VB Edges Indiana, Swept At Penn State
Quick recap this week as we gear up for Thanksgiving, the end of the regular season, and the announcement of the field of 64.
Purdue 3, Indiana 2 (21-25, 25-15, 25-15, 18-25, 15-7)
If there was any question about where the Boilers belong in the conference this year, this pretty much answered it: while Dave Shondell still has IU's number (he's 25-3 against the Hoosiers in his career), and while the Good Gals dominated three sets, they needed all five to pull off the win against a team essentially in the same place in the standings as they are.
Danielle Cuttino had another great night, leading all players with 20 kills at .350; Sherridan Atkinson added a career-high 18 at .536 for her second straight match in double figures (she'd make it three in the loss to Penn State). Azariah Stahl added her fifth double-double of the season, recording 10 kills and 13 digs.
Indiana was led by Kendall Beerman and Allison Hammond with 11 digs each, although Hammond was held to .029 (Beerman hit .276). Taylor Lebo had a match-high 21 digs in her final match against Purdue.
Purdue 0, Penn State 3 (17-25, 21-25, 19-25)
Penn State went on a run in each set to ensure that the Boilers wouldn't even be close to an upset; Purdue did at least keep it close enough to avoid a resume-deflating blow as the selection committee finishes their homework.
Cuttino and Atkinson again led the way for the Good Gals, with 13 at .182 and 10 at .500 respectively. The rest of the Boiler box score was ... well, reflective of the show that the Nittany Lions put on for the home crowd.
Ali Frantti and Simone Lee had 14 kills each for Penn State; Frantti hit .583, but wasn't even the best hitter in double digits, as that honor went to Tori Gorrell, whose 11 kills in 15 attacks gave her an errorless .733 night.
Tonight at 7, the Boilers face a Maryland squad trying to avoid a 20-loss season; that's going to happen. Massey has Purdue winning this one 3-1 - you can watch on BTN+ or follow Maryland's live stats online.
Friday, Purdue finishes the season at the site of this year's Final Four, Columbus (well, the same city, not the same arena; OSU, like Purdue, hosts the tournament matches in the big joint). BTN+ and GameTracker, or WSHY 1410 AM, like usual, for the 7 PM start. Massey likes Ohio State by that same 3-1 score.
Sunday, the volleyball selection show will happen at 9 PM on ESPNU. First- and second-round games will be played Thursday through Saturday, December 1-3, at sites of the top seeds. Regionals are December 9-10, also at top sites, with the Final Four on the 15th and 17th in Nationwide Arena.
If the Boilers win both matches, they'll finish no worse than a tie for 9th in the conference, maybe 8th if Iowa falls at Wisconsin and home to MSU. That should guarantee them a berth, given their #22 RPI (highest of teams with double-digit losses). A split probably keeps them in, although 18-13 isn't that impressive. Lose at Maryland, and it becomes difficult to overlook two bad conference losses (Northwestern being the other) ... but quality wins might still be enough. Hard to say given the lack of bracketology talk on the interwebs.
Feature image courtesy of Purdue Athletics and Dave Wegiel