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Friday, July 1, 2016

Louisville women's basketball to play in Hall Of Fame Challenge...Worrell tonight..FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



HELLO, 2016-17! 

the Chicago Cubs honored this 100 yr. old fan...who also
pitched 3 innings of relief in a 10-1 win over the Padres...
(OK, not really) 
Today is July 1st and starts the official 2016-17 college sports season. 2015-16 was "The Year of the Fan" and although Cardinal fans didn't have a whole lot to get fired up about with men's basketball missing the tournament, baseball not getting to Omaha and such...we hope the upcoming season is a great one for all UofL sports, especially our women's sports programs. Kelsi Worrell has been a bright spot in The Year of the Fan and we'll get to her in just a bit. 

LOUISVILLE WBB WILL PLAY IN HALL OF FAME CHALLENGE. 

A glimspe into part of the Louisville WBB season has been revealed with the announcement that Jeff Walz's squad will be one of the eight teams in the four-game event known as the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame Challenge. 

Louisville will serve as the home host for the first three games they'll play in the event. The Cards will open up against Bowling Green on Nov 19th, play Lafayette on Nov. 20th and Chattanooga on Nov. 21st. All three games will take place in the KFC YUM! Center.

The final game of the challenge should be a real treat. The Cards will travel to the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA to face South Carolina on Nov. 27th. That match will be one of four played at the center that day.

South Carolina. With head coach Dawn Staley, who Walz served with last year on the FIBA USA U 18 squad. South Carolina, with Aja Wilson and Alaina Coates, who went 33-2 last year before getting knocked out by Syracuse in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. 

Certainly a very tough early season test for the Cards...who will also play Maryland on Dec. 1st in the ACC/BIG10 Challenge in the KFC YUM! Center. Walz comments:

"It's an absolute honor to be a part of the Basketball Hall of Fame Women's Challenge. Our team is really excited about playing in a tournament of this caliber with some terrific teams and we're looking forward to...facing a remarkable South Carolina program."

No times have been announced for the games yet. We'll keep you posted and, if you are planning on going to Springfield, MA...the MassMutual Center only seats 8,000 for hoops...so you might want to inquire about tickets right away. 

The old adage goes...in order to be the best you have to beat the best. It looks like Louisville women's basketball will have a couple of those opportunities early in the 2016-17 season. 

WORRELL QUALIFIES FOR 100 FREE FINAL

Meanwhile, back in Omaha...(and just how hard do you think it was to get a hotel room in that city last week with the College World Series and the USA Swimming qualifiers for the Olympics going on?) Kelsi Worrell had a busy Thursday night...qualifying for the 100 freestyle finals tonight and just narrowly missing in the 200 butterfly finals with a seventh place finish. 

Freshman Mallory Comerford posted her best time ever in the 100 freestyle semi-finals but just missed out on qualifying for the finals tonight. Worrell is the sixth seed in the event. 

paulie
xxxxx

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Kelsi Worrell Making Waves In And Out Of The Water -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



WORRELL NAMED TO CoSIDA ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICAN TEAM


Louisville sports fans are well aware of the big splash Kelsi Worrell has made in the water over the last four years at Louisville and in the Summer Olympics qualifiers. She's also been making waves academically...first as the ACC Swimming Scholar Athlete of the Year and now as First Team CoSIDA All-America Division I Women's At-Large team. 

To make the prestigious CoSIDA squad, a student/athlete must be a starter or important reserve on a squad and carry a 3.3 GPA. Nearly 75% of the student-athletes named to the 2015-16 squad (Worrell included) were at 3.9 or better on a 4.0 scale. 

That's getting it done outside of the water and Worrell is the first ever UofL swimmer to be named to the CoSIDA team in school history. 

Out of the classroom, Worrell has been displacing water in Omaha throughout the USA Olympic Trials. She'll represent the USA in the 100 Fly...winning the championship heat a couple of nights ago. She's also seeded fourth of eight in the 200 fly finals...which will take place tonight.

Worrell is also expected to take part in the 100 free-style also and there was talk last night by the television commentators wondering if she would scratch out of the 200 fly to concentrate on the 100 free. 

She is ranked fifth in NCAA college swimming in the 100 freestyle with a 47.30 (the best being a 46.70) and won the ACC Championships in the event. 


The butterfly is obviously her best event but the so-called "analysts" on television seem to think she's also at her best in shorter or sprint distances. 


