Louisville, Ky. (WHAS) -- Lola Arslanbekova had 11 kills and 11 digs to lead the University of Louisville to a 25-11, 28-26, 25-13 sweep of Villanova Friday night in BIG EAST volleyball action Friday night in Cardinal Arena.
“The middle blockers did a phenomenal job and played really tough. That can’t happen without the excellent passing of Caitlin Welch, who has just been so solid for us,” said U of L head coach Anne Kordes. “We really need to iron out our serving game and when we do we will be in a great position. We need to pay attention to our serving regardless of the score.”
U of L, 22-3 overall and 11-1 in the BIG EAST, hit .238 and had five blocks. While the Cards did notch six aces with Hannah Kvitle and Katie George each with three, they did commit 11 service errors. Gwen Rucker had 10 kills, hitting .474 with three blocks. Caitlin Welch had a match-high 23 digs. Villanova, 11-6, 5-7, was led by Cece Twitty’s six kills.
Freshman Katie George served for nine straight points, including three aces, to put the first set out of reach. The Cardinals stretched the run to 12-1 en route to a 25-11 win. The Cards hit .414 to VU’s .000 and U of L senior Gwen Rucker had four kills and two blocks to lead the way.
U of L had a comfortable lead of 16-10 and Kordes took an opportunity to get playing time for Cardinal newcomers. Villanova tested the inexperienced Cards and came within one at 21-20 and got to set point at 25-24 on a kill by blocking Lola Arslanbekova. The two teams traded service errors until U of L had set point at 27-26 on an Emily Juhl kill. VU was called for a lift to end the Wildcat comeback. Service errors plagued both teams as each was whistled for six in that set alone. Arslanbekova paced the Cards with six kills.
Hannah Kvitle served for seven straight points to give the Cards a 9-2 lead in the third set. Villanova answered with a 6-0 run to pull within three at 13-10 on an ace by Krista Andersen. The Cards finished strong with 12-3 push for the three set sweep and 25-13 win.
The Cardinals return to action on Sunday when Georgetown visits the KFC Yum! Center for a 2 p.m. televised match. The match will be shown live on WHAS-11.