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Friday, November 27, 2015

Volleyball, Basketball play today...Volleyball sweeps awards...-- Friday Cardinal Couple


While some of you are busily scooping up Black Friday deals at retail outlets today, the Louisville WBB and Volleyball programs are hoping to scoop up wins on this day after Thanksgiving. 

Both Louisville women's basketball and volleyball are on the road today for games. The Wide Net Cards are at Syracuse, Walz's charges are in Estero, FL. getting ready for the Gulf Coast Showcase 


In their final game of the regular season, the Louisville Volleyball team faces Syracuse with huge implications on the line.

A win gives Louisville outright possession of the ACC Championship. Beating the 'Cuse would keep the Cards alive in the RPI for a possible 1st and 2nd round hosting for the NCAA Tournament.

The Cards nearly blew both opportunities Wednesday when they ran into a fired-up, nothing-to-lose Boston College team that took them to four sets 27-29, 25-23, 25-17, 26-24
in Chestnut Hill.

Against the Orangewomen, Louisville will face a 22-8, 13-6 squad that will be celebrating Senior Day and also trying to stay alive for NCAA Tournament considerations. The two schools met earlier in the ACC schedule at the KFC YUM! Center...the Cards taking a four set win. Erin Fairs had 16 kills in the win.

Game time is 1 p.m. No TV planned as far as I can tell.



Photo by Sandy Walker
Louisville women's basketball looks for their first win of the season against (0-4) Marist later today in the first round of the Gulf Coast Showcase. The Cards may present viewers a shuffled lineup...due to defensive concerns by Jeff Walz. 

The teams (all eight of them) engaged in a Thanksgiving Banquet last night that Cardinal Couple correspondent Sandy Walker attended. We'll sample some of the audio she captured from it on our Saturday radio show THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR.

If the Cards somehow manage to lose this one today, it wouldn't be a first. Marist defeated them back in 2010 in Las Vegas 74-68. It would, however, be a surprise...

This one is supposed to be live on You Tube at 5 p.m. today. Matt Andrews and Adrienne Johnson will have the radio call on WKRD 790.



Congratulations to Molly Sauer, Katie George and Anne Kordes for capturing all the ACC Volleyball Awards.

Sauer was selected Freshman of the Year and Defensive player of the Year. George received Player of the Year and Setter of the Year honors. Kordes Coach of the Year. 

Along with Sauer, Aniah Philo was named to the Freshman First Team. Erin Fairs joined George on the All ACC First team. 


Thursday, November 26, 2015


                 HAPPY THANKSGIVING

From all of us at CARDINAL COUPLE, Happy Thanksgiving!

We'll return to the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports tomorrow. Be thankful for what you've got.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Louisville Volleyball looks to clinch tie for title today...What are you thankful for? -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

CARDS AT B.C. TODAY @ 1 p.m.

Louisville Volleyball looks to do what no other fall sports team on campus has done this season today in Chestnut Hill, MA against the Boston College Eagles. Securing a title in the ACC is within the Cards reach if they can knock off the Eagles in Power Gym. 

With a win, Louisville goes to 18-1 in conference play and would secure at the very least a tie for the top spot in ACC Volleyball. With a one game lead over UNC, the Cards can assume top spot all to themselves if they can also win at Syracuse on Friday.

Boston College shouldn't pose much of a threat to Anne Kordes' wide-netters. The Eagles are 3-15 in ACC play and have lost their last five matches. They are 6-6 on the season at home in all games...and did take UNC to five games earlier this year before losing...but the Cards did handle them in a three-game sweep earlier in the season at the KFC YUM! Center 25-12, 25-12, 25-17.

B.C. is led by outside hitter Katty Workman with 405 kills. In the match against Louisville on October 4th, she led the Eagles with eight kills. Mallory Moffit has 813 assists.

Louisville recently climbed to #15 in the polls and #14 in the RPI rankings. The Cards are enjoying a seven game win streak...last losing at UNC on Oct. 30th. in four sets.

Erin Fairs is the leading kill artist for the Cards with 399 and Katie George delivers the goods with 1228 assists. 

This one starts at 1 p.m. and can be viewed free over at the B.C. website. Link below:




As we draw closer to Thanksgiving Day...what are you thankful for? A job, place to live, food on the table, camaraderie and freedom? 

Besides those basics, let's take a look at some of the many things we can be thankful for when it comes to UofL women's sports this year. 

VOLLEYBALL. In only the second year of ACC competition, they have risen to the top of the conference. What other sport on campus can claim that? We are thankful for the wise guidance, always insightful interviews and spot-on coaching from Anne Kordes, the Katie George showmanship and skills we've been fortunate to be able to watch for the last four years and how this team has bonded into one unit.
We look forward to the rest of this year and the future.

