WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - The Northwestern Wildcats outlasted the No. 20 Purdue volleyball in a five-set match on Belin Court Saturday night. After dropping the first set, the Wildcats rebounded for the win by scores of 13-25, 25-23, 29-27, 21-25, 21-19.
The Boilermakers outhit the Wildcats .221 to .167 and outblocked them 12-2, but couldn’t find an answer for the team’s three hot hitters. Redshirt senior Catherine Rebarchak had a team-best 19 kills on a .314 hitting effort, while junior KiKi Jones tied a career-high with 14 kills, while hitting .357. Redshirt freshman Faye Adelaja added nine kills on a match-high .467 hitting percentage and added seven blocks. Sophomore Sam Epenesa (7), junior Val Nichol (6) and sophomore Annie Drews (5) rounded out the offense.
Defensively, redshirt senior Carly Cramer racked up a match-high 24 digs followed by senior Hilliary Fox (20) and Nichol (11). Redshirt senior Rachel Davis and sophomore Amanda Neill added nine digs apiece.
In the decisive fifth set, Northwestern jumped out to a 6-2 lead. The Boilermakers fought back, narrowing the gap to one at 10-9 with seven of the next 10 points. Jones had a pair of kills and three others got in on the action in the comeback. Down 13-10, Purdue again countered the Wildcats with a 4-0 run. A kill and solo block by Rebarchak and two NU hitting errors put the Boilers at match point at 14-13, but a pair of Stephanie Holthus kills gave Northwestern its first shot at the match. A Rebarchak kill and a stuff by Jones and Nichol made it 16-15 Purdue, but the Wildcats answered again. A pair of Epenesa putaways thwarted two more NU match point chances, tying the game at 17 and 18. A Wildcat error tied it at 19, but a pair of Boiler hitting errors gave the Northwestern the 21-19 win and the match.
The No. 20 Boilermakers (11-6, 2-4 Big Ten) return to action on Friday, when they take on the Iowa Hawkeyes in Iowa City.
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