Playing IU for the second time in a week, things didn't go quite as smoothly for the Boilers. It took Purdue (15-2) four sets to get the victory over the Hoosiers.
Purdue started the match where they left off from Wednesday night. After some early ties Purdue went up 10-6 after Val Nichol put down two kills and denied IU twice on two stuffs. Purdue extended their advantage to 19-12. Faye Adelaja closed the set with two blocks as Purdue won 25-15. Five different Boilers had two kills in the set.
The second set was much tighter; IU came out on top 27-25. IU had the early advantage at 9-6, before Purdue tied it up. The Boilers couldn't get the lead though and found themselves down 14-12. Purdue then used a 4-1 run to go up 16-15. Purdue was inching closer and closer to a set point but IU stormed back. IU had the first set point up 24-22. Unable to close the set; IU missed a serve to give Purdue an extra life. Purdue used their extra life to tie the set at 24. Unfortunately IU was the first to string together two points and win the set.
Out of the break Purdue came out firing. After the Boilers got out to a 4-0 lead, IU cut the advantage to one, 5-4. From there the Hoosiers only scored four more points as Purdue dominated IU 25-8. Purdue outhit IU .435 to -.308. The Boilers also posted six blocks in the set.
IU eventually got its act together and played Purdue much closer in the fourth. Early the set was tied at 6-6. IU then went on a 7-2 run. Slowly but surely the Boilers got back in the game tying it at 17 and 18. Up 20-19, Purdue dropped four of the next five points to give IU a 23-20 lead. IU never did get a set point though. Out of the timeout Purdue ran off five straight to close the match, 25-23.
Annie Drews was the hitting leader with 14 kills. Purdue had 20 blocks in the match. Val Nichol contributed on seven of them. KiKi Jones had six block assists. Amanda Neill led the defense with 20 digs. Nichol had 34 assists to go with 2 aces, and 7 kills. Ashley Evans also had two aces.
After easing into conference play Purdue has a tough week ahead as they welcome Penn State and Ohio State to Belin Court. Penn State is 16-3. Their losses have came against Stanford, Nebraska, and Illinois. The Nittany Lions are led by Freshman Ali Frantti who averages 3.30 kills/set and hits .319. Senior Nia Grant hits .473 (4th best in the country) with 2.64 kills/set. Only one Penn State hitter hits under .300. Penn State setter Micha Hancock averages just over an ace a set. Six foot four Aiyanna Whitney averages 1.10 blocks/set in conference play. Penn State and Purdue are 1-2 in team hitting percentage and opponent's hitting percentage. Purdue does block better than the Lions though, 2.53-2.30. Surprisingly Penn State in second to last in the B1G in digs. The match will be aired on BTN.
Since dropping their first two conference matches the Buckeyes have won four in a row. Taylor Sandbothe does it all for Ohio State averaging 3.04 kills/set, hitting .353, and 1.32 blocks/set. Erin Sekinger leads OSU with 3.18 kills/set.
Annie Drews continues to lead the conference with 4.18 kills/set. KiKi Jones is third in the conference with a .398 hitting percentage.
The still perfect Boilers are followed by Wisconsin in the conference standings at 5-1. Penn State, Ohio State, Illinois, and Nebraska are all 4-2.
Purdue remains at 14 in the latest rankings. Wisconsin is the highest ranked B1G team at #5; they're joined by #7 Penn State, #13 Nebraska, #14 Illinois, #22 Ohio State, #23 Minnesota. Northwestern dropped out of the Top 25 since last week but still received votes; as did Michigan. The top four teams in the rankings; Stanford, Texas, Washington, and Florida state; are all undefeated.