LARAMIE, Wyo. – Despite battling until the very end of the final set, Jacksonville University volleyball fell 3-0 to No. 21 Purdue, Friday evening at Wyoming's UniWyo Sports Complex.
"The energy and momentum we finished the match with is what we have to key in on," said Head Coach Julie Darty. "That was us getting comfortable with who we are. If we serve tough, dig balls, and stay in-system, good things happen. Purdue is a very good volleyball team and they were a tough team to prepare for. We have never faced anyone that physical with that much ball control, so you can certainly see why they're one of the best teams in the country. We handled the ball pretty well and our setters did a nice job of getting everyone involved. Every single day we are just trying to get a little bit better and I think that happened today."
Cristina Finan and Hannah Marchand led the Dolphins' offense, hitting .700 and .308, respectively. Along with Mallory Mattingly, the trio posted seven kills each, while Alleah Stamatis (15) and Lauren Petersen (12) added double-digit assists. Marchand continued to be a wall at the net, with three solo blocks to her credit, while Olga Nushtayeva and Amarrah Cooks assisted on a block to help keep Purdue's offense in check. Finan, Mattingly, and Jessica Armstrong added three digs apiece.
No. 21 Purdue gave the Dolphins a run to open the match and led 15-6 halfway through the set. Jacksonville added five of the next 10 points, including three kills from Nushtayeva and Mattingly, but the Boilermakers (4-0) put the game out of reach shortly thereafter to take set one, 25-14.
Down 3-0, the Dolphins took advantage of a Purdue serving miscue and Mattingly added a service ace to bring JU within one early on, 3-2. A kill from Cooks and a second Boilermaker error from the service line added to JU's offense, but Purdue picked up from the last set and took a 14-5 lead. Coming out of a timeout, the Dolphins added took three of the next five points to cut Purdue's lead, 16-8. Three-straight kills from Marchand, Finan, and Mattingly gave Jacksonville a little more footing, but Purdue used a 6-2 run to close out the set, 25-14.
Jacksonville answered back to each of Purdue's kills early in the third set, as JU looked lively with points from five different Dolphins en route to just a two-point deficit, 12-10. Jacksonville then tied the set at 14 behind a kill and service ace from Marchand. Finan bookended the Dolphins' timeout with kills to keep JU within reach, 17-15, but the Boilermakers used a 5-1 run to jump ahead, 24-17. Marchand added a kill and a solo block to stifle Purdue's efforts, but the Boilermakers ultimately came away with a 25-19 win to take the match, 3-0.
Sherridan Atkinson led Purdue with 13 kills and five blocks, while Ashley Evans (30 assists) and Azariah Stahl (7 kills) had six blocks each.
The Dolphins return to action tomorrow for a doubleheader against the host Cowgirls at 2 p.m. and face Eastern Michigan at 7 p.m.