The Boilers had great final week of non-conference play as they won all four matches. At the Stacey Clark Classic Purdue got wins over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Murray State, and Eastern Michigan. The Purdue offense was in fine form in their final tune-up before conference play.
Friday morning Purdue faced the Islanders from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi who were no match for the Boiler’s explosive offense. Purdue had their second-best hitting effort in program history, .548, 49-3-84, as the Boilers won, 25-14, 25-15, 25-8. Even with bench players seeing action in every set Purdue did not miss a beat.
In set one each team sidedout on every attempt til Purdue ran away with after a nine-point run to go up 14-6. Purdue broke set two open early racing out a 6-1 lead as they cruised to the win. The Purdue offense was on a whole new level in the final set converting 19 kills on 28 attempts with no errors, .679. The Boilers put Corpus Christi away early going up 14-2 after getting three aces and nine kills.
The hitting lines (K-E-A) for the Boilers:
Hayley Bush: 6-0-10
Caitlyn Newton: 8-0-18
Blake Mohler: 9-1-15
Grace Cleveland: 9-0-11
Maddy Chinn: 4-0-10
Shavona Cuttino: 5-2-9
Emma Ellis: 3-0-3
Madeline Koch: 1-0-1
Jael Johnson: 4-0-6
Bush finished with 34 assists and reserve Joy Chen added five. Mohler also led at the net with four blocks. Jena Otec was the leading server with four aces to go with 14 digs.
Purdue swept Murray State Friday evening although it was not as easy as the morning’s match; 25-19, 25-22, 25-19. The Races were a tough serving team which created issues for the Boilers. The Purdue offense overcame though as they hit .304.
Purdue didn’t pull away til later in the opening set. With the scored tied at 16-all Purdue got big plays from Cuttino. A Racer service error gave Purdue the serve. Forced to defend first in the rallies, Cuttino combined with Cleveland for back-to-back blocks then put a kill away in transition to put Purdue in front by four.
In set two Purdue had to come from behind. The Boilers were down 17-15 when a trio of Racer errors and two Boiler kills buoyed Purdue to a 20-17 lead.
After trading five-point runs Purdue put together a final run to create some separation in set three. Up 16-15 Purdue scored five of the next six to go in front by five.
Grace Cleveland led the Purdue offense with 10 kills and .300 hitting and six blocks. Blake Mohler also had six blocks to go with eight kills and .538 hitting. Hayley Bush finished with 31 assists. Jena Otec posted 16 digs followed by Moe Hornung’s 14 dig effort.
Murray State had eight aces to Purdue’s three. Purdue out-blocked Murray State 11-1.
Purdue dropped the first set against Eastern Michigan put rebounded to win in four; 21-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-19. The Purdue offense kept rolling posting a .304 effort for the second match in a row as they outhit EMU who hit .223. The Eagles though did out-block Purdue who was without Blake Mohler who was in a boot, 10-8; this was the first time this season Purdue had less blocks than their opponent.
Purdue made a late push in set one but EMU shut the door finishing the set on a 5-2 run. The Boilers had drawn within one, 19-18 after a 5-1 run but committed a couple hitting errors that propelled the Eagles to the finish.
Purdue held off a late Eagle rally in set two after leading the whole set. Purdue was two points from evening the match at a set apiece when EMU went on a 5-1 run after a Boiler service error. The Eagles saved two sets points with a kill and block but Purdue finally closed it out with a kill from Cleveland, her eighth of the set.
After trading blows throughout set three Purdue finished on a strong note. The Boilers got three kills and an ace in a 5-0 run to clinch the set which ended after a bad EMU set on set point.
Purdue put together two runs that helped put away the Eagles in set four. Purdue’s 7-6 lead swelled to five points after a 5-1 run. Later Purdue got four in a row to go up seven points, 18-11.
Grace Cleveland was tremendous putting away 25 kills while hitting .404. With Mohler out Shavona Cuttino, 10-3-19, and Jael Johnson, 8-2-14, did a great job picking up the offensive slack. Caitlyn Newton posted 10 kills and was the leading blocker with five. Hayley Bush had a double-double with 52 assists and 10 digs to go with five kills. Jena Otec had 16 digs and three aces to lead the Boilers.
There hasn’t been any sort of update on Mohler’s status. Best or maybe naively optimistic guess is that this was precautionary and they wanted to rest her before conference play starts this week.
At this point, it is all but confirmed that Megan Renner, a top 50 recruit, 6’2, setter, is redshirting. She was the only Boiler to not see action this weekend.
Grace Cleveland and Hayley Bush were honored by the conference this week.
Cleveland was named the Big Ten Player of the Week after helping Purdue to four wins. Cleveland hit .344 across the four matches and averaged nearly four kills a set including the 25 kill effort against Eastern Michigan. She also averaged 1.06 blocks per set and 1.3 digs per set.
Bush was the Setter of the Week after averaging 11.13 assists per set. She had to 50+ assist matches and two double-doubles. With Bush running the offense Purdue hit over .300 in three of their four matches last week.
- Stanford (28)
- Baylor (27)
- Nebraska (6)
- Pittsburgh (1)
- Penn State
- BYU (2)
Ranked Big Ten Teams: #3 Nebraska, #5 Penn State, #7 Minnesota, #13 Wisconsin, #15 Purdue, #20 Illinois, RV Michigan, and RV Indiana
Check back later this week for a preview of this weekend’s matches at Wisconsin and Minnesota and a rundown of the Big Ten.