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Thursday, September 19, 2019

UofL Athletics Hall of Fame -- Weekend Scheduling -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Six to Join UofL Athletics Hall of Fame

UofL announced yesterday that six people will be inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame.  The list includes three women and three men, all from different sports.

Angel McCoughtry is the most recognizable name for Cardinal Couple.  McCoughtry played women's basketball at Louisville for four years.  She holds several records including most career points, rebounds, and steals.  She helped lead the Cards to their first ever Final Four in St. Louis, where they eventually fell to UConn in the championship game.  McCoughtry is still active in the WNBA, although injuries have set her back this year.  She holds two Olympic Gold Medals playing for Team USA.

Lacy Wood is another name that might be recognized here.  Wood played softball in the early UofL days.  She is the first softball All-American and was part of the first UofL softball team to reach an NCAA Regional.  Her four career grand slams is still a school record and she ranks high in several offensive categories.

Cindy LaCrosse is the final woman on the list.  Arguably the greatest women's golfer Louisville has had, LaCrosse won a Big East title her sophomore year and set a Big East record.  She finished as high as 11th at the NCAA Championships.  Her round of 65 is the lowest of any women's golfer at Louisville.

The three men being inducted in the Hall of Fame are Eric Wood, a four-time starting center at UofL who played several years in the NFL, Francisco Garcia, who helped guide the men's basketball team to a Final Four in 2005 while being the team's leading scorer, and Wesley Korir, a long distance runner who holds three outdoor school records and one indoor school record.

Weekend Scheduling

Let's start with the newly announced fall lacrosse schedule.  No, they don't play this weekend but I figure we should give everyone a heads up since it's a quick turnaround.  They'll host Lindenwood, Marquette, and Vanderbilt on Sunday, Sept 29.  They then host Indianapolis and Butler on Sunday, Oct 6.  Their final fall schedule is a trip to Maryland the following weekend to face Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, Temple, Denver, and Navy.

Friday

Women's Tennis travels to West Lafayette to take on several teams in the Purdue Invitational.

Women's Golf has an early start time in Franklin, TN, as they will take part in the Mason Rudolph Championship.

Field Hockey will head south to Chapel Hill to face reigning NCAA Champion and #1 North Carolina at 5:00.  The Cards had a 1-0 at Trager Stadium last year before eventually falling 3-1.

Volleyball has a late start time in Lexington as they square off against rival Kentucky at 8:00.  #16 Kentucky has won the last six match-ups and has dropped just four sets in that time period.  Paulie and I will head down to cover that one while I suspect Worldwide will be in the stands cheering on the Cards.

Men's Soccer is the only team at home.  They open ACC play against #17 Virginia Tech at 7:30.

Saturday


Women's Tennis continues play in the Purdue Invitational with game time listed as All Day.

Women's Golf continues play in the Mason Rudolph Championship, with players teeing off periodically throughout the day.

Softball hosts a double header against Bellarmine starting at noon.  We will try to head to Ulmer Stadium after the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour to get some coverage.

Football kicks off in Tallahassee at 3:30 as they go up against Florida State.

Women's Soccer looks to remain undefeated against #4 North Carolina at 7:30.  The Cards are coming off a 1-0 golden goal victory against then-#8 Vanderbilt and the Tar Heels are coming off a loss against Arkansas.  If you have a ticket to the men's match the night before you can show it for free admission to this one, or vice versa.  That's one heckuva 2-for-1 deal!

Sunday

Women's Tennis continues play in West Lafayette, IN.


Women's Golf continues play in Franklin, TN.

Volleyball travels up I-71 to take on an old Big East rival in Cincinnati.  The Bearcats are in the receiving votes category and will make for a good match.

There's plenty going on this weekend, although much of it is on the road, but mostly within close proximity.


Happy Friday and Go Cards!

Jared

Dana Evans Interview -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


THE DANA EVANS INTERVIEW


It is her time now. 

After splitting time with point guard Arica Carter the last two season, after the graduation of do-it-all, All-American guard Asia Durr -- Dana Evans is now the premier guard on the UofL women's basketball roster.  

