Emily Juhl and Janelle Jenkins each had 13 kills to lead the No. 17-ranked University of Louisville Cardinals to a 25-23, 25-17, 25-11 sweep of host North Dakota State in the first match of the Fargo Doublewood Inn Classic.
“We got thrown for a bit of a loop early one with the heat in the gym,” said U of L head coach Anne Kordes. “ I thought we did a good job of composing ourselves and powered through it. Our middles were steady and that really opened up the outside hitters because their blockers could not ignore the middle.”
U of L (2-1) hit a season-high .370 with Maya McClendon joining Juhl and Jenkins in double digit kills. Caitlin Welch had a match-high 18 digs and Randi Ewing had two blocks and eight kills. NDSU, 0-4, was led by Emily Miron’s 13 kills. Hannah Kvitle had a pair of aces and 27 assists.
“I thought Hannah Kvitle had a great night from the service line,” said Kordes. “NDSU is a scrappy hard-playing team and I expect a very successful year for them in their league.”
U of L got off to a sluggish start in the sweltering, un-air conditioned gym and had to call an early timeout trailing 8-4. The Cards finally tied at 13 but NDSU took the lead back until a kill by Janelle Jenkins tied the score at 23. Emily Juhl had a point from an off-speed changeup for set point and then Welch scored the winning point on an overpass that fell for a kill. U of L hit .256 to the Bison’s .143 but neither team registered a block.
An 8-1 run in the second set put U of L up 14-8 and then held off a persistent Bison team. Hitting .351 helped the Cards keep the momentum. Maya McClendon had seven kills in the set with Juhl adding five.
U of L used .571 hitting in the third set and added a 10-1 run late for the 25-11 win in the third.
U of L plays Northern Iowa at 10 a.m. CT back in the Buntsen Bunker in Fargo.