Melanie McHenry tied her career-high with 30 kills and four blocks to lead the No. 25-ranked University of Louisville volleyball team to a 3-2 win over RV Cincinnati Sunday afternoon in Fifth Third Arena.
UofL moves to 7-3 with the 25-18, 27-29, 25-23, 24-26, 15-13 win in the final non-conference match on the slate. UofL hit .358 with six aces and 14 blocks. Aiko Jones added 16 kills with two aces and four blocks. Alexis Hamilton had fifteen digs and Tori Dilfer had a season-high 54 assists. Cincinnati hit .285 with two blocks and 50 digs to drop to 8-4. Jordan Thompson had 41 kills with nine digs.
In the first set UofL used a 7-1 run powered by strong serving by Aiko Jones, who rattled off six straight points. The Bearcats burned both timeouts early to try to cool UofL’s .632 hitting as the Cards rolled to the 25-18 win. Melanie McHenry led the Cards with six kills and Anna Stevenson had two blocks.
The two teams traded points with either squad able to build more than a three point lead early in the second set. A kill by Tori Dilfer tied the score at 26 and another kill by Anna Stevenson knotted the score at 27. A kill by UC’s Jordan Thompson and a UofL hitting error tipped the set to the Bearcats to tie the set score going into the break. UofL hit .324 with two aces and two blocks.
In the third set, the Cardinals survived .391 hitting by the Bearcats, adding three more blocks and a pair of aces while hitting a respectable .290 themselves. UC trailed 12-6 and tied at 12 to spark a Cardinal timeout. The Cardinals regained the lead coming out of the timeout but the teams traded points late in the set. Tied at 23, UofL gained set point on a kill by Melanie McHenry and a UC hitting error by Maria Mallon tipped the set to the Cards 25-23.
UC used a 5-0 run late in the fourth to go up 22-21 and then pulled out the 26-24 win to force a fifth set. UofL hitting chilled to .154 but had an ace and five blocks. There were 13 ties but only thee lead changes in the set. Aiko Jones aced the Bearcats to tie at 24 but a kill by Jordan Thompson and a hitting error by UofL gave UC the 26-24 win.
In the final stanza, the teams traded points with neither team going ahead by more than two points. Tied at 12, UofL got a kill from McHenry, and a miss by UC to go up 14-12. Jordan Thompson had her 41st kill of the match to bring the Bearcats within one at 14-13 but a kill by Emily Scott that dropped behind the UC defense gave the Cards the win.
Louisville opens its ACC slate next weekend when it hosts NC State on Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. and North Carolina on Sept. 29 at 1 p.m. in L&N Federal Credit Union Arena.
|Nancy Allison Worley|
Associate Director, Sports Information
University of Louisville Athletics