November 21, 1998
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue volleyball seniors Colleen Henican and Bev Krupa received a nice going away present, as the Boilers won their final home match 15-13, 15-8, 15-10 against Iowa in the Intercollegiate Athletic Facility tonight. The win, which improves Purdue to 13-14 (7-11 Big Ten), gives Purdue a season sweep of the Hawkeyes and marks the first time since 1992 Purdue has swept more than one conference season series (also Michigan in 1998).
"I'm pleased we could be a little bit off and still pull out a victory," Vrazel said. "Colleen seemed very focused. She gave us an emotional surge and her leadership calmed us down. Bev also had a big match. She helped pull us through with some timely hitting."
Strong serving by Henican and aggressive play at the net by Sarah Emke helped the Boilers rattle off seven consecutive points to open the match. Purdue continued to pour it on, building its lead to 11-0 before Iowa could even get on the board. The Hawkeyes clawed their way back into the game, though, scoring eight unanswered points to close the gap to three. Iowa lessened the Boiler margin to one at 13-12 and 14-13, but Purdue prevailed on its second game point attempt with a kill by Krupa, winning 15-13.
Purdue established a 6-2 lead to commence Game 2 and went up by four again at 8-4 and 9-5. Kills by Amy Schweitzer and Krupa and a block by Emke gave Purdue a seven-point lead, one it would never relinquish. A kill by Connie Paul sealed the deal, giving Purdue the 15-8 victory.
The Boiler advantage was 5-2 in Game 3 when the Hawkeyes called their first timeout. Purdue extended its lead to eight at 13-5 and looked ready to run away with the game and match, but the Hawkeyes closed the gap to six on a service ace by Katie Panhorst. Iowa drew closer still, cutting the margin to three before Purdue used its final timeout to try and curb the Hawkeyes' momentum. It worked, as the Boilers scored the game's final two points, capped with a kill by Krupa, to win 15-10.
Purdue hit at an impressive .324 clip, led by Krupa's 21 kills. Emke and Henican contributed 13 kills apiece. Henican added a season-high 18 digs to key the Boiler defense, while Emke tallied a career-high nine blocks. Henican also recorded four service aces.
Iowa hit .221 and was led by Katie Panhorst's 20 kills. With the loss, the Hawkeyes remain winless on the road. They are 8-18 (2-15 Big Ten).
This was the final home match for Henican and Krupa. Henican, a transfer from Iowa State, found playing in West Lafayette for her final season an enjoyable experience.
"The team made everything great for me," Henican said. "The atmosphere here is unbelievable. It's been amazing."
Krupa, who set the school record for single match kills (38) and ranks ninth on Purdue's career kills list, also enjoyed playing in front of the home crowd in the Old Gold and Black.
"My four years here were so exciting and competitive," Krupa said. "The fans have been great and the all-around support has been incredible. I'll really miss it."
The Boilers still have business to take care of, however, as they travel to Illinois (Nov. 25) and Minnesota (Nov. 28) for their last two matches of the season. Purdue lost to Illinois, but beat Minnesota earlier this season.
"Tonight's win will help us take some momentum into our last two matches," Krupa said. "We want them both."
Vrazel, who guided her team to seven Big Ten wins this season, the most conference victories in her four-year tenure, agrees.
"Seven wins is nice, but I'd like us to get a few more," Vrazel said. "If we bring it and everybody shows up, we could get two next week."