Purdue volleyball falls to No. 15 Michigan State

Photo Courtesy: Purdue Sports
Photo Courtesy: Purdue Sports

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) — The Boilermakers ran into a veteran and tough serving team in No. 15 Michigan State, falling in four sets Saturday night. MSU won the match 20-25, 25-21, 25-16, 25-18.

The Spartans outblocked the Boilermakers 12-11, outserved them 13-2 and outhit them .179 to .111.

Junior Danielle Cuttino led the team with 14 kills, while redshirt senior Faye Adelaja and junior Azariah Stahl followed with 10 apiece. Stahl rounded out a double-double with 12 digs, while Adelaja put up a team-best six blocks. Cuttino added five stuffs and redshirt freshman Blake Mohler chipped in four. Redshirt junior setter Ashley Evans led the way in the backcourt with 13 digs to go with 34 assists. Redshirt sophomore Carissa Damler, sophomore Brooke Peters and freshman Natalie Haben added nine digs apiece.

The Boilermakers led Set 1 from start to finish and held MSU to a -.026 hitting effort en route to a 25-20 win. Cuttino put down four kills, while Adelaja added three kills and four blocks. The Boilermakers scored the first four points of the night, including two kills and a block by Cuttino. Down 7-3, MSU narrowed the gap to one at 8-7, but Purdue responded with three straight points, including a block to go back up 11-7. The Spartans were within one a 12-11, but that only sparked a 7-2 Boilermaker run. Down 169-13, MSU cut the margin to two at 19-17 and 21-19, but Purdue scored four of the final five, including two kills and a block by Adelaja.

Michigan State took control at the midway point of Set 2 and held on for a 25-21 win. In a set which featured four lead changes, the Spartans used a 6-1 run to turn a 14-12 deficit into an 18-15 lead, which they would not relinquish. Down 5-2 early, the Boilermakers scored seven of the next 10 to go up 9-8 and force an MSU timeout. The Spartans scored four of the next five, but Purdue countered with a 4-0 run to take the 14-12 lead. Michigan State led by as many as four at 22-18 en route to the win. Cuttino managed five kills in the set, which also featured five MSU blocks.

MSU led Set 3 from wire to wire, leading by as many as nine in the 25-16 win. The Spartans led 15-6 midway through, but the Boilermakers rallied to cut the deficit to three at 16-13 as Adelaja managed three kills and a block, Stahl added two putaways and Peters served up an ace. Michigan State answered with a 9-3 run, including four aces, to close out the set. Adelaja managed four kills, but MSU served up five aces and outhit Purdue .241 to .000.

Michigan State hit .455 and served up three more aces in a 25-18 Set 4 win to clinch the match. Purdue got five kills from Stahl and three from redshirt freshman Shavona Cuttino, but it was not enough. Down 16-7, the Boilermakers mounted a comeback, scoring seven of the next 10 to cut the margin to five at 19-14. Stahl had a trio of kills in the rally and MSU committed four errors. A kill by Mohler made it 20-15, but the Spartans used a 4-2 run to set up their first match-point chance at 24-16. A hitting error and kill by Evans kept the match going, but an MSU block cut the comeback short.

The Boilermakers (14-9, 4-8 B1G) return to action at 6 p.m. ET Wednesday, when they take on Maryland live on the Big Ten Network.