Oct. 6, 1997

Purdue Volleyball Falls at Minnesota, 3-1

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Purdue volleyball team put forth an impressive enough showing Sunday afternoon to offer encouragement for the rest of the 1997 season.

Nevertheless, the Boilermakers still dropped a 15-13, 6-15, 10-15, 11-15 decision to Minnesota before 1,206 fans at the Sports Pavilion and a SportsChannel/Fox Sports Chicago regional television audience. The loss was Purdue's fourth in a row to open Big Ten Conference play and dropped its overall record to 7-8.

The 0-4 start to conference play is the Boilermakers' worst since the 1994 season (the year before Joey Vrazel took over as coach). Minnesota improved to 13-2, 3-1 with the victory.

Once again, the Boilermakers looked like world beaters at times, but their only consistency was inconsistency.

``I thought our effort was much better today, but we still were not able to maintain a high level of play,'' Vrazel said. ``I thought we worked hard and battled, but you need more than that to win in this league.''

Sophomore outside hitter Kelly Colangelo agreed: ``We left everything out on the court. Our effort was outstanding. But we absolutely cannot keep having those stretches where we make a bunch of errors. There's no question they are killing us.''

The Boilermakers overcame a 6-7 deficit in Game 1 with six straight points to forge ahead 12-7. Kelly Colangelo rifled a pair of service aces and Sarah Emke had three kills during the run. Minnesota battled back to even the score at 13-all before a kill by Katie Gibbons and a block by Colangelo accounted for the final two points.

Game 2 was a microcosm of the Boilermakers' season to date. They got off to a slow start at 1-5, regrouped to make it interesting at 6-9 but ultimately could not sustain their level of play and saw Minnesota score the last six points while managing just one sideout. Four Purdue errors helped the Gophers' cause down the stretch.

The inconsistency continued in Game 3 as Purdue raced to a 6-0 lead behind the serving of Christi Kelsey. But four straight errors allowed Minnesota to get right back in the game at 6-4, and the Gophers later used eight consecutive points to take command at 12-7. Then the Boilermakers rebounded, but it was too late as Minnesota was undaunted.

Purdue held 7-4 and 8-5 advantages in Game 4 only to see the Gophers came back again and jump in front 9-8. It was later tied 11-all before Minnesota finished matters.

Four Boilermakers finished with double figures in kills: Bev Krupa and Connie Paul (16 apiece), Emke (14) and Colangelo (13). Emke also had five blocks, while Krupa came up with nine digs.

Minnesota outhit the Boilermakers .305 to .211, outblocked them 15-8 and outdug them 62-40.

Next up the Boilermakers play host to Ohio State (10-6, 1-3) on Wednesday and two-time defending Big Ten champion Michigan State (12-5, 2-2) on Friday. Both matches begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Intercollegiate Athletic Facility.

1997 Big Ten Conference Volleyball Standings (through Oct. 5, 1997)

                Big Ten     Overall
Penn State      4-0 1.000   15-0    1.000
Michigan        4-0 1.000   11-4     .733
Minnesota       3-1  .750   13-2     .867
Wisconsin       3-1  .750   12-2     .857
Indiana         2-2  .500   15-2     .882
Michigan State  2-2  .500   12-5     .706
Illinois        1-3  .250   10-4     .714
Northwestern    1-3  .250   10-5     .667
Ohio State      1-3  .250   10-6     .625
Iowa            1-3  .250    8-7     .533
PURDUE          0-4  .000    7-8     .467

This Week's Results
Wednesday, Oct. 1
Michigan def. Northwestern 15-10, 15-7, 15-11 (at Ann Arbor)

Friday, Oct. 3
Iowa def. Purdue 12-15, 15-13, 15-3, 15-5 (at Iowa City) Michigan def. Michigan State 13-15, 15-9, 15-3, 15-9 (at Ann Arbor) Minnesota def. Ohio State 15-4, 15-10, 15-8 (at Minneapolis) Penn State def. Illinois 15-9, 15-5, 15-2 (at University Park) Wisconsin def. Indiana 15-9, 15-8, 15-7 (at Bloomington)

Saturday, Oct. 4
Illinois def. Indiana 15-8, 11-15, 17-15, 15-10 (at Bloomington) Ohio State def. Iowa 15-2, 15-11, 15-13 (at Iowa City) Penn State def. Wisconsin 15-11, 15-9, 15-11 (at University Park)

Sunday, Oct. 5
Minnesota def. Purdue 13-15, 15-6, 15-10, 15-11 (at Minneapolis) Michigan State def. Northwestern 15-6, 12-15, 15-10, 15-6 (at Evanston)