The University of Louisville volleyball team used an 8-0 run in the fifth set to put away ACC leader Pittsburgh 3-2 Friday night at Cardinal Arena. Senior outside hitter Tess Clark tied her career-best with 19 kills to help the Cards move to the top of the standings.
“It was a gritty win by our team tonight,” said UofL head coach Dani Busboom Kelly. “After playing a five-game match on Wednesday night at Notre Dame and getting home at 2:00 a.m. to come out against Pitt, who’s obviously a very good team, and play through a couple minor injuries, it just felt like we had to play as a team for every point. It’s pretty awesome to see our girls do that.”
UofL (16-6, 10-2) moves to first place in the conference with the 25-23, 15-25, 25-18, 19-25, 15-12 win. The Cardinals hit .190 with 12 blocks and survived 12 service errors. Melanie McHenry had 13 kills and 12 digs for her sixth double-double of the season. Amanda Green added 11 kills and four blocks and Wilma Rivera had 53 assists with Molly Sauer adding 13 digs. Pitt moves to 16-6 and is 9-2 in the league. The Panthers hit .155 with 10 blocks and notched eight aces. UP was led by Kayla Lund’s 12 kills and 10 digs.
In the first set there were 13 ties and six lead changes. The Cards were up 18-15 and Pitt went on a 5-1 run to take its first lead 20-19. The Cards tied at 21 on an attack error by Layne Van Buskirk and a kill by Amanda Green gave the lead back to UofL. The teams traded points before Pitt aced Alexis Hamilton to tie at 23 but a kill by Maggie DeJong and followed by a Pitt hitting error by Van Buskirk gave the Cards the 25-23 win.
In the second set, the two teams were tied at nine before Pitt had a 6-2 run to take 15-11 on a Cardinal service error. Down six at 18-12, Louisville called timeout but the Panthers continued to pull away and four late hitting errors by UofL did little help as the Cards were upended 25-15. UofL was aided by .450 hitting in that set with a pair of blocks.
After the break, neither team could get a foothold to gain a margin in the third set. Finally, tied at 15 on a kill by Tess Clark, the Cards had a 10-3 run to take the set 25-18 on two straight kills by Amanda Green. The Cards hit .300 in the set with Melanie McHenry and Amanda Green each getting four kills with no errors.
In the fourth set, Louisville faced .370 hitting from the Panthers and fell behind 12-9 early. After a timeout but the break did not help as UP continued to pull away, going up 20-15 on a kill by Mariah Bell. Louisville burned its last time out but the set went to UP with a service ace by Angela Seman to seal the Cards fate with the 25-19 final.
In the fifth set, solid serving by Melanie McHenry helped UofL knit together an 8-0 run to go up 12-7. A kill by Nika Markovic ended the run but the Cards scored on a kill by Tess Clark. An ace by Hanna Markewycz and a kill by Alex Rosignol fouced a Cardinal timeout as Pitt pulled within three at 13-10. Amanda Green put the Cards at set point at 14-10 but Pitt scored twice more before a kill by Jasmine Bennett gave the Cards the 15-12 win.
UofL is in action next at Wake Forest on Nov. 3 and then over to Duke on Nov. 5 as ACC volleyball action continues.
Nancy Allison Worley
Associate Director, Sports Information
University of Louisville Athletics

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