WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.- The No. 21 University of Northern Iowa women's volleyball team fell to No. 9 Purdue in three sets, 25-23, 25-23, 25-18, in their season opener in West Lafayette, Indiana, on Friday night. This was the first match for both teams in the Mortar Board Premier. Amy Braun led the Panthers with 12 kills, and Megan Lehman added eight. Molly Turk recorded 35 assists and Candice Burke finished with 12 digs.
The Panthers kept up with Purdue in the first set. After five separate tied scores in the set, a kill by Lehman tied it up at 9-9. The Panthers went on a 3-0 run to make it 12-9. After going back and forth the rest of the set, the Boilermakers tied it at 23-23. Purdue took advantage of a Shelby Kintzel attack error to make it 24-23, and sealed the 25-23 win with a kill by Ariel Turner.
The second set went much the same way for the Panthers. After Purdue took the lead early, the Panthers took advantage of a Purdue attack error to tie it up at 6-6. Two straight kills from Krista DeGeest helped the Panthers to go on a 9-3 run to make it 15-9. Purdue answered that by putting up six straight points to make it 15-15. The score went back and forth the rest of the match until a kill by Purdue tied it at 22-22. After a kill by Purdue's Cartherine Rebarchark and an attack error by Lehman, Purdue took the 24-22 lead. An attack error by Purdue brought the Panthers within one to 24-23, but Purdue got the kill to win the match 25-23.
The Panthers began the third set similar to the other two, but then couldn't keep up with Purdue. A kill by DeGeest gave the Panthers the 3-2 lead, and that was their last lead of the set. Purdue went on an 11-3 run to make it 14-5, and the Panthers couldn't answer. The Boilermakers won the third set 25-18 to win the match 3-0.
The Panthers return to the court at the Mortar Board Premier tomorrow morning when they take on Pittsburgh at 10:00.