Last Updated 10:03 PM, September 18, 2021

Louisville volleyball pulls of dominating sweep over Nebraska

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Louisville volleyball's Amaya Tillman on the Cardinals' perfect start to the season
6:12
1:45 am, September 19, 2021

Louisville takes down Nebraska in straight sets

Dani Busboom Kelly returned to her alma mater, Nebraska, this time as the head coach of Louisville volleyball and picked up a big-time sweep over the Huskers. This Louisville team is extremely impressive and just made a huge statement tonight. They have been known as underdogs in past years, and now are 10-0 on the season with three top-10 wins over Purdue, the reigning national champions Kentucky, and a dominant volleyball powerhouse team in Nebraska. All you can say about this team, is wow. 

The Cardinals took down the Huskers 25-18 in the third set to solidify the sweep. To go to Nebraska on the road and get a win is one thing, but to do it in three sets is absolutely impressive. This is the first time in history Louisville has ever taken down Nebraska in their six meetings. 

The Cards held Nebraska to .046 hitting and outblocked them 22 to 13. We knew this Louisville team had a strong block but it was clear as day in the Devaney Center as Aiko Jones and Amaya Tillman led with seven and five blocks, respectively. Anna Stevenson led with 11 kills on .583 hitting, followed by Anna DeBeer and Jones with 10 kills apiece. DeBeer looked unbelievable out of the backcourt. This Louisville team looked elite in every aspect of the game and deserve all of the kudos for this statement win and week. 

1:30 am, September 19, 2021

Louisville leads 15-14 in tight third set, Huskers look to stay alive

The Huskers started out the third set with their veterans Kayla Caffey and Lexi Sun back in, and both teams are already hitting better and producing less errors. Whitney Lauenstein came up big for the Huskers with back-to-back points, a monster kill and then a solo block to hype up the Huskers. 

But, the Louisville block is making the difference, and Anna Stevenson is having herself a night. Everything the Huskers do well, the Cards are doing just slightly better. The Cards are hitting .500 to the Huskers .333. 

1:09 am, September 19, 2021

The Cardinals win set two 25-20

The Cardinals take a 2-0 lead after winning set two 25-20. The numbers weren't pretty, considering they barely outhit the Huskers .091 to .028, but the Huskers also registered five service errors in the second set, enough to drop the set. The Louisville block has been close to unstoppable this match, they are currently out-blocking the Huskers 17 to nine. Aiko Jones is up to eight kills, along with with Anna Steveson who has notched eight kills on the match as well on .538 hitting, 

The Cardinals went on a 5-0 scoring run towards the end of the set before Kalynn Meyer came in for Nebraska and came up with a big block to end the run and spark the Huskers team. Huskers head coach John Cook has been heavily relying on Ally Batenhorst and Lindsay Krause in this set, and they were able to get the Huskers within two. But, Louisville registered two in a row to close out the set with back-to-back hammer kills from Aiko Jones. 

12:49 am, September 19, 2021

Louisville and Nebraska tied up at 15 in set two

Set two is point for point between the Huskers and Cardinals. Both teams are hitting for low totals right now โ€” the Huskers are hitting .091 and the Cardinals are hitting .000.

Lindsay Krause has entered the match for the Huskers and has made a difference with three kills in the second set. 

12:33 am, September 19, 2021

Louisville takes set one, 25-17

The Cardinals took set one in an convincing fashion, outhitting the Husker .324 to .116 and out-blocking them nine to two. This team looked good, confident, and in-rhythm. Anna Debeer was launching absolute rockets out of the back-row, and the strong Cardinals block led by Amaya Tillman was causing issues for Nebraska and it's usual production out of the middle. 

The Cardinals were able to hold Kayla Caffey to -.200 hitting and Madi Kubik to -.125, unsual stat lines for the Husker stars. Offensively, Louisville was led by Anna Stevenson who posted seven kills on an absurd .714 hitting efficiency. They are doing well in-system, Tori Dilfer is setting great balls and their hitters have the whole court at their disposal. 

A bright spot for the Huskers has been freshman Whitney Lauenstein, who has five kills on .625 hitting. The Huskers will need to find its rhythm and find a way to terminate balls out of system moving forward if they want to turn this thing around. 

 

12:09 am, September 19, 2021

Louisville has slight edge with 15-13 lead in first set

The Cardinals are playing with a very clear confidence in this match, even in as hostile of an environment as Nebraska. They are serving aggressively and went on a 4-0 run with Aiko Jones behind the service line as the Huskers struggled to get a point out-of-system. Jones has 20 aces on the season already. 

The Cardinals are displaying a strong block right now too, per usual, with five blocks so far. They are currently outhitting the Huskers .222 to .048 as well. Anna Stevenson, Anna DeBeer and Amaya Tillman each have two kills a piece. For the Huskers, Madi Kubik leads with three kills. 

 The Huskers are right there with them though. This should be a tight match. 

11:27 pm, September 18, 2021

No. 5 Louisville vs. No. 6 Nebraska, pregame

No. 5 Louisville is on the road at No. 6 Nebraska for a top-10 matchup at the Devaney Center. Louisville is off to its best start since 2005 with a 9-0 record thus far and two top-10 wins over Purdue and Kentucky, the reigning national champions. 

