Volleyball is Not Done After 21 Straight Wins
Starting the year at 21-0 is about as perfect as you can get for Louisville Volleyball. The #2-ranked Cards (AVCA Poll) have already set a program record for most wins to start the year. They have also lost fewer sets. The 2005 team lost 10 sets in their first 20 matches while the current team has dropped eight sets.
But this team isn't settling at 21-0. With seven matches remaining in the regular season, that perfect season is well within their grasp. Not only is this the most dominant team in all of college volleyball this year, but you could argue they are the most dominant Louisville Volleyball team ever and one of the most dominant volleyball teams in NCAA DI history.
The challenges and battles are not done this season, though. Next on the schedule is a trip to the Carolinas for matches against NC State (13-10, 7-5 ACC) and North Carolina (18-5, 7-5). Louisville has dominated NC State, historically, owning the series, 7-1. The Cards have won the last four matches against the Wolfpack and have gone 4-0 in Raleigh. The Cards are 7-8 against the Tar Heels all-time and 2-3 in Chapel Hill. However, Louisville has won the last four matches.
A quick pit stop at home against Georgia Tech (19-3, 10-2) comes after the Carolina excursion. The Cards went to Atlanta and brought their brooms that weekend earlier this year. Louisville improved their overall record against the Yellow Jackets to 11-4 with the win, including winning six straight. The Cards are 6-0 at home against them.
Louisville has a rare Monday night match at Notre Dame (9-12, 6-5) after that. It's the first of two matches against the Irish this year. This match-up has become one heck of a rivalry with the Irish owning the overall series 23-19. Notre Dame won the only match last season between the two teams to open up the shortened COVID-19 season. The Cards had won the prior two matches. Besides the last two meetings, both sweeps, the previous five meetings went a full five sets.
The Cards return home to host Duke (13-10, 4-8) on Nov 19th., who they are fresh off a 3-1 win against. The Cards extended their win streak against the Blue Devils to six straight and 9-6 overall. Louisville does hold a losing record at 3-4 at home against Duke, but the Cards will be looking for a little revenge after dropping a set to them over the weekend.
Pittsburgh (20-2, 10-2) will be the final road trip for the Cards. It's another big rivalry. Just a couple matches back, Louisville went into a five-set thriller at LNFCU Arena against the Panthers and walked away victorious. It also gives the Cards a two-match win streak against Pitt and a 16-13 overall head-to-head record. However, Louisville is 6-7 when playing at Pittsburgh.
The season finale and Senior Day will be on Black Friday at home against Notre Dame. It's a fitting end to the season, playing the Cards' top two ACC rivalries back-to-back to close out the year.
From a statistical standpoint, this team is incredible.
-- Anna DeBeer leads the team with 202 kills. As an outside hitter, a .266 attack percentage is quite high. The sophomore is second on the team with 157 digs.
-- Anna Stevenson is second on the team in kills with 193. The grad student middle blocker has a scary high attack percentage of .452. On the defensive side of the ball, she is a force to be reckoned with, placing second on the team with 84 blocks.
-- Claire Chaussee has jumped out of the arena on more than one occasion and is third on the team with 170 kills. The senior carries a .250 attack percentage.
-- Aiko Jones is another all-around player. The junior is fourth on the team with 167 kills. She has a .264 attack percentage. She leads the team in service aces with 29. Her 83 blocks ranks third on the team.
-- Amaya Tillman has been known for her defensive skills, but the junior also has 145 kills. Her 97 blocks (1.43 per set) is one of the best in the country.
-- Tori Dilfer has helped corral the team on the court with 768 assists. The grad student is a threat while serving with 19 aces. You can't sleep on Dilfer outside of those aspects, as she has 43 kills and 32 blocks as well as 119 digs.
-- Elena Scott has come in as a freshman and made a name for herself defensively. Scott, originally a setter, made the transition as libero and quickly earned the starting position. She is third on the team with 18 service aces and leads the team with 260 digs.
Louisville also has several more players to fall back on without missing a step. Alexa Hendricks, Ayden Bartlett, and Ceci Rush have all appeared in a majority of the matches this year.
If you haven't made it out to a match in person yet, there's still a few more matches that you can attend. Tickets have been going quick so purchase yours soon. As a reminder, masks are required for all home matches at LNFCU Arena.
Women's Basketball Note
Two days. The season is nigh. Louisville Women's Basketball unofficially opens their season against Union this Thursday at the KFC Yum! Center. Although, it is a scrimmage, this is the first time we get a true look at this year's team and the hype surrounding them.
Paulie and I will be in attendance as media for this game and for the foreseeable future for the 2021-2022 season. Sonya will attend when work does not conflict -- mostly weekend games. Jeff has season tickets with his mom so I suspect he may be present Thursday as well. Case is no stranger to women's basketball games so if he decides to stay downtown after work, he may be there too. Daryl has often been at games as media or working the lights and special effects, but I'm not sure where her duties will lie this season.
Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!