WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A spark from the bench in the form of redshirt junior Amanda Miller and redshirt sophomore Katie Griffin and solid backcourt defense and passing brought the No. 10 Purdue volleyball team from a 2-0 deficit to a five-set win over the Iowa Hawkeyes Thursday night. The Boilermakers won the match 22-25, 22-25, 25-15, 25-15, 15-6.
Senior Emily Ehlers picked up her 1,000th career dig in Set 4 of the match, one of 14 on the night for the Mishawaka, Ind., native. Redshirt senior Blair Bashen paced the defense with 22 digs and served up two aces, while redshirt sophomore setter Rachel Davis added 21 digs to her 51 assist tally. Ehlers (14) and junior Ariel Turner (13) followed.
Turner rounded out her double double with a team-high 18 kills. Senior Tiffany Fisher chipped in 12 kills and two aces, while leading the team at the net with seven blocks. Griffin added 10 kills, despite playing just three sets. Freshmen Kierra Jones (7) and Val Nichol (6) also contributed offensively.
Purdue hit .217 while limiting the Hawkeyes to a .084 effort. The Boilermakers also racked up 14 blocks to Iowa's five.
The Boilermakers capped their come-from-behind win by taking the decisive fifth set 15-6. After giving up the opening point of the stanza, Purdue rattled off 11 straight points, 10 off of Bashen's serve, including an ace. Redshirt sophomore Catherine Rebarchak got a hand on two blocks, including solo stuff, while Fisher chipped in two kills in the stretch. A solo stuff by Turner made it 11-1. Iowa took three of the next four points with two kills and a Purdue miscue, making it 12-4. Turner and Fisher put down kills to make it 14-5 moments later. After a Hawkeye kill, Griffin issued the final blow at 15-6.
The teams split the first eight points of the night before Purdue broke away with five of the next seven points to leap ahead 9-6. Nichol and Drewry chipped in kills in the rally. The Hawkeyes, however, turned the tables with a 4-0 run, vaulting into the lead, one which they would not give up the remainder of the set. The teams tied at 10 and 11, but Iowa pushed ahead by three at 17-14 forcing a Purdue timeout. The Boilermakers rallied out of the break, knotting the score at 19 and 20, but could not break through. Iowa had its first set point chance at 24-21. A kill by Davis thwarted the effort, but a hitting error capped the set at 25-22.
The Hawkeyes started Set 2 on a 5-2 run, but Purdue used a pair of blocks, including a solo stuff by Nichol, to cut the margin to one at 7-6. Iowa managed three straight to make it 10-6, but Purdue countered as Nichol put down two kills and Davis and Jones teamed up on a block to push the Boilermakers ahead 11-10. Purdue went up 16-14 after two kills and a block by Turner, but Iowa tied it at 16 and 17. The Boilermakers scored four of the next five, including three Iowa miscues, to go up 21-18 and force a Hawkeye timeout. Iowa rallied out of the break with a 7-1 run to steal away the 25-22 win.
Set 3 featured 10 ties and four lead changes, but the addition of Griffin and Miller halfway through the stanza turned things around for the Boilermakers in a 25-15 win. The teams split the first 10 points before Iowa managed an 8-5 advantage. Purdue rallied back with four straight points, including a kill and an ace by Ehlers to go up 9-8. The Hawkeyes countered with four straight to make it 12-9. The Boilermakers battled back and took the lead at 15-14 after a trio of Turner putaways. The teams tied at 15, then Purdue broke off a 10-0 run to end the stanza and stay in the match. Griffin put down three kills in the rally, which started on a Fisher kill and saw the senior serve out the set, including a pair of aces.
Griffin and Turner posted five kills apiece as Purdue knotted the match with a 25-15 Set 4 victory. Purdue hit .308 in the stanza, while holding Iowa to a .048 effort. Purdue led the set from start to finish, blazing out to a 10-3 lead, including a trio of Turner putdowns. Trailing 12-5, Iowa narrowed the gap with a 5-1 run, including a pair of Boilermaker miscues. Kills from Griffin and Jones pushed the lead to six at 16-10 and forced the Hawkeyes to use their final timeout. The Purdue advantage stood at eight at 20-12 after a stuff by Fisher and Davis. A pair of Iowa points slowed the Boilermakers for a moment, but Purdue closed out the set with a 5-1 run. Griffin picked up two kills and a block as Purdue went up 24-15. Jones and Davis teamed up on a block to send the match to a decisive fifth set.
The Boilermakers (23-3, 12-3 Big Ten) return to action at 7 p.m. Saturday when they take on No. 2 Nebraska on Belin Court. With Thursday's win Purdue stays on pace with its 1985 season (23-3 through 26 matches) and holds onto a share of second place in the Big Ten entering Saturday's contest. The match with the Cornhuskers will be broadcast live on BTN.com.