LOUISVILLE, Ky. – September 12, 2023 – Article by Trey Curry
The 8-0 and No. 2-ranked University of Louisville volleyball team heads to the KFC Yum! Center to take on in-state rival and No. 21-ranked Kentucky on Wednesday, at 8 p.m. followed by a top-five matchup with No. 5 Stanford on Sunday at 1 p.m.
The Cardinals are undefeated to begin the season, having won their first eight matches. Louisville swept No. 13 Penn State on Sunday afternoon, and never trailed in the match. Outside hitter Anna DeBeer led the charge offensively with 10 kills, with outside hitter Charitie Luper right behind her, adding nine kills. Opposite hitter Aiko Jones recorded eight kills and two blocks, middle blocker Phekran Kong tallied seven kills and four blocks, and middle blocker Cara Cresse had six kills and three blocks while adding three service aces.
Cresse’s .549 hitting percentage is first in the ACC and in the nation, while her 1.38 blocks per set puts her second in the ACC in that category. Setter Brigitta Petrenko’s .80 aces per set puts her first in the ACC and second nationally, while DeBeer’s 3.88 kills per set and 4.19 points per set are second and fourth in the ACC, respectively. Libero Elena Scott is third in the ACC in digs per set with 4.48, and setter Elle Glock is seventh in the conference in assists per set with 9.40.
In the ACC, Louisville as a team is first in aces per set, second in hitting percentage, third in blocks per set, fourth in kills per set, fourth in opponent hitting percentage, and fifth in assists per set thus far.
About the Kentucky Wildcats
No. 21 Kentucky began the year ranked No. 10, but has since fallen to 2-4 on the season after a 23-25, 25-19, 22-25, 25-12, 16-18 loss to No. 17 Purdue on Saturday. They’ve also dropped two matches against No. 8 Pittsburgh and one match against Colorado State. Their two wins came against Northern Colorado and No. 22 Houston. The Wildcats are led by Reagan Rutherford’s 82 kills and 98 points on the season.
About the Stanford Cardinal
No. 5 Stanford is 6-1 on the season, with their only loss coming against No. 3 Florida. They are coming off a 25-21, 19-25, 25-16, 25-16 win over No. 9 Minnesota on Saturday. They’ve recorded sweeps against No. 6 Texas and No. 19 Ohio State, and they are also set to host No. 4 Nebraska on Tuesday night in the first of two consecutive top-five matchups. The Cardinal are led by outside hitter Ella Rubin and opposite hitter Kendall Kipp, who lead the team in kills and points.