Volleyball Travels to Notre Dame, Louisville for BIG EAST Finale|
Nov. 8, 2012
CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati volleyball team will close its BIG EAST regular-season schedule this weekend with a pair of road matches. The Bearcats will play at Notre Dame on Fri., Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. and will travel to No. 11 Louisville on Sun., Nov. 11 at noon.
The Bearcats are looking to avenge two prior losses to the Irish and the Cardinals earlier this season. UC dropped a five-set match to ND on Sept. 21 before falling 3-0 to then-No. 13 Louisville on Oct. 28 in a match televised nationally on ESPNU. Both were played at Fifth Third Arena.
The Bearcats enter the weekend with an 11-16 record and a 9-4 mark in BIG EAST play. UC swept Georgetown and Villanova last weekend to officially clinch a spot in the BIG EAST Championship. The tournament will be played Nov. 16-18 in Milwaukee, Wis., on the campus of Marquette University.
It is the eighth consecutive trip to the conference tournament for Cincinnati, who is one of only three teams to qualify every year since 2005 (when it joined the BIG EAST). The Bearcats will be searching for their fourth straight trip to the BIG EAST Championship match. They won their first conference tournament title in 2011 and also have runner-up titles from 2009 and 2010.
NOTRE DAME SERIES
The Bearcats are 6-10 against the Irish all-time. The teams last met in Fifth Third Arena on Sept. 21 when Cincinnati dropped a five-set heartbreaker to the Notre Dame. The teams’ last meeting in 2011 was in the title match of the BIG EAST Championship in Milwaukee, Wis. The Bearcats finished with a 3-0 victory to earn their first BIG EAST Championship title.
ABOUT THE FIGHTING IRISH
Notre Dame is 19-6 on the season with a 12-1 BIG EAST record. The Irish have won 10 consecutive matches and currently sit atop the BIG EAST standings, tied with Louisville and Marquette. Toni Alugbue leads the Irish with 3.59 kills/set and Maggie Brindock averages 9.66 assists/set. Defensively, Notre Dame is led by reigning BIG EAST Freshman of the Week Taylor Morey who is recording 4.29 digs/set. Andie Olsen paces the team with 1.04 blocks/set. In BIG EAST matches, the Irish rank second with a .285 hitting percentage, third with 14.00 kills/set and first with 3.06 blocks/set.
Cincinnati is 17-34 against its longtime rivals from the south. Since the two teams joined the BIG EAST in 2005, the Bearcats are 2-8 against the Cardinals, including a 3-1 loss in the title match of the 2009 BIG EAST Championship. UC has lost the last five matches and has not won since a sweep of UofL on Oct. 23, 2009 at Fifth Third Arena. In the last meeting between the two teams, Louisville recorded a 3-0 victory on Oct. 28, 2012 at Fifth Third Arena in a match nationally televised on ESPNU.
ABOUT THE CARDINALS
No. 11 Louisville is 23-3 on the season and currently sits tied atop the BIG EAST standings with Notre Dame and Marquette after all have notched a 12-1 record. In BIG EAST matches, the Cardinals lead the conference in assists (13.61/set) and kills (14.33/set) while ranking third in hitting percentage (.265), third in blocks (2.45/set) and second in digs (17.43/set). UofL is led by Lola Arslanbekova, the 2011 BIG EAST Player of the Year and the 2012 preseason BIG EAST Player of the Year. The senior, a four-time BIG EAST Player of the Week recipient, leads the conference and ranks third in the NCAA with 5.26 kills/set in conference play. Senior Gwen Rucker leads the team with a .373 hitting percentage and is second in the BIG EAST with 1.26 blocks/game.