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Seniors Lead Purdue in Sweep of Rutgers

Val Nichol posted her fourth career triple-double and KiKi Jones contributed six kills and two blocks in the Senior Night sweep of Rutgers.

Seniors KiKi Jones and Val Nichol's last game on Belin Court was a good one. Nichol posted her fourth career triple-double which is the most in program history and Jones held down things along the net all night for the Boilers.

KiKi Jones and Val Nichol were joined in the starting line-up by redshirt junior Kaisley Fisher who was making her first start since 2012. With the score tied at four Purdue made their first run. Two Jones kills, one from Nichol, and another from Fisher helped fueled a 7-2 run for the Boilers. Rutgers kept hanging around and made a dent in Purdue's lead, 16-12. Three more kills from the seniors and two Scarlet Knight hitting errors later Purdue was up 21-12. Azariah Stahl pounded two kills away and a Rutgers service error got the Boilers to set point. Kaisley converted it for the Boilers on their second attempt; Purdue won 25-16.

Purdue started slowly in the second but were able to hold off Rutgers down the stretch. Strong net play spurred a 6-0 run that helped Purdue turned an 8-6 deficit into a lead; the Boilers put down four kills and denied Rutgers with two blocks during the run. A Rutgers ace in combination with three Boiler hitting errors made the score 16-14. Jones and Nichol combined for a block and both tallied kills on the next three points to create some more separation. The Scarlet Knights made one last push with a 6-3 run that cut the lead to two, but Purdue answered with a block and an Epenesa kill to close the set, 25-21. Nichol had six kills during the set and Danielle Cuttino had four blocks.

By the time the score read 10-5 in third set five different Boilers had recorded a kill. Rutgers cut into Purdue's lead, 11-8 but that would be all the closer they would get the rest of the way. Purdue used four Scarlet Knight errors to propel them on an 8-4 run. Closing in on set point Purdue let Rutgers score three points before Cuttino and Annie Drews finished the match off with two kills, 25-17.

Val Nichol's stat line was 13 kills, 22 assists, 11 digs and a .522 hitting percentage. Sam Epenesa had the second most kills, nine. Danielle Cuttino had seven and hit .455. KiKi Jones was an efficient .333 with six kills to go with two blocks. Appearing in only one set Kaisley Fisher had four kills on five attempts. Cuttino led the Boilers with four blocks, Drews added three. Lydia Dimke had 19 assists and two aces. Kate Workman was the digs leader with 13.

Purdue will be on the road the rest of the season. Saturday night they'll take on the Minnesota Gophers. Next week they'll travel to Michigan State and Wisconsin.