(19) Purdue’s Balance Lead To Sweep Of (RV) Illinois

  0 Kyp Harasymowycz | October 07th, 2017 | Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, News


  • #19 Purdue def. (RV) Illinois, 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-19)
  • Purdue improves to 14-2, 4-1; Illinois drops to 12-4, 3-2
  • Champaign, Illinois
  • Attendance: 2420
  • Box score

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – #19 Purdue continued their Big Ten Conference grind with a 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-19) victory over the conference’s top blocking team, (RV) Illinois. Coach Dave Shondell credits the win to offensive balance and their strength in the middle.

“We came in here thinking we could have a balanced attack against Illinois because teams are not going to pay enough attention to our middles,” Shondell stated. “We saw in practice this week the emergence of Shavona Cuttino hitting the ball with authority and getting up quick. I thought she was a difference maker in the first set and really throughout she had to be defended.”

Shavona Cuttino led all net defenders with 6 blocks to go with her 6 kills on offense. Her sister, Danielle Cuttino, led all attackers with 13 kills, 5 blocks and 4 digs. Blake Mohler, the Boiler’s other middle, added 9 kills, 3 blocks and 3 digs and finished hitting .375. Sherridan Atkinson also got in on the party hitting .375 without an error (6-0-16)

The balance came from floor general Ashley Evans, who filled up the stat sheet with 37 assists, 4 digs, 2 blocks, 2 aces and 2 kills. Libero Brooke Peters led all defenders with 17 digs.

For the Illini, Beth Prince and Jacqueline Quade, both Indiana natives, finished with 10 kills apiece. Senior Brandi Donnelly led all Illinois defenders with 11 digs, all in only two sets of play. Their offense was directed by Jordyn Poulter with 30 assists. She also added 8 digs, 4 blocks and 2 kills.


Courtesy of Purdue Athletics

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – No. 18 Purdue (14-2, 4-1 B1G) turned in a complete team effort in order to sweep (25-23, 25-19, 25-19) the Fighting Illini (12-4, 3-2 B1G) on their home floor in a packed Huff Hall. Jena Otec’s serve was a game changer for the Boilermakers as she aced the Illini three times and Purdue won the point 12 of the 18 times she served.

“We came in here thinking we could have a balanced attack against Illinois because teams are not going to pay enough attention to our middles,” said head coach Dave Shondell. “We saw in practice this week the emergence of Shavona Cuttino hitting the ball with authority and getting up quick. I thought she was a difference maker in the first set and really throughout she had to be defended.”

“Blake (Mohler) has been really tough to defend the last couple of weeks and Sherridan (Atkinson) got going after the first set. They did a good job on Danielle (Cuttino) and Azariah Stahl has been as solid as you could ever ask her to be in all aspects of the game. Overall, the balance, we thought we could have it and you have to credit Ashley Evans for making that happen, getting the ball to the right people at the right time.”

Purdue’s offense was challenged in the contest as the best blocking team in the Big Ten held the Boilermakers to a .261 hitting percentage. However, Purdue’s defense and serving were the keys to victory as it out-blocked the Illini 10-5, sided-out 69-percent of the time and registered six service aces. Altogether, the Boilermakers held Illinois to a .158 hitting percentage including a .098 hitting percentage in the third set.

Brooke Peters, Stahl and Carissa Damler were impressive in the back row, recording 17, 13 and nine digs respectively. Stahl was just two kills shy of a double-double with a .250 hitting percentage and an ace to her credit on the outside. The Cuttino sisters led the blocking efforts as Shavona Cuttino denied six of Illinois’ swings while Danielle Cuttino finished with five blocks. Both were factors on offense as well as Danielle led the Boilermakers with 13 kills and Shavona posted six kills and a .333 hitting percentage.

Blake Mohler turned in a complete performance in the middle as she finished with nine kills, a .375 hitting percentage and three blocks. Sherridan Atkinson was errorless in the contest with six kills on 16 attempts to match Mohler’s .375 hitting percentage. Floor general Evans assisted the Boilermakers on 37 of their 44 kills while adding two kills, two aces, four digs and a pair of blocks to her line.

Illinois fired out of the gate to appear in control of the first set until a service run by Otec, in which she aced the Illini twice, fueled a 5-0 run to give the Boilermakers a 15-13 lead. Both teams continued to trade blows until Illinois used a 5-2 run to tie the set at 23 but a block by Danielle and Shavona Cuttino gave Purdue the edge it needed to close out the set. Otec delivered a tough serve and Stahl put an end to the rally with a kill.

The Illini jumped out to a 5-3 lead in the second but Otec capped off another service run with an ace to win Purdue’s fourth-straight point, lifting Purdue to a 7-5 advantage. Illinois pulled within one point of Purdue but following a kill by Danielle Cuttino the Boilermakers never looked back. Purdue went off on a 10-3 run to take a 23-15 lead eventually leading to its 25-19 victory in the second set.

Both teams struggled to maintain a lead in the third set, however with the score tied at 13 it was the Illini who blinked first. Purdue used a 7-2 run capped off by an ace from Stahl to take a 20-15 lead, giving the Boilermakers the cushion it needed to control the lead until they closed out the match with a 25-19 score.

Courtesy of Illinois Athletics

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – With the entire Marching Illini Band in attendance, the Illinois volleyball program set a new IllINOISE Night sound record, but was unable to overcome No. 18 Purdue, falling 3-0 on Friday (October 6) night at Huff Hall.

The Illini marketing and promotions staff took a sound reading between first and second sets, with the mark hitting 116 dB tonight in Huff Hall and besting last season’s record of 112 dB.

Sophomore Jacqueline Quade and redshirt-sophomore Beth Prince led the Illini (12-4, 3-2) with 10 kills each, while senior Brandi Donnelly paced the defense with a team-high 11 digs. Sophomore Annika Gereau joined the senior in double figures with 10 digs as well.

Junior Jordyn Poulter registered 30 assists, while also adding eight digs and a team-high four blocks on the night. Classmate Ali Bastianelli also contributed three blocks in the setback.

After a back-and-forth start to the match, the Illini jumped out to a 10-6 lead on back-to-back Boilermaker errors and a block from Bastianelli and Poulter. The Illini continued to lead at 12-9, but Purdue (14-2, 4-1) used a 6-1 run – including a pair of aces and a block – to pull ahead at 15-13. Out of a TV timeout, UI responded with back-to-back kills from junior Blayke Hranicka and Prince to knot the score at 15-15, but again the Boilermakers sprinted ahead to 18-15. Down three at 21-18, the Illini rallied to even things up at 23-23 after a Purdue hitting error, but the visitors answered back with back-to-back points to take the opener, 25-23.

It was a side-out beginning that saw six ties to open the second set, before the Boilermakers, who were leading at 13-12, used an 8-2 run to grab a 21-14 edge. A service ace from freshman Morgan O’Brienclosed the gap to 23-17 and a kill from classmate Megan Cooney fought off the first PU set point, but a Boilermaker kill then finished the second, 25-19, as Purdue went into intermission with a 2-0 lead in the match.

Out of the break, the Illini took an early 4-1 advantage on a service ace from sophomore Jacqueline Quade, but the Boilermakers fought back to even things up. With the score knotted at 12-12 midway through the set, the visitors put together a 7-2 run – including three-straight points to end the run – to take a 20-15 edge. After a Boilermaker attack error made it 21-18, the Illini looked to close the deficit to two at 21-19, but Purdue head coach Dave Shondell challenged the call and it was overturned to give the Boilermakers a 22-18 advantage. A Prince kill again brought the Illini within 22-19, but three-straight PU points sealed the three-set defeat for the Illini.

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