Dec. 14, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - No. 13 Wisconsin ended the 2013 season for the No. 19 Boilermaker volleyball team in the Elite Eight on Saturday night. The Badgers won a close four set match 25-22, 23-25, 25-18, 25-21.
Juniors Val Nichol and KiKi Jones led the Boilermaker offense with 12 and 11 kills respectively. Rebarchak added nine kills and a team-best six blocks, while sophomores Annie Drews and Sam Epenesa chipped in eight and seven putdowns respectively.
Nichol was named to the Champaign, Ill., Regional All-Tournament team for her efforts on the weekend against No. 18 Illinois and No. 13 Wisconsin.
Defensively, Fox led the way with 14 digs, while Cramer added 13 and Davis wrapped up her career with 17-assist, 10 dig double-double. At the net, redshirt freshman Faye Adelaja and Rebarchak led the team with six stuffs, while Jones chipped in five and Nichol added four.
Wisconsin led Purdue in every statistical category except blocks, which the Boilers won 14-8.
Purdue fought from behind for much of Set 1 and eventually took a 19-18 lead and later tied it at 22, but could not hold off Wisconsin in a 25-22 Badger win. The Boilers scored two of the first three points, but Wisconsin jumped ahead 9-4 with eight of the next 10. The Badgers boosted their lead to six at 14-8, but Purdue responded by turning on the offense and turning up the heat at the net with two blocks. Epenesa, Drews, Nichol and Rebarchak had kills as the Boilermakers used a 9-3 run to knot the score at 17 and force a Wisconsin timeout. A kill by Adelaja and a stuff by the redshirt freshman and Rebarchak made it 19-18 Purdue. The Badgers scored four of the next five to take a 22-20 edge and prompt a Boiler timeout. A Rebarchak kill and a block by Jones and Nichol tied it at 22, but the Badgers closed out the set with a 3-0 run. Wisconsin hit .310 to Purdue's .216 effort in the stanza, but the Boilers outblocked the Badgers 4-1.
After trailing 9-6 early in Set 2, the Boilermakers turned the tables with a midset rally and held off a late Badger run for a 25-23 win to knot the match at a set apiece. Four blocks coupled with five kills by Epenesa aided Purdue in the win. Purdue led 4-2 early including a kill and a block by Jones, but the Badgers used a 7-2 run to pull away. The Boilers countered with an 8-2 run of their own, turning the three point deficit into a 14-11 lead. Five Badger miscues contributed to the rally, which was capped by back-to-back Epenesa putaways. A pair of blocks and two kills by Nichols pushed the Purdue lead to five at 19-14, forcing a Wisconsin timeout. The break worked and the Badgers scored six straight to grab a 20-19 lead. Purdue scored three of the next four, including kills by Nichol and Rebarchak to make it 22-21 and make UW use its last timeout. A block by Drews and Adelaja and a Rebarchak kill gave the Boilers their first set point chance at 24-22. An Epenesa kill wrapped up the stanza at 25-23.
The teams split the first 10 points of Set 3, but the Badgers pushed ahead with a 7-2 run and led the remainder of the way. Down 17-10, Purdue scored three of the next four including a kill and solo stuff by Nichool, but Wisconsin built a nine-point edge at 23-14. The Boilers scored four straight on blocks by Rebarchak and Adelaja and Epenesa and Jones as well as kills from Jones and Rebarchak to cut the margin to five at 23-18. Wisconsin called timeout and finished the set with a pair of kills at 25-18. UW hit .271 and put up four blocks to limit Purdue to a .140 effort. Jones had five kills in the set.
Purdue started Set 4 with a 4-1 run, but the Badgers came on strong and led by as many as nine in the stanza, before the Boilers launched a final comeback effort that fell just short in a 25-21 loss. The Boilermakers got kills from Epenesa and Rebarchak and a block by Rebarchak and Adelaja to get things going. A 5-0 run put Wisconsin up 6-4. Purdue tied it with a Nichol kill and UW error, but the Badgers pulled away with a 14-5 run. Down 20-11, the Boilermakers put together a 7-1 run, slashing the deficit to three at 21-18 and forcing UW to use both of its timeouts. Nichol put down three kills and Jones added two in the stretch. A Badger miscue and a stuff by Rebarchak and Adelaja kept the match rolling at 23-21, but a pair of Wisconsin kills sealed the victory and ended the season for Purdue.
The No. 19 Boilermakers posted a 23-12 record in 2013 including a program record eight wins over Top 25 teams, and three against Top 10 foes. The team made its fourth straight Sweet 16 appearance, including two Elite Eight berths since 2010.