Nov. 5, 2011
Site: West Lafayette, Ind. (Holloway Gymnasium)
Score: Northwestern 0, No. 11 Purdue 3
Records: NU (14-11, 5-9 Big Ten), No. 11 Purdue (22-3, 11-3 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Friday, Nov. 11 -- vs. No. 22 Ohio State (Welsh-Ryan Arena), 7 p.m.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Northwestern's volleyball team entered play Saturday night looking to extend a four-match winning streak, but the 'Cats struggled to find an offensive rhythm as they fell to the No. 11 Purdue Boilermakers at Holloway Gymnasium in West Lafayette, Ind., 3-0 (25-17, 25-15, 25-14).
One night after tying a season high with an attacking percentage of .341 and committing a season-low five hitting errors, Northwestern hit below .100 as a team and committed 24 errors, the most in a three-set match since Aug. 27 at Utah.
Purdue controlled the pace throughout much of the first set. After taking a 9-4 lead following four straight points, Northwestern head coach Keylor Chan called a timeout to slow the run. The 'Cats would shrink the deficit to two points as they trailed, 9-11, following a tip by Stephanie Holthus (Burlington, Ill./Central), however the Boilermakers on a quick 6-1 run to extend the lead to seven points and force another NU timeout.
Purdue built its advantage to as many as nine points at 21-12, but the Wildcats would come no closer than six points the rest of the way following a 5-2 run of their own. The Boilermakers would go on to claim victory in the first set, 25-17. Holthus lead all players in the match during the first set with five kills.
The home came out firing again to start the second set as they built a quick 8-3 lead while Northwestern struggled to find an offensive rhythm. Chan called a timeout to try to slow the opposing attack, but it seemed to have little effect. Purdue came out and scored seven of the next ten points to build the lead to 15-6, forcing another stoppage called for by Chan. Despite the timeouts and different lineup combinations, the Wildcats could not solve the Boilermakers, as the 11th-ranked team in the country pulled off a 25-15 win in the second set to take a 2-0 lead into the intermission.
Ariel Turner, the Big Ten's leader in kills delivered a bulk of the production in the second set as she converted seven kills on 14 attempts after collecting but a pair in the first set.
The third set followed a similar blueprint with the Boilermakers scoring the first six points before NU got on the scoreboard thanks to a sneaky tip from Holthus. The point did little to break Purdue's momentum, however, as they built the lead to 10 points at 13-3 and never looked back. The Wildcats climbed to within five points when a kill from Katie Dutchman (Del Mar, Calif./Torrey Pines) made it 9-16. Unfortunately for the vistiors, they would come no closer as the Boilermakers rolled to win the final frame, 25-14.
Holthus finished the match with her 10th double-double of the season. The sophomore tallied a team-high 11 kills to go along with 11 digs for Northwestern. Libero Julie Chin (Naperville, Ill./North) led all players in the match with 14 digs on Saturday night for the 'Cats.
The Wildcats will return home next weekend where they'll host a pair of top-25 opponents at Welsh-Ryan Arena. First, NU welcomes No. 22 Ohio State to Evanston on Friday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. The Buckeyes got the better of the 'Cats in the first matchup of the season, winning, 3-1, in Columbus, Ohio on Oct. 8.
On Saturday, Northwestern will face No. 6 Penn State in a Purple Out. The Wildcats pushed the then-No. 8 Nittany Lions to five sets earlier this season, but ultimately fell to the four-time defending national champions. The first 1,500 fans in attendance for the 7 p.m. clash on Saturday will receive a t-shirt courtesy of Coke Zero and all fans are encourage to wear purple in support of the Wildcats.
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