If self-confidence in one's abilities are any indication of readiness, Evans is headed for an All-American season. There is a quiet assurance that you first notice about her -- after the brilliant eyelashes and braided hair -- that gives you the feeling she is ready for the challenge, understands the situation and welcomes the test. 

Not that she is the lone weapon in Jeff Walz's arsenal. 

This is a deep and talented squad, as you well know. All great teams that I can remember from my many years of covering hoops had that one player, the "it's on me, let's go and do this" attitude and philosophy emanating from them.  Dana Evans has the look of that player this year. 

A revealing and fun interview with the Gary, IN junior below. I tripped her up a bit when I put her "on the spot" at the end, with no preparation or warning...I tossed her into the lion's den.

It was a test of sorts, to see the quick reaction and decision-making skill that were there. I almost deleted the sequence from this interview, but, in all fairness -- we don't do that in out interviews. They are live, unrehearsed, unedited and spontaneous...just like the games the players compete it. 

Enjoy. 

LINK: DANA EVANS INTERVIEW


Leading by example.

If the example we've seen so far in Dana Evans' time at Louisville continues to show the brilliance we've seen in the past two seasons, she'll will be one of the ones leading her teammates to the NCAA Final Four in New Orleans this year. 

(SPECIAL THANKS TO UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL SPORTS INFORMATION DIRECTOR NICK EVANS FOR SETTING UP THE INTERVIEW, PROVIDING THE VENUE AND TAKING THE PHOTO OF DANA AND I).


paulie
xxxxx

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Extraordinary Ekic -- New Rankings -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Extraordinary Ekic

Extraordinary indeed.  One of the best players in the country, Emina Ekic scored the game winner in overtime against then-#8 Vanderbilt and dished out two assists in a victory over Dayton earlier in the week.

Ekic was named as one of the ACC Women's Soccer Co-Offensive Players of the Week.  She was also named to the Top Drawer Soccer Team of the Week.

The junior from duPont Manual High School leads the team in scoring with 12 points (4 goals, 4 assists).  With 10 guaranteed games remaining, Ekic is on pace to surpass her goal of eight goals this season, even though three of them have come on penalty kicks.


New Rankings

With the high success rate of many of the women's sports teams it comes as no surprise that they continue to climb in the rankings.

Field Hockey recently went up to #12 Ohio State and left with a 2-1 victory.  They've improved to 6-0 on the season.  The Cards climbed one spot in the polls from #8 to #7.  Their next game is at North Carolina this Friday.

Coming off an overtime upset over Vanderbilt, Louisville women's soccer finally broke into the Top 25.  The Coaches Poll puts the Cards at #20 and Top Drawer Soccer puts them at #25.  Coincidentally, Women's Soccer also plays UNC in their next match.  They host the Tar Heels at Lynn Stadium Saturday at 7:30.

The only team to fall is still ranked-Volleyball.  The Cards went 1-1 in Nashville over the weekend, sweeping Xavier and falling to a ranked Purdue squad.  It cost them as they fell from #22 to #25 in the Coaches Poll.  They hit the road to take on #16 Kentucky on Friday night.

No matter which team(s) you decide to follow this weekend you're guaranteed to see a good game.


Upcoming

Paulie is venturing down to campus this morning to interview UofL women's basketball/student athlete Dana Evans. The junior from Gary, IN will be a big part of the 2019-20 squad. 

Be sure to check back here tomorrow to listen to their chat! 

Happy Wednesday and Go Cards!

Jared

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Louisville Women's Basketball is 49 days away -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


SIZING UP THE SENIORS


The University of Louisville Women's Basketball squad plays their first game of the season in 49 days.

Seven weeks. 

Snuck up on you, right? Western Kentucky comes to the Ville to face Jeff Walz's squad on Nov 5th. (Tuesday) for a 7 p.m. match. 

That's also National Doughnut Day, so plan accordingly.

You'll remember last season, when the Cards opened the season in Bowling Green and left "the Hill" with a 102-80 win. Asia had a big night with 33 points and Arica Carter added 19. Sam Fuehring added four points. 56 points from three seniors. 


This year's seniors totalled 33 of the Cardinal points that night. Yacine Diop led the way with 11 (OK, she's listed as a graduate, but since it's her final season as a Card, but put her in with the senior group). Kylee Shook finished with 10 points. Bionca Dunham put in four points, Jaz Jones also went for four points and JJess Laemmle played but didn't score. 

