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Purdue Volleyball Gets Back on the Winning Path

After being handled by an experienced Wisconsin squad Purdue got back in the win column with a sweep of Minnesota.

Saturday night Purdue faced a reeling Minnesota volleyball team and came away with a much needed win. The Boilers managed to sweep the Gophers to move to 19-5 overall and 9-3 in conference play.

Purdue got out to a strong start in the first set going up 8-2. Minnesota later cut the margin to four, 11-7. Up 14-7 Purdue committed four hitting errors that helped fuel a 9-1 run for Gophers as they took the lead 16-15. The teams traded points till a UM error have Purdue a 20-19 lead. Purdue never gave the lead up again as they won the set 25-20.

In a close second set neither team managed a lead bigger than three. After Minnesota took the first point the Boilers took the lead and went up three on two different occasions. Down 4-7 the Gophers scored four straight to go up 8-7. The Gophers didn't have the lead for long with the score at 10-9 a 4-0 Purdue run put the Boilers back on top. Minnesota was able to tie the score at 18 but Purdue held on to their lead and won 25-22.

What looked to be another close set did not end up as so. By the time the score read 11-all there had been 10 ties. It was at that time Purdue claimed the lead for good with a seven point run. Up 21-13 Purdue let Minnesota trim the margin to four. The Boilers stretched the lead back to seven, 24-17, but they let Minnesota score three times before clinching the match, 25-20.

It was offense by committee for Purdue against the Gophers. Annie Drews led with nine kills, but Danielle Cuttino, Val Nichol, and Sam Epenesa all had eight; Faye Adelaja added seven. Cuttino hit .583 in the match. Adelaja contributed on six blocks and Nichol on four. Amanda Neill led the back row with 13 digs. Nichol had a double-double with 23 assists and 11 digs. Purdue used a little different lineup against the Gophers, Lydia Dimke set from the back row allowing Val Nichol to hit. Dimke put up 17 assists. Four Boilers had an ace.

Wisconsin is in first place in the conference with an 11-1 record. They're trailed by Penn State and Illinois who both are 10-2 in conference play. Purdue is next with a 9-3 record. Nebraska is 4th at 8-4 followed by Ohio State, 7-5.

Purdue rose in the rankings this week to No. 12. Wisconsin remained at No.4 behind the three undefeated teams in the nation. No. 6 Penn State was the next B1G representative followed by No. 9 Illinois, No. 13 Nebraska, and No. 18 Ohio State,

Next No.12 Purdue will take on No. 13 Nebraska in Lincoln. The game will be on BTN at 7:30. Then on Saturday Purdue faces Iowa.

Nebraska is 14-7 this season and 8-4 in conference play. The Huskers are 2-5 against teams in the Top 25. Nebraska though has faced some of the best of the best; aside from Big Ten opponents they've played Florida State, Stanford, and Texas.  Nebraska is the second best blocking team in the conference with 2.79/set. Meghan Haggerty's 1.26 blocks/set is good enough for third in the conference. Cecilia Hall posts 1.08 which is the 11th best effort. Kadie Rolfzen's 3.6 kills per set are fifth best in the conference.

Iowa is 11-12 and 3-9 in the B1G which puts them in 12th place. Alessandra Dietz leads the Hawkeyes with a .348 hitting percentage which puts her in ninth place in the conference. The Hawkeyes average 1.22 aces per set. Dietz is their best server serving up .31 aces/set, fifth best in the conference. Mikaela Gunderson averages 1.07 stuffs/set. Libero Michelle Fugarino pulls up 4.06 digs/set