Sept. 16, 2006
MALIBU, Calif. - The 20th-ranked Pepperdine women's volleyball continues to battle its way through one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the nation but the Waves have been unable to pick off a team ranked in the CSTV/AVCA top 25, a trend which continued Saturday night as Pepperdine fell 3-1 (30-21, 25-30, 30-24, 32-30) to No. 14 Purdue in Malibu, Calif.
Pepperdine (4-6) received another dominating performance from Sophia Milo (Portland, Ore.) as she torched the Boilermakers (10-1) for 15 kills on .636 hitting with four blocks. Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif.) tallied a match-leading 18 kills to go along with 14 digs, while Rachel Lumsden (Brea, Calif.) recorded 15 kills and 11 kills in the loss.
Purdue was paced by Carrie Gurnell's 16 kills on .500 hitting. Samantha Mader added 15 kills for the Boilermakers, while Elizabeth Jacques and Danita Merlau each turned in 14 kills. Stephanie Lynch recorded four of the team's 11 service aces. Purdue also outblocked Pepperdine by a 14.0-8.0 margin.
After falling behind by five, 24-19, in game four, Rubenstein served Pepperdine back into the match leading the Waves on a 6-0 run to give the home team the 25-24 lead. Purdue answered with three kills out of its final timeout to regain a two-point 27-25 lead. The Waves answered with a 4-1 run and was serving to send the match to a fifth game but on the ensuing play, Kayla Walker (Kaysville, Utah) was blocked by Lynch who led all players with seven. The visitors turned away a Cassi Chamberlain (Lakewood, Calif.) attempt to take a 30-29 lead. Lumsden tied the set up at 30-all setting up Jacques and Mader's consecutive kills for the match. Purdue built its lead with a 9-4 run after Pepperdine had tied the game at 15-15.
The Boilermakers set the tempo early in game one using off-speed shots to counter the overwhelming Pepperdine height advantage. After falling behind 7-4 in game one, the Waves rallied to knot the score at 11-11. The two teams traded points until with the score 16-15, Purdue, the Boilermakers recorded 12 of the next 15 points. Four of the final six points in the run were off of service aces.
The Waves exploded out of the gate in game two and had the visitors in an 8-1 hole, forcing Purdue into a quick timeout. Following a pair of Milo kills, Pepperdine had built up an eight-point, 18-10 lead. The Waves cruised in the game with Purdue making the game close with a 4-1 run late.
Pepperdine fell behind early in game three and was forced to play catch-up after Purdue rattled off six unanswered points to take a 12-7 lead. Behind kills from Milo, Rubenstein and Lumsden, the Waves closed the gap to just two, 16-14. Purdue used four Waves' miscues as part of a 9-2 run to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
Pepperdine will not be back in action until Thurs., September 28, when it hosts Gonzaga in its West Coast Conference opener. The four-match homestand will come to an end the following Saturday against Portland.