CARDINAL COUPLE

CARDINAL COUPLE
We report on the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports here. Thanks for checking us out! Click the picture of Louie to hear the latest Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast!!

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

SOFTBALL CARDS TOP TOPPERS 4-1 ---WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

 ZABALA GOES SIX INNINGS TO GET THE WIN. 




As automatic as the 2011 Ford Taurus I still drive. You put Alyssa Zabala on the mound for Louisville and she gets you a win...The Cards sophomore is 7-1 on the season and has an ERA of 1,37. With a perpetual smile on her face, she mows the batters down. The teams she has faced have only mustered 28 hits in 48 innings pitched. You might not want to leave the venue or the computer screen for too long when she is in the circle, the opposing team isn't going to be batting very long when "Viva Zabala" is leading the charge for the Cards in the field. 

Louisville welcomed the WKU Hilltoppers to Ulmer Tuesday and picked up their 13th win on the year. They also welcomed back Cardinal great Carmyn Greenwood, who is a coach on the Toppers staff. The Bowling Green squad could have use the mighty Greenwood's bat in this one...the Tops collected just six hits




Louisville began the home opener for 2024 with a bang...with a run in the first, when Riley Frizell doubled home Daisy Hess.  The Cards increased the lead in the second, a two RBI homer from Katie Thatcher brought her and Paige Geraghty to the plate and Vanessa Miller drove home Ally Alexander. It was 4-0 after two and proved to be all the runs UofL would need.

WKU would score a run in the sixth inning to ruin Zabala's shutout attempt. Gabby Holloway pitched the final inning for UofL. 




Louisville had ten hits in the contest, Frizell getting three of them. They left eight runners on base, something i would bet Holly Aprile addessed post game with the team. Our Jared Anderson was at the game, but did not get to ask Holly about that, she is maintaing media  silence post game these days. He did get comments from Zabala ,Frizell and Greenwood though and you can hear those below. 

A nice win on a day where, if anyone heard the storms that rolled throigh Louisville around 6 a.m. this morning probably would have guessed it would be a rain out.



This Cardinals squad has impressive pitchng in addition to Zabala. They als have some very good hitters and they play defense well, it wouldn't surprise me at all if they were a contender for the ACC title this season..I know, it's way early for such lofty predictions...but, these fillies hae broken put of the gate well.

The Cards return to the road again, next...to USF for the USF Tournament. We'll update it here and let you know if you can watch it anywhere

THEY SAID IT

Alyssa Zabala Postgame vs. Western Kentucky

Louisville Softball vs Western Kentucky Postgame with Riley Frizell

WKU Assistant Carmyn Greenwood

Thanks to Jared Anderson for the post-game interrviews


paulie

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

WBB Frustrations -- Softball Comes Home -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Frustrated? Us Too

What started off as a great day with Paulie's homecoming to the KFC Yum! Center quickly turned sour as Louisville women's basketball fell to unranked Virginia. On Sunday, we welcomed Paulie (and Sonya too!) back to the Yum! for the first time since before Christmas. Mr. Superstar had a line of people ready to talk to him and offer him warm greetings upon his return. I was thrilled to have the original "Cardinal Couple" back with me at the game. Unfortunately, what should have been a win turned to shock as the Cavaliers walked away with a victory.


Louisville lost its first ever home game to an unranked ACC opponent at the KFC Yum! Center and have lost two straight at home. The Cards fell to #22 in the AP Poll and are expected to be a 6-seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament. Louisville is in a four-way for third in the ACC, but the two final opponents on the schedule are a part of that tie, so things aren't getting any easier.

We did hear some good news recently as Oliva Cochran confirmed on her Facebook page that she will be utilizing her COVID-19 eligibility to return to Louisville next season. Having Cochran and Nyla Harris returning builds a strong foundation with our post players to work around.


Still, the hopes for next season with returners and a strong incoming freshman class doesn't fix today's issues. With two games remaining in the regular season and the upcoming ACC Tournament, Louisville still has plenty of concerns that are normally fixed by this point of the season. Chances of hosting opening weekend are all but gone at this point unless Louisville wins out and wins the ACC Tournament.

If the tournament started today I'd say Louisville is more likely to lose first round than to make a sixth straight Elite Eight. Defense still hasn't clicked and this team full of one-year transfers hasn't gelled as much as we had hoped. Now, there aren't attitude or ego issues, but it takes time for players to really mesh when playing together and that's a difficult task when they only play together for a few month stretch.


We don't call Jeff Walz a mad scientist for no reason. For now, we will sit back and wait to see what he and his staff are able to conjure up.


Softball Hosts Western Kentucky in Home Opener

Louisville softball visits Ulmer Stadium for the first time this season tonight. The Cards host in-state foe Western Kentucky at 5:00 pm and will be aired on ACCNX.


The Cards enter the game 12-2 and off to their best start since 2013. That year's team also started 12-2. Offense has helped power the way with Louisville outscoring opponents 89-32. Holly Aprile also has a slew of pitchers powered by sophomore ace Alyssa Zabala.


Western Kentucky enters the game 10-4-1 and had won seven straight until their most recent game- a loss to Saint Louis. The Hilltoppers have outscored opponents 85-49 and have a team ERA of 2.68.


The weather looks to be promising for late February. I hope to make it out for this one.


Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!

