NASHVILLE (Purdue Sports) — The No. 23 Purdue volleyball team rallied for a 3-1 (23-25, 25-13, 25-20, 25-17) victory against Lipscomb to claim the LUV Invite title at Allen Arena on Saturday night.
The four-set victory was fueled by three Boilermakers with double-digit kills. Sophomore Grace Cleveland led the trio with a match-high 16 kills, followed by junior Caitlyn Newton with 15 and redshirt senior Blake Mohler with 11.
Redshirt sophomore Hayley Bush complimented the offense with a match-best 43 assists. The performance marked the setter's third consecutive match with at least 40 assists this season.
Defensively, Purdue out-blocked Lipscomb 12.5 to six as Mohler topped the Boilermakers with four assisted blocks and one solo stop.
In the backcourt, sophomore Marissa Hornung led the way with 15 digs, followed by libero Jena Otec with 14.
Cleveland, Mohler and Newton were all named to the all-tournament team, while Newton was also honored as the invite's MVP.
HOW IT HAPPENED
SET 1 (23-25) | Purdue and Lipscomb came out of the gate evenly matched, tying the set 12 times. Knotted at 22, Lipscomb snuck by for the win on a pair of Purdue attack errors. Newton led the Boilermakers with five kills.
SET 2 (25-13) | Purdue stormed back in the second frame, jumping out to an 11-0 lead. The double-digit run was highlighted by a trio of Mohler kills. Outhitting the Bison, .455 to -.037, Purdue maintained control through the set for a 25-13 victory. The dominating Boilermaker offense was complimented with five Purdue blocks, including four assisted blocks from Mohler.
SET 3 (25-20) | Powered by six kills and two service aces from Cleveland, Purdue held of a Lipscomb comeback to take the lead with a 25-20 third-set victory. The Boilermakers opened the set with a 9-4 advantage, and maintained a five-point edge until a 5-0 Lipscomb run tied the score, 15-15. The teams tied the frame one more time at 17, before Purdue regained its advantage on a Cleveland ace. The Boilermakers closed out the set with a 3-0 run.
SET 4 (25-17) | Purdue and Lipscomb traded the first few points, until the Boilermakers sparked for a 3-0 run behind Otec's serve. Leading 18-12, Purdue cushioned its advantage with a pair of Newton aces. The Bison battled back with a 4-0 run, but a pair of Cleveland kills stalled the Lipscomb rally, securing the victory for Purdue.
Purdue stays on the road for a midweek matchup at No.15 Kentucky. The Boilermakers and the Wildcats are set for a 7 p.m. ET match on Wednesday, Sept. 18.