The Purdue volleyball team opened its 2019 season with a win over Ohio University on Sunday afternoon.
The Boilermakers (1-0) fought through four sets and outscored the Bobcats (0-1) 72-56 to claim a 3-1 victory. The team now holds a 5-0 record against Ohio. The Boilers were led by 14 kills, two aces and three blocks from junior outside blocker Caitlyn Newton.
As the team expected, the match was tightly contested, with neither team dominating any set. Many of the point margins and lead changes stemmed more from momentary lapses by one team than from a substantial skill difference.
Ohio claimed the first set 25-22, capitalizing on a few errors by the Boilers. The teams were holding even at 7-7 before the Bobcats jumped ahead. Purdue couldn’t reclaim the momentum, but the team did manage to narrow Ohio to a 3-point lead by the end of the set.
The Boilermakers rebounded quickly, capturing the second set 25-17, boosted by four aces from Newton and junior libero Jena Otec.
In addition to outscoring the Bobcats on points and aces, the Boilermakers out-blocked Ohio 14-6. The teams also each notched 49 kills in the match.
The third set was the only one in the match to go beyond 25 points. In a set that saw 10 lead changes and 18 ties, the Boilermakers pulled out a grueling 31-29 victory, off yet another ace from sophomore defensive specialist Marissa Hornung. Purdue made nine aces in the match to Ohio’s two.
The Boilers sealed the match in the fourth set. After Purdue claimed an early lead, Ohio fought back to keep itself in the game. Purdue eventually won the set 25-19 off of a Bobcat service error.
The match was Holloway Gymnasium’s fourth consecutive sold-out crowd, after selling out the team’s last three home matches of the 2018 season. The match also marked the collegiate debut of freshman outside hitter Madeline Koch.