Dec. 5, 2008

Courtesy Louisville Athletics

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Senior Jana Matiasovska's career-high 25 kills were not enough as the University of Louisville fell 3-2 to the No. 17-ranked Purdue Boilermakers in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in W. Lafayette, Ind.

U of L finishes the season at 19-11 after falling 22-25, 25-21, 27-29. 25-23, 14-16. Purdue (24-8) advances to play Middle Tennessee Saturday afternoon.

"Purdue did a great job to gain a home court advantage with a great atmosphere," said U of L coach Leonid Yelin. "It was a close match and every move was important. At this point in the season, every team is dangerous or they wouldn't be in the NCAAs. I am very proud. This is a great team who stuck together and believed in themselves through adversity and injury."

U of L hit .279 but were outblocked 12.5-11.5. They aced the Boilers nine times, led by Gosia Lech's career high three. Lindsey Mango had 19 digs and Lecia Brown led blocking with eight. Purdue was led by Stephanie Lynch's 15 kills and 10 blocks.

U of L stayed tight early in the first set before the Boilers ran off five unanswered points to go up 15-10. The Cardinals came back to tie at 22 but Purdue was able to run off the final three points for the 25-22 win. Purdue hit .333 to U of L's .212. The Cardinals h two aces and Jana Matiasovska had three kills to lead the Cardinals.

In the second set, U of L was down 7-4 and then tided at seven and took its first lead at 11-10 after a three point run. The teams traded points until a four point run by the Cardinals forced a PU timeout. The Cardinals got to set point on a kill by Kristie Wetterer. Purdue's Stephanie Lynch had a laser-like kill to stave off match point at 24-21. Purdue was called in the net to give U of L the 25-21 win and even the set score going into the break. Anastasia Artemeva led the Cards with four kills and Lecia Brown had two blocks. Louisville's hitting revved up to .312 in the set and four aces helped the Cardinals stay on the attack.

In the third set U of L popped out to a 7-4 lead but the Boilers slowly chipped away at the lead, tying at 18 after a four point run. U of L came back to take the lead and had set point at 224-23 on a kill by Justine Landi. The Cards had another set point at 25-24 on a kill by Anastasia Artemeva. Purdue answered and then tied at 26 on a net call on the Cards. The teams traded points and a kill by Lecia Brown tied the game at 27. Purdue had a kill by Kristen Arthurs and then aced the Cards for the 29-27 win.

In the fourth set, U of L had a five point run to pull out to a 14-8 lead. Purdue battled back to within one at 18-17 on two hitting errors by Landi. Anstasia Artemeva had two straight as part of a three point run. The teams traded points until U of L got to set point at 24-21 on a back row attack error by PU. U of L missed a serve and then were aced by Lisa Pierce to bring the Boilers back to within one at 24-23. Jana Matiasovska hit deep and gave the set to U of L 25-23 and force a fifth set. Matiasovska had a set-high eight kills to lead the Cards. U of L hit .321 in the set and outblocked the Boilers 3.5-1.

U of L stayed close in the final set with the teams trading points back and forth with neither team able to build a lead of more than two. U of L got to set point on an ace by Rui Liu. But after a Boiler timeout, Anastasia Artemeva was blocked and Stephanie Lynch bounced one at the ten foot line and then Lecia Brown was just wide to give PU the match.

"It was her only miss the entire match," said Yelin. "She played great. Purdue is a great team who played well and they are well-coached."