Box Score (HTML) | Box Score (PDF) | Photo Gallery
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - No. 17 Purdue (15-5, 5-4 B1G) fell to No. 1 Penn State (18-1, 8-1 B1G) in four sets (22-25, 14-25, 25-21, 10-25) in a sold out Holloway Gymnasium with 2,415 fans in attendance. The Boilermakers debuted a new offense with a new lineup allowing them to go toe-to-toe with the nation's top-ranked program, aside from two Penn State runs that were ultimately the deciding factors in the match.
Ashley Evans set the offense to 35 assists while connecting with Danielle Cuttino and Sherridan Atkinson 26 times. Cuttino finished the match with 15 kills and a .273 hitting percentage with three blocks while Atkinson added 11 kills, a .269 hitting percentage and two blocks. The Nittany Lions were able to hold off Blake Mohler, Azariah Stahl and Caitlyn Newton, who made her first collegiate start in the contest. Combined, the trio registered 13 kills on the night.
Evans led the defense with 14 digs and three blocks to complement her performance as Purdue's floor general. Brooke Peters registered eight digs on the night while Jena Otec and Stahl each added six digs. Atkinson finished with four digs as well. Peters, Otec and Stahl each aced the Nittany Lions once in the match.
The first set was as good of a battle between two of the nation's best programs as any, as it was tight all the way until Purdue tied the set at 21. Penn State responded to the pressure by winning four of the next five points to take a 1-0 advantage. The second set was also tightly contested until Penn State went off on an 8-0 run after falling behind 9-8 to take a 16-10 advantage and go on to win the set 25-14.
Coming out of the break, Purdue bounced back to take the set 25-21. Stahl fueled a 6-2 run with a pair of kills to close out the set after the Boilermakers were tied with the Nittany Lions at 19. Penn State didn't allow Purdue to threaten its lead long in the fourth as it used a 9-0 run on top of its 6-4 lead to create a comfortable distance, allowing the Nittany Lions to win the match with a 25-10 score in the final set.
The Boilermakers are back in Holloway Gymnasium on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. when they take on a Rutgers team that has yet to win a Big Ten match this season.