Nov. 29, 1997

Boilers Drop Final Match of 1997

By Kathleen Offer

Bev Krupa led the Boilers with 21 kills. (File photo)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The travel gods were not smiling on the Purdue volleyball team. Neither were the volleyball gods, as the Boilermakers lost their final match of the 1997 season 12-15, 15-8, 15-6, 15-1 to Michigan in Cliff Keen Arena in Ann Arbor.

After being fogged out in Evanston following Friday night's loss at Northwestern, the Boilers endured their own version of planes, trains and automobiles.

Purdue stayed an extra night in Evanston, bussed to Michigan City, flew to Ypsilanti, Mich., and finally arrived at the hotel in Ann Arbor at 3:30 p.m., just in time for a pre-game meal.

Despite the travel woes, the Boilers (10-21, 3-17) came out on fire in Game 1, storming out to a 4-0 lead before Michigan (20-11, 13-7) could answer. Purdue lost the advantage at 7-6 and soon found itself on the wrong side of a 6-0 run.

Trailing 10-6, the Boilers showed their mettle by erasing the deficit to knot the score at 12-12. After a series of sideouts Purdue got the serve back and built a 14-12 lead.

An unassisted kill by Taryn Catlin sealed the deal, giving Purdue the 15-12 victory. Purdue saved six game points in Game 2 before falling 15-8. The Boilers trailed the whole way and found themselves down 14-5 with the game on the line.

Purdue, led by Bev Krupa's game-high 10 kills, clawed its way back to 14-8 but was unable to erase the six point deficit.

The Boilers could not deny the Wolverines in Game 3. Despite holding an early 4-3 advantage, Michigan went on an 8-0 run to take an 11-4 lead. The Maize and Blue, which hit at an impressive .405 (19-4-37) clip, never looked back and finished the game at 15-6.

Michigan began Game 4 right where it left off, recording the first 10 points of the game before Purdue got on board. The Boilers finally stopped the run and got on board following a kill by Sarah Emke and a Michigan hitting error.

But the Wolverines scored the next four points and emerged with the 15-1 victory.

"I was very pleased with how we started this match," Purdue coach Joey Vrazel said. "Unfortunately we could not sustain that momentum. We got some very good play from both Jennie Williams and Bev Krupa, but Michigan was too tough tonight."

Krupa led the Boilers with 21 kills, while Williams added a season-best 16. Kelly Colangelo came up with 14 digs for the Boilers. Karen Chase paced Michigan with a career-high 28 kills.

Purdue hit at a .228 clip, while the Wolverines hit .341. This was the last match for Purdue seniors Sarina Harris and Linda Menconi. Harris finished with six kills, seven digs and two service aces, while Menconi added two digs.

Menconi leaves Purdue ranked fourth on the career assists list with 3,221.

"I am very proud of our seniors," Vrazel said. "They are quality people and we will miss them next year."