Sept. 2, 2007
Final Stats |
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Home sweet home it was not as the Boilermaker volleyball team took the court for the final match of the Mortar Board Premier. Purdue led 13-11 in the deciding fifth game, but could not manage a win, instead falling to Utah 3-2 Saturday night. The Utes won the match 26-30, 30-27, 31-29, 18-30, 15-13.
Junior Stephanie Lynch missed the Purdue single-match blocks record by one, racking up 15 stuffs in addition to her 18-kill effort. Junior Danita Merlau led the Boilermakers on offense with 25 kills, followed by Lynch, senior Sammi Mader (15) and junior Kelli Miller (10). Lynch was named to the Mortar Board Premier All-Tournament team for her efforts on the weekend.
Four Boilermakers combined their offensive prowess with strong defensive performances, posting double-doubles. Merlau (25 kills, 16 digs), Lynch (18 kills, 15 blocks), Miller (10 kills, 15 digs) and freshman Jaclyn Hart (61 assists, 16 digs) made up the group. Senior Anne Mastandrea led the Purdue back court with 22 digs, while sophomore Carrie Gurnell and Hart added block tallies of nine and seven.
As a team, the Boilermakers led Utah in all major categories, including blocks (24-11) and aces (7-3). The 24 block effort is the third best single-match mark in Purdue history and the best since 1983.
In the deciding fifth game, Purdue trailed 8-6, but scored three of the next four points, on kills by Merlau, Mader and Miller, to tie the score at 9-9. The teams tied at 10 and 11 before an ace by freshman Jessica Ullrich put Purdue on top. A kill by Lynch made it 13-11 prompting a Utah timeout. The Utes scored four straight out of the break to steal the five-game win from the Boilermakers.
Purdue won Game 1, 30-26 in a game that featured 11 ties and two lead changes. Utah led 16-13, but the Boilermakers answered with a 6-1 run, including four kills by Merlau to turn the deficit into a 19-17 advantage. The teams tied at 22, but the Boilermakers used a 5-1 run, including three blocks to boost their lead to four at 27-23. Utah scored three of the next four, but Purdue closed out the game with kills by Mader and sophomore Carrie Gurnell (Katy, Texas). The Boilermakers racked up five blocks in the stanza.
The Utes took control of Game 2 from the start, leading by as many as five at 14-9. Purdue scored seven of the next eight points, including three straight blocks, involving Lynch and Hart. Utah turned the tables with a 6-1 rally of its own to make it 21-17 Utes. The Boilermakers clawed back to within one at 25-24 and went on to tie the score at 27 following back-to-back kills by Lynch. The comeback effort was not to be, however, as a pair of Utah kills and a hitting error by Purdue gave the Utes the 30-27 win.
The Boilermakers were forced to play from behind again in Game 3, trailing by three points early on, before tying it up at 6-6. That would be the first of 15 ties in the stanza, which also featured eight lead changes. Purdue took the lead at 9-8 on a kill by Merlau and held the advantage until Utah scored six straight points to turn a 14-13 Boilermaker advantage into a 19-14 lead of its own. The Boilermakers evened the score at 21, and finally regained the lead at 26-25 after a kill by Lynch and a pair of blocks. Purdue set up its first chance at the game as a Merlau kill made it 29-27, but Utah scored four straight to snag the 31-29 win. Merlau posted 10 kills in the stanza, but it was not enough to lift Purdue to a victory.
Down 2-1, Purdue was determined to force a fifth game and proved it quite quickly with a 30-18 Game 4 victory. After a tie at 5-5, Purdue scored 10 of the next 11 points, including two aces by Mastandrea, to sail to a 15-6 lead. Utah slowed the effort with three straight points, but the Boilermakers boosted their advantage to 10 at 23-13 on a kill by Mader. Leading 26-18, Purdue rattled off four-straight points, including kills by Miller and Lynch and a pair of Utah miscues to take the game 30-18. Lynch racked up four kills and five blocks in the stanza as Purdue outhit Utah .306 to .026.
The Boilermakers (3-3) return to action on Friday, when they take on Furman at the Clemson Big Orange Classic in Clemson, S.C.