LINCOLN, Neb. - The No. 21 Purdue Boilermakers hung with No. 9 Nebraska for five sets, but couldn't pull off the upset, falling 3-2, Saturday night. The Huskers snapped Purdue's streak of 13 straight five-set wins with the 21-25, 25-16, 23-25, 25-19, 15-10 win.
Senior Ariel Turner paced the Boilermaker offensive attack with 25 kills, while sophomore Val Nichol chipped in 16 on a .438 hitting effort. Sophomore Kiki Jones and redshirt junior Catherine Rebarchak had eight kills apiece, while redshirt junior Rachel Davis put down six.
Davis led the Boilermakers with 21 digs and 48 assists, while redshirt junior Carly Cramer added 20 digs and 11 assists. Freshman Amanda Neill also reached double-digits with 14 digs as the Boilermakers outdug the Huskers 83 to 81. Rebarchak and senior Anna Drewry led Purdue at the net with three blocks apiece.
The teams split the first six points of the Set 5 with a Nebraska miscue and kills by Turner and Nichol accounting for the Purdue points. The Huskers scored five of the next six, including a trio of blocks and two kills by Hannah Werth. A kill by Nichol ended the rally and a putaway by Davis made it 9-6, but another NU kill prompted a Purdue timeout. Nichol had a putaway out of the break, but the Huskers answered. Turner pounded down two in a row to pull Purdue within two at 12-10, forcing a Nebraska timeout, but a pair of kills and a hitting error gave Nebraska the 15-10 win.
Nebraska scored two of the first three points, but Purdue rallied to take a 7-4 lead and never looked back in a 25-21 win. The Boilermakers hit .429 as Turner downed five kills and Nichol and Jones put away four apiece. Jones and Rebarchak led Purdue in the early comeback. Nebraska took a timeout down 7-4 and cut the margin to one at 8-7 and 9-8, but the Boilermakers rallied with seven of the next 10 points to boost their lead to five at 16-11. Nichol and Turner each put down kills to lead the offensive charge. The Huskers pulled within two at 19-17, prompting a Purdue break. The teams split the next six points to make it 22-20. A kill by Nichol and a Husker miscue put the Boilers up 24-20. A second-contact kill by redshirt junior setter Rachel Davis clinched the 25-21 win.
The Huskers led Set 2 from start to finish and outhit the Boilermakers .391 to .054 in a 25-16 win. Purdue was down 9-5 and pulled within two thanks to kills by Nichol and Turner. Nebraska pushed its lead to four at 14-10, but the Boilermakers charged back with four of the next five points to make it a one-point game at 15-14, prompting an NU timeout. Nichol put down three kills in the stretch. The Huskers outscored Purdue 10-2 down the stretch.
Purdue jumped out to a 6-2 lead, including a pair of aces by junior Hilliary Fox and Cramer, bringing on a Husker timeout. A pair of Turner kills made it 9-6, but Nebraska scored five of the next six, including an ace to go up 11-10. Down 14-13, Purdue got back-to-back kills by Davis to take the lead at 15-14. After ties at 15 and 16, the Boilers put together a 4-0 run, including solo stuffs by Rebarchak and Drewry. The teams split the next six points, capped by a Cramer ace, to make it 23-19 Boilers. Nebraska got a pair of points to force a Purdue timeout. A Turner kill gave Purdue its first set point chance at 24-21. A net violation and Husker kill kept the game going, but Jones buried one for the final kill at 25-23.
Nebraska overcame an early Purdue lead to take a 25-19 win in Set 4 to push the match to a decisive fifth set. Purdue started the set with a 7-4 edge as Jones, Nichol and Turner tallied kills. Nebraska cut the margin to one five times before breaking through with a pair of points to take a 12-11 lead of its own. Purdue tied it up at 13 on an NU miscue, and were within one at 15-14 and 16-15 thanks to kills by Drewry and Rebarchak. A 4-0 run put Nebraska up 20-15. A hitting error and a kill by Rebarchak made it a three-point game at 20-17, but Nebraska answered with three straight to go ahead 23-17. Purdue scored two of the next three on Husker service errors, but a Hannah Werth kill ended it at 25-19.
The Boilermakers (19-8, 10-6 Big Ten) return to action at 7 p.m. Friday when they take on Ohio State at home on Belin Court, kicking off a four-match home streak to wrap up the regular season.