Nov. 18, 2005
Lena Ustymenko had 20 kills, six aces and four blocks to lead the No. 2 seeded University of Louisville to a 3-1 win over No. 7-seeded Marquette to advance to the semi-final round of the BIG EAST Tournament at the Kentucky International Convention Center.
"Lena played like the Conference MVP that she is," said Leonid Yelin, U of L head coach. "Tonight, that award didn't seem to affect her adversely. She knows we have a job to do."
The No. 7-ranked Cardinals improve to 26-1 with the 30-13, 30-18, 24-30, 30-19 win. Marquette ends its season at 16-12. The Cardinals will meet No.3 seeded Syracuse at 3:30 Saturday.
"We just have to focus on what we can do right now," said Leonid Yelin. "This is a new short intense season. The regular season is over. The next season will be the NCAA first and second rounds. Good teams don't look ahead, but compartmentalize each step. That is what we hope to do.
In the first game, Marquette waws not prepared for the onslaught of .577 hitting as the Cardinals muscled out to a 20-6 lead and never looked back. Ustymenko and Rui Liu each had four kills apiece.
In the second game, U of L used an 8-0 run after trailing 12-11 to go up 19-12 and then allowed the Eagles just six more points as they cruised to a 30-18 win. Ustymenko had 10 kills to lead the Cardinals. Marquette was outhit .432 to .100 and U of L had three blocks in that set.
Louisville hitting chilled to .143 in the third game. Marquette used a 7-2 run late in the set to win
30-24. Louisville had six blocks in the game but Marquette's six aces made the difference. Theresa Coughlin came alive for the Cardinals with seven kills to lead the Eagles.
Ustymenko served 12 straight points in the fourth game taking the Cardinals down 10-6 to up 18-10. Marquette had to burn its timeouts to try to cool Ustymenko's hot hand and could only watch as the Cardinals pulled away. U of L scored the last four points unanswered for the win.
The No. 1 seeded Irish of Notre Dame will take on No. 4 seeded Cincinnati at 1:00 p.m.