Oct. 18, 1997

Wisconsin Keeps Purdue Winless In Big Ten

By Tom Schott

MADISON, Wis. -- What happened to the Purdue volleyball team Saturday night has happened to a majority of Wisconsin's opponents this season: a three-game sweep.

The eighth-ranked Badgers (16-2, 7-1) handed the Boilermakers a 15-2, 15-8, 15-10 loss at the UW Field House. It marked the 10th time Wisconsin has swept an opponent this year.

Meanwhile, the setback was the Boilermakers' 11th in their last 12 matches and kept them winless in the Big Ten Conference. Their 0-8 start is the worst by a Purdue team in the 23-year history of the program.

"Wisconsin is a very talented team that doesn't have any noticeable weaknesses," Purdue coach Joey Vrazel said. "There's no question that they are deserving of their No. 8 national ranking. I thought we competed well and battled, but obviously we lost to a better team."

The Badgers, who benefited from some nifty serving the entire match, hit .536 in Game 1 and rolled to the victory. They opened a 4-2 advantage in Game 2 before Purdue scored three straight points to take its first lead at 5-4. But Wisconsin answered with five consecutive points to take control at 9-5. In Game 3 Purdue was ahead 4-2 (its second and only other lead of the night) when the Badgers went on an 8-2 run to go up 10-6.

Katie Gibbons led the Boilermakers with 11 kills, while Bev Krupa had nine and Sarah Emke and Connie Paul added six apiece.

Now Purdue begins a stretch of four straight home matches, starting against Michigan (13-6, 6-2), the surprise team of the Big Ten in 1997, on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the Intercollegiate Athletic Facility.