The TV folks (don't you just love the way Rowdy Gaines uses his hands when he talks?...it's like he's trying to direct a plane into a parking spot) also call her "WOR-rell" (emphasis on the first syllable) instead of "Wor-RELL" (emphasis on the second syllable). Have we been doing it wrong here in Lou-ah-vul for the past four years? Am I being too nit-pickey? 

Getting it done by land or sea...(OK, water) is the prime directive for "KelsiWhirl" and one has to wonder when the Cards will pony up for a statue of the best swimmer ever at UofL on the corner of Floyd and Warnock?


Based on the recent "appointment" of the new Bevin/UofL board...it'll probably be awhile. For example, a newly "appointed" board member has repeatedly gone to Twitter to bash Ramsey, Jurich and Pitino and ask for their resignations...Seriously? Of course, this Twitter account has now been deleted...but is this really a guy we want on the board? Apparently so...

Oh, he's also opposed to the climate change theory, LGBT rights and Bill Nye the Science Guy. Plus Donald, Bernie and Hilary. We haven't gotten word back yet on puppies, butterflies or sunsets...

Yeah...right. That's one of the people we want overseeing UofL. Maybe Bevin could appoint Matt Jones, John Calipari and Richie Farmer, too. (Sorry for the snark. It happens.) 

paulie
xxxxx

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Pat Summitt...What she strived for we can not forget -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


SUMMITT REACHED FOR HARD WORK AND COMPLETION

"One of the things I learned about her from the times I had the chance to sit down and talk with her on the recruiting trail: if you're going to do something, do it right." JEFF WALZ

It was what Pat Summitt was all about.

Accomplishment and gain earned by effort.


From her early days working her father's fields in Cheatman County to her final years working to raise funding for the terrible disease that finally ended her life...Pat Summit had a sense of direction, of being and purpose and the dedication to achieve the best results. She could drive, motivate and send out a resounding call-to-action in her own unique style. Hard work and doing it the right way were the basic tenants. 

Although she is gone, the lessons must not be forgotten. Especially in the dreaded Alzheimer's disease. 

We all know someone who has been affected by the villainous robber Alzheimer's. It may be a friend, family member or acquaintance. It has hit my family and took the most precious gift of all...the ability to relate, interact and remember. Seeing my father go from a vibrant, strong man...clear of thought and purpose to a shell of himself...asking me if he was my son...wondering where he was and why...and then the dull, blank expressionless stare.

We must find a cure for this life-taker. It is such a cruel and unfair way to go. Alzheimer's takes one's dignity. It robs you of the very real things that are you...your memories, your personality. So many things left to say that won't get said. So many words that might be heard but not understood. It takes you away from you and yours. I cannot imagine much more horrible than that. 

Pat Summitt knew the battle ahead. She chose to fight it while she could...just as fiercely and bravely as her attempts to drive each Tennessee Lady Vols squad she coached to victory. She said about the battle with Alzheimer's:

"Competition got me off the farm and trained me to seek challenges and endure setbacks. In combination with my faith, it sustains me now in my fight with Alzheimer's disease." 

Striving. Knowing the odds, the battle ahead, the probable end result and still going out to fight the fight. 

We cannot forget that. 


It is easy to give up, to do less than your best. We tired, we become disillusioned, resigned to what will most likely happen and we surrender to it. It is hard to still carry the banner when all around you predict defeat. 

Still, you must try. If only for the reason that it might make a difference for someone else, to show that there is still hope, pride and courage. 

My father taught me many things...many of which I didn't fully understand until later in life...but one that still rings true is that you cannot quit. Accept defeat if it comes with humility and in a gracious manner, but learn from it and create an opportunity out of it to do better next time. 


Pat Summitt's fight is over but we can learn from it and continue to carry the banner. The banner of hope, hard work and finding a cure for this cruel killer. Jim Valvano encouraged us by imploring "don't give up". Pat Summitt embodied that as well in her actions.  


I'd like to think that if Pat could have sent a final message to us all, it might have been something like this. Don't give up. Don't quit. Continue to work hard. Somewhere...there is an answer, somewhere there is a cure. We must find it.

Good words to live by in a world where it is very easy sometimes to surrender. Let not the precious memories fade. Don't just participate, strive to win. Yes, we all lose at times. Learning from loss, though, is a victory in itself.

