Active Ankle Tournament Champs

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Middle blocker KiKi Jones was named Active Ankle Challenge MVP for her efforts on the weekend.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Middle blocker KiKi Jones was named Active Ankle Challenge MVP for her efforts on the weekend.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

Sept. 21, 2013

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The No. 21 Boilermaker volleyball team capped the non-conference season with another tournament title, taking the Active Ankle Challenge with a 3-0 sweep of FIU Saturday night. Purdue won the match 25-14, 25-16, 25-21, marking the team's eighth straight victory after a 1-2 opening.

Junior KiKi Jones was named tournament MVP, while redshirt seniors Rachel Davis and Katie Griffin garnered all-tournament team nods.

In the tournament finale against FIU, the Boilermakers put on yet another balanced offensive showing. Junior Val Nichol posted a match-high nine kills, while Jones and Griffin added eight apiece. Sophomore Sam Epenesa and Annie Drews each chipped in seven putaways, while redshirt freshman Faye Adelaja rounded out the offense with five kills. Jones hit at a team-best .636 clip, while the Boilermakers managed a .391 effort as a team.

Defensively, it was again redshirt senior libero Carly Cramer leading the squad with a match-high 12 digs. As the net, Adelaja posted a team-leading six blocks, while Drews added three and Griffin put up two. Purdue outdug FIU 39 to 26 and outblocked the Panthers 7-2, helping stifle the FIU offense into a .130 hitting effort.

After splitting the first eight points of Set 1 with the Panthers, the Boilermakers managed to pull away with a 6-1 run, including two kills and a block by Griffin and an ace by Nichol. Trailing 10-5, FIU took a timeout and managed to keep the Boilers close over the next eight points as the lead teetered between three and four. Up by just three at 13-10 after committing their first hitting error of the night, the Boilermakers found another gear and raced off to score nine of the next 11 to boost the margin to 10 at 22-12. Epenesa had two aces and Nichol had one in the stretch. FIU answered with two of the next three points, but kills by Epenesa and Jones capped the 25-14 win. Purdue hit .560 in the stanza, while holding FIU to a .120 effort.

FIU took the early lead in Set 2 and held the advantage until the Boilermakers scored three straight, including a block by Drews and Epenesa, to turn a 7-5 deficit into an 8-7 lead. After a tie at 8-8, Purdue was in control the rest of the way. With a one-point edge at 12-11, the Boilers put together a 7-0 rally, including three stuffs, one solo effort each by Adelaja and Nichol and a combined effort by Adelaja and Griffin, to go up 19-11. The Panthers scored the next two points to make it a six-point game, but would get no closer. A pair of kills by Drews put the Boilermakers ahead 24-15, before an FIU service error ended the stanza at 25-16. Nichol turned in five kills in the set.

The teams were level through the first 18 points of Set 3, tied 9-9, but Purdue nabbed a two-point edge at 11-9 with a Drews putaway and an ace by Cramer. FIU answered back with a 3-0 run to take a 12-11 lead of its own. The Boilermakers called timeout and it sparked them to a 5-0 rally, including a pair of aces by Davis, which made it 16-12. FIU took a break and countered with eight of the next 10 points to lead by two at 20-18. Another timeout gave Purdue the final push it needed, turning the deficit into a 24-20 edge. Griffin put down two kills in the rally, while Adelaja and Drews teamed up for a pair of blocks to give the Boilers their first shot at the match. A service error halted them temporarily, but Griffin ended it with her fourth kill of the set and eighth of the night.

The No. 21 Boilermakers (9-2) return to action at 8 p.m. ET Friday when they take on the Wisconsin Badgers (11-1) in Madison, Wis., to begin Big Ten play.