Ahrens Impressive; PNW Volleyball Falls in Five to Saint Xavier
HAMMOND, Ind. – A stellar performance from sophomore Brooke Ahrens (Covington, Ind./Covington) led the offensive attack for the Purdue University Northwest volleyball team Tuesday night, but the Saint Xavier Cougars surpassed the Pride in a five-set thriller, 3-2. Ahrens tallied a triple-double with a team-high 17 kills, 21 assists and 16 digs to go along with a trio of block assists and two service aces.
Senior Gabrielle Martin (DeMotte, Ind./Kankakee Valley) recorded 10 kills and 11 digs while junior Carissa Jones (Whiting, Ind./Bishop Noll) registered eight kills to lead the Pride.
Junior Casey Neulieb (Michigan City, Ind./Michigan City) recorded 11 digs on the night, which helped her surpass the 1,000 career mark for digs and junior Kylie Tincher (Sellersburg, Ind./Rock Creek Academy) notched a team-high 20 digs for the Black and Gold.
The first set was back and forth for the majority of the game with each team even at 18-18, before Ahrens ended the set with a kill to give the Pride a 25-21 win. Saint Xavier won the second set, 25-21, but the Black and Gold answered back with a third-set victory in another see-saw battle, 26-24, to take a 2-1 advantage.
The Cougars picked up the 25-18 win in Set 4 to even the match at two sets apiece. PNW took an early lead in Set 5, building a 3-0 advantage thanks to a pair of kills from senior Kayla Elsea (Palmyra, Ind./Crawford County). Another kill by Elsea put the Pride ahead, 7-3, but the Cougars answered back and evened the set at 7-7. SXU went on a run of its own and came away with the 15-13 win and the five-set victory.
Purdue Northwest (6-20 overall) returns to Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play on Thursday, October 26, hosting Davenport University (Mich.). The match is scheduled for a 6 p.m. CT start at the James B. Dworkin Student Services & Activities Complex in Westville, Ind.