Another one of those unexpected experiences, exciting if not euphoric for faithful fans.
A monumental win, in fact, for a University of Louisville women’s team. No one giving this team a chance against a program that had not lost an NCAA tournament game at home since 2006. Texas has fallen.
The unranked and unseeded UofL women’s volleyball team in the Elite 8 of the championship tourney after defeating second-ranked Texas in a best of five series. One more win and the Cardinals are in the Final Four for the first time ever.
A few nights ago one had caught a college volleyball analyst making her tournament predictions. She had Western Kentucky University making it through the Sweet 16 before losing to Texas. Never bothered to mention that Louisville was WKU’s opponent.
UofL, however, would wind up being the only team to defeat Western Kentucky this season. The Cardinals did it twice, once during the regular season, and again this week, 3-2, knocking the Hilltoppers out of the tournament.
Texas was considered a shew-in but Cardinals, coached by Dani Busboom-Kelly, had other ideas. Not intimidated by the Longhorns’ lofty rating or the packed 4,000-seat Gregory Gymnasium, UofL would win the first two sets 25-22 and 25-22, drop the next two 25-18 and 25-17, before winning the fifth set 15-12.
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The game was telecast on ESPNU, which cut away mid-game from NCAA competition between Kentucky and Washington. UK, at the time, had just won its first match after losing two. Their disappointed fans would be left hanging out on Twitter for results. UK would lose 3-1 and head back to Lexington.