Sept. 18, 2009
Lecia Brown had 11 kills and seven blocks but the University of Louisville volleyball team fell 3-1 to No. 14 ranked Illinois in the first day of the Purdue Active Ankle Challenge Friday night in West Lafayette, Ind.
Illinois improves to 7-1 with the 23-25, 25-22, 25-13, 25-20 win. U of L is now 7-4. The Cardinals were plagued by tepid hitting of .093 and 10 service errors although they did outblock the Illini 13-12. Illinois hit .207 although it had 11 service errors. U of I's Laura DeBruler led with 19 kills and two blocks. Justine Landi had 11 kills and Lola Arslanbekova added 10 with two blocks.
"They play a very similar style to ours," said Leonid Yelin, U of L head coach. "We went flat after the first break and then scrambled to get back in but couldn't. All credit to Illinois."
U of L used a 7-1 run early in the first set to come from behind and take a 12-10 lead and force a U of I timeout. The Illini tied at 17 and 19 and went up 22-21 on a kill by Laura DeBruler. After Yelin called timeout, the Cardinals scored four of the last five points for the 25-23 win. U of L hit .250 led by Lecia Brown's four kills and a block.
Illinois had a 10-1 run early in the second set to go up 13-6. U of L hung on despite hitting .000 to get within one at 23-22. A missed Cardinal serve and a kill by Kylie McCulley gave the Illini the set and tied the match 1-1 going into the break. For U of I, Laura DeBruler had a hot hand with six kills.
The Cardinal's hitting deserted them as they posted a dismal -.037 against U of I's crisp .324. The Illini ran off seven consecutive points to take a 17-7 lead and never looked back. The final set was tight as neither team could establish a lead until U of I scored three straight to go up 20-17 and then held off U of L for the 25-20 win.