WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
For the first time this season, No. 16 Purdue (15-4, 5-3 B1G) suffered its second loss in a row, as it fell 3-1 (16-25, 25-22, 14-25, 18-25) to No. 4 Nebraska (14-4, 7-1 B1G) at Mackey Arena on Saturday. Purdue's defense held strong; however, the Boilermakers couldn't find enough success offensively to pull off the upset.
Brooke Peters led a back row that matched Nebraska's 49 digs in the match with 14 of her own, giving her 14 straight matches with 10 digs or more. Freshman Jena Otec added five digs and an ace. Both finished with errorless night's in serve receive, in fact the Boilermakers were aced just three times in the contest. Azariah Stahl added nine digs, an ace and a pair of blocks. Blake Mohler led Purdue with five blocks to go along with her five kills against the Cornhuskers and the Boilermakers finished the contest out-blocking Nebraska 10-7. Shavona Cuttino and Ashley Evans registered a pair of blocks each while Danielle Cuttino and Sherridan Atkinson were each credited with three.
Atkinson and Danielle Cuttino registered 15 and 14 kills respectively to lead the offense but the Boilermakers were held to just a .134 hitting percentage on the night. Shavona Cuttino was errorless in her seven swings as she earned four kills to register a .571 hitting percentage. Evans earned a double-double with 36 assists and 12 digs in the contest.
The Boilermakers were efficient enough, hitting .250 with 14 kills, in the second set to pull off the 25-22 victory while the defense held Nebraska to just a .239 hitting percentage. Purdue's defense was even better in the third set as it held the Cornhuskers to a .185 hitting percentage but the Boilermakers couldn't take advantage of Nebraska's mistakes as they fell 25-14.
Purdue's next match is an even tougher challenge as the Boilermakers will square off with No. 2 Penn State at Holloway Gymnasium on Friday, Oct. 20, at 8 p.m. ET. Following its contest with the Nittany Lions, Purdue hosts Rutgers on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m.