Jared

Monday, February 26, 2024

WBB Drops Back-and-Forth Battle; Softball Stays Hot -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Cards Lose Second Straight at Home 73-68


After last week's drubbing at the hands of Virginia Tech, it looked as if Louisville women's basketball had course corrected when they beat Georgia Tech by 18 in Atlanta. That clearly wasn't the case, unfortunately, as the Cards looked all out of sorts against Virginia in a crucial home loss yesterday afternoon. What looked to be another episode of Louisville sleepwalking for two or three quarters before turning on cruise control to win easily turned into a highway pileup as the Cards allowed an extended 22-8 run over the final 7:37, ultimately losing the fourth quarter 26-14. 

It was just the third time Virginia has defeated Louisville all time and just the second since Louisville joined the ACC. The last victory for the Hoos in the series came in Charlottesville on March 1st, 2015. The Cards and Cavs split the series in Louisville's first season in the ACC. That loss was Louisville's second in three attempts against Virginia. Since, Louisville had been on an 11-game winning streak.

The first quarter looked fine for the Cards, although the defense left a bit to be desired. The Cards shot 54%, outpacing UVA's 44%, but an extra three for the Cavs put them ahead 16-15 after the first. Both teams cooled in the second, shooting a combined 33% from the floor. Louisville hit just four shots in the quarter. Again, Virginia had an extra three (and two extra buckets), and extended their lead to six at halftime. The Cards headed to the locker room trailing 32-26.

Whatever Coach Jeff Walz had to say in his halftime speech probably wasn't PG. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that Virginia was just 5-10 in conference and 13-13 overall entering the game. Maybe he pointed out that the Cavaliers had already knocked off FSU and UNC as ranked teams and Louisville didn't want to join that list. Whatever it was, Louisville seemed to take it to heart, calling up a 28-15 third quarter performance to invert the lead in the game. The Cards shot 50% from the floor and hit three three's in the third quarter. The defense was still suspect (UVA shot 40%), but it seemed fine given the scoreboard. Like I said, it looked like another iteration of a game we've seen numerous times this season. Right up until it didn't.

Carrying a 54-47 lead into the fourth quarter with the Yum! Center now fully engaged, Louisville opened the scoring in the final period (after a couple of misses) with a steal and a fast-break layup to extend the lead to nine. It would never see double-digits. Over the next couple of minutes, basket trading kept the lead at nine before the wheels fell off. A 10-1 run erased Louisville's lead. In that time, Virginia's Camryn Taylor picked up her fourth foul. Taylor, who has fouled out of a handful of games this year, was a bit of a liability defensively. Did Louisville expose that liability? Nope. Taylor played the last five minutes of the game without picking up her fifth. Olivia Cochran, on the other hand, fouled out with two minutes to go, having just picked up her fourth before heading to the bench earlier in the quarter. 

Virginia's run, which I mentioned eventually stretched to 22-8, was 17-3 before Louisville made a field goal. The Cards went over six minutes without scoring from the floor, and made it to the free throw line only twice. In the meantime, Virginia did whatever they wanted on the offensive end, including pull down rebounds. The game was on a silver platter and Louisville fumbled it away. Sydney Taylor hit a three with seven seconds left to make things interesting, but Louisville had to foul to try to get the ball back and the excitement ended quickly. Here's where I make a quick note about a frustrating NCAA rule. The timeout advancement is fine, I get it. However, if you make an attempt to inbound the ball and it is denied by the defense, you shouldn't then get the free advancement. What's the point of guarding the inbound pass at all at that point? 

Nyla Harris once again paced the Cards with 17 points. She finished one rebound shy of a double-double in her 37 minutes. Kiki Jefferson did pick up the double-double, collecting 10 rebounds to match her 10 points in 27 minutes off the bench. Sydney Taylor also came off the bench, and she was the only other Cardinal in double figures as she scored 15. The remainder of Louisville's starting lineup could only combine to match Harris's 17 points. 

The FRED Report


F - Free Throws: Louisville's free throw shooting was pretty good if you look at just the second half. They were 7-7 in the third quarter and 5-6 in the fourth. Unfortunately, we can't ignore the second quarter in which they shot just 2-7 from the line. 14-20 is still 70% on the button, though, so it's a lowercase 'f'. 

R - Rebounding: This one is weird. Louisville had three fewer rebounds (39-36) and five fewer offensive rebounds (17-12), but they outscored Virginia 19-10 on second chance points. Virginia averages a 4.4 rebound advantage in their games, while Louisville averages 5.7 more boards than the opponent. Louisville just about hit their mark exactly and held Virginia below their average. That was a lot of preamble to award a lowercase 'r'. Could it have been better? Yes, of course, but I'm not willing to say it was rebounding that did Louisville in. Rebounding down the stretch? Maybe.

E - Effort/Execution: Ha. That fourth quarter was not good. The game was in the grasp and then it wasn't. Louisville shot just 29% from the floor in the final stanza and had the six minute shooting drought. They also had 15 turnovers and, oh by the way did I mention?, lost at home to a .500 team at the end of February. If you want more, they also trailed at halftime. No letter.

D - Defense: Virginia averages 15 turnovers per game. They turned it over 14 times. They average 73.4 points and shoot 40% from the floor. They shot 42% in this one. Had Louisville's defense been an average of what it had been throughout the game, Virginia would have scored just 60(ish). Giving up 26 points to that Virginia team in the fourth quarter would undo pretty much anything good Louisville had done in the first three quarters anyway, but they hadn't done much. No letter. 

Final tally: f-r-_-_ and I'm being generous with the rebounding score. This is not at all what you want to see from Louisville coming down the stretch. 

The Cards have two games left in the regular season. Fortunately for Louisville, those two games are against their direct competition for the four-seed and the final double-bye in the ACC Tournament. Unfortunately, that means they have to play FSU and Notre Dame (on the road) to close out the year. It's all to play for in these last two games, and Louisville can still finish the regular season strong. The Cards are back in action on Senior Night at the KFC Yum! Center on Thursday night. 

