It was famine or feast in the Big Ten on Friday night, with Michigan State and Ohio State surviving against Indiana and Rutgers, while #12 Penn State and #17 Michigan won via sweep.
It was a barn-burner in West Lafayette, Ind., as a pair of unbeaten volleyball programs went at it in Big Ten-opening action. 4th-ranked Illinois emerged the victor, downing 20th-ranked Purdue in a 4-set battle.
Friday’s match between Purdue and Illinois is not just a battle of two unbeatens and two Top 25 teams, it is a clash of two of the nation’s best student sections – The Boiler Block and Spike Squad and the latest matchup in a series of close contests.
The Big Ten could make a case for being the best league in the nation with a strong 83 percent winning percentage (127-26), seven teams among the VolleyMob Top 25 and three undefeated teams, but the conference is still largely untested.
Purdue went the distance with South Alabama rallying for the five-set win to wrap up the tournament title and remain among the ranks of the unbeaten on Saturday.
Purdue libero Brooke Peters had 49 digs and 6 aces in two matches as Purdue moved to 10-0 on the season.
Including a 3-2 nailbiter over 2017 ACC co-champions Louisville, the Purdue Boilermakers stayed perfect on the 2018 season.
Sherridan Atkinson put down 34 kills in two matches to lead Purdue to a 5-0 start to the 2018 season.
Minnesota is one of three teams in the top tier for Big Ten favorites, as the league should be brutal once again.
The Cardinal sit atop the VolleyMob 2018 Preseason Top 25.