Dec. 7, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The No. 22 Boilermakers left it all out on the Mackey Arena floor, but couldn't edge past No. 11 Minnesota in the Sweet 16 Friday night in a 3-1 loss. The Golden Gophers won the match 23-25, 26-24, 25-23, 21-25 despite being outdone by the Boilermakers in nearly every statistical category, including an 83-65 Purdue edge in digs.
Senior outside hitter Ariel Turner tried to carry the Boilermakers to an upset win into the Elite Eight, but her 25 kills and 16 digs were not enough alone. Turner wrapped up her Purdue career by putting up a match-high kill tally and turning in her 38th career double-double, but was the lone Purdue player to reach double digits. Redshirt junior Catherine Rebarchak added seven kills, while senior Anna Drewry, sophomore Kiki Jones and freshman Annie Drews chipped in six apiece. Redshirt junior Katie Griffin was once again a star off the benchwith five kills and no errors for a .417 effort.
Defensively, junior Carly Cramer led the way with 24 digs, while Turner (16), junior Hilliary Fox (13), freshman Amanda Neill (12) and redshirt junior setter Rachel Davis (10) also pulled up double-digit saves. Davis also added 50 assists and a team-leading four blocks, including three solo stuffs. Drewry rounded out her final match as a Boilermaker with four blocks as well, including one solo.
Purdue outblocked Minnesota 12-10, won the digging battle 83-65 and tallied 58 kills to the Gophers' 57, but Minnesota had two more aces and outhit the Boilermakers' .191 to .150.
Minnesota took an early 5-1 lead in Set 1, but the Boilermakers charged back to lead by as many as five before capping the 25-23 win. Purdue turned things around with a 5-1 run of its own, including kills by Turner, Davis and Jones to knot the score at 6. The teams tied again at 8 and 10, before the Boilermakers pulled away with seven of the next nine points. Turner downed two kills and Rebarchak added two kills and a block as Purdue forced Minnesota to use both of its timeouts. The Gophers rallied out of their final break, cutting the margin to one at 18-17. The Boilermakers responded with a 4-1 run, including an ace by Neill, to make it 22-19 Boilers. Up 22-21, Purdue called timeout and came back with a kill by Drewry and a solo stuff by Turner to set up set-point. Minnesota fought off two tries, but Turner put the final nail in the set with her eighth kill.
The Boilermakers raced out to a 6-1 lead in Set 2, but the stanza featured 11 ties and three lead changes with Minnesota coming out on top 26-24. Neill had an ace and Turner downed two kills to help Purdue out to the early edge. Minnesota scored 10 of the next 14 to turn the deficit into a one-point lead at 11-10. A solo stuff by Turner knotted it at 11. The teams continued to trade points all the way to a 17-17 score. Three Gopher miscues, solo blocks by Davis and Griffin and a kill by Rebarchak accounted for the Purdue points during the stretch. A service error and a block by Rebarchak and Jones put Purdue up 19-17, but Minnesota called timeout and charged back with five straight out of the break to jump ahead 22-19. Rebarchak and Turner made it a one-point game at 22-21. Another Turner kill kept it close at 23-22. A Gopher kill put Minnesota on the hill at 24-22, but Purdue countered fighting off two set-point chances with kills by Griffin and Drewry. Ashley Wittman put down two kills to pull out the 26-24 win for Minnesota.
The Gophers started Set 3 with an 8-2 lead, but Purdue battled back from behind to slice the margin to one at 12-11. Two solo blocks by Davis and two kills each by Turner and Griffin put the Boilers back in the race. Down 14-13, Purdue appeared to have tied the score but a controversial call put Minnesota on its way to a 19-14 edge. The Boilermakers remained resilient, scoring five of the next six to slice the margin to one again at 20-19. Davis got in on two blocks, including a solo stuff, and Griffin and Drewry chipped in kills as Purdue forced a Minnesota timeout. The Gophers scored first out of the break, but the Boilers answered point for point, evening the score at 23 after two kills by Drews and another by Turner. A block and a Purdue hitting error eventually ended the comeback and the set at 25-23.
The teams traded blow for blow in the early part of Set 4, which featured eight ties. The teams split the first 10 points, but Minnesota scored five of the next six to pull away 10-6. Purdue called timeout and rallied to knot the score at 12. Turner pounded down four kills in the 6-2 run. A kill by Jones tied the score at 13, but the Gophers went up by three at 16-13. The Boilermakers battled back once again, this time with four of the next five points to tie the score one final time at 17. A kill by Drews and block by the freshman and Drewry evened the score. Minnesota vaulted ahead by four at 22-18 with a 5-1 run, including a block and three kills. A Drews putaway stopped the rally. The teams traded service errors to make it 23-20. Griffin added the final Boilermaker kill to cut it to 23-21, but a kill by Catherine Harms and a block on Turner's 76th and final swing ended Purdue's tournament run.
The Boilermakers wrap up the 2012 season with a 23-11 record, its sixth under head coach Dave Shondell. Purdue's Sweet 16 berth, its sixth in the last eight seasons, made the program one of just six nationally that can boast the accomplishment. The team's four seniors: Turner, Drewry, Amanda Miller and Courtney Gosewisch wrap up their four years together (not counting Miller's true freshman season of 2008 when Purdue went 26-9) with a 90-44 record, including three Sweet 16s and an Elite Eight appearance in 2010.