Purdue (20-10, 11-9) does not have to travel far and they’ve already played two of three other teams in the regional but that is where their good fortune runs out. The Boilers are an eight seed in this year’s tournament. This year half the field is seeded which means as an eight seed Purdue is in the same regional as a one seed, Louisville.
The Boilers will first take on Tennessee (17-13, 11-7)at 4:00 on ESPN+. Host, Louisville will play Samford at 7:00. The winners will play Saturday at 6:00.
Tennessee and Purdue faced each other way back in week one with Purdue winning in four sets. The Boilers won the weekend tournament sweeping Bowling Green and Loyola Chicago; the Volunteers lost to Bowling Green. The teams had one other opponent in common, Ohio State who beat both schools. The Vols finished fifth in the SEC. Purdue went 1-9 against the AVCA top 25, while Tennessee lost all six matches they played against top 25 teams. In the last RPI rankings, Purdue was 27th Tennesse 56th. Purdue leads the series between the two teams 8-1.
For Purdue, it all comes down to the supporting cast. Eva Hudson carries a huge load but will need help. The revolving trio of pin hitters; Emma Ellis, Madeline Koch, and Maddie Chinn, will have to play clean, hitting and blocking. Whoever is setting will also need to get the middles quality opportunities. Based strictly on ace averages, Purdue has the advantage in serve-pass and will need to exploit it against the Volunteers.
class, height, position, # name, stats (statistical rank nationally)
Positions: MB- middle blocker, OH- outside hitter, OPP- opposite 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
So. 6’1 MB 7 Raven Colvin~- 1.45 B/S (13), 0.37 SA/S
Sr. 5’10 L 8 Maddie Schermerhorn~- 4.62 D/S (49)
Fr. 6’1 OH 17 Eva Hudson!- 4.2 K/S (31), .235, 0.29 SA/S, 2.02 D/S
! First-Team All-Big Ten & All-Freshman Team
~Second Team All-Big Ten
Sr. 5’11 S 2 Natalie Hayward- 9.82 A/S, 2.41 D/S
So. 5’11 OH 6 Erykah Lovett- 3.32 K/S, 2.7 D/S
Sr. 6’1 OPP 7 Morgahn Fingall#- 4.35 K/S (17), .300, 0.36 SA/S, 2.07 D/S
So. 6’1 L 10 Ashllyn King- 3.19 D/S
Gr. 6’1 MB 21 Danielle Mahaffey- 1.19 B/S
Keondreya Granberry- SEC All-Freshman
Big Ten Honors
As expected Eva Hudson was awarded the conference’s Freshman of the Year earlier this week. She was a unanimous selection to the All-Freshman team and made First Team All-Big Ten. Hudson was third-best in the conference in points and kills per set, slipping to fourth in both categories for conference-only matches. Teammates Raven Colvin and Maddie Schermerhorn made the Second Team All-Big Ten.
Minnesota’s Taylor Landfair was the Player of the Year. Two Buckeyes picked up top honors as Mac Podraza was the Setter of the Year and Kylie Murr was the Defensive Player of the Year. Kelly Sheffield of Wisconsin was the Coach of the Year.