WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) – Behind a career performance from sophomore Grace Cleveland, the No. 21 Purdue volleyball team concluded the Stacey Clark Invitational with a 3-1 (21-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-19) victory over Eastern Michigan.
Leading the Boilermaker offense for a second-consecutive match, Cleveland recorded a career-best and match-high 25 kills. Redshirt senior Shavona Cuttino and junior Caitlyn Newton also tallied double-digit kill performances, registering 10 apiece. Redshirt sophomore Hayley Bush directed the offensive effort with a match-best 52 assists.
Defensively, Jena Otec guided the Boilermakers with a match-best 16 digs. Bush and sophomore Marissa Hornung also posted double-digit dig performances with 10 each.
HOW IT HAPPENED
SET 1 (21-25) | Purdue opened the match with two consecutive kills and a combo block by sophomore Jael Johnson and freshmen Emma Ellis to give the Boilermakers an early edge at 6-3. Eastern Michigan countered and went on multiple small runs, finding the equalizer with a kill from Samantha Basham. Tied at 11, Eastern Michigan pushed past Purdue with a 4-1 run. Leading 19-18, Eastern Michigan took advantage of three Purdue errors to pull away with the set 25-21.
Set 2 (25-22) | The Boilermakers bounced back in the second set, jumping to a 3-0 opening edge. Having to fend off a string of small runs from the Eagles, the Boilermakers' front line held strong with four blocks, including a solo stop from Newton. Offensively, Cleveland continued her momentum with eight more kills, including the set-winning kill for a 25-22 Purdue victory.
SET 3 (25-18) | Purdue extended its dominance in the third set, registering 19 kills on 32 attempts with only three errors. Fueling the effort were 10 combined kills from Cuttino and Cleveland. Finding an offensive rhythm, the Boilermakers would only trail once in the set (1-0) and had multiple runs wearing down the Eagles. Purdue closed out the set, 25-18, ona 5-0 run, highlighted by kills from freshman Madeline Koch and Johnson.
SET 4 (25-19) | In the final frame, the two teams exchanged kills and aces to knot the score at 5-5. A Johnson kill broke the back-and-forth and a sparked a 5-1 run for the Boilermakers. Owning a 20-15 edge, Purdue held off an Eastern Michigan rally with an all-around effort from Cuttino and Newton as they both recorded a kill and combined for a block, closing the set, 25-19.
The Boilermakers open conference play with trips to Wisconsin and Minnesota, Sept. 27-28.