Oct. 20, 2007
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The Boilermaker volleyball team knocked off No. 15 Michigan in Cliff Keen Arena Saturday night to wrap up the first half of the Big Ten season. Purdue won the match 3-1 by scores of 31-29, 30-27, 29-31, 30-20.
Juniors Stephanie Lynch and Danita Merlau led the way on offense with 19 kills each, while senior Samantha Mader added 15. Lynch posted a .576 hitting percentage with 19 kills on 33 swings with no errors.
Defensively, junior Kelli Miller racked up 36 digs, while Merlau (11) and senior Anne Mastandrea (10) also contributed double-digit efforts. At the net, Lynch chalked up eight blocks, while freshman Kristen Arthurs added seven. Sophomore Carrie Gurnell and Merlau registered six and five blocks respectively as Purdue outblocked Michigan 17-5.
The Wolverines took an early 12-8 lead in Game 1, but the Boilermakers came charging back to go up 19-18. Lynch racked up four kills, while Arthurs, Merlau and Mader contributed putdowns to the rally. Purdue maintained control from that point on, going up by as many as four at 26-22, but Michigan would not go down easily, instead tying the score at 27-27. Kills by Lynch and Merlau set up Purdue's first chance at the game at 29-27. A service error and a Wolverine putdown held off the Boilermakers, but a Wolverine service error and an ace by Miller capped the 31-29 win. Lynch and Merlau each posted five kills in the stanza.
The back-and-forth battle continued in Game 2. Michigan led by three at 9-6. Purdue used a 4-0 run, including two Wolverines hitting miscues, to take a 10-9 lead of its own. Michigan, however, led a 17-15 advantage midway through the stanza. The Boilermakers scored five of the next six points, including two blocks to go up 20-18. The teams tied at 20, 21 and 22, and 26. The Boilermakers wrapped up the game at 30-27 with a 4-1 run, including a game-winning block by Lynch and Gurnell.
The Boilermakers played from behind again in Game 3, but managed a 10-8 lead after two kills and a block by Merlau. The Wolverines scored seven of the next 10 points to turn the deficit into a 15-13 advantage of its own. Purdue tied the score four times, last at 20, but could not break through. Trailing 28-26, the Boilermkaers put together a 4-0 run, including kills by Lynch and Mader and two UM hitting errors, to set up match point at 29-28. The Wolverines, however, avoided the sweep with a 3-0 run of its own, capped by a service ace.
Steaming from the Game 3 loss, the Boilermakers raced out to a 7-1 lead in the deciding fourth game. Lynch racked up two kills and two blocks, while Miller served up an ace in the effort. Michigan rallied to make it a one-point game at 12-11. Purdue reacted to the scoring run by pushing the margin to six at 19-13. The Boilermakers led by six again at 22-16, prompting the Wolverines to use their final timeout. Purdue scored three straight, including back-to-back kills by Mader, to extend its lead to eight at 27-19. A Michigan service error and a block by Merlau and Arthurs set up Purdue's second chance at the match, this time up 29-20. Michigan's Lindsay Miller hit the ball out of bounds to give the Boilermakers the upset win. Lynch and Mader each posted five kills in the stanza as Purdue outhit the Wolverines .429 to .122.
The Boilermakers (13-8, 6-4 Big Ten) return to action on Friday, when they take on Illinois in the IAF at 7 p.m.