Another win in the books, off to the Elite Eight for Dani Busboom Kelly (Mike DeZarn photo).

Louisville volleyball moves closer to NCAA ultimate

UofL volleyball players celebrate after dominating Baylor in the Sweet 16 at the KFC Yum! Center (Mike DeZarn photo).

Members of the University of Louisville volleyball team have moved another win closer to their collective dream with a 3-0 sweep of Baylor in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament. Their sixth consecutive sweep with scores of 25-23, 25-16, and 25-17, putting them in the Elite Eight for the second straight season.

No signs of jitters, no overconfidence, just a businesslike performance, fending off every challenge, looking every bit like the region’s No. 1 seed and one of the nation’s best college volleyball teams. Doing it in front of 5,002 fans at the KFC Yum! Center, looking as good as they have looked all season, improving their won-lost record to 29-2.

Hopefully that’s a sign of more good things to come, the Cardinals now eyeing a second straight trip to the Final Four. Won’t be easy against Oregon, the team that eliminated perennial volleyball power Nebraska earlier in the day. Not supposed to be easy, means more taking down the toughies. Bring on the Ducks. Seriously.

Anna DeBeer, who missed 12 games with an injury, continues to get better, gaining on her old form as an All-American. Leading the way for the Cardinals with 11 kills, eight digs, and two blocks while hitting .364 in the win. Her 11 kills the most since she returned Nov. 4th against NC State.

Claire Chaussee added 11 kills, 12 digs, a block, and an ace, while PK Kong registered seven kills, hitting .467, and a match-high five blocks. Raquel Lazaro totaled a match-high 38 assists, adding two aces and four blocks. Elena Scott chipped in with 14 digs, her 23rd match registering double-digit digs this season, and three aces.

Something big possible, very soon. Keeping things in perspective, taking care of business will get them there, along with a few lucky breaks. Do it.

Anna DeBeer goes up against two Baylor defenders for one of her 11 kills (Mike DeZarn photo).
A miniature Louisville volleyball fan comes face to face with Louie the Cardinal (Mike DeZarn photo).

 

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

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