- Illinois defeats #10 Purdue 3-2 in West Lafayette (21-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-27, 15-11
- Illinois moves to 8-4 (1-0 Big Ten), Purdue falls to 10-2 (0-1 Big Ten)
In the most competitive match of the opening day for Big Ten play, Illinois won a 5-setter against the 10th-ranked Purdue Boilermakers, more indications of how much depth and parity there is in the conference this season.
After Purdue pulled out the 4th set to force the tie-breaking 5th set, both teams turned up sloppy in the last frame. The two teams combined to hit only .024 in that last set, but it was 8 Purdue hitting errors, combined with 2 Illinois aces, that made the difference. Illinois’ last 5 points of the game were scored on 4 Purdue errors and an Ace from Danielle Davis, one of two for her in the match.
The scoring load for the Illini was well distributed, with 51 total kills divided among 6 players. Michelle Strizak (13), Naya crittenden (15), and Jacqueline Quade (13) were all in double digits, let by Crittenden who hit .357.
Purdue also had three players in double figured, topped by Faye Adelaja, who had 14 kills on an monster .591 hitting percentage.
Illinois plays its next two games at home, welcoming in Rutgers before they play host to the #1 team in the nation Nebraska on September 28th. Purdue is starting its 2016 Big Ten campaign with a long home stand – next up they welcome in Indiana before playing back-to-back matches against the #3 team in the country Wisconsin on September 30th and the #2 team in the country Minnesota on October 2nd.
Courtesy University of Illinois:
Purdue vs Illinois Highlights https://t.co/b3yp4LguEI
— Purdue Volleyball (@PurdueVB) September 22, 2016
Courtesy Illinois Athletics:
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – For the first time since 2009, the Fighting Illini volleyball team left West Lafayette, Ind., with a win over Purdue as Illinois fought off the No. 10 Boilermakers in a five-set classic (21-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-27, 15-11) on Wednesday (Sept. 21) night in the Big Ten conference opener for both teams at Holloway Gymnasium.
The Illini (8-4, 1-0 B1G) extend their win streak to six matches with their first win over a top-10 opponent since the 2014 season, when the Illini defeated No. 10 Nebraska in five-sets on Nov. 26.
Senior Naya Crittenden equaled a career-high 15 kills on 28 swings and only five errors for a .357 hitting percentage and five blocks to pace the Illini, while sophomore Ali Bastianelli added a match-high 11 blocks in the win.
After dropping the fourth set with a 2-1 lead in the match, the Illini came out strong to start the decisive fifth set with back-to-back blocks. The two teams then traded the lead back-and-forth, before the score was knotted at 7-7 on a UI hitting error. Three-straight points opened up a 10-7 lead for the visitors, but Purdue (10-2, 0-1 B1G) battled back to within 11-10 on a Danielle Cuttino kill. From there, the Illini scored the next four of five points, including the final three on a service ace from senior Danielle Davis sandwiched between a pair of Orange and Blue blocks to seal the five-set victory.
As expected in the heated rivalry, both teams came out firing in the opening set and the period entered a 15-15 tie midway through the first. The Boilermakers then used a 6-2 run to take a 21-17 edge. Back-to-back Illini points closed the gap to 21-19, but Purdue then tallied the next four of six points to take the opener.
The Illini responded in the second and jumped out to an early 9-5 lead on a Bastianelli service ace. UI continued to control the set with three-straight points, capped by a block from Bastianelli and classmateJordyn Poulter, pushed the advantage to 17-12. A 6-2 run from Purdue, including four-straight points, cut the lead to one at 19-18, but the Illini answered with their own 6-2 run to even the match a 1-1.
The third set proved to be the most competitive period of the match with 15 ties and seven lead changes. Neither team held more than a two-point lead throughout as the Illini broke a 23-23 tie on a Boilermaker hitting error, followed by a kill from freshman Jacqueline Quade for the 2-1 advantage.
It was another back-and-forth set in the fourth with another 13 ties and six lead changes. Purdue grabbed the first significant lead of the set at 11-8, but four-straight points propelled the Illini to the 12-11 lead. The Illini continued to hold the edge throughout the next several points, before a solo block from Quade had the Illini looking to close out the match at 21-17. The Boilermakers had other plans as six-straight points put Purdue up by two at 23-21. The Illini evened up the score twice more, before the Boilers converted on their third set point.
Joining Crittenden in double figures was senior Michelle Strizak and Quade with 13 kills each.
