Nov. 2, 1997

Purdue Finishes Marathon Match as a Winner, 3-2

By Tom Schott
For the Journal and Courier

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - It was the type of volleyball match you would have expected from two teams looking for a victory. And in the end Purdue outlasted Iowa 15-6, 6-15, 15-12, 8-15, 15-12 in a 2 hour and 30 minute marathon Sunday evening before 1,229 fans at the Intercollegiate Athletic Facility and a SportsChannel/Fox Sports Chicago regional television audience.

The outcome resulted in a three-way tie for ninth place in the Big Ten Conference among the Boilermakers (9-14, 2-10), the Hawkeyes (9-14, 2-10) and Northwestern (11-12, 2-10). Purdue now has won two of its last three matches.

"Everyone stepped up at different times, and it was a complete team effort," Purdue coach Joey Vrazel said. "We needed everybody in order to win, and I'm very proud of the players. At the same time, I have a lot of respect for Iowa, they are a very solid team."

In the rallying-scoring Game 5, the teams exchanged the first 10 points before Iowa used a 4-1 spurt to forge ahead 9-6 and appear in control. But two huge blocks by Purdue's Taryn Catlin and Sarah Emke on Jennifer Bell, the Hawkeyes' go-to hitter, sparked a 5-0 run by the Boilermakers that put them in front at 11-9.

Iowa later tied the score at 12-all before two kills by Katie Gibbons and another by Connie Paul accounted for the decisive three points. "This match was a lot like life," Gibbons said. "Bad things happen, but you bounce back. We proved that we could do that tonight." After the teams split one-sided games to begin the match, the Boilermakers won a thrilling Game 3.

They appeared in command with an 11-7 advantage, but Iowa answered with a 5-0 run to take the lead at 12-11. Then Bev Krupa and Emke both tallied kills and teamed up on a nifty block to rally Purdue. Neither team could score early in Game 4, but the Boilermakers ultimately broke a 4-all tie with a 3-1 run to go up 7-5.

The Hawkeyes, though, did not fold and scored eight straight points to recapture the lead at 12-7 and coast to the victory. For the second time this season, the Boilermakers had all five of their hitters in double figures in kills: Krupa (24), Paul (16), Emke (13), Gibbons (13) and Kelly Colangelo (12). Gibbons also had 13 digs, while Emke recorded three blocks.

Setter Taryn Catlin played a solid, all-around match, finishing with a season-high 10 digs to go with three service aces, three blocks and 57 assists. "This win really picks us up," Krupa said. "We have been working hard all season and now to finally win a couple of matches is encouraging and should give us confidence for the rest of the season." The Boilermakers begin a stretch of six of their final eight matches on the road at Ohio State (17-7, 8-4) on Wednesday in Columbus. The Buckeyes defeated the Boilermakers in five games in West Lafayette on Oct. 8.

1997 Big Ten Conference Volleyball Standings (through Nov. 2, 1997)
               Big 10       Win %       Overall     Win %
Penn State      11-1        .917         22-1       .957
Wisconsin       11-1        .917         20-2       .909
Michigan         8-3        .727         15-7       .682
Ohio State       8-4        .667         17-7       .708
Michigan State   7-4        .636         17-7       .708
Minnesota        7-5        .583         17-6       .739
Illinois         4-8        .333         13-9       .591
Indiana          3-9        .250         16-9       .640
Northwestern    2-10        .167         11-12      .478
Purdue          2-10        .167         9-14       .391
Iowa            2-10        .167         9-14       .391

Last Week's Results
Wednesday, Oct. 29
Michigan def. Northwestern 15-9, 15-5, 15-3 (at Evanston) 
Friday, Oct. 31
Illinois def. Indiana 9-15, 15-7, 15-12, 15-10 (at Urbana-Champaign) Minnesota def. Purdue 15-9, 13-15, 15-13, 15-9 (at West Lafayette) Michigan State def. Northwestern 17-15, 15-7, 8-15, 13-15, 16-14 (at East Lansing) Ohio State def. Iowa 15-4, 15-7, 10-15, 15-12 (at Columbus) Wisconsin def. Penn State 15-11, 15-7, 6-15, 15-5 (at Madison)
Saturday, Nov. 1
Ohio State def. Minnesota 15-13, 15-4, 15-6 (at Columbus) Penn State def. Illinois 13-15, 15-7, 18-16, 15-13 (at Urbana-Champaign) Wisconsin def. Indiana 15-6, 18-16, 15-12 (at Madison)
Sunday, Nov. 2
Purdue def. Iowa 15-6, 6-15, 15-12, 8-15, 15-12 (at West Lafayette) Michigan State def. Michigan 15-13, 15-3, 8-15, 15-12 (at East Lansing)