On Wednesday night inside Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, KY, the third-ranked volleyball team in the country team defeated the thirteenth-ranked team three sets to two in front of their home crowd. This Louisville team has been a dominant force over the last few years. Louisville Volleyball Head Coach Dani Busboom Kelly has a record of 123 wins and 31 losses Including a 32-1 record last season that ended on a Final Four appearance.
The Cards are currently 8-1 and will face #9 Stanford on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 10:00 p.m. ET at Stanford Maples Pavilion.
* The set by set recap is from Nancy Worley at GoCards.com
Set by Set Recap
The teams traded points in the early part of the first set. Tied at eight, UK gained some footage with a 4-0 run to go up 12-8. Louisville shaved a bit off the UK lead with kills by Claire Chaussee and Aiko Jones to pull within three at 14-11. Kentucky scored three straight coming out of the media timeout and Coach Busboom Kelly called timeout down 17-11. The Cats kept the pressure on, forcing another UofL timeout at 22-15. Louisville scored two straight to pull within five at 22-17 and the Wildcats used their first timeout. Coming out of the timeout, Louisville ran off three straight and when Elena Scott scored an ace, the Cats used their final timeout at 23-20. Kentucky recovered and scored two straight with the winning kill coming from Adanna Rollins.
In the second set, Aiko Jones landed an ace to tie at three and sparked a 6-0 run for the Cards, who went up 7-4. A block by Cara Cresse and Raquel Lazaro took the Cards up 11-5 and the Wildcats called timeout. The Cats scored twice after the timeout but UofL scored three consecutive points on a block by Anna DeBeer, a kill by Cara Cresse and another by DeBeer and UK called its last timeout of the set. UofL ran off the final four points of the set with Cresse landing her sixth kill of the match for the 25-15 win.
The teams stayed close in the third set with 13 ties and five lead changes by the 19-19 mark. Kentucky scored two in a row to take a 21-20 lead and UofL called timeout. Amaya Tillman had a block and a kill to get the Cards to a tie at 24 and spark a UK timeout. A kill by Anna DeBeer right after the timeout forced the Cats to call their last timeout. DeBeer was unfazed as she bounced the final ball of the set for the 26-24 win.
In the fourth set, the Cats went on a 4-1 run to take a 10-6 lead. The Cards fought back to come within one at 10-9 on an ace by Elena Scott. But Kentucky countered with three straight and after trading points the Cards trailed 15-12 at the media timeout. Down 17-14, Louisville called timeout and came back to tie at 17 and force a UK timeout. The Cards took their first lead since 1-0 when DeBeer connected with Raquel Lazaro for the kill at 18-17. After scoring three straight points to go up 21-18, UK called timeout. Kentucky brought the score within one on an ace and a kill by Rollins and then tied at 22 on a Louisville miss. The Wildcats scored three straight to take the set 26-24 and force a fifth.
UofL used a 4-0 run to take an 8-5 lead at the switch. The Cards had a 4-2 run powered by a Cara Cresse block and a Chaussee kill. But UK aced the Cards to come within two at 12-10 and force a Cardinal timeout. Chaussee scored on a swing from the outside and Cresse got a block to get to match point. UK staved off the next point but fell 15-11.
The match was televised on ESPN, just the fourth regular season women’s college volleyball match to be aired since 1997.
In the process of the Cards beating the Cats again this season, it was brought to my attention that Louisville converted a new fan. I was told she was a diehard UK fan, but the allure of being on the good guys side was too much and now she cheers for the Cards. I was also told from a very unreliable source that her family is on the fence if they want to follow in Christie’s footsteps and convert.
Please welcome Christie to the wonderful word of black and red.