Not every year is a pretty year, and this season was anything but pretty. The Louisville volleyball team concluded their first losing season since 1987 with a 12-18 record. However, their .400 win percentage is the lowest since the .303 of 1980. In conference play U of L finished with a 7-13 record, the lowest in their three years in the ACC.
The season had a promising start with a 4-1 record and had a promising ending, winning three straight to close out the season, but everything in between was rough. After losing players from the 2015 squad such as Maya McCelndon, Erin Fairs, and Katie George, this year's team looked for players to fill in some big shoes and to take a leadership role.
The team went most of the season without a true leader on the court Janelle Jenkins spent a hefty amount of time battling illnesses and injuries.
Ten sweep losses were rough for the team and took a total on the Cards mentally. But the Cards sweep a few opponents themselves.
A few players stepped up throughout the season when needed and call upon. These players could play an important role in the squad next year, which should find themselves in the Top-25 by mid- to- late-season in 2017.
Who's leaving Eleni Georgiafandis- She only played for three seasons, but is set to graduate in May. Georgiafandis did not see much playing time, but was a vocal leader from the bench and was wel-known for her positivity and highly praised for her community service work.
Lyndsay Palmer- A transfer from Gonzaga, Palmer spent three seasons with the Cards, seeing playing time in almost every match. She was known as a serve specialist and setter.
Janelle Jenkins- Jenkins is the only player to spend four seasons with U of L and was a starter all four years. She received ACC honors in 2014, 2015, and 2016 as being towards the top in kills most seasons.
Anne Kordes- Kordes spent six seasons as Louisville's head coach. Five of the six years were .500 or higher, including four conference championships and four NCAA appearances. Kordes will be resigning to focus more on her family.
What to look for in 2017 The Cards have a new coach. Dani Busboom Kelly has won national titles as a player and assistant coach at Nebraska, with the mos recent being in 2015. The Cornhuskers are the one-seed in this year's tournament after going 27-2 and are favorite to win the title.
Many players stepped up for Louisville in the back half of the season. Morgan Miller was a leader in kills, digs, and assists late in the year and could be a solid all-around player. Molly Sauer reached 1,000 career digs- the fastest in U of L histoy- and will captain the defense again as the libero. Melanie McHenry is coming off of a strong freshman year and led the team is kills. Even with her 6-2 size, she was one of the team's best in digs and serves.
U of L progressed over the season and were nearly rolling on all cylinders by the conclusion and should be able to continue that next season with many starters returning.