NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (Purdue Sports) — The No. 15 Purdue volleyball team (16-6, 8-5 Big Ten) returned to its winning ways with a sweep of Rutgers on Friday night. The Boilermakers outplayed the Scarlet Knights 25-19, 25-12, 25-21 in their seventh sweep of the season.
Two Boilermakers finished with double-figure kills, led by junior Caitlyn Newton with 11, while sophomore Grace Cleveland added 10 kills.
Purdue beat Rutgers in every statistical category, taking the advantage in: kills (41-33), hitting % (.257-.102), service aces (6-2), digs (55-43) and blocks (10-5).
Junior Jena Otec paced the Boilermaker defense with 18 digs, followed by sophomore Marissa Hornung with 14.
Redshirt sophomore Hayley Bush led Purdue with 27 assists, while also adding in nine digs and three kills.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Set 1 (25-19) | Otec gave Purdue an early spark as she opened the match with her 100th career ace. Following Otec's lead, the Boilermakers came out firing on all cylinders with six of them tallying at least one kill. Freshman Emma Ellis guided Purdue with four kills as the Boilermakers cruised to a 25-19 set victory.
SET 2 (25-12) | With consecutive kills from Cleveland, Purdue took control early with a 5-0 lead. Cleveland kept her momentum going with three aces, pushing Purdue to a 16-3 edge. The Boilermakers, who hit .625 in the set, closed out the frame with kills from Bush and Newton.
SET 3 (25-21) | Unlike the first two sets, the league opponents opened the final frame going point-for-point. Tied at 5-5, Purdue and Rutgers exchanged 5-1 runs to make it a one-point set. Leading 12-11, the Boilermakers collected six of the next eight points to pull ahead 18-13. A pair of kills from freshman Maddy Chinn and four errors from the Scarlet Knights helped Purdue close the frame 25-21.
The No. 15 Boilermakers will stay on the road to cap off the weekend, facing No.8 Penn State at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday.