- #7 Kansas def. #17 Purdue, 3-1 (25-18, 25-17, 18-25, 25-19)
- Kansas stays undefeated at 9-0; Purdue suffers first loss at 7-1
- Lawrence, Kansas
- Attendance: 1302
- Box score
Lawrence, Kan. – In a top-25 battle of unbeatens, the hosts did not treat their guests kindly, defeating Purdue in four sets on Friday night in Lawrence. The win for Kansas upset Purdue’s momentum from knocking off #7 Creighton earlier in the day.
As compared to that opening game, where Purdue hit .411 as a team and had two players with 21 kills in just 4 sets, in the night cap they hit just .218, and didn’t have anybody with more than 11 kills.
The Jayhawks’ Madison Rigdon surpassed 1000 career kills in set one, with six alone in the opening stanza. The Jayhawks were led by Kelsie Payne with 19 kills, 8 digs and 4 blocks. Rigdon finished with 15 kills. Ainise Havili ran the Kansas offense with a 50-assist, 10-digs double-double. On defense, libero Allie Nelson had 16 digs.
Purdue proved a worthy opponent, but the dynamic duo of Danielle Cuttino and Sherridan Atkinson could not carry Purdue for a second straight top 10 victory. Cuttino finished with 11 kills and 2 blocks, while Atkinson contributed 10 kills and 3 blocks to the Boiler attack. Ashley Evans ran the Purdue offense with 37 assists and 11 digs, while libero Brooke Peters had 14 digs on defense.
Boilers coach Dave Shondell sounded realistic but positive on Twitter after the match:
Don't count @PurdueVB out just yet. Tough challenge 4 any team & we didn't respond well tonight. Lesson learned the hard way. Belmont in am.
— Dave Shondell (@DaveShondell) September 9, 2017
Statistically, Kansas led in kills (60-48), hitting percentage (.271-.218), aces (4-1) and digs (60-51). Purdue outblocked the Jayhawks, 7-4.
Up next for the Jayhawks is #9 Creighton in their finale of the Kansas Invitational. Purdue finishes the invitational with a match against Belmont.
Courtesy Kansas Athletics:
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Seventh-ranked Kansas volleyball won its second top-20 matchup of the week with a 3-1 victory over No. 17 Purdue on Friday night at Horejsi Family Athletics Center (25-18, 25-17, 18-25, 25-19). The Jayhawks improve to 9-0 and await No. 9 Creighton in the Kansas Invitational finale on Saturday night.
Senior All-American right-side hitter Kelsie Payne led the Jayhawks with 19 kills on a .366 hitting percentage, while senior All-American outside hitter Madison Rigdon contributed a double-double of 15 kills and 10 digs. Rigdon joined Payne in the Kansas record books, becoming the 16th Jayhawk to reach 1,000 career kills.
“Madison is going to go down as one of the all-time greats here as far as what she does with her serve and her attack,” Kansas head coach Ray Bechard said after the match. “She’s been a great player for us and I know she’s got a few more kills left in that arm.”
Rigdon reached the century mark in career kills with a set-high six in the first set. She finished the night with 1,012 career kills, good for 16th-place on KU’s all-time list.
The Jayhawks made their way to their third-straight 9-0 start behind an efficient offensive attack that hit for a .271 clip for the match and a defense that passed in system well enough to allow a side-out rate of 70 percent.
“There are times tonight where we just fought harder and won our share of the in-between rallies,” Bechard said. “We got the building excited because we were playing hard and I think our fans sense that and our players sense that. When we get that going and make some good volleyball plays otherwise, it creates a little momentum and we rode that momentum tonight.”
The first set looked as if it would be a close battle in the opening minute, but the Jayhawks followed with a 5-0 run to take an early 6-1 lead and force a Purdue timeout. Senior middle blocker Taylor Alexander joined Rigdon to led KU to a convincing 25-18 first-set win. Alexander and Rigdon combined for 10 of KU’s 16 kills on a .500 hitting percentage in the opening set.
Kansas began the second set in a similar fashion – with a 6-1 run to take an early 8-2 lead. On the way to her eighth double-double of the season, senior All-American setter Ainise Havili stole the show in set number two, notching 14 assists and two aces for the Jayhawks. The Boilermakers attempted to chip away KU’s lead late in the set with a 3-0 run to narrow the deficit to seven, but couldn’t match Kansas’ offense as the Jayhawks went on to win 25-17.
