Dec. 3, 2011
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The No. 8 Boilermaker volleyball team punched its ticket to the Sweet 16 with a 3-1 win over Louisville at home on Belin Court Saturday night. The 25-14, 26-28, 25-11, 25-16 victory advanced Purdue into the NCAA third round for the sixth time in program history and fifth since 2005.
Junior Ariel Turner overcame a slow start to lead the Boilermaker offense with 16 kills. Senior Tiffany Fisher and redshirt sophomore Catherine Rebarchak also reached double figures, chipping in 14 and 10 respectively. Freshmen Kierra Jones and Val Nichol followed with six and five.
Redshirt senior Blair Bashen led a balanced defensive effort with 10 digs. Turner and setter Rachel Davis added eight digs apiece, while redshirt junior Amanda Miller tallied seven. Fisher paced Purdue at the net with eight blocks.
The Boilermakers led Louisville in all major statistical categories, except for digs in which the teams tied with 44 apiece. Purdue outhit the Cardinals .370 to .083 in the match and put up nine blocks to UofL's three.
Purdue led Set 1 from start to finish, thanks to a .440 hitting effort and four blocks. Fisher and Turner posted five kills apiece and Fisher was in on three blocks. The Boilermakers started the match with a 5-0 run, including two blocks as well as an ace by Bashen. Purdue boosted its advantage to eight at 14-6 after kills from three different players and two more blocks, including a solo stuff by Jones. The Boilermakers went up 19-9 on a Fisher putaway, but Louisville scored five of the next six points to cut the margin to six at 20-14. Purdue wrapped up the 25-14 win with five straight points as Fisher pounded down four kills, two on overpasses, and UofL committed an error.
Louisville turned the tables in Set, taking an early advantage and building the margin to four at 12-8. Purdue scored four straight, including three on Fisher kills, to knot the score, but UofL surged ahead 16-13 after a 4-1 run. The Boilermakers cut the margin to one three times: at 17-16 on an ace by Ehlers, again at 19-18 on a Cardinal miscue and at 23-22 on a Turner putaway. A service error gave Louisville a chance at the set at 24-22, but kills by Jones and Rebarchak thwarted the efforts and knotted the score. The Cardinals has another chance at 25-24, but a pair of hitting errors put Purdue on the hill at 26-25. Three straight kills, including an overpass putaway, however, nabbed Louisville the 28-26 win. Fisher and Rebarchak each managed five kills in the set.
Purdue came out on fire after the intermission, hitting at a .370 clip and putting up five blocks, in a 25-11 rout. The Boilermakers scored seven of the first eight points, including two blocks, and soon led 12-3 as UofL errors piled up. Louisville scored four of the next six to make it a seven point game at 14-7, but would get no closer. Bashen served up an ace and Turner pounded four kills down the stretch and added an ace of her own in the last 11 Purdue points. A hitting error stopped the first chance at the set at 24-10, but Davis put down the final kill.
The Boilermakers capped the night with a 25-16 win, which saw Purdue hit .522 to UofL's .111 effort. Purdue took a 5-2 lead, including an ace by Miller, and used a 7-0 run, including six Cardinal miscues to go up 12-4. Louisville cut the margin to six at 17-11, but the Boilermakers responded with six of the next nine points, including kills by Turner, Fisher and Nichol to make it 23-14. A kill by Lola Arslanbekova, one of three Cardinals with 10 putaways in the match, stopped Purdue momentarily. A service error by UofL put Purdue up 24-15, but another service error kept the set going. A net violation finally ended the night and punched Purdue's ticket to the Sweet 16.
The fifth-seeded Boilermakers (29-4) will face off with No. 12-seed Florida State on December 9 at the Sports Pavilion in Minneapolis.