8/27/21 Loyola Marymount, Team Celebration

The Purdue volleyball team members celebrate after senior middle blocker Jael Johnson scored an ace. 

The Stacey Clark Classic opened play with the Boilermakers sweeping Jacksonville State 25-16, 25-19 and 25-20.

"It was good to start off with a win this morning and hopefully that'll get some momentum going into the rest of this weekend," senior outside hitter Grace Cleveland said.

The first and second sets played out the same way. Purdue and Jacksonville State would struggle for a lead for the first few points. Then the Gamecocks would pull ahead and that lead would grow a little bit.

Eventually, the Boilermakers would go on a run to win the set and leave Jacksonville State stranded in the teens.

The third set brought some stress to the Boilermakers.

Purdue established a dominant lead early on, but the Gamecocks were able to come back and take the lead. From then, on it was a series of ties. The Boilermakers were able to pull off what they did in the previous two sets and coordinate a comeback.

"I think they kind of served pretty aggressive and so we got a little bit out of system, and they got on a little bit of a run," Cleveland said. "I'm glad we did it when we did because I think if it would have gone on for a few more points, it could have been a different game."

Cleveland led the Boilermakers in blocks with six, several of which were made alongside sophomore middleback Taylor Trammell.

Head coach Dave Shondell cited the players size as one of the reason they make an effective blocking duo. Trammell and Cleveland are 6-foot-2 and 6-3, respectively, which give the two the ability to play high above the net.

"They probably are as good of a blocking tandem as we've had at Purdue, so that's positive," Shondell said.

Cleveland also led in kills. She had eight to tie with junior outside hitter Maddy Chinn.

The Boilermakers have two more games left in the classic to make three total in about 26 hours.

"The problem comes in mental preparation. It's not physical as much as it is mental," Shondell said.

The Boilermakers will take to the court again tonight against Purdue Fort Wayne at 7:30 p.m.

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