Purdue came out hot in set number three going on two separate 3-0 runs to take an 8-3 early lead. The Boilermakers lead didn’t waiver, taking control of the set with a 14-8 lead. KU cut the lead to three with a 3-0 run of their own, but Purdue maintained their overall momentum to a 25-18 score and force a fourth set.
The Jayhawks began the fourth and final set on a 6-2 run, but the Boilermakers kept the set closely contested as KU tried to pull away early on. A second run by the Jayhawks added a cushion to their lead, but Purdue answered with a 3-0 run keeping the set within three. From that point on the Jayhawks maintained a five or more-point lead to secure the four-set victory.
The Jayhawks hand Purdue (7-1) its first loss of the season a year after Purdue handed KU its first loss of the 2016 season in West Lafayette, Indiana. The all-time series is now even between the schools at 3-3.
The Boilermakers were led on Friday night by 11 kills from outside hitter Danielle Cuttino and 10 kills off the bench from outside hitter Sherridan Atkinson.
“We managed Cuttino pretty well tonight,” Bechard said. “Eleven kills and six errors – we’ll take that because she is a sure-fire All-American this year.”
KU concludes the Kansas Invitational tomorrow with a 7:30 p.m. first serve No. 9 Creighton. The match will be televised by Jayhawk TV Network, powered by Spectrum Sports, and on ESPN3 outside the viewing area. Audio of the match can be heard live on KUAthletics.com/radio.
The first match of Kansas Invitational action on Saturday begins at 12 p.m., as Purdue takes on Belmont at Horejsi Family Athletics Center.
After day one of the Kansas Invitational, the Jayhawks lead with a 2-0 record followed by Purdue and Creighton at 1-1, and Belmont at 0-2.
Courtesy Creighton Athletics:
LAWRENCE, Kan. – No. 17 Purdue (6-0) is prepared for its toughest test yet in the Kansas Invitational when it takes on No. 9 Creighton (5-1), No. 7 Kansas (7-0) and Belmont (5-3). In fact, it presents the toughest single-day challenge in program history as the Boilermakers have never had to face two top-10 nationally ranked programs on the same day.
Creighton presents the first test for the Boilermakers on Friday, Sept. 8, at 11 a.m. ET in Kansas’ Horejsi Family Athletics Center. The Bluejays are perhaps the nation’s best mid-major volleyball program as they have victories over No. 3 Washington and No. 13 Kentucky with their lone loss of the season coming against No. 18 Kentucky. Purdue later takes on the Jayhawks at 8 p.m. in a rematch of last year’s upset in Holloway Gymnasium. A season ago, the Boilermakers defeated Kansas on Belin Court when it was the fourth-ranked team in the nation. Kansas is currently coming off its first win of the season over a ranked opponent as it defeated No. 13 Kentucky on Monday afternoon. Saturday, Sept. 9, the Boilermakers wrap up their stretch of six-straight contests away from West Lafayette, Indiana, with a 1 p.m. matchup against Belmont.
Purdue is coming off its second 3-0 weekend in which it swept two of its three opponents. The Boilermakers fought its way to a 3-2 victory over the host Wyoming after falling behind 2-1 to claim the UniWyo Invite crown. With its three victories this past weekend, Purdue’s record marks the first time the Boilermakers have started a season 6-0 since 2011 in which it won its first 14 contests. The 2011 campaign also followed a European Tour in the offseason. Purdue is also one of seven unbeaten teams left in the Big Ten and one of eight Big Ten programs ranked in this week’s AVCA Coaches Poll.
Purdue’s .385 hitting percentage currently ranks as the nation’s second best hitting percentage. Four of the top five marks hail from the Big Ten.
Of the 303 Division-I volleyball programs, Purdue is just one of 29 teams that remain undefeated.
The Boilermakers have advanced eight spots since the AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll from No. 25 to No. 17 in the latest poll.
Purdue’s 13.55 kills per set rank 13th in the nation and fourth in the Big Ten.
Boilermakers are averaging 1.70 aces per set, ranking them fifth in the Big Ten.
Blake Mohler ranks sixth in the nation with a .506 hitting percentage and is just one of seven student-athletes in the nation hitting north of .500.
Ashley Evans is currently 18th in the nation, averaging 11.60 assists per set.
Danielle Cuttino ranks third in the Big Ten, averaging 4.10 kills per set.