So what about this group of five for 2019-20? 

We can speculate that Jazmine Jones will be an important and needed player on this squad. Just where she plays will depend on the number of guards Walz decides to play at one time, but the explosiveness, leaping ability and smooth jumper she possesses will most likely be part of the starting five.

Jaz needs to be careful about getting herself in foul trouble...she led the team with 91 in 36 games last season.  The 7.6 points per game and 23 minutes per night on the court are easily achievable again for her this ...but i see her topping those numbers, with the "terrific three" graduated. It's truly time for "J.J. Airlines" to take flight.

And, if she's "in the groove" and ready to go, the Cards would be well-advised to feed her the ball. Equally comfortable as a guard or wing, she's a player you can't slack off or back off on when you're playing defense against her. She'll make you pay, and collect interest on the balance due. How she does on the "three ball" could dictate her success level also.

The Cards have a proliferance of three-ball makers on the roster.  



Yacine Diop knows this is her last chance to make an impression of WNBA and European league scouts, and she fully gets and understands the team concept, which is one of Walz's golden rules. She's a player that doesn't necessarily need to start to be a contributor and she showed she can takeover a game offensively during her time at Pitt. You have to be a little bit worried about her left knee, but, given the depth of this squad, I fully expect to see her out on the court around 20 or so minutes a game and I wouldn't be surprised at all if she was a double figure scorer for the Cards.  

She has a strong drive and motivation working in her favor, not one who likes to be denied and her experience makes her a candidate to see minutes in close games and when things are a bit out of sync on the court. Her experience with the Senegal squad this summer was a great test and learning experience for her and is a huge weapon for Walz. 

Kylee Shook is the leading returning rebounder (second behind Sam Fuehring last year) and she will be counted on to help fill Sam's role from last year. You need that blue collar, go-to-work in the paint brawler for rebounds and Kylee has the height. Does she have the battle mentality? She's also one who can take a post outside and make a defense pay from long range. The best combination would be to see that grit in the paint and the ability to step out and drill the long range jumper. And, her knee problems/soreness from last year seem to be alleviated with post-season treatment and procedures.  

If it were me, I'd probably start her and rest assured...knowing that there was height and talent on the bench to come in and pick up where she left off when she leaves the game.

That being said, she only started three of 36 games last year. Walz found it better for her to watch a few minutes on the bench before entering.  Development time is over, though. Time to go show what you've learned and earn the paycheck  After interviewing her a couple of weeks ago, I came away with the impression that she's focused and ready to assume that role of the paint punish-er.  Kylee also likes to throw "block parties"...she led the squad in blocked shots last year and you can expect to see a lot more of those this year. Kylee getting aggressive would be impressive. 



Bionca Dunham drew 31 of the 36 starts last year as one of Fuehring's partner in paint pounding and has always seemed to work well with Shook inside. Her 169 rebounds were third on the squad and she had a lot of success in getting follow up points and offensive rebounds. 

There has been speculation that she and Shook might be #1 and #1A in the paint at the power forward slot (if the NCAA clears another Cardinal for participation). One thing about "B", though, is you know she's going to bring the battle with her anytime she steps on the court. On a roster that has so many weapons that Walz could open an armament store, it'll be interesting to see how he uses her skills. Another huge key is this: 

If you're in the paint, you can expect to get fouled and you need to convert from the line when you're sent there.

We'd like to see her become a 70%+ free throw shooter this year. She's been working on it in the off-season. After all, you can only take the "3 is better than 2" Walz free-throw theory so far. That 64% average that she shared with Jaz has to go up. 


Jess Laemmle knows her court-time will be limited this year but it hasn't affected her work effort one bit. She can run the point, direct other players and provide a lot of inspiration and knowledge to the younger guards on the team. She's always been a huge fan favorite and the regular basketball fan seldom sees the hard work she puts in during practices. She probably won't be the starting point guard, but she'll have a wealth of advice for the guards when they come out of games. She sees, observes, analyzes and shares. 

