CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The No. 22 Boilermaker volleyball team won their 13th-straight five set match, coming from behind to top Illinois 3-2 on the road Wednesday night. Purdue won the match 26-24, 20-25, 21-25, 25-20, 15-9.
Redshirt junior Catherine Rebarchak led the way offensively with a career-high 18 kills, while senior Ariel Turner added 13 and sophomore Kiki Jones chipped in 10. Senior Anna Drewry downed nine kills while hitting at a .727 clip, while sophomore Val Nichol posted eight kills. Purdue outhit the Illini .229 to .170 thanks to a .375 effort in Set 4 and a .368 mark in Set 5.
Drewry led the Boilers at the net with seven stuffs as Purdue outblocked Illinois 13-9. Turner added five blocks, while Jones and Rebarchak each chipped in four. Redshirt junior Carly Cramer led the Purdue backcourt with 20 digs, while redshirt junior Rachel Davis finished off a double-double adding 14 digs to her 53 assists. Freshman Amanda Neill pulled up 11 digs, while junior Hilliary Fox added 10. Neill and Cramer each served up two aces for Purdue.
The Boilermakers started Set 5 with a bang, scoring the first five points, three on blocks by Jones, who teamed up with Turner twice and Rebarchak once. Rebarchak also added two kills in the stretch. Illinois battled back to pull within two at 6-4 an 7-5, but a Jones kill put Purdue up 8-5 at the changeover and two more blocks by Drewry pushed the score to 10-5. Illinois scored three of the next four to cut it to three at 11-8 and force a Boilermaker timeout. A nit violation, an ace by Nichol and a Turner putaway made it 14-8 Purdue. After an Illini block, UI was whistled for blocking the set for the final Purdue point at 15-9.
Purdue got offensive contributions from five different players and overcame a 22-20 deficit to take Set 1 26-24. The teams split the first 20 points of the set with neither gaining more than a two point edge. Illini snapped the 10-10 tie with five of the next seven points to lead 15-12 at the media timeout, thanks to a trio of Boilermaker miscues. Purdue bounced back after the break, scoring six of the next eight, including four Illinois errors, to go up 18-17. The teams tied at 18, 19 and 20, but UI went up 22-20 forcing Purdue to use both of its timeouts. Kills by Rebarchak, Jones and Nichol brought Purdue into a 23-23 tie. The Illinis got a kill, but Purdue held off a set-point attempt with a Jones putaway. A hitting error and a tip shot kill by Drewry clinched the Boilers the 26-24 win.
Set 2 belonged mostly to Illinois as UI overcame an early deficit to post a 25-20 win. Purdue scored three of the first four points, two on Rebarchak kills, but the Illini tied it up at four. Putaways by Turner and Jones kept the Boilermakers in front at 6-5. Illinois used a 3-0 run to push in front 8-6 and held on to the lead the rest of the stanza. Down five at 12-7, Purdue managed three straight points on a Drewry kill, a Nichol ace and a stuff by Rebarchak and Drewry. The Illini pushed the margin back to five at 18-13. The Boilermakers rallied again with four straight points to cut the lead to one at 18-17. Kills by Davis and Nichol and a block by Davis and Drewry highlighted the rally. Illinois managed seven of the last 10, including four kills and an ace by Jocelynn Birks, to take the set.
Purdue racked up five blocks, but Illinois held off a late Boilermaker rally in a 25-21 Set 3 win. The Boilermakers trailed 14-11 midway through the set after trailing nearly from the start, but turned it around with a 4-0 run, including a trio of blocks, to go up 15-14. A kill by Davis made it 16-15, but the Illini charged back with five straight points including an ace, as Purdue used both of its timeouts. Down 20-16, Purdue rallied with four of the next five points including back-to-back stuffs by Drewry, who paired up with Turner and Rebarchak to cut the margin to one at 21-20. Illinois went up 23-20 after a service error and a kill. A stuff block by Turner kept Purdue alive, but an Illini block and Purdue hitting miscue closed out the set.
Purdue led Set 4 nearly from the start, save a 1-0 deficit, in a 25-20 win to send the match to a fifth and deciding set. The Boilermakers hit .375 in the set to a .241 effort by Illinois and got three of more kills from five different players in the stanza. Purdue turned the 1-0 deficit into a 4-1 lead, thanks in part to a pair of aces by Cramer. The Boilermakers pushed the advantage to five at 11-6, forcing an Illini timeout with a Turner putaway. Illinois cut the margin to three at 13-10, but Purdue answered with five of the next seven to go up 18-12. Rebarchak had two kills in the run. The Illinois scored three in a row, but the Boilermakers used kills from Jones and Nichol to go ahead 21-16. It was a three-point game again at 22-19, but Purdue capped the win with three of the last four, including kills by Nichol, Turner and Rebarchak.
The Boilermakers (15-8, 8-5 Big Ten) return to action at 8 p.m. ET Saturday when they take on Northwestern in Evanston, Ill.