11/3/19 Minnesota, Blake Mohler and Caitlyn Newton

Fifth-year middle blocker Blake Mohler yells in excitement after she and junior outside hitter Caitlyn Newton blocked a Minnesota shot on Sunday.

Following a 3-1 loss to the University of Minnesota, the Purdue volleyball team is getting ready to take on Rutgers University and Pennsylvania State University.

In preparation for the Rutgers (8-15, 2-10 Big Ten) match, the Boilermakers (15-6, 7-5) will work on improving what was lacking against Minnesota.

“We didn’t handle some of the off-speed shots, and we’ll see a lot of that from Rutgers as well,” head coach Dave Shondell said.

Purdue has been 8-0 against the Scarlet Knights since they joined the Big Ten in 2014. Facing Rutgers and Penn State (17-4, 10-2) back-to-back will present a challenge for the Boilers, as they will be forced to adapt to two very different teams.

“We’ll just look at Rutgers because they’re the game we’re going to play first, and they are what’s fresh in our minds, and then after that game we’ll switch our focus,” sophomore outside hitter Grace Cleveland said.

Penn State is consistently ranked in the top 10 in the NCAA while Rutgers is currently unranked.

“Even though you think that it’s better to go into the match with Rutgers, I sometimes feel like there’s more pressure because the cost of losing at a place like Rutgers versus the cost of losing at a place like Penn State,” Shondell said.

Penn State, currently ranked 8th in the nation, will prove to be a challenge for Purdue. The Boilermakers are currently 2-36 with Penn State.

“Good news is, the last time we played them, we beat them,” Shondell said.

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