By Ryan Martin–
After a Friday night victory, the University of Louisville womens’ volleyball team extended their win streak to seven. The Bearcats of Cincinnati fell to the Cardinals in front of a very large home crowd at Cardinal Arena. The game was a complete sweep, with Louisville dominating the Cincinnati Bearcats 3-0, bringing the Cards Big East record up to an undefeated 7-0 and a 15-4 overall record.
It wasn’t an easy beginning for the Cards. Cincinnati pushed them very well throughout all of the first game. After the Cards started with a modest 4-0 lead, the Bearcats rallied to seize it for themselves. Cincinnati kept the lead throughout a good bit of the game, including toward the very end when the Bearcats had a 21-18 advantage. Despite the sizable margin, the Cardinals managed to pull out a win, defeating the hard-knock Cincinnati squad 26-24.
Sophomore middle blocker Brooke Mattingly admitted that the team may have come into the first game a little slow, but overall they did “a very good job at pushing through the whole game.”
“You’re always going to come out in the first game and be a little bit nervous, especially against a good team like Cincinnati,” said sophomore outside hitter Emily Juhl.
Juhl went on to state that the whole game plan was to avoid making errors that had been made in previous games, but that some of those errors were made in the first game.
“We started to get a little shaky at the beginning, but after a while we got our composure together and did a good job at keeping the ball in play,” Juhl said.
Cincinnati played well in the second game and hung around for a good while, but much improvement was shown in this game by Louisville and the Cards managed to pull away and win 25-19. The third game was also a victory for the Cards as the team led throughout the whole game and pulled away by double digits in a 25-11 victory, completing their route of the Bearcats.
Cincinnati has been known to be a rival for Louisville, being so close geographically as well as being next best team in the Big East. However, junior outside hitter Lola Arslanbekova, who finished the game with 16 kills, stated that they did not do anything different to prepare for this game.
“We just came out, stayed focused and played our game like we always do,” she said.
Arslanbekova, one the Cards’ best offensive weapons, also emphasized how they try to use blocking as their biggest weapon.
“We definitely used it to our fullest tonight.”
Arslanbekova also emphasized how great of a team Cincinnati is.
“They are such a great team, and against a team like that, you need to have your level.”
The Cards’ Big East season continues on Tuesday, Oct. 18, in Nashville, Tennessee against Lipscomb University.
Photo by Caitlin Williams/The Louisville Cardinal