BASKETBALL. We continue to be thankful and proud of the job Jeff Walz and his staff have done in bringing the best of the best to campus year-in and year-out. Also for the unlimited access he has given us to discuss, inquire about and cover the program. Despite the slow start, we're thankful for the attitude these women are showing that they will get better and we're confident they will. From Cortnee Walton's beautiful smile, to Briahanna Jackson's confident, cocky persona and the unlimited potential of the #1 freshman class in the nation...we're very sure that we'll be saying "Whose gonna beat these Cards?" very soon.

FIELD HOCKEY. Justine Sowry has installed a mission statement of hard work, humility, dedication and success in her five years at Louisville and the Cards have gone back-to-back in NCAA Tournament appearances for the first time in Louisville Field Hockey history. We're thankful for the time "Coach" has granted us to discuss and explore the program and her candid, in-depth and sometimes comical, tongue-in-cheek explanations of the sport she lives for. Sowry will tell you she has her dream job here at Louisville and we'll tell you we have our dream coach for Cards Field Hockey. 

SOCCER. Karen Ferguson-Dayes has soccer headed in the right direction and is building a team that will compete for the top of the ACC standings very soon. We're thankful for that one shining moment, unparalleled in Louisville women's soccer history, when they faced and knocked off #1 UNC at Lynn Stadium. We're grateful to have seen the explosion of players on the field, the smiles, joyous celebration and the almost stunned post-game comments from KFD on the biggest win in program history. Anytime we ask, Coach will make time for us to discuss the team, the schedule and the philosophy of Louisville women's soccer. For that, we're very thankful and we can't wait for next season! Taylor Bucklin, Inger Katrine Bjerke and Alison Price are three of the funnest and informative interviews one can do...and we're thankful for that. 

SOFTBALL. We're thankful for the great atmosphere in Ulmer Stadium on game day and the coach with the most wins in Louisville women's sports history...Sandy Pearsall. An interview with coach is an event we always look forward to...the compete analysis of team, individuals and opponents...her philosophies and opinions...that wry, delightful sense of humor and acceptance. A 15 minute talk with Pearsall should be worth three credit hours on campus based on what we learn. Another smile that can light up a room....and a coaching philosophy that stresses improvement and dedication to the sport. 

LACROSSE. Kellie Young has had unparalleled success at the university and she built the program from scratch. A program that achieves not only successes on the field but in the classroom and in community involvement. Coach tells it how it is and doesn't sugar-coat it...which is refreshing, can be revealing and is never mundane or blase. The polished and professional way her players handle interviews and sheer exciting nature of the sport and the physicality is something we're very grateful and thankful to be witness to...and they've built a press box! We're really grateful for that.... 

These are but a few of the sports that consist of the Louisville women's athletics roster. Admittedly, they are the ones we cover most frequency...but there are others just as important and achieving

The continuing successes of Louisville Swimming, a rowing team that is competing and matching up with the best in the nation. Golfers who give Louisville a chance to win any tournament they are in. Runners, hurdlers, tennis racket swingers, throwers...all very good things.

We're thankful for the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports and the ability to be able to witness it and write about it.

Thank you, student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans. Just for being you.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Louisville women's's time to get defensive -- Tuesday Cardinal Couple


As the Louisville women's basketball team practices in preparation for Friday night's game against Marist in Estero, FL in the Gulf Coast Showcase, Jeff Walz is looking for his five best defenders and those will be the five that take the floor against the 0-4 Red Foxes. 

(If it means anything, Sonja and I spotted a red fox in our backyard last night near dusk and it was running scared and quickly looking for shelter.)

Scoring isn't a concern for Walz, his squad is averaging 70 points a game...which could easily be 80 if they'd start making more wide open layups...but stopping the opponent is of prime concern for the Cards' head coach...who sees opponents averaging 73 points per game. Also, opponents are shooting 48% against Louisville. 

Starting lineup changes are likely for the #23 ranked, 0-2 Cardinals and Walz is using these three days of practice before departing to Florida to determine the players that will be his best defenders.  

OK. So who besides Briahanna Jackson will be on the floor for the tip against Marist? 

Walz isn't saying yet...we may not know until game time...but here's one intrepid columnist guess on the other four. 

Dakota Weatherford. The transfer guard from Evansville is all about the hustle and intensity. Two very good components for defense. If Walz wants to send a message to the squad that they need to hustle, what better way to get it across than by finally playing her?

Sydney Brackemyre. Syd's another one that is a competitor and goes until she hears the whistle. Fully capable of guard a paint player or wing...the 6'1" red-shirt freshman runs the court. The knee is the only potential drawback, not the heart or courage. 

Cortnee Walton. Shooting may not be her strong suit as of yet but she gets to the boards well and does not give up her ground in the paint willingly.

