Volleyball ranked and undefeated

By on October 20, 2015

By Noah Allison–

Anne Kordes’ volleyball team is rolling with 8 straight conference victories. With a 3-0 victory over Duke on Sunday the Cards improved to 13-4 overall with an 8-0 record in ACC play. In six of those eight ACC wins the Cards shutout their opponent.

The success has confirmed a level of confidence within the deep and talented Louisville roster and with each win the Cards come closer to accomplishing the preseason goal of winning the ACC.

A perfect storm of talented players and in season experience has culminated in the Cards current 8-0 ACC record. Not one area of focus has lead to success; Louisville’s individuals are simply working together for the team.

Katie George

The senior captain and setter of the squad, the hometown hero of Louisville volleyball is determined to make her last year one of Louisville’s best years in program history. Over the eight game stretch George has 328 assists, with two 50-plus assist matches. On the season the floor general has 782 assists.

The fiery leader and intense competitor never comes off the floor and always manages to get the ball in the best possible position for one of Louisville’s many offensive weapons to get the kill. While her job is to set up the score she also has 43 kills herself and nine service aces on the season. Defensively she is second on the team in digs with 185 and has added 28 blocks. The all-around player gives it her all in every facet of the game and as George goes, the Cards go.

Triple Threat at Outside Hitter

The outside hitter combination of upperclassmen Erin Fairs, Maya McClendon and Janelle Jenkins accounts for 575 of Louisville’s 964 total kills on the season. Senior transfer Fairs leads the attack with a team high 264 kills, Jenkins is second on the team with 206 kills and McClendon is fourth with 105.

These outside hitters don’t just smack the ball down, they bring experience, leadership and their own particular skill set to teach situation.

Like Goerge, Jenkins never leaves the floor. She is an outside hitter with the ability to play the middle block position, as she is third on the team with 55 blocks. Jenkins is also third on the team with 141 digs.

As well McClendon and Fairs bring all around ability and together add another 143 digs and 55 blocks.

Sophomore Sensation

Perhaps the biggest difference between this year and last year in the ACC is the play of Louisville’s dynamic duo, sophomore middle blockers Tess Clark and Maggie DeJong. The play of the two young but talented middle blockers has allowed Louisville to dictate the toughness of the match and increase the defensive intensity at the net.

Clark leads Louisville in blocks with 67 and not far behind her is DeJong with 59 blocks, good for second most on the team. It is not just their defensive presence that has been felt, the two are also effective and powerful hitters. Clark is third on the team in kills with 142 and DeJong respectively adds 97 kills. With either one able to step into the middle or go outside the sophomore standouts have solidified Louisville’s toughness and added to the winning formula.

Freshman Phenoms

The two x-factors of Louisville’s winning ways have been true freshman Molly Sauer and Aniah Philo.

Sauer has stepped in and started at the libero position all year long and is proving to be the next great Louisville libero. She leads Louisville in digs with 302, the second highest total being 185 by the senior George. Sauer’s calm demeanor and quick reactions have solidified a Louisville defense that struggled last year after the graduation of Louisville’s all-time leader in digs, former libero Caitlin Welch.

Sauer doesn’t strictly play defense, she is a good passer and a better server. Sauer is second on the team in assists with 55 and leads the team with an impressive 21 service aces.

Philo has also been a consistent starter despite her youth. The outside hitter has been playing her best since the start of conference play. In the eight game stretch, Philo has three double-doubles in the kills and digs column and had a personal best 19 digs against Syracuse. Philo has 97 kills on the season and 131 digs.

Depth

The 16-woman roster that Anne Kordes has put together for this year allows for depth at every position and a multitude of combinations on the court. While Louisville has its heavy hitters and main players the depth allows for specialty player and specialty packages that have been key to the Cardinals 8-0 ACC record.

Senior defensive specialist Roxanne McVey started at the libero position for most of last season. With the addition of Sauer McVey comes in off the bench and adds to the defensive package of having essentially two liberos on the court. McVey’s 122 digs and 26 assists have all been timely and help cement the success of the squad.

Lyndsay Palmer and Gabbie Wiley have been Louisville’s serving specialists, coming in with a change of pace specialty serves that have led to 12 timely service aces on the season. In Sunday’s win against Duke, Wiley had three service aces that demoralized the Blue Devils and inspired the Cardinals.

The depth and youth on the bench also allow for plenty of watching and learning ensuring the future success of the Louisville program.

Maturity

Louisville’s last loss came in a disappointing error filled loss at Kentucky. With 30 errors in that match alone it was on the Cardinals to clean up their play. With the amount of upperclassmen and studious underclassmen the Cardinals have cleaned up ball control and have stopped beating themselves.

Louisville still has 12 more ACC matches and has by no means accomplished their goal. The Cards host Notre Dame on Wednesday at 7pm in the KFC Yum! Center and look to keep the momentum and improve to 9-0 in the ACC.

About Noah Allison

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *