Oct. 25, 1997

Purdue Volleyball Sweeps Northwestern, Snaps Losing Streak

By Tom Schott
For the Journal and Courier

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - You would not have guessed the Purdue volleyball team was trying to snap a nine-match losing streak by its performance Saturday night.

Sarah Emke
Sarah Emke led the Purdue attack with 10 kills.
(File Photo)

The Boilermakers made quick and easy work of Northwestern by the scores of 15-4, 15-8, 15-3 in front of 1,220 fans, including football coach Joe Tiller, at the Intercollegiate Athletic Facility.

"This team certainly didn't resemble the one that played last night," Purdue coach Joey Vrazel said, in reference to the Boilermakers' three-game sweep by Michigan on Friday. "We know we can play like we did tonight, we have seen glimpses of it in other matches and in practice, but it was great to put it all together for an entire match tonight. We had a great, great effort all the way around."

Said sophomore middle blocker Connie Paul: "Nothing beats winning. It's the best thing in the world. We played with a lot of heart and a lot of confidence, and it showed."

The only time the Boilermakers (8-13, 1-9) trailed was at 2-0 in Game 1. But they answered the early deficit with a nine-point run to take control at 9-2. Bev Krupa got the rally going with a pair of service aces, and Katie Gibbons and Kelly Colangelo later rifled ones themselves. Purdue opened 3-0 and 5-0 advantages in Games 2 and 3 and never was really tested.

It was a tremendous all-around performance by the Boilermakers, who outhit Northwestern .318 to .093, outblocked the Wildcats 12-5 and outdug them 29-24.

Sarah Emke led the attack with 10 kills on a .353 hitting percentage and six blocks, while Bev Krupa and Paul both had nine kills. Paul hit at a robust .615 clip and also recorded six blocks. Colangelo came up with 10 digs, and Christi Kelsey served a season-high four aces.

Lafayette native Jessica Holloway had eight kills and seven digs for Northwestern (11-10, 2-8).

"Tonight was the first time in the conference that we played as a team for the entire match," Krupa said. "If we continue to play like this, it will definitely be a turning point."

The Boilermakers stay at home next weekend with matches against Minnesota (16-5, 6-4) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Iowa (9-12, 2-8) on Sunday at 5 p.m. The Purdue-Iowa match will be televised live by SportsChannel/Fox Sports Chicago.

1997 Big Ten Volleyball Standings
(through Oct. 25, 1997)
Penn State      10-0   1.000    21-0   1.000
Wisconsin        9-1    .900    18-2    .900
Michigan         7-2    .778    14-6    .700
Minnesota        6-4    .600    16-5    .762
Michigan State   6-4    .600    16-7    .696
Ohio State       5-4    .556    14-7    .667
Indiana          3-7    .300    16-7    .696
Illinois         3-7    .300    12-8    .600
Northwestern     2-8    .200   11-10    .524
Iowa             2-8    .200    9-12    .429
Purdue           1-9    .100    8-13    .381
This Week's Results and Remaining Schedule

Wednesday, Oct. 22
Penn State def. Indiana 15-3, 15-4, 12-15, 15-6 (at Bloomington)

Friday, Oct. 24
Michigan def. Purdue 15-8, 15-7, 15-3 (at West Lafayette)
Minnesota def. Illinois 15-8, 15-5, 15-13 (at Minneapolis)
Ohio State def. Northwestern 15-9, 15-13, 15-6 (at Columbus)
Wisconsin def. Iowa 15-4, 15-7, 15-12 (at Iowa City)
Michigan State def. Indiana 13-15, 11-15, 15-10, 15-9, 15-12 (at Bloomington)

Saturday, Oct. 25
Purdue def. Northwestern 15-4, 15-8, 15-3 (at West Lafayette)
Iowa def. Illinois 15-6, 15-13, 15-3 (at Iowa City)
Penn State def. Michigan State 15-9, 15-6, 15-9 (at University Park)
Wisconsin def. Minnesota 15-6, 15-6, 15-2 (at Minneapolis)

Sunday, Oct. 26
Michigan at Ohio State, 4 p.m. (SC/FS)

All times EST.