Friday, December 4, 2015
Louisville Volleyball defeats Belmont in four sets in First Round NCAA contest...Louisville WBB plays Valparaiso today -- Saturday Cardinal Couple
VOLLEYBALL ELIMINATES PESKY BRUINS TO ADVANCE IN NCAA TOURNAMENT
They were the team that would not go away..but Louisville Volleyball finally showed Belmont University the exit door from Cardinal Arena last night -- winning 25-20, 22-25, 25-23, 25-21 in front of almost 1100 people in first round NCAA Volleyball Tournament action.
"We're happy to be able to walk out of here with a win....Hats off to Belmont for being such a tough opponent and we're excited about facing Illinois tomorrow." -- Anne Kordes, on the match.
Louisville started well against the Bruins..jumping out to a 12-4 lead in the first set...but four straight Belmont points drew them within four. The Cards held a tenuous 21-18 advantage but a Belmont service error, Tess Clark kill and Erin Fairs kill got the Cards to game point. A Katie George dump ended the first set at 25-20. The Cards got four kills from Clark and hit .259 for the game.
Belmont roared back in the second set and grabbed a 8-3 lead before a Fairs kill drew the Cards within four. Louisville never could quite get the lead but tied it at 20 before the Bruins went on a game-ending 5-2 run to even the match at one game apiece. Arianna Person had six kills in the set and Brie Lewis added seven for the OVC Tournament champions.
The Cards and Bruins engaged in a back and forth set after halftime...neither team managing more than a three-point lead and the match was tied at 23-23 before the Cards forced Belmont into a hitting error and Maya McClendon delivered a game-ending kill to give the Cards a two-point triumph and 2-1 lead in the match.
The Cards gained and early 5-3 lead in the final set but the Bruins roared back to take a 14-13 advantage. Tied at 21-21, the Cards used two Clark kills and two timely blocks at the net to take the final four points and complete the game and match.
Fairs led the Cards with 15 kills, followed closely by Clark's 14 and Janelle Jenkins 10. Clark had a phenomenal .700 hitting average (14-20) for the Cards out of the middle.
POST GAME INTERVIEWS FROM BELMONT GAME
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Illinois will be the Cards opponent tonight at 7 p.m. The Illini defeated Southern Illinois 25-19, 25-15, 26-24 in the opening match...getting 12 kills from Katie Stadick and 11 from Jocelynn Birks. The Illini held the Salukies to .137 hitting for the match and forced SIU into 35 errors.
The Cards will face a big challenge from the taller Illinois squad on the front line. The Illini go 6'3", 6'3" and 6'2" across the front line and Stadick hit an impressive .632 (12-19) in the match against SIU.
Louisville lost in straight sets to the Illini to start the season but the Cards have improved since then. The Illini have as well...so it should be a great match. ESPN 3 will have the broadcast.
VALPARAISO NEXT FOR LOUISVILLE WBB.
Fresh off the win Thursday night at Michigan State, the Louisville women's basketball team brings in 0-5 Valparaiso for Saturday afternoon basketball in the KFC YUM! Center at 4 p.m.
Valparaiso started the season with a 72-53 loss to Butler and was romped 110-54 at Notre Dame. Double digit losses to San Diego and Northern Colorado followed before the Crusaders returned home to narrowly lose to Miami (OH) 75-72 Thursday night.
Jasmine Walker leads Valpo in scoring with 11.2 a game. Meredith Hamlet averages 10.6 a contest and Dani Franklin contributes 9.0 per outing.
For Louisville, it'll be a guessing game on who Walz will start and have available. Hopefully, Asia Durr and Briahanna Jackson are healthy and ready to go. Myisha Hines-Allen and Mariya Moore continues to provide solid minutes for the Cardinals and Taja Cole and Cortnee Walton both had impressive outings against Spartie.
Hopefully Walz will be able to go deep into the bench today and give everyone significant minutes against the win-less Horizon League member.
As a side note, there was an impressive showing of Louisville WBB players in attendance at the Volleyball match last night. From my end zone vantage view I saw Myisha Hines-Allen, Cortnee Walton, Asia Durr, Sam Fuehring definitely and a couple more that were blocked from my full view. Let's hope they got some tips on blocking by watching the wide-netters go at it.
This one may or may not be on Cards TV tomorrow...we hear there have been some problems with those broadcasts this year...you can always listen to the dependable Matt Andrews and Adrienne Johnson call it on WKRD 790 AM.
Another Saturday where Worldwide and I will be in the studio at the same time to discuss the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports on The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour.
Volleyball and hoops will be on the docket and we have great clips from Volleyball to air from the recent media day and first round win over Belmont.
Join us at 11 a.m. on WCHQ 100.9 FM or live on the internet at www.crescenthillradio.com