When called upon, she's an aggressive defender, can drill the three and direct the sequences on the court offensively and defensively. A player like Jess is vital to a team's continuity and cohesion. Our "Attack Yorkie" will be there and helping everyone else get better. She's the perfect example of a team player. 


It's been quite fun, informative and revealing to interview these five seniors this summer. I'd like to thank them, for graciously participating, and WBB S.I.D. Nick Evans for doing the leg work in setting up times and venues, plus taking the photos of me and the players. We did these in three different venues. If you missed any of the interviews, I've listed them below.  

LINK:  YACINE DIOP INTERVIEW

LINK:  JESS LAEMMLE INTERVIEW

LINK:  KYLEE SHOOK INTERVIEW

LINK:  BIONCA DUNHAM INTERVIEW

LINK:  JAZMINE JONES INTERVIEW 





I hope my speculation and theories here come to somewhat of a fruition...but, please remember that this is a very deep and talented roster and there are 11 other players that are hungry, committed to succeed and eager for court time. 

This is the deepest roster that Walz has ever had here at Louisville and he and the coaches will be put to the test to utilize time management and combination skills like never before. I expect to see a whole lot of early combination variations as they get to know what works the best and who can do what with who, and when and where the players are most suited. And, you can expect to hear the always excellent Walz rhetoric on "what's what" as the season progresses. 

Who can come in and do what "the big three" did last year and produce like they did? 


Got some different takes than I? (After all, Coach is constantly trying to improve my "not ready for prime time" basketball IQ and theories). Sound off in the comments. It's never too early to start talking season assessments, hopes and expected performances.

Even for the village idiot like me. 

You got a take, a hope, an observation or thought? Let's talk about it! 

49 days. We'll start looking at the underclassmen next week. 


paulie
xxxxx




Monday, September 16, 2019

A Super Sunday -- WSOC, Field Hockey win thrillers -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


THE UNDEFEATED

Two fall UofL women's sports squads. Two unbeaten squads. Two tough non-conference foes awaited them Sunday. 

One away, one on Floyd Street. One opponent ranked in the top ten and one opponent knocking on the door for top ten status. Both nailbiters. 

Both wins for UofL ! 

Beginning with Field Hockey's trip to the capital city of Ohio, let's run through these two "W"s.


FIELD HOCKEY GOES TO 6-0 WITH 2-1 WIN OVER OHIO ST. 

A quote from years past, from the late John Belushi in the movie Animal House, went: 

"It ain't over until we say it's over" 

and that was the prevailing theme yesterday against the Buckeyes. 

(Hear the dialogue below)


Two second half goals...the first one from senior Bethany Russ to tie the contest...and the clincher from junior Madison Walsh propelled Louisville to this hard-fought, come-from-behind road win. 

Field Hockey is now four quarters instead of two halves, and the first quarter at Buckeye Field was scoreless. three shots per team but no scoreboard movement. A highly questionable decision on a review by the officials led to a penalty shot for OSU halfway through the second quarter. Mackenzie Alleessie, a member of USA junior squads since 2016, lined up for the stroke against UofL goalkeeper Hollyn....no, wait !!...coming in at goalkeeper for the Cards to defend was Sam Minrath...redshirt freshman from Louisville Christian Academy. 

Sowry made a change that was either going to make her look like a genius or leave her with the wrong coupon in checkout lane. 

Alleessie sailed the shot past Minrath and the BuckNuts were on the board. 1-0 Ohio State. I've learned over the years not to harp on coaching decisions...especially with Justine...so, it was what it was. 


And, in the end, it didn't matter. 

Sowry talks to her squad a lot about playing "Louisville Field Hockey" and I'd guess that that was part of the halftime chat. Louisville looked a step slow at times in the first half and, although there are no "possession" stats made available for media perusal...like there are in women's soccer...I'd wager the Big 10 school held the edge in that stat after 30 minutes. 

The Cards came out with a new purpose in the final 30. Sowry re-installed Hollyn Barr between the pipes. The attack was more intensified. As third quarter action drew to a close, Louisville was awarded a penalty corner. The sequence went from Alli Bitting to Megan Schneider to Bethany Russ and the Melbourne, Australia senior drove a shot into the cage for her team-leading seventh goal of the season. The score was 1-1 and the fourth quarter awaited. 

