Purdue VB Comes Home To Holloway
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – No. 17 Purdue (15-4, 5-3 B1G) is set to host No. 1 Penn State (17-1, 7-1 B1G) and Rutgers (5-15, 0-8 B1G) after five consecutive matches away from Belin Court. The Boilermakers will take on the Nittany Lions on Friday, Sept. 20, at 8 p.m. ET prior to their match with the Scarlet Knights on Saturday, Sept. 21, at 7 p.m. The matchup against the top-ranked team in the nation marks the end of a three-match stretch against top-six programs.
The last time Purdue faced the top-ranked team in the country was in 2013 when it fell to Penn State in three sets. The last time Purdue hosted the No. 1 team in the nation was also against the Nittany Lions in 2009 when it lost in four sets. The last time the Boilermakers defeated the nation’s top-ranked program was when they swept No. 1 Florida in 2010 to advance to the Elite Eight.
Penn State has won seven straight matches following its three-set loss in its Big Ten opener at home against a Nebraska team that was ranked 14th in the country. Penn State and Purdue have built reputations this season as having two of the most efficient offenses country. The Nittany Lions lead the nation with their .347 hitting percentage while Purdue ranks lower than second for the first time since Sept. 7 with a .329 hitting percentage that ranks fourth in the country. Rutgers has not won a match since Sept. 15 and has now lost each of its last nine contests.
Despite Purdue’s recent struggles offensively against No. 6 Minnesota and No. 4 Nebraska, the Boilermakers still lead the conference with a 13.54 assists per set average and rank second with a 14.50 kills per set average in Big Ten play. The Boilermakers continue to improve their game defensively as they out-blocked the Golden Gophers and the Cornhuskers to fuel its 2.50 blocks per set average against Big Ten opponents that is good for fourth in the conference. The Boilermakers have moved up the ranks in digs per set as the backcourt is now averaging 13.54 digs per set to rank sixth in Big Ten matches. Purdue has challenged Big Ten opponents with its serve as well with a 1.35 aces per set average to rank fourth in the league.
- Purdue slides to No. 17 in this week’s AVCA Top-25 Coaches Poll and has been ranked in all nine polls this season. The Boilermakers boast the nation’s 14th best RPI.
- Purdue’s total home attendance of 21,441 fans this season ranks ninth in the nation.
- Purdue is hitting .329 this season and ranks fourth in the country while its 14.50 kills per set average is good for best in the Big Ten and 12th in the nation.
- Ashley Evans is averaging 11.60 assists per set, ranking her 10th in the country and second in the conference. She ranks second in the Big Ten since conference play began as she is averaging 11.92 assists per set through the first eight Big Ten matches.
- Danielle Cuttino is hitting .340 this season with a 4.23 kills per set average. Her hitting percentage is the best among pin hitters in the conference and her kills per set average is good for second in the Big Ten. Cuttino is averaging 4.65 kills per set with 121 kills in Big Ten play to lead the conference in both categories.
- Brooke Peters continues to improve in her first season as Purdue’s libero as she has earned a 4.35 digs per set average in conference play to rank her third in the Big Ten, fueling Purdue’s 13.54 digs per set average against Big Ten opponents that ranks sixth in the league.
- Blake Mohler currently ranks sixth in the conference with a 1.23 blocks per set average in Big Ten play. Her blocking has lifted the Boilermakers to a 2.50 blocks per set average that ranks fourth in conference play.
- Since the beginning of Big Ten competition, the Boilermakers have aced opponents 35 times to average 1.35 service aces per set and rank fourth in the league. Azariah Stahl, Jena Otec and Ashley Evans combine for 25 of Purdue’s 35 service aces against Big Ten opponents. Stahl leads the trio with 10 thus far while Otec is right behind her with nine and Evans has aced Big Ten defenses six times.