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Boilermaker Volleyball loses five-set match to Iowa, 16-14 in fifth

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Boilermaker volleyball team battled back from a two-set deficit and fought off two Hawkeye match point attempts to tie the score in the fifth set, before falling to Iowa 3-2 Friday night. The Hawkeyes won the match 25-20, 25-21, 18-25, 16-25, 16-14.

Senior Carrie Gurnell put up a match-high 19 kills to pace the Purdue offense, while freshman Ariel Turner and junior Kristen Arthurs chipped in 10 kills apiece. Freshman Anna Drewry put down eight kills to go with her team-high nine blocks.

Redshirt sophomore Blair Bashen pulled up 24 digs to lead the Purdue defense, while freshman Carly Cramer added 16 and sophomore Emily Ehlers tallied 11. The Boilermakers served up six aces, three by Bashen, two by Cramer and one by Ehlers. Purdue also led every major statistical category except hitting percentage in the match, outdigging the Hawkeyes 72-60, outblocking Iowa 13-10 and putting up 59 kills to Iowa’s 57.

Gurnell put down a kill to start Set 5, then Drewry and junior Jaclyn Hart added a pair to knot the score at 3-3. Iowa went up 7-4, but Purdue scored four of the next five to tie things up at 8-8. A Turner kill and three Hawkeye errors helped the Boilermakers even the score. UI countered with a 4-1 run of its own to go ahead 12-9 and force Purdue to use both of its timeouts. Gurnell put the team on her shoulders, tallying three kills, including one to thwart match point, making it 14-13. A block by Drewry and Hart nullified Iowa’s next shot at the match, evening the score at 14, but a Becky Walters kill and a Purdue hitting error gave the Hawkeyes the 16-14 win.

Gurnell posted five kills in seven swings providing a bright spot in an otherwise error-riddled Set 1. The Hawkeyes took an early 5-2 lead and led by three again at 9-6, before Purdue mounted a comeback. Trailing 9-6, the Boilermakers scored five straight, including kills by Gurnell and Turner and an ace by Ehlers, to go up 11-9. Iowa answered with three straight to regain the lead, one which they would not relinquish, allowing Purdue just ties at 12 and 13. The Hawkeyes led by as many as four, but the Boilermakers pulled within two at 20-18 and 22-20 after kills by Gurnell and Drewry. Iowa, however, scored three straight to close out the 25-20 win.

The Boilermakers looked to have turned things around, starting Set 2 with a 9-6 advantage. Bashen served up an ace and five different players contributed kills in the early rally. Iowa turned the tables with a 9-0 run of its own, erasing the three point deficit and going ahead by a 15-9 score. Purdue countered with 11 of the next 16 points, knotting the score at 20-20. Iowa contributed four errors to the Boilermaker tally, while Drewry added two blocks and a kill and Gurnell chipped in two putdowns. The Hawkeyes scored five of the next six to take the 25-21 win and a two set lead into intermission.

Iowa led 4-3 early in Set 3, but the Boilermakers scored four straight to go up 7-4 and would hold the advantage the rest of the way. Turner and Arthurs tallied kills and Bashen served up an ace to give Purdue the lead. The Boilermakers would boost their lead to six at 16-10, thanks to a trio of Arthurs putaways and another Bashen ace. The teams split the next eight points, before a block by Drewry and Gurnell made it a seven-point game at 21-14. Kills by Drewry and Gurnell and a Hawkeye service error put Purdue on the hill at 24-18, before a stuff from Arthurs and Turner clinched the 25-18 Boilermaker win. Purdue hit .344 in the stanza, led by four Arthurs’ putways. Turner and Gurnell each chipped in three kills.

The Hawkeyes scored five of the first seven in Set 4. Purdue strung together six straight points, including a pair of aces by Cramer, to go up 8-5. Iowa pulled within one at 8-7 and 9-8, but could not break through as the Boilermakers cruised to the 25-16 win. An 11-3 run, featuring four Iowa errors and a trio of Gurnell kills, put Purdue up 20-12. The Boilermakers were up by eight again at 23-15 after an overpass kill by Drewry and another Arthurs putaway. An overpass kill from Arthurs made it 24-16, then a Turner putdown sent the match to a deciding fifth set. The Purdue defense held Iowa to a .028 hitting effort in the stanza and put up five blocks.

The Boilermakers (13-17, 5-14 Big Ten) wrap up their 2009 season in Madison, Wis., against the Wisconsin Badgers at 8 p.m. ET Saturday night. Live statistics will be available at Live audio will be available at and on WSHY 1410 AM in Lafayette.

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