Tess Clark had 16 kills and three block but they were not enough as the University of Louisville fell to No. 7-ranked North Carolina 3-1 in ACC volleyball action Sunday afternoon at Cardinal Arena.
The Cards fall to 15-14 overall and 7-10 in the ACC. UNC improves to 24-2 and 15-1 in the league with the 25-21, 20-25, 27-25, 26-24 win. UofL hit .267 with seven blocks led by Maggie DeJong’s four. There were three more Cards in double digit kills with Maya McClendon notching 15 and Janelle Jenkins and Laura Blab getting 11 and 10 respectively. Katie George had a double-double with 49 assists and tied for a team high 16 kills . North Carolina was led by Lauren McAdoo’s 17 kills and 13 digs.
While I will never accept losing, I was so proud of how hard we fought,” said UofL head coach Anne Kordes. “I want to call out Maya McClendon who passed half the court and had 50 swings. I had asked to step up to the next level for us and she did exactly that. Katie George did a great job spreading the offense around and made some gutsy decisions that paid off. I thought we had them out of system a lot and that helped our offense get a foothold.” Down 12-5 in the first set, UofL used .308 hitting to make a run to get within three at 23-20. UNC had a service error but a Tarheel tip and a block tipped the set to UNC. The Tarheels notched four aces and had 17 kills in the set. UofL hit .308 and had two blocks.
In the second set, .500 hitting helped propel the Cards to an early 9-4 lead. UNC was plagued by unforced errors but still managed to close to within three at 15-12 at the media timeout. UofL outscored the Tarheels 10-5 down the stretch as Maya McClendon had the final two kills of the set.
In the third set, there were 10 ties and three lead changes as UofL had the lead until UNC took its first lead at 23-22. The teams traded points back and forth until a kill by Chaniel Nelson and miss by Maya McClendon tipped the set to the Tarheels.
“I love the fight we put up in the third set. We were competing and executing at a very high level there,” said Kordes.
In the fourth set, to Cards were behind 12-9 but managed to tie at 14. The teams traded points until the Tarheels carved a slight lead at 23-20. The Cards tied at 23, and 24, but two straight UofL errors gave set and match point to UNC.
“I wanted to thank our seniors Tara Gowan and Courtney Robison. Tara took a big risk coming here from Canada to finish her final year of eligibility. Courtney has been the heart of this program for three years,” said Kordes.
The Cards return to Cardinal Arena for the final home match and will host Pittsburgh at 4 p.m.