Softball Wins on Walk-off Grand Slam


After the early morning loss to Furman on Saturday, Louisville seemed up against it in an even earlier start yesterday against Bowling Green. The Eagles scored three runs in the top of the first to put the Cards under pressure immediately. After tying the game in the second, both teams would go without scoring for quite some time. Louisville exploded in the bottom of the sixth to end the game early, closing it out with a pinch-hit, walk-off grand slam from freshman Ava Venturelli to win by mercy rule 11-3. 

Brooke Gray got the start for the Cards in this one and was dinged up early. She ultimately pitched a clean second inning but gave up three hits, three runs (two earned) and two walks in those two innings. She struck out four, but also hit two batters. Lindsey Mullen relieved Gray and gave up one hit and one walk with two strikeouts in two full innings, and Alyssa Zabala put up an identical line in her two innings while taking the win. 

Louisville got offense from up and down the order, with Riley Frizell leading the way. Frizell had three hits in four at bats and knocked in four runs. Venturelli, by way of the grand slam, also had four RBI on one hit in one at bat. Chelsea Mack matched Frizell with three hits, going 3/3 on the day, and scored two runs. Bailee Richardson scored two runs on a walk and a hit and Gabby Holloway had an RBI and a run on two walks. Vanessa Miller, Pickle Winkler, and Jac Hasty each had a hit and a run, with Miller and Winkler also picking up an RBI and Miller and Hasty each adding a walk. 

All in all, the Cards finished with 11 hits in 26 at bats and they added five walks to only one strikeout. Louisville left just six on base. Louisville, who moved to 12-2 with the victory, will open their home season tomorrow when they host Western Kentucky. The Hilltoppers will come into Ulmer for a 5PM start on Tuesday. No video is listed. 

Until next time, Go Cards!
Case

Sunday, February 25, 2024

News on Just About Everyone - Sunday Cardinal Couple

WBB Gameday



Women's Basketball has a noon start today vs Virginia.  An early start with unusual video coverage as The CW has the video for this one.  That's WBKI channel 58 on broadcast here in Louisville.

But of course, we'll all be making the early trek to watch this one in person at the KFC Yum! Center right?  I have to admit that the early start time has put me in a bit of time crunch this morning.  With the huge amount of activity going on this weekend...well, it makes for an interesting morning.

The game against Virginia should give the Cards an opportunity to get a small win streak going, after the win over Georgia Tech on Thursday in Atlanta.  The Cavaliers sport a 13-13 record overall and are 5-10 in conference.  In the non-conference, nothing too remarkable in their record with wins over mid-majors and lower, and losses to teams you would expect.  The only real exception was a loss to Wofford, though it was by only a single point.

In conference things get a bit more chaotic, because, well, ACC.  A pair of losses to NC State, sure, makes sense.  Losses to Georgia Tech, Duke, and North Carolina, and Notre Dame, yeah, sounds like a team that's going to struggle in conference overall.  Then they go and beat Florida State, lose to Pitt, and then beat North Carolina.  They lost to Virginia Tech, which is no shame, then lose to Clemson.  Wins over Boston College and Wake Forest make sense as does a loss to Syracuse.  Finally, they come into the KFC Yum! Center today with a win over Miami in their rear view.

Overall a team that's, not great, but not bottom of the barrel either, but you have to admit there are some surprises in their in conference play.

Kymora Johnson is the scoring threat for UVA, shooting 42% overall, and 30% from beyond the arc.  Camryn Taylor is next, with higher efficiency, but less frequency.  46% shooting overall for her, but a whooping 55+% from beyond the arc.

Let's get to the KFC Yum! Center early and get this one in the books.  We need all the wins we can get in these last few games, and it definitely doesn't get any easier.

Off Court News



I don't tend to follow recruiting news closely, but a big verbal came in last night as Mackenly Randolph, daughter of Zach Mckenley Randolph who had a significant career playing for five different NBA teams.  Definitely a good pickup for coach Walz and the team.

Another piece of big news came in one of the most anti-climactic ways.  In a Facebook comment, Olivia Cochran responded to a WBB fan stating that she wasn't participating in Senior night festivities this year as she will be returning to use her Covid year of eligibility to play next year.  Another year of "Welcome to the Show" sits just fine with me.

Lacrosse Wilts Under the Lights



Lacrosse moved over to the L&N Federal Credit Union Stadium last night, hosting Virginia Tech for their conference opener.



Nicole Perroni continues to consecutive game
scoring streak
Louisville started out well, or well Nicole Perroni did, at least.  Notching her 41st straight game with at least one score, she did so with a hat trick in the first quarter of play leading the Cards out to a 4-2 advantage.

The lead wouldn't last, though, as The Hokies got the next three goals starting out the second quarter before Perroni would again come in with a goal to stop the slide and bring the score to an even 5-5 at halftime.

A bit of a scorefest in the 3rd quarter, but alas, mostly for VT, as they reeled off five straight over the course of the 15 minutes.  Kokoro Nakazawa would stop the run, but would be answered by V Tech.  Rian Adkins put a literal last second shot into the net in the 3rd quarter to claw one back, ending the quarter at 7-11 with the Hokies in the lead.
Sara Addeche guarding the goal well

The 4th quarter ended up being a wash, with each team netting three shots.  UofL scores were a pair by Kokoro Nakazawa, as well as one by Kylea Dobson.  The final score was 10-14 with the victory going to Virginia Tech.

Sara Addeche performed well in goal with eight saves, though credit to VT's goalkeeper for her nine.  VT did take more shots on goal than UofL, but not by a significant margin, 22-19.

