Sept. 5, 1997

Purdue Downs Central Michigan

By TOM SCHOTT
For the Journal and Courier

The Purdue volleyball team took advantage of some home cooking Friday night and served up a bushel of aces in a 15-8, 15-5, 15-3 victory over Central Michigan in opening-round action of the Mortar Board Purdue Premier before a crowd of 1,185 in the Intercollegiate Athletic Facility.

The Boilermakers (3-1) finished with a season-high 14 service aces from seven different players. Freshman outside hitter Katie Gibbons led the way with five, while Kelly Colangelo, Sarah Emke and Bev Krupa had three apiece and Taryn Catlin, Christi Kelsey and Jennie Williams each added one. It was Purdue's most aces since having 14 at Michigan State on Nov. 13, 1993.

"We spend a lot of time in practice working on our serving, and it was nice to see it pay off tonight," Gibbons said. "Everybody contributed, and I think that's the kind of total team effort we're going to have all season."

There also was plenty of hitting as the Boilermakers attacked at a .383 clip, including a sizzling .679 in Game 3. Krupa totaled 12 kills on a career-high .611 hitting percentage (12-1-18) and Emke had 10 kills on a .400 attack mark (10-2-20). Colangelo and Gibbons both chipped in with nine kills.

"I was very pleased with our play tonight," Purdue coach Joey Vrazel said. "Our outside hitters did a nice job, and that's an area we worked on a lot this week. Bev had a phenomenal night, and Kelly and Sarah played very well, too.

"The team was anxious to play again after we lost to Florida State (last Saturday), and I was happy to see us make some adjustments on the court. I also thought our emotion played a major role in the victory."

Purdue overcame a 4-1 deficit in Game 1 and broke a 6-all tie by scoring seven straight points to build an insurmountable 13-6 lead. Colangelo, Gibbons and Williams each had an ace during the decisive run.

Five aces helped the Boilermakers to a 10-4 advantage in Game 2, and a nifty block by Krupa and Connie Paul pushed the lead to 11-5. Purdue needed only nine kills in the game but did pick up three blocks.

It was 3-2 Purdue in Game 3 before 11 unanswered points all but finished matters. Colangelo had four kills in the stretch.

The Boilermakers were playing their first match on the redesigned IAF court, and the returns were promising.

"The court feels totally comfortable," Krupa said. "We couldn't wait to play on it all week. It's a definite home-court advantage with our fans, the band and all the noise."

Purdue continues tournament play Saturday against Indiana State at noon and Syracuse at 7:30 p.m. The Orangewomen (3-1) defeated the Sycamores (2-3) by scores of 13-15, 15-6, 15-2, 15-17, 15-9 on Friday.

"We have got our work cut our for us," Vrazel said. "Both Indiana State and Syracuse are well-round teams and have excellent coaches. I'm pleased with the level of competition in the tournament so far, and it will only get better."

Mortar Board Purdue Premier at the IAF (next to Mackey Arena)
Friday
Syracuse def. Indiana State
Purdue def. Central Michigan 15-8, 15-5, 15-3

Saturday
Purdue vs. Indiana State, 12 noon
Central Michigan vs. Syracuse, 2:30 p.m.
Central Michigan vs. Indiana State, 5 p.m.
Purdue vs. Syracuse, 7:30 p.m.