WEST LAFAYETTE — Though Azariah Stahl is 5-foot-11, “she plays like she’s 6-1, 6-2,” Purdue volleyball coach Dave Shondell said Wednesday, Nov. 13, upon securing Stahl’s long-anticipated signature on an NCAA letter of intent.
Stahl’s signing gave the Boilermaker volleyball program four national top-50 recruits who each inked scholarships during the first day of the NCAA’s early signing period Wednesday.
An Elkhart Central senior, Stahl is the No. 21-rated prospect in her class as rated by PrepVolleyball.com.
The outside hitter is joined by No. 10 Danielle Cuttino, No. 20 Christina Ambrose and No. 50 Lydia Dimke as Boiler signees, according to the Purdue athletic department.
“This is a player who has done about everything you can possibly do at the club, high school and even playing junior national team,” Shondell said of Stahl via a YouTube video shared by Purdue. “She’s just done it all, and yet she still has this fire and tenacity to become great.”
Stahl committed to Purdue prior to her junior year of high school. Shondell says his staff first identified her when she was in sixth grade, and has continued to monitor her progress since then.
The coach pointed out that Stahl can touch “10 feet, 6 inches,” with her leaping ability, “which is higher than anybody we have in our program” now.
He also praised the recruit’s defense, serve and “complete game.”
Stahl, who helped lead the Blue Blazers to their first sectional title in 40 years this season and first regional title ever, said recently that she anticipates needing to “play all the way around,” in college.
She’ll join a Purdue roster that currently includes former Elkhart Central and Penn player Annie Drews.
A sophomore, Drews is fourth in blocks (55) and fifth in kills (176) for a Boiler team that is 16-9 (7-7 Big Ten) entering its Friday match at Northwestern.
Cuttino, a middle blocker, is from Ben Davis in Indianapolis. Ambrose is an outside hitter from Orlando, Fla., and Dimke a setter/outside hitter from Ham Lake, Minn.