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Purdue Athletics | September 8, 2014

Boilers stay perfect

  Purdue blanked Kennesaw in three-consecutive sets

KENNESAW, Ga. -- No. 7 Purdue stayed perfect on the season with a 3-0 victory against Kennesaw State Saturday night. The Boilermakers (6-0) won the match 25-23, 25-14, 25-13 to stretch their set win streak to 18.

Junior Sam Epenesa and redshirt sophomore Faye Adelaja led the team offensively with 12 and 10 kills respectively, while redshirt freshman Ashley Evans added nine kills to go with her team-leading 10 digs. Five other players got in on the offensive action.

Defensively, Evans and redshirt sophomore Kate Workman pulled up 10 digs to pace the Boilers. Senior Val Nichol and freshman Lydia Dimke added seven each, while junior Amanda Neill managed six saves. At the net, Nichol led the way with five blocks, while Adelaja added four stuffs.

The Boilermakers hit at a .308 clip, while holding KSU to a .070 effort. Purdue also put up nine blocks to the Owls' four.

Epenesa was named as the KSU Owl Invitational MVP, while Neill, Nichol and Adelaja garnered all-tournament team honors.

The first set featured three lead changes and came down to the wire. Six different Boilers managed two or more kills, led by Epenesa's three, while Nichol put up three of Purdue's five blocks. Kennesaw State went up 4-2 in the early going, but the Boilermakers scored eight of the next 11 points to turn the deficit into a 10-7 lead on a block by senior KiKi Jones. The Owls charged back with a 7-1 run to go ahead 14-11 and force a Purdue timeout. The Boilers scored seven of the next 10 out of the break to regain the edge at 18-17. Dimke served an ace and two kills from freshman Azariah Stahl put Purdue up 22-18 and a kill by Jones made it 24-21, but KSU held off two set point chances before an Epenesa kill ended it at 25-23.

Epenesa exploded for six kills, while Adelaja put down five in the second set, which saw the Boilers hit .289 to KSU's  .067 effort. KSU led early, 2-1, but then it was nearly all Boilers. Purdue went up 6-2 early, including two Epenesa kills and a Jones ace. A kill by Stahl pushed the lead to 10 at 16-6. The Owls scored five consecutive points to narrow the gap to 16-11 and prompt a Purdue timeout, but the Boilermakers finished off the set on a 9-3 run. A pair of Adelaja kills, including a final over-the-shoulder flip shot, capped the stanza.

Evans put down five kills and Nichol, Adelaja and Epenesa added three each as Purdue dominated the third set with a .429 hitting effort. The Boilers led by 9-4 early and upped the advantage to seven at 14-7 as Evans turned in her five kills. Kennesaw State cut the margin to four at 17-13, but that only served to spark an 8-0 Boilermaker run to end the night.

Jones recorded her 700th career kill in the second set and moved into fourth place on Purdue's career block assists list with 378, tying Debbie McDonald (1986-89).

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