CINCINNATI - The No. 11 Boilermakers closed out the Big Ten/Big East Challenge with a 3-1 win over the host Cincinnati Bearcats Saturday night. Purdue won the match 25-18, 24-26, 25-21, 25-10.
Senior Ariel Turner paced the Boilermakers with an all-around effort with a team-best 18 kills, 13 digs and seven aces. Turner's seven-ace performance was the first seven-plus ace effort for Purdue since Katie Gibbons had seven against Michigan State on Nov. 8, 1997. Senior Anna Drewry aided the team offensively with 13 kills, while freshmen Sam Epenesa and Annie Drews chipped in seven apiece. Sophomore Val Nichol put down six kills, while also adding eight digs and 24 assists.
Defensively, redshirt junior Carly Cramer led the way with 16 digs, followed by Turner (13) and redshirt junior Rachel Davis, who rounded out a double double with 10 digs to go with her 23 assists. Drewry paced Purdue at the net with five blocks, while Turner and sophomore Kiki Jones each added three stuffs. Cramer also served up three aces as Purdue outserved Cincinnati in aces 10-1.
Drewry and Cramer were named to the Big Ten/Big East Challenge all-tournament team for their efforts on the weekend.
Purdue started slow but bounced back to outscore the Bearcats 16-7 down the stretch to cruise to a 25-18 win. Drews was a perfect 6-for-6 hitting, while Turner added four aces and four kills as the Boilermakers hit .407 for the stanza. Turner pounded down two kills to start the match, but Cincinnati quickly took a 5-3 lead. Purdue fought back and took a 7-6 lead thanks to three Drews kills and an ace by Turner. Down 11-9, the Boilermakers mounted their comeback with nine of the next 11 points to go ahead 18-13 after three straight aces by Turner. Leading 21-17, Purdue wrapped up the stanza with four of the last five points, capped by a Cramer aces and also including a kill and a block by Drewry.
The Bearcats took a quick 6-1 lead in Set 2 and led by five again at 10-5 before the Boilermakers turned things around. Purdue scored five straight to tie it up at 10 with help from kills from Drewry, Nichol and Epenesa. The Boilermakers took the lead at 12-11 and led by one again at 13-12, but Cincinnati found an answer, outscoring Purdue 7-4 to regain the advantage at 19-17. Purdue trailed by three at 22-19, but jumped ahead 23-22 after a 4-0 run including kills from Turner and Nichol and a stuff by Turner and Jones. A pair of Bearcat kills put Cincinnati on the hill at 24-23, but a hitting error knotted the score at 24. A UC kill and a Boilermaker miscue clinched Cincinnati the 26-24 win and tied the match at a set apiece.
In a third set that featured nine ties and three lead changes, the Boilermakers led early and had to come back from a 12-10 deficit to snag the 25-21 win. Turner had five kills and three aces in the set, while Drewry chipped in four putaways. Purdue led 7-4, but saw that evaporate due to an 8-3 Bearcat run. Down 12-10, Purdue scored three straight on a Drewry kill, a Cramer ace and a stuff by Jones and Turner to regain the advantage. After ties at 13 and 14, Purdue pulled away to a 20-17 lead. A pair of hitting miscues made it a one-point game, but the Boilermakers closed out the stanza with five of the next seven points.
The Boilermakers cruised to a 25-10 win in Set 4 to clinch the match, hitting .542 while holding the Bearcats to a .036 effort. Purdue scored eight of the first 10 points, including four Turner kills, a solo block by Jones and an ace by Cramer. The Boilermakers led by eight at 13-5, but soon doubled the margin at 21-5, with an 8-0 run featuring two kills and a block by Drewry and seven straight service points by Davis. Cincinnati finally broke through with five of the next seven points to make it 23-10. A kill by Nichol and a Bearcat net violation sewed up the match.
The Boilermakers (6-2) return to action at 10 a.m. Friday when they take on Jacksonville State to open the Active Ankle Challenge in Mackey Arena.