Washington 3, Purdue oDec. 9, 2005

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The No. 3 Washington Huskies offensive attack and tough serving proved too strong for the No. 16 Boilermaker volleyball team as the Huskies ended Purdue's season in the Sweet 16 with a 3-0 win. UW won the match 30-25, 30-19 and 30-20.

"Washington has no weaknesses I can speak of," head coach Dave Shondell said. "Our big problem tonight was that we didn't pass serve very well especially off the jump floater of Thompson. We went with a bigger lineup using Vitali on the right side and moving Sam Mader to the left because we needed a more physical lineup and that took some of our ball control away. I am very proud of defense though, we had a good blocking scheme and got to a lot of balls, we just didn't pass well."

Washington opened the match with a 4-0 run, but Purdue scored six of the next eight points to tie it up at 6-6 on a Husky hitting error. Senior Sarah Vitali (St. Charles, Ill.), freshman Stephanie Lynch (New Albany, Ind.) and senior Renata Dargan (New Lenox, Ill.) posted kills in the rally. The Huskies raised their advantage to six at 13-7, but the Boilermakers fought back to within two at 13-11 on an ace by Dargan. UW took a four-point lead at 16-12, but three straight points by freshman Danita Merlau (New Palestine, Ind.), on two kills and a block, kicked off a 5-1 Purdue run to tie it at 17-17. Another kill by Merlau tied score at 18. Washington went up by two at 21-19, but kills by sophomores Lizzie Jacques (Winfield, Ill.) and Sam Mader (Algonquin, Ill.) tied the score yet again. The Huskies pushed their lead to four at 26-22, but the Boilermakers answered with kills by Merlau and Lynch to make it a two-point game. A service ace set up UW's first game-point attempt at 29-24, but a kill by Lynch thwarted the effort. A kill by Brie Hagerty gave the Huskies the 30-25 win on the next serve. Lynch posted five kills in the stanza.

The Huskies took a 6-1 lead to begin Game 2, before two Lynch kills stopped the run. Trailing by four at 9-5, the Boilermakers used a kill by Jacques, a block by Jacques and Vitali and a UW hitting error to pull within one at 9-8. Washington then posted 10 of the next 12 points to go up 19-10. A kill by Lynch sparked a 5-2 Boilermaker run to cut the point margin to six at 21-15. The teams split the next eight points leading to a 25-19 score. From there, the Huskies scored the final five points of the game en route to 30-19 win. Lynch added five more kills to her tally in the game.

Purdue scored first in the third game on a kill by Vitali, before the teams tied three times last at 3-3. Washington scored three in a row to go up 6-3, before a Dargan kill stopped the effort. The Huskies lead by four at 8-4, but Purdue sliced the margin to two at 10-8 after a pair of kills by Jacques. Washington scored eight of the next nine to go up 18-9, but Purdue did not go away, instead launching a 7-4 run to cut the deficit to six at 22-16 on a kill by Dargan. The Huskies countered with six of the next seven points to make it 28-17. The Boilermakers scored three of the next four including two kills by Lynch, the last to thwart a UW match point attempt at 29-20. A kill by Sanja Tomasevic ended Purdue's upset bid by giving the Huskies the match with a 30-20 win.

Lynch led the Boilermaker offense with 14 kills on a .500 hitting percentage. Jacques added nine kills, while Dargan posted eight to go with her nine digs. Junior Brittany Dildine (West Lafayette, Ind.) led the Purdue defense with 18 digs, while Dargan and sophomore Anne Mastandrea (Downers Grove, Ill.) added nine each. Lynch and Vitali led the Boilermakers on the blocking front with four each.

"This year was great for our program and it will continue to be great in the future," Dargan said. "Our underclassmen didn't play like freshmen and sophomores. It was truly a great season and a great way for me to finish my career. Everyone rose to the occasion. If you had asked me four years ago if I would be here at the Sweet 16, I probably wouldn't have believed you. It is bittersweet for me. I am done but I am proud to say I took part in this."

The Boilermakers end the season with a 25-9 record, their best since 1987, having made their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament third round since 1982.

-- Courtesy Purdue