UofL will look for their first conference win on Saturday with a trip up to Pittsburgh.

Jared was out there snapping pics and got to talk to coach following the match 

Softball


Furman

Softball, despite several delays due to weather, did get both of their planned games in yesterday.  The schedule was altered and things got started early.

Furman was the first foe, and it didn't go particularly well for the Cards.  The offense performed up to par, but Furman was just able to outscore the Cards putting up 13 to UofL's 8.

Runs scored for the Cards started in the 3rd inning, where Vanessa Miller singled to right field, scoring Kiley Goff, and Bailee Richardson who were on base thanks to a hit-by-pitch, and a walk.

In the 4th, Gabby Holloway singled, Ally Alexander walked but then was out on Chelsea Mack's fielder's choice, but Goff's walk filled the bases.  Holloway would score on a wild pitch with other runners advancing.  Richardson then grounded out, but Mack would make it home on the play.  Louisville had four runs at this point, but alas, Furman had nine.

Louisville would score a trio in the 6th.  Chelsea Mack reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to 2nd on a Goff groundout.  She promptly stole third...it's not just Daisy Hess out here stealing bases for the Cards.  Richardson doubled, and scored Mack.  Riley Frizell singled, moving Richardson to 3rd.  Both then advanced, with Richardson scoring, on a wild pitch,  Frizell then scored on a Vanessa Miller double.  A nice tally of seven by the Cards, but Furman had made it to 13 by this point.

Finally, the last try, would see Paige Geraghty single, then advance to 3rd on a Holloway single.  Geraghty would then score on an Ally Alexander fielder's choice.  Final score, 13-8.

The Cards would throw half their bullpen into the circle at various times trying to stop Furman, with Holloway, Izzy Harrison, Sam Booe, and Lindsey Mullen all taking their turns.  Only Mullen was able to keep Furman off the scoreboard, but they then the damage had been done.


Coastal Carolina

The second game for the Cards was against Coastal Carolina, after getting the afternoon to recover a bit, this one started at 4:37pm.  Maybe UofL just isn't a morning team as they took the win in this one 6-2.

Freshman Katie Thatcher got on the scoreboard first.  Starting off the 3rd inning with a single up the middle, she decided to make her mark in the steals column as well, taking 2nd.  She advanced to 3rd on Ally Alexander's groundout and scored on Paige Geraghty's single.  Mack sacrificed to move Geraghty to 2nd, and then Geraghty scored on a Frizell single.  Score after three, 2-0.

Nothing else happened until the 7th inning and with two outs already up on the board.  Frizell singled, and scored on a Vanessa Miller "Grass, Track, Fence".  The Cards kept going, however.  Richardson singled, Goff got hit by a pitch, and Holloway, pinch hitting for Madi Grant, filled the bases with a single.  Grant returned for the running.  Another freshman stepped up as Ava Venturelli pinch hit for Thatcher and got a single, scoring Richardson and Goff.  That would get the Cards to their final score of six, though Coastal Carolina, scoreless through this point in the game, would get a pair across in the bottom of the 7th, it wouldn't be enough.

At the time of this writing, the Cards are just underway with their next game, against Bowling Green at the Battle of the Beach.

Swim and Dive


The Cardinal women came in 2nd overall in the ACC Swimming and Diving Championship.  The Cards appeared to accomplish this through mostly scoring well in nearly all events, with the only podium finish for the team being a silver in the final event of the day, the 400 freestyle relay.   Lucy Mehraban, Gabi Albiero, Christiana Regenauer, and Julia Dennis turned in the 3rd fastest time in school history in the event.

Track and Field


The Indoor Track and Field teams were also competing in the ACC Championships.  Overall team finishes were nothing spectacular, but we did want to highlight a couple of competitors.

Following in a long history of good Cardinal throwers, Jayden Ulrich won the shot put event.  Natalie Lark placed second in the pole vault.  and Alba Cuns Iglesias placed third in the triple jump.

The team now waits to see who will be advancing to the NCAA Indoor Championships in Boston before they turn their attention to the out of doors.

Technical Difficulties for the CCRHP


Technical Difficulties have thus far prevented yesterday's CCRHP from being posted in podcast form.  I'll be taking another stab at it later this afternoon to try to get it posted.  We had a good discussion with Daryl, Jared, Paulie and myself about basketball, lacrosse, and softball.

-- 
JMcA

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Lacrosse Tonight; Softball Rained Out; Swimming Continues; Tennis Falls -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Lacrosse Hosts VT


Louisville Lacrosse will welcome the Virginia Tech Hokies (man, everyone is playing VT) this evening in L&N Federal Credit Union Stadium. If they played in L&N FCU Arena, I think it would be quite the spectacle. That said, there should be plenty of fireworks tonight at the football stadium. Louisville is coming off of their unsuccessful comeback bid against Lindenwood Sunday. That loss dropped the team to 1-3, but they've shown fight in each game. 

Louisville is looking for consistency in their high-powered offense. The Cards have scored at least eight goals in each game and have averaged 11.5 goals per game, but they've come when Louisville had their backs against the wall in many cases, rather than when the Cards could put pressure on the opponents. If the offense can't keep pace today, they'll be playing from behind once more. Virginia Tech is 3-1 on the year, with the loss coming to 3/4 ranked James Madison in the second game of the season. They lost that one 17-5, but they've scored at least 10 in their other three games and have won their last two (over Mercer and Queens [NC]) by 13 goals apiece. 

Attendance at tonight's match is free, as is parking in the Bronze lots F and G. The clear bag policy will be enforced. The match will begin at 6PM and will be carried on ACC Network.

Friday Softball Canceled 


Louisville softball played the rescheduling game as part of the Battle of the Beach yesterday, but it ultimately didn't matter. The forecasted rain came early and it was relentless. Louisville's two games against Bowling Green and Coastal Carolina were both canceled. The Cards will be in action, weather permitting, today starting at 10am against Furman. They'll play Coastal later this afternoon (scheduled for 3:30) and they'll wrap up the weekend against Bowling Green tomorrow morning at 9:30. 

Swimming Holding Third at ACC


Louisville swimming and diving is currently at the ACC Championships and the Cards are doing well. Yesterday saw more podiums for Louisville's aquatic denizens, as Else Praasternik snagged a silver medal and the 400 medley relay team of Paige Hetrick, Ella Welch, Gabi Albiero, and Christiana Regenauer took the bronze. Those medals are added to the medals the Louisville women have already earned this week in the 800 free relay, the 200 free relay, 1m diving, 400 individual medley, 100 fly, and 200 free. Along with the medals, numerous other strong performances have helped Louisville into a solid hold on third. Louisville sits at 841 points, well clear of UNC's 627.5 in fourth place and right on the heels of NC State's 869. Virginia has just about locked up the team victory as they have 1178.5 points entering the final day. 

Events will get underway at 9:30 this morning and will include the 1650 freestyle, the 200 back, 100 free, 200 breast, men's platform diving, and the 400 free relay.

Tennis Drops ACC Opener


Louisville tennis went down to the wire in their ACC opener against Virginia Tech yesterday. The Cards lost 4-3, losing the doubles point with a score of 7-6 (7-3) in both the second and third doubles slots. As the day wore on, the score continued to bounce back and forth, with Louisville tying the match each time VT took the lead. Unfortunately, if you continue to trade wins in an odd numbered event, whoever took the point first will win. Such was the case as the final singles match of the day went to VT, giving them the 4-3 victory. That last match went three sets, extending the day about as long as possible. Louisville's doubles win came from Jamilah Snells and Lillian Mould, who unfortunately both lost their singles point. Singles winners were Allie Grekowski, Berta Miret, and Lika Peresypkina. 

Louisville, who now sits at 4-4 overall, will take on the sixth-ranked Virginia Cavaliers tomorrow starting at noon at Bass-Rudd. 

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast


After an exciting week for Louisville athletics, which as included many ups and downs, we'll once again bring you the joy and excitement of Louisville women's athletics with the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast. There will be four on the floor in this week's episode, and there's plenty to discuss. As always, you can check out the live stream of the show by going to the Cardinal Couple YouTube page and clicking on the live video. Jeff usually creates that about an hour before the show, which officially starts at 11 AM Eastern. If the live time doesn't work for you, there are plenty of playback options, so be sure to check out whichever is best for you!

Cardinal Couple YouTube: Link
Anchor (podcast host): Link
Apple Podcasts: Link
Google Podcasts: Link
Overcast (free account required): Link
Pocket Casts (free account and app required): Link
RadioPublic: Link
Spotify: Link





Until next time, Go Cards!

Case

Friday, February 23, 2024

WBB dominates GT 80-62 -- Softball plays in Coastal Classic (schedule change) -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

FRIDAYS WITH DARYL

Good Friday morning readers, we're glad you're back!   

The Cards are BACK too, back in the win column.  Which we love to see... so let's get into how it played out.  

WBB

Louisville got it done on the road when they went down to Atlanta and smacked Georgia Tech around for a couple hours and then said You're welcome!"and bowed and waved on their way back to the bus.   


Photos: Jared Anderson
Sydney Taylor came off the bench and had a career high with the Cards with 31 points on 10-16 shooting from the field with 7 three pointers 4 rebounds 4 assists and 4 steals.   Her performance was the most points by a Cardinal this year and it helped propel Louisville to a 22-6 record and looking like a strong contender for that very luxurious double bye in the ACC tourney which starts in less than 2 weeks. Her first time being a reserve this season.  



End of 1Q    21-13  Cards
FG %
9-16 56.3% Cards
6-12 50% GT
Reb. 8-5 Cards
3-pt %
3-9 33.3% Cards
1-1 100% GT


A pretty chaotic start to this one. Along with a starting lineup shift, the refs thought they might issue a technical due to some clock issues before this one got started.  They ultimately did not and proceeded to do a normal jump ball and not set the tone of this game on a weird foot... thanks for that.  

Georgia Tech scored on their first couple possessions before the Cards take over and go on an 8-0 run to take their first lead 8-4.   GT goes scoreless for over 3 minutes while the Cardinals get their feet under them.   Nyla Harris continuesd to show her significance to this squad when at the under 4 min. mark she put a strong one up and in to push the lead 15-6 not long after after Jayda Curry hit her first 3 pointer.   

Olivia had pulled down 5 rebounds with 3 minutes still left in the quarter.  Syd missesd a 3 pointer but Kiki Jefferson got the second chance layup. Taylor had 8 points in the first quarter.


End of 2Q 22-15 Cards


FG %
7-12 58.3% Cards
5-13 38.5% GT
Reb. 8-6 Cards
3-pt %
4-4 100% Cards
1-3 33.3% GT


Jayda Curry picks up third foul joining Nina Rickards with as many with 8 min left in the half.  Walz elected to keep the two in the rotation.  Elif Istanbulouglu hit a 3 pointer a couple minutes into it while Syd Taylor hit her 4th 3 pointer pushing the lead to 13 points atLouis 34-21.  It was that kind of night.  


