Nov. 2, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The No. 16 Boilermaker volleyball team was the victor in a five-set slugfest with No. 15 Wisconsin that featured four extra-point sets, 52 ties, 21 lead changes and a spectacular triple double performance by junior setter/outside hitter Val Nichol. Purdue won the match 24-26, 25-21, 26-24, 31-33, 17-15.
Nichol led the Boilers with 15 kills to go with 34 assists and 15 digs, to mark Purdue's first triple double since Jaclyn Hart achieved the feat on Sept. 5, 2009 (12 kills, 41 assists, 10 digs vs. UCF). Four other Boilermakers posted double-digit kill tallies in sophomores Sam Epenesa (13) and Annie Drews (13), redshirt senior Catherine Rebarchak (12) and junior KiKi Jones (10).
Defensively, redshirt senior Carly Cramer led the way with 23 digs as Purdue outdug Wisconsin 87 to 73. Senior Hilliary Fox (19), redshirt senior Rachel Davis (17) and Nichol (15) also reached double figures in digs. At the net, the Boilers outblocked the Badgers 13-8 behind seven stuffs from Jones and five by redshirt freshman Faye Adelaja.
In the decisive fifth set, Drews went 4-for-4, while Nichol and Rebarchak added three kills apiece on errorless play. After a tie at 5-5, Purdue scored three straight including a pair of Drews putaways to go up 8-5 at the changeover. A Nichol kill made it 9-6 and force a Badger timeout. A Drews kill gave Purdue the 10-7 edge and prompted the final UW timeout. The Badgers rallied with four of the next five points to tie it up at 11. The teams split the next four points before a Nichol kill gave Purdue a match-point attempt at 14-13. A Wisconsin kill kept the set going. A UW service error gave the Boilers another shot, but a service error knotted the score at 15. A kill by Drews and another by Epenesa finally capped the night at 17-15.
The Wisconsin Badgers held off a Purdue set point attempt at 24-22 and stole away the Set 1 win with four straight kills to cap a 26-24 win. The Badgers scored two of the first three points, but Purdue went up 5-4 on a kill by Nichol. Wisconsin scored three in a row, but the Boilers answered with a 5-0 run, including a pair of overpass kills by Adelajak, to go ahead 10-7. The Badgers tied it up at 12, but that sparked a 5-1 Purdue rally and putaways by four different players. UW called timeout trailing 17-13 and rallied to cut the margin to one at 20-19 out of the break. A kill by Rebarchak and two Badger miscues made it 24-22 Boilers. Wisconsin called timeout again and scored four straight to swipe the set. Rebarchak had six kills in the stanza.
Wisconsin carried the momentum into Set 2, starting the set with 5-2 edge. The Boilers fought back to tie it up at 7-7 with help from an ace by sophomore Amanda Neill and kill by Nichol, Drews and Jones. The Badgers boosted their edge to six at 15-9 and 17-11, but Purdue turned the corner with 12 of the next 15 points to erase the deficit and surge ahead 23-20. The Boilers recorded four stuffs the stretch including solo blocks by Nichol and Adelaja. A service error ended the rally, but a kill by Epenesa and a UW miscue wrapped up a 25-21 comeback win.
The Boilers scored five straight points, while fighting off three Wisconsin set points attempts in Set 3, en route to a 26-24 win. Purdue took a 5-3 lead coming out of intermission and held a lead of as many as three at 10-7, before the Badgers rallied to take an 11-10 edge. Purdue called timeout and scored four of the next five, including an ace by Cramer and a stuff by Jones and Rebarchak, to go up 14-12. Wisconsin took the lead at 16-15 and forced the Boilers to use their final timeout down 20-18. UW held Purdue at bay, leading by three at 22-19 and again at 24-21, before Purdue mounted its final rally, which included three straight Badger miscues and a final block by Jones and Epenesa.
Wisconsin led 15-13 at the midway point of Set 4 and the Boilermakers battled back to take the lead at 18-17, but that was only the beginning in a set that featured four Purdue match point attempts and five Badger set point chances. Purdue used a 4-0 run, including a solo block and a kill each by Adelaja and Epenesa, to earn the 18-17 edge and force a UW timeout. The teams split the next 12 points and a kill by Nichol gave the Boilers their first chance at the match at 24-23. Each team countered with two point rallies. A service error and hitting error erased a 25-24 Badger lead, while a service error and an ace turned back a 26-25 Purdue edge. A kill by Davis made it 28-27 Purdue, but a pair of hitting errors gave the lead by to UW at 29-28. Wisconsin had another shot at 30-29, but a kill and a stuff by Jones put Purude on top 31-30. The Badgers closed it out on a Purdue service error, a kill and a service ace.
The No. 16 Boilermakers (16-7, 7-5 Big Ten) return to action on Friday when they kick off a four-match road swing against Ohio State in Columbus.