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Louisville Volleyball

No. 2 Louisville Falls 3-2 to No. 5 Stanford

Photo by: UL Athletics

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – September 17, 2023 – By: Trey Curry –

The No. 2-ranked University of Louisville volleyball team fell 25-22, 25-20, 14-25, 20-25, 12-15 to No. 5-ranked Stanford in five sets inside the KFC Yum! Center on Sunday afternoon.

Louisville moves to 9-1 with the loss. The Cardinals hit .235 with 59 kills, three aces, and six blocks. Outside hitter Anna DeBeer tallied 17 kills and two blocks, and outside hitter Charitie Luper recorded 12 kills and two aces. Middle blockers Phekran Kong and Cara Cresse, as well as opposite hitter Aiko Jones, joined in double digits with 10 kills each, and Cresse added four blocks. Libero Elena Scott had 19 digs, while setter Elle Glock added a career-high 50 assists to go along with six digs and two blocks. Louisville played before the second largest crowd in school history at 9,761. 

Stanford hit .329 with 71 kills, two aces, and 10 blocks. Caitie Baird led the way with 23 kills while hitting .279.

Louisville returns to L&N Federal Credit Union Arena on Friday afternoon to begin ACC play against Syracuse. The match is set to begin at 7 p.m.

Set by Set Recap
Set 1
Louisville began the scoring with Kong connecting with Glock for a kill. Stanford led 4-3 later in the set when Scott began a service run that would lead to the Cards scoring six straight points, highlighted by DeBeer diving to save a ball near the Cardinals bench, then running all the way back to the net for a solo block. This forced the first Stanford timeout of the afternoon with Louisville leading 9-4. The Cardinal came out of the timeout with back-to-back kills to halt the run, but Louisville maintained the lead the rest of the way, forcing another Stanford timeout with the Cardinals’ lead at 16-11. Stanford again came out of the timeout with consecutive kills to cut the lead to 16-13, but Louisville followed that with a kill by Jones to take the momentum back. The Cardinals led 24-20 before Stanford fended off two set points, forcing a timeout by Coach Busboom Kelly. An attack error by Stanford gave Louisville the 25-22 set win and a 1-0 match lead. The Cardinals hit .387 in the set with 16 kills.

Set 2
The second set was tied at 2 before Louisville went on an 8-2 run, powered by three kills from Cresse and two from Jones, to take a 10-4 lead. Stanford followed that with three straight points to cut the lead to 10-7, but Louisville maintained a steady lead again. Back-to-back Kong kills gave the Cards a 14-10 lead, but Stanford would come within one at 15-14 on a kill by Kendall Kipp. Later, consecutive kills from Luper extended the Cardinals’ lead to 20-16, forcing a timeout by Stanford. Louisville reached set point on another kill by Luper and finished the set off with Kong registering the winning kill. Luper tallied five of Louisville’s final eight points, as the Cards hit .364 in the set with 21 kills and took a 2-0 match lead, never trailing in the set.

Set 3
Stanford was firing on all cylinders in the third set, beginning the set on a 5-1 run and not looking back. Multiple attack and service errors kept the Cards in the set, as they trailed 11-7 before Stanford reeled off five straight points, stretching their lead to 16-7. Two more Stanford errors and a kill by DeBeer cut the lead to 16-10, and another kill by DeBeer later cut it to 18-12, but Stanford quickly followed that with five straight points to take a commanding 23-12 lead. Stanford claimed the set on a kill by Elia Rubin, winning 25-14 as they now trail 2-1 in the match.

Set 4
Louisville scored the first two points of the fourth set with a Jones kill and a Luper ace, and a DeBeer kill later gave the Cards an early 5-3 lead. Stanford took their first lead in the set at 7-6 on a kill by Rubin, and they eventually stretched that lead to 13-9, forcing a Louisville timeout. Another Jones kill, followed by an ace by setter Brigitta Petrenko, had the Cards only trailing by three at 14-11. Stanford came right back with consecutive kills, but Louisville again fought back into the set, cutting the Stanford lead to 19-16 on a solo block by Jones. The Cardinals got within two at 20-18 on a kill by Luper, but that was as close as they’d come, as Stanford followed that with three straight points to take control at 23-18. A Cresse kill fended off one match point, but Stanford clinched the set on a Caitie Baird kill to win 25-20 and tie the match at 2-2.

Set 5
Stanford opened the deciding set with consecutive kills from Baird, but Louisville quickly tied it at 2 with kills from DeBeer and Jones. The Cards took a 6-4 lead on a service error by Stanford, but the Cardinal battled back, tying the set at 7 on another Rubin kill. With the set tied at 8, Stanford reeled off four straight points, taking a 12-8 lead and forcing a Louisville timeout with the win in sight. Louisville came within two at 13-11 on an ace by Luper, but Stanford arrived at match point on a Sami Francis kill. A Kong kill put the score at 14-12, but Stanford won the match on another Baird kill, winning the set 15-12.

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