One set away from an early exit, Purdue raised their level and took the final three sets in decisive fashion; 25-27, 19-25, 25-15, 25-6, 15-5.
Missed opportunities in set one loomed over set two as Dayton went up 2-0. Staring down elimination Purdue dialed up the pressure and overwhelmed the Flyers. Over the final three sets Purdue got 12 blocks, four aces, and hit .451 with only one hitting error (33-1-71).
Purdue served tougher in set three and reaped the benefits. The Boiler block was able to dial in on hitters, scoring and forcing other Flyer errors. Four Dayton errors and two Boiler blocks helped spring Purdue to a 9-2 lead early in set three. The Boilers kept side-ing out down the stretch as they collected two more blocks and two aces taking the set 25-15.
As impressive of a turnaround as set three was Purdue was on another level in set four. The Boilers were in control up 8-4 then ran away from Dayton with a 13-1 run. The Flyers struggled to get any quality swings and Purdue converted in transition when the block didn’t end the rally. The Boilers got six kills and three blocks during the run.
Things got off to a fortuitous start in set five when Dayton’s top server, Jamie Peterson put her serve into the net and kept the Flyers from getting any early momentum. Purdue kept playing at a high level, side-ing out quick and collecting kills and blocks as they ran out to a 10-3 lead. Leaving no doubt Purdue and Taylor Trammell closed the set on a 5-0 run as Trammell put away three kills and teamed with Grace Cleveland for a final block on match point.
Set one slipped away from Purdue as they failed to convert points late. A 7-2 run got Purdue to set point, 24-22. Unfortunately, three Boiler hitting errors, one was a block, flipped the script as Dayton got to a set point. Purdue got a kill to save Dayton’s first set point but could not deny them a second time as the Flyers got back-to-back kills to take the set 27-25.
Peterson lit Purdue up in set two as Dayton capitalized on poor play by the Boilers. Purdue led 8-5 when Peterson put away five kills to fuel a 7-1 Flyer run. Dayton got into a sideout rhythm and held off any comeback attempt. Poor passing, shot selection, and distribution held Purdue back as they struggled with even easy plays. Peterson had nine kills in the set.
Caitlyn Newton posted a double-double to lead Purdue with 19 kills and 11 digs to go with two aces. Grace Cleveland did a little bit over everything hitting .471 going for 17 kills, seven digs, and seven blocks. Middles Taylor Trammell and Raven Colvin both finished with five kills and seven blocks hitting .714 and .500 respectively. Hayley Bush had a double-double of her own with 49 assists and 11 assists adding four blocks. Jena Otec led the defense with 27 digs, Moe Hornung added 15.
Super subs Maddy Chinn and Taylor Trammell did their jobs with errorless performances.
Purdue outhit Dayton .279-.108 and out-blocked them 16-5.
The opponent and location for next weekend are yet to be decided. Depending on the outcome of Pitt-Penn State Purdue will either head east if the Panthers win or stay home if Penn State upsets the No. 3 seed. Purdue will face the winner of Utah-BYU.