Sept. 25, 2010
EVANSTON, Ill. - The Northwestern Wildcats edged the Purdue volleyball team in five sets Saturday night to wrap up the first weekend of Big Ten play. The Wildcats won the match 21-25, 25-22, 25-20, 20-25, 15-12.
"I thought it was another good effort tonight, but we have to learn that we can't get behind and fight back every set," head coach Dave Shondell said. "Even in Set 4 when we built a big lead, we fell behind early. Eventually that wears you out and that is a mental thing. We also need to get better about not giving up the same shot all night. Their middles hit the same shot all night and we did not do a good job of defending it. Overall, though, we fought hard and Northwestern is a good volleyball team that will continue to win matches this year."
Sophomore Ariel Turner led all hitters with a career-high tying 24 kills, while junior Tiffany Fisher and redshirt freshman Catherine Rebarchak added 11 each. Sophomore Anna Drewry's nine putaways and senior Jaclyn Hart's seven rounded out the Purdue offense.
Defensively, sophomore Carly Cramer managed a match-high 23 digs, while junior Emily Ehlers (18) and redshirt junior Blair Bashen (12) also reached double digitis. Turner added nine and Hart chipped in eight digs. At the net, senior Kristen Arthurs and Fisher each put up seven stuffs, while Rebarchak added six as Purdue outblocked the Wildcats 15-8.
The deciding fifth set started as a back-and-forth affair as the team's split the first eight points. Turner, Fisher and Hart contributed kills for Purdue. Northwestern scored three straight to go up 7-4 and prompt a Boilermaker timeout. A hitting error gave the Wildcats a 9-5 lead and forced Purdue to use its final timeout. An NU error and a block by Rebarchak and Arthurs cut it to 9-7, but again Northwestern responded with three straight to go up 12-7. A kill by Turner halted the run. Trailing 13-8, Purdue utilized a Wildcat service error and a block by Fisher and Hart to keep the match going. A kill by Stephanie Holthus put Northwestern on the hill, but a kill by Fisher and a set to the corner by Cramer kept Purdue alive at 14-12. A kill by Sabel Moffett ended Purdue's comeback bid at 15-12.
Northwestern scored the first five points of the night and went on to lead 16-10, forcing Purdue to use both of its timeouts, before the Boilermakers mounted a comeback and stole away a 25-21 win. After falling behind early, Purdue narrowed the gap to just three at 7-4 on a kill by Hart, but the Wildcats pushed ahead by six at 10-4 and again at 16-10. The Boilermakers closed out the set, however, with 15 of the final 20 points, including a 9-0 run which turned a 19-14 deficit into a 23-19 lead. A Northwestern kill and a Purdue hitting miscue slowed the Boilermakers temporarily, but a kill by Turner and a Wildcat hitting error capped the comeback. Purdue put up five blocks in the set, including three straight involving Turner, Rebarchak and Arthurs, which gave the Boilermakers their first lead of the night at 20-19.
The Boilermakers carried the momentum into Set 2, going up 5-3 early, but could not stave off the Wildcat attack, falling 25-22. Trailing 6-5, Northwestern managed six of the next seven to go up 11-7 and soon led by five at 15-10. Four different players contributed putaways as the Boilermakers edged to within two at 18-16. Turner, Fisher, Hart and Drewry chipped in as Purdue rallied. The Wildcats answered with six of the next eight points to go ahead 24-18. The Boilermakers did not roll over, however, thwarting four set point attempts with kills by Turner and Fisher, narrowing the gap to 24-22. A kill by Sabel Moffett finally ended the set for Northwestern.
The teams split the first six points of Set 3 before Northwestern surged ahead, taking a lead which they would not relinquish en route to a 25-20 win. The Wildcats led by as many as six at 14-9, but Purdue pulled to within one at 14-13. Kills by Fisher and Turner and a pair of blocks by Fisher and Hart helped the team narrow the gap. Northwestern went up by three at 17-14, but Purdue used kills by Drewry and Rebarchak to again make it a one-point game. The Wildcats had their first shot at set point at 24-19, but a Turner putaway kept the set going. A Purdue hitting miscue sealed the NU win.
The Boilermakers evened the match at two sets apiece and sent it a deciding fifth set with an all-around effort in Set 4. Purdue outhit Northwestern .300 or .143 in the set and outblocked the Wildcats four to three. Rebarchak led the way offensively with six kills. After a tie at two, the Boilermakers scored five of the next seven to go up 7-4. A pair of blocks involving Fisher as well as kills by Fisher, Hart and Rebarchak put Purdue on top. Leading by just two at 10-8, the Boilermakers scored nine of the next 12 points to boost the advantage to eight at 19-11 on a block by Arthurs and Hart. The teams split the next eight points leading to a 23-15 score, but Northwestern rallied with five straight points, including a block and three Boilermakers miscues, to make it 23-20. A kill by Turner and a Wildcat error wrapped up the 25-20 Purdue win.
The Boilermakers (10-3, 1-1 Big Ten) return to action at 7 p.m. Friday when they take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers in Minneapolis.