MINNEAPOLIS, MN (WLFI) - No. 9 Minnesota edged the Purdue volleyball team in a close three-set match Sunday afternoon. The Gophers won the match, which featured 25 ties and eight lead changes, 25-22, 25-21, 25-19.
Redshirt senior Catherine Rebarchak led Purdue with 10 kills, followed by junior KiKi Jones (9), sophomore Sam Epenesa (7), redshirt freshman Faye Adelaja (6) and sophomore Annie Drews (5). Adelaja led the Boilers at the net with three blocks.
Defensively, redshirt seniors Carly Cramer and Rachel Davis and sophomore Amanda Neill posted eight digs apiece, while senior Hilliary Fox added seven. Neill also served up two aces in the match.
In a set that featured 10 ties and four lead changes, the Boilermakers came up just short in a 25-22 loss. Purdue scored three of the first five, including kills by Epenesa and Jones, but Minnesota rallied to go up 7-4. The Boilers knotted the score at 7 with four of the next five points, including an ace by Jones. The Gophers led it 12-10, but Purdue used a 5-0 run to go up 15-12, care of two Jones putaways. UM scored nine of the next 11 to push ahead 21-17, but the Boilermakers cut the margin to one at 21-20 with a block by Nichol and Adelaja. Purdue held off two Minnesota set point chances before a kill by Ashley Wittman ended it at 25-22. Rebarchak racked up five kills in the opening stanza, while Jones chipped in seven.
Purdue took the early lead in Set 2, going up 4-2 including an ace by Neill. Minnesota countered with six of the next seven to go ahead 8-5 and eventually led by five at 16-11. The Boilers pulled within one at 16-15 with a 4-0 run, including two Epenesa putaways and a solo stuff by Adelaja. The Gophers pushed their advantage to four at 19-15, but the Boilermakers battled back to within two at 21-19 after a pair of Adelaja kills and one by Drews that forced a UM timeout. Two kills by Jones kept Purdue in it, before a service error capped a 25-21 win for the Gophers. Adelaja had four kills and two blocks as Purdue hit .267 in the set, while Epenesa, Jones and Drews added three kills apiece.
Set 3 brought another back-and-forth stanza with 11 ties and three lead changes, but the Gophers managed a 25-19 win to take the match. A pair of Adelaja kills and an ace by Neill got things rolling for Purdue up 3-2, but Minnesota went on to an 8-6 edge. Three straight points on two kills by Rebarchak and an overpass putaway by Adelaja put Purdue on top 9-8. The teams tied six times, last at 14, before a pair of Gopher kills made it 16-14 Minnesota. The Boilers were within one at 16-15 and again at 18-17, but could not break through. Minnesota closed out the set with seven of the final nine points.
The No. 20 Boilermakers (9-4, 0-2 Big Ten) return to Belin Court for home matches against Ohio State and Penn State next weekend.
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