Oct. 7, 1997

Purdue Volleyball Plays Host to Ohio State

With six of its next eight matches to be played at home in the friendly confines of the Intercollegiate Athletic Facility, the Purdue volleyball team will have ample opportunity to change its fortune.

The stretch begins Wednesday when the Boilermakers (7-8, 0-4) play host to Ohio State (10-6, 1-3) at 7:30 p.m. Two-time defending Big Ten Conference champion Michigan State (12-5, 2-2) visits Friday at 7:30 p.m. Then Purdue visits Illinois and Wisconsin on Oct. 17-18, respectively before returning home to entertain Michigan (Oct. 24), Northwestern (Oct. 25), Minnesota (Oct. 31) and Iowa (Nov. 2).

``There's no question we have to take advantage of the schedule right now,'' Purdue coach Joey Vrazel said. ``We have to take care of business at home and have the attitude that no one is going to come into our gym and beat us.''

The Boilermakers have lost four straight matches, and their 0-4 start to the Big Ten season is the worst by a Purdue team since the 1994 season (the year before Vrazel took over as coach).

``We've dug ourselves a bit of a hole, but there is still a lot of volleyball to be played,'' junior outside hitter Bev Krupa said. ``Hopefully, we can start turning it around against Ohio State and keep it going.''

Purdue's loyal fans have continued to turn out. In fact, the current average of 1,434 spectators per match is just off the school-record 1,444 set in 1993. The Boilermakers drew two of the three largest crowds in IAF history during their last homestand (1,976 against intrastate rival Indiana on Sept. 26 and 1,775 against No. 1 Penn State on Sept. 27).

``Our fans are awesome,'' Vrazel said. ``I've said this many times before, but they give us one of the best homecourt advantages in the country. Now, hopefully we can give them something to really get excited about.''

Purdue Volleyball vs. Ohio State
Wednesday, 7:30 p.m., IAF
Tickets: $4 adults, $2 students
Radio: WBAA (920 AM) and regular updates on WAZY (96.5 FM)

1997 Big Ten Conference Volleyball Standings (through Oct. 5, 1997)
                Big Ten     Overall
Penn State      4-0 1.000   15-0   1.000
Michigan        4-0 1.000   11-4    .733
Minnesota       3-1  .750   13-2    .867
Wisconsin       3-1  .750   12-2    .857
Indiana         2-2  .500   15-2    .882
Michigan State  2-2  .500   12-5    .706
Illinois        1-3  .250   10-4    .714
Northwestern    1-3  .250   10-5    .667
Ohio State      1-3  .250   10-6    .625
Iowa            1-3  .250    8-7    .533
PURDUE          0-4  .000    7-8    .467
This Week's Schedule
Wednesday, Oct. 8
Ohio State at Purdue, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 10
Iowa at Penn State, 6:30 p.m.
Northwestern at Illinois, 7 p.m.
Michigan at Wisconsin, 7 p.m.
Minnesota at Indiana, 7:30 p.m.
Michigan State at Purdue, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 11
Michigan State at Ohio State, 6:30 p.m.
Minnesota at Penn State, 6:30 p.m.
Michigan at Illinois, 7 p.m.
Northwestern at Wisconsin, 7 p.m.
Iowa at Indiana, 7:30 p.m.
All times EST.