Aug. 31, 2007
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A crowd of 1,965 packed into the Intercollegiate Athletic Facility to cheer on the 17th-ranked Purdue volleyball team as it took on Dayton in the Boilermakers' home opener. The fans saw senior Anne Mastandrea pick up her 1,000th-career dig, but the Boilermakers were unable to pick up a win over the Flyers. Dayton won the match 30-27, 30-24, 35-33.
Junior Kelli Miller (Muncie, Ind.) led Purdue on offense with 14 kills, but also contributed 16 digs and two aces to the effort. Juniors Stephanie Lynch (New Albany, Ind.) and Danita Merlau (New Palestine, Ind.) tacked on 11 and 10 kills respectively. Merlau also picked up a double-double, by adding 11 digs to her tally. Mastandrea racked up 17 digs, moving her career total to 1,007, making her the 11th Boilermaker player to reach the 1,000-dig milestone. Sophomore Carrie Gurnell (Katy, Texas) led Purdue at the net with six blocks.
The Boilermakers raced out to a 7-3 advantage in Game 1 behind kills from Miller, Lynch and freshman setter Jaclyn Hart (Palos Hills, Ill.), and boosted their lead to seven at 14-7. The Flyers turned the tables, however, scoring 13 of the next 16 points to turn the deficit into a 20-17 lead. Purdue fought back to within one as four players - Gurnell, Mader, Lynch and Miller - posted kills and Lynch and Hart combined for a block. The teams tied at 26-26, but Dayton scored three in a row to set up its first shot at the game. A kill by Merlau kept the game going, but Bethany Akerhielm answered with her own to seal the 30-27 Flyer win. Lynch posted six kills in the stanza for Purdue.
Dayton carried the momentum into Game 2, taking an early five point lead at 8-3. A kill by Merlau and an ace by Hart slowed the Flyers momentarily, then back-to-back putdowns by Merlau made it a two-point game at 14-12. Dayton pulled away at that juncture, boosting the point-margin to eight at 23-15, prompting the Boilermakers to use a timeout. Purdue did not fade away, however, slicing the margin to three at 25-22 on a block by Hart and Lynch. Dayton scored the next four points to go up 29-22. The Boilermakers thwarted a pair of game-point efforts, before a service error wrapped up the game.
Game 3 was a battle from the get-go as the teams tied six times in the opening 14 points. The Flyers took control briefly, going up 14-10, but Purdue scored four in a row on two Dayton errors and a pair of kills by Miller to even the score. Another kill by Miler and a putdown by Lynch gave Purdue a 16-15 advantage. Dayton took a 19-18 lead following three knot-ups. Purdue countered with a 3-0 run, including a kill by Merlau and back-to-back blocks by Gurnell and freshman Kristen Arthurs (Newport, Mich.) to make it 21-19. Ties at 22 and 23 followed, but another 3-0 rally for Purdue, capped by a Miller ace, pushed the score to 26-23. Dayton again closed the gap and regained the lead at 28-27. The Flyers had their first chance at the match at 29-28. The Boilermakers held strong, fighting off four match-point attempts, the last at 32-31, before setting up their own chance at the game at 33-32 following a kill by Miller and a Flyer hitting miscue. A kill by Akerhielm tied it at 33, then two straight blocks capped the 35-33 win and the sweep for Dayton. Miller racked up eight kills on 11 swings in Game 3, but could not lift the Boilermakers to victory.
No. 17 Purdue (2-2) returns to the court at 10 a.m. Saturday when the team faces off with North Carolina (2-2) to begin Day 2 action at the Mortar Board Premier.