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Purdue Volleyball Splits Matches Against Top Ten Foes

No. 17 Purdue went four sets with No. 7 Kansas and No. 9 Creighton but only came away with a win over the Bluejays. Team will be back in action tomorrow at 1:00 against Belmont to wrap up the tournament.

Purdue vs Illinois in Mackey

The Boilers went 1-1 against teams ranked in the AVCA top ten Friday. In the morning Purdue’s offense was no match for Creighton as as the beat the Bluejays. At night, against Kansas, the Boilers struggled to find any consistency and could not produce the big runs like they had in the morning.

Creighton Recap

In the morning, the Purdue offense was on fire, hitting .411, as the No. 17 Boilermakers knocked off No. 9 Creighton in four sets. Purdue got incredible production from their pin hitters as the Bluejays could nothing to slow them down.

Early in the 1st set Purdue found themselves in a sizeable hole, down 10-3. The Boilers were able to respond though as they ran off 10 of the next 11 points to go in front 13-11. Purdue kept pressing and stretched their lead to four, 16-12 with a Danielle Cuttino kill. Purdue kept rolling to win the set 25-21, hitting .433 in the opening set.

Purdue used another big run to help them get the win in the second set. Neither team could separate themselves early on in the set. Down 13-11, D.Cuttino kicked off a 14-2 run as Purdue ran away with the set, winning 25-15. Purdue outhit Creighton .400 to .037.

Unlike in the previous sets, Purdue couldn’t put together a big run to get past the Bluejays, falling 25-22. Purdue held an early lead, 8-7, but saw it disappear as Creighton scored eight of the next ten points. The Boilers kept fighting though, Azariah Stahl had two kills to help trim the margin. D.Cuttino’s solo stuff drew Purdue within one, 22-21 but Purdue couldn’t tie it up.

For most of the 4th set the score was tied, yet Purdue was able to prevail, winning 27-25. D. Cuttino got to work right away ripping off four kills to help Purdue go in front 4-3. Creighton took the lead shortly thereafter but Purdue didn’t let them run away with it. Two Ashley Evans kill capped off a 4-0 run as Purdue tied the score at 18. The Boilers kept hanging around though they couldn't get the lead. With the scored tied at 22-all, Creighton mishandled Jena Otec’s serve and Stahl was there to put the over pass away and put Purdue in front for good.

As mentioned above Purdue’s pin hitters, Danielle Cuttino, Sherridan Atkinson, and Azariah Stahl were phenomenal hitting .485 as a group and .576, .500, and .357 respectively. D.Cuttino and Atkinson both put away 21 kills while Stahl contributed 11. Shavona Cuttino led at the net with four blocks; Blake Mohler and D.Cuttino both had three. Ashley Evans posted a double-double with 57 assists and 12 digs. Brooke Peters led the passers with 17 digs.

Kansas Recap

Purdue struggled for most of the match as they fell in four sets to No. 7 Kansas. A line-up change in third set was key as Purdue finally won a set but Kansas made adjustments of their own in the fourth to clinch the win.

Purdue struggled in the first set, getting down early and committing some uncharacteristic errors as Kansas won 25-18. Purdue spotted Kansas a 6-1 lead after committing four errors as our only offense came from a setter dump. From there Purdue struggled with ball control and couldn’t get good swings in system. Purdue also had no answer for Kansas’ Madison Rigdon as she put away six kills. Sherridan Atkinson was the lone bright spot in the first set putting down five kills.

The second set played out similar to the first, Purdue got down early and could not recover. This time the Boilers got down 7-1 as Rigdon picked up where she left off putting down three kills and the Jayhawk block tallied two stuffs. Purdue struggled to string even two points together but made a little surge at the end of set with a 4-1 run to cut the margin to seven, 24-17, before losing on the next point, 25-17.

Coming out of the break Purdue made some adjustments. The key one being sliding Danielle Cuttino to middle, playing opposite of Blake Mohler, and inserting Caitlyn Newton into Cuttino’s spot at outside. Newton came out swinging providing a spark and Kansas struggled hitting around the bigger block. The back row also provided a lift getting lots of quality touches and improved ball control. Purdue went up 8-3 early thanks to two Newton kills, a Mohler-Atkinson block, and kills from Mohler and Stahl. Kansas drew within three handful of times but never closer as Purdue was able to answer each time. Purdue won 25-18.

In the fourth set it was Kansas’s turn to make adjustments subbing in Jada Burse for Ashley Smith. This went as well as the Jayhawks could’ve hoped as Burse registered five kills on seven swings. Also Purdue reverted to how they played in the first and second sets, getting down early and never quite battling back. Kansas went up 6-2 and Purdue did answer drawing within two twice but Kansas got kills on the ensuing point both times. The nail in the coffin came later, Purdue was down 21-15 and Kansas dug a tip then their libero kicked the ball up to keep it in the air. Purdue failed to convert on the free ball which Kansas dug and then ended the rally with an out of system back row kill. Purdue fell 25-19.

Danielle Cuttino posted 11 kills with most coming in the first two sets. Sherridan Atkinson finished the night with 10 kills and three blocks. Caitlyn Newton put away nine kills in two sets of action hitting .294. Blake Mohler led at the net with four blocks. Ashley Evans put up a double-double with 37 assists and 11 digs to go with three blocks. Brooke Peters led in the back row with 14 digs.

Rigdon finished with 15 kills and Kelsie Payne quietly amassed 19 kills.

Purdue was outhit .271-.218 but did out-block Kansas 7-4.

Purdue has one last match tomorrow against the Belmont Bruins at 1:00. Belmont was swept by both Kansas and Creighton today.