October 10, 1998
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Four years is a long time to wait, but the Purdue volleyball team finally swept another Big Ten home weekend with a 15-9, 15-13, 15-10 win over Northwestern in the IAF tonight.
The Boilers, who defeated Indiana in five games yesterday, evened their Big Ten record at 3-3 and climbed to 9-6 overall. The Wildcats dropped to 11-7 overall and 1-5 in the conference. The last time Purdue swept a home conference weekend was in 1994 with wins over Northwestern and Wisconsin.
"We had a great weekend," Purdue coach Joey Vrazel said. "The girls were on a mission and after last night nothing was going to keep us from that. Our goal was to go 2-0 and we accomplished it."
Northwestern came out gunning in Game 1 and took a 5-0 lead before the Boilermakers used a timeout. A service ace by Taryn Catlin got Purdue on the board and keyed a six-point Boiler run, giving Purdue a 6-5 edge. Another three-point surge gave the Boilers a 9-8 lead. Purdue went up 11-8 on a kill by Catlin and a block by Sarah Emke. Aces by Bev Krupa and Connie Paul and a Wildcat error gave Purdue a 14-8 advantage. Northwestern saved two game points but the Boilers would not be denied, as Emke put the finishing touch on the game with a kill to give Purdue a 15-9 win.
Formidable play at the net helped the Boilers take a 5-1 lead in Game 2. Poor hitting by the Wildcats allowed Purdue to increase that margin to seven at 9-2. Down but not out, Northwestern served up two aces and two kills to draw within three at 9-6. Purdue was able to regroup, however, and a kill by rookie Maegan Petersen lifted the Boilers back up by four.
Two more Wildcat errors and a kill by Krupa put Purdue ahead 13-6. Like it did in Game 1, Northwestern saved two game points and closed the gap to one at 14-13. But once again, the Boilermakers persevered and capitalized on a kill by Paul to take the 15-13 victory. The Wildcats ran out to a 4-0 lead in Game 3, but the Boilers scored the game's next three points to draw within one. Down 3-5 moments later, Purdue scored five consecutive points to overtake the lead and go up 8-5. The Boilers stretched that margin to 10-5, but Northwestern used precise hitting to lessen the lead to two at 10-8 and again at 12-10.
But the Wildcats would get no closer, as a kill by Emke, an ace by Petersen and a hitting error by Northwestern lifted Purdue to the 15-10 game victory and match win. Leading Purdue in kills for the second straight match was Emke, who recorded 18 to go along with five blocks and four digs.
Another hero for the Boilers was Petersen, a reserve outside hitter who gave Purdue a huge lift off the bench. The Waupun, Wis., native registered a season-high five kills, eight digs and two blocks in the victory. Northwestern was led by Jessica Holloway's 14 kills and 10 digs.
As a team, Purdue outhit the the Wildcats .320 to .148, outdug them 47-40 and outblocked them 10-6. Purdue hits the road next weekend with matches at Iowa and No. 6 Wisconsin on Oct. 16 and 17, respectively.
"Iowa is playing really well right now," Vrazel said. "We need to key in on that match and focus on Iowa first."