After a surprising win last week at Ohio State, Purdue volleyball dropped one against IU. This weekend they're back in action at home to take on #10 Minnesota and try to regain a foothold in the B1G.
I'll just get this out of the way now: I realize that Wednesday's loss was disappointing, but the best thing to do is just to move forward and focus on the task at hand. This goes not just for the players, but for the fans as well. We're still 4th in the B1G and still a very good team.
Now, about Minnesota, they're also a very good team in a conference full of them. The theme to this team really seems to be balance as 4 hitters average over 2 kills a set, paced by Katherine Harms at 4.38. She's joined by Tori Dixon in the middle who averages 3.10 as well as Ashley Wittman and Daly Santana at 2.97 and 2.29 respectively. Dixon is hitting an impressive .455 and leads the team with .93 blocks per set. The team splits time between two setters, Alexandra Palmer leads with 9.31 assists per set, but Mia Tabberson also has a respectable 4.17.
On defense, you see pretty much the same pattern of excellence by spreading the load. Ashley Wittman leads the team with 2.9 digs per set, but she's followed closely by defensive specialist Lindsey Lawmaster at 2.76 and Harms as well as Santana are both over 2.
Minnesota as a team hits an impressive .313 as a whole, in no small part due to their balance of talented hitters across the board, but the thing that Purdue fans should watch out for is aces which Minnesota has tallied 110 of, led by Daly Santana with 35.
For Purdue to hold serve at home and come away with a very good win, they'll need to make sure that they keep their heads on a swivel and be prepared to defend every part of the court at all times from service until the whistle. If they can do that then there's no doubt that this Purdue team has the talent to come away with the win.
As usual, Purdue Athletics' has a wonderful game preview (though I have to warn you it also has the IU preview as well)