Oct. 15, 2003
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue toppled Indiana 3-1 Wednesday night in front of a sell-out crowd of 1,781, notching its first win over the Hoosiers since Nov. 24, 2000. The Boilermakers won by scores of 30-28, 30-26, 21-30 and 30-28.
Four Boilermakers reached double figures in kills, led by junior Kim Cappa and redshirt sophomore Leah Wischmeier, who each tallied 14. Freshman Melanie Ukovich posted 13 kills, while junior Kim McConaha rebounded from an ankle injury to record 12 kills on the night. Setter Renata Dargan picked up a double-double with 53 assists and 11 digs to go with her three service aces, while junior libero Daren Poe pulled up 18 digs to lead Purdue. Indiana's Melissa Brewer led all hitter with 17 kills.
"I was tentative at first, but the whole team was for some odd reason," McConaha said. "I finally realized with a little help from Jen Bova that I needed to relax and just have fun. Cappa started it then I caught wind of it and everyone else did too.
"Beating IU is huge for us, it helps not just the volleyball team but the whole university in the rivalry and it opens people's eyes. Every game is a confidence booster for us, it helps us realize that we are good and we are getting better every day. We might have taken a little step back tonight but in the fourth game we took a step forward."
The Boilermakers started the night with a 7-0 run in game one, using a Cappa ace, three kills and a trio of Hoosiers miscues to get to the tally. Indiana took a time out and rallied back to a 9-9 tie. Purdue stayed calm and boosted their lead back to three on a pair of Cappa kills. Down four at 17-13, the Hoosiers made a comeback tallying each of the next five points to take their first lead of the night at 18-17. The Boilermakers regained the lead at 26-24 after a three point run that included a block by McConaha and Dargan. IU answered and took the lead at 27-26 and again at 28-27. A block by Dargan and freshman Katie Dobson tied it at 28, before a Hoosiers error and a Ukovich kill won the game for Purdue at 30-28.
Purdue kept the momentum going into the early stages of game two, taking a 4-1 lead on kills by three different players. Indiana went on a 3-0 run to take a 6-5 lead. The Boilermakers rebounded, scoring eight of the next nine point to take a 13-7 lead and force an IU timeout. The lead expanded to seven at 15-8, but Indiana cut it to four at 15-11. Purdue took advantage of three IU miscues, a service ace by Ukovich and a pair of kills by Dargan to take a nine-point lead at 23-14. Down nine again at 28-19, the Hoosiers made a run cutting the lead to four with five straight points. A Leah Wischmeier
kill set up game point, but IU held the Boilermakers until another Wischmeier kill on the third game-point attempt sealed the game at 30-26. Cappa and Wischmeier each tallied five kills in the game.
The Hoosiers came out of the intermission on fire, taking a 4-0 lead in game three after back-to-back blocks to open the game. The IU lead swelled to eight at 10-2, before Purdue made a comeback. The Boilermakers then tallied the next six points including two aces by Dargan to cut the lead to two at 10-8. Indiana continued pushed its advantage to nine at 23-14, capitalizing on six kills by a variety of players. Purdue scored the next three points, two on blocks by Ukovich and Dobson, but IU answered with a four points rally of its own. The Hoosiers set up game point on a Katie Pollom kill, her seventh of the game, and closed the door two serves later on another kill. Indiana hit .378 in the match, while Purdue dipped in to the negative numbers with a -.028 effort.
The Boilermakers bounced back in game four taking an early 4-1 lead. The Hoosiers scored seven of the next 10 to turn the deficit into a one-point lead at 8-7. After a tie at 10, Purdue went up 13-10 on three straight kills by McConaha. Trailing 17-14, the Hoosiers would not give in scoring five of the next six to take a 19-18 lead. Purdue regained the lead at 21-10 and despite a tie at 24 held on to it. The lead stood at three at 28-25, but IU was determined, cutting the margin to one at 28-27. A Ukovich kill set up game point and a Cappa kill two serves later gave Purdue a 30-28 win.
"We didn't play real well and I don't think they felt that they played real well either," head coach Dave Shondell said. "It is one of those matches where whoever can make a run at the end and finish it, wins. I am not thrilled with the way we played, but I am delighted that we won the match. I think we will be a lot better on Friday. There is not the hype and the pressure of the rivalry like there was tonight. This was the first match of the year where our team played with pressure. I tried my very best to prevent that, but the players know they are playing Indiana and they know people want them to win. We played with some pressure but we won. We found a way at the end, and everybody played well enough together that we won the match."
The crowd of 1,781 marked the second straight sellout for the Boilermakers, something that Shondell is quick to recognize.
"I think it is a complement to our volleyball team that the people are coming out to watch them play," Shondell said. "I think if they weren't a likeable team and they weren't playing hard and representing this university well, people wouldn't come watch them. To have back-to-back sell outs is something that is exciting to me as a coach. The community is doing what we thought they would do. We thought if we put a team out that represented the university well and was fun to watch, people would come, and they are."
Fans wishing to see an encore presentation of the match can watch it air tape-delayed on the Purdue Channel, which is channel 15 on Insight Cable and channel 5 on campus. The match will air Thursday at 8 p.m. and again at 6 p.m. on Sunday.