Sept. 27, 1997

Purdue Volleyball Challenges Penn State

By Tom Schott
For the Journal and Courier

On a normal night, the Purdue volleyball team's performance Saturday would win many matches.

But the Boilermakers were not facing a normal team this night, as No. 1-ranked Penn State posted a 15-3, 12-15, 15-7, 15-2 win before another capacity-plus crowd of 1,775 at the Intercollegiate Athletic Facility.

The Boilermakers (7-6, 0-2) became just the fourth team to win a game against the Nittany Lions (13-0, 2-0), joining No. 3 Stanford, No. 8 Brigham Young and No. 10 Texas. It was just the third time Purdue won a game against Penn State since the Lions joined the Big Ten Conference in 1991. The 27 points Purdue scored were 11 more than any other unranked team has mustered against the Lions this season.

"We were certainly excited to get a game off them,'' Purdue coach Joey Vrazel said. "That was one of our goals. Hopefully, that win will reinforce to our players that they can play at a very high level against the very best competition. We saw tonight that if we take advantage of our opportunities good things happen.''

In Game 2 the Boilermakers clearly played some of their most aggressive and intense volleyball of the year. They built an early 8-4 lead and broke a 12-all tie with some tough serving and an overall gutsy team effort. Purdue held Penn State to just .179 hitting in the game.

Otherwise, the Lions showed why they are the best team in the nation. They attacked at a .400 clip for the game and finished with 13 blocks. Lauren Cacciamani had 14 kills and 11 blocks.

"I've never seen a team with such power,'' Vrazel said. "They are so talented. If any team beats them, they definitely will earn it.''

Purdue was paced by Bev Krupa and Connie Paul with 13 and 12 kills, respectively. Paul also had two blocks, while Krupa came up with nine digs. Sarina Harris added three kills and six digs. The Boilermakers hit .101 overall with three blocks.

1997 Big Ten Conference Volleyball Standings

(through Sept. 27, 1997)

                  Big Ten      Overall
Penn State      2-0 1.000   13-0    1.000
Wisconsin       2-0 1.000   11-1     .917
Michigan        2-0 1.000    9-4     .692
Indiana         1-0 1.000   14-0    1.000
Minnesota       1-1 .500    11-2     .846
Northwestern    1-1 .500    10-3     .769
Illinois        0-1 .000     9-2     .818
Michigan State  0-1 .000    10-4     .714
Ohio State      0-1 .000     9-4     .692
PURDUE          0-2 .000     7-6     .538
Iowa            0-2 .000     7-6     .538

This Week's Results and Remaining Schedule

Wednesday, Sept. 24
Wisconsin def. Illinois        15-8, 15-1, 15-1 
Friday, Sept. 26
Indiana def. Purdue           15-12, 4-15, 16-14, 15-7 
Michigan def. Minnesota        6-15, 15-11, 16-18, 15-11, 15-12 
Northwestern def. Iowa         8-15, 15-10, 6-15, 15-12, 15-12 
Penn State def. Ohio State     15-1, 15-8, 15-6 
Wisconsin def. Michigan State 10-15, 15-4, 19-17, 15-3 
Saturday, Sept. 27
Penn State def. Purdue         15-3, 12-15, 15-7, 15-2 
Minnesota def. Northwestern    15-9, 15-10, 15-8 
Michigan def. Iowa             15-6, 15-9, 14-16, 8-15, 15-10 
Sunday, Sept. 28
Indiana at Ohio State, 1 p.m.
Illinois at Michigan State, 4 p.m. (SportsChannel/Fox Sports Chicago)
All times EST.