Courtesy: Purdue Athletics
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The No.17 Purdue volleyball team continues Big Ten play as the Boilermakers welcome No.9 Penn State to Holloway Gymnasium on Wednesday for their 11th home match of the season. The nationally ranked foes are scheduled to face off at 7 p.m. ET with the match airing live on ESPNU.
AT THE NET
No. 17 Purdue vs. No.9 Penn State
Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2018 | Holloway Gymnasium
90’s Night | First 500 Students receive 90’s Purdue Hats
- Despite splitting last weekend, No. 17 Purdue remains a force to be reckoned with on the offensive end, especially at the service line. Through their first 17 matches of play, the Boilermakers average 1.59 aces per set, which ranks in the top half of the Big Ten and 39th in the country. Overall, Purdue has 102 services aces, already more than half of the 147 they finished with last season.
- As one of the commanders of Purdue’s performance, redshirt freshman Hayley Bush is effective both offensively and defensively. The setter leads the Boilermakers with three double-doubles on the season and just nearly missed her fourth with a match-high 37 assists and nine digs against Michigan State (10/6).
- Defensively, libero Brooke Peters guides the Boilermakers with 307 digs on the year, which is good for third among Big Ten opponents and 62nd in the nation. Overall, she has tallied 1,155 digs to become the 19th Boilermaker to surpass the 1,000-dig mark. Her total also ranks 11th in program history for most digs. She is 88 digs away from tying former Boilermaker and current Wisconsin volleyball assistant coach Brittany Dildine in 10th place with 1,243 career-digs.
• In addition to tough defense, Brooke Peters has also contributed a tough serve to Purdue’s roster. The senior most recently recorded her 100th career service ace against Michigan (10/5). As a freshman, Peters recorded 30 aces, followed by 27 in her sophomore season, 19 through her junior campaign and 24 this season. Currently ranked second in the Big Ten and in the top 80 in the nation, Peters will need 45 more service aces to crack Purdue’s career top-ten list. With 45 more perfect serves, she would tie former Boilermaker Jill Whiteman (1987-1990) with 145 career aces.
The Nittany Lions own a 55-6 record over Purdue since first meeting in 1981. Penn State currently owns a 12-match win streak over the Boilermakers, with Purdue’s last win coming on October 8, 2010.
Scouting No.9 Penn State
Owning a 13-3 overall record and a 4-2 Big Ten showing, No. 9 Penn State is looking to extend its four-match win streak. The Nittany Lions most recently swept Michigan State, Michigan, Maryland and Ohio State, before falling in their first meeting with Ohio State, 1-3, at the end of September. Penn State’s success has been fueled by six of its eight freshmen, who have contributed significant playing time so far this season. Kaitlyn Hord and Serena Gray have found themselves as the starting middle blockers, while Jonni Parker has played as the starting opposite. Over the last three matches, Allyson Cathey has stepped in to start at the outside position. Both Jenna Hampton and Gabby Blossom have seen time as defensive specialists. Defensively, the seven-time national champions are currently paces by Kendall White. The seasoned libero has scooped up 227 digs so far this season, putting her at 1,189 in her career. She is the first to surpass 1,000 since Dom Gonzalez in 2011-14. White is just 18 digs from cracking into the top-10.
Last Meeting vs. the Nittany Lions
In 2017, then-No. 17 Purdue fell to No. 1 Penn State in four sets (22-25, 14-25, 25-21, 10-25) in a sold out Holloway Gymnasium. The Boilermakers debuted a new offense with a new lineup allowing them to go toe-to-toe with the nation’s top-ranked program, aside from two Penn State runs that were ultimately the deciding factors in the match. Former Boilermakers Ashley Evans set the offense to 35 assists while connecting with former Boilermakers Danielle Cuttino and Sherridan Atkinson 26 times. Cuttino finished the match with 15 kills and a .273 hitting percentage with three blocks while Atkinson added 11 kills, a .269 hitting percentage and two blocks. The Nittany Lions were able to hold off former Boilermakers Azariah Stahl, Blake Mohler and Caitlyn Newton, who made her first collegiate start in the contest. Combined, the trio registered 13 kills on the night.