Last Updated 1:56 PM, November 13, 2021

No. 9 Purdue volleyball upsets No. 4 Wisconsin for second time this season

NCAA women's volleyball bracket predictions ahead of the selection show
3:01 am, November 13, 2021

Purdue does it again! The Boilermakers upset the Badgers in four

Purdue Volleyball

The Boilermakers upset No. 4 Wisconsin to secure the season sweep over the Badgers and snap a 30-match home winning streak for Wisconsin. Purdue did in four sets and with a 25-21 win in the fourth set. 

Purdue outhit the Badgers .193  to .128, holding the Badgers to a season-low hitting percentage. They also out-blocked the Badgers 14.5 to nine. Caitlyn Newton led with 18 kills on .204 hitting followed by Jael Johnson with nine kills and Grace Cleveland with eight. The Badgers were led by Grace Loberg with 12 kills. Devyn Robinson and Julia Orzol chipped in eight kills apiece as well, but Dana Rettke was held to just six kills on .045 hitting. Typically, the All American is leading the nation in hitting and usually hits above .400 or .500 on the match. Anna Smrek hit for the highest percentage for the Badgers, but only accounted for five kills total. 

Wisconsin now is in a three-way tie for first place in the Big Ten with Nebraska and Minnesota, and the Boilermakers move to 11-4 in the conference, tied for second with Penn State. The win is a great sign and statement for the Boilermakers as we near selections for the 2021 NCAA tournament in just two weeks. They were able to dismantle a typically dominant Wisconsin team twice this season. 

2:42 am, November 13, 2021

Wisconsin holding on to narrow lead in must-win fourth set

Purdue jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the fourth set before the Badgers snapped out of it. Dana Rettke hammered one down off the slide and then was apart of two back-to-back blocks to take a 6-5 lead. The two teams alternated points with neither team taking more than a one-point lead at a time. The Badgers lead 12-10 in this must-win set. 

They are sticking to the same theme of low hitting all match long, with both teams still hitting under .200 in the fourth set. 

2:16 am, November 13, 2021

Purdue takes a 2-1 lead on the match

The Boilermakers won a pivotal third set 25-22 to take a 2-1 lead on the match. Wisconsin will now need to win the fourth set to force a fifth and avoid the season sweep against the Boilermakers. Plus, stay on top of the Big Ten. 

After the Wisconsin timeout with Purdue up 13-8, the Boilermakers got two more to make it a 7-0 run before Jade Demps finally stopped the run for the Badgers, but it was not without some damage. The Badgers needed some momentum and they needed it fast — they responded with a 5-0 run to get within two points, trailing 16-14. A giant Wisconsin block on the right side got the Badgers within one, but the Boilermakers would not stop there. This was clearly going to be a battle, and they never let Wisconsin take the lead the rest of the way. 

They ultimately won the set 25-22, and now the Badgers face a win-it or go home fourth set. Caitlyn Newton is up to 13 kills for the Boilermakers on .242 hitting, and Grace Cleveland is up to eight kills. The Boilermakers again out-hit and out-blocked the Badgers in the third set. Grace Loberg turned it on for Wisconsin, up to seven kills, and Anna Smrek has been great out of the middle when she gets her chances. But, they are still not looking like the complete Wisconsin team that we have seen this season. They are missing Rettke as their main contributor — she has five kills and is hitting under .100, extremely uncharacteristic for the All-American middle. 

Purdue had an answer for Rettke in their win in October, and they have an answer for her now. They have 12.5 blocks on the match so far, and it is working. Lets see how Wisconsin responds in the fourth. 

2:06 am, November 13, 2021

Purdue leads by five in pivotal third set

The Badgers are keeping up their aggressive serving and the Boilermakers are making a lot of errors because of it. Wisconsin jumped out to an early 4-1 lead, but the big Purdue block got them right back into it. So far, the Boilermakers have had answers for Dana Rettke and have held her to .000 hitting. Yes, this is the same Rettke that has been on and off leading the nation in hitting percentage this season. 

