Volleyball Sweeps Another
In an uncommon Wednesday evening matchup, the Volleyball team...well, they got the victory. Notre Dame came to town to try to avenge the match earlier in the season in South Bend, but went back with just about the same result. The Cards swept the Irish in three sets (25-21, 25-19, 26-24), but it wasn't without some drama. (As if there hasn't been enough drama on campus these days...)
The third set had the most drama with the Cards down 11-17, and later in the set 16-22 before storming back to with the set and match. Cap this one off with a great finish by ACC freshman of the week for the second week in a row, Aniah Philo who scored the last 3 points of the match to seal the win for UofL. A big swing on the left side, then a service ace, and finishing it off with a monster back row attack.
The first set was highlighted by lots of back and forth play, with 17 ties and eight lead changes. The Cards hit a solid .333 to get the job done, but the play felt sloppy, and maybe a bit lethargic. They were able to pull out to a slight separation at the end to claim the set 25-21.
The second set was an improvement over the first, but still some back and forth play with six ties and two lead changes. UofL still looked like they were sleepwalking a bit through this one, but were still able to build a little bit of separation for the 25-19 win.
The third set was where the drama showed up. After ties at 2-2 and 3-3, the Irish climbed out to a substantial lead and really looked like they were going to claim a solid 3rd set win. The Cards showed a bit of life at 11-17 and were able to close down some of the lead. The momentum shift brought a Notre Dame timeout at 13-17. Coach Anne Kordes clearly didn't like what see saw on the next play because she decided she needed to have another chat with the team at 13-18. The play improved a bit, and see-sawed up to 16-22...and then the UofL team we know and love finally arrived and decided they wanted to play the way they know they can. The Cards stormed back to tie the set up at 23-23. A Janelle Jenkins service error, and Philo decided enough was enough and scored three quick points to take the set and match.
In post-match comments, Philo said that Freshman of the Week honors was a goal from day one. She called out her club ball teammate and freshman middle hitter at UVA, Anna Walsh, as having set the mark that Philo is shooting for. Walsh has picked up the freshman of the week honor from the ACC three times so far. I certainly will be keeping a closer eye on the weekly honors for the rest of the season.
Other stats of note include a match leading 16 kills for Erin Fairs, a very efficient and sneaky .444 with 10 kills from Maggie DeJong, Philo's 13 for an impressive .345 along with 12 digs for a double-double, and another double-double for Janelle Jenkins with 10 kills and 15 digs. Also on the defensive side of the stats, quietly dependable Molly Sauer dug a match high 20 shots.
The Cards now head out on the road for three. The first will be Saturday where Philo will meet up with her rival Walsh at Virginia in Charlottesville. The next weekend will see them in Chapel Hill and Raleigh to take on the blocking powerhouse of the ACC at UNC, and a Sunday battle with a 12-8, 1-7 NC State squad.
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