Help CARDINAL COUPLE in the fight against Alzheimer's. For us, for all, for those we love. LINK BELOW:

www.alzfdn.org

paulie
xxxxx






Tuesday, June 28, 2016

WONDERFUL WORRELL WINS -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


5th FASTER TIME EVER IN 100 METER BUTTERFLY HELPS KELSI WHIRL PUNCH TICKET TO RIO

It was the first event up on the nationally broadcast US Olympic Swimming qualifying events Monday night and it was over in less than a minute. 

Kelsi Worrell is headed to Rio. 

Using an almost perfect turn after 50 meters, the University of Louisville graduate pulled past 2012 Olympic Gold medalist Dana Vollmer to win the 100 meter butterfly in 56.48. 

In less than a minute and in the fifth fastest time in the history of the event, Kelsi was the champ. It was the second fastest time of the year in the 100 meter event. 

The 100 meter "fly" is definitely a sprint race. We are familiar with racing here in Louisville. In two minutes, we know the annual Kentucky Derby winner. This win by Worrell would be the equivalent of five furlongs...half the distance of the Derby...and it also qualifies her to swim on the USA medley relay team as well in Rio this summer.

As they were introduced and went to the blocks, Worrell had a calm and serene look on her face. It belied what was going on inside her. After the race, she explained:


"Before the race it was emotional. For me, it is my family sitting there in the front row and our big team section." 

The winning swimmers in Omaha sign a big, brightly colored "flip-flop" shoe by poolside after they finished their event. Fitting, indeed, since Kelsi Worrell took that last big step last night to represent the USA and Louisville in the greatest athletic venue of all...The Olympics.  

We'll join Howie Lindsey on Louisville First this morning to discuss it. Wonderful. Simply wonderful! 

WATCH IT AGAIN: 

LINK: WORRELL WINS 100 FLY

paulie
xxxxx

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Cardinal Couple Hometown Heroes

Hometown Heroes Team


I've talked about, you've waited for it with baited breath (I hope), it's time.

It's time for the latest Cardinal Couple honorary team.  This time it's the Hometown Heroes.  These are UofL women student athletes that are from Louisville or the immediately surrounding area.  In building this list, I was surprised at some of the women that I, for some reason, thought were from someplace else, but are Louisvillians through and through.

This list is based on the current rosters listed at GoCards.com (with the exception of Volleyball where I was able to make adjustments for the coming year based on my own knowledge).  Listed is the name, along with the high school and specifically where they are from (in the case of individuals listing more specific locations, or if they are from locations outside of Louisville proper, but still in the metro area).

We'll start it off with Cross Country combined with Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field.  Technically this is three separate sports, but there's so much overlap across all of them, it made the most sense to present them together.

Cross Country/Track & Field

Taylor Bradley - Eastern/Louisville
Megan Brooks - Charlestown/Charlestown, IN
Brianne Brown - North Oldham/Prospect
Emily Christman - Silver Creek/Charlestown, IN
Bailey Davis - Assumption/Louisville (two sport)
Hannah Herd - CAL/Simpsonville
Lilli Popovich - CAL/Louisville
Samantha Simms - SHA/Louisville
Abigail Wright - Assumption/Louisville

A nice spread of schools there, plus a couple from across the river, which is a fairly rare thing in the overall list.

Field Hockey

Hailey Netherton - Assumption/Louisville
Katie Walsh - Ballard/Louisville

Unsurprisingly, the Aussie-born (but now American citizen!) Justine Sowry recruits widely, with consequently fewer locals on the team.

Rowing


Mara Louise Atherton - Manual/Louisville
Tiffany Chea - Manual/Louisville
Madeleine Chesney - Manual/Louisville
Emma Crush - Ballard/Prospect
Cynthia Doyle - Western/Louisville
Madelyn Green - KCD/Louisville
Keaton Jesse - Shelby County/Bagdad
Madison Luette - KCD/Louisville
Kylie Noltemeyer - Assumption/Louisville
Katie Nord - Mercy/Louisville
Meredity Price - Manual/Louisville
Hannah Richardson - North Oldham/Prospect
Rachael Schmetzer - SHA/Louisville
Sophie Schulz - CAL/Louisville

Big list, here.  Somewhat due to Rowing just having such a huge roster overall.  Also, they tend to pick up a lot of "novice" rowers from the University population at large, which obviously skews local.  I included Bagdad, in Shelby County, but that was borderline in my mind for being "in the Louisville area".

