Junior Jeni Houser had team highs in kills (11), service aces (3) and blocks (5).

Irish Fall In Five-Set Thriller To No. 22 Purdue

Sep 7, 2013

Box Score

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – In front of 1,339 fans at Purcell Pavilion, the No. 22 Purdue Boilermakers and the University of Notre Dame volleyball teams went the distance in the final match on day two of the Golden Dome Invitational, giving the crowd a five-set thriller that the Boilermakers claimed, 3-2 (21-25, 25-22, 20-25, 25-13, 15-10).

After Notre Dame took a 2-1 lead and Purdue countered to force a deciding fifth set, the two teams went back and forth, keeping the fans on the edge of their seat. The Irish built an 8-6 lead at the side change before watching Purdue run off six straight points to move ahead, 13-9. After senior Andie Olsen moved the score to 13-10, the Boilermakers closed out the match with kills by Faye Adelaja and Val Nichol.

The Boilermakers overcame 10 service errors by countering with 17.5 blocks to fend off the Irish. Notre Dame continued its struggles on offense, totaling just 46 kills in 155 attempts for a .097 hitting percentage. Purdue hit .230 and pounded home 66 kills, led by Catherine’s Rebarchak’s 20. Also in double figures for the Boilermakers were Nichol and Annie Drews, who each had 10.

“I thought we fought really hard and there is a lot of good that can come out of it, but it’s just very disappointing right now,” said head coach Debbie Brown. “We had a top-25 team at home and we were up 2-1 after the third set and 8-6 in the fifth set and couldn’t close. We had every opportunity to win. We are still struggling offensively in that we are still making a lot of errors. We have to get better there. I was pleased with Jeni (Houser) and Andie (Olsen) in the middle, but we have to get better on both the left and right side.”

The Irish were led by junior Jeni Houser, who had a solid all-around performance with team-high totals of 11 kills, three service aces and five blocks. She also added five kills. Olsen added nine kills and no errors for a .500 hitting percentage. Senior setter Maggie Brindock tallied a double-double with 33 assists and 14 digs.

Day three of the Golden Dome Invitational gets underway with No. 22 Purdue meeting Bowling Green at 11:30 a.m. before the Irish play Dabrowa at 2 p.m.

The Irish had trouble hitting in set one (.257-.114), but capitalized on Purdue miscues to never trail in a 25-21 victory. Houser stood out in the opening frame, totaling five kills, three digs and two service aces in addition to hitting .625. The Louisville, Ky., native’s two service aces came in back-to-back points to take a 3-2 lead and up it to 5-2. Later in the set a block by Nicole Smith, an attack error on Purdue and a kill by Houser forced the Boilermakers to take a timeout with the score 12-7.

Notre Dame stretched the lead to 17-10 and forced Purdue to take another timeout later in the set with the score 19-13. The Boilermakers were undone by service errors as they totaled four in the frame including two that ended three-point runs.

The Irish concluded the set just like they started it – with a Houser kill that got the crowd to their feet.

Purdue tied the match with a 25-22 victory in set two. The Irish, who hit just .114 in the first set, didn’t improve much in the second, attacking at a .143 clip. Regardless, Notre Dame had prime opportunities to take the set. The Irish fought back from an 8-4 deficit to pull to within one at 9-8. The Irish completed their comeback with a block by Sammie Brown and Houser to put the score at 12 all. Later in the set a block by Olsen and an attack error on the Boilermakers knotted the score at 18. With the score at 19 all, Purdue ran off four consecutive points to make it 23-19. The Irish battled back to make the score 23-22, but kills by Rebarchak and Jones sent the two teams into the locker room tied at one.

Notre Dame hit at a considerably better clip in the third set, posting a .278 attack percentage compared to just .150 for Purdue. The Boilermakers also hurt themselves with a service error, a receiving error and two setting errors, eventually losing the set with two straight errors.

The Irish were down by as much as five at 12-7, but fought back to knot the score at 15. The two teams traded scores before the Irish took over late. After Purdue inched to within two at 22-20, Olsen put down a kill to give Notre Dame a 23-20. The Boilermakers then had a setter error and an attack error to give the Irish a 2-1 lead.

Purdue absolutely dominate the fourth set, 25-13, to send the match to a deciding fifth set. Notre Dame posted only seven kills to 11 errors in the set, to hit -.121. The Irish also had two service errors. Meanwhile, Purdue hit .226 and had an impressive five blocks. The Boilermakers led from the get go, eventually building their biggest lead to 14 at 22-8. A double block by Faye Adelaja and Annie Drews emphatically ended the set.

Golden Dome Invitational Standings

Debrowa – 2-0

Purdue – 1-1

Notre Dame – 1-1

Bowling Green – 0-2

— Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director