Oct. 17, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - The Boilermaker volleyball team's quest to win the Monon Spike for the fifth-straight year hit a buzzsaw in a feisty Indiana team Wednesday night. The Hoosiers defeated Purdue 3-1, winning the match by scores of 31-29, 21-30, 30-25 and 30-26. Lost in the shuffle of the match was junior Kelli Miller's school record breaking dig tally of 40, a mark which snapped Becky Kanitz's 20-year old mark of 37. (Kanitz posted 37 twice, against Northwestern on Nov. 7, 1987 and against Western Michigan on Nov. 10, 1987.)
"Until you see it for yourself, it is tough to realize just how much better of a team Indiana is this year," head coach Dave Shondell said. "Now we know and we found out the hard way. We thought we were well prepared and well rested, but it is difficult to blow a lead like we did in Game 1 and not pay for it. You have to give a lot of credit to Indiana. We had an average performance against a team that played with great determination. Against a team like that, you have to match their desire to be successful and we did not do that tonight."
Senior Samantha Mader led all hitters with 17 kills, while three other Boilermakers posted double-digit tallies. Junior Danita Merlau added 16, while junior Stephanie Lynch and sophomore Carrie Gurnell recorded 13 and 10 respectively.
Miller pulled up nearly half of the Boilermakers' 86 digs in the match with the record setting tally of 40. Merlau finished her double-double with 13 digs, while senior Anne Mastandrea added 10. At the net, Gurnell led Purdue with six blocks, while Lynch and freshman Kristen Arthurs each added five.
The Hoosiers went up 6-3 to start Game 1, but the Boilermakers charged back with five straight points, including three kills by Mader, to take an 8-6 lead. Indiana tied the score at 8-8, but Purdue would control the game over the next several points, going up 28-20 on a solo block by Arthurs. With a Boilermaker victory looking eminent, the Hoosiers did the unthinkable, rattling off nine straight points, including an ace, to take a 29-28 lead. A kill by Mader stopped the rally, but a double-contact call and a hitting error gave Indiana the 31-29 win. Mader racked up nine kills in the stanza for the Boilermakers, while Miller pulled up 15 digs.
Indiana carried the momentum into Game 2, taking an early 6-4 lead. The Boilermakers tied it up at 6-6 with kills by Mader and freshman Jaclyn Hart, and eventually grabbed the lead at 9-8 on a block by Merlau and freshman Kristen Arthurs. The teams tied four times, last at 13-13, before Purdue built a seven-point advantage at 22-15. The Boilermakers utilized a 6-0 run, including three IU errors and a solo block by Mader, en route to the lead. Purdue boosted the point margin to 10 at 28-18, after a 4-0 run, including a solo block by Lynch. The Hoosiers slowed things down with a kill and a block, but Lynch and Gurnell countered with a block of their own to put the Boilermakers on the hill. A service error kept the game going, but a cross court shot Gurnell sealed the 30-21 Purdue win. Merlau chalked up six kills as Purdue outhit the Hoosiers .278 to -.022 in the stanza.
Purdue raced out to an 8-3 lead to start Game 3, but the Hoosiers fought back, tying the score at 11. Trailing 14-13, Indiana scored nine of the next 12 points to take a 22-17 lead. Purdue cut the margin to two at 22-20 after a block and a kill by Merlau, but the Hoosiers countered with five straight points to boost the advantage to seven at 27-20. The Boilermakers did not go down easy, however, fighting back to within four at 29-25 as Lynch tallied back-to-back kills and Miller served up an ace. A kill by UCLA transfer Kelsey Hall sealed the game at 30-25.
The Boilermakers took the early lead in Game 4, which featured 12 ties and four lead changes. Purdue led 12-10, but the Hoosiers scored eight of the next 10 to turn the deficit into an 18-14 advantage. The Boilermakers crept back into the game, eventually tying the score at 22 after a 3-0 run, which included kills by Lynch and Mader and a block by Mader and Arthurs. The teams tied again at 24 as Arthurs won a joust at the net, but Indiana scored three straight to go up 27-24. A block by Gurnell and Arthurs stopped the run, but a net violation and a pair of kills by Lauren Ditteon and Hall gave Indiana the 30-26 win and the match. Lynch posted seven kills in the final game.
The Boilermakers (12-8, 5-4 Big Ten) return to action on Saturday when they take on the No. 15 Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor, Mich.