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VOLLEYBALL: Experimentation with offense pays off versus Purdue

Heather VanHoegarden | Thursday, September 18, 2003

When the Irish put the ball away, most teams follow. Wednesday’s match was no different, as the Irish hit .311 for the match, and Purdue left battered and bruised.

Notre Dame defeated Purdue three games to one (30-23, 30-17, 29-31, 30-20).

“We tried to diversify the offense a little more and worked on some different shots,” head coach Debbie Brown said. “We tried to hit more lines and more deep corners.”

Emily Loomis, Lauren Kelbley and Lauren Brewster all hit in double digits for the Irish. Loomis had 15 kills on .405 hitting, while Kelbley registered 14 kills on .414 hitting. Brewster added 13 kills on .429 hitting. Meg Henican and Jessica Kinder also contributed, with eight kills apiece.

The Irish dominated in games one and two, hitting .455 as a team in the second game.

The Irish never trailed in the first game, as the closest the Boilermakers came was a 10-10 tie. In game two, the Irish jumped out to an 18-9 lead. They never turned back, as Purdue never got within nine points.

Game three was a different story, as the Irish hit .160 and the Boilermakers hit .218, good enough to take the match.

“We played really smart and really well in games one and two,” Brown said. “In game three, we didn’t pass quite as well, we didn’t serve quite as well and we made hitting errors.”

Game three saw the Irish falter, as they couldn’t pull away from the Boilermakers. The game was back and forth, and the Irish failed to convert match point at 29-28. Purdue took advantage, and scored the next three points to win the game.

“I think it was a combination of a lot of things,” Brown said. “We didn’t really play well, and we made a lot more hitting errors.”

Overall, the Irish played well. Senior setter Kristen Kinder dished out 35 assists, and Henican led the defense with 15 digs. Jessica and Kristen Kinder both had 13 digs.

Kelly Corbett saw action in the third game as libero, replacing freshman Danielle Herndon. Herndon returned in the fourth game.

“She’s (Corbett) been playing really well in practices and we thought it would be good to give her the opportunity to play,” Brown said.

Notre Dame is happy to get the win after last year’s disappointing loss in West Lafayette.