No. 13 Boilermakers Notch 20th victory

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. –  Redshirt senior Sherridan Atkinson, redshirt junior Blake Mohler and sophomore Caitlyn Newton all hit over .300 as the No. 13 Boilermakers defeated Michigan State,3-1 (25-18, 19-25, 25-18, 25-19) on Wednesday, to pick up their 20th win of the season. The victory marks Purdue’s second consecutive 20-win season and the eighth in the last nine years.

As a team, the Boilermakers hit .333 in the first set, .306 in the third set and .333 in the fourth set to complete a strong offensive showing. Atkinson led Purdue with 18 kills with only three errors. Newton followed with 14 putaways of her own, while freshman Grace Cleveland added 12 and Mohler chipped in eight.

Redshirt freshman Hayley Bushed averaged 12.25 assists per set, finishing with a match-best 49 assists.

The Boilermakers also played well defensively with seven players tallying four or more digs, led by 16 from senior libero Brooke Peters. Freshman Marissa Hornung added to Purdue’s back row with 12 digs.

With the first set tied at seven, Purdue took control, going on a 5-1 run, led by kills from Newton and Atkinson. Back-to-back kills from Atkinson put Purdue at set point and secured the opening frame 25-18. The veteran, Atkinson was the star of the first set, hitting .556 with six kills and one error on nine swings.

Michigan State responded with a 4-1 advantage to open the second set as the Spartans took control with six Boilermaker miscues. Four kills from Cleveland helped Purdue tie the set at 14,15,16 and again at 17, but a MSU ace sparked a 8-2 Spartan run, giving the visitor the set 25-19.

Atkinson led the Boilermakers from behind, taking over the third set with five kills. Purdue trailed 5-0, before tying the game at 15 and 18. A Newton kill and Hornung ace broke the back-and-forth, helping Purdue claim the frame, 25-18, on a 6-0 run.

To close out the victory, Purdue rallied for a 25-19 fourth set. Trailing 13-6, an Atkinson kill set off a 7-0 Boilermaker run, tying the score at 13. From there, Purdue regained control behind six kills from Newton, five from Atkinson and four from Cleveland, winning the set 25-19 and the match 3-1.

Purdue continues its homestand with a instate matchup against Indiana on Saturday, November 3. First serve is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET in a sold out Holloway Gymnasium.