LINCOLN, Neb. (WLFI) - No. 25 Purdue picked up a signature win Saturday night, downing No. 8 Nebraska 3-1 and handing the Huskers their first loss in the newly minted Devaney Center.
Redshirt senior Catherine Rebarchak led the Boilers with 17 kills, while junior Val Nichol added 13 and sophomore Annie Drews chipped in 12 putaways. Purdue outhit Nebraska .309 to .269 in the match.
Defensively, redshirt senior Carly Cramer led the way with 12 digs. Junior KiKi Jones added five stuffs, while Rebarchak was credited with four blocks.
The teams split the first 10 points of the match, before Purdue was able to score two in a row on a Drews kill and a Husker net violation to go ahead 7-5. The teams traded points once again over the next six serves, but a pair of Drews putaways made it 12-8 Boilers and forced a Nebraska timeout. A kill by Nichol and a Husker miscue made it 16-11. Nebraska cut the margin to one at 17-16 and 18-17, but a kill and an ace by Rebarchak put the Boilermakers on top 20-17, prompting a Nebraska break. Putaways by Jones and Drews and an ace by Neill made it a five-point game at 23-18. A Husker service error put Purdue on the hill for the set and an ace by Jones clinched it. Purdue hit .379 behind six Drews putaways.
Set 2 was a back-and-forth shuffle from the start, featuring X ties through 30 points, last at 15-15. That knot-up came on a Husker service error and kicked off a 8-2 Boilermaker run. Four straight points off of kills by Drews, Epenesa and Rebarchak and a solo stuff by Adelaja made it 22-17. Nebraska pulled within two at 23-21, but a Rebarcak kill, her seventh of the set, and a solo block by Epenesa capped the 25-22 victory and gave Purdue a 2-0 lead in the match.
Nebraska turned a 6-6 tie into a 14-7 lead in Set 3 and went on to take the stanza 25-19. The Huskers scored three of the first four points out of the intermission, but Purdue charged back to take a 5-4 lead, thanks to kills by Rebarchak and Nichol and a stuff by Nichol and Jones. The teams tied at five and six before Nebraska went on its run. Trailing 16-9, the Boilermakers scored five of the next seven, including four on Husker miscues to make it 18-14 and force a Nebraska timeout. Kills by Nichol and Adelaja kept Purdue in the set at 20-16. The Huskers scored six of the final nine points to take the set.
The Huskers held an 8-3 lead in Set 4, but Purdue dug deep and clawed their way back into the seet, eventually taking a 20-19 and capping the match with a 25-20 win. The Boilers began the comeback with a 3-0 run that pulled them within two at 8-6. Down four again at 12-8, the Boilermakers scored four of the next five points to make it a one-point game at 13-12. Rebarchak had two kills in the rally. Trailing 16-13, the Boilermakers began an 8-3 run, which put them on top 21-19 and forced Nebraska to use its final timeout. Nichol had four kills in the stretch. Purdue ended the set on a 4-0 run, which featured a kill by Rebarchak and back-to-back stuffs by Rebarchak and Jones to wrap it up.
No. 25 Purdue (13-6, 4-4 Big Ten) return to action at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday when the team faces Indiana.
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