Nov. 7, 2003
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Ohio State volleyball team (10-11, 4-9 Big Ten) handed Purdue a 3-1 loss behind the arm of All-American outside hitter Stacey Gordon, who provided the Buckeyes with a career-high 41 kills. OSU won the match 30-23, 25-30, 30-22, 30-23.
The Buckeyes began the match by turning a 5-5 tie in game one into a 16-7 advantage. After trailing by as many as 11, Purdue rebounded to slice the OSU lead to five at 27-22. Ohio State scored three of the next four, the final two on kills by Gordon, to take the game 30-23. Sophomore Marie Franke led the Boilermakers with five kills on eight swings for a .500 hitting percentage.
Game two was the bright spot of the night for Purdue, as the team took an early 5-2 lead on a junior Kim McConaha service ace. Ohio State scored four straight to make it 6-5 and went on to take a 9-6 lead. The Boilermakers responded with a 6-0 run including a solo block by freshman Katie Dobson and three OSU miscues to make it 12-9 in their favor. The Buckeyes cut the lead to one at 13-11 only to see it rise to five at 17-12 after three straight OSU hitting errors. The Purdue advantage swelled to nine at 24-15 on a service ace by sophomore Renata Dargan, but OSU would not go down easy pulling to within three at 27-24. The Boilermakers scored three of the final four points on kills by McConaha and redshirt sophomore Leah Wischmeier, but won the game at 30-25 on a bad set by Ohio State. OSU hit .000 as the Boilermakers tied the match at a game apiece.
Anna Tengnas chalked up a pair of Buckeye service aces to kick off game three and helped OSU to a 6-2 start. The Boilermakers cut the lead to two at 9-7, but the Buckeyes held Purdue at bay while taking a six point advantage at 15-9. Purdue chipped away at the point margin, putting together a string of three points to make it a three-point game at 19-16. Ohio State scored seven of the next nine to make it 26-18, but Purdue ended that string with a kill and an ace by Brittany Dildine. The Boilermakers made it a five-point game at 27-22 after kills by McConaha and Wischmeier, but three points later including two Gordon kills, OSU clinched the game at 30-22. Gordon tallied 11 kills in the game, while McConaha and Franke each posted six for Purdue. The Buckeyes hit .425 to Purdue's .279 effort.
Both teams battled hard in game four as Purdue rebounded from a 6-3 deficit to tie it up at seven to begin the stanza. The Buckeyes took a 10-7 lead and remained up on the Boilermakers by at least two points until a Dobson kill and another Dargan ace pulled Purdue within one at 20-19. OSU answered with a trio of points to make it 23-19. With a 26-23 lead, Ohio State scored the next four points to seal the game at 30-23 and take the match three games to one. Gordon put the final nail in the match with her 41st kill of the night and third in the last four points. The All-American chalked up 17 kills in the final game while hitting .773 to lead OSU to a .611 game four hitting effort. Purdue hit .342 in the game as McConaha tallied five kills and Dobson hit 1.000 with three kills on three swings.
McConaha led a trio of Boilermakers with double-figure kills, tallying 19 followed by Franke's 14 and Wischmeier's 10. Gordon dominated the final stats, leading all hitters with a career-high 41 kills, while hitting .473 and pulling up a match-high 23 digs. The kill tally is the most put up by single opposing player in Purdue history, besting Rosie Snow's 36 kill performance for Ohio State on Oct. 31, 1998 in Columbus.
"It is disappointing because this is a match that we thought we could compete in," head coach Dave Shondell said. "We thought coming back to our home court would give us some much needed medicine to give us enthusiasm and confidence, but that never developed tonight. That was partially because Gordon was unstoppable and because our block wasn't there, Amanda Miller was also unstoppable tonight. We just have to play better if we expect to win. It is disappointing to play that way in front of a good crowd but all we can do is come out tomorrow, lace them up and try it again."
Purdue (12-12, 5-8 Big Ten) will look to rebound against No. 16 Penn State at 8 p.m. Saturday. All John Purdue Club members get in for $1. Patrons with an Iowa/Purdue football ticket may redeem it at the Athletic Ticket Office for free admission to the match, pending availability.