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Monday, September 23, 2019

Volleyball survives in five at Cincy -- Women's Golf at Franklin -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


It was a spike-fest in Cincinnati yesterday, the Louisville Volleyball team winning in five sets 25-18, 27-29, 25-23, 24-26 and 15-13 against a unwilling-to-quit Bearcat squad. 

Louisville (7-3) weathered the ferocious attack of Cincy senior Jordan Thompson and her 41 kills, countered with a career-high 30 kills from Melanie McHenry and took the battle of I-71 in their final non-conference match of the regular season. 

One wondered how UofL would bounce back from the three-set drubbing in Lexington Friday night from UK. The Cards appeared to have shaken that defeat off in the first set, pushing a 13-11 lead to 19-11 behind the steady serving of Aiko Jones. The Bearcats would get no closer than seven the rest of the first set and McHenry's six kills led Louisville to the 25-18 set win. 

UC wasn't ready to toss in the towel, however. 

The Thompson-led Bearcats kept UC close in set two, took a 11-10 lead and led 23-22 before a Cardinal timeout. No one had amassed more than a three-point lead in the set and the Cards held a 25-24 lead before UC scored twice and eventually grabbed the victory 29-27 behind Thompson's powerful arm. 

The Cardinal emerged from the break very strong and dominated early third set action at 7-3 before the Queen City spikers forced their way back to a 12-12 tie. A 5-2 run pushed Louisville back into the lead after a Cardinal timeout. UC, though, battled back to even things up at 18-18. Tori Dilfer's service ace gave UofL some breathing room at 21-19 and McHenry kills were responsible for the Cards 23rd and 24th points. A UC hitting error end the wild third set at 25-23 in favor of Coach Dani Busboom's Cards.

Once again, the Bearcats weren't ready to surrender. 

Cincinnati was the aggressor in set four and forged to an early 11-8 advantage before the Cards got a timeout and returned to the floor. UofL steadied the ship at 11-11 and completed the 7-0 run to soar to a 15-11 edge. It was the Bearcats turn to snap off a streak and they did just that to tie the set at 18-18. UC would continue the assault behind Thompson and she got them to set-point with two straight kills at 22-24. The Cards responded with a Jones kill to even it up at 24-24, but UC called on Thompson again...she delivered a kill and the Cards had a hitting error to give the Bearcats the 26-24 set win. 

To the fifth set we go. 

Using Thompson's incredible swing, the Bearcats battled Louisville with intensity and the teams were knotted at 12-12 before McHenry delivered a kill for a Cardinal edge at 13-12. UC committed a hitting error to give the Cards a two point lead, but here came Thompson again, with a resounding kill, to make it 14-13. It was Emily Scott providing the winner for UofL, delivering a kill that UC couldn't respond to...the Bearcats helplessly watching a dig attempt fall silently to the floor in open space. 

The frenzied crowd of around 1000 sat in shocked belief, trying to come to grips with the tough defeat. 

Cards win! 15-13.

A fifth set that could have gone either way. The "Five in Fifth" (referring to UC's Fifth-Third Arena) ended up falling in Louisville's "W" column but the Cards may have faced the best individual effort from an opponent they'll see all season and have to feel fortunate to head home victors in this classic.  


Louisville Kills: (64) McHenry 30, Jones 16, Nena Mbonu 8
Cincy kills: (76) Thompson 41, Maria Mallon 13, Damjana Cabakapa 9

Louisville Blocks:  Anna Stevenson 7, Emily Scott 5, Tori Dilfer 4
The Cards dominated in the block stat 16-3. 


Thompson's 41 kills came within four of tying an NCAA record for a 25-point match setting. The 41 were her second-highest of her career, she totaled 44 against Wichita State last year.  Thompson set a record number of kills by an individual against the Cardinals. 

McHenry set a personal record with her 30 kills. 

If the Cards back defensive line woke up last night from nightmares of seeing #23 Jordan Thompson hovering over their beds getting ready to slam one would be unsurprising. She put on a performance that Michael Jordan would have approved of. 

Expecting our Volleyball guru Jeff McAdams will chime in later on the match, he was in Cincinnati watching the action. Whether he got any game action photos or not remains to be seen. He's usually too busy cheering. 

The VolleyCards come home to start ACC play next weekend when they host NC State on Sept. 27th at 7 p.m. and North Carolina on Sept. 29th at 1 p.m. 


Lauren Hartlage led the Cards on the Vanderbilt Legends Club - North Course for the third straight day in the Mason Rudolph Championships with a 1-over-par 73.

The Cards finished ninth out of 15 in the tournament. 

Hartlage finished the Franklin, Tennessee event tied for 14th. She recorded a 54 hole score of 218. 

Mairead Martin toured the 54 holes with a 223. Lauren "Tibby" Thibodeau completed the three days one back of Martin at 224. One back of Thibodeau was Hana Ryskova and Delaney Shah tied for 56th place at 228.

Have a marvelous Monday!



  1. I'm sure Jeff will comment on this sometime during the week but there needs to be some tweaks to the review process. As you can imagine with the competitive match that time-outs and challenges were liberally used. My issue crosses all sports. It is my understanding that if the home team is using the review process, then the video must be ready to view in 60 seconds or less. Now there needs to be some time limits put on the reviewer. Yesterday's match clearly showed how a drawn out review of the video disrupts the flow of the game for both teams. The down judge looked at the video, took his glasses off/on looked again, stepped back from the screen. My thinking is "if not apparent, then the original call stands" and move on with the match/game. I wonder if anyone tracks how often the serving team - the one who wins the challenge - wins the next point? Further, the coaches need to be restricted as to follow up questions. At one point on Sunday it seemed like the Cincinnati coach was challenging the challenge. I have not seen much of this but Sunday the down judge couldn't seem to make a time and/or firm decision.

  2. It is a laborious process in just about every sport. Something that does need to be regulated, I agree.



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