DENVER, Colo. - The Boilermaker volleyball team showed its mettle, overcoming a hard fighting Denver Pioneer team in a 3-1 victory Saturday night to clinch the Denver Invitational title.
Junior Ariel Turner capped her stay in her home stay with a 19-kill, 10-dig double double, while also adding two aces and three blocks. Senior Tiffany added 13 kills on a .550 hitting effort en route to tournament MVP honors. Redshirt sophomore Katie Griffin chipped in nine kills.
Turner and Bashen also garnered all-tournament team nods.
The Boilermakers led Set 1 from start to finish, due in part to a varied offensive attack and a stellar blocking effort. Six different players posted kills, led by Turner's six, as Purdue hit at a .412 clip. The Boilermakers also put up five blocks, helping stifle the Pioneer attack. Purdue led 5-2 at the start as Fisher downed two kills and Turner chipped in a kill and an ace. Denver tied it up at 5, 6 and 7, sparking a Boilermaker rally. After the last knot-up, Purdue rattled off 12 of the next 16 points to go ahead 19-11 and prompt the final DU timeout. Drewry combined on a pair of blocks as did Turner in the rally, while Davis found four hitters for kills. Denver scored five of the next eight to narrow the gap to six at 22-16A kill by Griffin and two more from Turner capped the 25-17 win.
Denver came out with guns blazing in the second set, outhitting Purdue .303 to .147 in the stanza and putting up a trio of blocks and two aces en route to a 25-17 upset win. The Pioneers led 6-1 out of the gate, including a couple of aces. Purdue narrowed the gap to three at 7-4 after a kills and a solo block by Turner. Trailing 10-5, the Boilermakers made another run, scoring four of the next five to pull within two at 11-9 as Drewry, Turner and Fisher contributed kills. Purdue battled a five-point deficit a few time and managed to get back to within three, but Denver would not relinquish control. After leading 18-15, the Pioneers wrapped up the stanza on a 7-2 run, including a trio of big blocks.
The Pioneers carried the momentum into Set 3, going up 5-1 to start the stanza. Purdue chipped away at the deficit, pulling within one at 8-7 on a solo block by Griffin. A stuff by Rebarchak and Jones and an ace by Ehlers pushed the Boilermakers on to an 11-10 advantage. Denver responded to the rally by taking five of the next seven to go ahead 15-13. Purdue turned the tables with a 4-0 run, capitalizing on two DU miscues and kills by Griffin and Fisher. The Boilermakers continued on to a six-point lead at 23-17 as Davis and Griffin each tallied a pair of kills. A Pioneer hitting error put Purdue on the hill at 24-19. A kill and an error prolonged the set, but a UD hitting miscue gave the Boilermakers the 25-21 win.
The teams split the first eight points of Set 4. Down 5-4, Purdue scored four in a row, prompting a DU timeout. Kills by Griffin, Jones and Turner and a stuff by Jones and Griffin accounted for the points. The Pioneers cut the margin to one twice, but the Boilermakers went up by three again at 12-9 on a Turner putaway. Denver scored four of the next five to knot the score at 13. A pair of kills by Fisher and a block by Jones and Griffin gave Purdue a 16-14 advantage and force DU to use its final timeout. Up by just one at 17-16, the Boilermakers broke off a 4-0 run, including a pair of blocks and a kill by Jones. Denver fought back with three straight points to make it 21-19. Purdue answered, wrapping the match with four straight points. A Turner kill, two DU miscues and a service ace by Bashen clinched the 25-19 win and the Denver Invitational title.
The Boilermakers (6-0) return to action on Friday, when they play host to Jacksonville State at the Active Ankle Challenge on Belin Court.