Oct. 2, 2009
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Boilermaker volleyball team played its third ranked foe in two weeks when it faced off with the No. 8 Minnesota Golden Gophers on Friday night and wound up on the short end of a 3-0 score. Minnesota won the match 25-18, 25-22 and 26-24.
Sophomore middle hitter Tiffany Fisher was the lone Boilermaker to reach double-digits in kills, pacing the squad with 11 on a team-best .364 hitting effort. Senior Carrie Gurnell, junior Kristen Arthurs and freshman Ariel Turner each chipped in eight putaways.
Redshirt sophomore Blair Bashen served up two aces and led the defense with 15 digs, while sophomore Emily Ehlers added seven and Gurnell pulled up six. At the net, the Boilermakers posted four blocks, two solo efforts by Gurnell and one each by Fisher and Turner.
Purdue started the match with three straight points on a kill by freshman Anna Drewry and two more by Fisher. The Golden Gophers responded with six of the next seven points to go up 6-4. Purdue tied it up at 6-6 after a kill by Hart and a UM error, but Minnesota pushed the lead back to four at 13-9. A service error and a Fisher kill made it a two-point game, but the Gophers used a 4-1 run to go up 17-11. The Boilermakers cut the margin to three at 19-16, but could not overcome the deficit, falling 25-18. Purdue hit just .057 in the stanza, compared to the Gophers' .367 effort.
The teams split the first 12 points of the second set. Minnesota soon owned a 16-11 advantage. The Boilermakers then mounted a comeback with a 4-1 run, including three straight points on kills by Turner and Arthurs and a Bashen ace. Another Turner kill cut the deficit to two at 17-15. The Gophers scored four of the next six to make it 21-17. Purdue used a four-point run to rally to a 21-21 tie. Fisher posted three straight kills during the stretch. Minnesota prevented the come-from-behind win, scoring four of the next five to cap the 25-22 victory.
Minnesota led 15-10 midway through the third set, but the Boilermakers were merely down, but not out. With senior Sam Ainsworth in at setter, Purdue rallied with a 10-4 run to go up 21-20 and take their first lead since early in the second stanza. Solo blocks by Fisher and Gurnell, an ace by Bashen and three Arthurs putaways helped the Boilermakers to the advantage. Fisher provided two kills before a Gopher hitting miscue gave Purdue its first chance at the set at 24-22. Minnesota called a timeout, then snagged the set from the Boilermakers' grasp with four straight points.
The Boilermakers (9-6, 1-3 Big Ten) return to action on Oct. 9 when they take on the 11th-ranked Illinois Fighting Illini in Champaign, Ill. The match will air tape-delayed on ESPN2 at 1 p.m. on Oct. 11.