Oct. 26, 2007
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.- The Illinois Fighting Illini defeated the Boilermaker volleyball team 3-0 Friday night. The Illini won the match 30-26, 30-28, 30-28 to start the second half of the Big Ten season for both teams.
Junior middle hitter Stephanie Lynch led Purdue with 12 kills, while junior outside hitter Danita Merlau and senior outside hitter Samantha Mader added 11 and nine respectively. Defensively, junior libero Kelli Miller posted 17 digs, while freshman middle hitter Kristen Arthurs led the team at the net with six blocks. Freshman setter Jaclyn Hart and Merlau each added four blocks to the Boilermakers' tally. Purdue outhit Illinois .248 to .216 and outblocked the Illini 11-6 in the match.
The Boilermakers took an early 5-3 lead in Game 1, which featured 10 ties and five lead changes. The Illini fought back to go up 9-8 and kept the lead until a UI hitting error and a block by Arthurs and Hart put Purdue back on top 16-15. The advantage was short lived, however, as Illinois regained the lead at 19-18 with three straight points. The Illini would build its lead to four at 24-20 before continuing on to the 30-26 win. Lynch posted four kills in the stanza as Purdue posted a .344 hitting percentage.
Purdue once again held the early advantage in Game 2, leading 5-3, before being eclipsed by the Illini at 8-7. The Boilermakers tied the score four times, last at 12-12, but saw Illinois stretch its lead to four at 17-13. Purdue fought from behind, but eventually tied the score again at 22-22 on a service ace by Mader. The Boilermakers took a 24-23 lead moments later after kills by Arthurs and Merlau. The teams continued to trade points, leading to a five ties, the last at 28-28. A pair of Purdue miscues sealed the 30-28 win for Illinois. Mader racked up six kills in the stanza, while Lynch added five kills and three blocks.
The Illini carried the momentum into Game 3, charging to a 8-3 lead out of the gate. The Boilermakers, however, sliced the margin to one at 9-8 after a spirited span of six points, sparked by a Lynch putdown. A pair of blocks by Arthurs and Hart followed in the rally. Illinois kept the lead, increasing it to three at 17-14, but Purdue once again found an answer. The Boilermakers posted a 6-2 run to turn the deficit into a 20-19 lead. Arthurs and Merlau chalked up two blocks in the stretch. The Illini rattled off six-straight points to go up 25-20 and forced Purdue to use both of its timeouts. The Boilermakers did not go away, however, cutting the margin to two at 28-26 after a kill from Hart and another Arthurs/Merlau block. A kill by Kylie McCulley set up Illinois' first chance at the match, but a Merlau putdown thwarted the effort. An Illini hitting miscue kept the game going, but a service error gave Illinois the 30-28 win. Purdue chalked up six blocks in the stanza, including five by Arthurs and four from Merlau.
The Boilermakers (13-9, 6-5 Big Ten) returns to action at 7 p.m. Saturday when they take on the No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers. All Purdue Alumni Association members can show their membership card at the Athletic Ticket Office to get buy one-get one free tickets to the match as the Boilermakers celebrate Alumni Night.