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Cardinals Advance to Third Elite Eight

UofL Athletics

Luper has 20 kills, DeBeer 19 in slugfest with No. 3 seed

PITTSBURGH – December 7, 2023

Outside hitters Anna DeBeer and Charitie Luper combined for 39 kills as the No. 2 seed University of Louisville volleyball team beat No. 3 seed Creighton 3-2 to advance to the Cardinals’ third straight NCAA Elite Eights Thursday afternoon at Fitzgerald Field House.
The Cardinals will face the winner of the Pitt/Washington State match on Saturday at 4 p.m.
With the 25-21, 14-25, 25-23, 24-26, 15-8 victory the Cardinals move to 27-4 on the season. UofL hit .277 for the match with 69 kills, six aces and eight blocks. Middle blocker Cara Cresse added 12 kills, and ace and three blocks. Reese Robins came off the bench to land five kills and two blocks, one coming in the crucial fifth set. Setter Elle Glock had 49 assists and libero Elena Scott had a match-high 27 digs. The Cardinals are now 3-2 in five set matches.
Creighton had 60 kills, five aces and 13 blocks. The Blue Jays were led by Norah Sis, who had 22 kills, and ace and two blocks. Ava Martin added 13 kills and two aces. CU ends its season at 29-5.
Set by Set Recap
Behind the serving of Anna DeBeer, the Cards took an 3-0 lead and spread it to 10-6 on three straight DeBeer kills. Creighton answered, coming within three at 11-8 on a kill by Norah Sis. A 4-1 run took the Cards to a six-point lead going into the media timeout, leading 15-9. The Blue Jays ran off four straight points to pull within three at 19-16 and spark a Louisville timeout. UofL scored twice coming out of the break followed by two consecutive kills by Charitie Luper and a kill by Cara Cresse gave the Cards set point at 24-21. DeBeer bounced one for the winning point at 25-21.  The Cards, who never trailed,  hit .400 with a block led by Luper and DeBeer’s six kills apiece.
In the second set, Louisville popped out to a 5-2 lead  but a 9-1 run by the Blue Jays gave CU a 13-8 lead and forced a timeout by the Cardinals. The break did little to cool the Jays run as they added to the run with four more straight points for a 13-1 run and Busboom Kelly was forced to use her final timeout of the set to try to turn the tide. A kill by Charitie Luper broke the run but .043 hitting did little to help Louisville cause. Creighton kept rolling to a 25-14 win. The 14 points was the lowest since the Stanford match when the Cards fell 25-14 to Stanford in the third set on Sept. 17. Cresse led the offense with four kills with Luper adding three but -.029 hitting.  Creighton’s four blocks and .267 hitting was the difference.
Louisville rebounded and took an early 5-2 lead in the third before Creighton called timeout.  Louisville took the lead to 9-4 before a 4-1 run by the Blue Jays brought them within two at 10-8. The teams continued to trade points and CU cut the lead to one at 18-17 on a kill by Norah Sis. While the Cards kept the lead, Creighton finally tied at 23 and Busboom Kelly used her first timeout.  The reset did the trick as Debeer got a kill from the left side and then served an ace for set point and the 25-23 win. Hitting for the Cards improved to .405 in the set and three aces, the first of the match for the Ville helped the Cards in securing the win.
In the fourth set,  Louisville bolted from the starting gate and built an 8-4 lead and forced a Blue Jay timeout. UofL spread the lead to five at 13-8 on two straight kills from Jones from the right side. The Blue Jays kept chipping away at the lead and tied at 17 on an ace and then took their first lead at 18-17 on a block by Kiara Reinhardt. A kill by Sis and an ace by Ava Martin pushed CU ahead 20-17 and Louisville had to call timeout. Two kills by Jones and one from Cresse tied the score at 20 and CU used its final timeout of the set.  CU was up 24-23 when Ayden Bartlett came off the bench to ace the Jays to tie at 24. A kill by Kiana Schmitt and a block by Reinhardt and Kendra Wait gave CU the 26-24 win and force a fifth set.  Cresse and DeBeer each had four kills in the stanza with Cresse adding a pair of blocks.
Creighton scored the first two points of the fifth set but Louisville tied at three on a block by Reese Robins. An error by Sis and a DeBeer kill gave UofL a 5-3 lead and forced a CU timeout.  UofL led 8-4 at the bench switch. Ceci Rush came off the bench to ace the Blue Jays and Creighton used its final timeout down 9-4. A three point run brought CU to within five at 12-7 but the Cards rolled 15-8.

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