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!!

Friday, July 23, 2021

Payton Verhulst U19 World Cup -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Happy Friday, Cards fans! We have finally reached the end of the work week and now have the weekend to look forward to. Bright an early this morning the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremonies began.

We've barely scratched the surface of the Olympics and excitement continues to build. NBC and Peacock seem to be doing a majority of the streaming and coverage of events. I'm excited to see current and former Cards compete among different sports, but I'm also thrilled we have baseball and softball in the Olympics again. Cheerleading just got approved to become an Olympic sport effective the 2024 Olympics. That's something to look forward to in the future.

However, we do have some current UofL news involving women's basketball.


Payton Verhulst Participating in the U19 World Cup



Fans are eager to see Payton Verhulst in a Louisville uniform this winter, but the highly touted freshman has other business to take care of first.

Verhulst is one of 12 members that will play for the USA Basketball Women's U19 World Cup Team. They are currently training through July 27 before they head over to Europe.

The FIBA U19 World Cup will be held in Debrecen, Hungary from Aug. 7-19. Italy, Australia, and Egypt are all on the schedule so far for preliminary play.

Since 1985, Team USA has compiled a record of 86-13 in U19 play including eight gold medals, one silver, and one bronze. Let's hope they add a ninth gold medal.


Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast



As of right now we are on for our Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast tomorrow. Daryl will be out, but I think the other four of us will be available. Our Cardinal Couple engineers Worldwide and Case have been working on setting us up using OBS as a replacement for Skype. OBS gives them more control on the audio settings and balance for each individual user.

Beyond the brief and simple explanation for the switch over you can check out the novel being written by our team of engineers on all of the benefits of OBS and how it will help us. Just don't ask me, I have a music degree.

Catch us at 11 a.m. Saturday ! Go to the Cardinal Couple You Tube page and click away. 


Happy Friday and Go Cards!

Jared

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Random News and Notes -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


 Happy Thursday, Cards fans! We've been switching writing assignments this week like musical chairs with Daryl and I taking some of the heavier labor with assistance from Case on Monday. Things still remain fairly quiet in terms of UofL news.


Many student-athletes have started making their way back to campus to begin training and conditioning. The commitment of being a DI student-athlete comes with much sacrifice including a condensed summer. I usually wake up at 6:40 to get ready for work and even many of these student-athletes have already been awake for quite some time for their morning workouts.


Katy and I had to plan out what was going to be on tv with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics having started. The lady of the house enjoys her time watching Big Brother and the Bachelor/Bachelorette (whichever is currently in season), but I gave her the talk that we'll be watching the Olympics on the big tv in the living room. Being the nice fiancé I am, I went out to buy an HDMI cable to hook up the second cable box to the tv in the bedroom so she could watch her show while I enjoy rooting for Team USA.

Courtesy of US Soccer


Speaking of the Olympics and Team USA, it was an ugly start for the Team USA women's soccer, who dropped their opening match in group play to Sweden 3-0. We do have to look at many of the members of the USWNT have been on the roster for the last two FIBA World Cups, if not longer, and may not have the same fresh legs as some of their opponents. Europe has really beefed up their women's soccer teams in recent years. But one loss doesn't knock them out.


Only 12 teams compete in the Olympics for women's soccer. There are three groups of four teams, labeled Group E, F, G. They received those three group names to avoid confusion with the men's Groups A-D. The top two finishes in each group advance to the next portion. The next top two finishers also advance, giving the next round a total of eight teams. Thankfully, Team USA still has Australia (ranked 9th in the FIBA rankings) and New Zealand (ranked 22nd). Sweden is currently ranked 6th with the Americans continuing to hold the top ranking.


Monica Abbott, courtesy of NCAA.com


Team USA softball also started the Olympics already. In fact, they're two games in already. In their opening game, Team USA (ranked 1st in the WBSC rankings) took down Italy (ranked 9th) 2-0. Then, at 8:00 p.m., ET, last night, the Americans went up against Canada (ranked 3rd). It was a close one as Team USA walked away with a 1-0 win.


