Volleyball takes home opener versus WKU

By on September 1, 2017
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By Matt Bradshaw–

Volleyball defeated twenty-fourth ranked Western Kentucky 3-1 in U of L’s home opener. The Cardinals began the match with a shaky first set, then cleaned up their play and won three straight.

“Getting punched in the mouth in game one and being able to respond was huge for this team,” first-year coach Dani Kelly said.

Sophomore Melanie McHenry lead the team offensively with 12 kills and seven blocks. Senior Tess Clark followed with 13 kills. Wilma Rivera and Molly Sauer had 12 and 11 digs. Senior Maddie DeJong had several timely blocks for the Cardinals.

WKU won the first set 25-18 and had an edge over Louisville.

The set started off with back-and-forth play until the Toppers pulled away at 9-4. They beat the Cards at the net decisively, leading in both kills and attacking percentage. Louisville had a negative attacking percentage for much of the set.

Louisville won the second set 25-19 and completely turned the game around.

“Once we figured out what they were doing, our players were fantastic at making adjustments,” Kelly said.

The Cards began with a 5-0 run after an ace and Topper service error. They stopped WKU at the net with four blocks and hit great at the net themselves. Senior Tess Clark went off with four kills in six attempts. Louisville kept their momentum going with three aces to WKU’s one.

Louisville took control in the third set and won 25-15.

At this point the Cardinals took control of the net away from WKU. They had 11 kills to WKU’s nine and four blocks to WKU’s one. The Topper’s errors started to hurt them at this point. Their 21 errors to Louisville’s 11 allowed the Cards back into the game.

Louisville won the final set 25-16 and clinched the victory.

The Cards kept their momentum going from the previous set and played their best volleyball. In the end, exemplary blocking at the net and solid play from the team helped to win the game.

“The victory set the tone for Cardinal arena,” Kelly said. “With the 87 winning percentage here, we want to do everything we can to protect that.”

Volleyball will take on Kent State tomorrow at home.

You can follow Matt Brawshaw on Twitter @bradmatt8.

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