I have to say, today has been an intense day. So intense that I can hardly talk (as you may be able to tell from the video. BTW, I accidentally said 3 sets instead of 5. My bad). Purdue pulled off the 5 set victory, just as James predicted, tonight against #21 Illinois. Annie Drews got off to a hot start with 9 kills in the first set, but remained relatively quiet the rest of the game. That's okay, and Catherine Rebarchak came back to the court tonight with a fiery passion, leading Purdue to almost winning the 2nd set, but tonight's Player of the Game award goes to none other than Ariel Turner, who pretty much said in the 3rd set "Alright guys, I got this sh!t."
Some key stats from tonight's game: Ariel Turner led all players with 25 kills, including the game winning kill in the 5th set, while Drews and Rebarchak backed her up with 13 and 10 kills respectively. Carly Cramer finished the night with 15 impressive digs. I swear, Carly can get anything out of a hard attack. Almost any player that would try to dig a hard ball will send it into the stands, some how Carly keeps it in the court and sets it perfectly for the setter.
Negatives from the game include Purdue's 4th set, where Illinois just dominated and had me really concerned. Also, Purdue students not being able to fill up the section on a big game. Illinois fans had to finish the job. Not sure what happened tonight, perhaps some students were still tired after leaving the football game at halftime. No excuse, our ladies deserve better. Tip of my hat to all the students, fans, and band that came to the game, cheered loud, and stayed until the very end to support our Lady Boilers.
***Note: If you read the comments, you'll see that there was a big issue for students getting tickets for the game. If you have received any response from the Athletic Department regarding this issue, please forward it to me: firstname.lastname@example.org***
I may have more tomorrow, including an outlook to the big Nebraska game Friday night.