Louisville volleyball takes out Kentucky

The University of Louisville volleyball team started the year off right against Kentucky on Wednesday night, taking the Wildcats out in four sets. The Cardinals are now 3-1 on the young season.

Anne Kordes has only been on the job for two years.

But already the University of Louisville volleyball coach has her signature win after the Cardinals took out No. 10-ranked Kentucky on Wednesday night.

A record crowd of 5,007 fans at the KFC Yum! Center, saw Lola Arslanbekova lead the way with 20 kills and 16 digs and watched the Cardinals battle for a thrilling 21-25, 25-23, 25-15, 30-28 victory.

"Huge," Kordes said. "You know what's funny but I forgot they were ranked 10th in the country because it slipped my mind. It was Louisville vs. Kentucky and it was such a huge RPI match for us.

"That was a gutsy game, you saw how tired everybody was at the end. It was going to be a matter of who could gut it out at the end. That's huge for our program."

The win was the first against a ranked team for U of L since beating No. 21 Cincinnati late in the 2010 season and the first against a top-10 foe since taking down No. 9 Pepperdine on Sept. 10, 2004.

"I helped beat Kentucky as a freshman and now I helped beat Kentucky as a senior," Arslanbekova said. "It felt like we gained intensity as the match went on."

UK (3-1) suffered its first loss, despite outblocking the Cards but couldn't overcome .156 hitting. U of L hit just .189 but outdug the Cats 80-76. U of L freshman setter Katie George came in to notch 22 assists.

The Wildcats won the first set but senior Gwen Rucker, a native of Lexington, got going and had five kills in the second set to lead the Cardinals. Kaitlynn James was key in the third set, leading the Cardinals to the advantage.

The final set was back and forth with 22 ties and 12 lead changes. George was a huge lift for the Cardinals in the set, while Rucker ended the match with two kills in a row to lift the Cardinals.

"Build on the crowd, build on the kids," Kordes said. "The crowd is unbelievable. I can't thank them enough to come out on a Wednesday night before they prep up for the weekend. I can't thank them enough.

"This is big for our program all the way around."


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