September 12, 1998
LARAMIE, Wyo. - Home was not on the range for the Purdue volleyball team, as the Boilers dropped their first match of the season 15-5, 16-14, 15-4 to host Wyoming in the championship match of the Cowgirl Classic, today. Purdue is now 5-1, while Wyoming improves to 4-2.
Purdue started off sharply in Game 1, earning a sideout on the first play and immediately grabbing the lead on a kill by outside hitter Kelly Colangelo. But the momentum shifted in a hurry, as the Cowgirls rattled off the game's next nine points to take a 9-1 advantage. The Boilers got back into the game, however, with the help of reserves Amy Schweitzer and Christy Case, who brought Purdue to within five points at 4-9 and 5-10. But Wyoming held Purdue off from there, scoring the last five points and escaping with the 15-5 win.
A great battle ensued in Game 2, with the Boilers jumping out to a 4-1 lead before the Cowgirls had even gotten on their saddles. Wyoming got back into it, however, and took over the edge at 9-7. But great blocking by Sarah Emke, strong hitting by Bev Krupa and better team court coverage helped Purdue go on a 7-1 run to take a 14-10 advantage. The game looked over at that point, but the Cowgirls earned a sideout and scored six unanswered points to emerge with the 16-14 victory.
Wyoming raced out to an 8-0 lead in Game 3 before Purdue could earn its first sideout on a block by Krupa. The Cowgirls ran their lead to 12-0 before Purdue could respond. The Boilers answered with four straight points on two Cowgirl errors and kills by Schweitzer and Krupa to make the score 12-4 in favor of Wyoming. But that would be it for Purdue, as the Cowgirls scored the game's final three points to win the game (15-4), the match and the tournament title.
"This is a tough loss because we really wanted to prove we could win on their court," Vrazel said. "But we know what we need to do to improve and I think we will take a lot from this match. Every experience we have will only make us better. And we're anxious to see how we'll respond to this."
Krupa led the Boilers with 16 kills, including 11 in Game 2 alone. Emke added eight kills. As a team, Purdue totaled 46 kills on a .208 hitting percentage (46-24-106). Wyoming hit .286 (43-13-105) and was led by Jami Laya and Melody Freihauf, who each contributed 13 kills. Krupa, Emke and Catlin, who ran Purdue's offense and contributed solid defense from her setting position, were named to the all-tournament team.
Purdue has little time to recover for its next match Tuesday at Illinois State, a team which defeated Wyoming 3-1.
"Our next match is crucial," Vrazel said. "We need to get a win on the road. Illinois State is a very good team and will give us a great challenge. We will have to be at our best to beat them."