The Huskers are coming off of a two-game losing streak to Utah and Stanford. Head coach John Cook has been in the midst of shuffling around players/starters and incorporating more freshmen in the lineup to see who he wants to go with. In the loss to Stanford, Lindsay Krause and Ally Battenhorst started at the pins instead of Lexi Sun and Madi Kubik. 

Sun and Kubik are back in the starting lineup for the Huskers. 

Louisville and Nebraska have only met five times before this weekend's matchup with Nebraska taking home wins in all five contests. The last meeting was between the two teams was 3-0 Nebraska win on Sep. 8, 2006. The Cardinals are looking for yet another top-10 win and the Huskers are looking for some redemption. 

10:01 pm, September 16, 2021

How Louisville went from underdogs to a top-5 team

All volleyball fans probably remember it clearly: It is 2019, Louisville volleyball coach Dani Busboom Kelly is wearing a sparkly red blazer, and the Cardinals pull off a historic upset over No. 2 Texas, knocking the Longhorns out of the NCAA tournament in the regional semifinals. 

Aiko Jones, then a redshirt freshman, now a leader on the Cardinals team, posted a career-high 23 kills and Louisville advanced to the national quarterfinals for the first time in history. 

Fast forward to present day and the Cardinals have a record-high ranking as the No. 5 team in the nation. Their 9-0 start is the best of any Louisville team since 2005. They took down then-No. 6 Purdue in straight sets to march themselves right into the top 10, and just defeated No. 8 Kentucky, the reigning national champions, in a five-set thriller. The last time Louisville beat their in-state rival was in 2012. 

But clearly, this is a new Louisville volleyball team. One that has been trending upwards since that big moment in 2019, and one that went from the "underdogs" to a top-5 volleyball team. 

Junior middle blocker Amaya Tillman ranks in the top five in the nation in blocking. She was there on the court in 2019 when they were considered "Cinderellas" โ€” and she now is helping lead a team that is a Cinderella no more. 

"I would say it's just setting a higher standard," Tillman said.  "This year we're holding ourselves to a higher standard and holding each other accountable even more so than we did at Texas."

Click or tap here for the full story on Louisville ahead of the Nebraska match

10:01 pm, September 16, 2021
Must-watch matches in Week 4 of college volleyball
3:07
9:04 pm, September 16, 2021
Power 10 rankings: Louisville makes big jump
3:20
8:53 pm, September 16, 2021

What the polls say

Texas remains No. 1 in the nation, earning 53 first-place votes in the most recent AVCA rankings. Here's the full top 25:

RANK

TEAM

POINTS

RECORD

PREVIOUS

1 Texas (53) 1,589 7-0 1
2 Wisconsin (11) 1,547 6-0 2
3 Ohio State 1,444 8-0 4
4 Pittsburgh 1,415 8-0 4
5 Louisville 1,243 6-0 10
6 Nebraska 1,216 6-1 3
7 Washington 1,178 5-1 9
8 Kentucky 1,066 6-2 8
9 Purdue 1,042 5-1 6
10 Utah 975 7-0 20
11 Minnesota 955 3-3 13
12 Baylor 886 3-3 17
13 Oregon 854 6-1 11
14 Florida 805 4-3 7
15 BYU 792 7-1 12
16 Stanford 664 4-2 14
17 Creighton 535 9-1 19
18 Georgia Tech 454 7-1 21
19 UCLA 437 5-1 16
20 Penn State 406 5-3 18
21 San Diego 295 5-2 25
22 Tennessee 274 6-1 23
23 Western Kentucky 254 8-1 15
24 Pepperdine 238 7-1 22
25 Colorado 64 8-0 NR
7:24 pm, September 16, 2021

Here's how the Huskers and Cardinals match up

Both Louisville and Nebraska go into Saturday's match in the top 10, but there are key differences. The Huskers have lost consecutive matches to Utah and Stanford, while the Cardinals are a perfect 9-0.

Louisville Stat Nebraska
9-0 Record 6-2
No. 5 AVCA ranking No. 6
13.4 Kills per set 12.52
.314 Hitting percentage .222
.135 Opponent hitting .136
1.7 Aces per set 1.2
11.7 Assists per set 11.6
12.9 Digs per set 15.2
3.2 Blocks per set 2.7
3:50 pm, September 16, 2021

Series history

The Huskers have yet to lose to Louisville โ€” and have lost only one set. But there have been only five meetings, the most recent in 2006.

Date Score Location
Sept. 8, 2006 3-0, Nebraska Nebraska
Dec. 10, 2004 3-0, Nebraska Louisville
Dec. 13, 1996 3-0, Nebraska Nebraska
Sept. 10, 1993 3-1, Nebraska Nebraska
Sept. 23, 1983 3-0, Nebraska Nebraska
3:46 pm, September 16, 2021

How to watch Nebraska vs. Louisville

Here's what you need to know about Saturday's Nebraska vs. Louisville match: