Purdue volleyball fought back Murray State University to claim its second straight victory of the Stacey Clark Classic Friday night.
“We had a lot of people do a lot of good things tonight,” said head coach Dave Shondell.
Murray State has been an NCAA tournament team in past years and was a tough team to play, but Shondell said beating the Racers “wasn’t a bad thing.”
“They were a good team, they gave us a run,” sophomore Grace Cleveland said.
Throughout the game the Boilermakers (7-1) and Racers (6-5) were neck-and-neck, with neither team gaining a commanding lead at any point. Eventually, the Boilers were able to pull away to accomplish a 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-19) victory.
“We can be a really good defensive team, so that needs to kind of be our signature,” Shondell said.
Purdue’s defensive efforts in practices the past few weeks have paid off as the team made saves through all three sets.
The third set saw controversy as both Purdue and Murray State challenged calls. These challenges took a while to evaluate, but the band and student section found ways to keep up the Boilermaker spirit.
The groups started the wave and did dances learned during Boiler Gold Rush to keep themselves — and other spectators — entertained as the calls were evaluated.
Murray State issued two challenges, with one being sustained to earn it a point. Purdue made one challenge which was sustained and earned the team a point as well.
“They kind of slowed the game down for sure,” Cleveland said.
The three extended periods of paused game play disrupted the team’s rhythm, but they recovered to win the third and final set 25-19.
The third set also saw fifth-year Blake Mohler hit the ground hard and leave the court momentarily. Mohler quickly returned to the court to play the rest of the set, and ended the game with eight kills.
Purdue is set to play against Eastern Michigan University at 3 p.m. Saturday.