Purdue took its first lead of the set and then went on a 5-0 run to take a 13-8 lead in this pivotal third set. Wisconsin took a timeout down by five to regroup. 


1:53 am, November 13, 2021

Wisconsin ties up the match 1-1 with a 25-19 set two win

The Badgers even up the score with a 25-19 win in set two. Neither team hit well, but the Badgers ultimately outhit the Boilermakers .100 to .059. The Boilermakers dug themselves into a hole early with attacking errors and were unable to make their way back. 

Despite trailing by eight points, they were able to cut the deficit to just three, but the Badgers were the first to 20. Grace Loberg sent the winning dagger across the net and the Badgers took the second set on their home court. Devyn Robinson and Julia Orzol are still leading the charge for the Badgers without Rettke as a major contributor. Rettke still has just two kills on the match. 

Once the Boilermakers clean up their mistakes, the Badgers will need to get their middles involved. One really sweet note though for the Badgers — Lauren Barnes has a career high of four service aces so far on the match. They have five total. 

1:35 am, November 13, 2021

Badgers jump ahead by eight in the second set

This set looks a different Wisconsin team. For one, they are hitting .500 so far and have held the Boilermakers to a .200 clip. On top of that, they registered two service aces. This Wisconsin team will NEEd to get Purdue off the net and out of system if they want to win this match. The Boilermakers are also registering a lot of errors in this set, which is not helping their case.

But, just like in the first matchup between Purdue and Wisconsin, the Boilermakers are doing a good job of keeping Dana Rettke quiet. She has just two kills on four swings so far, so it is a good sign that they are leading in the second set even without her dominance. But, they will need her to get involved. The Badgers lead 15-7 in set one. 

1:14 am, November 13, 2021

Purdue takes 1-0 lead on the match with 25-20 win in set one

Purdue took a 1-0 lead for the match after winning set one 25-20 to set the tone. The Boilermakers are on the road this time around against the Badgers, but it didn't matter. 

Purdue took an early lead right out the gates. The biggest difference from the start was hitting efficiency — the Boilermakers hit .333 on the set compared to the Badgers .167. Caitlyn Newton came out swinging well and racked up five kills on .625 hitting in set one. Behind her, Emma Ellis notched four kills on .222 hitting.

For Wisconsin, Devyn Robinson led with four kills on .429 hitting followed by Julia Orzol with three kills on .250 hitting. But, they lacked balance. Behind them, no one had more than one kill and two players hit in the negatives. 

The Boilermakers went on a 4-0 run to take a 22-15 lead and Wisconsin was forced to take a timeout and regroup. Out of the timeout, the Badgers went a 4-0 run of their own with Orzol at the service line to get back within three, and Purdue took the timeout this time around. But, Ellis kept up the hot streak and tooled on off of the block right out of the timeout, and then they eventually sealed the deal with a 25-20 victory. 

So far, the Boilermakers are out-hitting and out-blocking the Badgers. Wisconsin will need to turn it all on to turn this thing around and will need production from their key players. 

9:43 pm, November 11, 2021

How to watch Purdue at Wisconsin

Wisconsin volleyball wins a home match against Penn State

The Badgers and Boilermakers meet for the second time this season when the two battle Friday night. Here's how you can watch:

9:40 pm, November 11, 2021

Previewing the top-10 Wisconsin-Purdue showdown

For another look at this weekend's top matches to watch, click or tap here.