Mariya Moore. Maybe a little too aggressive at WKU with five fouls, the sophomore has a wealth of basketball knowledge and can be tenacious on traps and presses.

The word is out on the practice courts at Cardinal Arena and the KFC YUM! Center. Defense gets you playing time from here on out.  Who will stand up, lock-down and deny the distributions? 

( is well-known that my prediction rate is usually about 20% or less...ask any of the fall women's coaches...but it's 100% certain defense decides these upcoming days for WBB.) 


Monday, November 23, 2015

Louisville Volleyball sweeps "pesky" Georgia Tech in Senior Day home finale -- Monday Cardinal Couple


After a teary, joyous and emotional pre-game Senior Day send-off to Mississippi St. transfer Roxanne McVey, South Florida transfer Erin Fairs and Louisville Assumption's Katie George on Sunday afternoon in the KFC YUM! Center...the VolleyCards got down to the business of playing volleyball.

They ran into "all they wanted" in the first two matches against a determined and pesky Georgia Tech squad. 28-26, 27-25 and 25-14 were the game scores...Louisville coming back from Georgia Tech (18-12, 9-9) game-point several times in the first two matches against the visitors from Atlanta.

The first set was a tight battle that featured ten tied scores and five lead changes. Knotted up at 24-24, 25-25 and 26-26, the Cards got their final three points on three kills from Fairs to get the win. 

In the second set, neither team held more than a two-point lead and there were 17 tied scores and 4 lead changes. Louisville came back from a 24-25 deficit to win on a Tess Clark block and two straight Maya McClendon kills. 

After the break, the Cards used a 10-2 run early in the third set to establish dominance and take the match.

Louisville (23-5, 17-1) now faces their final two games of the regular season...taking to the road for matches against Boston College on Wednesday at 1 p.m. and Syracuse on Friday at 1 p.m. The Cards hold a one game lead over North Carolina and two game lead over Florida State in the conference standings. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Louisville women's basketball falls late at WKU 71-69...Volleyball today -- SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Despite 24 points from Briahanna Jackson...Louisville takes their second loss of the basketball season in Bowling Green to WKU 71-69 Saturday afternoon.

The Cards had reclaimed the lead at 68-67 with 42 seconds to go in a topsy-turvy 4th period after Jackson connected on a layup, got fouled and made the free throw. Jeff Walz switched to a zone defense on the ensuing WKU possession to try and confuse the Hilltoppers but WKU guard Kendall Noble found a wide open Kayla Smith under the basket to put WKU ahead with 34 ticks remaining. 

The Cards looked to have a good chance to regain the lead when they advanced the ball but misses by Arica Carter and Cortnee Walton on jumpers and then a highly questionable travelling call on Walton with 15 seconds left got the ball back in Western's possession. A quick foul sent Noble to the line and her two conversions made it 71-68 WKU. 

Walz got a 30 second timeout and most of us on press row expected the Cards to try a potentially tying three on the ensuing play. Instead, Taja Cole went to the basket for a layup and was fouled on the missed attempt. After Cole sank the first and missed the second, Jackson came up with the rebound with eight seconds remaining but the Cards could not get off a final shot.

Louisville started the game slowly and trailed 12-3 with 2:43 left in the first period after Noble drained a three. Baskets by Sam Fuehring, Myisha Hines-Allen and Asia Durr got the Cards finally rolling and back to within seven and the first ten minutes ended with WKU holding a 16-9 lead.

UofL steadily chipped away at the WKU lead in the second period and a Jackson three got the Cards within two at 22-20 with 5:13 until the intermission. Jackson would tie the contest at 26-26 with another three at the 2:42 mark and the Cards would go in at the half trailing 33-32 after Hines-Allen connected inside with six seconds left to play.

Louisville took their first lead of the contest since the 8:07 mark of the first period when they created a steal and Hines-Allen would bank in a layup to make it 34-33 Louisville just 25 second into the third period. The Cards would not relinquish that lead over the next 10 minutes and Cole's driving layup with 1:16 remaining in the third gave UofL a 49-46 lead after 30 minutes of play. 

Then came the fireworks. Moore inside made it 51-46 Cards at the 9:17 mark and one wondered if the Cards might be on the verge of putting the Toppers away. 

Quite the opposite happened.

It was WKU getting the hot hand and a 10-0 run over the next three minutes put them in a 56-51 lead. The Cards battled back. Carter tied the contest at 60-60 with 3:04 left and Durr put Louisville ahead with a free throw. It was WKU's turn to catch on fire and they went on a 7-1 run over the next two minutes to lead 67-62. A Moore three cut that margin to two and led to the frantic final 42 seconds. 
WKU mascot Big Red shows Paulie his...OK, nevermind...

Questions, questions...were the Cards over-ranked to start this season when they only were returning two starters from last years squad?

And did Walz get a little over-zealous with some tough early match-ups for such a young squad?

