Nov. 13, 1997

Purdue Volleyball Preview for Penn State, Indiana

By Tom Schott
For the Journal and Courier

The Purdue volleyball team will resemble its old self a bit more this weekend as the Boilermakers get back two of the four players who missed last Saturday's match at Michigan State.

Christi Kelsey
Kristi Kelsey

Junior outside hitter Bev Krupa (death of her grandmother) and freshman defensive specialist Christi Kelsey (flu) returned to the team earlier this week and will make the trip to Penn State on Friday and intrastate rival Indiana on Saturday.

The Boilermakers (9-16, 2-12), though, still will be without the services of redshirt sophomore middle blocker Connie Paul (dislocated patella) and freshman walkon outside hitter Whitney Brawner (knee surgery). Both are likely lost for the duration of the season.

"While I could not have been more pleased with how the team performed last Saturday with just seven players (a hard-fought, five-game loss at No. 24 Michigan State), it will be nice to have more players and, therefore, more options," Purdue coach Joey Vrazel said. "Bev, obviously, is one of our go-to hitters, and Christi has been a steady performer in the backrow. Things should be a little more normal this weekend."

Penn State (24-1, 13-1), ranked No. 2 in the nation, has been tied for first place with No. 5 Wisconsin in the Big Ten Conference since the Badgers defeated the Nittany Lions in four games in Madison on Oct. 31. Wisconsin (23-2, 14-1) actually took a half-game lead on Penn State with a four-game win over Illinois on Wednesday. There are three weeks of regular-season play remaining.

Meanwhile, Indiana (17-10, 4-10) has lost 10 of 14 matches since opening Big Ten play. One of their four conference victories came over the Boilermakers on Sept. 26 in West Lafayette. In that match, the teams split the first two games before the Hoosiers rallied from a 14-7 deficit in Game 3 to win 16-14. They went on to win Game 4 and the match. "There's no question that's a match we should have won," senior setter Linda Menconi said. "You have to give Indiana credit for coming back, but we just stopped playing for whatever reason. So we certainly would live to redeem ourselves when we play them again."

Saturday's match takes on the added significance of being played for the Monon Spike, the traveling trophy given to the winning team in one of the two annual matches. Purdue leads the Spike series 15-8 after last year's three-game sweep at home.

Noteworthy ...

BIG NUMBERS: In their five-game loss at Michigan State on Nov. 8, three Boilermakers posted some pretty lofty numbers. Sophomore outside hitter Kelly Colangelo's 77 total hitting attempts rank second on Purdue's single-match list, while sophomore setter Taryn Catlin's 74 assists and freshman outside hitter Katie Gibbons' seven service aces both are tie for fourth. Colangelo also had career highs of 29 kills and 19 digs.

1997 Big Ten Conference Volleyball Standings 
Wisconsin       14-1    .933     23-2   .920
Penn State      13-1    .929     24-1   .960
Ohio State      10-4    .714     19-7   .731
Michigan State   9-5    .643     19-8   .704
Michigan         9-5    .543     16-9   .640
Minnesota        8-6    .571     18-7   .720
Illinois        5-10    .333    14-11   .560
Indiana         4-10    .286    17-10   .630
Purdue          2-12    .143     9-16   .360
Northwestern    2-12    .143    11-14   .440
Iowa            2-12    .143     9-16   .360

This Week's Results and Remaining Schedule 
Wednesday, Nov. 12
Wisconsin def. Illinois 11-15, 15-9, 15-9, 15-8 (at Urbana-Champaign) 
Friday, Nov. 14.
Iowa at Michigan, 7 p.m.
Ohio State at Indiana, 7:30 p.m.
Purdue at Penn State, 7:30 p.m.
Minnesota at Northwestern, 8:30 p.m.
Michigan State at Illinois, 9 p.m. (ESPN) 
Saturday, Nov. 15
Minnesota at Michigan, 7 p.m.
Purdue at Indiana, 7:30 p.m.
Ohio State at Penn State, 7:30 p.m.
Iowa at Northwestern, 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 16
Michigan State at Wisconsin, 5 p.m. (SC/FS) 
All times EST.