Purdue volleyball beat Rutgers in its previous match

Who doesn't love a good old-fashioned rematch? Wisconsin and Purdue will face off for the second time this season after the Boilermakers upset the Badgers in four sets on Oct. 31. It was Wisconsin's second loss of the season. This game has more implications though than just the Badgers getting redemption. Wisconsin currently sits on top of the Big Ten standings at 12-2 with just one less loss than Nebraska and Minnesota. So, another loss would give up their solo first place spot here. Purdue is fourth, but they are also sitting right on the verge of the top 10 and are fighting for a favorable position in the eyes of the NCAA volleyball committee. Selections for the tournament are just a few weeks away on Nov. 28, so this will be an important battle for them. Two wins over Wisconsin, a team that the committee ranked in the top three, would be really impressive for Purdue. 

In their four-set win over the Badgers in October, the Boilermakers outblocked Wisconsin 16 to 7 and put up four aces in the win. Those two stat lines were most likely extremely vital. Caitlyn Newton and Grace Cleveland led offensively with 17 and 15 kills respectively, but Raven Colvin secured a career-setting performance, with 11 total stuffs. Among them were 10 block assists, which not only are a career-best, but the third-most by a Boilermaker in a four-set match in Purdue history. 

Wisconsin has long been known as a powerful blocking team, especially with Dana Rettke at the net for the past few years. But they were outblocked in the loss and Purdue currently ranks second in the nation with 2.89 blocks per set. So one of the best blocking teams in the NCAA, despite their four losses in the Big Ten. 

You can expect Wisconsin to come out strong. The loss to Purdue was an off-day for the Badgers. They struggled offensively and their typical aggressive service pressure was pretty much non-existent. If they play even remotely close to their normal performances, this will be a tough team for Purdue to handle. They are the No. 4 team in the nation for a reason, and when all of their components are on, it is a pretty scary sight for their opponents. 

Either way, a great matchup with some big-time implications.

9:33 pm, November 11, 2021

What the stats say

Wisconsin comes in sitting alone in first place in the Big Ten at 12-2 in conference play. Purdue is tied for fourth at 10-4, one game behind Nebraska and Minnesota and even with Penn State.

Wisconsin STAT Purdue
20-2 (12-2) Record (Big Ten) 18-5 (10-4)
No. 4 AVCA ranking No. 9
Def. Iowa, 3-0 Last time out Def. Rutgers, 3-1
.297 Hitting percentage .256
14.7 Kills per set 13.2
.155 Opponent hitting .178
2.5 Blocks per set 2.9
14.7 Digs per set 15.5
112/166 Aces/Service errors 96/150
Dana Rettke, 267 (3.61 k/s) Kills leader Caitlyn Newton, 317 (3.82 k/s)
Sydney Hilley, 913 (12.01 a/s) Assist leader Hayley Bush, 858 (10.21 a/s)
Lauren Barnes, 322 (4.24 d/s) Digs leader Jena Otec, 386 (4.54 d/s)
9:23 pm, November 11, 2021

Latest AVCA rankings

Both Wisconsin and Purdue are ranked in the top 10, two of six Big Ten teams ranked in the top 15 of the AVCA.

Here's the complete poll:

Through Games Nov. 8, 2021






1 Louisville (59) 1,595 23-0 2
2 Texas (5) 1,520 18-1 1
3 Pittsburgh 1,443 22-2 3
4 Wisconsin 1,405 20-2 4
5 BYU 1,311 23-1 6
6 Baylor 1,177 14-5 10
7 Kentucky 1,157 17-4 5
8 Minnesota 1,111 16-6 11
9 Purdue 1,098 18-5 8
10 Ohio State 1,077 19-5 7
11 Nebraska 959 17-6 9
12 UCLA 914 19-3 13
13 Washington 908 18-4 12
14 Georgia Tech 830 21-3 14
15 Penn State 689 17-7 15
16 Utah 576 16-7 16
17 Oregon 529 18-6 18
18 Western Kentucky 519 24-1 17
19 San Diego 387 18-4 20
20 Stanford 348 13-9 19
21 Washington State 319 15-8 21
22 Florida 286 15-6 23
23 Creighton 214 24-3 24
24 Tennessee 175 17-6 22
25 Illinois 92 16-9 25