Success came early for UofL in the final session.

At the 13:05 mark, the Cards got another penalty corner provided to them. The previous sequence went to work again...but this time Schneider's 
pass went to Madison Walsh, on the right side of the cage. Walsh gave the orb a tap and GOOOOOOAAALLLLL Cards for the lead!  2-1. The Ville.  

That lead held for the rest of the contest.

Louisville ended up out-shooting OSU 10-6, had six corners to four over the Buckeyes and, most importantly, one more goal.

The action swings to Chapel Hill, North Carolina next for the "stick girls". They'll start ACC play Friday with a encounter against #1 in the land...UNC. 


EPIC EKIC

Meanwhile, back on the Floyd Street ranchero...the kickin' Cards were ready to face #9 Vanderbilt. 

Delaney Snyder lends a helping hand for the cramps in leg
This one went scoreless for 99 minutes (regulation and just about all of the first overtime) until Emina Ekic got clobbered going for a shot and was awarded a penalty kick. 

26 seconds remained. 26 anxious teammates awaited the impending action. 

These penalty kicks, dear reader, differ from the penalty corners. On a penalty kick, it's a one-on-one situation between the goalkeeper and the kicker.

Ekic sized up Commodore goaltender Taiana Tolleson, stepped forward to adjust the ball ever-so-slightly and then stepped back and booted it by the diving goalkeeper for the lone goal of the contest.  She saw a brief "tell" that the goalie was leaning right, so she buried it in the left corner.

"It ain't over until she says it's over"...and Emina had just decided that...it's over. 

The vuvuzela-wielding crowd went crazy, Ekic was mobbed by her joyous teammates and Coach Karen Ferguson Dayes made a small but emphatic fist punch before leaving the sidelines to congratulate the team and the junior from Manual High School in Louisville, KY.  Reserve goalkeeper Lana Batson basically threw Ekic over her shoulder and gleefully carried her off the field as the prolonged celebration wound down. It was fun pandemonium. A must-see moment. The joy and excitement of Louisville women's sports.

You wanna know why we run this website? That's why. For moments like that. 

The "golden goal" improved the Cards record to 7-0 and gave Vandy their first loss of the season. 

It was Ekic's fourth goal of the season. Maybe the biggest of her career.

Both teams had several scoring opportunities throughout regulation, but some brilliant goalkeeping work by both Vandy goalkeepers and UofL's Gabby Kouzelos kept the slate clean until the extra session

A contest that had only five shots in the first half. Louisville led those 3-2 and led the possession stats 59% - 41%. Those stats changed in the final 45 minutes to a smaller 51%- 49% Cardinal edge. Overall, the Cards led with 10 total shots and five on goal. Vandy's numbers were four total shots and two on goal. 


Without a doubt the biggest win of the season so far for Coach Karen's crew and a fitting way to end non-conference regular season play.  Louisville faces tough UNC next, on Saturday 21st, at Lynn. 

The TarHeels may come in a bit angry, suffering their first loss Sunday to Arkansas. A 2-10 blanking from Wooo-Pig-Suey. Previously, they were #1 in the nation. 




In a back-and-forth, cat-and-mouse chess game, the Cards got the break, the opportunity and the score. A fitting end to a Super Sunday.

(Soccer photos by Jared Anderson) 


THEY SAID IT

LINK:  EMINA EKIC


LINK:  EKIC'S GOAL


paulie
xxxxx







Sunday, September 15, 2019

Volleyball Sweeps in Nashville -- SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Paint The Town Red


There was a lot of red in Nashville, yesterday.  Three UofL squads were in action in country music capital with Cross-Country getting things underway in the morning, and Volleyball and Football taking over the late afternoon and evening time.  Add in the WKU crowd for the Football game, and well...it's just a lot of red, and a very busy I-65.

Paulie and Jared were part of that morning caravan on what turned out to be a successful but very humid day for football. 

Cross-Country


The women's XC team finished the meet, hosted by Vanderbilt, in 11th, with 3 runners finishing in
the top 30.  The good results were accomplished without the women's team star, Dorcas Wasike participating.  The last report we had from Wasike was that she was recovering from an injury, but that was in the spring.  It could be that recovery is ongoing, as head Cross Country coach Dale Cowper indicated might happen at the Louisville Fall Sports preview. 

