No. 14 Purdue volleyball edged by No. 3 Wisconsin

Photo Courtesy: Purdue Sports
Photo Courtesy: Purdue Sports

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — The No. 14 Boilermakers played point for point with No. 3 Wisconsin, but could not pull off the upset, falling in five sets Friday night. The Badgers (11-1) won the match 21-25, 25-20, 18-25, 25-21, 15-9, coming back from down two sets to one to stay perfect in Big Ten play.

Junior Danielle Cuttino led all hitters with a match-high 18 kills on a .333 hitting effort, while redshirt senior Faye Adelaja and redshirt sophomore Sherridan Atkinson also reached double-digits, turning in 10 kills apiece. Junior Azariah Stahl and redshirt freshman Blake Mohler added eight putdowns apiece. Mohler also managed a match-high six blocks.

Defensively, freshman Natalie Haben pulled up a match-high 17 digs followed by sophomore Brooke Peters, who added 12. Haben also served up two aces, while Peters added one. Wisconsin won all major statistical categories, except blocks, which the teams tied 9-9.

Purdue scored two of the first three points in Set 5, but played catch up the rest of the set after falling behind 7-3 after four miscues, eventually falling 15-9. Down 8-4 at the changeover, kills from Adelaja and Stahl cut the margin to two at 9-7, but Wisconsin closed out the set on a 6-2 run. The Badgers hit .375 in the final stanza, while holding Purdue to .000 effort.

The Boilermakers led Set 1 from start to finish, going up by as many as six in the stanza. Purdue got off to a fast start at 12-6 with help from five Badger miscues and two stuffs by Mohler. A pair of Mohler kills put Purdue up 19-14 and forced Wisconsin to use its final timeout. The Badgers cut the margin to one at 20-19, but the Boilermakers closed out the set on a 5-2 run. Mohler and Cuttino added kills and combined on a block, then Peters served up an ace to make it 24-20. A kill by Atkinson capped the stanza. Wisconsin led Set 2 from wire to wire, holding off several Boilermaker runs along the way. The Badgers led 10-5 midway through, but Purdue got a kill from Adelaja and an ace from Haben, which narrowed the gap to one at 11-10. UW pushed the margin back to five at 19-14 prompting a Boilermaker timeout. Purdue scored four of the next five after the break, including a kill and a block by Adelaja to make it 20-18 and force a Wisconsin timeout. The Badgers closed out the set with five of the final seven points.

The Boilermakers outhit UW .552 to .147 in Set 3 as Stahl turned in five kills and Cuttino and Atkinson each added four in a 25-18 win. Purdue scored the first three points and never relinquished the lead. The Boilermakers went up 11-8 as Mohler posted two kills and a block and Cuttino added two kills. Wisconsin knotted the score at 12, but Purdue pulled away for good with nine of the next 12 points. Cuttino and Stahl each tallied two kills and a solo block in the run. A kill by Adelaja made it 24-17 and a Wisconsin miscue gave Purdue the stanza two serves later.

Set 4 featured eight ties and four lead changes as Wisconsin stole away at 25-21 win to extend the match to a decisive fifth set. The Badgers scored the first two points, but the Boilermakers charged back to take a 5-4 lead of their own, the first time a lead had changed hands in the match. A pair of Cuttino kills and one from Stahl aided the Purdue rally. Wisconsin scored eight of the next 11 points to go ahead 12-8. Purdue called timeout and again rallied, this time to go up 17-16 on a kill by Adelaja. Atkinson carried the team with a trio of kills in the 9-4 run. UW called timeout and scored six straight to turn the deficit into a 22-17 lead. An ace by Haben cut the margin to three at 23-20, but a pair of kills gave Wisconsin the 25-21 win. Cuttino put down five kills in the stanza, while hitting at a .714 clip, but it was not enough to overcome a .538 Badger hitting effort.

The No. 14 Boilermakers (11-3, 1-2 B1G) return to action at 1:30 p.m. ET Sunday, when they face No. 2 Minnesota live on ESPN2.