Like the Team USA women's soccer, the softball squad features some veteran players. 38-year-old Cat Osterman and 35-year-old Monica Abbott are on the team this year. Both players pitched in the 2008 silver medal finish with Osterman also playing in the 2004 gold medal finish.


For softball, just six teams will compete in the Olympics this year: USA (ranked 1st), Japan (ranked 2nd), Canada (ranked 3rd), Mexico (ranked 5th), Australia (ranked 8th), and Italy (ranked 9th). The third and fourth place finishers in the round robin pool play compete in the bronze medal game will the top two finishers will battle it out for the gold.


I have no plans to stay up until 2:00 or 4:00 and I'm certainly not going to bed at 8:00 and trying to get up for some of the listed game times, but I will gladly watch games when and where I can.

Believe it or not, I have photographed MBB


On one last note and semi-tied to UofL, congratulations to former Card and current Bucks player Jordan Nwora on becoming a world champion as the Milwaukee Bucks won the NBA Finals Tuesday night.


Happy Thursday and Go Cards!

Jared

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Mid-July sports notes: Get your tickets NOW!! -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

We've switched up the line-up this week, readers.  Daryl checking in with you for Wednesday's coverage. 

Students are back on campus gearing up for the start of the school year, student-athletes adding practice and team work-outs to the agendas.  UofL starts classes on August 23rd, the athletic calendar kicking off with Women's Soccer vs Ball State Saturday, August 14th.  For me, the two fall sports I'm most looking forward to are both ticketed sports this season so I wanted to remind everyone to get their tickets and get them NOW! Follow the link https://am.ticketmaster.com/uofl/buy  for your fall sport ticket needs. 

You can find the fall sports schedules to the RIGHT >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Reading over the gang's coverage this past week, Jeff had an interesting feature article talking about women's vs men's coverage and the work dedicated to the operations of local and other national squads (check out Sunday's article to read what I'm referencing)  I noticed this when visiting the WBB & VB ticket pages both through ticketmaster.  I did click the WBB tickets first.. no particular reason why.. and was amazed to see this is what the selection page looked like... Super cool visuals of the KFC Yum! Center and downtown Louisville. 



I mean.. this is what recruits see.. and their parents/friends who are not lucky enough to get on the guest ticket list. 

So imagine my disappointment to follow my search with an visit to the volleyball ticket page and not get the 3D pic of L&N Arena and Floyd St (shoutout Jared's UofL facility read from yesterday). I mean... it's not like it's an unacceptable graphic... it's just underwhelming (and I could be underestimating the effort it takes to make it happen; I am most certainly not on the CardCouple IT team) compared to the link for WBB season tickets. 




This is a very small mid-summer qualm I am vocalizing this morning, I do realize that much.  But I figured "I've gone this far, might as well keep on going"



I'm probably going to have the Olympics on in the background at work for the rest of the week for Team USAs events which looks like Softball and Soccer to finish out the week and Basketball over the weekend.  Tokyo, Japan is 13 hours ahead of the United States' Eastern Standard Time.  So either set your DVR or alarm clocks! And Let's go TEAM(S) USA!!!! 


Some personal business will keep me off the rotation until atleast next week so I'll sign off with well wishes to everyone reading this and as always, Go Cards.  

~Daryl 



Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Stadiums and Arenas -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

 WHERE THE ACTION IS




We continue to creep towards the start of the 2020-2021 season for UofL. And it does feel like we are creeping that way as games can't seem to start soon enough.

Louisville is home to some fine venues that fans of opposing teams have complimented. These stadiums can also provide a strong home field advantage.

Today, we'll take a look at some of the venues that house the fall sports.


Stadiums and Arenas


L&N Federal Credit Union Arena


Photo from west end zone of arena


The newest, well, most recently renovated, venue is L&N Federal Credit Union Arena, which is home to Louisville Volleyball.

Formerly known as Cardinal Arena, the VolleyCards have called this place home during two different eras. Cardinal Arena was the only home for Louisville during the days of Leonid Yelin as head coach as well as the early days of Anne Kordes as head coach. It wasn't until Kordes took over before Louisville started playing some larger matches at the KFC Yum! Center. By the time Kordes reached her final season in the fall of 2016, nearly every match was held at the KFC Yum! Center.

Dani Busboom Kelly came to Louisville in 2017, the same year UofL completely renovated the on-campus arena. Thanks to a generous donation by L&N Federal Credit Union, Cardinal Arena was renamed L&N Federal Credit Union Arena.

The newly-renovated arena now has a true arena-style feel with seating located a full 360° around the court. Most of the seating comes along the sidelines with a couple rows hanging out in each end zone, hovering above the floor and team benches. There is also a concession stand on the east side of the arena by the front entrance up against Floyd Street.

The 1,100-seat facility has seen plenty of sold out full house crowds with tickets being sold as standing room only before. Due to its small size, L&N Federal Credit Union Arena can be deafening for opposing teams.

The Cards have 13 home matches scheduled this year in the LNFCU. 


Dr Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium


Photo from northeast corner of stadium


The newest facility on campus not including renamed venues or renovations is Dr Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium, which houses both Louisville Women's Soccer and Louisville Men's Soccer. The stadium named is often shortened to Lynn Stadium, which we will refer to it as in this article.

Constructed in 2014, the stadium is still considered one of the best collegiate soccer facilities in the country and has even been used by Louisville's professional soccer team, Louisville City FC.

Lynn Stadium uses natural grass on the pitch and is maintained daily by the grounds crew. Fans can view the match from all sides of the stadium with a majority of the viewing area being the chairback seats on the south side of the stadium. The east end zone is made up of bleachers that sit up against the offices and locker rooms. There is a grass berm on the north side and west end zone with a playground located on the north berm.

Prior to their time at Lynn Stadium, the Cards played at the Louisville Track and Soccer Stadium on Floyd Street, right across the street from L&N Federal Credit Union Arena. Lynn Stadium is also located on Floyd Street, but further down near Cardinal Stadium (football).

The press box is located on the south side with the chairback seating. The south side of the stadium features a large awning to cover fans from the elements.

The Cards have 11 home matches scheduled this year in Lynn. .


Trager Stadium

Photo from west end of stadium


Louisville Field Hockey is the only fall team to only have not seen a new stadium or renovations in recent years. Trager Stadium has been home to the Cards since its construction in 2000. The Cards chose to celebrate my sixth birthday with a venue-premier win over Ohio on Sept. 22, 2000. Sorry if that makes you feel old!

Viewed as one of the premier field hockey facilities in the country, Trager Stadium has hosted six NCAA DI championships and three NCAA DIII championships.

Trager Stadium has a state of the art astro turf. The synthetic turf is thinner and harder than a football field turf, allowing players to run easily and the ball to roll smoothly. The turf also absorbs water well to prevent flooding but also to allow enough water to remain for a suitable playing surface.

In 2008, there was an expansion to Trager Stadium, adding many bleachers to raise the capacity to 1,500. All spectator seating is on the east side of the stadium with the benches and press box on the west side. The end zones remain empty.

The Cards have nine official home matches scheduled this year in Trager.




We are fortunate to experience these venues first hand on a yearly basis either from a spectator standpoint or in the press box. Admission is fee for soccer and field hockey while volleyball is a ticketed event.

We highly encourage you to visit each venue to check out a game sometime. Of course, if attending games in person isn't your thing, UofL does an excellent job with airing their games on the ACC Network or ACC Network Extra.

Also, in regards to that photo at the top of Louie flying, why did I just find out that we used to have Louie "fly" in from the rafters at Freedom Hall? That's actually really neat!


Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!

Jared



Monday, July 19, 2021

USA WBB Tops Nigeria -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

USA Wins 93-62 in Final Tune-Up


With Louisville continuing the summer dead period (the last UofL women's athletic event I can find news on is soccer wrapping up their youth camp), Racing Louisville off this week, and the WNBA on summer break for the All-Star game and Olympics, there really isn't much to talk about. One thing that is going on these days is the lead up to the Olympics. Team USA bounced back from their loss to Australia yesterday, but you'd be hard pressed to figure that out. After a number of searches, I was able to find the final score, but not a box score of any type. 


The game is a preview of how the two teams will open the Olympic games in Tokyo, as they're set to play one another on July 27th. The Nigerian team will hope to have two big boosts to their ranks in that game that they did not have yesterday, as Nneke Ogwumike and Elizabeth Williams are not currently allowed to play for the team. Those two and Nneke's sister, Chiney, all applied for the opportunity to play for Nigeria after being left off of the USA Basketball roster. Chiney was allowed as a naturalized citizen, but Nneke and Williams were rejected. The three argue that they are all Nigerian citizens by birth due to Nigerian parents, but will need the Court of Arbitration of Sports to rule in their favor in the appeal to be able to play in the Olympics.

A big win for Team USA was very needed. The team hadn't lost in international competition since 2010 prior to the Australia game, so an Olympic gold medal was going to require a confidence boost. While the only Cardinal adjacent player headed to Tokyo for basketball is Merissah Russell as an alternate for Canada, ex-Cardinal Elizabeth Balogun helped this Nigerian team qualify for the Olympics. With a lot of young talent coming out of Louisville women's basketball in recent years and in the future, there may be a good chance to see Louisville Cardinals once again representing Team USA as Angel McCoughtry did for many years. Remember, both Hailey Van Lith and Olivia Cochran have been with youth versions of the team in recent years.


That's all for me today. A slow weekend will do that. Paulie should be back to these pages soon. 

Until next time, Go Cards!
-CH-

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Sunday Cardinal Couple

Some Travel Thoughts


Greetings from the Pacific Northwest.  My brother, my mother, and I decided to take a long weekend and get away for a bit.  We quickly settled on Portland, Oregon for a destination.  We set a date, booked flights, and a hotel, and here we are in Pacific Daylight Savings Time.

There's a number of things that we have quickly come to appreciate about Portland.  We're staying in a very walkable part of the city in The Pearl District, and we have had good food, good beer, and even found a bar with a really excellent bourbon selection.  We also have been walking many of those calories off, hitting over 20,000 steps yesterday.

Sports Teams


Portland is home to the University of Portland Pilots, and the Portland State University Vikings.  Neither appear to be a very significant draw for sports fandom.

The city host an NBA team, the Trailblazers, and they have an ice hockey team, the Winterhawks.

The big draw in Portlandia sports, however, really seems to be soccer.  The Portland Timbers are an MLS side, and in their game at Providence Park here last night, they drew over 23,000 fans in a 1-0 victory over FC Dallas.  The organization running the Timbers, much like Soccer Holdings, LLC that runs Louisville City FC and Racing Louisville FC, supports several teams, four in fact.  In addition to the Timbers, they run the Timbers2 in the USL, Timbers U23s in USL League Two, and the Portland Thorns, the women's side currently sitting in a four way tie for first place in the NWSL.

A Twinge of Disappointment


Meeting up with my mother and brother in the hotel bar before heading out for dinner last night, the Timbers were on TV and I decided I would check on the Thorns schedule and to my pleasant surprise, they play tonight, here in Providence Park.  A quick consultation with the sibling and parental units and tickets were obtained.

In the process of getting the tickets, I searched for the Thorns website.  A quick google search later, and I found myself at https://www.timbers.com/thornsfc.  Here's what the header of the page looks like:

I was disappointed.  While the Thorns are very well supported here in Portland - the bar with the excellent bourbon selection referenced above featured a Thorns scarf as decoration more prominently than the Timbers counterpart - the organization, Peregrine Sports LLC, presents the Thorns as secondary to the Timbers, as an appendage to the top level men's team.

A Bit of Pride


Out of that disappointment, though, I felt a bit of pride in my hometown city.

The URL for Racing Louisville FC?  https://www.racingloufc.com/ and when you go to the page, you see no branding, no reference, not even a hint of the existence of Louisville City FC.  Racing Louisville FC is allowed to stand on it own with pride.

I see much of the same pattern with the University of Louisville, sports.  The UofL Women's Tennis team's Twitter handle is "@UofLTennis", while the Twitter handle for the men's team is "@UofLMTennis".  We've discussed in these pages before about how the UofL Athletics Department eschews the moniker "Lady Cards", explaining that using "Lady Cards" suggests that the women's teams wouldn't fully be representing the University as Cardinals as they would "merely be the Lady Cards".

I love that UofL, along with Racing Louisville/Louisville City gets this right.

Representation matters.  Presentation matters.  Many people say that women's sports gets lesser presentation because they draw less.  Meanwhile, this year's Women's College World Series in Softball drew an average viewership of over 1.2 million viewers, while it's counterpart the College World Series for Baseball drew an average of just over 750,000 viewers.

Women's sports can succeed, on its own, without being an appendage to men's team.  All that is needed is the chance to shine.

Thank you to UofL, and to Soccer Holdings LLC, for being a part of the solution.  As fans, we should occasionally take a moment and appreciate the efforts to which these organizations go to be part of creating gender equity.

Tonight, I'll be wearing a red shirt as the Thorns host the Orlando Pride to break that tie at the the top of the NWSL standings, but in my mind, I'll be thinking of the Lavender, Deep Violet, and Mint Green of Racing Louisville.  And of course, I can't wait to get back to Floyd street and wear the red and black of the Cardinals.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Cards Nominated for Honor -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Forrest and Schneider are NCAA WotY Nominees


Each year since 1991, the NCAA has named a "Woman of the Year". The award is based on academic achievement, athletic excellence, community service, and leadership. Each school nominates its own athletes to their conference office. Each conference office around the country will select one nominee to advance to the next round. At that point, the NCAA Selection Committee (hopefully not the same one as the basketball or baseball tournaments) picks the top-ten from each of the three NCAA divisions. The "Top 30" will all be honored at the final announcement ceremony in October. From the Top 30, the list is trimmed to a Top 9, three from each division, prior to the ceremony. The overall winner will be announced at the ceremony on October 17th in Indianapolis.


Louisville's nominees this season were Makenli Forrest and Meghan Schneider. Forrest will have a good claim at the athletic excellence portion for sure. She's a national champion in the Indoor Weight Throw after claiming gold this year. She also won the event at the ACC level. Adding to her athletic performances, Forrest was named the ACC Indoor Track and Field Scholar Athlete of the Year and was a 2021 Postgraduate Scholar. She sits on Louisville's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee as well.

Schneider graduated with her bachelors degree in May with a 4.0. This came while studying biology with a concentration in subcellular genetics and minoring in Spanish. For her studies, she was named the NFHCA Scholar-Athlete of the Year and received the Elite 90 Award for the NCAA Field Hockey Championship. She was also named a finalist for the Honda Award. On the athletic side, Schneider helped the field hockey team reach their first ever ACC regular season title and their first NCAA Final Four appearance. She was the NFHCA Defensive Player of the Week in October and was named to the All-American Third Team.


Both Forrest and Schneider are excellent candidates for the award, as their community service and leadership don't show on the page but have been evident in their time on campus. We'll keep you updated as the process develops. 

No CCRH This Week


For a variety of personal reasons, and a lack of topics to really dig into, we'll be taking this week off from the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour. In the meantime, come up with some topics you'd like to see us cover in a quiz or dig deeper into on the site. We should be back with the show next week so keep checking the site for updates.

Until next time, Go Cards!
-CH-

Friday, July 16, 2021

Looking forward to the 2020 Olympics; FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

 Good Friday morning Cardnation !

It feels like a great morning, it really does.  We're in the all-star break in a couple sports (WNBA, mlb & milb), i have had the opportunity to see a live show again last weekend & it just seems like personally, it was a very rewarding week and i am looking forward to the weekend to relax! 

When I started typing, I had no plan for what I would type.. my routine is to read up on the gang's posts from the week and see if any wheels start turning.  With not much going on on the Cardinal sports front and pro sports reaching their halfway marks, I cant help but to look forward to the Olympics.  

TEAM USA WBB

Team USA WBB faced the WNBA All-Stars a couple nights ago... it was an entertaining game if you did not get to see it, the All-Stars beat Team USA 93-85.  The 3-point shooting contest was held at half-time, veteran guard Allie Quigley from the Chicago Sky won her third triples crown. 

Team WNBA was coached by Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson, both former WNBA greats and Olympic teammates of Team USA coach, Dawn Staley. Thompson is coach of Virginia's women's team and Staley coaches at South Carolina. They are all good friends who won Olympic gold together and are Naismith Hall of Famers.  

After entering the 4th quarter tied at 66, the All-Stars beat USA 27-19 in the 4th quarter.  This site is not an Arike Ogumbawale fan-site, lets make that clear.. but she had 8 of Team WNBA's 4th quarter total.  She lead all scorers with 26 points in 26 minutes on the floor going 10-18 from the field and 5-10 from three point land which was good for the MVP honors of the game.  

If you recall, Team USA team started prepping for the Tokyo Olympics in November of 2019 when they went on a college campus tour making stops at Stanford, Oregon and Oregon State, Texas A&M, Uconn & UofL was the last stop in February of 2020 before the national team began its Olympic qualifying tournament campaign.  The IOC ultimately suspended the Tokyo Games on in late March of 2020 due to the condition of the global pandemic.  Angel McCoughtry should've gotten the opportunity to play in those games, unfortunately, a season ending injury in May of 2021 sidelined her for competition. She was, however, in the broadcasting booth for the All-star events this past week along-side LaChina Robinson and company.

Here is the Box Score from Team USA vs Louisville WBB 2/2/2020

Final score? It was ugly.. 


Clearly, the Cards could hang with the national team to open each half but lost all steam as it played out.  The Cards lost 60-15 in the 2nd and 4th quarters.  

Diana Taurasi and Sue Bird will be playing in their fifth Olympics.  Taurasi has had a hip injury and did not play vs Team WNBA saying she wants to be ready for Tokyo.  The Americans' Olympic opener is July 27 vs. Nigeria.

CARDS IN THE OLYMPICS

The University of Louisville is sending 10 athletes to the Olympic Games representing 10 different countries, in Tokyo, Japan.

The Cardinal contingent consists of Zach Harting (Swimming - USA), Tatiana Salcutan (Swimming - Moldova), Andrej Barna (Swimming - Serbia), Grigory Tarasevich (Swimming - Russia), Marcelo Acosta (Swimming - El Salvador), Murilo Sartori (Swimming – Brazil), Merissah Russell (Women's Basketball – Canada), Ayeisha McFerran (Field Hockey – Ireland), Ben Williams (Track & Field – Great Britain), Matt Hughes (Track & Field – Canada).



We do wish the Cardinals good luck in their events!  Its always Go Cards but ultimately its Go Team USA!! 
Have a safe weekend out there, readers!  Leave your favorite Summer Olympics sport in the comment section! 

~Daryl 

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Way Too Early Season Predictions -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

 Way Too Early Season Predictions


(EDITOR NOTE: Our columnist Jared Anderson likes to predict things. We all get a big chuckle out of some of his prognostications and occasionally, he's even pretty close to being right on a prediction. It's the old "even a blind squirrel finds a nut" theory with him. But, as always, a good read.) 







It's time to start some debate on here. Now...we just wait to see which member of the Cardinal Couple team wants to smack me the hardest.

The fall sports schedules have been out for about a week now so it's time to take a swing (and probably a miss) at the final results for each team.


Soccer




Women's Soccer is the first team to start their regular season for the 2021-2022 season and have plenty of home matches to ease the schedule. Here's how I see the contests going: 

vs Ball State (W)

vs Western Michigan (W)

vs James Madison (W)

vs Northern Kentucky (W)

@ Saint Louis (L)

vs Western Kentucky (L)

vs Michigan (L)

@ Miami (W)

@ Syracuse (W)

vs Florida State (L)

vs Wake Forest (W)

@ Notre Dame (L)

vs NC State (W)

vs Boston College (W)

@ Virginia (L)

@ Clemson (L)

vs Duke (L)

Regular Season Record: 9-8, 5-5 ACC

The 15 points will be enough to get the Cards into the ACC Tournament as a low 7-or-8-seed, where they will bow out in the first round. Just to remind you, you get three points for a win and one point for a tie in the ACC. The top teams in the ACC are the top teams in the country and they're hard to beat, even on a good day.

The loss in the first round of the ACC Tournament drops the Cards to 9-9 and they miss out on the NCAA Tournament.


Volleyball




Volleyball has a pretty tough schedule with the additions of some highly-ranked non-conference opponents.. Here's how I see things going for them: 

vs Cal Poly at neutral site (W)

vs Texas A&M- Corpus Christi at neutral site (W)

@ Arizona State (W)

vs Missouri (W)

vs South Dakota (W)

vs Northern Kentucky (W)

vs Purdue at neutral site (L)

@ Xavier (W)

vs Kentucky (L)

@ Nebraska (L)

vs Miami (W)

vs Florida State (W)

@ Clemson (W)

@ Georgia Tech (W)

vs Boston College (W)

vs Syracuse (W)

@ Virginia Tech (W)

@ Wake Forest (W)

vs Virginia (W)

vs Pitt (W)

@ Duke (W)

@ NC State (W)

@ North Carolina (W)

vs Georgia Tech (W)

@ Notre Dame (L)

vs Duke (W)

@ Pitt (L)

vs Notre Dame (W)

Regular Season Record: 23-5, 16-2 ACC

The 16-2 conference record is enough to claim another share of the ACC title, sharing the honors with rival Pitt. Multiple wins against ranked teams and a conference title give Louisville a seed in the NCAA Tournament. No stranger to getting wins in the postseason, the Cards advance to their second ever Elite Eight.


Field Hockey




Field Hockey finished the season last year as one of the top teams in the country and made the Final Four. Their schedule, both in-conference and non-conference, are full of tough talent. My prediction for the Stick girls: 


vs Ohio (W)

vs New Hampshire (W)

vs Pennsylvania at neutral site (L)

@ Princeton (W)

vs Indiana (W)

vs Liberty (W)

vs Virginia (W)

vs Iowa (W)

at Duke (L)

@ Ohio State (W)

vs Wake Forest (W)

vs Miami OH (W)

@ Michigan (L)

@ Boston College (L)

@ Northeastern (W)

@ North Carolina (L)

@ James Madison (W)

vs Syracuse (W)

Regular Season Record: 13-5, 3-3 ACC

A tough schedule featuring both teams from last year's national championship leads to a few tough losses, but Field Hockey wins the opening round of the ACC Tournament before falling in the semifinals. A solid record and a good resume gets Louisville back to the NCAA Tournament, but they can't match last year's finish as they fall in the quarterfinals.

                                  



The other Cardinal Couple folks will probably take a jab at some predictions either in the articles or on air. We'll continue to break the seasons down more in the next month as the start of fall sports creep closer.

Ideally, each team goes undefeated and wins the national championship, but that's easier said than done. WSOC needs to find a scorer like Ekic and Field Hockey a playmaker like Pastor (both have graduated and gone on to professional careers). Is there that talented freshman or key player from last year that will step up and say: "I will fill that role"?  Time will tell. 

If you've got a different "take", I'd love to hear from you about it. Leave a comment in the comments section. 


Happy Thursday and Go Cards!

Jared

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

ZYANNA WALKER to LOUISVILLE WBB -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

 COMBO GUARD OUT OF WICHITA SAYS "YES" TO CARDS




The wait is over for seeing where 5'8" rising senior combo guard Zyanna Walker will continue her student-athlete career in 2022. She announced yesterday that she was UofL Cardinals bound -- stating that she was "110% committed" to UofL and the Cardinals coaching staff. 

"They've been recruiting me for a few years now and I've been able to get to know the coaches. I took a visit there and loved it. The coaches were very honest with me in what they saw in me and I really trusted them at the end of the day. It took a lot of time talking to all of the coaches recruiting me, so it feel good to be done."  

Another Kansas standout joins the Cards. Payton Verhulst, a standout at Kansas City's Bishop Miege High School, will suit it up for the 2021-22 season for the Red and Black. 




It hasn't been an easy road for Walker. She tore her ACL shortly before her junior season and then discovered she had also torn her meniscus. The injury took away the chance for her to play her junior season at Wichita Heights High School. A year of rehabilitation followed. She's confident that she'll be able to play for her club team (Kansas United), though, when they visit Atlanta and Alabama for tournaments. 

"I'm excited to get back out there and see how my knee feels. It's been really tough and there's been people doubting me, but I know what I bring with my game and how hard I work. I know I'm going to come back even better. I just love basketball, and it comes from the heart. That's why I have a natural work ethic." 




Those words will, no doubt, hearten Cardinals associate strength and conditioning coach Beth Burns and the rest of the staff at UofL. 

Schools first started following Walker as an eight grader in middle school.

The word on Walker is that she's got the skills to do a lot. She handles the ball exceptionally well and her shooting is spot on. Her footwork is solid and she moves well side-to-side. She can be tricky on the court, and that has impressed her high school head coach Ken Palmer.

"When she first started coming for workouts as a freshman, I'm trying to teach her new ways to score the ball and everything I was showing her, she just did so easy. It was like...is anything hard for you?" 




Zyanna is, of course, headed to a school where guard play has thrilled Cardinal fans for the entire Jeff Walz proclivity at UofL. Beginning with Angel McCoughtry, Becky Burke, Dez Byrd and progressing with such standouts as Shoni and Jude Schimmel, Tia Gibbs, Bria Smith,  Asia Durr, Arica Carter, Jazmine Jones, Dana Evans, Kianna Smith, Kasa Robinson and Hailey Van Lith -- Cardinals guards have been a constant worry for foes in, first, the Big East, and in the ACC -- plus on the national stage. 

Before she arrives at UofL, though, a senior season of high school. Zyanna is direct and focused on what she wants to accomplish -- a state championship. 

She wears #23 in high school. That's a number that, no doubt, remains in a lot of Cardinals faithful memories -- being the collegiate number of Jazmine Jones. 




Zyanna, Kianna and Ahlana...I know -- it sounds like a 60's pop group. It also sounds like the best and the brightest of the collegiate nation's guard contingent are buying in to what is being taught and practiced at Louisville. That hard work and dedication will reap rewards. The Cards are the best in the ACC over the last several years and that shows no signs of changing. 

We'll be watching, here at CARDINAL COUPLE, and hoping for the best for her. 



Have a wonderful Wednesday! 

paulie


(parts of today's article were researched from an article in kansas.com