Sept. 17, 2003
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The No. 18 Notre Dame volleyball team proved to be too much for the Boilermakers, as the Irish topped Purdue 3-1 Wednesday night. Notre Dame won by scores of 30-23, 30-17, 29-31, and 30-20.
The Irish started the match with a 3-0 lead in game one on a pair of kills and the first of six blocks in the game. Purdue caught up, tying the game at 4-4 on a block of their own by junior Kim McConaha and sophomore Renata Dargan. Notre Dame went up two but it was short lived as Purdue tied it at seven on a Melanie Ukovich kill. The final tie up of the game came at 10-10 on a McConaha kill, then the Irish took control, scoring six of the next seven points to go 16-11. A McConaha kill and a service ace by junior Kim Cappa cut the lead to three, but Notre Dame would not let up. The Irish lead swelled to six, but Purdue would not go down easy, cutting the lead to three again at 25-22 on a pair of kills and a Notre Dame net violation. The Irish scored five of the last six including a game-point service ace to take the game 30-23.
Game two saw Notre Dame hit .455 while the Boilermakers struggled. Purdue scored the first point of the game on a kill by Cappa, but the Irish turned that into a 9-2 lead. The Boilermakers scored a couple to make it 10-5, but Notre Dame again put a run together scoring three straight to make the lead eight at 14-6. A pair of points including a Ukovich kill made it a six point game, but Purdue couldn't break through as the lead increased to 11 at 22-11. Purdue scored three straight to stop the run momentarily at 22-14, but Notre Dame proved to be stronger in the waning moments, finishing it at 30-17 with another block, the team's 11th of the night.
Purdue was not about to be swept, jumping out to a 3-1 lead including a Jen Orlowski service ace in game three. Notre Dame tied it at three and took an 8-4 lead, but Purdue chipped away at that lead, outscoring the Irish 8-4 to tie it at 12. The teams then traded three point runs leading to another knot-up at 16. Neither team could get an advantage over the next several minutes until Notre Dame took a 26-23 lead. Purdue took a time out and rekindled their effort with three of the next four points, including kills by three different players. The Irish set up their first game point attempt at 29-27, but Purdue scored the next four points to take a 31-29 win and extend the match.
The Boilermakers' momentum carried into the first half of game four as McConaha registered three kills in the opening moments to give Purdue a 4-3 lead. Purdue remained in control, increasing their lead to four, but Notre Dame caught up, tying it at 10. The Irish took their first lead at 12-11 and never looked back. Notre Dame clinched the match with a 30-20 win.
Ukovich led all hitters with 18 kills, while junior Daren Poe picked up 15 digs to lead Purdue.
The Boilermakers will return to action Sept. 26 when they take kick off the Big Ten campaign with a match against Iowa in the IAF.