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Friday, November 28, 2014

LEOPARDS will need to be fast against WBB tonight -- Friday Cardinal Couple

3-1 Lafayette faces Louisville women's basketball

In the animal world, the leopard is known for its blazing speed. These feline counterparts on the women's basketball circuit, the Lafayette College Leopards could use some of this quickness as they take on their toughest opponent of the young basketball season...the Louisville the KFC YUM! Center Friday night at 7 p.m.

In games against Delaware, Hartford and Rider, Lafayette has achieved double-digit wins. A loss at Columbia by seven saw them trim a double-digit lead late. The Patriot League member from Easton, PA averages 23 threes a contest and has five players who have attempted ten or more this season.

The Leopards also have four players who average 10 or more points per game. Emily Homan, a 6'3" senior forward, is rolling at a 19 PPG clip. Jamie O'Hare, a 5'6" junior guard, is second in scoring with 13.8 a contest. Linnel Macklin contributes 13.0 a night and 5'5" senior guard and Louisville Sacred Heart graduate Maddie Peabody has 40 points in four games. Peabody led the Leopards with 16 points in their last game vs. Rider. 

Louisville (5-0) has faced few challenges in the early season and will look to do what works for them...creating transition offense, scoring in the paint and causing havoc on defense. They should be able to get to the boards without any trouble...the Leopards average only 39 rebounds a game and are shooting 39% on the year. 

Bria Smith and Mariya Moore have provided the front court spark for the Cards this season and the strong paint crew of Sara Hammond, Myisha Hines-Allen, Shawnta' Dyer, Emmonnie Henderson and Sherrone Vails look to be in mid-season form already...Louisville is currently outrebounding opponents by an average of 8.2 a game. 

The Cards have shown a propensity to play to the level of their opponents early in games this season and then deliver exciting runs that create insurmountable leads. That's all well and good against the November opponents...but things ramp up in December with Iowa and Kentucky in the KFC YUM! Center. We'd like to see the Cards step on the accelerator right out of the locker room and lead by double digits after the first few minutes of tonight's game. 

Can the Leopards run with UofL? Five have tried and failed. We'll be happy with another 20+ win and would love to see Jude come out of her shooting slump.

Light up Louisville is also going on tomorrow expect a busy downtown. The annual event is scheduled for 6 p.m.

We'd also like to wish Syd Brackemyre a full, complete and speedy recovery from the knee surgery she recently had performed. We're looking forward to see her up and around on the Cardinal sidelines and getting her career started next season here at the 'Ville.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving! -- Thursday Cardinal Couple

From the staff and management at CARDINAL COUPLE...

                         Happy Thanksgiving ! 

We'll see you Friday with the preview of the Louisville v. Lafayette WBB contest.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Smith's triple-double helps Cards top Toppers 89-67...Wednesday Cardinal Couple

Bria goes for 22 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists in win

Bria Smith became the first UofL WBB player to record a triple-double since Angel McCoughtry performed the feat on Dec.10, 2008 against Hartford with 18 pts., 10 rebounds and 10 steals.

It was a nailbiter to get her the triple...the final assist coming with two seconds left in the game on a pass to Shawnta' Dyer in the post. Smith had two turnovers in the last 45 seconds trying to get the triple-double amidst the roar from the imploring crowd of 8463.

The game? Well, it had its peaks and valleys. The contest was tied 4-4 two minutes into action before Louisville went on a 16-4 run over the next seven minutes. Emmonnie Henderson had eight of the points in a four minute stretch that put Louisville comfortably ahead 20-8.

Louisville continued to run on the Hilltoppers...scoring inside and pushed the advantage to 40-19 when "E" got her tenth point of the half on a putback off a missed Smith free throw with 3:18 remaining in the first twenty. Smith nailed two free throws with 59 seconds to go to send the Cards into the locker room up 44-26.

WKU was getting production from their two stars...Chastity Gooch and Alexis Govan...who had six of eight Hilltopper first half baskets...but Michelle Clark-Heard's squad couldn't buy a "three"...going 1-11 from the deep in the half.

10 Cards played in the first stanza...Smith's 15 points led the way and Henderson was the other double figure producer with 10. Sara had nine, Myisha Hines-Allen added five, Megan Deines gave good off-the-bench production with four and Arica Carter hit a free throw.

The Cards had a 32-8 advantage with points in the paint and 15 off 12 Western Kentucky turnovers. They also held WKU to 27.6% first half shooting.

