#16 Purdue vs. #3 Wisconsin
The Purdue volleyball team upset #3 Wisconsin Friday night in a five-set thriller. I watched the match in the confines of my home Friday night with my note pad, once the match was over, I realized I only took notes during set one because I was so captivated the entire time.
Set one started strong, the Boilers took a commanding 6-0 lead forcing Wisconsin to call a timeout. The Badgers stormed back with help from hitter Sarah Franklin and back-to-back aces. Wisconsin took the lead 19-16 before Chicoine got a kill to stop the bleeding. But from there, Purdue no answer as Wisconsin went on to win set 1 22-25.
Set two started ugly and Purdue seemed all out of sorts to start the set falling behind 4-0. You can’t go down 0-2 against this Wisconsin squad so this felt like a must-win set. Boilers battled back chipping away at the lead before tying it up at 15. Purdue took control from there winning set 2 25-19.
Set three the two squads battled back and forth to start out before Purdue went on a 3-0 run to take the lead 15-12. The two teams went point-for-point again before Purdue pulled away at the end and took set 3 25-20.
Boilers are now up 2-1 with Holloway rocking and momentum on their side. But set 4 they fell flat and Wisconsin controlled from the start with a 9-0 run to start. Purdue struggled to get anything going offensively. Colvin and Hudson had a couple blocks and kills to try and rally back from 9-16 but this one just got too far ahead of them to come back in. Purdue fell 12-25 as Wisconsin forced them into a 5th set.
Purdue jumped ahead early 6-3 and at this point my neighbors could hear me screaming as the Boilers were clicking on all cylinders offensively and defensively. But Wisconsin did Wisconsin things and ended up tying the match up at 12. Wisconsin got a kill to take the lead and Purdue called a timeout. Wisconsin was up 14-13 but on match point Colvin got a kill to tie it back up. The Boilers would go on to win the next two points and take the set 16-14 and win the match.
Purdue had trouble containing Sarah Franklin all night who ended the night with a career night 28 kills. Eva Hudson also had a career night racking up 30 kills and 11 digs notching a double-double. Hudson obviously had a memorable night but it was really a team effort as it seemed a lot of players had big time plays in crucial moments. Colvin ended with 14 kills and 4 blocks while Chicoine had 11 and Myers chipped in 8. Maddie Schermerhorn had some sport center digs getting 24 on the night, this was the fourth straight match she had over 20 digs.
#16 Purdue vs. Maryland
It was senior night on Saturday and coming off a big win on Friday the Boilers swept Maryland to close out the last regular home game of the season. With two sets needing extra points this wasn’t Purdue’s best performance.
They fell behind early in set one 15-9 and had a handful of errors. Purdue looked to Chicoine and Hudson to rally back and Boilers took the set-in extra points 26-24. Purdue started set two strong and took the lead 13-12 lead behind Colvin’s 4 aces. Hudson had the final kill for the Boilers and Purdue went up 2-0 after finishing the set 25-21.
Set 3 was back and forth as the Terps tried to stay alive but Hudson and Chicoine ended the set with two kills and Purdue pulled away 27-25 to sweep Maryland on senior night. The dynamic duo of Chicoine and Hudson combined for 30 kills, 2 aces and 4 blocks. Colvin ended with 4 aces and 3 blocks while Lourdes Myers continues to be a spark on this defense with 6 blocks.
Purdue now improves to 19-8 and 13-5 in Big Ten play for the season. The Boilers are third in the conference behind Nebraska and Wisconsin. Purdue finishes off the regular season on the road at Michigan and Michigan State. Purdue has already beat MSU in four sets but has yet to see Michigan this year. If Purdue can win these final two matches, I like their chances of being a top-16 seed for the tournament and securing a host site.