Nov. 30, 2007
Box Score |
ATHENS, Ohio -
In front of a boisterous Ohio crowd at the Convocation Center, the Bobcats battled Purdue for four tough games, but the Boilermakers escaped with a 3-1 (25-30, 30-24, 30-22, 30-23) victory in the First Round of the 2007 NCAA Volleyball Tournament.
Ohio sophomore outside hitter Ellen Herman (Toledo, Ohio) led all players with 21 kills on a .255 hitting percentage and sophomore middle blocker Meghan Simons (Lancaster, Ohio) totaled 10 kills (.286) to lead the Bobcat attack. The loss marks the end of the outstanding careers of seniors Stephanie Blackburn (Cincinnati, Ohio), Melissa Griffin (Whitehall, Mich.) and Janice Matacic (Liberty Township, Ohio).
Blackburn, one of the most versatile players in Ohio history, totaled a match-high 21 digs and added nine kills (.030) and two service aces, while Griffin, the all-time kills leader at Ohio, was limited to nine kills (.061) and had four blocks. Griffin finishes her career with 1,678 kills, 139 kills in front of second place. Matacic had a solid final match, totaling 14 digs for the Bobcats.
The crowd of 2,072 that packed the Convocation Center saw Ohio (26-6) jump out to a quick start, as the Bobcats took the first game 30-25 and a 1-0 lead. Purdue (19-13) responded, winning the next three games to advance to the second round of the Stanford, California Regional. The Boilermakers will now play Cal Poly, who defeated Xavier in the earlier match, tomorrow at the Convocation Center at 5:30 p.m.
In the opening game Ohio out-hit Purdue .233 to .147, as sophomore middle blocker Jane Sytsma (Madison, Wis.) paced the Ohio attack with five kills on eight swings. After falling behind 5-4 the Bobcats slowly took back control of the game and the lead grew to as many as seven at 20-13 before Purdue rallied back. The Boilermakers trimmed the deficit to 27-23, but a kill by Sytsma, followed by a kill from Herman ended the short spurt. After Purdue landed a service ace, Ohio freshman setter Michelle Jantsch (Mission Hills, Kansas) connected on a kill to give the Bobcats the game.
Jantsch finished with a match-high 34 assists and added five digs.
Purdue found a way to slow the Bobcat attack after the first game, out-hitting Ohio in the next three games, including connecting at a .208 clip to Ohio's .128 in the second game. The score was tied at 14-14 in game two, when the Boilermakers ran off seven straight points to take command of the game en route to a 30-24 win, tying the match at 1-1.
In the third game, Purdue opened up five point leads at 15-10 and 20-15, but the Bobcats fought back. Behind the play of Herman, who had eight kills in the game, Ohio rallied back to pull within three points at 21-18. The Bobcats would get no closer, as the Boilermakers scored nine of the next 14 points for the 30-22 win.
Purdue stifled the Ohio attack in the fourth game, holding the Bobcats to a .087 hitting percentage while connecting on a .229 clip. Herman once again led Ohio in the fourth game with eight kills, but it wasn't enough as Purdue ran off five straight points during the middle of the game to extend an 18-15 lead into a 23-15 advantage. The Boilermakers led 27-21, when Ohio attempted a final comeback. Herman landed a kill and then Blackburn slammed another, bringing the `Cats within four points of the lead. Purdue managed to end the run though, scoring the next three points to take the game 30-23 and the match.
Carrie Gurnall paced Purdue with 17 kills (.297) and Kristen Arthurs and Danita Merlau each had 12 kills apiece in the victory.
The loss marks just the second time that the Bobcats have been defeated at home under Head Coach Geoff Carlston over his five seasons with Ohio. Ohio's record at home under Carlston now stands at 47-2. Griffin and Blackburn end their Ohio careers having played in every game of every match, leading the Bobcats to an impressive 116-17 mark during their time in Athens.