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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Cards drop a tough one in Lexington to UK


- Cards fall in five sets to the Cats in Volleyball

-Laura Terry update

Louisville jumped on Kentucky early and late in the match last night but could not hold on in the final set as Kentucky won the decisive fifth game to win the hotly contested match in Memorial Coliseum last night...3 games to 2.

Hotly contested is a perfect way to describe the event in ancient Memorial Coliseum. The facility is sans adequate air conditioning and the two teams played in the equivalent of a boiler room for 2 1/2 hours in front of a wildly appreciative and rowdy fan base of both Louisville and Kentucky fans. Kentucky head coach Craig Skinner seemed to be toweling off his bald head every time the cameras caught him on screen and Louisville head coach Leonid Yelin spent a lot of time flapping his shirt to get air. The humidity, referred to often by the announcers on the Big Blue Sports Network..which showed the game on the Fox Sports South channel..caused frequent stoppage of play as the match progressed, so that the court could be dried.

Louisville roared out to a quick 5-0 lead in the first set and eventually built that lead to 20-11 thanks to the strong net play of Gwen Rucker and Lola Arslanbekova. The Cards closed out the Cats in game 1 25-14 and it looked like Louisville was much the dominant squad.

Kentucky came back in game 2, though and built a 6-2 advantage on the Cards. Heady play by the Wildcats at the net made sure that the Cards would get no closer than four points and UK took the second set 25-19. Despite some excellent slams by Arslanbekova, Louisville could not catch the Cats and the match was tied 1-1.

The teams battled tooth and nail in set three and Louisville led 9-8 after a spectacular spike from Anastasia Artemeva. Kentucky regained the advantage with the score tied 18-18 and would go on to outscore Louisville 7-4 the rest of the way to win the third game 25-22.

Up against the wall, the Cards knew they had to find a way to win game four and force a fifth contest. They battled the Cats to a 10-10 tie early in the set. UofL gained the lead at 13-12 but then went into a hitting slump and UK took a 18-15 advantage. Emily Juhl picked up the sagging Cards with a couple of power kills, though and Louisville roared back to tie the game at 22-22. UK actually had two chances late to eliminate the Cards in the game and match, but a couple of unforced errors and some heads up net play allowed Louisville to score the final three points of the match and win 27-25.

In the fifth game, Louisville jumped out to an early 6-1 lead and appeared to have UK on the ropes...but some impressive serving and blocking at the net got UK back in the contest and they outscored Louisville the rest of the way to win the final game 15-10 and take the contest.

Impressive for Louisville was freshman outside hitter Juhl, who finished with 12 kills. The Sacred Heart high school grad lifted the Cards repeatedly with her slams from the sidelines and baffling serves that UK had trouble setting. Amanda Simmons rose to the occasion for Louisville also with 13 blocks and 12 block assists...tying a school record.

This is a young Cardinal squad...made up of mostly freshmen and sophomores...and the play of Juhl, Arslanbekova...who had 12 kills for the evening...and Artemeva was encouraging against the veteran UK squad. Rucker plays well up the middle for Louisville and Caitlin Welch showed some excellent digging skills...leading Louisville with 13 digs.

A quick turnaround for Louisville...they head to Arizona next to play in the Arizona Wildcat Classic...where they'll start off against Cal State Bakersfield on Friday.
Lady Card Laura Terry will finish her career at the University of Louisville as an student assistant basketball coach for Jeff Walz in the 2010-11 season. The popular Terry played bits and pieces for Louisville over the last three years but three knee surgeries kept her off the court most of the time and eventually ended her career as a Cardinal player.
Terry and Keisha Hines are the only two Cardinals that are left from Walz's inaugural season at Louisville and we never really got to see the full talent Terry possessed at Louisville after a stellar high school career at Rose Hill Academy in Ashland, KY.
Terry's experience and knowledge of Walz's system will help greatly in the development and tutelage of the younger Cardinal players and it's good to know that she'll be an active part of Team Cardinal during her senior year at Louisville.

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