WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The No. 8 Boilermakers finished off the opening weekend of 2014 with a 3-0 record and the Mortar Board Premier tournament title after sweeping LSU 3-0 Saturday night. Purdue won the match 25-17, 34-32, 25-22.
Junior Annie Drews spearheaded the Boilermaker offensive attack with a career high 19 kills. Redshirt sophomore Faye Adelaja added nine, while redshirt freshman Ashley Evans and senior KiKi Jones recorded seven apiece and senior Val Nichol put down six kills.
Junior Amanda Neill racked up a career-high tying 18 digs, while Evans (13) and Nichol (12) also reached double digits. Redshirt sophomore Kate Workman managed nine saves. Nichol rounded out a double-double with 40 assists.
The Boilers outhit the Tigers .273 to .211 in the match as five hitters managed efforts of .300 or better.
Evans was named Mortar Board Premier MVP for her efforts on the weekend, while Nichol and Drews received all-tournament team honors. Jianna Bonomi and Alaysia Brown from San Diego, Briana Holman from LSU and Erin Fairs from USF rounded out the all-tournament team.
LSU scored the opening point of the night, but Purdue quickly rattled off five straight points, including two Drews kills to go up 5-1. The Tigers cut the margin to two at 11-9 and later turned a 14-9 Purdue lead into a one-point spread at 14-13. Five LSU errors coupled kills by junior Sam Epenesa and Nichol upped the Boilermaker advantage to seven at 21-14. Kills by Epenesa and Evans and another Tiger miscue set up game-point at 24-16. An Adelaja putaway ended the stanza at 25-17.
Set 2 featured 20 ties, 12 lead changes and a combined nine set point attempts before the Boilermakers sewed up the 34-32 win. Purdue led 10-6 early on after two Evans kills and a stuff by Adelaja and Nichol forced an LSU timeout. The Tigers charged back to take a 12-11 lead and held the edge until the Boilers scored two in a row, including a kill by Adelaja to go up 17-16. LSU went ahead by two at 21-19, but Purdue surged back as Drews downed four straight kills to put the Boilers on top 23-21. Another Drews kill made it 24-22, but LSU scored three straight to have a set-point chance of its own. The teams traded two point rallies over the next 10 points leading to a 30-29 Boiler lead on an ace by Jones. The Tigers knotted the score at 30, 31 and 32, before kills by Drews and Jones finally secured the Boilermaker victory. Purdue hit .304 in the stanza, including 14 kills on a .500 hitting effort by Drews.
Purdue clinched the match and the tournament title with a 25-22 Set 3 win, holding off a late LSU charge. The Boilers scored the first four points of the stanza and went on to lead by six at 17-11 as freshman Azariah Stahl, Jones and Adelaja turned in kills. A kill by Evans gave Purdue its first shot at match point at 24-19. LSU thwarted the next three efforts, but a Tiger error wrapped up the match.
The No. 8 Boilermakers (3-0) return to action on Friday when they take on UNC-Asheville at the KSU Owl Invitational in Kennesaw, Ga.