HALF 43-28 Cards





End of 3Q 20-12  Cards

FG %
8-12 66.7% Cards
5-11 45.5% GT
Reb. 8-3 Cards
3-pt %
4-4 100% Cards
1-4 25% GT




The Cards started the second half losing the quarter 8-2 and making the score 45-36.  But, right on cue, when they Cards need a bucket, Nyla Harris shows up and makes another strong move up and in to put the Cards back in a double digit lead 47-36.

Like I've said before, when the Cards need a bucket, they need to shoot in front of the bench, Kiki Jefferson did just that, and hit a 3 with 5 min left in the 3rd quarter to make it 50-36.   The Yellow Jackets went scoreless for almost 3 minutes while Curry hit the 3 pointer to make the lead 17 again.

Taylor not cooling off and hit her 6th. 3-pointer and pretty much every other shot she put up. 

End of 4Q   22-17   GT

FG %
5-12 41.7%   Cards
5-14 35.7%   GT
Reb.    7-10  GT
3-pt %
1-5 20% Cards
1-3 33.3%   GT 


UofL missed their first 3 since the first quarter, a rare air ball by Taylor.  Georgia Tech got a little hot going on 9-0 run over 2 min period...the Cards going 1-7 to start the quarter.  Olivia pulled down 12th rebound of the game but the Cards only managed to score 2 points in the first 5:30 minutes of the 4th quarter.   A handful of free throws allowed them to get some points on the board when the clock was stopped.  Rickards scored 5 points to close out the final few minutes before Syndey Taylor hit another three to close the game in the final seconds. 
  




UP NEXT

Louisville vs Virginia

KFC Yum! Center

2/25/24 12:00 p.m.



FRED REPORT


Fun Fact: Mister Rogers first name was Fred!!! Won't you be my neighbor??




FREE THROWS --  Louisville went 10-13 at the FT line with Syd Taylor getting the most opportunity going 4-5.  The game almost started with a technical foul due to some clock malfunctioning so I'm glad the game did not go like it looked how it was about to go...Well over our mandated 70%. so...Capital F

REBOUNDING --  UofL dominated the boards 31-24 with Olivia Cochran pulling down 12 total, 6 in the first quarter.   This really helped the Cards get those second chance opportunities and manage the play clock.  Capital R


EFFORT/EXECUTION --  The Cardinals continued their commitment to feed the player who is hot.  That was Sydney Taylor against the Yellow Jackets.   She had 15 points in the 2nd quarter going 3-3 from beyond the arc.  Walz switched up the starting lineup a little bit tossing "the Elf" and Merissah out there.  UofL had 53 points come off the bench  Capital E 

DEFENSE -- 
 Louisville held GT just under their average points per game at 62 and had 28 points on 16 turnovers by the Yellow Jackets.   GT had 3 players score in double figures but no real stand out performance by anyone.  Capital D  



FINAL FRED TALLY:    F_R_E_D



Softball


Softball is back in action down south and they're off to a hot start with a a 10-1 record, their best start since 2012. 


Due the rain in the forecast, Friday's schedule for Coastal Carolina's Battle at the Beach has been altered. The University of Louisville softball team will now open the tournament 
Friday at 1 p.m. against Bowling Green followed by a 3:30 p.m. matchup against Coastal Carolina.


The pitching staff has recorded six shutouts and carries a 1.26 ERA through the first 11 games of the season. UofL's six shutouts lead the ACC and tie for first in the nation along with Arizona, Boston and Oklahoma.

The Cards have outscored opponents 64-14 with eight home runs on the season while limiting opponents to just one.




Coastal Carolina enter the week with a 5-4 overall record coming off a win against the College of Charleston. They started the season winning 4 games before falling their next 4. The Chanticleers are led by Delaney Keith, who carries and .417 batting average, and Indya Smith who is hitting .400 early in the season. Raelee Brabham (3-2) carries a 1.62 ERA with 26 strikeouts in 26 innings and Nicolette Picone (1-2) carries a 2.71 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 20.2 innings. Kelley Green is entering her 15th season at the helm. It is the first time the two teams met.

This marks Bowling Green's opening weekend. The Falcons are coming off a 9-41 campaign in 2023.  Senior catcher Reagan Williamson was second on team in batting average (.246) and on base percentage (.360) and led the team in walks with 20.  Junior RHP Scarlet Anderson led the team with five wins.  Candace Fenton-Bockbrader enters her second season as head softball coach at her alma mater.

(Good Golly, Miss Holly!)

Louisville leads the series 3-1 with the Cards winning the last matchup 1-0 at Ulmer Stadium in the Red & Black Classic in 2017. Im pretty sure i called that game for UofL on TV.  Gosh... just imagine if that job would've panned out.  Sigh..

(Editor Note: I did go back and look for that "call" Daryl mentioned but couldn't find it..I did run across one of my postgame interviews from 2017, though..when i was chatting up Danielle Watson and Megan Hensley. Good Times. I wow to return to those days...   -- paulie)

As always
Go Cards!

~Daryl




Thursday, February 22, 2024

WBB Visits Georgia Tech -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Cards Look to Rebound with Win

UofL vs GT in 2023

After falling at home to Virginia Tech on Sunday, Louisville women's basketball looks to get back on the right track tonight against Georgia Tech. The Cards and Yellow Jackets are set to tip off at 6:00pm on ACC Network.


Louisville currently sits in fourth in the ACC with a 10-4 record. Georgia Tech is 10th with a 6-9 record. The Cards hope to remain in the top four and earn a double bye in the ACC Tournament while the Yellow Jackets are hoping to move up a spot or two and get out of having to play on opening day of the tournament.


