WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A standing room-only, Holloway Gymnasium record crowd of 2,961 was on hand to witness the No. 10 Boilermaker volleyball team topple No. 2 Nebraska, 3-0 Saturday night, at a match where seniors and alumni were celebrated. Purdue hit at a stellar .410 clip and bested the Huskers in nearly every statistical category in the 25-19, 25-19, 25-16 win.
The sweep was the first against the Huskers since a road match at Texas on Oct. 30, 2009.
Junior Ariel Turner put down 17 kills and added nine digs, while redshirt sophomore Catherine Rebarchak chipped in 10 kills, seven digs, three blocks and an ace. Senior Tiffany Fisher managed nine kills in her final regular season home match, while freshmen Val Nichol (6) and Kierra Jones (5) also contributed offensively. Nichol paced Purdue at the net with four blocks, including three solo stuffs, as the Boilermakers outblocked Nebraska 9-1. Rebarchak and Jones each added three blocks.
Defensively, senior Emily Ehlers and redshirt senior Blair Bashen led the way with dig tallies of 15 and 14. Turner added nine, while Rebarchak and sophomore Hilliary Fox managed seven saves apiece. The Boilermaker backcourt and block held Nebraska to a .173 hitting effort.
Purdue spread the ball around in the first set as five different players racked up kills as the team hit .318 in the 25-19 win. The Boilermakers started fast, scoring seven of the first 10 points of the night. Fisher put down two kills, while three others chipped in offensively. Nebraska pulled within two at 7-5, but the Boilermakers jumped ahead 12-6 with a 5-1 run, including two Husker errors and a stuff by Nichol and Jones. Purdue forced Nebraska to use its final timeout at 17-10 after a pair of Turner putaways. The Boilers led by eight at 21-13 after another block. NU made it a four point game at 23-19 after a trio of Purdue miscues, but a service error and a Turner kill capped the win.
The Boilermakers hit at a stellar .600 clip in Set 2, pounding down 18 kills without an error in the stanza en route to a 25-19 win. Turner led the way with seven kills, while Rebarchak and Fisher registered four apiece. Purdue led 6-2 early on as Turner put down two kills and Rebarchak and Davis chipped in. Nebraska sliced the margin to one at 6-5 and the teams went toe-to-toe for the next 12 points, ending at a 12-11 score. The Boilers took five of the next six, including a solo block by Nichol and two Turner kills, and soon led 20-14. A block by Rebarchak and Fisher forced a Nebraska timeout. The Huskers scored three of the next four, but Fisher and Turner putaways made it 24-18. A kill by Davis two plays later put Purdue up 2-0 at the intermission.
Purdue put up five stuffs in the final stanza and hit at a .355 clip to end the night with a 25-16 win. The teams split the first eight points of the set, before Nebraska took its first lead of the match at 5-4. An ace made it 6-4 Huskers, but the Boilermakers battled back with five of the next six, including two solo blocks by Nichol, to go up 9-7 and take the lead which they would not relinquish. Nebraska made it a one-point game at 11-10, but Purdue broke off a 6-0 run, including two kill by Turner, a solo block by Davis and an ace by Rebarchak. Down 17-10, Nebraska scored three of the next four, but Purdue countered with a 3-1 rally of its own to push the score to 21-15. Purdue wrapped up the night with four of the last five points, each by a different hitter. Jones, Rebarchak and Turner set up the final point for Fisher, which secured the sweep.
The No. 10 Boilermakers (24-3, 13-3 Big Ten) return to action at 7 p.m. Friday when they take on Ohio State in Columbus. Purdue has posted its best record through 27 matches since 1985 and has now beaten five Top 25 opponents in 2011, including two over Top 5 foes.