UNIVERSITY PARK, Penn. (Purdue Sports) — Despite double-digit kill performances from Blake Mohler, Caitlyn Newton and Grace Cleveland, No. 15 Purdue fell to No. 8 Penn State in Big Ten action Saturday night. The Nittany Lions claimed the match by scores of 25-17, 21-25, 25-18, 25-15 at Rec Hall.
Mohler led the Boilermaker offense with 13 kills, while hitting a team-best .360 mark. Newton followed with 12 kills, while Cleveland registered 10. Freshman Emma Ellis rounded out Purdue's top scorers with seven kills.
Redshirt Hayley Bush paced the Boilermaker offense with 37 assists. The setter also registered 10 digs for her seventh double-double of the season.
Defensively, sophomore Marissa Hornung tallied a team-best 26 digs for her second match of 20 or more digs this year.
HOW IT HAPPENED
SET 1 (17-25) | Penn State set the tone early with a 4-0 lead. Four Nittany Lions with four kills kept the favor with the home squad for a 25-17 set victory. Newton paced the Boilermakers with four kills of her own, while Mohler had a hand in the set's only two blocks.
SET 2 (25-21) | The Boilermakers and the Nittany Lions went point-for-point until a kill by Mohler sparked a 4-1 Purdue run. Leading 7-4, Purdue stalled a Penn State rally with a pair of kills from Mohler and Cleveland. The Boilermakers followed up with another 4-1 run, moving to a 20-14 edge. Two Boilermaker miscues helped the Nittany Lions close the gap to three at 21-18, forcing Purdue to a timeout. Back on the court the teams once again went point-for-point until Purdue capitalized on a pair of Penn State miscues with a block and a kill from Ellis to secure the set 25-21.
SET 3 (18-25) | Behind the serve of Gabby Blossom, Penn State jumped out to a 5-1 edge. The Nittany Lions maintained offensive control thanks to seven kills from Jonni Parker. Unable to energize a .042 hitting percentage, Purdue would not find the equalizer.
SET 4 (25-15) | Purdue and Penn State opened the set tied through the first six points, before the Nittany Lions took control with a 4-2 run. Leading 7-6, PSU cushioned its advantage with a 5-1 run. Five Boilermaker miscues helped the home squad closed out the finale set, 25-15.
Purdue looks to regroup in the friendly confines of Holloway Gymnasium as the Boilermakers host Ohio State and Maryland next weekend.