Oct. 11, 2009
Freshman outside hitter Lola Arslanbekova had 13 kills and four blocks but the University of Louisville fell 25-16, 21-25, 25-16 and 25-21 in BIG EAST volleyball action Sunday night in South Bend, Ind.
U of L, playing in the ice hockey arena due to renovations in the Joyce Center, fell to 9-8 overall and 2-2 in the BIG EAST. The Irish move to 11-4 and stay unbeaten in the league at 5-0. Playing before a national television audience on ESPNU, the Cardinals outblocked the Irish 12-7 but hit just .101 with eight blocking errors. Anastasia Artemeva joined Arslanbekova in double figure kills with 10. Lecia Brown hit .318 with eight kills and six blocks. The Irish were led by Serinity Phillips and Christina Kaelin, who had 18 and 14 kills respectively.
"Notre Dame is difficult to beat on their home court," said U of L head coach Leonid Yelin. "Things didn't seem to fall our way today. Lecia really stepped up and was jumping out of the gym. We have to capitalize on the positives as we move toward the conference tournament."
In the first set, after building a slight lead at 12-11 on a Gwen Rucker kill, Louisville was unable to fend off a Notre Dame rally that saw the Irish outscore the Cards 14-4 down the stretch. The Cards' hitting percentage of -.111 was as cold as the ice arena they played in. U of L was led by Gwen Rucker's three kills and Amanda Simmons added two blocks. Notre Dame hit .200 led by Louisville native Christina Kaelin's five kills.
Louisville regrouped in the second set and, armed with .300 hitting, took a 9-5 lead to force a Irish timeout. U of L maintained the lead, although the Irish got within one at 12-11. After Yelin called timeout, U of L increased the spread to 19-15, in turn forcing Notre Dame to burn its final timeout of the set to try to sway the momentum back. Although the Irish came back to within one at 21-20 and after a Cardinal timeout , U of L went on a 4-1 run for the 25-21 win. Anastasia Artemeve paced the Cards with six kills in the set and U of L had five blocks, led by Lecia Brown's three.
The Irish used a 5-0 run early in the third set to go up 15-7 and the Cardinals could not gain their footing even with a 4-2 run which brought them within five at 19-14. U of L would score just twice more, falling 25-16. U of L hit just .036 in the set.
In the fourth set, U of L came back from a 15-9 deficit to come within three at 15-13 but could get no closer as the Irish won 25-21.