The Louisville volleyball team will travel to Lexington tonight for a 7 p.m. match against arch-rival Kentucky inside Memorial Coliseum. If you live in North Carolina or Kentucky, you can catch all the action on Fox Sports South.
It's the first meeting between U of L and UK of the 2011-2012 athletic season, and if the mere thought of FIU football wasn't currently making me crap my pants, I'd say it marks the beginning of rivalry week.
The Cards/Cats volleyball series has been remarkably competitive, with U of L currently owning a 24-23 advantage in the all-time count. The two teams have split their last two meetings, both times with the home team holding serve (so to speak). Those matches each went the full five sets.
Louisville, the six-time defending Big East champion, enters the evening with a 5-1 record after winning last weekend's Crowne Plaza Cardinal Classic. The Cards earned the title by defeating Ole Miss, Eastern Illinois and Wichita State. The U of L offensive arsenal is led by Lola Arslanbekova and her 4.71 kills per set. Louisville is averaging 13.62 kills per set while limiting opponents to 9.43 kills per set.
Kentucky is 5-2 after claiming last weekend's Kentucky Classic crown by defeating Western Kentucky, Ohio and Virginia Tech in three sweeps. The Cats were led by Stephanie Klefott, who was named most valuable player after averaging 5.25 digs per set in the three matches.
Now I played a pretty significant amount of volleyball this past weekend while vacationing in Michigan, and only dropped one game. That experience gave me a little bit of insight into what it takes to be successful in the sport, and I'll share that secret with the ladies now: Don't just bump the ball back over the net, try and control the ball and then set up one of your taller teammates for an easy spike.
You're welcome. Beat Kentucky.