(NEWS RELEASE) -- Lola Arslanbekova had a match-high 20 kills and 16 digs to lead the University of Louisville to a 3-1 upset win over instate rival #10 Kentucky Wednesday night before a record crowd of 5,007 in the KFC Yum! Center.
“I helped beat Kentucky as a freshman and now I helped beat Kentucky as a senior. It feels so good,” said U of L senior Lola Arslanbekova. “It felt like we gained intensity as the match went on.”
The last Cardinal win against a ranked team was against #21 Cincinnati on Oct. 16, 2010 with the
last win against a top 10 team coming versus #9 Pepperdine Sept. 10, 2004. U of L improved to 3-1 with the 21-25, 25023, 25-15, 30-28 win. UK (3-1) suffered its first loss, despite outblocking the Cards but couldn’t overcome .156 hitting. U of L hit just .189 but outdug the Cats 80-76. U of L freshman setter Katie George came off the bench to notch 22 assists.
“Katie George knows no fear. She doesn’t know that she is a freshman. When she looks in the mirror she sees herself as 6-4. We need a general out there to help us stay loose and confident,” said U of L head coach Anne Kordes.
The score was tied at 11 in the first set before UK went on a 7-2 run to go up 18-13 and force Kordes to call her second timeout. The Cards battled back with a couple of runs to come within two at 23-21 and forced at Cat timeout. UK closed out the set with two straight for the 25-21 win. Lola Arslanbekova had a set-high seven kills for the Cards and both teams notched three blocks apiece.
In the second set, U of L put together a 5-0 run early to take a 7-3 lead and spark a Cat timeout. U of L spread the margin to five at 14-9 before the Cats came back with six straight to take the lead for the first time at 15-14 and spark a Cardinal timeout. U of L regrouped and tied at 20. Two straight kills by Lola Arslanbekova pushed the score to 23-22. UK scored on a blocking error before a Cat miss and a kill by Brooke Mattingly tipped the set to the Cards. Gwen Rucker had the slide going to the tune of five kills.
The Cardinals carried their momentum into the third set, going up 6-1 early on. The Cats had to call timeout when U of L pulled ahead by seven at 17-10. UK was unable to regroup and U of L got to set point on a kill by Kaitlynn James. UK staved off set point twice but James connected on another for the 25-15 win. U of L hitting warmed to .333 in the set, led by James’ four kills.
There were 22 ties and 12 lead changes in the fourth set as both teams. U of L slogged to set and match point the first time on a kill by Tanya Lukyanenko and then after the Cats countered, Lola Arslanbekova got to the second match point at 26-25, but the Cats countered. Then the Cats tied at 28 before Gwen Rucker bounced two straight for the win.