Big Ten Snapshots: Post-Atkinson, Purdue Goes For More Balanced Offense

In the world of NCAA women’s volleyball, there’s no conference quite like the Big Ten. Heading into the 2019 season, seven of the 14 teams appeared in the AVCA preseason top-25 poll. Five of those seven ranked in the top 10. 

FloVolleyball will be your go-to spot to stream Big Ten matches this season. Click here for the schedule of matches.

*Schedule is subject to change. Every Big Ten's women's volleyball match available on BTN Plus also will be available live and on-demand on FloVolleyball. 

This week, we're bringing you a quick rundown of all 14 teams in the Big Ten, so you can know what to expect as teams get the season rolling this weekend.

Purdue Boilermakers

2018 Record: 24-9 (12-8 Big Ten)

2018 Postseason: NCAA Tournament second round

AVCA National Preseason Ranking: 17

Big Ten Preseason Ranking: 6

Purdue no longer has opposite Sheridan Atkinson, who ranked ninth in the country with 546 kills in 2018. And with the graduation of Atkinson—along with libero Brooke Peterson and Erin Williams, a middle who played sparingly in her final season—the Boilermakers enter 2019 with just four upperclassmen.

Nevertheless, longtime head coach Dave Shondell isn’t worried. 

For one, he’s high on sophomore hitter Grace Cleveland, who after playing on the left pin last year will make the move to right side to take the spot vacated by Atkinson. As for the outside hitter position that opens up as a result of Cleveland’s position change, Emma Ellis, Madeline Koch, or Maddy Chinn, all members of the No. 7-ranked Purdue 2019 recruiting class, could fill that role. 

Holding it all together will be redshirt sophomore Hayley Bush and sophomore Marissa Hornung, who earned the libero jersey midway through the 2018 season after starting out as a defensive specialist. Of course, don’t forget preseason All-Big Ten middle blocker Blake Mohler, who had 316 kills, hit .358, and tallied 140 blocks in 2018.

Kentucky knocked the Purdue out of the NCAA Tournament in December, so circle the rematch between the Boilermakers and the Wildcats on Sept. 18. This will be an early opportunity to see just how much we can expect from this year’s Purdue squad.

Watch Purdue in action this season on FloVolleyball. Upcoming matches below.

*Schedule subject to change.

Sept. 1 Purdue vs. Ohio 2 PM ET

Sept. 3 Purdue vs. Ball State 7 PM ET

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