11/20/19 Rutgers, Grace Cleveland

Sophomore middle blocker Grace Cleveland reaches up to spike the ball past a Rutgers defender. Cleveland finished with 13.5 points on 8 kills and a team-best 5 aces. 

The Boilermakers made short work of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Wednesday night, winning 3-0, and turning it into one of the most lopsided victories ever. 

Sophomore outside hitter Grace Cleveland led Purdue on a 15-0 run early in the second set, recording five aces in her serving streak. Cleveland's streak wasn't broken, but she was instead taken out by Shondell in order to preserve her arm.

The Boilermakers won the set 25-4.

The match was riddled with controversial calls from the referees, frustrating head coach Dave Shondell, who used all three of his challenges throughout the match.

The first set featured two close out-of-bounds calls against the Boilermakers, both of which were challenged. The most frustrating call for the team came midway through the set, when the referee blew her whistle during an opposing serve. Assuming this meant a stoppage of play, the Boilers did not return the serve, only to have a point called against them. 

Regardless, the Boilermakers won the first set 25-14 thanks to efforts from junior outside hitter Caitlyn Newton and fifth-year middle blocker Blake Mohler.

After the controversial whistle blowing, Newton led the team on a 6-point run, with three aces and a kill. Newton dominated the net with 13 kills and four blocks in the match. 

Freshman outside hitter Madeline Koch, who has played in only 10 matches this season, finished with six kills and a block. Koch set a new career best with six kills.

Shondell challenged yet another close call in the second set, to no avail. That set was remembered for Cleveland's earlier performance, though.

Cleveland dominated the third set for the most part, and finished with eight kills and a block. Purdue had a bit more trouble with the Knights this time around, but ultimately won the third set 25-18, ending the match.

The Boilermakers will be back in action at 1 p.m. on Saturday in Holloway Gymnasium against Michigan. 

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