A Knock Out

Oct. 8, 2007

Final Stats

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Boilermaker volleyball team left Huff Hall with a hard fought five-game win Monday night. Purdue won the match 30-21, 30-22, 20-30, 25-30, 16-14 as four Boilermakers reached double-digit kill tallies and Purdue outblocked the Illini 15-7.

Junior Stephanie Lynch led the offensive charge for the Boilermakers with 21 kills on a .341 effort. Senior Samantha Mader and junior Danita Merlau added 13 each, while sophomore Carrie Gurnell posted 10 kills. Merlau rounded out her double-double by posting a team-leading 19 digs. Junior Kelli Miller also added 19 digs, while redshirt junior Meghan McCormick tallied nine. Lynch led Purdue at the net with seven blocks, while Gurnell added six and freshman Kristen Arthurs tallied five.

The Boilermakers led 3-2 to start Game 5 after a pair of blocks and a kill by Lynch, but Illinois countered with a 3-1 run to take a 5-4 lead. Purdue turned the tables, scoring four of the next five points to go up 8-6 as the teams switched sides. The Illini tied it up at 9-9, but the Boilermakers led by two at 13-11 moments later. A kill and a block brought Illinois back even at 13-13. A kill by Mader gave Purdue its first chance at the match, but an Illini kill evened the score. Merlau came through with back-to-back putdowns to give the Boilermakers the 16-14 win.

"It was a great win for us," head coach Dave Shondell said. "Stephanie Lynch had a great match and hung in there despite getting blocked a few times. In Game 5, we went to Danita and she got some good kills for us. I thought Mader also played well. Meghan McCormick did well playing in her first real big match. Jaclyn Hart also held up well and did a great job as a freshman. We had good efforts from all of our younger players, including Arthurs and Ullrich as well. Overall, I am pleased to get the win."



The Fighting Illini led 6-4 early in Game 1, but Purdue rattled off seven of the next eight points to turn the deficit into an 11-7 lead, prompting an Illinois timeout. Mader chalked up three kills during the stretch, while Hart served up an ace. The Illini cut the margin to one five times, the last at 17-16, before the Boilermakers strung together five points in a row to push their lead to 23-16. Arthurs and Hart combined on two blocks in the rally. A pair of kills by Lynch coupled with an Illinois hitting miscue set up Purdue's first chance at the game at 29-21. Hart sealed the stanza with her third putdown of the game. Purdue hit .500 in the stanza, while holding the Illini to a .053 effort. Lynch posted five kills in the game on five swings.

Illinois posted the first two points of Game 2, but the Boilermakers quickly jumped out to an 8-4 lead with kills by Lynch, Merlau and Hart. The Illini pulled within one four times, last at 14-13, before Purdue rallied to a 20-15 advantage. The last point of the stretch came as Lynch and Gurnell combined on a block, one which put Lynch's name among the Purdue career top 10 for block assists and total blocks. The Boilermakers allowed the Illini no closer than three for the remainder of the game. A 3-0 run, including back-to-back aces by Mader, made it 27-21. A trio of Illinois miscues gave Purdue the 30-22 win and the two game lead. Merlau and Lynch each chalked up three kills as Purdue outhit Illinois .333 to .114 in the game.

The teams split the opening 14 points of Game 3. The Illini scored eight of the next 10 to go up 15-9 at the TV timeout. A flip shot kill by Hart and another putdown by Mader cut the margin to four, but Illinois used a 9-2 run to push its advantage to 12 at 24-12. Purdue pulled within seven at 27-20 after the second of two 3-0 runs, but the Illini capitalized on a pair of Boilermaker miscues and a kill to take the game 30-20 and extend the match. The Illini outhit Purdue .351 to .075 in the stanza, while Lynch added five more kills to her tally.

The Illini carried the momentum into Game 4, leading 16-11 midway through the stanza. The Boilermakers narrowed the gap to one at 18-17 with kills by Lynch and Arthurs and a pair of blocks. Illinois answered with four of the next five points to stretch its advantage to four at 23-19. Purdue countered with a 4-1 run of its own to make it a one-point game again at 24-23. Three straight blocks set up Illinois' first chance at the game at 29-24. A kill by Merlau thwarted the effort, but a service error capped the 30-25 Illini win to send the game to a deciding fifth stanza.

The Boilermakers (10-7, 3-3 Big Ten) return to action on Friday when they take on the Northwestern Wildcats in the IAF.


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