Purdue (19-7, 9-6) finally put a complete match together against a high level opponent. After coming close to knocking off Nebraska on the road the Boilers came home laid it on the Gophers (23-4, 12-3) tallying 20+ kills in three of the four sets and winning the serve-pass battle.
Brooke Peters and Blake Mohler were dialed in from the start buoying Purdue to a 25-23 win in set one; Peters tallied 10 digs in the opening stanza and Mohler had seven kills on nine swings with one error. Purdue had the early the lead and held it til the mid-point of the set when the Gophers dropped in consecutive aces that gave them a 11-10 lead. Purdue answered right back a Sherridan Atkinson-Danielle Cuttino block and Mohler to kill to retake the lead. The early margin might’ve been higher for the Boilers if not for four missed serves. Back in front Purdue pushed their lead to five, 23-18, before Minnesota was able to cut the margin to one. Purdue errors kept Minnesota in the set as they only managed nine kills on offense.
Purdue got down 12-5 early in the second set and battled back to gain the lead but couldn’t hang on at the end falling 25-21. Sherridan Atkinson’s ace put Purdue in front 16-15, but it was short-lived as the two teams traded points and the lead back and forth for a stretch. The Gophers were down 18-17 when they ran off five straight, taking advantage of three Boiler miscues to go in front for the last time.
It took extra points but Purdue was able to take of business and win the third set moving them closer to clinching the match. Purdue ran out to a 11-4 lead in third set but the Gophers just slowly chipped away the lead a point at a time. Minnesota first tied the score at 21 and then again four more times. With the score tied at 25 Caitlyn Newton committed a hitting error giving the Gophers their first set point. Purdue answered the bell though getting kills from Atkinson and Azariah Stahl to give Purdue their third set point. The Boilers closed out the set 28-26 with a block from Atkinson and Cuttino.
It was all Boilers in the fourth set as they posted a commanding 25-14 win hitting .425 with 21 kills on 40 attempts. Purdue went up 6-0 and didn’t look back after getting three kills from Cuttino, one a piece from Atkinson and Stahl, and another Atkinson-Cuttino block.
Sherridan Atkinson led the quartet of hitters with double digit kills with 17 kills, .293 hitting, one ace, eight digs, and four blocks in a complete game for the junior right side hitter. Danielle Cuttino was next in line with 15 kills, .324 hitting, and six blocks. Fellow middle blocker, Blake Mohler, turned in a great performance tallying 14 kills with only two errors on 24 attempts (.500) to go with two blocks. Lastly, freshman,Caitlyn Newton put down 12 kills hitting, .296. Azariah Stahl nearly had a double-double with nine kills and nine digs. Setter, Ashley Evans flirted with a triple-double tallying 58 assists, eight kills, and eight digs. Brooke Peters led the passers with a career-high 24 digs.
Minnesota was led by Stephanie Samedy and Regan Pittman who both posted 14 kills; Pittman hit .500. Alexis Hart tallied 12 kills but struggled all night committing seven errors. Samantha Seliger-Swenson put up 46 assists. Molly Lohman led at the net with five blocks. Dalianliz Rosado managed only 10 digs on the night to lead the Gophers. Hart led the Gophers at the service line with two aces.
Purdue out-hit and out-dug Minnesota .317-.234 and 64-53; both teams finished with nine blocks.
Boilers are back in Holloway Saturday night for another sold out match, this time against No. 10 Wisconsin at 7:00 ET; the match will air on BTN+.