Melanie McHenry had 20 kills, 12 digs and four blocks to lead the University of Louisville to a 3-2 win over Syracuse and clinch at least a share of the ACC crown Friday afternoon in Syracuse.
UofL moves to 24-6, 18-2 in the ACC with the 25-27, 23-25, 25-21, 25-15, 15-12 comeback win. The Cardinals currently share the title with the Pitt Panthers, who are playing tomorrow afternoon. A loss by Pitt would give UofL the crown outright, while Pitt win would make them co-champions with the Cards holding the head-to-head tiebreaker advantage.
UofL hit .179 with 14 blocks and three aces, with the Cards surviving eight service erorrs and four blocking errors. Louisville got 14 kills from senior Maggie DeJong and 10 from Jasmine Bennett. The Orange hit .142 with 15 blocks and five aces, committing 12 service errors.
The two teams traded points early in the first and after tying at seven, Syracuse went on a 5-0 run to go up 12-7. The Cards scrambled back to tie at 17 and the teams traded points for the next segment of the set. UofL used a 3-0 run to get to 24-22 lead but scored five of the last six points of the set for the 27-25 win. Melanie McHenry paced the Cards with six kills in the set.
In the second set, neither team could string together a run. SU led 15-14 at the media timeout and then stretched it to 23-20 on a pair of blocks. After Louisville called timeout, the Cards scored twice and sparked a SU timeout with a 24-23 lead. Syracuse scored on a Cardinal miss for the 25-23 win and took a 2-0 set lead into the break.
The Cards used a pair of 4-0 runs to survive the third set. The first one came took the Cards us 11-6 and the other one put them up 17-11. The Cards seemed to have things rolling at 21-16 but the Orange chipped away and got to 22-19 and sparked a Louisville timeout. A kill by Jasmine Bennett, a block by Tess Clark and a kill by Melanie McHenry gave the Cards the 25-21 win.
In the fourth set, Uof L powered out to a 9-3 lead and stretched the lead to 18-12 on three straight kills by Maggie DeJong. After a SU timeout, the Orange managed just three more points as the Cards powered to a 25-15 win and force a fifth.
Syracuse led 5-3 early in the fifth set before the Cards tied at five and then again at 10 and then used a 5-0 run to go up 14-10. Syracuse held on for two more points until a kill by Jasmine Bennett gave the Cards a 15-12 win.