Cincinnati (WHAS) -- Gwen Rucker had 11 kills and four blocks to lead the University of Louisville to a 25-21, 25-13, 25-21 win over BIG EAST rival Cincinnati in Fifth Third Arena Sunday afternoon.
“We played well against one of our biggest rivals in Cincinnati,” said U of L head coach Anne Kordes. “I was glad to hold up our end of the weekend against the Bearcats with the win in football and men’s soccer making it a great three days. I thought our middles Gwen Rucker and Brooke Mattingly had great outings
The nationally televised match showcased U of L’s 21 win as they post a 21-3 record and move to 10-1 in the league. The Cardinals hit .380 and managed 6.5 blocks. Lola Arslanbekova added 11 kills and nine digs.Brooke Mattingly added seven kills. Cincinnati was led by Jordanne Scott’s 12 kills. UC hit .149 with Louisville product Emily Hayden notching 7 kills and a block.
U of L did not take its first lead until 17-16 after a 3-0 run in a set that saw 10 ties but only four lead changes. The Bearcats tied at 18 but then found themselves on the wrong end of a 6-3 run to fall 25-21 in the first set. The Cards hit .312 to UC’s .200 with the Cards having to overcome four service errors.
The Cardinals carried their momentum over to the second set, going up up 13-2 and putting the Bearcats in the unenviable position of playing catch up with a team that was hitting .617 at the time. UC did cut the lead to nine at 18-9 but could get no closer as Louisville rolled 25-13 and took a 2-0 set lead into the break.
Cincinnati came out of the break and took a 5-1 lead on U of L powered by two kills by Me’Ashah Nicholson. After trading points, U of L launched a 5-0 run that included an ace by Hannah Kvitle and a kill by Lola Arslanbekova to go up 7-6. UC retook the lead at 12-11 after a 4-1 run. The Cards tied at 14 and took the lead for good at 15-14 and then pushed to the 25-21 win.
The Cards return home next weekend to face Villanova on Friday at Cardinal Arena at 7 p.m. and then Georgetown on Sunday at 2 p.m. back at the KFC Yum! Center.