No. 15 Purdue got all they wanted and more from Southern Miss and South Alabama as both matches went the distance with Purdue coming out on top. The Boilers had the least trouble getting past No. 25 Alabama as they swept the Tide.
Purdue got outstanding performances from Sherridan Atkinson and Blake Mohler in the five set win over the Golden Eagles. It was a drama filled match as four of the five sets were a two-point spread; 27-29, 26-24, 25-16, 23-15, 21-19. Atkinson led the Boilers with 25 kills and seven blocks. Mohler was dominant along the net hitting .545, and ringing up 21 kills and eight blocks.
Purdue had three set points in set one failing to capitalize as Atkinson committed a hitting error and twice Southern Miss converted a kill finishing the set on a 4-1 run. In the second set when Purdue had a second set point they made good on it as Blake Mohler closed the set with back-to-back kills. Purdue cruised in the third set outhitting Southern Miss .361-143. In the fourth set the Golden Eagles broke a 20-20 with a kill and block and never looked back generating their last three points off their offense.
Southern Miss ran out to an early 6-2 lead which grew to a 10-5 advantage which is often the kiss of death in the short fifth set, but Purdue was able to battle back. A four-point run put Purdue in front for the first time, 13-12, as the Boilers were on the door step of a match point. Southern Miss stopped the run and saved two match points before tipping the scales in their favor to earn their first of three match points The first ended with a Southern Miss hitting error and Atkinson was the hero for Purdue putting away two kills on the successive match points. Purdue missed on one more match point before Brooke Peters served an ace to clinch the match.
Hayley Bush posted a double-double with 62 assists and 17 digs. Brooke Peters led the defense with 32 digs and three aces. Marissa Hornung finished with 14 digs and two aces; Jena Otec also served two aces.
Purdue outhit and out-blocked Southern Miss .221-.185 and 14-8 respectively.
No. 15 Purdue picked up their first win over a ranked opponent Friday evening when they swept No. 25 Alabama; 25-22, 25-19, 25-15. Purdue got progressively better as the match wore on, serving tough throughout to keep Alabama from running their offense.
Sherridan Atkinson turned in a solid performance but it took awhile to get going finishing with 10 kills, eight digs, one ace, and .300 hitting to lead the Boilers. Blake Mohler carried Purdue in the first set finishing with nine kills and two blocks, hitting .467. Caitlyn Newton also posted nine kills. Shavona Cuttino was key finishing with no errors and seven kills on 11 attempts. Hayley Bush tallied 37 assists and three blocks. She also was aggressive putting away five kills on seven attempts. Brooke Peters led the Boilers with three aces and 17 digs.
Purdue outhit Alabama .327-171 and tallied five blocks to the Tide’s one.
There were eleven ties and seven lead changes in the closely contested first set. Purdue struggled in serve receive early and committed a handful of hitting errors as they struggled to find their rhythm. Blake Mohler carried Purdue putting away six kills in the set. Purdue was up 22-20 when a service error by Jena Otec and hitting error from Mohler gave Alabama new life and forced Shondell to call timeout. Mohler redeemed herself out of the timeout with a deft tip for a kill. Julianna Reisinger then went back to the service line and dropped in an ace; Purdue capped the set off with a block by Shavona Cuttino and Caitlyn Newton.
Purdue used a couple of runs to get past the Tide in the second set. A 7-2 Boilermaker run got Purdue the lead back toward the end of the set, 19-15. Purdue nearly lost it as Alabama got two kills and ace to draw within one. The Boilers had one more run in them closing the set on a 6-1 run including back to back aces by Brooke Peters which forced Alabama to call timeout at 22-18.
Purdue started hot in the third set racing out to a 6-2 lead with the help of three kills from Sherridan Atkinson who had turned her game around in the second set. Purdue only had one ace in the set but kept Alabama out of system as numerous passes pulled their setter off the net or had to be ran down for the second contact. Purdue put the match out of hand later on with a 7-1 run which put them in front 21-12.
In their third match in roughly 24 hours, Purdue again was put to the test in another five set win. The Boilers were hot and cold winning lopsided sets and dropping close ones; 24-26, 25-13, 23-25, 25-14, 15-7. Purdue outhit and out-blocked the Jaguars .265-.098 and 16-5 respectively. Purdue continued their hot serving tallying 12 aces in the match led by Jena Otec’s five and Julianna Reisinger’s four.
Sherridan Atkinson led the Boilers hitting .410 and putting away 17 kills. Freshman, Grace Cleveland had a nice match hitting .273, registering 14 kills and four blocks. Hayley Bush had another double-double with 37 assists and 14 digs. Blake Mohler led at the net with six blocks followed by Caitlyn Newton’s four solo stuffs; Jael Johnson also posted four blocks in just two sets of action. Brooke Peters and Marissa Hornung both finished with double figure digs, 19 and 12 respectively.
Purdue will open conference play against fellow unbeaten, No. 8 Illinois.