The University of Louisville volleyball team continued its positive momentum as the Cardinals defeated Memphis in the American Athletic conference opener, improving to 5-6 on the season.
Even with the victory, Louisville coach Anne Kordes was not happy following the game. The Cardinals have now won three matches in a row.
"It was ugly, I don't care whether we are full go or beat up a little bit, we should be able to control a match better than that," Kordes said. "Whether it is a veteran or a freshman out there, we need to take better care of the ball. You can't have that many unforced errors because all the teams in the league are coming after us."
Even with the sloppy performance, that didn't stop Maya McClendon from showing why she was named American Freshman of the Week. McClendon led the Cards with 17 kills, and nine digs.
"Maya is a freshman, who is passing, serving, blocking, and I can't say enough about the level she is playing at," Kordes said. "I'm just really impressed with her."
McClendon was not alone as Katie George led the team with 42 assists. Randi Ewing and Brooke Mattingly contributed their fair share as they both had 12 kills.
The first set was highly-contested as neither team could seem to find their rhythm. Louisville took a 12-8 lead and never looked back as they outscored Memphis 13-6 the rest of the way, and won the set 25-14. The Cards hit .500 in the set.
In the second set, the Tigers jumped out to an early 4-2 lead behind a 4-0 run. Neither team was able to gain much of an advantage until Louisville used a 6-3 run to take a 15-12 lead, only to see the Tigers roar back to tie the score at 16 all. This only served as a wakeup call for the Cards as they outscored the Tigers 9-5, to close it out 25-21.
Memphis won the third set 25-21, but the fourth set was all U of L. The Cardinals used a pair of 5-0 runs along with a 6-3 run to give them their largest lead of the set at 20-10. Memphis tried to battle back, but it was to no avail as the Cards got their third straight win by winning the set 25-14.
"It's huge," Kordes said of the win. "This is what we have been kind of been waiting for honestly, play a really tough schedule so you can get yourself prepared to go into conference play and take care of business."
U of L plays again in Sunday at 2 p.m. against Temple.