Sept. 6, 2003
HOUSTON-The Purdue volleyball team used solid serving, defense and passing to sweep Duquesne 3-0, with scores of 30-20, 30-21, 30-21.
"We did three things very well today," head coach Dave Shondell said. "We continued to pass well and that allows us to stay in the match against anybody. We served a great match and John (Shondell) deserves a lot of credit for that because he does all the scouting and calls the zones. The players also did a terrific job of putting the ball where he asked them to put it. The third thing we did was that we played our best defensive match of the season. (Jen) Orlowski has come in as our libero in the absence of Daren Poe and it looks like she has been doing it all her life. Of course, she did do it all last year at Florida State, but she has just been a real solid player for us. We were channeling the ball through her and she did a good job of digging it. Renata (Dargan)'s defense picked up and our drop off blockers' play picked up. The three things we really point to in a match, we did really well."
After falling behind early, the Boilermakers took charge, turning a 5-4 deficit into a 10-5 lead with six straight points featuring two aces by sophomore Renata Dargan (New Lenox, Ill.). Purdue paused only briefly before extending the lead to eight at 14-6. Duquesne cut the lead to five at 14-9, but the point margin would not drop below five the rest of the game. Dargan recorded another ace to make it 21-13. The teams traded points over the next 13 serves leading to a 27-20 Purdue lead. The Boilermakers closed the door at 30-20 with three straight points, including a Leah Wischmeier (Brownstown, Ind.) ace on game point.
The back-and-forth battle continued in game two with six ties in the opening half of the game. Purdue outscored the Dukes 5-2, turning a tie at four into a 9-6 lead. Duquesne put together a 5-2 run of its own to tie it up at 11. The game knotted again at 12 before the Boilermakers took control, scoring four straight to go up 16-12. The Boilermaker lead grew to 10 at 24-14 behind a 6-0 run including two more Wischmeier aces. The Dukes sliced the point margin to seven at 27-20, capitalizing on three Purdue miscues. Purdue scored three of the next four, sealing the game on back-to-back kills by junior Kim McConaha (Centerville, Ind.).
Game three again was dominated by the Boilermakers. The team took an 8-3 lead to open the game and held the Dukes at arm's length the rest of the contest. Duquesne made it 8-5, but Purdue put together a 7-2 run to extend the point margin to eight. The Boilermakers took off scoring five straight to make it 23-12 and putting the game nearly out of reach. The Dukes weren't finished, however, making a last minute run and cutting the Purdue advantage to seven at 28-21. A service error and a Wischmeier kill secured the Boilermaker sweep.
McConaha led Purdue with 13 kills and a .385 hitting percentage. Wischmeier was just behind with 12 kills, eight digs and a career-high four aces. Sophomore Jen Orlowski (LaPorte, Ind.) posted a match-high 17 digs, followed by Dargan's 11. Dargan also added three aces to the Boilermakers' tally of nine. Freshman Katie Dobson (Indianapolis, Ind.) led Purdue with a match-high five blocks including one solo. Ashley Macko led the Dukes with 10 kills and nine digs.
The Boilermakers (4-1) return to action at 7 p.m. for a match against the host Owls.