Louisville volleyball falls to Kentucky, drops below .500

By on September 15, 2016

By Dalton Ray–

Kentucky volleyball came into the KFC YUM! Center in front of a packed crowd and defeated Louisville 3-0. The Wildcats won in straight sets and held the lead the majority of the night. UK now improves to 6-4 on the year while U of L falls to 4-5.

Kentucky dominated across the stat line as the Wildcats kept a comfortable distance away from the Cardinals all night. UK lead in kills (46-26), digs (45-33) and blocks (9.5-4), forcing U of L to fight an uphill battle.

Coach Anne Kordes says the team has some growing pains.

“I told the team we’ve got a lot of growing to do within the group and how painful it is depends on how fast we grow up. We’ve been dealt a tough hand with injuries but so what? We have to go out and compete,” Kordes said. “This game is now in the past and we have to move on from here. This left a bad taste in our mouth so we need to come back out tomorrow and fight.”

Kentucky won the first set 25-15 as the Cardinals had multiple early erros. Ripping off a string of points unanswered, UK took advantage of Louisville’s mistake. Starting in the second set, UK jumped up early but Louisville fought back.

After Louisville’s back-to-back blocks brought the Cards within two, UK kept their pace. Kentucky led 20-17 and called a timeout after Louisville started to develop momentum. The Cats finished off the second set on a 5-1 run.

The third set started off competitive and Louisville even led early on, yet ended in Kentucky’s favor. Kentucky led 5-4 and ended a on 20-5 scoring run as the Cardinals couldn’t get anything right.

Despite having three starters out, Kordes couldn’t blame the loss on injuries.

“It’s hard for me to give an excuse for a performance like that. We’re young and were thrown into a big environment but it’s about competing and playing hard. I just wanted us to come out, let loose and compete,” Kordes said. “I don’t know if it was the players were nervous, stressed or whatever but we’ve got to come out and have fun.”

Kentucky’s height played a huge role in the victory and without Jasmine Bennett, 6-foot-2, and Janelle Jenkins, 5-foot-11, the Cards had a hard time matching with UK’s size. Kordes says the loss to a rival is tough but gives Kentucky credit.

“It’s heart-breaking to lose this game and it’s heart-breaking to lose this game in front of so many great fans. You’ve got to learn from this, let the feeling burn and make sure you don’t experience it again,” Kordes said. “They’re really big and they served us well. They isolated an attack then put a huge block in front of it. They put us in tough situations.”

Kordes wants the team simply to regroup and move ahead to the next game. Louisville has a quick turnaround as they host Lipscomb tomorrow night at Cardinal Arena. U of L begins conference play after tomorrow night’s match.

Photo courtesy – Jeff Reinking / Louisville Athletics 

About Dalton Ray

Sports editor (2016-18) that is technically award winning.Email: [email protected]

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