Dec. 4, 2010

Courtesy of Purdue Athletics

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Boilermaker volleyball team punched its ticket to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the third time in the last six years with a 3-1 win over Louisville Saturday night. Purdue won the match 26-24, 25-23, 18-25, 25-15 to earn a date with No. 1 Florida in Austin, Texas, on Friday, Dec. 10.

It was a gutsy effort which saw Purdue weather 27 tie scores and 12 lead changes. It was also a total team ordeal as five different Boilermakers posted nine or more kills and five players posted eight or more digs. Eleven players saw court time and all made a contribution.

Junior Tiffany Fisher paced the offense with 12 kills on a .450 hitting effort, while sophomore Ariel Turner chipped in 11. Senior Kristen Arthurs and redshirt freshmen Catherine Rebarchak and Katie Griffin each added nine putaways as Purdue outhit Louisville .242 to .182.

Defensively, sophomore Carly Cramer led the way with 13 digs, but she had help from redshirt junior Blair Bashen (11), senior Jaclyn Hart (10), junior Emily Ehlers (10) and Turner (8). Arthurs led the Boilermakers at the net with four blocks.

Bashen and Fisher also contributed from the service line, serving up tallies of three and two respectively.

Purdue squeaked out the opening stanza 26-24, holding off a late UofL rally. Arthurs registered four kills in the set, while Bashen served up a pair of aces. The Boilermakers led 7-4 early on, thanks to several Cardinal miscues, a block by Fisher and Hart and a Bashen ace. Louisville charged back, taking a 10-8 lead, but Purdue was resilient, scoring 12 of the next 17 to turn the deficit into a 20-15 advantage. A Bashen ace capped the rally, while Griffin, Rebarchak and Arthurs drove the offense. Purdue led 23-20 after an Arthurs kill, but UofL leveled the score at 23. An over the net call made it 24-23 Purdue. A Louisville kill extended the set, but Fisher responded with a putaway and a Cardinal attack sailed long to cap the win.

Louisville controlled much of the second set, leading by as many as seven, but Purdue came out with a 25-23 win. The Cardinals led 15-8 at the midway point, thanks to a pair of aces and a handful of Boilermaker miscues. Purdue called timeout at that juncture and turned things around with a 10-2 run, swapping the seven-point deficit for an 18-17 advantage. Fisher posted two kills, a block and an ace, while Turner managed a kill and two blocks. Arthurs also chipped in a block and a kill and Bashen served up an ace in the rally. Louisville tied the score at 18 and went ahead 20-19. A Rebarchak kill evened the score. Arthurs, Griffin and Fisher added putaways as Purdue matched UofL shot for shot down the stretch. The Fisher kill knotted the game at 23-23. Turner and Fisher managed a kill each to complete the comeback win. Fisher, Turner and Griffin tallied four kills apiece in the stanza.

After a 3-3 tie in the third set, Louisville ran away with the set, leading by as many as nine en route to a 25-18 win. The Cardinals led 16-7, but Purdue narrowed the gap to five at 17-12, with five of the next six points, including a 4-0 run. The Boilermakers, however, could not hold off the Cardinals which hit .323 in the set and managed five blocks.

The teams split the first 12 points of Set 4, but Purdue soon found its groove, using a 6-0 run to go up 12-6. Turner provided a pair of kills, while a trio of UofL miscues also aided the effort. Louisville pulled within four at 15-11, but would get no closer as the Boilermakers closed out the night on a 10-4 run. Arthurs, Rebarchak, Turner and Griffin all chipped in as Purdue clinched the match. Griffin posted a solo block and Turner pounded down two kills as the Boilermakers took a 19-11 lead. A pair of Cardinal errors, a Griffin kill and a Fisher ace put Purdue up by 10 at 23-13. A Turner putaway set up match point at 24-14. A Lola Arslanbekova kill halted the Boilermaker celebration temporarily, but Arthurs downed her ninth kill of the night to punch the team's ticket to the Sweet 16.

The Boilermakers move to 23-10 on the year and will face off with 29-1 Florida on Friday. More details on the match will be available on purduesports.com throughout the week.