October 30, 1998
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Make that 49. Penn State, the No. 2-ranked volleyball team in the nation, defeated Purdue 3-15, 7-15, 7-15 tonight in Rec Hall, marking the 49th-straight home victory for the Nittany Lions. Purdue drops to 11-9 (5-6 Big Ten), while Penn State remains perfect at 21-0 (11-0 Big Ten).
"I think we fought hard and competed much better than we did against them the first time this season," Purdue coach Joey Vrazel said. "We didn't hit very well in Game 1, but we were able to get on track as the match went on. Penn State is just so tough. They are an incredible team with so many weapons."
Penn State took a 6-0 lead in Game 1 despite good court coverage by the Boilermakers. Purdue got on the board with a block by Taryn Catlin and Sarah Emke, but the Lions surged to widen the margin at 10-1. Following Purdue,s second timeout, Penn State ran its lead to 14-2. The Boilers saved two game points with kills by Bev Krupa and Aneska Arosarena and picked up a point on a block by Emke. But the Lions closed out the game on its third attempt to post the 15-3 win.
Purdue led 2-1 in Game 2 and was tied with Penn State at 3-3 before the Nittany Lions went on a 4-0 run to prompt a Boiler timeout. The Blue and White went ahead by seven before Purdue came back strong, scoring four straight points to close the gap to three at 10-7. But that was too close for comfort for Penn State, which rallied off the game,s next five points to take the 15-7 victory.
Two consecutive service aces by Krupa put Purdue up 4-2 in Game 3, but Penn State took the lead over at 5-4 on a Boiler error. The Nittany Lions increased the difference to seven at 12-5. The Boilers saved the first game point and reached 7 on a kill and a block by Connie Paul, but Penn State made good on its second game point to register the 15-7 win.
The Boilers will face the Buckeyes of Ohio State in Columbus on Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. The match will be televised (tape delayed) on Fox Sports Chicago on Nov. 1 at 5 p.m. EST.
"This will be a key match for us," Vrazel said. "We need to get a split to stay in the race."