(NEWS RELEASE) -- A pair of hometown Louisville girls combined forces as Cardinal freshman Maya McClendon and senior Emily Juhl each had 11 kills to lead the University of Louisville volleyball team to a 3-0 sweep of Syracuse in the opening match of the Penn State Invitational Friday evening in State College, Pa.
“It was a great match,” said U of L head coach Anne Kordes. “Syracuse is a big team and a future ACC opponent so it made for a great first outing.” We jumped out to a good lead and then dug ourselves a hole and then dug ourselves out of that same hole and that is what made it gratifying. I saw some exciting things from the newcomers and good leadership from our seniors.“
The Cardinals won 25-20, 25-19, 25-17 in their season opener, giving Kordes a perfect 3-0 mark in season openers. Syracuse is now 0-1 and plays No. 2-ranked Penn State tomorrow at 11 a.m. The Cardinals play the Nittany Lions at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Mattingly hit .412 with Juhl connecting on 11 of 20 swings for kills at a blistering .450 pace. McClendon, who is the younger sister of Penn State star Deja McClendon had a strong collegiate debut with 11 kills, four digs. Juhl added two aces and defensive specialist Haley Pouliezos had a match-high 10 digs. Senior transfer Randi Ewing had five kills and a block.
“Maya McClendon and Randi Ewing had a coming out party and Brooke Mattingly and Emily Juhl proved that their being named co-Players of the Year was spot on,” said Kordes.
U of L took the first set 25-20 managing to pull away after a tight start. Tied at nine, U of L had two separate four point runs and used .394 hitting to keep the Orange at arms length. SU made a run late, coming within four at 21-17 but U of L sealed the win on a kill by Juhl.
U of L seemed to have kept the momentum of the first set going as they used a 7-0 run to go up 19-9 against their former head coach. The Orange scrambled back and had an 11-1 run and held off six set points before falling 25-19.
U of L uses 7-2 run to go up 19-12 in third set and then powered through to 25-17 win. Maya McClendon and Emily Juhl led with 11 kills and Brooke Mattingly added 10 kills. Haley Pouliezos led with 10 digs.