PISCATAWAY, N.J. (November 26, 2013) – The Rutgers volleyball team closes out the 2013 season on the road at Cincinnati and Louisville on Wednesday, Nov. 27 and Friday Nov. 29, respectively. RU’s match against the Bearcats will begin at 7 p.m. while the Scarlet Knights’ contest versus Louisville is slated for 3 p.m.
RU concluded its home slate last weekend against Temple and Memphis. The Scarlet Knights picked up its first American Athletic Conference win of the year against the Owls on Friday, Nov. 22 in a four-set decision by scores of 25-15, 23-25, 25-16 and 25-23. Sophomore outside hitter Micaela Anderson (La Canada, Calif.) posted double-digit kills in both matches to earn American Freshman of the Week honors.
Rutgers looks to snap an 11-game losing streak against the Bearcats on Sunday, in the teams’ 16th-ever meeting. Cincinnati holds a 13-2 advantage in these matches.
In the teams’ last matchup earlier this season on Oct. 27, RU fell in five-sets (21-25, 25-22, 25-16, 23-25,12-15) at the College Ave Gym. Sophomore outside hitter Alex Lassa (Eagle, Colo.) finished with a team-high 15 kills and added 10 digs for her 10th double-double of the year. Also finishing with double-digit kills were sophomore outside hitter Megan Stephenson (Burbank, Calif.) and junior middle blocker Rachel Andreassian (Fredericksburg, Texas), who recorded 13 and 11 putdowns, respectively. Cincinnati was led by Morgan Allred’s 19 kills and 11 digs.
The Bearcats come into Wednesday’s match with a 2-28 overall record. Cincinnati’s two wins both came in AAC action, as they defeated Rutgers and most recently USF on Nov. 15. Cincy has dropped its last two matches, however, against UCF (Nov. 17) in five sets and Louisville (Nov. 22) in straight sets. The team is led by freshman outside Ciara Hill, who has tallied 228 kills on the year. Junior middle Me’Ashah Nicholson is right behind Hill with 210 putdowns and leads the squad in total blocks with 107 rejections.
Friday’s match marks the 11th meeting between the Scarlet Knights and the Cardinals. RU is winless against Louisville in all 10 matches. Rutgers last faced the Cards on Oct. 25 at “The Barn” and fell in four sets.
RU utilized a well-balanced offensive attack in the gritty match, as Alex Lassa finished with a team-high nine kills. Andreassian and Stephenson each recorded eight putdowns to contribute in the front-row. Louisville was led by senior outside Emily Juhl’s double-double of 21 kills, 13 digs. Rookie OH Maya McClendon also finished with a double-double of 12 kills, 13 digs.
The Cardinals play host to UConn on Nov. 27, before welcoming the Scarlet Knights to the KFC Yum! Center on Nov. 27. Currently, Louisville holds a 21-7 overall record and is undefeated at 16-0 in league play. The Cards clinched the regular season American Athletic Conference title to earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAAs last weekend.
Louisville will be making its 24th all-time and 16th consecutive NCAA appearance. Since starting the season with a 2-6 record in nonconference action, the Cardinals have won 19 of their past 20 games.
The Cards are first in the AAC in hitting percentage (.254), opponent hitting percentage (.163), assists (12.83) and kills (13.79). Freshman outside hitter Maya McClendon leads Louisville with 298 kills to average 3.04/set. McClendon is a six-time American Freshman of the Week honoree.
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