PURDUE VOLLEYBALL RELEASE
LEXINGTON, Kentucky – Facing its eighth nationally ranked opponent of the season, the No. 12 Purdue (24-9, 12-8 Big Ten) volleyball team battled, but ultimately fell in three sets to No. 10 Kentucky (26-4, 18-0 SEC). The Boilermakers fell by scores of 25-20, 25-21 and 25-14 on Saturday night at Memorial Coliseum.
“I’m certainly disappointed with the outcome of the match,” head coach Dave Shondell said. “Kentucky played at an extremely high level. Congratulations to Craig (Skinner) and his staff, who we have so much respect for and the way that they played tonight. We wish them the best of luck as they move forward.”
Redshirt junior Blake Mohler led the Boilermakers with Purdue’s most efficient performance of the night. Hitting a match-best .625 clip, the middle blocker delivered 10 errorless kills on 16 swings, while guiding the Boilermakers with eight blocks. Redshirt senior Sherridan Atkinson followed with nine kills, marking her first single-digit kill performance since Purdue’s loss to Michigan on October 6.
Rookie setter Hayley Bush paced Purdue with 22 assists, while adding seven digs and four blocks.
Defensively, the Boilermakers edge Kentucky 9-3 in blocks, but the Wildcats out dug Purdue 50-43.Freshman Marissa Hornung led the back row with 15 digs in the contest while senior Brooke Peters and sophomore Jena Otec added five of their own.
The defense opened the match strong as the Boilermakers outhit Kentucky in the first stanza (.206-.125), but the Wildcats ultimately utilized 32 more swings in the evening to claim the match. Kentucky registered 18 kills in each of the last two sets, while holding Purdue to .176 and .034 hitting clips in the second and third set, respectively.
“We have a young team and at times, we didn’t respond as well tonight as we needed to,” Shondell said. “That being said, this has been a fabulous season for our program. We graduated four seniors, three of which are playing professional volleyball at a high level right now in Europe. And we had some people take the leadership role and take a group of very young players and had a great season. Competitive athletes, whether it is at the high school, club, adult rec level, whatever it might be, it’s really, really strange because you can be on top of the world one night and you can be on the bottom the next. And that’s exactly how we have felt over the last two days. But again, the credit goes to Kentucky. We’ll pick the pieces up and we’ll be ready to go very, very quickly.”