Nov. 6, 2011
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Setter Taylor Brauneis had a double-double with 33 assists and 13 digs and Lola Arslanbekova added a match-high 18 kills to lead the University of Louisville to a 25-22, 25-19, 25-18 sweep of Marquette and sole possession of the top spot in the BIG EAST volleyball standings.
"I know it doesn't show up on the stats so much, but Taylor Brauneis' defense helped us tremendously," said U of L head coach Anne Kordes. "We worked so hard this week and it was great to see her execute it. She had at least two momentum changers that helped when they were closing in on us."
U of L improves to 19-7 and 11-1 in the BIG EAST. The Cardinals hit .344 and took advantage of 10 service aces led by Emily Juhl's five. Marquette, which entered the weekend as the last unbeaten team in the league at 10-0, fell 3-1 to Cincinnati and now drops to 20-8 and 10-2 in the conference.
Juhl notched eight kills and two blocks with Kaitlynn James adding six kills, five digs and a block in the winning effort.
U of L used a 5-1 run early in the first set to go up 11-7 and spark a Marquette timeout. U of L used .364 hitting to pull to a 21-15 lead and forced Marquette to burn its last timeout. The Golden Eagles had a 4-1 run to pull within three at 22-19 before Kordes called timeout to reset. Arslanbekova stopped the rally with a kill from the back row and an MU service error took U of L to set point. MU's Danielle Carlson bounced a slide to stave off set point but a kill by Brooke Mattingly on the next play tipped the set to U of L 25-22. U of L outdug MU 16-13 and had a 3-1 blocking edge as well.
U of L scored the first five points of the second set but Marquette battled back to take the lead at 8-7. The Cardinals reeled off eight unanswered points powered by two Emily Juhl aces and three hitting errors by Ciara Jones. After leading 20-13, the Cardinals had to hold off a hard-charging Marquette squad which ran off four unanswered points to pull within three at 20-17. After Kordes called timeout, the Cardinals scored five of the last seven points powered by three kills by Brooke Mattingly. U of L hit just .167 in the set, but Marquette suffered from .036 hitting as the Cardinals prevailed 25-19.
The momentum carried over after the break, when the Cardinals built a six point lead early at 10-4. After a Marquette timeout, U of L continued to build its lead, spreading the margin to seven at 19-12 when Emily Juhl notched one of her five aces. The teams traded points until a Tanya Lukyanenko kill took the Cardinals to match point at 24-17. MU's Ciara Jones scored once but MU then gave U of L the set and match on a service error by Holly Mertens.
The Cardinals have two road BIG EAST matches remaining on the regular season when they travel to Villanova on Friday at 7 p.m. and Georgetown on Sunday at 2 p.m. U of L needs to win one of the two to clinch the top seed going into the tournament Nov. 18-20 in Milwaukee.
"This was a huge win after all our struggles this season with the short bench and just eight healthy players. It was a good competitive match going into the tournament," said Kordes.