October 3, 1998
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue volleyball team found out why Penn State is the No. 1-ranked team in the nation, as the Nittany Lions handed the Boilers an 8-15, 2-15, 3-15 loss before 1,979 fans in the Intercollegiate Athletic Facility tonight. The loss drops Purdue to 7-6 (1-3 Big Ten), while Penn State improves to a perfect 14-0 (4-0 Big Ten).
The story of the match was Penn State's precision hitting. The Nittany Lions hit at an impressive .442 clip in the match, committing just eight errors on 104 attacks. Purdue, meanwhile, committed 27 errors and hit just .123 for the night.
"The errors I can deal with, but in Games 2 and 3 we just had a lack of effort," Purdue coach Joey Vrazel said. "Penn State has so much balance. I have total respect for them. They are a fabulous team and have a tremendous amount of options."
The Nittany Lions were ahead 4-2 in Game 1 before both teams traded 10 sideouts in search of the next point. Penn State would get it and go up 6-2, but two kills by Bev Krupa put Purdue back on the board at 6-3. The Boilers called a timeout trailing 7-4, a break that resulted in a kill by Sarah Emke and a service ace by Kelly Colangelo. The Nittany Lions used strong blocking to build the lead up again, however, this time going up 11-5. But a kill by Colangelo and two Penn State errors brought Purdue to within four at 11-7. An unassisted kill by Jennie Williams closed the gap to 11-8, but the Boilers would score no more, as Penn State finished the game with a 15-8 victory.
Purdue found itself down 5-0 early in Game 2, a deficit that forced the Boilers to use a timeout to regroup. Unfortunately, that respite offered Purdue no reprieve, as the Nittany Lions poured on the hitting and blocking to surge to an 11-0 advantage. The score was 13-0 when the Boilers capitalized on kills by Amy Schweitzer and Colleen Henican and a Penn State error to get on board at 13-2. The Boilers saved two game points at 14-2, but the Nittany Lions managed to pull out the 15-2 win.
Penn State took a 5-1 lead in Game 3, but after seven sideouts Purdue scored on a kill by Krupa. The Nittany Lions kept pressing, however, and ran their lead to 13-2 before the Boilers could respond on another Krupa kill. But those three points would be all Purdue could muster, as the Nittany Lions closed out the match with a 15-3 Game 3 victory.
Krupa paced the Boilers with 14 kills on a .235 hitting percentage. Henican added nine digs to lead Purdue in that category. Christy Cochran led Penn State with 15 kills, while Lauren Cacciamani added 13. As a team, Penn State totaled nine blocks to Purdue's three.
Purdue has a week off before it hosts intrastate rival Indiana in the Monon Spike match Oct. 9. The Boilers will host Northwestern on Oct. 10. Both matches will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the IAF.
"It's going to take good emotional intensity both nights," Vrazel said. "We need to be both emotionally and physically present in order to be successful."