Sept. 1, 2007
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - It was an epic battle when the No. 17 Boilermakers met the North Carolina Tar Heels Saturday morning. After trailing two games to one, Purdue came back to win the match 30-28, 28-30, 25-30, 30-25, 15-7.
Junior Stephanie Lynch (New Albany, Ind.) and junior Danita Merlau (New Palestine, Ind.) led the offense with kill tallies of 24 and 20, marking the first time two Purdue players had surpassed 20 kills in the same match since Nov. 6, 2004. Senior Sam Mader (Algonquin, Ill.) and junior Kelli Miller (Muncie, Ind.) also reached double digits with 13 and 11.
Senior Anne Mastandrea (Downers Grove, Ill.) paced the team in the backcourt with 26 digs, while Miller rounded out her double-double with 25 digs. Merlau also posted a double-double in the match, adding 17 digs to her 20 kill effort. Redshirt junior Megan McCormick (Modoc, Ind.) and freshman Jessica Ullrich (Winfield, Ill.) racked up career-high tallies of 11 and 10 digs. At the net, freshman Jaclyn Hart (Palos Hills, Ill.) and Lynch led the team with six each.
After a back-and-forth battle for four games, the Boilermakers raced out to a 9-4 lead in the deciding fifth game. Merlau racked up three kills during the run, while Miller added two. Purdue was slowed briefly by a UNC kill, but Mader and Lynch recorded putdowns to boost the advantage to six at 11-5. The Tar Heels used up their second timeout at that point and rallied with two points out of the break. The Boilermakers, however, closed out the win with four straight points with a mixed bag of tricks. Hart posted a kill, Lynch recorded a solo block and Miller aced UNC, before a Tar Heel hitting error capped the match. Purdue hit .476 in the final stanza, while holding UNC to a .067 effort.
In a game that feature 15 ties and six lead changes, the Boilermakers squeaked out four of the last five points to garner a 30-28 win. North Carolina led by three at 11-8, but Purdue fought back with five straight points, including back-to-back kills by Lynch to go up 12-11. After a string of five ties, the last at 16-16, the Boilermakers rattled off six of the next eight points, including kills by Lynch and Miller, to take a 22-18 lead. UNC regained the advantage at 24-23 and held on until Purdue tied the score at 27-27 on a service error. A kill and an error made it 28-28, but Lynch's ninth kill of the game set up Purdue's first game-point attempt, which the team converted on a UNC hitting error.
The Boilermakers looked to have carried the momentum into Game 2, going up by nine at 15-6 following back-to-back kills by Miller. The Tar Heels chipped away at the point margin, pulling to within two at 22-20, prompting a Purdue timeout. Lynch put down a kill out of the break, but UNC scored three straight to tie it at 23-23. The teams tied again at 26 and 27, before the Tar Heels managed back-to-back kills to make it 29-27. A kill by Mader kept the game going, but a putdown by setter Stephanie Jansma evened the match at a game apiece with a 30-28 win. Mader put down six kills in the stanza.
North Carolina led Game 3 from the start, racing out to an 8-1 lead and boosting the margin to 10 at 14-4. The Boilermakers sliced the deficit to four at 17-13, but could not overcome the Tar Heels. Kills by Mader and Hart made it a one-point game at 22-21, but UNC answered with a 7-2 run to earn their first game-point attempt at 29-23. A pair of kills by freshman Kristen Arthurs (Newport, Mich.) kept Purdue alive, but a service error ýgave the Tar Heels the 30-25 win and the 2-1 advantage in the match.
Purdue had to win Game 4 to prolong the match and it took a late effort for the team to do so. The Boilermakers led early, but trailed by four at 14-10 after North Carolina put together a 7-1 run. Purdue countered with six of the next seven points to go up 16-15, but UNC regained the lead at 19-18. A contested call made it 23-22 Tar Heels and earned Purdue coach Dave Shondell a yellow card. That sparked his team to a 6-0 run, including an ace by Miller and three kills by Lynch, and put the Boilermakers on top 28-23. A block and a kill by UNC ended the run, but kills by Hart and Arthurs sent the match to its fifth game.
The Boilermakers (3-2) wrap up the Mortar Board Premier with a 7:30 p.m. match against Utah.