Poulter continued her strong performance with 50 assists to go along with six kills on 11 attacks and a .545 hitting percentage, five blocks and five digs.
Junior Brandi Donnelly and Davis each totaled a team-high 13 digs, with Strizak contributing eight on the night.
As a team, the Illini registered a .221 hitting percentage to Purdue’s .206 clip, while also outblocking the Boilermakers 14-11. The Illini added seven service aces in the win.
Following four weeks and nine matches away from Champaign, the Illini finally return to Huff Hall for their Big Ten home opener against Rutgers on Saturday (Sept. 24) night at 7 p.m. CT.
Courtesy Purdue Athletics:
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The No. 10 Boilermakers rallied to win Set 4 and force a decisive fifth stanza, but could not finish the comeback, falling 3-2 to Illinois on Wednesday. The Illini won the match 21-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-27, 15-11.
Four Boilermakers posted double-digit kill tallies, led by redshirt senior Faye Adelaja and juniorDanielle Cuttino, who turned in 14 apiece. Junior Azariah Stahl (13) and redshirt sophomoreSherridan Atkinson (10) followed. Adelaja hit at a team-best .591 clip, committing just one error in 22 swings. Redshirt junior Ashley Evans added seven kills and redshirt freshman Blake Mohlerchipped in six to go with a team-leading six blocks. Atkinston and Stahl put up four blocks apiece.
Defensively, freshman Natalie Haben pulled up a match-high 15 digs. Stahl rounded out her third double-double of the season with 14 digs and sophomore Brooke Peters added 10.
Purdue put down 64 kills to 61 for the Illini and managed 53 digs to Illinois’ 45, but UI won the rest of the statistical categories, including blocks, 14-11.
The Boilermakers fell behind 3-1 early in the fifth set, but rallied with four of the next five to go ahead 5-4 on a kill by Stahl. Illinois turned the tables with a 6-2 run to vault ahead 10-7. Cuttino downed three kills over the next four points to narrow the gap to one at 10-9. Kills by Cuttino and Stahl kept it close at 12-11, but the Illini used an ace and two blocks to close out the win. Cuttino was 4-for-5 in the set.
Purdue outhit the Illini .348 to .206 in the first set, thanks in part to a 3-for-3 effor tby Adelaja and four kills from Stahl, en route to a 25-21 win. An 8-3 run put the Boilermakers on top 9-6 in the stanza, as Stahl recorded two kills and a solo block and Evans and redshirt sophomore Carissa Damler served up aces. Illinois tied it up at 15, but worked its way to a four-point lead at 21-17 as Illini errors piled up. An Illini service error and a net violation capped the stanza at 25-21.
Illinois led Set 2 nearly from start to finish and boasting a lead of as many at five points. Kills by Cuttino and Mohler gave Purdue a 2-1 edge, but the Illini scored four straight and never looked back. The Boilermakers rallied to slice a 17-12 deficit to just one as Atkinson and Mohler teamed up on a pair of blocks. Up 20-19, Illinois wrapped the set on a 5-1 run. Atkinson tallied four kills in the set, but Purdue hit just .056.
Set 3 was a back and forth affair, featuring 15 ties and seven lead changes, but Illinois managed the final two points of the stanza to take the 25-23 win. Neither team led by more than two in the stanza. After eight ties, the last at 15, Illinois went ahead 17-15, forcing a Purdue timeout. The Boilermakers scored five of the next seven, including three Atkinson putaways, to go up 20-19. The teams tied at 20, 21, 22 and 23, before the Illini used a Purdue miscue and a kill to go up two sets to one.
The Boilermakers had the final run in the see-saw battle which ended in a 27-25 Set 4 win to extend the match. Adelaja and Cuttino added four kills apiece as Purdue outhit Illinois .275 to .184 in the stanza. Purdue turned an early 3-1 deficit into an 11-8 lead with help from kills from four different players. Illinois went ahead 16-14 with eight of the next 11 points. The Boilermakers chipped away, eventually using a 6-0 run to turn a 21-17 deficit into a 23-21 advantage. An Illini error gave Purdue its first chance at the set at 24-23. A Stahl kill gave the Boilermakers another at 25-24. A stuff by Adelaja and Atkinson made it 26-25 and Adelaja put down the final kill to send the match the distance.
The No. 10 Boilermakers (10-2, 0-1 B1G) return to action at 7 p.m. Saturday when they face Indiana in Mackey Arena.