Louisville's top finisher was Ivine Chemutai, finishing in 9th.  The other two top 30 finishers for the Cards were Bailey Beery, who certainly gets Cardinal Couple points just because of her last name, and Kassidy Manning, with 28th and 30th place finishes respectively.

Volleyball


Your intrepid reporter tried to make a quick exit from the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour to head south to catch the volleyball match between Louisville and Xavier at Lipscomb University in their very purple gym.  Alas, traffic and other delays meant that we arrived just as the first set was ending.

The Cards would go on to win this one in a sweep (25-18, 25-11, 25-16) meaning that the drive to Nashville and back resulted in me getting to watch just under an hour of volleyball.  Ah well, it was a fun road-trip nonetheless.

No box score seems to be available for this one at all, so no in-depth stat dive for this one beyond what our fine Volleyball SID included in the recap.  Aiko Jones, Anna Stevenson, and Tori Dilfer come in for particular praise with Aiko putting down 9 kills, and putting up 4 blocks.  Stevenson put down 7 kills, and tallied 3 blocks in the middle.

We saw limited playing time for sophomore Emily Scott in the middle in the ongoing position battle/player rotation for middle hitters/blocks, with juniors Stevenson and Piper Roe getting the bulk of the time on the court yesterday.

Claire Chausee didn't get on the floor while I was there (whether she played any in the first set, I don't know), which is a bit of a change in the overall lineup.  Chausee seems to be struggling a little bit with her confidence and ball control, so let's hope a bit of a mental reset can get her back on track, her explosive power will be wonderful if she can get it reined in.

In her place, we saw freshman Amber Stivrens.  Though less explosive, Stivrins displays excellent control, both in attacking and passing from the back row.  Kudos to the Xavier fans sitting near me, as they demonstrated their awareness of the overall volleyball scene by recognizing the name Stivrins and making the connection with Amber's older sister Lauren, who is a middle hitter at Nebraska.  The Xavier fans were gracious and pleasant to chat with despite the proceedings on the floor.

As for the overall match, well, this just wasn't that competitive.  The Cards were clicking, and just outgunned the Musketeers.  Xavier put up a valiant effort, but they just aren't at the same level of play that Louisville is.


A Note about the Purdue Match

During the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour yesterday, Case and I were discussing the Purdue match on Friday, and we lamented the lack of a streaming option to be able to watch the game.  We talked a bit about the limits of insights you can get from a stat sheet about style of play, game plan, and game plan execution.  You can, however sometimes get hints about what happened, and I speculated a bit about what might have happened in the match.

I started with Case's observation of how much of the attacking attempts were from pin hitters like Melanie McHenry, Claire Chaussee, and Aiko Jones and also from Purdue significantly outblocking Louisville.

From those starting points, I questioned whether, perhaps, Louisville just didn't pass well in the match, but how do you get from A -> B?  Well bad passing, the setter (setters, plural, in our case) are struggling to get to the ball when it's not passed to the right place.  This constrains the offensive options for the setter.  You're not going to try to set a middle when the setter is having to sprint cross-court to get to the ball at all.  Consequently more of the attacks are going to go to the pin hitters, which explains why they got so many of the kill attempts, compared to the middles.

That constraint on the setter also means that the opponent, Purdue in this case, can largely ignore the middle hitter when they see a bad pass and just go ahead and start setting up their blocks for the pin hitters.

When the ball gets to the pin hitters, the block is sitting there ready with 2 blockers already in position.  Combine that with what may not be the cleanest swing on the ball because, remember the setter was struggling to get to the ball, so they probably haven't gotten the cleanest set, and you have a recipe for hitting right into a well set up block, or trying to avoid it and hitting out of bounds.  About the best outcome is a roll or tip shot just to keep the play going and attempt to have a better offensive set in the next return.

Wait for it, just three days away...
I did get a chance to chat with a few folks that were at the Purdue match that are pretty knowledgeable about the game, and it sounds like my speculation managed to be right on the money in this case.  The reports that I heard from multiple people pointed to generally poor passing in the Purdue match, and lots of "outlet" sets to pin hitters because of a lack of other real options.

