Cardinals win C-USA Volleyball Championship

Louisville captured the 2003 Conference USA Volleyball Tournament title after sweeping Memphis, 3-0 (31-29, 30-22, 30-13) on Monday at Fogelman Arena. It marked the Cardinals third C-USA Tourney crown in school history, after also claiming the 1998 and 2000 titles. U of L, who also earns an automatic berth to the 2003 NCAA Championships, improves to 23-4 on the season.

Louisville captured the 2003 Conference USA Volleyball Tournament title after sweeping Memphis, 3-0 (31-29, 30-22, 30-13) on Monday at Fogelman Arena. It marked the Cardinals third C-USA Tourney crown in school history, after also claiming the 1998 and 2000 titles. U of L, who also earns an automatic berth to the 2003 NCAA Championships, improves to 23-4 on the season.

Memphis, who claimed its first trip to the tournament championship, falls to 30-6 on the season.

"Memphis is a team that plays with a lot of emotion," said Louisville head coach Leonid Yelin. "We just had to wait for the rush to wear off a bit and keep on them. In the second game, we turned the corner when our blocks came alive. Memphis fought us hard but we didn't lose our cool and just kept swinging away."


Lena Ustymenko  (UofL)
In game one, both teams rallied back and fourth before Memphis posted its biggest lead of the game at 24-19. The Cardinals would eat away at the Tigers' lead and tie at 29-29. Lena Ustymenko nailed one of her six kills in the game to clinch a 1-0 lead on Memphis. Game two was the same story with both teams staying within one point of each other until the 21-point mark. The Cardinals went on a six-point run and then captured the game, 30-22. Louisville would clinch the final third game with a score of 30-13.

Louisville's Ustymenko earned Tournament MVP honors, recording 12 kills for a .286 attack percentage. Teammates Sonja Percan and Bing Sun also claimed All-Tournament accolades after notching 10 and 12 kills, respectively. For Memphis, Heather Watts was named to the All-Tournament team after posting 35 assists, 12 digs and two service aces. Joining Watts on the team was Tiara Gilkey, who led the Memphis offense with 10 kills.

(4) Memphis    29 22 13
(2) Louisville 31 30 30

All-Tournament Team
Kelly McAnelly, Houston
Heather Watts, Memphis
Bing Sun, Louisville
Tiara Gilkey, Memphis
Sonja Percan, Louisville
*Lena Ustymenko, Louisville

* Tournament MVP


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