Volleyball Wins Mortar Board Premier
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – No. 25 Purdue (3-0) claimed its 12th Mortar Board Premier title with a sweep (25-21, 25-12, 25-14) of Alabama (2-1) on Saturday afternoon in Holloway Gymnasium. Purdue was firing on all cylinders, hitting .304 with 45 kills on 92 swings while holding the Crimson Tide to a .010 hitting percentage with 19 kills on 97 attempts thanks to seven blocks and 51 digs by the Boilermakers.
Alabama was able to keep the contest close in the first set until Purdue used a 7-2 run to take a 16-10 advantage over the Crimson Tide. Of the seven points, six were kills by Purdue seniors, including a stretch of four-consecutive kills by Danielle Cuttino. The Boilermakers were able to control the second and third sets after posting 9-0 runs in each of the two sets. The dominant effort claimed Purdue its third-straight three-set victory to open the season.
With Alabama’s defense focusing on holding off Cuttino, Ashley Evans was able to find a number of other contributors in order for the team to produce as well as it did offensively. The redshirt-senior setter finished with 38 assists and was able to connect with Cuttino for a team-leading 11 kills en route to a .259 hitting percentage on the outside despite the extra attention from the Crimson Tide.
Sherridan Atkinson posted a match-best 13 points thanks to 10 kills, four block assists and an ace. Overall, the redshirt junior had an efficient day on the pins as well, hitting .263 in the match. Azariah Stahl finished just two kills shy of a double-double as she complimented her eight kills with a block assist and match-best 17 digs.
Alabama struggled to contain Purdue’s middle blockers as Blake Mohler and Shaven Cuttino combined for 11 kills and just three errors on 19 swings for a .421 hitting percentage. The duo also combined for seven block assists. Mohler led the way with seven kills, three errors, 13 attempts and three block assists while Shavona Cuttino was four-of-six without an error and four block assists.
In the backcourt, Brooke Peters registered her third-straight effort with 10 or more digs with an ace. Julianna Reisinger aced the Crimson Tide twice while Jena Otec managed to dig six of Alabama’s attempts to go along with an ace of her own.
The Boilermakers hit the road for their next tournament as the Wyoming Invitational awaits them in Laramie, Wyoming. Friday, Sept. 1, Purdue will open with Jacksonville at 6 p.m. ET and is set to conclude the tournament Saturday, Sept. 2, with matches against Eastern Michigan at 12 p.m. and Wyoming at 9 p.m.