Aug. 24, 2012
Box Score |
Gwen Rucker had a match-high 16 kills and nine blocks to lead the University of Louisville volleyball team to a 3-1 win in the season opener over Western Kentucky in the first round of the Active Ankle Challenge. Penn State routed Morehead 3-0 in the other match of the evening.
"Welcome back, Gwen," said U of L head coach Anne Kordes, about her redshirt senior. "She picked right up where she left off. I am happy with our passing. I also want to congratulate Caitlin Welch for getting her 1,000th dig. I was impressed with our crowd and so appreciative of their support. It was a great atmosphere to have two other instate schools in here tonight and what a great camaraderie it produced with our crowd."
The Cards hit .282 and outblocked WKU 14-2 in the 25-20, 25-17, 26-28, 25-12 win. Fellow senior Lola Arslanbekova added 13 kills and 10 digs for a double-double. Emily Juhl had 16 kills and seven digs. WKU was led by Paige Wessel's 13 kills. Topper setter, Jordyn Skinner had 12 kills to go along with her 23 digs. U of L libero Caitlin Welch hit her 1,000th career dig and ended the match with 27.
In the first set, the Cards did not get the lead until 15-14 and then used .400 hitting to roll to a 25-20 win. U of L was paced by Arslanbekova's five kills on eight swings. U of L had four blocks to WKU's one, led by Gwen Rucker's two.
In the second set, U of L blew out to a 8-4 lead before the Toppers countered with a run of their own to come within one at 11-10. A 7-2 run by the Cards spread the lead to 18-12 and then run to a 25-17 win. The Cards hit .390 in the set, led by Ruckers seven kills. The U of L block increased to a 5-2 margin.
In the third set, U of L trailed early but tied at 14. WKU put together a little surge to go up 17-14 and force a Card timeout. An ace by Haley Pouliezos gave U of L its first lead at 19-18. U of L got to set point at 24-22 on a miss by Paige Wessel. U of L's Emily Juhl had a miss and Wessel put one down to tie at 24. The team traded points but a Card service error and then a kill by Janee Diggins gave WKU set point. A miss by Arslanbekova gave WKU the 28-26 win and force a fourth set.
Up 15-8 in the fourth, U of L ran off five straight to go up 20-8 and then closed it the set and match 25-12. The Cardinals hit .250 in the final set.
The Cardinals will play Morehead State tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. and then Penn State at 7:30 p.m. in the KFC Yum! Center. Tickets are still available.
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