MADISON, Wis. - The No. 8 Boilermaker volleyball team clinched second place in the Big Ten for the first time since 1987 with a sweep of Wisconsin Friday night. Purdue won the match 25-11, 25-22, 25-19 to move to 27-4 overall and 16-4 in Big Ten play. The 27 wins are the most for the Boilermakers since posting a 34-4 mark in 1985 and the 16 conference victories are the most since a 17-1 mark in 1985.
Junior Ariel Turner paced Purdue with 18 kills, while hitting .326 and adding 11 digs, two blocks and two aces. Senior Tiffany Fisher followed with eight kills and two aces, while freshman Kierra Jones added seven putaways and three blocks. Freshman Val Nichol managed five kills as Purdue outhit Wisconsin .324 to .124. Redshirt sophomore Catherine Rebarchak led the way at the net with four blocks as the Boilermakers outblocked UW 7-5.5.
Senior Emily Ehlers led the way defensively with 13 digs, followed by Turner's 11 and redshirt senior Blair Bashen's tally of nine.
Turner piled up six kills and two aces and Purdue outhit Wisconsin .387 to .000 in a 25-11 Set 1 win. The Badgers led 2-1 early, but the Boilermakers quickly pulled away with a 10-1 run. Turner and Fisher pounded down kills, while Turner also managed a stuff block and an ace in the rally. Fisher added an ace and Jones chipped in two kills as Purdue pushed ahead by nine at 16-7. Wisconsin made it an eight-point game at 18-10, but would get no closer the rest of the way as the Boilermakers closed out the set on a 7-1 run.
Set 2 was a much closer affair, featuring six tie scores, but only one lead change as Purdue took the 25-22 win. The Boilermakers led 4-2 early and boosted their advantage to four at 12-8 after a trio of kills, including an overpass putaway, by Rebarchak. Wisconsin countered with a 4-0 run to knot the score at 12. Purdue answered with four straight points, all from Turner's hand, three kills and a solo block. The Badgers made another run, tying the game at 18, 19 and 20. A kill by Jones and a UW miscue made it 22-20 and forced a Wisconsin timeout. The Badgers scored two of the next three out of the break, but a Davis putaway and a ball handling error capped the victory.
Wisconsin jumped out to a 7-4 lead in Set 3, but could not hold off the Boilermaker attack in a 25-19 Purdue win. The Boilermakers scored seven straight to turn things around and go up 11-7. A pair of Nichol putaways and blocks involving Jones aided in the streak. Trailing 14-10, the Badgers scored three straight to make it a one-point game at 14-13 and force a Purdue timeout. The Boilermakers scored three straight out of the break on UW miscues and pushed ahead by four at 19-15. After a brief pause, Turner pounded down a pair of kills, Davis added another and a Badger hitting error made it 24-17. Wisconsin kept the match going with a kill and Purdue hitting miscue, but Jones put the final touch on the sweep at 25-19.
The Boilermakers (27-4, 16-4 Big Ten), which clinched a second-place Big Ten finish, must now await their NCAA Tournament fate. The NCAA Division I selection show will air on ESPNU at 6 p.m. Sunday. Purdue is ranked eighth nationally and was fifth in the last RPI ratings.