WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The No. 8 Purdue volleyball team opened its 2014 campaign and the 24th-annual Mortar Board Premier with a 3-0 sweep of USF Friday morning. The Boilermakers won the match 25-17, 25-22, 25-23.
Eleven Boilers saw court time in the match, including four making their Purdue debut - redshirt freshman Ashley Evans and true freshmen Lydia Dimke, Azariah Stahl and Danielle Cuttino - and all contributed to the winning effort.
Redshirt sophomore Faye Adelaja and junior Annie Drews posted nine kills apiece to lead the Boilermaker hitters, while senior KiKi Jones added six and Evans and Stahl each chipped in four. Adelaja also posted a team-high four blocks in the match, while Evans served up four aces.
The Boilermakers won all of the major statistical categories, including blocks (6-5), hitting percentage (.245-.185) and aces (7-2).
Purdue jumped ahead 7-1 in Set , including two aces by Evans and two kills by Drews, and allowed USF no closer than three points the rest of the way en route to a 25-17 win. The Bulls rallied to cut the margin to 14-11 forcing a Purdue timeout, but the Boilers responded with an 11-6 run to wrap up the set. A stuff by Drews and Adelaja put the Boilermakers up 24-17 and another ace by Evans clinched it.
Jones and Adelaja turned in five kills apiece as the Boilers edged USF 25-22 in Set 2. Purdue led 5-2 early, but the Bulls tied it at five all and eventually went on to a 12-9 advantage of their own. A kill and an ace by Jones started a 7-1 Boilermaker rally. USF countered again, earning a one-point edge twice, last at 18-17 before Purdue rallied to put them away. Jones racked up three kills as the Boilers went up 22-20. A kill by Drews and a solo stuff by Evans gave the team its first chance at the set and a USF service error two plays later put Purdue up 2-0 at the break.
Stahl and Cuttino made their Boilermaker debuts in Set 3 and accounted for six of the team's 14 kills. USF miscues and an ace by Evans put Purdue up 6-2 in the early going. The Bulls cut the lead to just one on four occasions, but the Boilers held on as the freshmen duo put down kills to help the team to a 15-11 edge. Ahead by just two at 17-15, the Boilermakers got two putaways from Nichol and help from a few USF errors to stretch the advantage to 21-15. Despite trailing 23-20, the Bulls did not go away quietly, instead thwarting two Purdue match point chances and forcing a timeout before a Drews putaway finally sealed the sweep.
The Boilermakers (1-0) wrap up Day 1 of the Mortar Board Premier with a 7:30 p.m. contest against No. 14 San Diego (1-0), which is coming off a 3-1 win over LSU in the day's second match.