Nov. 28, 1997

Boilers Fall at Northwestern

By Kathleen Offer

Purdue entered its match at Northwestern looking for its second Big Ten road victory of the 1997 season. It wouldn't get it, as the Wildcats downed the Boilermakers 15-5, 9-15, 15-12, 16-14 in Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston.

"We are very disappointed with the result," Purdue coach Joey Vrazel said. "We came out with no fire in our eyes and that hurt us tremendously. We came back pretty well, but we can not afford to get in those kind of holes on the road."

Game 1 started off well enough for the Boilers (10-20, 3-16), with Katie Gibbons recording a kill to give Purdue the early 1-0 lead. But Northwestern (13-17, 4-15) answered with a vengeance, scoring the next 10 points of the game to take a 10-1 lead.

A kill by Taryn Catlin followed by a Gibbons service ace stemmed the Purple tide, but Purdue's poor passing and hitting helped Northwestern to the 15-5 victory.

Things came a little easier in Game 2. Though the Boilers found themselves down 1-0 in the early going, inspired play by Sarah Emke and Bev Krupa turned the momentum.

Two consecutive block assists by Emke (with Gibbons and Catlin) gave Purdue a 4-3 edge. Purdue never looked back and went on to win the game 15-9 on a Krupa service ace.

The break between games 2 and 3 seemed to curb Purdue's momentum as Northwestern jumped out to a 2-0 lead resulting from a service ace and a Boiler blocking error.

Purdue soon found itself trailing 10-7. Despite a valiant comeback effort, the Boilers could not overcome the deficit and dropped the game 15-12.

A seesaw battle ensued in Game 4 with Purdue taking the early lead 6-2. But the Wildcats slowly chipped away, knotting the game at 10-10. Purdue responded to the Wildcat comeback, building a 13-10 lead.

But three points was not too much for Northwestern to surmount, and the Wildcats finished off the Boilers 16-14 to seal the victory.

Krupa led the Boilers with 23 kills, while Kelly Colangelo came up with 18 digs to head Purdue's defense. Colangelo and Jennie Williams had five blocks apiece.

Purdue hit at a .282 clip, while the Wildcats hit .376 in the victory.

Purdue's final match of the 1997 season is Nov. 29 at Michigan at 7 p.m.