(News Release) -- Senior hitter Kaitlynn James had a double-double with 13 kills, 18 digs and a block to lead the No. 10-ranked University of Louisville volleyball team to a 25-15, 25-22, 25-23 win over DePaul in the BIG EAST opener Friday night at the KFC Yum! Center.
“We had to change the lineup at the last second due to injury and Kaitlynn James had to play all the way around,” said U of L head coach Anne Kordes. “She was the best player in the gym in the back row and the steadiest player in the gym in the front row. She always plays as if every match is a privilege and I hope her teammates jump on board with that winning attitude.”
U of L (12-1, 1-0) hit .237 for the match with seven blocks. Lola Arslanbekova paced the Cards on offense with 21 kills and 13 digs. DePaul drops to 5-8, 0-1 but were led by Vesela Zapryanova’s nine kills and 8 digs.
U of L used a 7-1 run midway through the set to take a 20-11 lead and never looked back, cruising to the 25-15 win. The Cards hit .378 and were led by Lola Arlsanbekova’s nine kills.
In the second set, U of L had built a 16-10 lead early but let the Blue Demons back in the set when DePaul tied at 20 to spark a Cardinal timeout. The Blue Demons hung around long enough to come back to within one point at 23-22 but two kills by Lola Arslanbekova gave U of L the 25-22 win and a 2-0 set lead going into the break. U of L hitting cooled to .235 and DePaul had a pair of blocks that made things interesting.
Things stayed interesting in the third set as DePaul had the lead at 16-15 and the Cards had to call timeout to regroup. DePaul kept pushing and retook the lead at 20-19 and U of L had to burn their final timeout. The Cards tied at 20 on an Arslanbekova kill and then held off a charging Blue Demon team for the 25-23 win.