WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — With a sold-out crowd in attendance, the No. 19 Purdue volleyball team secured its eighth consecutive victory with a thrilling five-set match over Louisville on Saturday night. The Boilermakers won the match 25-23, 17-25, 28-26, 13-15, 15-10, marking their first 8-0 start to a season since 2011.
Five Boilermakers posted six or more kills and four tallied seven or more digs in the triumph. Senior Sherridan Atkinson had 14 kills and five digs, while also adding two blocks. Sophomore Caitlyn Newton added nine kills and three blocks, while junior Blake Mohler and Grace Cleveland added eight kills each. Redshirt junior Shavona Cuttino rounded out the offense with six kills to go with three blocks.
Defending the back the court was senior Brooke Peters with 25 digs to go with five assists. Freshman Marissa Hornung followed with 10 digs while redshirt freshman Hayley Bush and sophomore Jena Otec added seven apiece. Mohler paced the defensive efforts up front with a match-high nine blocks to tie her career performance against Notre Dame in 2016.
After Louisville earned a 9-6 lead to open the match, Purdue answered with small runs to come within one at 13-12. A block from Mohler and Bush tied the set at 13, while a kill from Atkinson tied it again at 16. Purdue broke the back-and-fourth with a block from Newton and Cuttino. Three Cardinal errors kept the Boilermakers ahead as a UofL service error and a kill by Mohler tipped the set to Purdue 25-23.
The second set saw Louisville even the match, rallying to a 14-8 lead. The Boilermakers put together a 7-0 run to tie at 15, but then were outscored 10-2 down the stretch. Louisville claimed the set, 25—17, on a Purdue attacking error.
Louisville came out of the gate strong in the third, taking four of the first five points. The Boilermakers were able to claw back to even the set at eight after an ace from Peters. Trading point-for-point, the teams went on to tie the score eight more times. Knotted at 26, a Bush putaway and Cardinal error facilitated a 28-26 set win for Purdue as well as a 2-1 lead in the match.
The Cardinals stalled Purdue’s momentum, jumping out to a 10-2 start in the fourth frame. Louisville kept control with a .375 hitting clip and eventually claimed the set, 25-13, to tie the match at two.
Louisville delivered the first point of the final frame, but a kill from Cuttino sparked a 5-0 Boilermaker run pushing Purdue to a 5-1 advantage. Purdue’s front court fed the lead by forcing a trio of Cardinal attacking errors. Leading 12-9, the home team capitalized on a Louisville service error, claiming the set, 15-10, on back-to-back kills from Cuttino and Cleveland.
The No. 19 Boilermakers return to action at 1 p.m. ET Friday against Southern Miss for their first match in Alabama’s Crimson-White Tournament.