VOLLEYBALL, FIELD HOCKEY GET WINS ON SUNDAY
A busy Sunday of activities for three UofL women's sports squads ! #2 Louisville Volleyball got a huge win over #4 Pittsburgh at the LNFCU, Field Hockey pulled out an overtime win at James Madison, and Louisville women's soccer battled Clemson at Clemson to a two-overtime tie.
Let's get in to it...
This match went as far as you can go....in terms of Volleyball matches.
A wildly exciting, edge-of-the-seat, five set match between the visiting Panthers (18-2, 8-2) and the now 20-0,10-0 Cardinals squad. A packed house at the LNFCU saw a 19-25, 25-20, 27-25, 22-25,15-13 UofL win. The attendees got their money's worth and after the intense battle, the Cards emerge alone and atop the ACC Volleyball standings.
It wasn't the best of starts for the Cards. Pitt jumped out to an early 4-2 lead. The Cards settled down a bit, though, after that and battled back behind Anna DeBeer and Claire Chaussee to go up 8-7. After the squads traded a few points back and forth, Pitt went on a five-point run to give them a 15-11 lead, using the kill capability of Serena Gray. The Cards would get no closer than two the rest of the set and a kill from Pitt hitter Chinaza Ndee propelled the Panthers into a 23-18 edge. Pitt looked to Leketor Member-Menah to close the set out, and her two kills gave the Panthers a surprising, but convincing 25-19 win.
The Panthers were ready to bring the fight to the Cards and they hit a eye-popping .714 hit average in the set.
Louisville regrouped and got it back together in the brief break between the sets, Using three kills from Anna Stevenson and four unforced Pitt errors, the Cards went on a 10-0 run and took an early 13-3 lead over the visitors. This looked like a undefeated, #2 in the nation squad during this stretch. The Cards kept the 10-point edge advantage going an a DeBeer kill set the tally at 18-8. Pitt was not ready to give up just yet, though and a 3-0 Panther run cut the Cardinals lead to 18-11 and necessitated a UofL time out. The Cards pushed the advantage to 20-12 after the time-out, but Pitt roared back behind Member-Menah to make it 21-17. At 24-20 Cards, DeBeer closed out the set and half with a kill to even things up at one set apiece.
The Cards used an early 3-0 run out of the break to take a 5-2 lead behind DeBeer and Chaussee kills and a couple more Pitt errors. Louisville would hold the lead, alternating between two and four points, until the score reached 14-11 after another Pitt error. The Panthers then made it very interesting and pushed to Cards to a 17-17 tie. Louisville saw Pitt tie it at 24-24 after a Cardinals attack error, but the Cards took the set 27-25 behind Chaussee and Anna Stevenson kills.
The hopes were that the Cards coud close this one out in four sets, but, the gut was telling me that a five set match was probably going to ensue. Always trust the gut-feeling, right?
A very competitive, back-and-forth set that produced five ties and three lead changes in the first 17 points. Pitt held a 9-8 lead that grew to 17-14. The Cards took a timeout at that point and two Anna Stevenson blocks helped give the Cards a 21-20 advantage. Could it end in four sets?
Pitt answered with an empathic "No". A 3-0 run helped give the Panthers a 23-21 edge and the Cards called a second timeout. A DeBeer kill cut the lead to 23-22 but (there's that girl again, mama!!) Member-Menah came up with a resounding kill and then sent a service ace over the net to take the set 25-22 and tie the match up at 2-2.
The set went back-and-forth early, in terms of lead changes. The Cards were close, trailing by just one at 7-6 after a DeBeer kill, but Pitt pushed it to 8-6 after a Cards service error.
It was here where the Cards took control. A Pitt service error and Pitt attack error that resulted in a huge blok from Amaya Tillman and Tori Dilfer tied it at 8-8. Another Pitt attack error gave the Cards the lead and a Tillman kill pushed it to 10-8 Cards. Chaussee's kill made it 12-10 Cards and a DeBeer kill set the score at 13-11 UofL.
Pitt had one last run in them. They tied the set at 13-13 on a (guess who?) Member-Menah kill and big block after that. Would one of the "A" team Cardinals step up here? Or would it be Member-Menah or Ndee for the Panthers?
Hello, Anna Stevenson! Her kill made 14-13 UofL and her and Dilfer's block on a Kayla Lund kill attempt gave the Cards the "W".
Set and match to the Cards. A classic that Volleyball fans will not forget for a long time.
Chaussee and DeBeer led the Cards with 17 kills. Stevenson added 13 and Tillman came up with 12 kills and eight blocks.
(photos by Jared Anderson)
A bit of a break for UofL before their next match -- they'll travel to Durham and the Cameron Indoor Stadium to battle Duke on Sunday.
Cardinal Couple writer and photographer Jared Anderson saw this one as a "trap" game for Louisville. Thank goodness it didn't turn out that way, but it was another Sunday nail-biter
#4 Louisville Field Hockey and #25 James Madison engaged Sunday in a defensive battle that the Cards won 1-0 in overtime on an Aimee Plumb goal.
The Dukes and Cards had just one shot each on goal in the first half.
JMU increased the attack intensity in the second half, but the Cards defense and goalkeeper Mila de Kuijer held firm. A penalty corner as time expired gave the Dukes a chance to win, but the Cards denied the attempt.
In the overtime, the Cards drew a penalty corner four minutes into action and it was Plumb who collected a Julie Kouijzer feed and sent it into the net from the top of the circle
It's bad enough that this one was stuck on pay-per-view -- but the statbroadcast feed died at the end of regulation and I eventually had to contact Field Hockey S.I.D Lori Korte to find out the final outcome.
The C.A.A. conference isn't the ACC, I get that, and maybe Field Hockey isn't a big thing in Harrisonburg or on the JMU campus, but the days of gouging interested viewers who can't get to the game are getting old. You want to draw attention to your program? Put it on a platform where people can watch.
In postgame remarks, Coach Sowry felt the Cards were lucky to win the game against an opponent that took them out of the style and set Louisville plays.
The Cards come home to end the regular season against Syracuse on Friday. An important match for both, in conference standings and ACC tournament rankings.
The win puts the FH Cards at 15-2 on the season.
Louisville women's soccer fought the good fight against the Clemson Tigers for 110 minutes yesterday and ended with a 1-1 tie against the Tigers.
Louisville trailed the Tigers 1-0 after one half, but the Cards wasted no time in tying it up in the second half. 20 seconds into the final half, Ravin Alexander caught up with a Delaney Snyder venture into the Clemson box and beat the goalkeeper to the ball -- tapping it in for the equalizer.
A tie doesn't put the Cards into the six-team ACC post-season tournament. The Cards will end the regular season hosting Duke on Thursday -- and then hope the NCAA smiles down on them for the post-season NCAA Tournament.
(Sorry about the late article today. A power outage this morning in my area killed the internet for me)