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The festivities started Friday night at the IAF when the volleyball team battled the Morehead State in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Purdue, the #5 overall seed in the field, swept the Eagles with relative ease.
Moving to Saturday, the feel among my friends and I was that Purdue would lose to Xavier in a hostile environment and that our lack of post presence would cost us. Purdue jumped out to a 14-2 lead and led for the majority of the game, until Tu Holloway for Xavier came up with 11 points in a row for Xavier. There’s a reason he is considered a first team All-American, and he showed it down the stretch. Credit Xavier and Tu, but Purdue let off the gas after being up 19 points midway through the second half. Purdue had 0 field goals over the last 6+ minutes, and the leader of the team, Robbie Hummel, started to cramp up around that same time. The team looked scared and Tu took over the game. It was one of the most frustrating losses I have witnessed for either basketball or football (and I’ve been following Purdue athletics like a die hard fan since 2002).
Saturday night the volleyball team was back in action, taking on Louisville. The teams met earlier in the season on a neutral site and Purdue won 3-2. Last season in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Purdue sent Louisville home, by the same 3-2 score. Louisville was out for revenge, but Ariel Turner and Tiffany Fisher wouldn’t allow the Lady Boilers to fall on their home court. The Boilers won once again with ease 3-1. They will play Florida State this Friday at 6pm ET in Minneapolis.
Today (Sunday) the women’s basketball team faced the defending National Champions and #4 team in the nation, Texas A&M, at Mackey Arena. The first half was close throughout, both team played great man-to-man defense. Going into the half Purdue was down 3. In the second half, Purdue started to take control after coach Sharon Versyp was called for a technical foul. This clearly motivated the team, as the officials were garbage the first 4 miinutes (A&M was already in the bonus by the sub-16 timeout). At the time of the technical, Purdue was down 37-29. After the technical, the Lady Boilers finished the game on a 31-14 run to win the game 60-51. Most of those points in the second half by A&M were from the free throw line. Speaking of free throws, A&M shot 48% from the charity stripe (13-27). If they make their free throws, then we would be talking about a different outcome (for the record, Purdue wasn’t much better going 16-24).
And finally, tonight (9PM on ESPN) it will be announced that the football team will be playing against Western Michigan in the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl in Detroit. We will preview the game as it approaches, but I think I speak for all of Boiler Nation when I say I’m just glad the program is back in a bowl game, regardless of what your feelings are of Coach Hope and his staff.
Despite the men’s basketball team choking at Xavier, this was a great weekend in Boilermaker athletics. Boiler Up!
big big BIG B1G game tonight in the Boiler Box as the #11 Boilermakers host the #5 Fighting Illini. Purdue is looking for revenge as Illinois beat the Lady Boilers 3-1 last month.
Let’s Go Purdue Volleyball!
I’m not really sure how to take that last volleyball game.
To summarize the past few home games for those of you that don’t follow the sport, we lost to then #9 Penn State, looking strong in each set but only winning the second set. The next night, the Boilermakers came out and put the hurt on #24 Ohio State, dropping the second set but managing to win the other three.
Here’s where things get kind of weird. The Boilermakers faced the IU Hoosiers last night, a team who had yet to win a conference game. The Boilermakers won the first set handily, but lost the next set (although one could make a case for some serious refball being played, refball is rarely a total excuse for a loss). The Boilers then picked up the third set, but choked in the fourth set to go to a fifth set. While the Boilermakers smoked the Hoosiers in the fifth set, there was really no excuse for that game to have even gone that far. Terrible service errors and poor passing were mostly at fault, while shot placement and decision making against a less-athletic team weren’t great either. Ariel Turner had a great match, but everyone else seemed to struggle.
Compounding things is the in-fighting that has begun in the Block Party. For those of you who have been to games in the past, you know how far the Block Party has fallen from seasons passed. Many of you also know my stance on the issue (see btfu_Crespo’s latest article posted by Mr. Rschwartz himself earlier to get an impression).
Bottom line: the team needs to be hard at work in practice to maintain success and have a shot at beating Nebraska or Illinois at home this season.
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