Soccer


Clare Andres - CAL/Louisville
Shelby Cohen - Oldham County/LaGrange
Hannah Konermann - Mercy/Louisville
Casey Whitfield - Manual/Louisville

Again, a spread of schools, here.  I think I knew Casey was a Manual graduate but it has slipped my mind, so that one was a pleasant surprise to see.

Softball


Michala Riggle - Christian Educational Consortium/Louisville
Jessica Adell - Ballard/Louisville
Morgan Meyer - Mercy/Louisville
Ashley Nikolao - Meade County/Flaherty
Jordan Vorbrink - Mercy/Louisville
Morgan Hart - PRP/Louisville
Sarah Lopesilvery - Oldham County/Simpsonville

Meade County was, again, at the edge of what I would consider "in the Louisville area".  Morgan Meyer is another that I hadn't realized was a hometown one.

Swimming & Diving


Ashley LeClair - SHA/Louisville
Hannah Magnuson - CAL/Louisville
Maggie Patterson - CAL/Louisville

Hannah Magnuson has gotten some attention in the Swimming events, but Arther Albiero is another coach that recruits very broadly and thus only has a fairly small number of locals competing for him.

Tennis


Olivia Boesing - Floyd Central/Floyds Knobs, IN

Tennis has a pretty small roster overall, so only a single local isn't that surprising.  Another of the very few examples from the Sunny Side of Louisville.

Volleyball


Molly Sauer - Assumption/Louisville
Nikki Koval - Mercy/Louisville

This is a relatively low number of hometown folks compared to the past few years.  Katie George is still listed on the site still, but has graduated.  The departure of Maya McClendon also decreased the hometown quotient for Volleyball.  Nikki Koval is not listed on the site, but joined the team in January as a transfer defensive specialist from USF.

Three women's teams at UofL have no locals on them at all: Basketball, Golf, and Lacrosse  Golf, like Tennis, has a very small roster in terms of numbers, so that's not surprising.  Basketball has had some locals in the past, but at Coach Walz ups the quality of recruiting, we're starting to see a wider and wider spread of player hometowns.  Lacrosse is a sport that just isn't all that popular in the Louisville area, although it is definitely a sport that growing in popularity all the time, so look for some locals on this squad in the future.

When you watch UofL sports this coming year, maybe keep some of these names in mind as some hometown heroes to cheer for.

In Other News


Tune in to NBC tonight at 8pm EDT for Day Two of the US Swimming Olympic Team Trials.  UofL's non-hometown-hero-but-we-still-love-her-anyway Kelsi Worrell is seeded second in the 100meter butterfly.  I believe this will be the first event of the telecast.  The top two from the event will join the US Olympic Swimming Team in Rio.  Last night, right before her semi-final swim, NBC had a shot of Kelsi doing the C-A-R-D-S cheer (I believe it was started in the stands and she joined in), while also showing her Cardinal allegiance with her UofL swim cap.

Also, if you, like me, need your volleyball fix.  Janelle Jenkins will be playing tonight at 5pm EDT in Indianapolis at the Girls Junior National Championships event.  This is part of her involvement in USA Volleyball's Collegiate National Team program.  Janelle is part of Team White.  The match will be streamed, though not in very high quality, at usavolleyball.org.  Look for the GJNC event links and it will be the stream for Court 1.  Tess Clark played with Team Red last night, and the two of them will play against each other tomorrow night (Tuesday).  All matches are scheduled for 5pm, but last night's didn't get started until about 6 due to delays in the GJNC matches on that court throughout the day.

- JMcA

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Pat Summitt "struggling" as family prepares for worst -- SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


NO OFFICIAL STATEMENT YET ON 64 YEAR OLD COACH


We normally try to present the joy and excitement of UofL women's athletics here at CARDINAL COUPLE, but today we'll reflect on the sad news out of Knoxville, TN.


Reports are that Pat Summitt is "struggling" in a Knoxville nursing home and family and some former players were with her Saturday, preparing to make public statements on her conditions when necessary. 

An unnamed source reported:

"I don't think anybody knows whether she'll last a day, a month or a year." 

Robin Roberts tweeted Saturday morning: 

"Hope you don't mind that I ask for prayers for a dear friend close to the end of her journey. Would mean a lot to her fam. Peace be w/you." 

Summitt coached the Lady Vols for 38 years...starting in 1974. She won 1098 games and 34 SEC Championships. 

