(NEWS RELEASE) -- Senior outside hitter Lola Arslanbekova had 19 kills and 17 digs to lead the University of Louisville to a 25-23, 25-12, 25-17 sweep over Duke in the first round of the Cardinal Classic Friday night at the KFC Yum! Center.
“Caitlin Welch was phenomenal again and our blocking helped us play great defense,” said U of L head coach Anne Kordes. “The middles played amazing. This was the most mature game I have seen Lola Arslanbekova play. If the set was there she rocked it. If it wasn’t she didn’t try to force it and put it where it needed to be. It is a huge win over one of the ACC’s top contenders.”
The win was Louisville’s 800th program win. U of L (4-1) hit .333 and outdug the Blue Devils 52-41. Duke suffers its first loss in four matches and hit .140 with 10 service errrors. Brooke Mattingly hit .417 from the middle for the Cards with six kills. Caitlin Welch had 12 digs. Duke was paced by Jeme Obeime and Emily Sklar who both had 10 kills. Duke hit a combined .075 in the second two sets.
Duke had a 7-1 run early in the first set to take a 15-12 lead. The Cards managed to tie at 16 but Duke answered with a 4-1 run to take a 20-17 lead and force a Cardinal timeout. Louisville tied at 22 on two straight kills from Lola Arslanbekova . Duke had a miss and then had a kill by Jeme Obeime to tie at 23. Arslanbekova had a kill to get to set point and Kaitlynn James tipped for the winning point. U of L hit .286 to Duke’s .250
The Cards put together an 11-1 to go up 16-7 in the second set. U of L continued to pull away for good, getting to set point on an error by DU’s Emily Sklar. A Kaitlynn James swing put away the winner for the 25-12 win. U of L hit a blistering .458 in the set and had three blocks and three Caitlin Welch aces. p
U of L had a 9-1 run early in the deciding set to go up 12-8. Later, a 7-1 run took the Cards to match point. Duke managed to score twice more, but a service error by Sklar gave U of L the 3-0 sweep.
Louisville's next home match will be tomorrow at 11:00 a.m., ET at the KFC Yum! Center against Marshall and then Samford at 7:30 p.m.