Sophomore outside hitter Anna DeBeer had 18 kills, hit .389 and had 10 digs to lead the No. 13-ranked University of Louisville volleyball team to a 3-2 win at Arizona State to clinch the Sun Devil Invitational and move to 3-0 for the season.
DeBeer earned tournament MVP honors with Anna Stevenson and Amaya Tillman joining her on the all-tournament team. The 25-15, 24-26, 25-17, 24-26, 15-11 win gave UofL a 3-0 start on the season, the first since 2018, when UofL started out at 4-0. Louisville hit .295 with nine service aces and 16 blocks, the most since an 18-block match in the NCAA Regional Semifinals against Washington last season. UofL had five players in double digit kills with Anna Stevenson adding 12, Aiko Jones and Amaya Tillman pitching in 11 and Claire Chaussee connecting for 10 kills. Jones added four aces and 10 blocks with setter Tori Dilfer recording 54 assists and eight digs. Freshman libero Elena Scott had a team-high 14 digs. The Cardinals survived 19 service errors.
Arizona State hit .171 with eight blocks and four aces with 15 service errors. Iman Isanovic led the offense with 13 kills and two blocks with teammate Marta Levinska notching 12 kills and an ace. The Sun Devils move to 2-1 on the season.
In the first set, the Cardinals tore out to a 6-2 lead and sparked ASU to use an early timeout. The Cards were undeterred and spread the lead to seven at 15-8 to force ASU to use its last timeout. UofL’s .440 hitting, three aces and three blocks was sufficient to keep the Sun Devils on their heels. ASU hit .143 with two service errors.
The two team engaged in a tightly contested second set that saw 14 ties and seven lead changes. Trailing 22-21 late in the set, the Cardinals called timeout and Anna DeBeer bounced a ball from the left side coming out of the huddle to tie. UofL took a 23-22 lead on a hitting error by ASU but the Sun Devils ended the set on a 3-0 run with a pair of kills by Marta Levinska and an ace by Isanovic.
The Cardinals hit .500 in the third set and had four blocks to recover from the previous set loss. UofL popped out to a 7-5 lead early and spread the lead to three at 14-11 before ASU called timeout. The Cards led 18-14 on a kill by Anna Stevenson when the Sun Devils burned their final timeout. Jones dropped a ball behind the ASU defense to take the Cardinals to 20-16 lead. Amaya Tillman added a kill and then Jones connected with setter Tori Dilfer for two straight kills to give the Cardinals a 23-17 lead. An ASU error gave UofL set point and a kill by Stevenson gave the Cardinals the 25-17 win.
Arizona State was trailing 21-17 and out of timeouts before the Sun Devils dug in to deny the Cards the match win. The teams tied at 24 and then went up one when Isanovic connected for a kill and then an ace by Jayme Cox gave ASU the 26-24 win and force a fifth set.
Louisville had to endure a late frantic flurry from the Sun Devils before winning 15-11 in the fifth set. UofL went up 9-3 midway through the final stanza and Arizona State had already burned both timeouts. UofL went up 13-8 but struggled to slam the door as ASU got within three at 14-11. A kill by Anna DeBeer gave the Cards the 3-2 win as Louisville stays undefeated after the opening weekend.
UofL hosts the Cardinal Invitational next weekend, with Northern Kentucky, South Dakota and Missouri opening the home slate in L&N Federal Credit Union Arena.
|Nancy Allison Worley | Associate Sports Information Director | Louisville Athletics|