By Noah Allison
With Sundays 3-0 sweep of the University of South Florida, Louisville’s volleyball team
clinched the American Athletic Conference championship and ensured a bid to the NCAA
Senior outside hitter Emily Juhl led the Cardinals with 17 kills and two aces in the win
over USF, leading them to a 25-15, 25-16 and 25-23 win.
“That was a phenomenal job today and it took a great team effort to execute our game
plan,” U of L head coach Anne Kordes said.
The Cardinals are currently 15-0 in AAC play and with their last road game being at USF
finished their conference road play undefeated.
The Cardinals started the season with a tough preseason schedule and by the time
they played their first home game they were 2-6. Since that first home game against Rice
University the Cardinals have gone 18-1.
Cincinnati, Rutgers and UConn remain as the last three games for the Cardinals this year,
even losing out the Cardinals would still have a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Cards are currently led in kills by the freshman/senior combination of Maya
McClendon and Juhl. McClendon leads the Cards with 278 kills while Juhl is second on the
team with 262. Fifth year senior middle blockers Brooke Mattingly and Randi Ewing have
also contributed offensively as Mattingly is third with 235 kills and Ewing is fifth with 169
Red-shirt freshman outside hitter Janelle Jenkins has contributed offensively and
defensively ranking fourth in kills with 209 and is third in blocks with 60. Ewing leads the
team in block with 89 while Mattingly is second with 68.
Senior libero Caitlin Welch has 451 digs on the season, marking her current school
record at 2,055 digs. Her defensive prowess has proven vital to a young team that has grown
with each game played this season.
Sophomore setter Katie George has been the offensive stalwart setting the team up for
success as she has 804 successful set attempts. Senior Hannah Kvilte is second on the team in
successful sets with 231.
Anne Kordes’ team has three more home games of the season before the NCAA
Tournament. Their goal was to win the AAC in their one season spent within it, now that
that is accomplished they can focus their talent on making it further in the tournament than
any Cardinal team before them.