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Boilers Win in Four to Advance to Elite Eight

What looked like a sweep took a sharp turn as Purdue needed late-set heroics in the fourth set to get the win and avoid a fifth set.

Purdue Athletics

Purdue cruised through sets one and two then lost their intensity through set three and most of set four before finishing Oregon off; 25-17, 25-16, 22-25, 26-24.

Upperclassmen Grace Cleveland and Caitlyn Newton and the Purdue defense made the necessary plays late in set four for the Boilers. The Ducks went up early with a 5-0 run which gave them a 6-4 lead. Oregon stayed in front as Purdue had no rhythm on offense. The Boilers lucked out midway through the set when Elise Ferreira’s serve went long. Ferreira had found success all match long reeling off points for the Ducks.

While they had dodged another long service run, Purdue was still down. Kills from Cleveland and Newton tied the set at 19-all and forced a Duck timeout. It was short-lived as Oregon went right back in front by two.

Cleveland answered back with three kills in a row as Purdue pulled in front 22-21 and forced another Duck timeout. Newton added a nice kill deep cross before Oregon sided out. Purdue got a sideout of their own from Newton as they got to match point.

Oregon saved two match points, one on their offense and one gifted from Purdue. Determined to end the match in the fourth set Purdue was making great defensive plays as they picked up a couple jousts and tips from Oregon to earn themselves another match point. Cleveland then took care of business lacing one down the line to clinch the match, 26-24.

Purdue was cruising in sets one and two as they were executing well in every phase of the game. In set one, they ran out to a 9-2 lead and never looked back. Set two started similarly as a 6-0 run put Purdue in front 10-6. The Boiler block was locked in registering five blocks and holding the Duck offense to -.043 hitting in the set. Offensively, Purdue hit a blistering .458 in set two.

Purdue never got a big run early in set three as Oregon stepped up their play. The Ducks got their middles and right side hitters involved early. Conversely, Purdue could not get what they wanted from their offense. Purdue’s ball control fell off and they weren’t getting as good of touches in transition. A 4-1 lead fueled by two Boiler hitting errors swung the lead to Oregon, 19-17 towards the back end of the set. Oregon stretched their lead to five as they got to set point, 24-19.

Cailtyn Newton led Purdue with 17 kills and showed off smart shot-making late in the match taking a little pace off to still score and ripping it when she had the chance. Grace Cleveland was cool and efficient with 15 kills and .351 hitting to go with four blocks. Jael Johnson also got to double-digit kills with 10 while hitting .474 and picking up five blocks. Taylor Trammell did her part defensively finishing with eight blocks. Haley Bush racked up a double-double with team-leading 50 assists and 21 digs. Jena Otec posted 17 digs, Moe Hornung pulled up 13 and Maddie Schermerhorn chipped in 11.

Purdue outhit and out-blocked Oregon .245-.120 and 13-9.

Purdue will 2-seed Kentucky who swept previously undefeated Western Kentucky. Purdue will play the second match of the night session, estimated for 9:00 ET, or 45 minutes after the first match; it will air on ESPNU. This is Purdue’s fourth appearance in the regional final round, the first since 2013.