LAWRENCE, Kan. -
The No. 17 Boilermakers (7-1) kicked off the Kansas Invitational with a 3-1 (25-21, 25-15, 22-25, 27-25) upset of No. 9 Creighton (6-2) before falling to No. 7 Kansas 3-1 (18-25, 17-25, 25-18, 19-25) in Kansas' Horejsi Center. Ashley Evans set the offense to a .411 hitting percentage against the Bluejays while three pin hitters accounted for 53 of Purdue's 66 kills.
Danielle Cuttino and Sherridan Atkinson torched Creighton's defense for 21 kills each in the contest. Cuttino hit .576 with her 21-2-33 line while Atkinson hit .500 with 21 kills, two errors and 38 attempts. In the final two sets, Cuttino was determined to slam the door on the Bluejays as she registered 15 kills on 22 errorless swings, with nine kills coming in the final set. Azariah Stahl made the most of her opportunities as well, throwing down 11 kills on 28 attempts with just one error to hit .357, complementing her seven digs and two blocks. Of Purdue's 66 kills in the contest, Evans assisted Boilermakers on 57 of them while throwing down five of her own to go along with her 12 digs.
Danielle and Shavona Cuttino were a force defensively as well, combining for seven block assists. Brooke Peters turned in her best performance of the season with 17 digs and just one reception error in 16 attempts at libero.
Creighton jumped out to a 10-3 lead in the first set but somehow the Boilermakers were unfazed and responded with an even bigger statement, outscoring the Bluejays 22-11 to win the first 25-21. The second set started much closer as each team traded blows until the Boilermakers found themselves down 13-11 and busted off a 14-2 run to dominate the set 25-15. Creighton bounced back in the third set with an 8-2 run to take a 15-10 advantage and managed to hold on to force the fourth set with a 25-22 score. The fourth set was a battle throughout as both teams struggled to take control with seven tie scores down the stretch once Purdue evened the score at 18. However, the Boilermakers were able to defeat the Bluejays 27-25 to win the set and avoid a fifth set.
Purdue's match against Kansas was a different story, as the Jayhawks held Purdue to its lowest hitting percentage of the season. Danielle Cuttino and Atkinson managed to earn 11 and 10 kills respectively but were held to a .161 hitting percentage. Evans earned her second double-double of the season with 37 assists and 11 digs. Peters continues to grow in her role at libero with 14 digs and not a single service reception in 27 attempts against the Jayhawks. Freshman Caitlyn Newton shined in her first contest against a ranked opponent as she started the third set and hit .294 with nine kills and 17 swings in the final two sets of the contest.
The Boilermakers look to bounce back Saturday, Sept. 9 at 1 p.m. ET against Belmont (5-5). The Bruins were swept by Creighton and Kansas in its first two matches of the tournament.