Purdue 3, Colorado St. 2



FORT COLLINS, Colo. - After a 14 year absence from the NCAA Tournament, the Boilermakers traveled to Moby Arena to face No. 9 Colorado State and pulled off a five-game upset of the host Rams. Purdue beat its fourth top 25 team of the season with the 30-25, 25-30, 30-27, 22-30, 15-12 win. The Boilermakers last made the Big Dance in 1990, but the last victory prior to Thursday was on Dec. 4, 1987. The last time Purdue beat four Top 25 team in one season was in 1985 when the team advanced to the Regional Semi-finals.

After nine serves the score stood at 5-4 CSU, but the Boilermakers managed three straight points on a kill by Dargan and a kill and a block by sophomore Melanie Ukovich (Minooka, Ill.) made it 7-5 in Purdue's favor. A CSU kill stopped the run, but Purdue chalked up four of the next five on kills by Ukovich and redshirt junior Leah Wischmeier (Brownstown, Ind.) as well as two Ram errors to go up 11-7 and force a Colorado State timeout. The Rams scored four of the next six to make it 13-11. A kill by senior Kim McConaha (Centerville, Ind.) made it 14-11, but a CSU block kept the match going. A Ram service error clinched the Purdue upset win.

The host Rams kicked off the match with a 3-1 lead and led by three at 6-3 and 7-4, before Purdue rallied. The Boilermakers turned the deficit into a 9-8 lead, with a 5-1 run including a trio of kills by Wischmeier. CSU regained the advantage at 11-10 annd 12-11, but Purdue put together a 4-0 run featuring kills by McConaha and freshman Sammi Mader (Algonquin, Ill.), to go up by three at 15-12. Colorado State tallied a pair of points to pull within one before a 4-0 Boilermaker run including three CSU errors made it 19-14, forcing a Ram timeout. The teams traded the next 10 points out of the break, including two kills each by junior Renata Dargan (New Lenox, Ill.) and Ukovich, leading to a 24-19 score. A Boilermaker block and a kill by freshman Lizzie Jacques (Winfield, Ill.) gave Purdue a seven-point lead at 26-19. Down 27-20, CSU rallied with a 4-0 run to make it 27-24. Kills by Jacques and Ukovich set up the Boilermakers' first shot at the game. A kill by Katie Jo Shirley-Cahoon stifled the effort, but a Ram hitting error sealed the 30-25 Purdue win. Wischmeier posted five kills in the stanza as Purdue out-hit the Rams .250 to .140.

Purdue scored first in Game 2 on a Ukovich kill, but a 4-0 run put Colorado State on top in the early goings. Kills by McConaha and Mader pulled the Boilermakers within one at 4-3, but the Rams scored four straight to make 8-3. Another pair of Purdue kills made it a three-point game as the lead teetered between five and three over the next several serves. The Boilermakers cut the margin to two at 15-13, but CSU made it a four-point game with a pair of scores. The teams traded the next 12 points leading to a 22-19 score, but the Rams scored back to back to points to make it a five-point game. The teams again split the next six points, before a kill and a Purdue miscue gave CSU a six point lead at 28-22. A Wischmeier kill and a block by Dargan and McConaha thwarted the Rams first two game-point efforts, but a Becky Sarauer kill gave CSU the 30-25 victory. Colorado State committed just one error in the stanza.

Neither team could gain control over the first six serves, but Purdue scored three in a row on a McConaha kill and a block by McConaha and Dargan to go up 5-3. A pair of kills by Tess Rogers turned a 6-5 CSU deficit into a 7-6 Ram lead. Down 8-7, Purdue rallied with seven of the next eight points to go up by a score of 14-9. The Rams then mounted a 10-4 run to take a 19-18 lead. The teams traded the next six points leading to a 22-21 score, but Purdue managed a trio of points on two McConaha kills and a CSU hitting error. Another Ram miscue and a kill by Dargan made it a three-point Purdue lead at 26-23. After a brief pause, the Boilermakers stringing together three more points to set up their first shot at the game at 29-24. A kill and a block coupled with a Boilermaker miscue kept CSU alive, but a Ram service error clinched a 30-27 Purdue win.

Colorado State went up 3-1 to begin the fourth game. The teams tied moments later at 4-4 after a kill and a solo block by Dargan. After ties at five and six, CSU scored three straight to go up 9-6. Purdue answered with a trio of its own points to tie it up at 9-9, but the Rams soon owned a 12-9 advantage. The Boilermakers pulled within one at 12-11 on a block by McConaha and Dargan, but CSU maintained control, boosting their lead to four at 18-14. The teams traded the next 12 points, before a Mader kill made it 23-20. Colorado State then rattled off six straight points to make it 29-20, putting Purdue's backs against the wall. Jacques responded with a kill and Mader served up an ace to prolong the game, but a net violation gave CSU the 30-22 win and forced the deciding fifth game. CSU hit .283 to Purdue's .122 in the stanza.

Six Boilermakers posted double-digit kill tallies, led by McConaha's 15. Ukovich added 14, while Wischmeier, Dargan, Jacques and Mader followed with 13, 12, 12 and 12. Four Purdue players tallied double-digit dig totals led by senior Daren Poe (Martinsville, Ind.), who boasted a match-high 21. Junior Lauren Berg (Indianapolis, Ind.) pulled up 19 and Dildine and McConaha each added 13. Purdue out-blocked the Rams 13-9.

--Courtesy Purdue