No. 8 Purdue volleyball extended its winning streak to five matches in a row against the University of Illinois Friday night by building a wall at the net that the Fighting Illini could not break through.
The Boilermakers (14-5) jumped to a 7-0 lead in the first set that was highlighted by two early kills from freshman middle blocker Taylor Trammell. Trammell would finish the night with 10 kills and a team-high 8 blocks.
It was a complete defensive performance from the Boilermakers. Trammell and junior outside hitter Grace Cleveland formed an impenetrable defensive wall at the net that ricocheted back the Fighting Illini's (6-11) offensive strikes throughout the night. When the ball found its way past the duo, senior defensive specialist Jena Otec was there to clean up and keep the play alive, finishing with a team-high 23 digs.
The first set closed out 25-10 in Purdue's favor with back-to-back kills from junior middle blocker Jael Johnson.
The second set would turn out to be a much tighter affair as the Illinois defense closed ranks and flipped an 13-18 deficit to a 25-24, game-point advantage. The following Illini serve glided straight to senior setter Hayley Bush, who proceeded to setup Cleveland for her fifth kill of the night.
Senior outside hitter Caitlyn Newton followed that up with her own kill, and one Illini attack error later, Purdue found itself with a 2-0 set advantage heading into the third tilt.
Both teams traded haymakers in the third set, as Illini outside hitter Raina Terry came alive with two quick-strike kills that helped give Illinois a 9-8 lead. But the Boilermaker frontline defense proved to be too formidable, and the team pulled out a 25-20 win to closeout the match.
Purdue's 3-0 match win is its sixth shutout of the season and improves the team's home record to 6-2. The Boilermakers will have another crack at the Fighting Illini tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. at Holloway Gymnasium. The match will also air on the Big Ten Network.
-Senior outside hitter Caitlyn Newton led the team with 10 kills and is 4th in the Big Ten in that category
- The Boilermakers held Illinois to a .094 HIT%
- Middle blocker Taylor Trammell led the team with a .500 HIT%