Big test for Purdue this weekend as they host the second and third best teams in the country. Both games will be televised. If you can’t make it to West Lafayette tune in. Friday, 9/30, 8:00 ET on BTN Purdue takes on #3 Wisconsin. Sunday, 10/2, at 1:30 ET tune in to ESPN2 to watch Purdue play #2 Minnesota.
After a disappointing conference opening, 5-set loss to Illinois, Purdue was able to regroup and sweep IU in Mackey. This weekend Purdue (11-2, 1-1) has a chance to send a message to the rest of the conference as they face #2 Minnesota and #3 Wisconsin. Purdue already has a couple of impressive non-conference wins over then #4 Kansas and #9 Stanford. Wins over Minnesota and Wisconsin could bolster their resume and maybe even guarantee the opportunity to host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Additionally this weekend could have big time implications on the conference championship. If Purdue wants to even be in the conversation near the end of the season they have to get these two wins this weekend. Purdue faces only one of the top three teams twice, Wisconsin, which could be good or bad. Win and it’s good, lose and you can’t recoup for those losses since you don’t play the top teams all twice. After this weekend we’ll have a much clearer picture of how good our Boilers are.
Purdue’s lineup features a mix of new and old faces, some in new positions.
class, position, # name , stats, (statistical rank nationally, in the conference)
Postions: M- middle blocker, OH- outside hitter, Opp- opposite hitter, DS- defensive specialist, L- libero, S- setter
Stats: K/S- kills/set, B/S- blocks/set, D/S- digs/set. .000- hitting percentage, A/S- assists/set
Fr. L 7 Natalie Haben- 3.43 D/S (12)
Rs Fr. M 17 Blake Mohler- .347, 1.08 B/S
So. DS 3 Brooke Peters- 2.0 D/S
So. Opp 16 Sherridan Atkinson- .67 B/S
So. DS 11 Carissa Damler- 2.02 D/S
Jr. OH 10 Azariah Stahl- 3.2 K/S (15), .61 B/S, 2.51 D/S
Jr. OH 20 Danielle Cuttino- 3.86 K/S (5), .278, .67 B/S
Jr. S 5 Ashley Evans- 11.04 A/S (5), 2.2 D/S
Sr. M 13 Faye Adelaja- 2.41 K/S, .474 (2, 1), .84 B/S
Purdue’s strength is their veteran hitters Stahl, Cuttino, and Adelaja. Cuttino is performing well this season being moved out from middle. Purdue is taller at the pins this season which bodes well for their block. Adelaja continues to anchor the middle. Purdue will need to pass well and limit hitting errors if they’re going to have pick up some W’s this weekend.
Purdue starts this killer weekend against #3 Wisconsin. The Badgers are 10-1, 2-0 in conference. Wisconsin has already faced six teams ranked in the top 25, dispatching all but one. Most impressive was the Badgers’ five-set win over then #2 Texas in Austin. Wisconsin returns every starter from last years squad except their libero. They also add the #5 freshman in the country, Molly Haggerty. Injuries and the addition of Haggerty has forced the Badgers to shuffle around their lineup for some matches, even so they haven’t missed a beat. Haggerty has transitioned to the college game seamlessly playing front row and back row. In a three-set win over then #16 Texas A&M, Haggerty put down 27 kills, in three sets, hitting .641; A&M had 35 kills as a team during the match.
Sr. M 13 Haleigh Nelson- 2.53 K/S, .356 (9), 1.45 B/S (21, 4)
Fr. L 19 M.E. Dodge- 2.68 D/S
So. M 11 Tionna Williams- 2.11 K/S, .326, 1.76 B/S (4,3)
Sr. S 1 Lauren Carlini- 11.45 A/S (2), .95 B/S, 3.0 D/S
Fr. OH 23 Molly Haggerty- 3.71 K/S (8), .234, 2.69 D/S
Sr. Opp 2 Romana Kriskova- 2.18 K/S, .68 B/S
The Badgers play tremendous defense leading the conference in blocks and digs. They also serve receive well averaging only 0.5 serve reception errors a set.
Fortunate for Purdue they have a day off before they face #2 Minnesota (10-1) on Sunday. Minnesota is 4-1 against ranked teams this season; their only loss coming against the Stanford Cardinal. The Gophers, who advanced to the Final Four last season, lost only one starter from last year’s Big Ten Champion squad. Similar to the Badgers they have added an outstanding freshman outside hitter to fill in a gap in their lineup. The Gophers are even more balanced than Wisconsin with weapons at every position. Coach Hugh McCutcheon maximizes the talent on his team by using three middles and running some offense from the back row.
So. DS 9 Sophie Beckley- 2.1 D/S
Fr. OH 19 Alexis Hart- 3.13 K/S, .301
So. S 11 Samantha Seliger-Swenson- 11.85 A/S (1), 2.26 D/S, .79 B/S
Jr. M 13 Molly Lohman- .284, 1.31 B/S (36, 7)
Jr. L 17 Dalianliz Rosado- 3.97 D/S (7)
Sr. M 7 Hannah Tapp- 3.14 K/S, .359 (6), 1.25 B/S (9)
Sr. M 4 Paige Tapp- 1.37 B/S (29, 5)
Sr. OH 8 Sarah Wilhite- 4.18 K/S (38, 2), .300, .59 B/S 2.49 D/S
The Gophers are very balanced and efficient. They can get kills from anywhere along the net. Offensively, the Tapp twins are dangerous from the right pin, and on defense they combine with Lohman for an intimidating net presence for Minnesota. Wilhite and Hart are probably one of the best outside hitting tandems in country combining for 7 kills each set.
The B1G is incredibly tough this year as it always is. Defending national champ Nebraska leads the conference in the AVCA rankings at #1 and is the only remaining unbeaten team in the country. The Huskers are followed by #2 Minnesota and #3 Wisconsin. Six more conference teams including our #14 Boilermakers are ranked this week; #16 Penn State, #18 Michigan State, #19 Ohio State, #22 Michigan, and #24 Illinois.
Big Ten Standings
Penn State 2-0
Michigan State 1-1
Ohio State 1-2