Oct. 12, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Northwestern Wildcats outlasted the No. 20 Purdue volleyball in a five-set match on Belin Court Saturday night. After dropping the first set, the Wildcats rebounded for the win by scores of 13-25, 25-23, 29-27, 21-25, 21-19.
The Boilermakers outhit the Wildcats .221 to .167 and outblocked them 12-2, but couldn't find an answer for the team's three hot hitters. Redshirt senior Catherine Rebarchak had a team-best 19 kills on a .314 hitting effort, while junior KiKi Jones tied a career-high with 14 kills, while hitting .357. Redshirt freshman Faye Adelaja added nine kills on a match-high .467 hitting percentage and added seven blocks. Sophomore Sam Epenesa (7), junior Val Nichol (6) and sophomore Annie Drews (5) rounded out the offense.
Defensively, redshirt senior Carly Cramer racked up a match-high 24 digs followed by senior Hilliary Fox (20) and Nichol (11). Redshirt senior Rachel Davis and sophomore Amanda Neill added nine digs apiece.
In the decisive fifth set, Northwestern jumped out to a 6-2 lead. The Boilermakers fought back, narrowing the gap to one at 10-9 with seven of the next 10 points. Jones had a pair of kills and three others got in on the action in the comeback. Down 13-10, Purdue again countered the Wildcats with a 4-0 run. A kill and solo block by Rebarchak and two NU hitting errors put the Boilers at match point at 14-13, but a pair of Stephanie Holthus kills gave Northwestern its first shot at the match. A Rebarchak kill and a stuff by Jones and Nichol made it 16-15 Purdue, but the Wildcats answered again. A pair of Epenesa putaways thwarted two more NU match point chances, tying the game at 17 and 18. A Wildcat error tied it at 19, but a pair of Boiler hitting errors gave the Northwestern the 21-19 win and the match.
The Boilermakers outhit the Wildcats .250 to -.086 with help from five blocks in a 25-13 Set 1 win. Purdue jumped out to a 8-3 lead, including two blocks, an ace by Cramer and kills by three different players. The Wildcats cut the margin to three at 9-6, but Purdue rattled off 13 of the next 16 to go up 22-9. Seven NU hitting errors helped the Boilermaker rally. Kills by Drews and Rebarchak put Purdue ahead 24-11. A Northwestern service error three plays later sealed the win.
Set 2 featured eight ties and four lead changes. The Wildcats used a 4-0 run to turn a 13-11 deficit into a 15-13 lead and held Purdue off the rest of the way. The teams split the next eight points leading to a 19-17 NU advantage. Northwestern took a 23-20 lead, prompting a Boilermaker timeout. A kill by Drews and a Wildcat miscue cut the margin one at 23-22. A Rebarchak kill thwarted NU's first chance at the set, but Holthus ended it with a kill. The Wildcats posted 19 kills to Purdue's 10 in the set.
The Boilermakers led throughout most of the third set, only to see it stolen away in the end, 29-27 on the fourth set-point try of the stanza. Each team hit .333 in the set, but in the end it was two kills and ace that clinched it for the Wildcats. Purdue led 9-4 early on, highlighted by an ace by Neill and two kills by Rebarchak. The Boilers continued on to a 14-10 edge as redshirt senior Katie Griffin tallied two putaways. Northwestern tied it up at 17, starting a back-and-forth shuffle that lasted to the final points. After four ties, last at 21, Northwestern took a 23-21 lead. Purdue called timeout and got kills from Jones and Nichol out of the break. NU had a chance at the set at 25-23, but Nichol thwarted the effort. A kill by Davis tied it at 25 and a solo block by Adelaja put Purdue ahead 26-25. A Holthus kill kept it going, but an Adelaja putaway gave the Boilers another shot at 27-26, but Northwestern scored three straight to cap the set. Jones and Rebarchak each had five kills in the stanza.
Purdue took the early lead in Set 4 and fought off a Wildcat rally midway through en route to a 25-21 win to force the decisive fifth set. The Boilers hit .294 to Northwestern's .159 in the stanza. Purdue jumped ahead 6-1, including an ace by Davis, but NU rallied to tie it up at 8-8. After a tie at 9-9, Rebarchak added back to back kills and Adelaja chipped in a third to make it 14-11 Purdue. Northwestern scored four straight to go ahead 15-14, but Purdue countered with a 6-1 run to stretch its lead to 20-16. The Wildcats made one final push, cutting the edge to two at 22-20. A block by Drews and Adelaja made and a NU miscue put Purdue up a 24-20, then a service error ended it.
The No. 20 Boilermakers (11-6, 2-4 Big Ten) return to action on Friday, when they take on the Iowa Hawkeyes in Iowa City.