Dec. 7, 2013
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The No. 19 Boilermakers punched their ticket to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the fourth-straight season with a 3-1 upset win over No. 4 Missouri Saturday night at the Hearnes Center. Purdue (22-11) won the match 25-18, 23-25, 25-16, 27-25 to clinch their third Top 10 upset of the season and seventh Sweet 16 berth in the last nine seasons.
Junior Val Nichol recorded her second triple double of the season with 14 kills, 10 digs and 27 assists to lead the way for the Boilermakers. Sophomore Sam Epenesa added 13 kills, while redshirt senior Catherine Rebarchak (11) and junior KiKi Jones (10) also reached double digits. Sophomore Annie Drews added eight kills. As a team, Purdue hit .352 on the night and won every major statistical category.
Defensively, redshirt senior Carly Cramer pulled up 13 digs followed by redshirt senior Rachel Davis who rounded out a double double with 11 digs (to go with 21 assists). Nichol also reached double didigts, while senior Hilliary Fox added nine and sophomore Amanda Neill tallied eight. At the net, redshirt freshman Faye Adelaja put up seven stuffs to go with her six kill tally.
Purdue hit .471 to Missouri's .306 effort in a 25-18 Set 1 win that saw Nichol, Epenesa and Rebarchak turn in four kills apiece. Missouri took a 7-5 lead to start the stanza, but three straight kills, two by Rebarchak, one by Adelaja put Purdue on top 8-7. The teams tied at eight, nine and 10, but the Boilers used a 6-1 run to turn the last knot-up into a 16-11 lead. Nichol had three kills and a solo block in the stretch. The Tigers cut the margin to two at 16-14 and the teams split the next six points leading to a 19-17 score. A pair of Epenesa putaways pushed Purdue ahead 22-17. Kills by Epenesa and Nichol made it 24-18 and Missouri hit their final swing of the stanza into the antennae to secure the 25-18 Boilermaker win.
A midset rally helped Missouri even the match at a set apiece with a 25-23 win in Set 2. Purdue jumped out to an 8-5 lead and went on to lead by five at 11-6 on a block by Rebarchak and Adelaja, but that prompted a Missouri run. The Tigers scored nine of the next 13 to tie the score at 15 and force a Boilermaker timeout. Mizzou went on to an 18-16 lead, but a Nichol kill and block by Adelaja and Rebarchak tied it up at 18. The Tigers scored three in a row to go ahead 21-18. Purdue called timeout and scored three of the next four to cut the margin to one at 22-21. Missouri called timeout and scored two of the next three to take a 24-22 lead. A Lisa Henning kill two serves later clinched the 25-23 Tiger win. Missouri hit .270 to Purdue's .241 in the stanza.
Missouri scored two of the first three points in Set 3, but then it was nearly all Boilermakers as Purdue rolled on to a 25-16 win. Purdue hit at a .571 clip, while holding the Tigers to a .083 effort. Nichol put down four kills and the Boilers put up five blocks in the stanza. The teams tied at 3-3 and Purdue pushed out to a six point lead at 11-5 with an 8-2 run including back to back stuffs by Adelaja and Rebarchak. Missouri was within four at 12-8, but again the Boilermakers rallied, scoring 10 of the next 13 to grab a 23-11 edge. A pair of blocks by Adelaja, coupled with Nichol and Drews capped the rally. A MU service error made it 24-14, but it took three more serves for the Boilers to clinch it on a kill by Drews.
The Boilermakers capped the upset win with a 27-25 Set 4 victory in which they had to fight through a pair of Missouri set-point chances to get the win. Jones had five kills and Rebarchak added four, each with no errors, in the stanza. Purdue started the set with a 5-3 lead as Jones put down two kills and Nichol and Drews chipped in one apiece. The Tigers rallied to scored four of the next five to nab a 7-6 edge. Down 8-7, Purdue scored six of the next seven to take a four-point lead at 13-9. Fox served up an ace and Rebarchak added two kills and a block in the stretch. Missouri scored three straight to cut the margin to one at 13-12 and force a Purdue timeout. The Boilers used a 6-4 run out of the break to go ahead 19-16. Jones had an ace and a kill in the rally. A pair of Rebarchak putaways gave Purdue a 21-18 edge and forced Missouri to use its final timeout. The Tigers scored six of the next seven, including three blocks, to turn the deficit into a 24-22 lead. A kill by Jones and an ace by Neill held off two set point chances, then a block by Jones and Nichol put the Boilers up 25-24. A Missouri kill knotted it at 25. Nichol stuffed the next point and Purdue capped the win as a Tiger hitting attempt sailed long.
The No. 19 Boilermakers move on to their fourth-straight Sweet 16 appearance to face No. 18 Illinois in the State Farm Center in Champaign, Ill., on Friday.