WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Amanda Neill has been through the ups and downs during her first two years at Purdue, but head coach Dave Shondell believes the junior can become the best libero to ever play for the Boilermakers.
The Academic All-Big Ten selection played in all 35 matches last season, starting 16. She pulled up 1.90 digs per set and reached double digits in five matches. She led the team in digs three times, including against No. 4 USC and No. 9 Minnesota. Neill also served up a team-best 32 aces and ranked seventh in aces per set among Big Ten players and 10th in aces per set during conference play.
With all that being said, having confidence in herself is something she has struggled with. Head coach Dave Shondell has seen a difference during the transition between year two and three in the program.
“Confidence, a mentality of toughness and a belief that she belongs out there. That’s one thing during her career that she’s fought. Whether it’s because she is local or wasn’t highly recruited or played behind Cramer. I love Carly Cramer but I also love Amanda Neill,” said Shondell.
Neill is replacing Cramer this season as the Boilermaker libero and as good as Cramer was, coach Shondell believes Neill can be even better with the work ethic that the former McCutcheon Maverick shows on a daily basis.
“Amanda Neill has all of the ingredients to be the best libero we’ve ever had at Purdue and maybe the best libero in the country by the time her senior year comes around. Last spring, she really wasn’t very good at playing left back. This fall, it’s incredible how much she’s improved in such a short amount of time that I think she’s going to be outstanding for us,” said Shondell.
Neill has managed double-digit digs in 14 career matches and racked up 408 digs thus far.