October 2, 1998
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue volleyball team put forth a valiant but unrewarded effort against 18th-ranked Ohio State, falling 14-16, 12-15, 16-18 before 1,477 in the Intercollegiate Athletic Facility tonight. The loss drops Purdue to 7-5 (1-2 Big Ten), while Ohio State improves to 8-4 (1-2 Big Ten).
"We played them very tough but just could not close it out," Purdue coach Joey Vrazel said. "We are happy that we put ourselves in position to win every game, but we needed to make good on some of those opportunities."
Purdue used strong blocking by Sarah Emke, Connie Paul and Colleen Henican to build a 7-2 lead in Game 1 before Ohio State called a timeout. The Buckeyes earned a sideout and two points immediately following that break, drawing to within three at 7-4. Ohio State kept pressing and closed the gap to one at 7-6, forcing Purdue to talk things over.
A Purdue error tied things up at 7-all, and a second Purdue error gave the Buckeyes their first lead of the game at 8-7. Ohio State was up 9-7 when Purdue got a sideout and rattled off three straight points to reclaim the lead at 10-9. But Ohio State surrged back into the lead, going up 13-10. That's when Purdue's Bev Krupa turned it on, recording three consecutive kills to knot the Boilers and Buckeyes at 13-13. A service ace by Taryn Catlin gave Purdue a 14-13 lead and a chance to serve for the game, but the Buckeyes capitalized on a couple Boiler errors and quality blocking to overcome that deficit and exit with a 16-14 win.
Ohio State jumped out to a 7-1 lead in Game 2, but a block by Emke and kills by Christy Case and Krupa got the Boilers back on the board at 7-4. The Buckeyes were up 8-4 before inspired hitting and blocking by Paul helped the Boilers slim the edge to 8-7. Ohio State led 10-7, as well, but three straight Buckeye errors allowed Purdue to tie things up at 10-10. The game was deadlocked at 11 and 12, too, but Purdue could score no more points and the Buckeyes emerged with a 15-12 victory.
The Buckeyes' 1-0 advantage in Game 3 was short-lived, as the Boilers jumped ahead 5-2 in the early going. Ohio State fought its way back into a 5-all tie before the Boilers rallied to go up three at 8-5. The Buckeyes came back to knot the score at 8-8, but Purdue took a 9-8 lead on a block by Henican and Paul. It was a seesaw battle from there on out, as both teams traded leads and sideouts. Ohio State had the chance to close out the game and match, but a service error gave the ball back to the Boilers, who then scored five straight points to go up 15-14. The Boilers could not capitalize on their game point however, and Ohio State tied the score at 15 apiece on a block. The score was tied at 16-16, as well, but the Buckeyes pulled ahead with a block and two consecutive kills to escape with the 18-16 win.
"We felt like the momentum was really shifting in our direction towards the end of Game 3," Vrazel said. "If we could have pulled that one out I think we would have had a lot of steam behind us going into Game 4."
Krupa led the Boilermakers in kills for the 11th time this season, pacing Purdue with 20. Henican and Paul added 10 kills and 10 digs apiece. Paul also added six blocks on the night. Ohio State was led by Angelee Abbring's 23 kills. As a team Purdue hit .199, while the Buckeyes hit a solid .306.
The Boilers will face another challenge tomorrow night when they host No. 1-ranked Penn State in the Intercollegiate Athletic Facility at 7:30 p.m. The Nittany Lions defeated Illinois in five games at Champaign tonight.