No. 19 Louisville Overcomes First-Game Loss and Tops Wildcats, 3-1
Kentucky starts hot but fades against solid Cardinal defense.
The University of Kentucky volleyball team started off on the right foot with a first-game win, but couldn't overcome 19th-ranked Louisville as the Wildcats fell to the Cardinals, 3-1, on Monday, Nov. 10 in Louisville's Cardinal Arena. Kentucky falls to 14-13 with the loss, while UofL improves to 17-4 on the season.
Danielle Wallace led UK with 19 kills and 12 digs, while senior Liz McCaslin had 13 kills and 11 digs off the bench for the Cats. Sissy Canfield remained Kentucky's most reliable player, putting down 15 kills on .407 hitting with a career-high four service aces.
The Wildcats capitalized on Cardinal mistakes to jump out to a 10-3 lead early in the first game. Louisville used substitutions and solid serving to work its way back in, cutting the lead to one at 11-10, which forced a UK timeout.
Play remained close toward the mid-point in the contest with six ties coming before the Cats used back-to-back plays to stretch to a 22-20 lead. Following a Louisville timeout. UofL pulled within one again at 24-23 after a cross-court shot by Amy Kaplan was ruled out of bounds. Kentucky wouldn't be deterred, taking the next three points, including two solid plays by Wallace to force another Card timeout at 27-23.
Louisville was able to hold its opponent on match point for three consecutive plays before a Spinner shot gave UK the game by a score of 30-26. Wallace had eight kills, while Sarah Spinner totaled seven and Canfield added five in the first stanza. Kentucky out hit the Cards, .271 to .132 in the opening game. It marked the first time the Cats had taken a game from Louisville since Sept. 22, 1999.
Kentucky fell behind 7-4 to open the second game and proceeded to let the Cardinals rip off 11 unanswered points to soar to the 18-4 lead. Though the Cats were able to rebound slightly from the early deficit, they could never pull close enough as the Cards tied the match with a 30-19 game two victory.
After three early ties in the third game, Louisville seemed to control the pace of play until an ace by Popp and back-to-back shots by McCaslin left Kentucky just one point behind at 18-17, forcing a Louisville timeout. The Cardinals rebounded, taking the next five points to stretch the lead to six. However, a 4-0 run by the Cats was enough to scare UofL into another timeout with the Cards leading 23-21.
Louisville remained tough down the stretch, capitalizing on Kentucky errors to close the game at 30-23 on a 7-2 run.
After seeing the score knotted five times in 10 plays to open the fourth go-round, Kentucky took control and benefited from UofL mistakes to earn an 11-5 advantage. The Cards were able to tie the game at 14 and took the lead from there, stretching to a 26-21 edge to force the Cats into a timeout. Kentucky used consecutive kills by McCaslin and Canfield to pull within three, but couldn't overcome the Cards, falling 30-26 on a Sonja Percan shot deep to the left side.
The Wildcats return to action on Friday, Nov. 14 when they return home to face Georgia. Kentucky closes up the 2003 home schedule on Sunday, Nov. 16 against third-ranked Florida in Memorial Coliseum at 1:30 p.m. The match will serve as Senior Day for Wildcats Sissy Canfield, Julie Davis and Liz McCaslin.