Nov. 22, 1997

Purdue Volleyball Loses to Illinois

By Tom Schott

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue volleyball team's season-long problem of inconsistency reared its ugly head once again Sunday evening as the Boilermakers dropped a 15-11, 15-11, 15-5 decision to Illinois before a crowd of 1,490 at the Intercollegiate Athletic Facility.

The Boilermakers (10-19, 3-15) were sharp at times but once again could not maintain that high level of play.

"It's the same old story," Purdue coach Joey Vrazel said. "We played very well in stretches but were no where near consistent enough. We have been better the last couple of weeks, but we obviously still have work to do."

It was final home match for Purdue seniors Sarina Harris and Linda Menconi. They were honored in prematch festivities along with classmate Sue Jurkonis, who took a medical release from her scholarship prior to the start of the season.

Illinois (15-13, 6-12), which is in seventh place in the Big Ten Conference, outhit Purdue .366 to .190 and outblocked the Boilermakers by a 14-8 margin. Purdue outdug Illinois 38-27.

Three Boilermakers finished with double figures in kills: Sarah Emke (15), Katie Gibbons (14) and Bev Krupa (12). Emke also had five blocks, while Gibbons came up with 13 digs. Taryn Catlin and Kelly Colangelo both recorded two service aces.

Purdue jumped to 3-0 and 6-3 leads in Game 1 before Illinois tied the score and later forged ahead 13-7 behind a 7-1 run. The Boilermakers, though, climbed back into the game and fought off five attempts at game point. It was more of the same in Game 2 as the Boilermakers overcame an early 6-2 deficit to ultimately take a 7-6 advantage. But Illinois responded with a 5-1 run to retake the lead at 12-8. Again, however, Purdue made it interesting before falling. The Fighting Illini broke a 1-all tie in Game 3 and coasted to their first three-game sweep of Purdue on the road since the 1992 season.

The Boilermakers play their final two matches of the 1997 season at Northwestern (12-17, 3-15) on Friday and at Michigan (18-11, 11-7) on Saturday. The team's postseason banquet is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 6 at the University Inn in West Lafayette. For more information and to order tickets, call the Purdue Athletic Ticket Office at 494-3194 (locally) or 1-800-49-SPORT (out of town).

1997 Big Ten Conference Volleyball Standings (through Nov. 23, 1997)
Penn State      17-1    .944    28-1    .966
Wisconsin       17-1    .944    26-2    .966
Minnesota       12-6    .667    22-7    .759
Ohio State      12-6    .667    21-9    .700
Michigan State  11-7    .611    21-10   .677
Michigan        11-7    .611    18-11   .621
Illinois        6-12    .333    15-13   .536
Indiana         5-13    .278    18-13   .581
Purdue          3-15    .167    10-19   .345
Northwestern    3-15    .167    12-17   .414
Iowa            2-16    .111    9-20    .310
Last Week's Results
Wednesday, Nov. 19

Minnesota def. Iowa 15-11, 14-16, 15-8, 15-7 (at Minneapolis)

Friday, Nov. 21

Wisconsin def. Purdue 15-7, 15-7, 15-3 (at West Lafayette)
Michigan def. Indiana 15-13, 18-20, 15-5, 15-12 (at Bloomington)
Minnesota def. Michigan State 7-15, 15-13, 15-8, 15-11 (at Minneapolis)
Ohio State def. Illinois 10-15, 15-8, 6-15, 15-6, 18-16 (at Columbus)
Penn State def. Northwestern 15-9, 15-0, 15-3 (at University Park)

Saturday, Nov. 22
Indiana def. Northwestern 15-10, 15-9, 15-12 (at Bloomington)
Michigan State def. Iowa 7-15, 15-13, 15-8, 15-12 (at Iowa City)
Penn State def. Michigan 15-6, 15-8, 15-8 (at University Park)
Wisconsin def. Ohio State 1-15, 15-3, 15-4, 15-3 (at Columbus)

Sunday, Nov. 23

Illinois def. Purdue 15-11, 15-11, 15-5 (at West Lafayette)