By Matt Bradshaw —
Four seniors depart the volleyball team for graduation this year, marking a huge loss of veteran talent for the 2019 roster. Nonetheless, the Cards feature a wealth of depth to their squad and recently added an experienced transfer for the upcoming season.
Tori Dilfer has transferred from Texas Christian University to play for Dani Busboom Kelly at Louisville. The 5-foot-10 setter played her first two collegiate seasons for the Frogs and has two full seasons of eligibility remaining.
“We are very excited to add Tori to our 2019 team,” head coach Busboom Kelly said. “She brings a wealth of experience at the setter position and is a proven competitor. Not only is Tori a talented athlete, but she is a great student and person of high character.”
Busboom Kelly, entering her third season as Cardinal coach in 2019, has big shoes to fill at the setter position. Wilma Rivera finished her career as ACC Setter of the Year back-to-back seasons and constantly proved her singular ability to facilitate the offense.
Other than Rivera, who recorded 1,294 assists, 71 kills and 30 service aces as a senior, U of L has one other setter on the current roster in freshman Anaya Martin. Dilfer should bring a vital level of experience as an upperclassman with a history of talent.
Dilfer played in all 27 matches for TCU in 2018 and led the team with 1,134 assists and 10 double-doubles. A California native and All-Big 12 honoree, her 11.12 assists per set ranked No. 5 all-time in the individual single season records for the program.
Louisville volleyball finished the 2018 season with a second-round loss in the NCAA Championship. They fell to three-seed Illinois, who knocked the Cards out of the second round three years ago as well. U of L last reached the Sweet 16 in 2005.
Though losing the likes of Rivera, along with fellow graduates Molly Sauer, Jasmine Bennett and Amanda Green, the prospect of eventually reaching the round of 16 has not completely dimmed. Head coach Busboom Kelly has continually improved her squad in two years at the helm and reached the NCAA tournament in consecutive years.
With a transfer like Dilfer and standouts like junior outside hitter Molly McHenry leading the way, the Cardinals have a fighting chance to keep getting better.
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Photo Courtesy / TCU Athletics