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Purdue Volleyball: Sweet Sixteen Preview

The Boilers face 10-seed Oregon Sunday night at 8:30.

Purdue Volleyball on Instagram

A clean sweep over High Point put 7-seed Purdue into the Sweet Sixteen where they’ll face 10-seed Oregon. The Ducks advanced after sweeping Notre Dame.

The match will air on ESPNU Sunday at 8:30 ET.

The Field

Full Bracket

So far most of the seeds had held true. Pitt upset 14-seed Utah in three sets and undefeated Western Kentucky went the distance against 15-seed Washington St winning in five sets scoring the only upsets in the second round.

Sweet Sixteen Matchups

#1 Wisconsin vs #16 BYU - Saturday at 8:00 ET - ESPN3

#8 Florida vs #9 Ohio State - Sunday at 7:30 ET - ESPN2

#2 Kentucky vs Western Kentucky - Sunday at 10:00 ET - ESPN2

#7 Purdue vs #10 Oregon - Sunday at 8:30 ET - ESPNU

#3 Minnesota vs Pittsburgh - Sunday at 1:00 ET - ESPN3

#6 Washington vs #11 Louisville - Sunday at 3:30 ET - ESPN3

#4 Texas vs #13 Penn State - Sunday at 5:00 ET - ESPNU

#5 Nebraska vs #12 Baylor - Saturday at 2:30 ET - ESPNU

All six Big Ten teams are still alive.

In the first round, Rice, who during the season upset Texas was not able to play due to Covid protocols which allowed North Carolina A&T to advance.

Match Preview

This will be just the third matchup between Purdue (15-6) and Oregon as the Boilers hold the 2-0 series lead. The Boilers are seeking their fourth Elite Eight appearance, the first since 2013.

The play of Purdue’s outside hitters, Caitlyn Newton, and whichever sophomore; Maddy Chinn, Maddie Koch, or Emma Ellis, is on the floor will be key for the Boilers. For Newton, she has to keep the errors in check. She’s only hitting .174 on the season which is not what you want from someone who is getting nearly twice as many attempts as anyone else on the team, 947 compared to Grace Cleveland with 551. She does have to handle a lot of system swings but against the Duck defense, a more conservative swing might have to do just to extend the point. Newton had a tremendous match against High Point and if she’s near as good on Sunday it should be a W for the Boilers.

As for the sophomore trio whoever is playing has to rise to the occasion. Coach Shondell went with Chinn first against High Point but she didn’t even last a set. The quick lineup change was effective. Ellis came in and was solid, a 6-2-12 hitting line, swung hard in system, and didn’t try to do too much. Koch came in towards the tail end of the third set and never got an attempt. Against the Ducks, blocking may be more important than hitting so it seems most likely we’ll see Chinn first.

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

Jr. 5’10 S 2 Hayley Bush*- 10.73 A/S (28), 2.84 D/S

Sr. 6’1 OH 4 Caitlyn Newton*- 3.93 K/S, 0.47 SA/S (30)

Jr. 5’7 DS 10 Marissa Hornung- 2.75 D/S

Fr. 6’2 MB 17 Taylor Trammell~- .388, 1.64 B/S (4)

Jr. 6’2 MB 18 Jael Johnson- 2.23 K/S, .359, 1.16 B/S

Sr. 5’10 DS 19 Jena Otec*- 4.64 D/S, 0.26 SA/S

Jr. 6’3 OH 20 Grace Cleveland*- 3.26 K/S, .294, 1.45 B/S (14)

*All-Big Ten First Team

~All-Freshman Big Ten Team

Purdue Team Stats

Team Stats Kills/Set Hitting % Assists/Set Aces/Set Digs/Set Blocks/Set
Team Stats Kills/Set Hitting % Assists/Set Aces/Set Digs/Set Blocks/Set
Purdue 13.27 .247 12.3 1.29 15.95 2.96 (4)
Opponents 12.88 .181 11.99 0.84 15.36 1.77


The Ducks (15-4) finished second in the Pac-12 behind Washington. Oregon never suffered a series sweep, instead, splitting with Washington State, UCLA, Washington, and Arizona State.

Oregon has just enough wrinkles in how they do things to cause problems for Purdue. They run a 6-2 offense (six hitters-two setters, Purdue runs a 5-1, five hitters-one setter) which is not so unusual but what they do offensively is fairly atypical. The Ducks love to set their right side hitters and will go to them in system most often. They also have a swiss army knife in ex-libero-turned-outside-hitter Brooke Nuneviller. Nuneviller flies around offensively and defensively crushing the ball and picking up diving digs she puts right on target to the setter. She was the only player in the Pac-12 who ranked in the top ten in kills and digs. The Duck defense is just as stingy as Purdue’s; it helps always having two liberos on the floor. As far as ball control, 6’4 Taylor Borup has turned into a reliable passer for the Ducks.

Key Players

So. 5’10 S 1 Elise Ferreira- 5.08 A

Jr. 5’11 OH/L 5 Brooke Nuneviller!- 3.54 K, .247, 3.96 D

So. 6’5 MB 6 Abby Hansen- 1.28 B (48)

So. 5’6 L 10 Georgia Murphy@- 3.57 K

So. 6’3 MB/RS 11 Morgan Lewis- 2.44 K, .256

Jr. 6’2 RS 16 Gloria Mutiri!- 2.54 K, .262

Sr. 6’4 OH 17 Taylor Borup- 2.11 K, 2.7 D, 0.32 SA

So. 5’10 S 21 Kylie Robinson- 5.65 A, 2.17 D

So. 6’4 MB 42 Karson Bacon@- .360

Oregon Team Stats

Team Stats Kills/Set Hitting % Assists/Set Aces/Set Digs/Set Blocks/Set
Team Stats Kills/Set Hitting % Assists/Set Aces/Set Digs/Set Blocks/Set
Oregon 13.49 .241 12.28 1.08 16.08 2.41
Opponents 11.64 .162 10.68 0.86 15.83 1.91

! All-Pac 12 Team

@ All-Pac 12 Team Honorable Mention

The winner will face the winner of 2-seed Kentucky and Western Kentucky. The Elite Eight match will be Monday, time and broadcast details TBA.