Sept. 23, 2006
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - For the second straight night, the Boilermaker volleyball team went the distance, posting a five-game win, this time over No. 19 Michigan. Sophomore Danita Merlau and freshman Carrie Gurnell led the Boilermaker hitters with 14 kills apiece, while sophomore Stephanie Lynch added 10 blocks en route to the 25-30, 30-26, 30-26, 26-30, 15-10 win.
Four Boilermaker players reached double-digit dig tallies, led by senior Brittany Dildine (Lafayette, Ind.) and sophomore Kelli Miller (Muncie, Ind.). Freshman setter Sam Gray (Indianapolis, Ind.) picked up her first double-double of the season adding 13 digs to her 32 assists, while junior Anne Mastandrea (Downers Grove, Ill.) tallied 10 digs. Merlau also wrapped up a double-double, tallying 10 digs to go with her 14-kill effort. Also aiding the Boilermakers were juniors Sam Mader (Algonquin, Ill.) and Lizzie Jacques (Winfield, Ill.), who accounted for nine kills each.
Purdue fell behind 9-5 early in Game 5, but rallied with 10 of the next 11 points to pull out the 15-10 win. Senior Lindsay Shondell (Muncie, Ind.) served up four straight points for the Boilermakers following a Lynch kill, which began the rally. Freshman Carrie Gurnell (Katy, Texas) then came to life, connecting on four swings and a block assist to help catapult the Boilermakers to the come-from-behind win. Freshman Lisa Pierce (Darien, Ill.) also chalked up two kills in the final stanza.
"You have to give credit to Michigan for how they played tonight, coming out with intensity after getting stung last night by Indiana," head coach Dave Shondell
said. "We were flat early on, but we had several people rise to the occasion. Lisa Pierce
deserves a pat on the back as she really came on in late in game three and played awfully well after that. Carrie Gurnell
also was unstoppable tonight when we got her the ball in good situations. Lindsay also served up the run that go us back in the lead, so many different people contributed. It has been different people every match and that is what makes this a great team."
The Boilermakers and Wolverines split the first 20 points of the match. Michigan pulled away from Purdue with a 12-5 run, taking a 22-15 lead. The Boilermakers scored six of the next seven to slice the margin to 23-21, following an ace by Merlau and a block by Miller and Jacques. The Wolverines countered with a 5-2 run to boost their lead to six at 28-22. Purdue managed three points in a row late, but could not overcome Michigan, which went on to a 30-25 win.
The Wolverines carried the momentum into Game 2, breaking through five ties to go up 10-6. The Boilermakers did not dismay, instead capitalizing on a pair of UM errors and a kill by Merlau to make it a one-point game at 10-9. Michigan led by four at 16-12, but Purdue scored eight of the next 10 to turn the deficit into a 20-18 lead of its own. Merlau, Lynch and Dildine connected for kills, while Dildine also made the Wolverines pay with an ace. The Boilermakers pushed their advantage to four at 25-21 on a block by Dildine and Lynch, but Michigan would not go quietly. Up 26-24, Purdue scored four of the last six including a pair of kills by Merlau to win the game 30-26 and tie the match at a game apiece.
Purdue opened Game 3 with a 13-10, but Michigan responded with five of the next six points to go ahead 15-14. The Boilermakers countered with an 8-3 run of their own, including an ace by Dildine and kills from a variety of hitters, to go up 22-17. The Wolverines cut the margin to three, last at 29-26 before freshman Gurnell put down a kill to give Purdue the 30-26 win. Gurnell tallied four kills as the Boilermakers outhit UM .333 to .234 in the stanza.
Michigan dominated Game 4 from the beginning, leading 18-9 before the Boilermaker offense came to life. Purdue scored five of the next six, including an ace, a block and a kill by Dildine, to cut the margin to five at 19-14. The Boilermakers continued to battle, eventually making it a one-point game at 23-22, but could not hold off the Wolverines, which won the game 30-26 on a Purdue service error.
The No. 11 Boilermakers (12-1, 2-0 Big Ten) return to action on Friday, when they play host to the Ohio State Buckeyes in a match that will be televised nationally on ESPN2.