A quiet night scoring for Moore and Hines-Allen (21 total points and a combined 7 for 25 shooting) which leads to the question... are the two stepping up to the level so far that fans expected them to be at?

Durr still looks to be less than full strength...the explosion with the ball just isn't there yet....and the Cards overall defense in the post still needs a lot of work. 

Missed layups. Crucial free throw misses. A great night on the offensive boards with 31 grabs but only 16 second chance points. That speaks volumes. 33% from three-point range is passable (8 for 24) but Moore, Durr and Cole were a combined 4 for 16. In the post, Hines-Allen and Walton were 4 for 16 (25%). That has to improve. 

The transition from being the "all-everything" in high school to team play in college can be a slow one for a freshmen. The individual talent is there, no one can question that...but working as a unit is a much different aspect and the Cards could definitely use some improvement on this part of their game. 

The slow start tonight was particularly distressing. Such a lackadaisical approach to the first few minutes of yesterday's game needed Walz's immediate attention and he probably should have substituted more than he did or gotten a timeout and blistered a few ears.

A work in progress...this team is. The question long will it take to get the construction finished? That slight but growing fan base murmur of discontentment you're hearing in the background and the e--mails we're getting could get much more audible if the Cards head south and fall to Marist and two more opponents in the Gulf Coast Showcase.

I realize that today's write-up doesn't exactly embody the "joy and excitement" of UofL women's sports that is our mission statement...but...sometimes it's hard to put lipstick on a pig and pass it off as a beauty contestant. Two games in and Louisville is 0-2 and had chances to win both. 

It's early, plenty of games yet to play but this 2015-16 team sorely needs a few more positive signs besides Action Jackson and Arica Carter. 



Louisville Volleyball looks to maintain their lead in the ACC when Georgia Tech comes to call today for a 2 p.m. match in the KFC YUM! Center. 

What could be more fun than attending a action-packed, hard-hitting contest in a warm, spacious arena? 

Head down to the river and give the VolleyCards your support! 


Our latest radio show is available now at the link below. We were live from the Paul Just Media Center inside E.A. Diddle arena and we think our first remote ever with both of us out of the studio went well. 


Paige Sherrard wasn't able to join us on the broadcast (time mix-up) but we hope to have her on for broadcasts in the future. She wrote a nice piece for Swish Appeal about Saturday's game. Be sure to get over there to check it out.



Louisville Volleyball cages Clemson....WKU and Louisville today in WBB -- Saturday Cardinal Couple


Anne Kordes' Louisville Volleyball team improved to 16-1 in the ACC with a straight set sweep of the Clemson Tigers
25-20, 25-24, 25-19 Friday night in the KFC YUM! Center. Erin Fairs had 16 kills for the Cards...who are at 24-5 overall and ranked #17 in the nation.

Anything less than a dominating, straight-set sweep probably would have been disappointing against the cellar-dwellers of the ACC...a team the Cards handled in similar fashion down at Clemson earlier in the season. 

With the win, Louisville holds a one game lead over North Carolina and is two games ahead of Florida State with three games remaining in the regular season. 

Louiasville will face Georgia Tech Sunday at 2 p.m. and it will be senior day ceremonies for the VolleyCards.  Katie George, Roxanne McVey and Erin Fairs will go through pre-game recognition for their contributions to the team.



Louisville women's basketball (0-1) looks to get their first win of the season on the road at Western Kentucky this afternoon. The game is scheduled to tip at 3:30 p.m. and is part of a double-header that also features the Western Kentucky men's team facing Stony Brook in the opener. 

The Cards look to improve after an opening season loss in the KFC YUM! Center to California 75-71 last Sunday. The Cards got good efforts out of junior transfer Briahanna Jackson (21 points, six steals) and sophomore Mariya Moore (20 points, six threes) but were outrebounded by the Bears 50-27. 

WKU held a 15-point second period lead over Ball State on the road but couldn't sustain the momentum in the final half...falling 74-70 to those northern Cardinals. Freshman Kayla Smith had 14 points in her debut as a Hilltopper but Nathalie's Fontaine's 30 points led Ball State to the victory. The Toppers were outscored 31-18 in the final 10 minutes.



THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR show will be broadcast live from E.A. Diddle Arena on the WKU campus this morning at 11 a.m. on WCHQ 100.9 FM and at

Worldwide and Pauie will be joined on the broadcast by Paige Sherrard...writer for SB Nation and Swish Appeal and the first lady of CARDINAL SPORTS ZONE. 

We'll discuss the upcoming game against WKU, loss to Cal and review and preview volleyball action. We also have audio from Anne Kordes and post-game Cal comments from Mariya Moore, Briahanna Jackson, Lindsey Gottlieb and Jeff Walz 

It should be another stellar event in FM radio history, you can listen at the link below: