CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.  – Virginia (6-13, 2-7 ACC) pushed No. 21 Louisville (16-4, 9-0 ACC) the distance Friday (Oct. 19) night in front of a packed Memorial Gymnasium before falling 18-25, 25-22, 25-19, 18-25, 15-2 to the Cardinals.
Sarah Billiard (Matthews, N.C.) led the upset-minded Cavaliers with 14 kills. Alex Spencer (North Canton, Ohio) and Grace Turner (Cincinnati, Ohio) added nine kills apiece in the loss.
Louisville was paced by Melanie McHenry with 14 kills. Both Emily Scott (12) and Amanda Green (10) joined her in double figures for the Cardinals.
SET 1: Virginia 25, Louisville 18
Virginia came out of the gates hot, hitting .321 in the opening set to cruise to an early lead. Billiard scored five times on 10 swings to lead the set.
Trailing 12-10 in the frame, Virginia rolled off a 9-1 run to seize control. The Cavaliers forced four Cardinal errors in the decisive run. Turner served up an ace to give Virginia set point before a Louisville service error gave the Cavaliers a 1-0 lead.
SET 2: Louisville 25, Virginia 22
The Cardinals responded right away in the second set, pulling out a tight, three-point decision to level the match. Louisville racked up 17 kills in the frame, led by five from McHenry.
With the set hanging in the balance at 22-22, the Cardinals got three consecutive kills to snag the set.
SET 3: Louisville 25, Virginia 19
Virginia raced out to a 4-0 lead behind Turner’s tough serving, but it was all Louisville from there. The Cardinals revved up the block, piling up seven rejections in the third set alone. McHenry picked up three solo stuffs, setting the tone for a decisive Louisville victory.
The Cardinals held Virginia to -.033 hitting, forcing 11 errors to just 10 kills.
SET 4: Virginia 25, Louisville 18
After the tough third, Virginia flipped the script and dominated the fourth. The Cavaliers held the Cardinals to .000 hitting with only six kills in the frame. Meanwhile, Virginia racked up 16 kills, led by six from Billiard, to force a decisive fifth.
SET 5: Louisville 15, Virginia 2
A quick start was all the Cardinals needed in the final set, cruising to a 15-2 victory to clinch the match. Louisville raced out to a 6-0 lead and Virginia committed seven errors in attack as the upset bid fell short.
• Friday was the fifth time Virginia has played five sets this season. The Cavaliers are now 2-3 in those matches.
• Spencer was one kills shy of a double-double, adding 11 digs to her nine kills.
• Megan Wilson (Brookeville, Md.) produced a double-double with 18 assists and a career-high 14 digs.
• Kelsey Miller (Crestwood, Ky.) returned from a one-match absence to lead Virginia with 16 digs.
Virginia will look to bounce back on Sunday (Oct. 21) in a 1 p.m. first serve against Notre Dame.