Sept. 18, 2002
The University of Notre Dame volleyball lost its first match in two weeks, as Purdue (9-3) rallied back from a 0-2 deficit to down the Irish in five games (18-30, 29-31, 30-27, 30-26, 15-6) in West Lafayette. Notre Dame is now 8-3 on the season and will face Michigan this Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Joyce Center.
The Irish were led on offense by Emily Loomis with 21 kills (on .471 hitting) and 10 digs. Jessica Kinder added 15 kills, while Katie Neff had 12. Joanna Lowry led Purdue with 29 kills.
Notre Dame came out very strong in game one with some aggressive serves to force the Purdue offense off balance. Emily Loomis and Lauren Kelbley combined on a block to but the Irish up 3-1, and the lead grew to 9-2 behind two Kelbley aces and a kill from Lauren Brewster.
Purdue briefly made a run in the middle of game one, cutting the Irish lead down to 13-10 behind two kill and two consecutive aces. Notre Dame took a deep breath, however, and shot back ahead in the game to lead 26-17 and force a Purdue timeout. Loomis contributed two kills, Katie Neff one kill and Jessica Kinder posted two aces during the run.
In fact, Jessica Kinder’s powerful jump serve contributed points 27, 28 and 29 in the first game. A Purdue attack error ended the game and put the Irish ahead 1-0 in the match with a 29-18 victory.
Notre Dame enjoyed an almost perfect game in the first contest. The Irish ended up with just two attack errors, a block error and a service error.
Close to perfect as game one was for the Irish, game two turned into the opposite. Four block errors and six attack errors by Notre Dame allowed the Boilermakers to hang around and maintain a rhythm within their offense. Purdue jumped out to a 9-3 lead in the second game, but Notre Dame fought back to tie the game at 12-12.
From that point, both teams fought back and forth, trading kills, attack errors and service errors. With the score 20-20, Purdue put together a scoring streak behind two kills and a net-aided ace to jump ahead 25-22.
The Irish came roaring back behind the strong hitting of Jessica Kinder. She contributed four kills during a key stretch, while her sister Kristen Kinder put away an overpass off her own dump attempt to tie the game at 28-28. Jessica Kinder then came back with a kill off the block and advance the Irish to game point.
Purdue tied the game at 29-29, but yet another Jessica Kinder kill shoved the Irish back to game point. The Boilermakers then attempted a roll shot that seemed destined for the middle of Notre Dame’s side of the court, but Kim Fletcher, just inserted into the game and seeing her first playing time in the match, came through with a spectacular one-handed dig. Loomis put the game away and the Irish ahead 2-0 with a solid kill down the line.
Jessica Kinder ended up with seven kills, three digs and two blocks in game two alone, while Loomis contributed eight kills, three digs and two assists.
Purdue came back in game three after a 12-minute break determined to push the Irish to play more games than a sweep. Five Boilermakers kills (two off Notre Dame overpasses), a block and an ace provide Purdue with a comfortable 10-4 lead to begin the third game.
Looking for a hot hitter, Notre Dame turned to Kelbley, who provided to kills to immediately cut into the Purdue advantage. Fellow freshman Brewster also began to step up, hitting three kills over a six-point stretch to give the Irish a bit of momentum. Purdue was forced to call a timeout, ahead just one point at 14-13.
The Boilermakers maintained a one-two point advantage until two Neff kills tied the game at 20-20. Neff added another kill to put the Irish up 22-21, followed by to Purdue attack errors to push Notre Dame’s lead to 24-20 and force a timeout.
Both teams continued to battle on, as Purdue fought back into the game with three kills to tie the game at 27-27. Notre Dame’s timeout could not slow down the home team’s momentum, however, as a kill off an Irish overpass and two consecutive aces gave Purdue its first game victory of the match 30-27.
Game four followed the script from game three, as both teams would enjoy leads for only short periods of time. Purdue led at the beginning of the game, but Notre Dame controlled the middle until the Boilermaker offense came together. Three Purdue kills and a block transformed a 20-17 Irish lead into a 21-20 Boilermaker advantage.
Purdue kept the pressure on after an Irish timeout with two consecutive aces and a kill to build a 24-20 lead. Notre Dame tried to hang in with three kills from Kelbley, but the Boilermaker offense put the game away with four kills and an ace to force game five.
The fifth and deciding game began on an ominous note for the Irish. Purdue ripped an ace on the first serve, then followed with a kill to jump ahead 2-0. Notre Dame came back to tie the game at 3-3, but two consecutive kills by the Boilermakers and an Irish ball handling error pushed the home team ahead 7-4.
Purdue continued their hot hitting throughout the final and deciding game, downing Notre Dame 15-6 to finish off the comeback victory.