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Purdue Volleyball: LUV Invitational Preview

No. 23 Purdue heads south to Nashville as they look to avoid a losing streak and pick up a quality win over No. 22 Louisville. 

Purdue Volleyball

Purdue (2-1) plays down at Lipscomb this weekend. The Boilers dropped a five-set match on the road last week against Notre Dame. Purdue has an immediate opportunity to make up for the loss when they face ranked Louisville (5-1).

Friday at 4:00 ET Purdue will take on the Cardinals. Based on the outcome Purdue will face the winner or loser of the Lipscomb-Xavier match on Saturday.

Weekend Preview

Purdue outplayed Notre Dame in many aspects but had trouble at crucial parts in the match. While she was not the only Boiler to struggle junior Caitlyn Newton was a weak link in the pivotal fifth set. In sets two and five, Purdue closed them out for Notre Dame with straight-up hitting errors, not Notre Dame blocks. Set five was riddled with hitting errors including five from Newton. Newton is our most experienced pin hitter and Shondell has her playing all six rotations this year as well as Grace Cleveland. The tradeoff is of course offense over defense. Even with the five errors in the final set Newton had a great hitting line 21-6-48 (.312 hitting percentage). Cleveland had 11 kills in the first two sets with one error and finished with five kills and six errors over the last three sets. Newton can’t have costly errors in the final set of a match and Cleveland has to be more consistent and can’t fade away in a long match. In the passing game, Newton was only tabbed with one of Purdue’s 11 service reception errors but seven were attributed to the team. There are times when the passing and defensive liability of having Cleveland and Newton always on the floor is too much. Going forward Shondell has to recognize that and adjust his lineup when necessary.

Key Players

class, height, position, # name, stats (statistical rank nationally)
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- 10.08 A/S, 2.17 D/S

Jr. 6’1 OH 4 Caitlyn Newton- 3.92 K/S, .279, 0.33 SA/S

So. 5’7 DS 10 Marissa Hornung- 2.17 D/S

Fr. 6’2 OH 12 Emma Ellis- 2.25 K/S, .293

Sr. 6’2 M 17 Blake Mohler- 2.4 K/S, .375, 1.8 B/S (10)

Jr. 5’10 DS 19 Jena Otec- 4.42 D/S, 0.5 SA/S

So. 6’3 OH 20 Grace Cleveland- 3.08 K/S, 1.25 B/S


The Cardinals haven’t nailed down a lineup yet but are racking up wins. Louisville dropped their season opener against Florida but have since followed it up with five wins including a couple over respectable mid-major programs, Dayton and Western Kentucky. Speedway, Indiana native Melanie McHenry leads the Cardinals playing all six rotations. While this is a weakness for the Boilers, McHenry is more than capable. This game will come down to pass-serve; Whichever team can pass better and stay in system will get the ‘W’.

Key Players

So. 6’2 MB 7 Emily Scott- 0.89 B/S

Jr. 5’7 L 8 Alexis Hamilton- 3.8 D/S, 0.45 SA/S

So. 6’2 OH 9 Claire Chaussee- 3.0 K/S

Sr. 6’2 OH 10 Melanie McHenry- 3.39 K/S, 2.72 D/S, 0.28 SA/S

Jr. 6’1 MB 11 Anna Stevenson- 2.0 K/S, .286, 0.88 B/S

Jr. 5’10 S 12 Tori Dilfer- 4.17 A/S, 0.33 SA/S

Fr. 6’2 RS 15 Aiko Jones- 2.95 K/S, .308

Fr. 5’10 S 19 Shannon Shields- 6.29 A/S, 2.43 D/S, 0.29 SA/S


Host Lipscomb (2-4) is in the midst of a down year. Former A-Sun Player of the Year Carlyle Nusbaum has graduated and no one has assumed the offensive mantle. This year’s Bison are particularly error-prone, hitting .137 as a team with only one hitter hitting .250 or better. Should Purdue end up facing Lipscomb expect ex-Boiler Garrett Joiner to show out for the Bison.

Key Players

Jr. 5’7 L 4 Alyssa Zwolensky- 3.72 D/S

Sr. 5’11 S 10 Morgan Elmore- 9.11 A/S

So. 6’3 OH/RS 12 Garrett Joiner- 2.17 K/S

So. 6’1 OH 18 Lanie Wagner- 3.11 K/S


The Musketeers are 3-3 on the season. They haven’t faced a power-five opponent but they have shown themselves to be a tough serving team averaging 1.26 aces per set. If Xavier is going to have a chance at knocking off the Boilers it will start at the service line.

Key Players

Fr. 6’0 OH 3 MaryAnn O’Toole- 3.87 D/S

Fr. 5’11 S/RS 6 Carrigan O’Reilly- 5.82 A/S, 0.27 SA/S

Fr. 5’5 L 7 Alyssa Overbeck- 4.09 D/S, 0.26 SA/S

So. 6’1 MB 11 Ellie Chaffee- 2.0 K/S, .355

Jr. 5’9 S 15 Ailsa Watson- 5.61 A/S

Fr. 6’1 RS 18 Lauren Hanlon- 2.95 K/S, .287

AVCA Poll Week 2

  1. Stanford (64)
  2. Nebraska
  3. Texas
  4. Penn State
  5. Baylor

(first-place votes)

Other ranked Big Ten teams: 8 Minnesota, 9 Wisconsin, 14 Illinois, 23 Purdue, and 24 Michigan