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Purdue Volleyball: Week 6 Preview

The Boilers have their Big Ten home opener this weekend as they host Northwestern and Illinois; both matches will be televised.

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No. 17 Purdue (8-3, 0-2) is undefeated at home this season and will look to remain unbeaten as Northwestern and No. 18 Illinois come to Holloway Gymnasium. Purdue fell on the road last weekend to No. 13 Wisconsin and No. 7 Minnesota to open Big Ten play.

Friday at 8:00 ET on BTN Purdue faces the Wildcats. Sunday, Purdue will face Illinois at 3:00 ET on ESPNU.

Weekend Preview

Purdue needs to clean up the errors and be consistent this weekend. Purdue does not have to be spectacular to win this weekend but they can’t be their own worst enemy by giving away points at crucial times. They’ll also need the scorers to have more of a positive impact. Neither Caitlyn Newton or Grace Cleveland hit over .200 in either match last weekend which makes it nearly impossible for Purdue to win; the duo needs to keep more balls in play. Better sets from Hayley Bush will help the cause. While the passing has not been perfect the first contact is not the issue it has been in previous years. Purdue needs to clean up the second and third contacts to be successful this weekend.

Key Players

class, height, position, # name, stats (statistical rank nationally, in the conference)
Positions: MB- middle blocker, OH- outside hitter, RS- right side hitter, DS- defensive specialist, L- libero, S- setter
Stats: K/S- kills/set, B/S- blocks/set, D/S- digs/set. .000- hitting percentage, A/S- assists/set SA/S- service aces/set

So. 5’10 S 2 Hayley Bush- 10.8 A/S (25, 5) , 2.07 D/S

Jr. 6’1 OH 4 Caitlyn Newton- 3.83 K/S (5), .241

Sr. 6’2 MB 9 Shavona Cuttino- .320, 1.21 B/S (8)

So. 5’7 DS 10 Marissa Hornung- 2.93 D/S

Sr. 6’2 M 17 Blake Mohler- 2.23 K/S, .321 (14), 1.54 B/S (7, 2)

Jr. 5’10 DS 19 Jena Otec- 4.66 D/S (50, 2), 0.44 SA/S (3)

So. 6’3 OH 20 Grace Cleveland- 3.44 K/S (10), .265, 1.02 B/S

Illinois

The Illini (6-5, 1-1) were a Final Four team last season but have not looked like it this year. Expectations were high as they came in at six in the preseason AVCA poll. They beat Tennessee twice in the opening weekend then fell to Washington and Colorado the next weekend. Against the Buffalo, Avon native, Beth Prince who missed the first two matches got hurt and hasn’t been back in the lineup since. This has really hurt the Illini as they’ve had to shuffle their lineup and reserve Bruna Vrankovic hasn’t been very consistent. Jacqueline Quade, from Carroll - Fort Wayne, is still getting plenty of kills but has been committing a few more errors this season. If Purdue can frustrate Quade a little and keep Vrankovic from getting a rhythm Purdue should get the W.

Key Players

So. 5’8 DS 3 Taylor Kuper- 0.35 SA/S (14)

Fr. 6’0 S 5 Diana Brown- 10.47 A/S (42, 6), 2.26 D/S

Sr. 6’2 OH 7 Jacqueline Quade*- 4.53 K/S (17, 1), 0.3 SA/S (15) 4.55 15th

Sr. 6’3 OH 8 Beth Prince*- 2.86 K/S (14), .283

Sr. 6’4 MB 12 Ashlyn Fleming- 2.53 K/S, .367 (10), 1.13 B/S (12)

Jr. 6’4 OH/RS 15 Megan Cooney- 2.68 K/S

Jr. 5’8 L 16 Morgan O’Brien- 2.88 D/S (12), 0.38 SA/S (8)

Northwestern

The Wildcats (9-5, 0-2) have a phenomenal freshman in Temi Thomas-Ailara but the rest of the roster is lacking. Thomas-Ailara plays all six rotations and has a wicked top-spin serve. She does have a good counterpart opposite her in Nia Robinson but the Wildcats don’t get consistent scoring anywhere else on their roster. Northwestern would have to pass and defend better than they have all season to hang with the Boilers.

Key Players

Jr. 5’6 L 7 Lexi Pitsas*- 3.9 D/S

Fr. 6’2 OH 12 Temi Thomas-Ailara- 4.04 K/S (48, 4) , .282, 0.5 SA/S (2) 4.21 35th

Sr. 6’0 MB 13 Olivia Viscuso- .383 (45, 8), 1.02 B/S

Fr. 5’7 DS 14 Charlotte Cronister- 2.53 D/S

Sr. 5’10 S 17 Payton Chang- 10.05 A/S (9), 2.4 D/S

Jr. 6’2 OH 18 Nia Robinson*- 3.4 K/S (12)

Jr. 6’3 MB 20 Alana Walker- 2.17 K/S, .243, 1.26 B/S (44, 4)

*Three Wildcats hail from Indiana: Emily Ehman, Bloomington; Lexi Pitsas, Munster; Nia Robinson, Indianapolis

Big Ten Standings

Standings Conf. Pct. Overall Pct. Streak Most recent Big Ten Games
Standings Conf. Pct. Overall Pct. Streak Most recent Big Ten Games
Nebraska 3-0 1.000 11-1 0.917 W4 W 3-0 @ RUT, W 3-0 @ NW
Minnesota 3-0 1.000 9-2 0.818 W8 W 3-1 @ IOWA, W 3-0 vs PUR
Wisconsin 3-0 1.000 7-4 0.636 W3 W 3-1 vs PSU, W 3-1 vs IU
Michigan 2-0 1.000 9-3 0.750 W3 W 3-0 vs OSU, W 3-0 @ RUT
Penn State 2-1 0.667 9-3 0.750 L1 L 1-3 @ WIS W 3-0 vs RUT
Michigan State 1-1 0.500 10-2 0.833 W1 W 3-0 vs MARY, L 0-3 @ PSU
Ohio State 1-1 0.500 8-6 0.571 L1 L 0-3 @ MICH, W 3-1 @ MARY
Illinois 1-1 0.500 6-5 0.545 W1 W 3-0 vs IOWA, L 2-3 vs NEB
Iowa 1-2 0.333 7-7 0.500 L2 L 1-3 vs MN, L 0-3 @ ILL
Indiana 0-2 0.000 11-4 0.733 L2 L 1-3 @ WIS, L 0-3 @ MN
Purdue 0-2 0.000 8-3 0.727 L2 L 0-3 @ MN, L 0-3 @ WIS
Northwestern 0-2 0.000 9-5 0.643 L2 L 0-3 vs NEB, L 1-3 vs IOWA
Maryland 0-2 0.000 8-6 0.571 L2 L 0-3 @ MSU, L 1-3 vs OSU
Rutgers 0-3 0.000 6-8 0.429 L5 L 0-3 vs NEB, L 0-3 @ PSU
Current Standings as of 10-3-19

AVCA Rankings Week 5

  1. Baylor (54)
  2. Nebraska (7)
  3. Stanford (1)
  4. Pittsburgh (1)
  5. Penn State
  6. Texas
  7. Minnesota
  8. Washington
  9. BYU (1)
  10. Marquette

(first-place votes)

Ranked Big Ten Teams: #2 Nebraska, #5 Penn State, #7 Minnesota, #13 Wisconsin, #17 Purdue, #18 Illinois, RV Michigan