Last week Purdue split the week sweeping Minnesota on Wednesday and then falling to Illinois on Saturday. They dropped from #16 to #19 in the latest AVCA rankings.
New week. New opportunities. pic.twitter.com/K69l76ojkX— Purdue Volleyball (@PurdueVB) October 30, 2023
The Boilers beat the Gophers in three (28-26, 25-23, and 25-16) but if you were watching it never felt like a comfortable win. In sets 1 and 2 the Boilers played from behind nearly the entire time before coming back and closing it out against a hungry Minnesota squad.
In set three they dominated from start to finish and were led by freshman setter Taylor Anderson who posted a double-double with 41 assists and 11 digs. Hudson led the team with 17 kills including the game winning attack in set 3 and Chicoine chipped in 11.
Saturday, the Boilers traveled to Illinois and lost in four sets (25-20, 19-25, 24-26, and 18-25). Despite Colvin getting 13 kills and 8 blocks on the night and earning her another Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week award the Boilers continued to make mental mistakes in the final three sets that they couldn’t overcome.
They had a .118 hitting percentage on the night and had 10 attack errors alone in set 2. At this point I’m just going to block out Saturday ever happening for Purdue sports.
Purdue now has a huge opportunity in front of them as they take on #2 Wisconsin in Madison. The Boilers are in the toughest stretch of their schedule and have some chances to really show what they are capable of. We’ve seen them go on the road and take down ranked Penn State but also lose to the likes of Loyola at home.
If they want to get a good seed in the tournament, wins like tonight will really help their resume.
A victory won’t come easy though, right now the Badgers lead the Big Ten in hitting %, points per set, digs per set, kills per set, and also boast a really good defense. They’re currently 20-1 overall with their lone loss coming in 5 sets to Nebraska.
This Purdue team really seems to play to their competition and I’m expecting Shondell will have them ready for the match. Can the Boilers keep momentum going during tough stretches and limit mental mistakes tonight? I sure hope so. Tune in tonight at 7 pm on Big Ten Network