The Toppers were a tired team....playing their fifth game in ten days...and it showed at the start of the second half. Louisville pushed out to a 32 point lead in the first six minutes...a Smith layup made it 63-32.

The Cards led by 34 at 70-36 after two Dyer free throws at 12:17 and it looked like the rout was in full swing. WKU would not back down...though and outscored the Cards 17-2 over the next five minutes...making it 72-53 and necessitating Coach Walz to call a timeout.

After ranting, yelling and challenging the players in the timeout huddle about the Cards poor shooting (the Cards missed six shots -- including three layups)...the Cards head coach inserted Myisha, Sara, Jude and Bria back into the game.

Assumption H.S. Chorus sang the National Anthem!
From there on the Cards started to pull away again...a Moore layup made it 81-54 with 4:30 left. "E" hit a jumper to increase the lead to 85-57 at the 2:34 mark.

WKU outscored the Cards 10-4 the rest of the way...Govan and Gooch getting eight of the points.
Smith led all scorers with 22. Myisha and Sara added 16 each -- Hammond getting a double-double with 10 rebounds -- and Henderson finished with 14 to round out the double figure scorers. Dyer and Moore contributed eight each, Deines finished with four and Carter 1. Schimmel, Vails and Freeman all played but failed to score.

Gooch (20 pts), Govan (20 points) and Tashia Brown (14 points) were the Toppers offense...making 19 of the 22 goals scored by the visitors.

Louisville won the points in the paint battle 72-36, rebounding (49-40) and points off turnovers 23-11. WKU finished with 4-22 three-point shooting and only four fast break points...

Things we liked

- Gotta be good to be ya, Bria! Her best effort, by far, of the season and...despite the five turnovers...did exactly what Walz wanted her to the middle and score.

- Sara Hammond took free throws finally! Breaking the four game drought, she went 4-6 from the charity stripe.

- 52% shooting for the game...including a 0-6 failing from three point range.

- 72 points in the paint. It's what the Cards look to do...score inside...and they accomplished it Tuesday night.

Things to work on

- Finishing around the basket. Way too many points squandered by missed putbacks, follow-ups and lay-ups.

- Free throw woes. 13-22 is 59%. At least it was better than the 44% from Sunday...but we'd be happier with 70% or better.

An easier-than-expected win for Cardinal women's basketball Tuesday night against a WKU squad that heads back to Bowling Green 3-2. Govan and Gooch are the real deal, and it was great to see Clark-Heard, Greg Collins, Candyce Bingham and Margaret Richards again. They'll do well against their C-USA foes...but they do need to develop a center that can help prevent the buffet line that opponents will try to help themselves to in the paint.

The Toppers just ran out of gas against a Cardinal team that runs at high octane on eight cylinders...with, granted...occasional sputtering. The mechanic Walz got their attention in plenty of time in this one. One wonders how this team will respond to a 19-2 run by Kentucky, Duke or UNC...not being up by 34.

Louisville hits the hardwood again Friday night at 7 p.m. when Lafayette comes to town.

Tuesday Cardinal Couple -- Volleyball impresses Worldwide...The return of Michelle

Volleyball Shows Life

Its almost certainly too little, too late, but the Cards Volleyball team showed some life over the weekend.

In matches against #21 Duke, and #7 North Carolina, the Louisville squad took a loss in both games, but showed spark and some great play that has been hinted at all season, but hasn't frequently made it to the surface.

The team finally came together and played like they were really capable of, starting in the third and final set of the match against Duke, Friday night.  After, frankly embarrassing, 25-15 and 25-12 losses in the first two sets, the Cards came out of the break and pressed Duke hard in the third set before finally falling to The Blue Devils in a 34-32 barn burner.

So what accounted for the Cards resurgence?  There are a few factors, I believe.

First, with Roxanne McVey out with mono, Gabbie Wiley moved over to the Libero position, and between the two matches may just have cemented her role in that spot barring a challenge next season from the just signed Molly Sauer out of Assumption.  Gabbie has shown that she's more mobile, and more consistent in her passing than Roxanne.

Second, we started getting some more effective blocking.  While it doesn't really show on the stat sheet, with UofL only marking 4 total blocks overall, we had a lot more tipped, deflected, and otherwise slowed shots due to blocking on the opposing hitters.  The blocking helps the defense get a solid pass on the ball and gets the offense in system for much higher effectiveness.

