitter but was moved to the middle in order to get her more involved in Purdue’s blocking scheme on Oct. 20, against No. 1 Penn State. Overall, she finished second in the league averaging 4.08 kills per set with 441 total kills complemented by a .334 hitting percentage. In conference play she led the league with 300 kills and a 4.17 kills per set average to go along with her .310 hitting percentage and 1.01 blocks per set average. This is her second unanimous All-Big Ten selection.
Atkinson has created havoc for opposing defenses focused on Cuttino, complementing the senior’s efforts nicely in what has been a breakthrough performance for the 6-5 right side out of Long Beach, California. She’s set career best totals in every statistical category in 2017, earning 376 kills on 809 swings to earn a .329 hitting percentage, along with 23 aces, 93 digs and 75 blocks over the course of 108 sets. In league play she posted similar numbers with 252 kills, 3.50 kills per set, a .329 hitting percentage to go along with 15 aces, 71 digs and 46 blocks in 72 sets. This is her first all-conference selection.
The two showed why they are two of the best student-athletes in the Big Ten in each of Purdue’s four wins over top-10 opponents. In just 15 sets, Cuttino averaged 4.73 kills per set with 71 kills and a .417 hitting percentage while blocking 1.13 balls per set. Atkinson also averaged 4.00 kills per set with 60 kills and a .350 hitting percentage in 15 sets while averaging 1.20 digs per set and .80 blocks per set. They are the 64th and 65th All-Big Ten honorees in program history and the 25th and 26th recipients under Dave Shondell.
Damler has grown to become one of Purdue’s most beloved leaders. Averaging 1.32 digs per set as a three-rotation defensive specialist, her energy on the court has elevated the play of her teammates night-after-night. Fans have grown to admire the effort and passion she plays with on every point. With a number of younger players looking up to her, it’s her leadership that will have an impact on this program for years to come.