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Purdue Volleyball Suffers First Loss Against Notre Dame

Purdue’s passing and untimely errors held back the Boilers in the five-set loss to Notre Dame.

Purdue Volleyball Mackey

Purdue (2-1) took their first loss of the season as they were dropped on the road by the Irish (4-1). The Boilers outdid Notre Dame in nearly every statistical category except service aces. Purdue surrendered 11 aces and only managed to ace the Irish twice. Purdue’s passing struggles and pitiful hitting performance in the final set doomed them as they fell 25-16, 24-26, 25-22, 21-25, 12-15.

Pushed to the decisive set, Purdue’s offense which had been steady all night long fell off a cliff as they hit -.050. Conversely, the Irish hit .417 and tacked on one last service ace for good measure. Purdue got down early, 6-3, after a Notre Dame kill, block and two other Boiler hitting errors gave the Irish a 4-0 run. Purdue later tied it at 11-all after an Irish service error, two kills from Caitlyn Newton and a Jena Otec ace. ND answered with a block on Newton. Newton then tied it again at 12 but Purdue had nothing left. Notre Dame got a kill and then back-to-back hitting errors from Newton and Grace Cleveland to close the match.

Purdue controlled the net in set one hitting .312 and posting five blocks; Notre Dame was held to a negative hitting percentage, -.024. Purdue ran out to a 7-2 lead but had to fight off a Notre Dame rally that cut the Boiler lead to one, 12-11. Purdue finally sided out on a kill from Cleveland. Cleveland was key for Purdue tallying six kills and two blocks in the opening set.

Set two was close wire-to-wire. Purdue led briefly, 18-17 but it quickly slipped away as Notre Dame strung together a 5-1 run to go up 22-19. Purdue fought back to tie it at 23 as Cleveland was clutch putting away three kills and teaming up with Blake Mohler for a block. The two teams traded errors to retie the score at 24 but Purdue gifted the Irish the win with a hitting error after Notre Dame got a kill to get a second set point.

Notre Dame had nice service run early in set three which put them in front 10-7. The Irish got two aces over a five point run and might’ve had more if not for a service error which ended the run. The two teams then traded blows back and forth to a 19-19 tie. A kill from setter Hayley Bush sparked a Purdue run as Mohler got a solo stuff and a kill to give Purdue a four point lead, 23-19. Notre Dame saved two set points before Purdue closed it out, 25-22.

Purdue had the set advantage heading in the fourth but had little chance to close the set out as Notre Dame scored first and never gave up the lead. The teams were evenly matched offensively in set four, both hitting around .250, but the Irish were able to side out more often. Purdue had its only three-point run late in the set as they saved three set points but it wasn’t enough as Notre Dame finally got a kill to force a fifth set.

Caitlyn Newton paced the Boilers with 21 kills and .312 hitting. Grace Cleveland finished with 16 kills and eight blocks. Blake Mohler tallied her first career double-double in a career-best blocking effort, ten stuffs to go with ten kills and .450 hitting. Hayley Bush finished with 48 asists. Jena Otec had the Boilers only two aces and had a match-high 23 digs. Purdue outhit Notre Dame .245-.183 and out-blocked them 16-11.

AVCA Poll Week 2

  1. Stanford (64)
  2. Nebraska
  3. Texas
  4. Penn State
  5. Baylor
  6. Pittsburgh
  7. Marquette
  8. Minnesota
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Oregon

(first-place votes)

Ranked Big Ten Teams: 14 Illinois, 23 Purdue, 24 Michigan.

Stanford survived their first early-season tests sweeping then No. 7 Florida and beating No. 3 Texas in five sets at the Farm led by Kathryn Plummer’s 34 kills and .474 hitting. Earlier in the week, the Horns swept Minnesota after saving 14 Gopher set points in the final two sets. Minnesota finished their week with a sweep of Florida. Baylor and Marquette vaulted into the top ten after beating the Badgers in Madison; Baylor who got 31 kills from Yossiana Pressley in the four set win over the Badgers then swept Marquette in Milwaukee to cap off a successful trip to Wisconsin. Illinois fell out of the top five after falling to then No. 16 Washington and then-unranked Colorado. Creighton was the big winner in Cedar Falls beating Kentucky, Northern Iowa and USC to rebound from an 0-2 outing in the first weekend of play. Kentucky went 2-1 and USC only beat UNI. Michigan fell from the top 15 after falling to Missouri and Dayton.

Purdue is back at it this weekend down in Nashville at the LUV Invitational at Lipscomb. Friday at 4:00 they’ll face No. 22 Louisville.