NCAA: Purdue volleyball pulls the upset, onto the Sweet 16 - Purdue Exponent: Sports

NCAA: Purdue volleyball pulls the upset, onto the Sweet 16

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Posted: Saturday, December 7, 2013 10:05 pm

The Purdue volleyball team pulled off arguably its biggest win in program history with a four-set upset at No. 4 Missouri in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.  

The Boilers (22-11) used one of their best offensive performances of the season en route to a 25-18, 23-25, 25-16, 27-25 over the previously undefeated Tigers (35-1). 

"That is one of the all time greatest wins in Purdue volleyball history, to beat a team that is 35-0 on their home court," said had Coach Dave Shondell. 

Just like in its first round win over Central Arkansas, it was a balanced attack offensively for the No. 19 Boilermakers. A night after Sam Epensa and Annie Drews led the team in kills, it was Val Nichol, Epenesa, KiKi Jones and Catherine Rerbarchak each chipping in double digit kills.

For Missouri coach Wayne Kreklow, he knew it would be tough playing against hitters his blockers had never seen. 

"They did a really good job of swinging high, hard and deep and it just takes time to get into that rhythm," Kreklow said.

Purdue had a tough task defensively facing SEC Player of the Year Molly Kreklow as well as All-SEC selections Carly Kan and Lisa Henning.

The Boilers responded limiting the best hitting team in the country to a .237 clip. 

Faye Adelaja continued her strong defensive season leading the Boilers with seven of Purdue's 16 block assists while Val Nichol chipped in two solo stuffs.

Nichol, an All-Big Ten selection, credited Purdue's staff for preparing for the Tigers front hitters.

"I think we have a really good team of people who put togeterh good game plans for us," Nichol said. "I think we executed that and it made us successful."

Purdue hit. .352 on the night. 

The win gives Purdue its fourth straight Sweet 16 appearance.  

Purdue will play No. 13 Illinois in the Sweet 16 on Friday in Champaign, Ill. The teams split the season series with Purdue winning 3-1 at Mackey Arena on Oct. 11 and Illinois winning 3-0 in Champaign, Ill. on Nov. 16. 

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