Third, I think the team was more relaxed in their playing.  Maybe we're seeing a bit of fatalism, and having accepted that there isn't going to be a post-season...I suppose it was still a possibility when the match was played Friday, but already a long-shot...the team came out with nothing to lose, and nothing really on the line except pride.  I'm sure that makes it easier to be loose and calm, rather than playing so tense and making mistakes.

Whatever the causes for the newfound play, it continued on Sunday against North Carolina.  This one was competitive, against the #7 team in the country, all the way through the match.  Again, the Cards took the loss, but there is no shame in this one at all.

All four sets were close battles, with 25-21, 20-25, 27-25, 26-24.  So a total of 3 points separated the overall scores.  Again, blocking helped, with Louisville outblocking UNC 7-6 in total blocks, and Tess Clark hit a blistering 16 of 26 for a torrid .615 hitting average.  Katie George found a team that apparently hasn't yet scouted her dump and was able to put five of nine down.

Overall, what I saw this weekend has me very excited for next year's season.  While there is one more match Wednesday evening at 4 p.m. against Pitt (on ESPN3, who has pretty much set up shop in Cardinal Arena here in the late season), the only thing really to be decided is final records and whether we go out on a win or a loss.

We lose Courtney Robison and Tara Gowan to graduation but with the returning talent, and newcomers coming in, I think this team has the potential to put a good season run together next year.  Nothing is guaranteed, of course, and our passing still has to get better, but I saw a spark of life this weekend, and a hint of what these players are really capable of.

Spend the time in the off-season wisely volleyers, I'll be back in my seats late August and ready to go, I hope you all are too.

The Hilltoppers Visit

Tonight we welcome WKU head coach Michelle Clark-Heard and Assistant Coach Candyce Bingham back to Louisville for what may prove to be the first real test of this year's Women's Basketball team.  Clark-Heard has proven that she can wring every last bit of performance out of her players in seasons past, and they are obviously familiar with Coach Walz's coaching techniques and tactics, so you know they will be prepared for what our team has to throw at them.

Tip is at 7 at the KFC Yum! Center.  I would say wear red, but WKU's colors are red and white, so maybe go with the black for this one.

This Hilltopper team is no pushover. They finished second in the Pre-Season WNIT. They'll probably win C-USA. Gooch and Govan are legit All-American candidates. 

Paulie will have the coverage tomorrow, but I will not be able to attend. Go Cards!


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Moore's six threes help WBB Cards survive Ball State scare 69-56. -- Monday Cardinal Couple

Moore, please! Freshman nails six three in WBB win

Although Jeff Walz was visibly not overly thrilled with Louisville's second half performance against MAC Conference member Ball State Sunday afternoon...he had to be happy with Mariya Moore's 6-9 three point shooting and 22 points in Louisville's 69-56 win.

Moore nailed four of her trifectas in the first half and nailed her other two in the second half when the Cards needed a "pick me up" to rally against BSU resilience. 

Louisville took an early lead on a Bria Smith jumper...but the Cardinals from the MAC wouldn't go away and tied the score five minutes into the contest at 9-9 on a Shelby Merder layup. 

That brought Shawnta' Dyer off the bench for Myshia Hines-Allen and the senior responded to help the Cards go on a 8-0 run to lead 17-9 after Smith knocked down another mid-range jumper with 12 minutes left in the half. 

Ball State would make a run a Louisville with seven minutes left in the first twenty...Jill Morrison's three cutting the UofL lead to 26-21. Moore caught on fire for Walz's troops...hitting three threes in the last four minutes to help Louisville take a 38-27 advantage to the locker room.

Ball State came out with intent and purpose to start the final twenty minutes and cut Louisville's lead to 40-38...and 11-2 run that saw BSU scoring inside and getting fouled. These northern Cardinals were hitting the free throws, too.

A technical on BSU head coach Brady Sallee, disputing a steal by Sherrone Vails that he saw as a foul, put Moore on the free throw line and she calmly sank both. Eight seconds later Moore nailed her fifth three and UofL was up by seven with 14 minutes left.

Moore's last three came with 10:53 left in the game to give Louisville a 54-42 lead. Ball State came after the Cards one more time...their 7-0 run over the next two minutes made it 54-49.

Walz went to the bench again, reinserting Sara Hammond and bringing Arica Carter and Emmonnie Henderson off the bench. They responded with a 6-0 run..."E" getting five of the points...and it was 60-49 with five minutes to go. 

