Comeback Bid Falls Short Against No. 13 Michigan

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Senior Kristen Arthurs put up 12 blocks, the most for a Purdue player since 2008 and the fifth-best effort all-time by a Boilermaker.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Senior Kristen Arthurs put up 12 blocks, the most for a Purdue player since 2008 and the fifth-best effort all-time by a Boilermaker.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

Oct. 23, 2010

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Boilermaker volleyball team played No. 13 Michigan to the wire Saturday night, but came up just short in the five-set match. Senior Kristen Arthurs racked up 12 blocks assists in the match, the fifth-most in program history, but Purdue fell 19-25, 19-25, 25-21, 25-16, 12-15.

The Boilermakers battled back from two sets down and outblocked the Wolverines 14-3 in the match, but fell just short in the final stanza.

Sophomore Ariel Turner led the Purdue offensive attack with 15 kills, while junior Tiffany Fisher added 14 on a team-best .545 hitting effort. Senior setter Jaclyn Hart just missed a triple-double with nine kills, while dishing out 39 assists and pulling up seven digs. Redshirt Catherine Rebarchak chipped in eight kills and four blocks.

Defensively, libero Carly Cramer managed a team-best 14 digs, while junior Emily Ehlers added eight. Hart and redshirt junior Blair Bashen registered seven digs apiece. Arthurs paced Purdue at the net with 12 block assists, tying Stephanie Lynch's effort of 12 at Wisconsin on Nov. 29, 2008 for the fifth-place spot on the single-match block assists list. Rebarchak and Turner tacked on four stuffs apiece.

Michigan took a 4-1 lead to start the deciding fifth set, but Purdue charged back with five of the next points. Arthurs, Turner and Fisher put down kills in the rally. Michigan tied the score at 6, 7, 8 and 9 before using a 3-0 run to push ahead 11-9. The Boilermakers used their final timeout at that point and iced the UM server to end the run. A block by Arthurs and Rebarchak made it a one-point game again at 12-11, but a net violation and hitting error put Michigan on the hill at 14-11. A kill by Rebarchak kept hope alive, but Alex Hunt registered her 26th kill to wrap up the match.

The Wolverines erased a 12-7 Purdue lead in the opening stanza en route to a 25-19 win. Purdue jumped out to a 10-5 lead as redshirt freshman Katie Griffin, Turner, Hart and Fisher contributed putaways. The Boilermakers pushed ahead 12-7 thanks to a pair of UM errors, but Michigan responded with a 9-1 run to turn the deficit into a 16-13 lead. Purdue cut the margin to one on four occasions, last at 19-18, but could not regain the advantage. The Wolverines wrapped up the set on a 6-1 run.

Michigan carried the momentum into Set 2, going up 5-3 in the early stages. Purdue turned it around with a 4-0 run, including kills by Fisher and Turner and a block by Arthurs and Griffin. The teams tied six times over the next 14 points, last at 13-13. A kill by Fisher put the Boilermakers up 14-13, but the Wolverines scored four straight to make it 17-14 in their favor. A kill and pair of blocks by Arthurs, one with Turner and the other with sophomore Anna Drewry, made it a one-point game at 18-17. Michigan pulled away and capped the 25-19 win with a 7-2 run. Purdue put up four blocks in the set, while Turner and Fisher added four kills apiece, but it was not enough.

Purdue looked like a new team after the intermission, leading Set 3 from start to finish, while outhitting Michigan .361 to .219. Rebarchak sparked the team with five kills, while Turner added four and Fisher and Hart tacked on three apiece. The Boilermakers went up 9-4 as Michigan committed three errors and could not slow Rebarchak, Fisher and Turner offensively. Purdue continued to build its advantage, taking the largest lead of the night at 15-8 as Fisher pounded down an overpass. UM pulled within three at 18-15, but Purdue responded with three straight points, including a block and a kill by Arthurs to go ahead 21-15. Michigan charged back again with a 4-1 run to make it 22-19. A kill by Rebarchak and a Wolverine hitting error made it 24-20, then Hart posted the final putaway at 25-21.

Michigan led 12-7 midway through the fourth set, after posting a 5-1 run, prompting a Purdue timeout. Trailing 14-9 moments later, Purdue turned it on, closing out the set with a 16-2 run of its own. The Boilermakers started the comeback with a 7-0 streak including a pair of kills and a block by Fisher. A kill by Hart capped the stretch and put Purdue ahead 16-14. A Michigan putaway slowed the Boilermakers temporarily, but the team rebounded with a 5-0 run, including two blocks by Arthurs, one with Hart and the other with Drewry , to go up 21-15. A net violation again provided a temporary pause, but four straight Purdue points sent the match to a decisive fifth set. Arthurs put up two more blocks, one with Drewry and another with Rebarchak, while Drewry also added a kill before a net violation wrapped the stanza at 25-16. Purdue outhit the Wolverines .500 to .031 and piled up six blocks in the set.

Purdue (14-7, 5-5 Big Ten) returns to action at 7 p.m. Friday when it faces off with Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio.