Oct. 27, 2010
Lola Arslanbekova had 25 kills, hitting .345 but the Cardinals fell 3-1 in a slugfest at No. 21-ranked Tennessee Wednesday night in Knoxville, Tenn.
U of L (14-6) outblocked the Vols 14-5 and hit .239. Amanda Simmons and Gwen Rucker each had seven total blocks. Freshman Emily Juhl had 13 kills and two blocks. Caitlin Welch had a match-high 18 digs. UT (17-5) was led by Nikki Fowler's 20 kills.
"Obviously we played against a good team and I am pleased overall. It wasn't enough to win but every set was very close. We have to be much more disciplined defensively. In the areas where we are traditionally strong like blocking, we did fine. Couldn't be happier with Lola's offense," said U of L head Coach Leonid Yelin. "If you look at the numbers, they outdug us 78-67. Two-three points made a difference in this match. We need to play like this every night. It is our biggest challenge to get our kids to play like this every match, not just against our rivals."
In the the first set, U of L hit .455 and used a 7-1 run to take a 21-16 lead over the Lady Vols. Out of timeouts, UT could do little to cool the hot-hitting hand of the Cards. U of L scored on two UT errors and a cross court kill by Lola Arslanbekova, who had seven kills in the first set.
The second set saw 11 ties and six lead changes as the two teams traded counterpunches. U of L's hitting cooled to .167 but the block was huge as the Cardinals notched seven in the second set alone. UT crafted a 4-0 run with to go up 10-7 and force a U of L timeout. U of L came back and tied at 16 and even went up 22-20. Tennessee's Nikki Fowler had three points in a 4-0 run to get to game point and a kill by Kelsey Steinbeck tipped the set to the Vols. Amanda Simmons led the Cardinals with five blocks.
In the third set, U of L fell behind 13-9 early and then came back to tie at 18. UT scored four straight and then U of L countered with three unanswered points of its own. After a Tennessee timeout, a service error by Caitlin Welch
gave UT the 23rd point and then a miss by Arslanbekova took it to set point and an attack by Kayla Jeter was good for the 25-22 win.
The final set was a slugfest, with neither team able to grab a foothold with 17 ties and five lead changes. Trailing 22-19, U of L was able to tie at 22 on three straight UT errors. The Cardinals had set point at 26-25 on an Emily Juhl kill. The Vols battled back with three straight, ending the match on a kill by Kayla Jeter.
The Cardinals return home to face Villanova Oct. 29 which will feature the Halloween Costume Parade and the Alumni Recognition match.