I tend to harp on teams that are passing poorly, and hype liberos and defensive specialists when they pass particularly well in touch situations, as I think they're some of the most underappreciated players on teams, and this is why.  Passing well is the start of a good offensive set, and if you don't pass well, you just aren't going to end up having much success as a team.

On the Field Today


Field Hockey takes the field in Columbus, OH against Ohio State at 1 p.m..  If you happen to have a Big Ten Plus subscription, you can watch this one there.

Soccer continues their home stand at Lynn Stadium against Vanderbilt at 6 p.m..  If you can't make it out for that, it is available on ACC Network Extra streaming. It is vuvuzela giveaway night, so get there early, a limited supply exists. 

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


Case and I held down the fort at WCHQ yesterday as Paulie, and Jared were Nashville bound, while we speculated that Daryl may have been recovering from the Back Street Boys appearance Friday night.

We had a good hour of discussion.  We started with a rant about a field hockey controversy that was set off last week at Kent State.  Then we dove into the Louisville sports with discussions of Golf, Soccer, Field Hockey, and Volleyball.  Check it on Facebook Live:




Saturday, September 14, 2019

Volleyball Stumbles in First Road Match -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Louisville Unable to Handle Purdue; Fall 3-1


Playing in the "Lipscomb Tournament" in Nashville, Tennessee this weekend, Louisville Volleyball is getting their first taste of action outside of the L&N Federal Credit Union Arena. Unfortunately for the Cards, their road record this season started the same as their home record: a tough loss against a strong opponent. This time, Louisville was able to take a set off of Purdue, unlike the match against Florida, but it ultimately wasn't enough. The Cards held on to a tight lead and went in to extra points to win the first set 26-24, but the Boilermakers were overpowering for the remainder of the match, winning the next three sets to end it.

Louisville was primarily hampered by two factors: Purdue's blocking and Caitlyn Newton. Purdue finished with a listed 14 blocks, all assisted, showing that they were not just getting into the right position for blocks with one player, but that they had a full answer for Louisville on a large number of attack attempts. Comparatively, the Cards finished with only 6 blocks, 1 solo. Louisville also had three blocking errors, one more than Purdue. Louisville was just outperformed in that area. 

The other deciding factor in the match was Newton and her 26 kills. Newton finished the match with just one less kill than Aiko Jones and Melanie McHenry combined, which is never going to be a recipe for success. She finished with 8 errors, the same number as McHenry, and she wasn't the only player with double digit kills on the Boilermaker squad. All in all, Purdue finished the match with a .261 hitting percentage, while Louisville finished at just .141. With the Boilermakers earning a point on more than one out of every four attack attempts, Louisville just could not keep up. 

As for the match, Louisville took a pretty healthy lead in the first set, looking like they might be in for a good day. Purdue brought it back late, forcing the extra points before a Purdue error ended the set. Louisville won the first set 26-24. The second set was Purdue's chance to run away. The Boilermakers took a big lead before Louisville was able to come back to within three at 14-17. That would be the end of that threat, though, as Purdue went on to finish the set 16-25. The final two sets of the match were big battles throughout, and Louisville looked to be in line to make it 2-1, but the Boilermakers went on a run to take the set 21-25. Purdue went on to win the final set 18-25 and that was that.

Purdue was ranked 23rd in the country entering yesterday's match, and Louisville could have really used the win to boost their confidence and their own ranking. However, they'll still have one more match this weekend to build a bit more road mojo before they get a week off to prepare for Kentucky. The Cards will take on the Musketeers of Xavier today at 4PM in a match that has no live video listed. Tune in to Jeff's article tomorrow for more on the Cards.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


As Jared mentioned yesterday, we'll be thin in studio today as Jeff and I man the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour on our own while Paulie and Jared head south for football. Of course, we'll have plenty to talk about as Louisville has had a busy week in women's athletics. Tune in at 11AM for breakdowns of field hockey, soccer, and volleyball as well as looks ahead to the upcoming matches this week. The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour is brought to you thanks to WCHQ FM, which you can find at 100.9 FM, wchqfm.com, the WCHQ App, or watch us online at Facebook Live.

Until next time, Go Cards!
-CH-