Georgia Tech is 15-12 on the year but has struggled since conference play began. They opened the regular season winning four straight and five of their first six games. Most recently, GT fell by one in overtime at NC State. Prior to that, they defeated Clemson by one. They have had a couple lopsided losses to Duke (lost by 38) and Notre Dame (lost by 37) with their biggest margin of victory in the ACC came against Boston College in a 15-point victory.

UofL vs GT in 2023

Kara Dunn is one of four players scoring in double figures for the Yellow Jackets, averaging 16.0 points per game. Tonie Morgan is close behind at 15.2 points per game. Morgan is the top rebounder for GT with 6.7 rebounds per game. Kayla Blackshear has been another key contributor with 12.2 points per game and 6.6 rebounds per game. 


Georgia Tech prides itself in ball movement this year, averaging nearly 16 assists per game. Just over 60% of their made baskets have come off an assist. At 68.8 points per game and 42.6% shooting, the Yellow Jackets rank in the bottom half of the league offensively. 


Unlike Louisville, Georgia Tech does not have a heavy turnout for women's basketball games. They average 1,900 fans per home game while the Cards average 8,500 fans per home game.

UofL vs GT in 2023

Louisville is 10-0 in the series, with all games coming since the Cards joined the ACC. Last season, Louisville won at home by eight after letting the lead get down to four multiple times in the final quarter. The prior season, Jeff Walz's team needed a huge fourth quarter capped off a layup by Emily Engstler in the closing seconds to win. Louisville has been held to 63 points or less in four of the last five match-ups.


Happy Thursday and Go Cards!

Jared

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Final Stretch Key for Louisville WBB -- Wednesday Cardinal Couple

 21-6...Was it what you expected at this point in the season for UofL WBB?




Louisville WBB is 27 games thru their 31 game, 2023-24 season. Obviously assured of a 20-win season, one has to wonder...can they get to a 25 win season and take a four game win streak into the ACC Tournament. Pundits and observers like to look how teams have done in their final ten games, the best Louisville cam muster here would be a 7-3 record...it's hard to say whether that would put them in the two-gme bye, Friday slot, but right now they are alone in fourth place at 10-4 in conference. And, FSU is one-half game behind them, and one of the final four on the regular season slate.  

Next is Ga Tech, they sit in tenth place at 6-9 and are 15-12 overall. It's a contest in Atlanta...last year Louisville beat the techsters 63-55 in Louisville.10-4 is not bad for the Cards, but the recent below .500 performance by Walz's club isn't exactly the way you want to close a season. And Boston college scared the (you know what) out of Louisville in the Cards last road game they played...and we won't even dwell on the destruction Va. Tech dropped on the Cards in the KFC.


(How about this bunch for teams to remember?)

So, can this UofL squad finally learn to play with each other (whch Olivia Cochran seems to think hasn't happened yet) and listen to the coaching (which Jeff Walz points to) . Can they learn how to play defense better (they have allowed over 66 points in each of the last four games}.

Not everyone out there in the ACC has a Liz Kitley and Georgia Amoore, who did pretty much what they wanted to the Cards, but Georgia Tech has freshman Rusne Augustinie, who has been coming on with a torrid rush as the season ends, and Kara Dunn and Tone Morgan, who are averaging over 15  points a game this season. Louisville WbB is 6-4 on the road this year...not a mark that instills confidence for getting a road win, The good thing is, the folks don''t flock to where GT plays. 4,000 would be considered a huge crowd for them in the the McCamish Pavillion...

Louisville does not have that one team leader that Cardinal WBB teams have had in the past. Kiki Jefferson and Olivia Cochran are talented scorers, but, as team leaders, I think the jury is still out, Nina Rickards can be so explosive but not consistantly. 

It's the finl go-arojund for all three...so it's time to leave it all out there.


Let's face it, a lot of teams out there would love to have a  21-6 mark right now. Here at Louisville, the fans are somewhat satisfied but not rolling in the aisles with glee. Losses to Syracuse and UNC weren't expected.  There is time yet, though to get on  roll and head into the ACC Tournament flying high. 

Let's hope they do it...


paulie


Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Smart Cards, Spring Schedule, and Rankings -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Cards Fall to 20th in AP Poll


Louisville women's basketball stayed in the top-25 this week after Sunday's loss but dropped to 20th in the latest AP poll. The Cards slipped to the lowest of the ranked ACC teams, a quintet that now includes two top-ten teams. NC State is sixth, while the league-leading Hokies moved up to eighth. The remaining trio is locked in close proximity in the rankings, just as they are in the ACC standings. Syracuse, alone in second in the ACC with a half-game advantage on NC State, moves up to 17th. Notre Dame, fighting UNC and Florida State with one more loss in the ACC than Louisville, sits one spot ahead of the Cards at 19th in the latest poll. 

Officially, Louisville has just one ranked game remaining: the matchup with Notre Dame in the Joyce Center on March 3rd. As we saw with the game against BC, though, their road game against Georgia Tech will likely be no walk in the park. Meanwhile, Virginia has shown some scrap on the road, winning three of their four conference games away from home. Florida State is sure to give the Cards a fight on Leap Day, as always. 

Volleyball Announces Spring Match Schedule


Louisville volleyball will play four matches this spring, all with plenty of local buzz. The Cards will take on Dayton, Purdue, UK, and Tennessee over a span just longer than a month. The Flyers and Volunteers will bookend the four-match set in the L&N Federal Credit Union Arena while the Boilermakers and Wildcats play hosts. This season's spring matches will be ticketed. Season ticket holders will get first-right-of-refusal on the matches against Dayton and Tennessee in a window from February 26th to 28th before the tickets open to the public. Fans can get tickets to the March 8th match against Dayton starting on March 1st, and the sale will open on April 5th for the Tennessee match on April 13th. Louisville will face Purdue on March 29th and UK on April 5th.

