# 7 Purdue scheduled for Michigan State, # 9 Nebraska
Friday October 20 | 8 p.m. ET
# 6 Purdue vs. Michigan State
WSHY 104.3 FM or listen online | BTN
Sunday 23 October | 9 p.m. ET
# 6 Purdue at # 9 Nebraska
WSHY 104.3 FM or listen online | ESPN2
LAFAYETTE OUEST, Ind. – Following a win over No.15 Penn State, No.7 Purdue Boilermakers (14-3, 6-2 B1G) will split the week, hosting Michigan State for the first time (8-9, 1-7 B1G) Wednesday before traveling to # 9 Nebraska (14-3, 8-0 B1G) on Saturday night.
Both games will air on the Big Ten Network, with Wednesday’s game starting at 8 p.m. ET and Saturday’s at 9 p.m. ET.
LAST WEEK AT A GLANCE
• Purdue went 1-1 last week against the top 15 teams in Ohio State, then No. 7 (L, 3-1) and No. 15 Penn State (W, 3-2).
• Purdue tied the program’s rally scoring record in four set games with 19 total blocks at # 7 Ohio State (tied 19 against Indiana on Oct. 14, 2014). It was also the most by a Big Ten team this season.
• Taylor trammell led the team with 1.56 blocks per set, followed by Grace Cleveland with 1.33 per set. The pair each recorded 10 total blocks at No.7 in Ohio State to lead the league last week.
• Caitlyn newton had 42 wins over the two sets on his way to 5.11 points per set, which is the second-tallest player by a Big Ten player last week.
PURDUE VS. TOP 25 OPPONENTS
• Purdue is 4-2 against the top 25 opponents, with his two losses now to no. 2 Louisville (0-3) and No.6 Ohio State (1-3).
• The Boilers will look for their first real road victory against a top 25 opponent, starting the week with a 0-1 record.
• Despite the opponents having the advantage in eliminations, 326-290, Purdue is more effective with a slight advantage: .213% success against .212.
• Purdue also outperforms his ranked opponents, 64 to 47 (2.8 per set vs. 2.0 per set).
• Jena Otec has seen 144 receptions in the team’s six games and made just three errors.
JENA OTEC: BIG TEN DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
• Libero Jena Otec was named Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 18 following more than 25 search games.
• Leading the Big Ten with 5.78 digs per set and 52 overall digs, Otec recorded a single game-high for the league with 27 digs against # 15 Penn State in addition to the highest number of digs by a Big player. Ten in a four-set game this season (25 at # 7 Ohio State).
• With 25+ consecutive excavation performances, Otec becomes one of six boilermakers to do so since the turn of the century (latest: Brooke Peters, 2018).
• The Crystal City, Missouri native is one of three Big Ten players to do so this weekend.
CAITLYN NEWTON: ON THE INCREASE OF THE OPPORTUNITY
• While Caitlyn newton has recorded over 60 attempts eight times in his career, none more effective than his performance against # 15 Penn State (10/17/21). She recorded 26 kills out of 63 swings with just four errors for an average of 0.349.
• Newton led the league in points (46.0) and kills (42) last week.
• His 26 kills and 63 attempts against the # 15 Penn State were not just season highs, but the most by a Big Ten player this season.
• Newton recorded a solo block in each of the matches.
• Led the team with 16 kills for 7th in Ohio State and 11 digs, for his third double-double of the season.
MICHIGAN STATE SPARTANS
Series history: 52-31 (PUR threads) | Last meeting: November 29 (W, 3-2 at MSU)
• Among the Big Ten teams, Michigan State ranks 3rd for opposing blocks per set (1.82), 4th for serving aces per set (1.58) and 4th for opposing recoveries per set (13.74) .
• State of Michigan
• Despite Purdue’s all-time series lead against Michigan State, the Spartans have won three of the last seven games against the Boilermakers and have won at least one set in each of the last 12.
• Second-year hitter Sarah Franklin ranks second in Big Ten for points per set average (4.55)
• The Spartans started the year off season with a strong 7-2 record in non-conference games, but lost 7 of 8 conference games to drop to 8-9.
• Senior central blocker Naya Gros ranks 3rd in the Big Ten and 7th nationally for blocks per set (1.49).
# 9 NEBRASKA HUSKERS
Series history: 8-19 (NEB officials) | Last meeting: Oct 26, 2019 (F, 3-2 at PUR)
• Purdue is aiming for his third victory at Lincoln.
• Nebraska currently lead the Big Ten as the only undefeated team in conference.
• Junior away forward Madi Kubik was named Big Ten Player of the Week on October 18, marking her second consecutive week receiving the honor. The Husker averages 5.83 kills, 1.83 digs and 0.50 blocks per set with an attack percentage of 0.378 with sweeps over Indiana and Illinois. In addition, she tied a record 19 kills against Illinois.
• Intermediate blocker Lauren Stivrins, a first team of American AVCA 2020 and 2018 All-Star, leads the team in terms of efficiency (0.436) despite starting their season in early October.
• Lexi Rodriquez leads the back row with 4.00 digs per set.