LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Anna DeBeer and Claire Chaussee had 17 kills each to lead No. 2 University of Louisville to a 19-25, 25-20, 27-25, 22-25, 15-13 win over No. 4 Pittsburgh in an ACC volleyball matchup of top five teams.
With the win, Louisville moves to 20-0 on the season and 10-0 in the ACC. The Cardinals tied with the 2005 team for the best start in program history. As a team, Louisville had 70 kills while hitting .258 with five aces, 48 digs and 13 blocks. Anna Stevenson had 13 kills and Amaya Tillman led the Cardinals in blocks with eight. Libero Elena Scott had 14 digs and setter Tori Dilfer had 57 assists and four blocks.
“With it being a historic match, the first top-five matchup in the conference and to have it deliver on the network and be everything that fans thought it would be, back-and-forth and some amazing plays was pretty special,” head coach Dani Busboom Kelly said. “We know we need to continue to get pushed and Pitt really exposed some of our weaknesses today, so that gives us a lot to build on moving forward for the rest of the conference and hopefully the postseason.”
Pittsburgh hit .338 with 65 kills, 48 digs, 14 blocks and 13 service errors for the match. Leketor Member-Meneh led the Panthers with 18 kills while hitting .389. With the loss, Pittsburgh falls to 18-2 on the season and 8-2 in ACC play.
Pittsburgh started the set with a 4-2 lead before Louisville rallied to take a 9-8 lead of its own. The teams traded points before Pittsburgh used a 5-0 scoring run to take a 15-11 lead. The Cardinals were able to take back two points to stop the Panthers’ run before Pittsburgh added two more points forcing Louisville’s first timeout of the set at 17-13. The Panthers would take five of the next eight points to take a 22-17 lead, leading to a second Cardinals timeout. The Panthers would keep the Cardinals at bay, winning the first set 25-19, with 21 kills and a torrid .714 overall hit percentage for the set.
The teams traded points early in a tightly contested start before a Tori Dilferr block put the Cardinals ahead 5-3. The Cardinals would force Pittsburgh’s first timeout of the set on a kill by Amaya Tillman that put Louisville ahead 8-3. The Panthers would quickly call their second timeout of the set as another Amaya Tillman kill pushed the Cardinals out to an early 10-3 lead. Anna Stevenson recorded back-to-back aces that continued the Cardinals’ season-high scoring run at 10 before the Panthers were able to score on a kill to make it 13-4. The Panthers used a 3-0 scoring run to close the gap to 18-11, forcing Louisville into its first timeout of the set. The Panthers used a 5-2 scoring run to make the score 20-16, leading to a second Cardinals timeout. Louisville would hold off Pittsburgh’s rally and would win the set 25-20, capped off with a kill from Anna DeBeer.
The Cardinals would take an early 5-2 lead using a 3-0 scoring run, capped off with an ace from Ayden Bartlett. The teams would go on to trade points before a kill from Anna Stevenson gave the Cardinals a 15-13 lead heading into the media timeout. Pittsburgh would go on a 3-0 run to take a 16-15 lead before Louisville responded with back-to-back points to regain the lead at 17-16. Louisville would use its first timeout after a Pittsburgh kill evened the score at 23-23. After trading points, the Cardinals would go on to win the set 27-25 and take a 2-1 advantage for the match.
The fourth set started much like the second set with the Cardinals and Panthers trading points. The tightly contested set would continue as neither team could take a sizeable lead with Pittsburgh leading 9-8 after five ties and three lead changes. Entering the media timeout, Pittsburgh would maintain its lead at 15-14. The Cardinals would use their first timeout of the set as the Panthers gained some separation in the set, leading 17-14. Anna Stevenson’s block pulled the Cardinals to within two points at 20-18 before Panthers used their first timeout. The Cardinals continued their scoring run to take a 21-20 lead on another Anna Stevenson block. Pittsburgh responded with a 3-0 run to take a 23-21 advantage, leading to a second timeout from Louisville. The Panthers were able to hang on to the lead and win the fourth set, 25-22 and force a fifth set.
The teams traded points early in the final set with three ties and three lead changes. The Panthers were only able to build a lead of two points early in the set and would enter the media timeout with 8-6 lead. The Cardinals came out of the timeout on a 4-0 scoring run to take a 10-9 advantage. Pittsburgh would use its first timeout after an Anna DeBeer kill that gave Louisville a 13-11 lead. Shortly after, the Cardinals would use their first timeout after the Panthers evened the set up at 13-13. The Cardinals would score the next two points and win the set 15-13 on a block from Anna Stevenson.
Up next, Louisville hits the road to face Duke (12-8, 3-6) at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Oct. 31 at 1 p.m.