Sept. 27, 2003
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Boilermaker volleyball team knocked off No. 18 Minnesota 3-1 Saturday night in the IAF, marking the first time Purdue had beaten a top 20 team since Oct. 2, 1999, when they pulled off an upset win over No. 18 Michigan. The Boilermakers extended their home win streak to five, while moving to 2-0 in the conference, matching their Big Ten win total from last season, with the 30-25, 25-30, 31-29, 30-24 win.
Redshirt sophomore Leah Wischmeier notched a match-high 19 kills as one of four Boilermakers in double figures. Junior Kim Cappa tallied 14, while junior Kim McConaha and freshman Melanie Ukovich each racked up 11. McConaha picked up the double-double by adding 10 digs. Junior Daren Poe also tallied 10 digs, while sophomore Renata Dargan served up a career-high tying five aces, matching a mark she set against UW-Milwaukee earlier in the season. McConaha led all players with seven blocks, while freshman Katie Dobson picked up six stuffs.
"Everybody played really well and hit really well, so they couldn't stack up on one of us and in turn I got a lot of one-on-one opportunities," Wischmeier said. "Every person on this team got into this match and that is what you have to have to be successful in the Big Ten. It is amazing; I haven't felt this good in a long time."
Minnesota took a 4-0 lead to start game one of the match, but Purdue pulled to within one at 5-4. The Golden Gophers then extended their lead to six at 12-6 and 16-10, but the Boilermakers soon made their move. Trailing by five at 21-15, Purdue went on an 8-0 run to take a 24-21 lead. The Boilermaker lead expanded to four at 28-24 and after a one point delay, Purdue clinched the game at 30-25 on kills by Wischmeier and Cappa. Cappa tallied six kills in the game, while sophomore Jen Orlowski served up an ace for Purdue. The Boilermakers also out-blocked Minnesota 4-2 in the game.
The Golden Gophers again took the early advantage, jumping to a 3-0 start in game two, before allowing the Boilermakers to tie it up at six. Minnesota took the lead at 7-6 and went on a 9-4 run to make it 16-10. Purdue pulled within four at 16-12, but the Gophers kept them at bay, extending their lead back to eight at 23-15. The Boilermakers again cut the point margin to four at 29-25 with three straight points including a Wischmeier service ace. A Minnesota kill on the third game point attempt, sealed the game at 30-25 for the Golden Gophers. Wischmeier had five kills on six attempts in the game for a .833 hitting percentage.
Game three saw the Gophers take a 3-1 advantage and boost their lead to seven in the early goings at 11-4. Purdue answered with four straight points to cut the lead, but Minnesota again raised the point margin to seven at 17-10. A service ace by Dargan made it 20-16, but the Gophers again would not relinquish the lead. Down 28-22, the Boilermakers did not panic instead rattling off seven straight points, including three blocks and three Wischmeier kills, to take a 29-28 lead. A Purdue service error gave Minnesota hope with a tie at 29, but another Wischmier kill, her seventh of the game, and a Golden Gopher error gave Purdue a 2-1 advantage in the match.
After trailing at 1-0 and 4-3, Purdue took control of game four, going on a 6-2 run to make it 9-6 in the Boilermakers' favor. Minnesota stayed close, tying the game at nine, before the point margin began to teeter between one and two over the next 16 serves. Purdue finally broke through and expanded their lead to four on a Ukovich kill and a Andrea Kolwitz service ace. The Golden Gophers cut the lead to two at 22-20, but Purdue held on. The Boilermakers found themselves two points away from the match after back-to-back kills by Wischmeier, Ukovich and Cappa made it 28-23. A Minnesota block stopped Purdue's momentum momentarily, but a Ukovich kills and another by Cappa sealed the upset win for the Boilermakers.
"This is just a great feeling, especially after the seasons we have had in the past," Cappa said. "We have been working to prove ourselves to everyone, to prove that we are improving and that we are a contender and not just a place to stop on the way to somewhere else. It gives us confidence to know that we can play with anybody. It is good to be able to perform well in a game and see the benefits of all of our hard work in the preseason and in practice. This makes it worth it."
The Boilermakers (9-3, 2-0 Big Ten) return to action Oct. 3 at Penn State. Minnesota dropped to 7-7 on the season and 0-2 in the Big Ten.