No. 11 Women’s Volleyball Falls To No. 19 Purdue 3-1

No. 11 Penn State’s women’s volleyball (14-4, Big Ten 8-2) fell to No. 19 Purdue (13-6, Big Ten 7-3) 3-1 in Rec Hall Sunday afternoon. While the Nittany Lions took the first set, it dropped the next three in the loss.

The Nittany Lions fought hard but weren’t able to put the necessary sets away during crunch time and consequently couldn’t come away with a win.

How It Happened

The Boilermakers jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead after three consecutive attack errors by Penn State. Both squads then traded three consecutive attack errors, bringing the score to 9-6.

The Nittany Lions offense began to rev up, logging six kills in seven plays, building up a 12-17 lead over the Boilermakers. Two Purdue attack errors extend Penn State’s lead 19-12 but the Boilermakers rallied back by taking three straight points.

A kill from Jess Mruzik, a block from Taylor Trammell, and a kill by Camryn Hannah brought the Nittany Lions to set point where a Purdue attack error ended the set 25-18 in favor of the Nittany Lions.

The second set got out to a sloppy start for both squads, which traded both service and attack errors, knotting the score up at 7-7. Purdue took an 11-10 lead after back-to-back attack errors from the Nittany Lions.

Trammell tied the set up 11-11 with a great finish at the net assisted by Mac Podraza. A Mruzik kill gave the Nittany Lions the lead again. The Boilermakers climbed up to a 17-15 lead but that was cut down by a point from yet another kill by Mruzik, who was up to 11 kills at this point. Purdue logged an ace and two kills which forced the Nittany Lions to take a timeout to regroup.

Fresh out of the timeout, the high-flying sophomore, Markley, recorded a kill followed by another kill by Hannah forcing a Boilermakers timeout with the score sitting at 20-19, favoring Purdue. Out of their timeout, won two consecutive points, now sitting with a three-point lead at 22-19.

Penn State responded with a gorgeous block from Markley and Trammel, as well as a kill from Mruzik but Purdue extended their lead 23-21 with an Eva Hudson kill that was perfectly placed right on the edge of the sideline. Mruzik recorded another kill but Purdue responded with a kill to bring it to set point at 24-22. A Purdue attack error followed by a timeout gave Penn State another breath of life at 24-23. The Boilermakers closed out the tight set 25-23 with a kill.

After a rough second set, the Nittany Lions drew the first blood of the third set with a kill from Trammell. A nicely placed serve by Cassie Kuerschen set up a monster rejection at the net by Mruzik to go up 4-2.

Purdue creeped back going on a small 3-0 run, but Markley put a stop to that with a sharply angled kill at the net putting the score at 6-5. Purdue tied the score up at 11 a piece after a 4-1 run but the Nittany Lions blocked three balls in one rally thanks to some beautiful defensive effort at the net by Hannah and went up 13-11.

A handful of Penn State service errors tied the game up at 14-14.

After trading points, a thunderous kill from Hannah pushed Penn State’s lead to 18-16. The Boilermakers responded with three kills of their own evening the set at 19 all. Purdue took the lead for a brief moment, but committed a server error tying the game up once again at 21-21.

Trading punches late in the set, Purdue climbed out to a 24-22 lead, but another Boilermaker service error brought it to 24-23. Alexa Markley went for a set-tying kill but it was rejected at the net by Purdue’s Raven Colvin ending the set 25-23 and putting Purdue up 2-1 in the match count.

With a newfound sense of urgency to even up the game count, the Nittany Lions climbed out to a 4-2 lead to start the fourth set. A great dig by Gillian Grimes set up a Mruzik kill, putting Penn State up 6-2 and forcing a Purdue timeout early on in the set. Penn State’s offense began to get in sync, moving the ball around much more smoothly than in previous sets and getting high-quality looks at the net.

However, Purdue’s defense wasn’t budging, which allowed the Boilermakers to climb out of their deficit and go on a 5-1 run, putting them in the lead at 11-10. Mruzik went on a killing spree, with back-to-back-to-back kills, forcing a Purdue timeout and putting the Nittany Lions up 15-12.

Purdue went on a 4-1 run to tie the game up at 16-16. The two teams were once again trading points back and forth but Purdue went up 21-19 in the must-win set, prompting the Nittany Lions to take a timeout. Out of the timeout, Penn State closed the gap 21-20 off of a kill from Mruzik.

Purdue responded with two kills of their own to extend their 23-20 lead. Purdue brought it to match point with a kill from Hudson. Despite a heroic effort by Mruzik to dig a ball out of the stands, the Nittany Lions couldn’t finish the point and dropped the fourth and final set 25-22.


  • Once again, Mzurik led the team with 27 kills on 61 attacks translating to a .443 kill percentage. Mzurik continues to lead the Nittany Lions through this stretch of the season.
  • The Nittany Lions had three players with negative hitting percentages, which was part of the reason they weren’t able to quite close the gap today.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions head to Ann Arbor to take on the Michigan Wolverines at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 27.

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

Cadyn Gill

Cadyn is a freshman journalism major at Penn State. Hailing from the great state of Texas, he is a die hard Dallas sports fan. You'll often see him voicing his complaints about the Cowboys play calling on Twitter @cgill214.

Retired Marine To Professor: How Colonel Jake Graham Has Immersed Himself In Penn State Community

After 26 years of service with the Marines, Graham works as a professor, lab director, and coach at Penn State.

Penn State Softball Season Ended By Texas State In NCAA Regionals

A sixth inning grand slam was too much for the Nittany Lions to overcome.

Penn State Baseball To Face Illinois In Big Ten Tournament

The Nittany Lions will take on the Illini at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in Omaha, Nebraska.