Since head coach Steve Aird’s arrival at IU, matches with Purdue have become a lot closer than they have been in the past. Going into Wednesday night’s matchup against the Boilermakers in West Lafayette, Indiana, the last three meetings between the rivals had gone to five sets, including a narrow two-point victory for Purdue earlier this season.
However, it was a different story this time out. Purdue defeated of IU in three sets — 25-16, 25-12 and 25-20 — extending its win streak against the Hoosiers to 15 games, dating all the way back to 2012.
All night, IU possessed no answer to Purdue’s offense, which hit .389 and had nine service aces. The defending Big Ten Player of the Week, sophomore Grace Cleveland, continued her dominant stretch by hitting .579 for the Boilermakers.
The numbers were less impressive for the Hoosiers, who hit .192 and only had sophomore Breana Edwards reach double-digit kills with 12. IU was only able to successfully block three balls on the match.
The loss extends a rough stretch of volleyball for IU, as the team has now lost seven straight matches and sit at 1-10 in conference, 13th place. After starting the season 12-5, the Hoosiers have now crawled back to .500 overall. For Purdue, the win moves the team to 7-4 in conference and 15-5 overall.
IU’s eyes now turn toward a difficult home match against No. 4 Wisconsin on Sunday. The Badgers come in as the highest ranked Big Ten team and are 10-0 in conference play as it stands. Earlier this season, IU lost to Wisconsin in four sets on the road.