Nov. 16, 2005
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois issued the Purdue volleyball team another heartwrenching five-game loss Wednesday night in Huff Hall. The Illini won the match 28-30, 30-19, 30-24, 28-30, 15-12.
Purdue opened Game 5 with a 3-0 run on kills by senior Renata Dargan (New Lenox, Ill.) and freshman Danita Merlau (New Palestine, Ind.) and a block by Dargan and freshman Stephanie Lynch (New Albany, Ind.). The Illini answered with a 6-1 rally to go up 7-4. A kill by Dargan stopped the run, but the Illinois lead stood at 9-5 moments later. Purdue then rattled off six of the next eight points to tie the score at 11-11. A kill and an ace by Mader and a block solo by junior Brittany Dildine (West Lafayette, Ind.) capped the rally. The Illini answered with a 3-0 run of their own to make it 14-11. A kill by Lynch kept the match going, but a kill by Rachel VanMeter gave Illinois the upset win at 15-11.
After starting the match with four ties, last at 4-4, Illinois managed a 6-4 lead. Purdue turned the tables, scoring nine of the next 10 points to go up 13-7 on an ace by Dildine. The Boilermakers posted three blocks in the stretch, while Lynch, sophomore Sam Mader (Algonquin, Ill.) and senior Marie Franke (Ballwin, Mo.) put down kills. The Boilermakers pushed their lead to 16-8 after a pair of Illini miscues and a kill by Merlau. Illinois used a 9-3 run to slice the point margin to two at 19-17, but Purdue answered with seven of the next eight points to push the lead back to seven at 26-18. Lynch posted three kills, while Mader served up an ace in the rally. The Illini would not go away, instead making it a one-point game at 27-26. A block by Merlau and sophomore Lizzie Jacques (Winfield, Ill.) set up Purdue's first attempt at the game at 29-27. An Illinois kill thwarted the effort, but an Illini service error gave the Boilermakers the 30-28 win.
Illinois led Game 2 from start to finish. The Illini took a 10-4 lead to start the game and increased the point margin to 10 at 18-8. The Boilermakers pulled within eight at 20-12 after a pair of Illinois errors, but the Illini used a 5-0 run to take their largest lead of the night at 25-13. Down 29-16, Purdue held off three Illinois game point attempts, including one on an ace by Merlau, but a service error tied the match at one game apiece after the 30-19 win.
Purdue jumped out to a 5-2 lead to begin the third game, including a pair of blocks by Dargan and Jacques and a pair of ace by Lynch. Illinois tied the score at 6-6 and took a 7-6 lead on a kill by Franke. The teams tied at 7, 8 and 9, before the Illini managed an 11-9 lead. The Boilermakers tied it at 11-11 on a block by Lynch and Jacques, leading to a string of eight ties, last at 19-19. Illinois then chalked up eight straight points to go up 27-19. A kill by Lynch stopped the run, then Purdue scored four of the next five to make it 28-24. A kill by Meghan Macdonald and an Illini block gave Illinois the 30-24 win.
The Illini went up 5-1 to start Game 4, but Purdue rallied with a 5-0 run including kills by Merlau and Mader to take a 6-5 lead of its own. Illinois tied it at 6-6, but back-to-back kills by Mader gave Purdue a two-point lead at 8-6. The Illini responded with a 3-0 run to go up 9-8, but Purdue answered with three points of their own on a pair of aces by freshman Kelli Miller (Muncie, Ind.) and a UI service error. Purdue went up 15-13 after a pair of Illinois errors. UI tied it at 16, 17 and 18, before a pair of Mader kills made it 20-18. The Illini took the lead at 23-22 and 24-23, but kills by Lynch and Jacques put Purdue back on top at 25-24. The teams then tied at 25, 26, 27 and 28, before a kill by Mader and a UI hitting error gave the Boilermakers the 30-28 win to send the match to a deciding fifth game.
Merlau posted 16 kills to lead Purdue, while Mader added 15. Miller led the Boilermakers with 17 digs, while Dildine added 12 and Mastandrea tallied nine. Lynch racked up eight blocks, while Jacques and Merlau each put up six. VanMeter racked up 39 kills for Illinois on an Illinois and Purdue opponent record 99 swings.
The Boilermakers return to action at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday when they take on the Indiana Hoosiers in a Senior Day contest. Saturday is Black Out Day at the Intercollegiate Athletic Facility, so wear your black and support the Purdue team in its final home contest of the season.