A Hines-Allen jumper sealed it with 1:26 on the clock...the

Cards taking a 68-54 lead...and the Lou. Cards prevailed as the clock reach 00:00...with the scoreboard showing 69-56. 

Moore led all scorers with her 22, Hines-Allen was the other double figure producer with 14. Bria, Shawnta' and "E" ended with seven, Sara and Jude tacked on four, Megan added three and Sherrone had a free throw. Arica and Ariana played but did not score. Jude had six assists and Sara grabbed seven boards to lead UofL in those areas.

Things we liked: 

-How about the freshmen? Moore and Hines-Allen had 36 of the Cards 69 points.

-Louisville forced 34 Ball State turnovers and allowed just 35 Ball State shots. 

- "E" played strong off the bench in the finals six minutes...going 3 for 4 from the floor and grabbing three boards. 

Things to work on:

-11-25 from the free throw lines is going to come back and "bite the Cards on the butt" (per Coach Walz) if it happens against a top 25 opponent. 

- Louisville was 0-8 from trifecta land if you take Moore's out of the numbers. Jude Schimmel 0-4 is bothersome...

- Too many missed shots inside...contributing to 38.8% from the field for the Cards. 

- Too many easy shots allowed in the paint. Where's the interior defense? The full court pressure is intense...but Ball State made nine layups against Louisville. 

The Cards have a quick turnaround...dangerous WKU comes to town Tuesday. They fell in the finals of the WNIT today to Mississippi St. 88-77. 


Volleyball takes UNC to four sets

Louisville Volleyball fell in four sets Sunday afternoon to #7 UNC...but the Cards did not go down without a fight.

25-21, 20-25, 27-25, 26-24...which is encouraging in the fact that the Cards did win one of the sets and forced extra volleys in two of them.

Tess Clark and Katie George had 16 kills for Louisville and Maya McClendon added 15 for the Cards...who now stand at 15-14 overall and 7-10 in the ACC. Janelle Jenkins produced 11 kills and Laura Blab delivered 10. All of them return next season for Anne Kordes...which bodes hope for the future.

Seniors Tara Gowan and Courtney Robison were honored for their Cardinal service

Louisville ends the season with Pitt visiting Weds. night.

Louisville women's basketball, volleyball play today! --Sunday CARDINAL COUPLE


Cards will need to keep an eye on Fontaine
#10 Louisville WBB puts its 3-0 record on the line today at 2 p.m. in the KFC YUM! Center when the Ball State Cardinals from Muncie visit. 

Those northern Cardinals are 1-1 so far this year and come off a 76-70 win over Evansville (a future WBB opponent). Louisville will need to keep a mindful eye out for Jill Morrison, who nailed five three-pointers against the Aces.  

Nathalie Fontaine, a 6'2" junior guard out of Stockholm, Sweden leads BSU in scoring and trumped the Aces with 19 points. 6'5" center Renee Bennett will challenge the Cards paint dwellers on the boards.

Is Ball State another pastry on UofL's plate? 
Ball State makes their first road trip of the year...they battled Purdue to a 66-60 loss to open the regular season. BSU led this one by five with 12 minutes to go before succumbing to the BIG 10 powerhouse. 

The Cardinals from Muncie did make the WNIT last year and are under second-year head coach Brady Sallee.

It'll be shown on CARDS TV at and broadcast on WKRD 790 AM. 

If Louisville can produce a similar repeat of what they did with creating turnovers, scoring off turnovers, in the paint and off the bench...we see the Cards rolling to another 20+ victory. 



Volleyball brings in #7 UNC for a noon match today. As our co-host Worldwide Jeff McAdams mentioned on our Saturday morning CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO SHOW's senior day. Courtney Robison and Tara Gowan will be honored for their valuable contributions to Anne Kordes' squad. 

We also learn the libero Roxanne McVey is done for the season (mononucleosis). 

As we discussed's pretty much about looking at some things to help prepare for next year for this year's team...since post season play doesn't look like it's "in the Cards." 


Our Saturday show should be in the SoundCloud archives
Could we have short-sleeve weather for
Thanksgiving, please?
later this morning. It's a great hour of UofL women's sports discussion and prognostication. 

The link below will get you there when it is available: 



Finally...congratulations to the Football Cards for what is being called one of the top five wins in program history...a Saturday night 31-28 win over Notre Dame @ South Bend.

