By Daniel Rankin —
The No. 5 Louisville Volleyball team faced in-state rival No. 8 Kentucky on September 15th; winning in a dramatic fifth and final set (3-2).
With a loud atmosphere and national television cameras at the sold-out L&N Federal Credit Union Arena, undefeated Louisville was enthusiastic to face the defending National Champion Wildcats. However, Kentucky was ready as well, and took the first set 17-25.
The second set was much tighter, with both teams trading the lead five times accompanied by twelve ties. Finally, a good run led to the Cards winning the set 25-20.
Building off that good momentum, Louisville started the third set strong, pulling out a dominant 13-5 lead. Holding off a massive surge from Kentucky, Louisville finished to win set 3 25-22; one set away from winning the match.
Kentucky was able to bounce back in set 4 after a 20-25 win, and the match went into a winner takes all set. Similar to most sets, the two highly ranked teams traded points back and forth; keeping the set very close. Down 9-7, Louisville broke through and finished the match with 8 points in a row; winning the final set 15-9 and the overall match 3-2.
Senior outside hitter Claire Chaussee finished with 18 kills, and opposite redshirt junior Aiko Jones had three aces leading Louisville in each category. 2020 ACC Defensive Player of the Year Amaya Tillman led both teams with 11 blocks, just two short of her career-high.
Now 9-0 on the season, the Cards travel to the University of Nebraska to face another top 10 opponent in the Cornhuskers today at 8:00 p.m.