MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (Purdue Sports) — No. 6 Minnesota (16-2, 5-2 B1G) handed No. 16 Purdue (15-3, 5-2 B1G) its first three-set loss (17-25, 21-25, 23-25) of the season to snap a four-match winning streak. The Boilermakers nearly forced a fourth set as they led 21-17 in the final stanza.
The story of the match was the Golden Gophers taking advantage of too many errors by the Boilermakers. Altogether, Purdue finished with 34 errors compared to Minnesota's 17. Purdue began to settle in on offense in the third set as the Boilermakers hit .294 while the Gophers hit just .256. The execution on offense led to Purdue's 21-17 advantage, however three errors allowed Minnesota to remain in competition, leading to its 25-23 victory to close out the match.
Ashley Evans out-set the Big Ten's top setter 41 assists to 36 while registering 10 digs to earn a double-double. Danielle Cuttino and Azariah Stahl fueled the offense with 15 and 13 kills respectively while Stahl registered a .333 hitting percentage and eight digs. Cuttino added two block assists to lead all point scorers with 16 in the match. Blake Mohler was efficient in her 13 attempts, hitting .308 with six kills to go along with her three blocks. Sherridan Atkinson tallied five kills and five digs.
Defensively the Boilermakers edged Minnesota 5-3 in blocks and 54-51 in digs. Brooke Peters earned her 13th consecutive match with 10 digs or more with 17 on the night. Freshman Jena Otec sparked a 4-0 run in the second set with back-to-back service aces to give Purdue a 6-5 lead and finished the night with nine digs.
The competition only gets tougher for Purdue as it now comes home to West Lafayette, Ind., to host No. 4 Nebraska in Mackey Arena on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. ET.
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