Five Cardinals Named NFHCA Scholars of Distinction


Louisville field hockey had five players earn the NFHCA's Scholar of Distinction award this season. The Scholar of Distinction requires players to maintain a 3.9 GPA during the semester of play. This year's honorees were Aimee Plumb, Minna Tremonti, Filippa Niebuhr, Tatum Kroon, and Lara Niebler. Plumb and Tremonti have earned the award in four straight seasons, while Niebuhr earned her third this year. Sophomore Kroon and Tatum, a freshman, both picked up their first Scholar of Distinction. These five are part of Louisville's 22 players named to the D1 National Academic Squad.

Until next time, Go Cards!
Case

Monday, February 19, 2024

Sunday Losses for WBB and Lax -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Louisville Loses Big at Home to Virginia Tech


Louisville women's basketball lost their third game in the last five games, this time at home to Virginia Tech 86-70.

Liz Kitley posted a triple-double for the Hokies with 26 points, 13 rebounds, and about 25 fouls committed. Okay, so she officially had a double-double and finished with three fouls on the stat sheet, but the reigning ACC Player of the Year certainly was immune to whistles for much of the game. Georgia Amoore added 23 points on 9-11 shooting and 10 assists. The Aussie native took advantage of the international travel rules (you get an extra step in FIBA compared to most US rules), which the officials seemed to not realize we weren't playing FIBA rules.

Now, before you get on me for criticizing the officials, this game was not decided by the officials at all. Louisville was outplayed and had one of their worst games of the season. The Cards missed four layups in the first quarter and were up to seven late in the first half when I stopped counting. Louisville also went 4-16 (.250) from three-point range with half of the made threes coming in the second quarter.


One plus for Louisville is that they committed four turnovers in the game. That number is a season low for Jeff Walz's team. Virginia Tech didn't put too much pressure on full court or half court pressure and instead chose to go with allowing Louisville to miss shots and then dominate the defensive rebounding. The Hokies won the rebounding battle 35-24 with 28 of those coming on the defensive end.

Kiki Jefferson led the Cards with 19 points on 7-12 shooting. Jayda Curry scored 13 points and Nyla Harris and Nina Rickards each added 10 points. Olivia Cochran had a team-high six rebounds with Harris adding five boards.

Louisville's player intros have become creative over the years

Defensively, this year's team has not lived up to the standards of Louisville basketball yet. The biggest concern on defense with yesterday's game came on switches. Kenny Brooks was able to expose the Cards by running picks with Kitley and Amoore, often resulting in mismatches for both players. This allowed the duo to find easy baskets or force help from extra defenders, leaving the rest of the Virginia Tech team with open looks.

FRED Report

Fred Warner of the Super Bowl Runner-Up San Francisco 49ers

Free Throws- The Cards were at 8-12 late in the game but a pair of made free throws pushed that to 10-14 (71.4%) and get just within the threshold for a "F".

Effort/Efficiency- Well, the Cards had one of their worst shooting days this season and mustered up just seven assists on 28 made shots. They managed four second chance points and four fast break points, both of those marks well below what we've come to expect. I do believe the effort was there as the Cards continued to try to find scoring opportunities and attack the paint. Unfortunately, the shots weren't falling. And you have to give positive points to only four turnovers. I'm willing to give a lowercase "e" for effort only.

Rebounding- UofL was outrebounded by 11. They held VT to just seven offensive boards- probably because the Hokies shot 65%. Louisville pulled in 13 offensive rebounds but converted that into only four second chance points, so not too effective. Rebounding was one of the reasons Louisville dug themselves into a hole. No letter here.

Defense- Giving up 86 points is plenty of reason to not award a letter. The Cards were not effective at all trying to shut down Virginia Tech's top two players, something we talked about as a concern on the show Saturday. Case pointed out to me the VT went 24-29 (82.7%) on two-point shots. If I could give a negative letter I would.

F-r-_-_.   Eek. That's not something we want to see late in the season.



Virginia Tech head coach Kenny Brooks spent some time praising the teams in the ACC during yesterday's press conference. He discussed how the ACC is the best and most competitive women's basketball in the country this year. Eight ACC teams made the NCAA Tournament last year. The latest Bracketology has nine ACC teams projected to be in this year's tournament.

With yesterday's loss, Louisville's chances of being a top-16 seed and hosting opening weekend grew slim. If the Cards win out, then there's a possibility of hosting still. Louisville also dropped to fourth in the ACC at 10-4. Four teams have five losses in the conference. Win out and the Cards get the double bye and don't play until Friday in the ACC Tournament. Any more losses and they might find themselves playing on Thursday.

Louisville will play at Georgia Tech on Thursday at 6:00 pm. They then return home to host Virginia on Sunday.



Lax Falls on the Road at Lindenwood


A slow start doomed Louisville lacrosse as they fell on the road to Lindenwood 12-9. The Lions scored the first goals of the game and led 5-1 at the end of the first quarter. The Cards cut it to 6-5 late in the first half and 10-8 midway through the fourth quarter but couldn't complete the rally.

Kokoro Nakazawa posted a hat trick with three goals. Kylea Dobson and Negai Nakazawa each scored two goals and Tiffany Natoli and Nicole Perroni both scored a goal. Perroni's scoring streak extended to 40 straight games, adding to her existing program record.

Louisville (1-3) returns home to host Virginia Tech on Saturday at 6:00pm. The match will be televised on ACC Network and will be played at L&N Stadium (football).

Happy Monday and Go Cards!
Jared