U of L evens its record to 1-1 with the 30-21, 30-24, 24-30, 30-27 win. Minnesota drops to 0-2.
"I am shaking now, " said Leonid Yelin. "I wasn't during the match but it just now hit me. That win was a sign of our maturity as a team. We showed a lot of poise coming back so strongly after playing poorly yesterday."
U of L hit .247 and had 10 aces, led by Percan's career high of seven aces. UM struggled from the service line with 12 service errors.
Louisville roared out to a 7-2 lead in the first game as Yelin's two-setter plan seemed to click with the Cardinals. Minnesota struggled with their serve, giving up six points on service errors and being aced three other times. Right-side hitter Bing Sun showed a glimpse of her touting as Conference USA's preseason Player of the Year status with five kills on eight swings. Percan reasserted herself into the Cardinal offense after a sputtery start the day before with three kills and three aces. The Cardinals' hot hitting of .441 helped the cause as well.
"We got our hitters going and served strongly," said Yelin. "Our ball control improved and although we were outblocked, we were at the net, challenging their hitters."
Louisville used an 11-3 run in the second game to run out to a 19-12 lead. Both teams' hitting cooled to realistic levels with the Cardinals hitting .175 to the Gophers' .122. Sun and Percan combined for eight kills and just one error on 16 swings. Percan added two more service aces to equal her career-high which she set last year against No. 6 Arizona. The Cardinals increased their lead with a 8-1run to pull head 27-15. After getting to game point on a miss by Trisha Bradford, the Gophers refused to roll over and ran off seven straight points before a kill by Lena Ustymenko ended the game.
Minnesota countered with a quick start in game three, going up 10-3. The Cardinals dug away at the Gopher lead coming within two at 24-22 but could only score twice more as UM avoided being swept. . The Gophers hit .273 in the game behind Bradford's six kills in the third set. UM's highly-regarded Cassie Busse added five kills. Ustymenko had five kills to lead the Cardinals.
In the final game, U of L did not see the lead until 18-17 on a ill by Percan. Minnesota retook the lead at 27-26 on a block solo by Bradford, but U of L answered with four st raigh points, two by Percan.
U of L had three players in double digit kills with Ustymenko adding 18 and Sun pitching in 15.
The Cardinals play No. 2-ranked Hawai'i Sunday at 11 p.m. EST.