The No. 18 Boilermakers were unable to defeat in-state opponent University of Notre Dame on the road Friday night.
Although the team lost, one player shined for Purdue. Junior Caitlyn Newton put up 21 kills, a new career high. Sophomore Grace Cleveland also helped out, adding another 16 kills in the five-set thriller with Notre Dame.
The first set seemed to be business as usual for the Boilers. They made few mistakes, executed their game plan and finished the first set with a sound 25-16 victory over the Fighting Irish.
The second set was much different, however, as Notre Dame found a rhythm and did not make nearly as many mistakes. As the game was close for most of the match, the Fighting Irish went on a late 5-1 run to take a 22-19 lead.
Purdue’s rally was slowly extinguished and the Boilers lost the second set 26-24, the closest match of the day.
The third set was also close but fell in Purdue’s favor. With the game tied at one set apiece, the third set would be an important point in the overall game to gain momentum for the team.
Purdue stepped up and, in yet another close matchup, the Boilers finished the job. The set was very back-and-forth, point after point, but a late run by the black and gold gave Purdue the 2-1 set lead.
The game then took a bad turn in the fourth set. Purdue was unable to seal the deal and find a solid rhythm to stick to, which became obvious as the set went on.
Notre Dame came back with a newfound effort and passion. The Fighting Irish jumped out to a quick lead and Purdue couldn’t keep up. The Boilers did register 15 kills but also made crucial errors late in the set. Purdue dropped the fourth set 21-25 to the green and blue.
The fifth set was yet another battle, point after point, but the game was decided late by more errors on Purdue’s part. Due to the miscommunications and errors, Purdue let the set slip and ultimately was upset by Notre Dame 15-12 in the final set.
Without these late errors, the sets could have gone either way, as both teams displayed good and bad moments.