Brandon Radcliff (pictured right) was a wrecking ball running the pigskin in the second half. The Cards would squander a 17-6 lead before coming back, grabbing the lead and then watching it come down to a 32 yard Notre Dame FG with 52 seconds that was....


Laces out...hand on the special
teams coach!!!
Somewhere Bobby Bowden is nodding his head in recognition and muttering...

"Been there, done that..."

Here's our buddy Charlie Springer's take on it over at UOFLCARDGAME:

CARDS 31 -- IRISH 28


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Catching up....Louisville Softball and Lacrosse announce signing classes...Saturday Cardinal Couple

We've been so caught up in women's basketball and volleyball these days that we're behind in bringing you some great news about the Louisville Softball and Lacrosse signing classes for 2015. We love these two spring here the newcomers!

Pearsall brings in five NLI's

Coach Sandy Pearsall is bringing in five Louisville signees for the 2015-2016 season. Coach indicates that all five have had Louisville on their radar for quite some time and offer a multitude of skills for the "Hit and Pitch" Cards.

-- Lillie Goetz 2B/LF Owensboro (KY) Catholic

No slouch here...Lillie was the 2014 Kentucky Softball Coaches Class "A" Player of the Year and is a member of the Louisville Lady Sluggers.

-- Megan Hensley RHP/OF Ashland (KY) Blazer

She's the 2014 Kentucky Gatorade Softball Player of the Year and a MaxPreps All-American. She also played on the Louisville Lady Sluggers. 

-- Jordan Lane (Infield)..College of Central Florida

Jordan had a .374 batting average where she led her team to the 2014 NJCAA Championships second place finish. She also played for the Louisville Lady Sluggers.

-- Shelby McCombs pitcher Newark, OH.

Shelby was the Division II State Pitcher of the Year and also has a strong bat and can play multiple positions. She. too, played for the Louisville Lady Sluggers. 

- - Jordan Vorbrink OF/1B Mercy Academy, Louiville

Jordan was considered one of the best softball players in Kentucky last season and was another member of the Louisville Lady Sluggers. 

WE wish all five the best of luck and successful careers at the University of Louisville!



Coach Kellie Young is welcoming what she considers her best recruiting class in her seven years at Louisville. The future stars are:

-- Allison Ferrara (Morristown, NJ)
-- Meghan Siverson (Morristown, NJ)
-- McKayla Conti (Ocean Township, NJ)
-- Jody Julmice (Plantation, FL)
-- Sarah L'Heureux (Winter Springs, FL)
-- Alexandria Rich (Lebanon, PA)
-- Casey Cummo (Smithtown, NY)
-- Elise Koehl (Arlington, VA)
-- Madeline Beck (Louisville, KY)

Young develops them into winners, whether they're east coast, west coast, Canadian, Louisvillians or aliens...into hard nosed, team-dedicated players. She says:

"They're passionate, driven, and feisty players who already bleed red for the Ville. They will impact our defense, our midfield and our attack and will continue to push this program forward throughout their entire athletic careers."

They'll join a team that has been toughened by their first year in the ACC. A team that gets better each year. Spring Lacrosse can't get here soon enough!



Volleyball went 0-3 last night to ACC powerhouse Duke last night in Cardinal Arena. Worldwide Jeff McAdams was there and will recap it on our radio show CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR this morning at 11 a.m. at WCHQ 100.9 FM and on the internet at

Hoops talk and Volleyball will be featured, we'll have a Worldwide Quiz and comments from Jeff Walz, Bria Smith, Sara Hammond, Mariya Moore and "E" !! plus much, much more. 

Louisville fell 25-15, 25-12, 34-32 to the #21 Blue Devils...the last game a wild affair with Louisville serving for set point four times and Duke serving for match point six times. 

The Cards fall to 15-13 overall on the season and 7-9 in the ACC. The home stand doesn't get any easier for Anne Kordes' wide netters...they entertain #7 UNC in Cardinal Arena at noon. 



It looks like the ACC's Syracuse and BIG EAST's Connecticut will play it out for the NCAA Field Hockey title. 

Syracuse upsetting UNC in a shootout after overtime and regulation and ended in a 2-2 tie. UConn stopping upstart Albany's bid 1-0.

We watched the replays. Those girls looked cold, cold, cold out there. In addition to increasing the field, the NCAA should also look at moving the championships to either a dome or a warm weather climate. Might increase attendance and interest?