Sept. 19, 2015
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – In another learning experience for the young University of Notre Dame volleyball team, the Irish went toe-to-toe with No. 22 Purdue before ultimately falling, 3-1 (25-12, 24-26, 28-26, 25-16), Saturday night in front of 6,220 wild fans at Mackey Arena.
Sitting at 2-0 with a pair of sweeps under their belt already this weekend, the Boilermakers (9-2) got more than they bargained for with the Irish (5-7), who took a thrilling second set, 26-24, and held set point in the third frame twice before Purdue rebounded for the 28-26 victory and the 2-1 lead in the match.
The fourth set was tied as late as 12-12, but Purdue ended the frame on a 13-4 run to finish off the victory and claim the Boiler Box Challenge.
Twenty ties and 11 lead changes were scattered throughout the spirited match.
Purdue star Annie Drews (all-tournament team) had a monster night for the Boilermakers, posting 29 kills on 64 swings (.312 A%) to go along with six digs, two blocks and two assists.
Boilermaker setter Ashley Evans had 50 assists, 18 digs, four kills (.429 A%) and two blocks, while libero Amanda Neill had 23 digs and six assists to lock up tournament MVP honors.
For Notre Dame, sophomore Sam Fry wrapped up all-tournament team honors after totaling 15 kills and seven blocks against Purdue. She finished the tournament with 43 kills (.356 A%) and 14 blocks.
Fellow sophomore Sydney Kuhn added 13 kills, six digs, three blocks and three service aces. Irish back row players Natalie Johnson (17 digs), Ryann DeJarld (15 digs) and Kelly Byrne (13 digs) all turned in double-digit efforts in kills.
Purdue hit .278 for the match, posting 62 kills to just 42 for the Irish (.151 A%). The Boilermakers also held a decided advantage in digs – 76-57.
The Irish (5-7) enter Atlantic Coast Conference play next weekend after four non-conference tournaments. First up are Louisville (Sept. 25) and Florida State (Sept. 27) at Purcell Pavilion.
–Russell Dorn, Athletics Communications Assistant Director