No. 10 Minnesota Edges No. 16 Volleyball 3-2
November 2, 2013HOOSIER SPORTS 365
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The No. 16 Purdue volleyball team played No. 10 Minnesota to the wire in a five-set match, but could not come up with the upset. The Gophers won the match 17-25, 25-18, 25-23, 21-25, 15-10.
Junior Val Nichol led the Boilermakers with a career-high 20 kills, while hitting at a .436 clip and adding 30 asssists and seven digs. Redshirt senior Catherine Rebarchak (14), sophomore Sam Epenesa (13) and redshirt freshman Faye Adelaja (10) also reached double digits in putaways. Junior KiKi Jones and sophomore Annie Drewschipped in six kills apiece. Adelaja hit at a match-high .667 percentage, while recording the first double-digit kill tally of her Purdue career.
Defensively, senior Hilliary Fox and redshirt senior Carly Cramer pulled up 18 digs apiece, while redshirt senior Rachel Davis (11) and sophomore Amanda Neill(10) also reached double figures. Cramer also served up two aces in the match. Jones paced the team at the net with four stuffs, while Adelaja and Epenesa added three apiece.
Minnesota outhit Purdue .297 to .237 and outblocked the Boilers 16-7. The Boilermakers won the battle in the backcourt with 74 digs to the Gophers' 62.
In the decisive fifth set, Purdue fell behind 7-3 as the Gophers racked up five kills and added a block. A pair of kills by Nichol and a Minnesota service error pulled the Boilers within three at 9-6, but UM scored three of the next four to take a 12-7 lead. Purdue was within four at 13-9 after a pair of Gopher service errors, but a block set up match point at 14-9. A hitting error kept the match going, but Ashley Wittman ended it at 15-10 with her 16th kill of the night.
The Boilers bounced back from a mid-set rally by Minnesota in a 25-17 Set 1 win. Purdue outhit the Gophers .314 to .156 in the stanza as Nichol and Epenesa turned in five kills apiece. The Boilermakers took an early 8-5 lead with help from two blocks as well as two putaways by Epenesa. Minnesota scored four of the next five points to tie it up at 9-9. The teams split the next four points, before the Gophers went up 12-11 on a Purdue miscue. The Boilers responded by taking six of the next seven points including an ace by redshirt senior setter Rachel Davis, to go up 17-13. Minnesota cut the margin to three at 19-16, but Purdue finished the set on a 6-1 run, including an ace by Fox and kills by four players.
The teams split the first 22 points of Set 2. The lead changed hands four times and the set featured 11 ties. Minnesota led 6-5 but Purdue got kills by Nichol and Adelaja to go up 7-6. The Gophers got back-to-back kills to regain the edge at 8-7. Putaways by Rebarchak and Nichol made it 11-10 Boilers. Down 12-11, Minnesota managed nine of the next 11 points to take a 20-14 lead and force Purdue to use both of its timeouts. The Boilermakers rallied to within three at 21-18 including a three-point stretch of two kills and a block by Epenesa. The Gophers took a timeout and scored four straight out of the break to end the set at 25-18.
Set 3 featured 11 ties and four lead changes and came down to the wire as Minnesota won 25-23. Purdue took an early 6-3 lead, as Rebarchak and Jones downed two kills apiece, but Minnesota tied it up at 7-7. The Boilers pushed their edge to four at 12-8 on an Adelaja kill, but the Gophers rallied to take a 15-14 lead of their own. The Boilermakers countered by scoring seven of the next 12 to push ahead 21-19 and force a Minnesota timeout. The Gophers tie it up at 21 and 22 before nudging ahead 23-22 on a hitting error. A kill by Nichol evened it up at 23, but a UM kill and a Boiler net violation ended it.
The Boilermakers force the match to a fifth set, outhitting the Gophers .361 to .219 in a 25-21 Set 4 win. Nichol put down six kills in the stanza, while Jones, Adelaja and Rebarchak added three apiece. After splitting the first eight points of the stanza, Minnesota jumped ahead 11-4. The Boilermakers cut the margin to three at 13-10 with kills from three players and a block by Rebarchak and Adelaja. Down 15-10, Purdue continued to push, racking up nine of the next 11 points to erase the deficit and take a 19-17 lead. Jones and Nichol downed two kills apiece and Cramer served up back-to-back aces in the stretch. Minnesota called timeout, but could not stop the Boilermaker rally. Purdue closed out the set with a 6-3 run, including two kills and a block by Nichol. A Rebarchak kill put the Boilers on the hill and an Epenesa putaway extended the match with a 25-21 win.
The No. 16 Boilermakers (15-7, 6-5 Big Ten) return to action at 7 p.m. Saturday when they take on No. 15 Wisconsin. It is Scout Night at Belin Court with all scouts and their families receiving $5 admission. Fans with a Purdue/OSU football ticket stub may receive $3 admission while supply lasts.