I met Summitt in 2010. We hadn't been doing CARDINAL COUPLE very long...not quite a year yet. She and her Vols had come to the KFC YUM! Center to open the Louisville women's basketball 2010-11 season. They defeated the Cards 63-50...a freshman guard by the name of Meghan Simmons had an eye-popping performance for UT to lead them to the win....leading the Vols to a closing 19-6 run. This was before Summitt knew she had the dreaded, unforgiving onset dementia, Alzheimer's type.  


She entered the KFC YUM! Center media room and had a bit of difficulty climbing up to the podium. She joked about that...remarking that she wasn't getting any younger. She commented on several different things...spending more time on the podium that visiting coaches usually do. She had this to say about Jeff Walz: 

"He's excellent. He's really, really good and he's going to continue winning and he's going to continue to get great players. I think he does things the right way and I'd like to try and continue to keep the series going." 

After all the interviews had ended, I went to the Vols locker room to see if I could get a bit more from the legendary coach before they left the arena. I got there just in time. She was actually standing outside the locker room, near the floor entrance...gazing one last time at the interior of the KFC YUM! Center. She offered before she headed to the bus:



" I hope you can fill this place like it was tonight each and every game. Places like this are good for women's college basketball. We really like going to places like this, to play in environments like this. It makes us work hard and try to find a way to win. If we lose, we go home and learn from it. I'd love to play in here again. I'm not sure what the schedule looks like in the future...but tonight was special." 

It was the last time Pat Summitt coached in the KFC YUM! Center. I hope I can remember that sight for a long time...this veteran, heralded, wonderful coach gazing out with almost a childlike, innocent wonder into our arena.

Thank you for that memory, Pat. Rest easy.

                  *               *               *               *

Our weekly broadcast of THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR has been archived on the Crescent Hill Radio Soundcloud and you can hear it at the link below:

LINK: THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR 6-25-16


A fun show, indeed. We got into a variety of subjects and Worldwide tanked badly on the weekly quiz. We stress working hard even in the off-season and if he can't pick his game up...we're just going to have to cut his air-time back. 

Like that would go over well...

paulie
xxxxx



Saturday, June 25, 2016

Louisville women's basketball...Getting Ready -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


MIX OF FRESHMEN, RETURNEES PREPARE FOR THE SEASON


No...the game of women's college basketball doesn't just magically reappear in November. Before that, the players are working hard in the off-season to prepare for the five months that lie ahead for them. 

In UofL WBB's case...the month of June has been all about the conditioning and getting to know each other. With four of the five freshmen already on campus, they and the returnees are hitting the gym and the weight room to prepare themselves for their trip to Cuba in August and beyond. 

It's not all about the weight room and Cardinal Arena, though. Group building exercises, excursions and classes are also on the summer agenda for the 2016 team. 

Preparations in the summer are key for fall and winter success. Based on the way the players looked at the recent Walz Skills Camp, they're staying fit and ready to shine.

QUICK HITS

-- We've had a few questions on the foot fracture that Sydney Zambrotta suffered. It's doesn't seem to be of much worry to the coaching staff...based on the conversations I've been a part of. The leg scooter she's using is a preventative measure...it's a "slight" fracture and expectations are that "Syd" will be ready to go for the Cuba trip. 


-- Nashville, anyone? There is a rumor out there (unconfirmed as of yet) that the Cards may be heading south in December to visit the Music City for a game against Vanderbilt. The Commodores have new coaching in place...if this does go down, I hope they play somewhere else in town besides the "crackerbox" campus gym called Memorial Gym. How about Bridgestone Arena? Louisville fans would travel for this one...could the 'Dores fans muster enough interest to make this a 10,000 or so attended event?

Also, I would love to see the Cards "make a weekend" of it and play former Cardinal assistant Cam Newbauer's Belmont squad while in town. If not this year, maybe it's something they could work on down the road (if, in fact, it happens at all). 

Conjecture and conditioning...have a great Saturday.

            *            *            *             *

THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR

We hit the Crescent Hill studios again this morning for another exciting edition of THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR. Show begins at 11 a.m. on WCHQ 100.9 FM and on the Internet at: www.crescenthillradio.com

A variety of things to discuss today...the Walz camp and audio from Dez Byrd, swimming, academics and a WorldWide quiz...it should be frivolity at a frantic pace!

Join us, won't you?

paulie
xxxxx