CARDINAL COUPLE

CARDINAL COUPLE
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Sunday, February 16, 2020

Sunday Cardinal Couple

Basketball Gameday


Notre Dame comes to town this afternoon to take on the Cardinals at the KFC Yum! Center.

This, of course, is not your usual Notre Dame team.  Currently sitting at 5-8 in conference, and 10-15 overall, Muffet McGraw is having a very tough year this year.  Of course, this is ACC basketball, so you never want to take any team for granted, and whatever gripes some in CardNation may have about McGraw, she is a coach that tends to get performance out of her teams.  Sometimes, as now, it's just that getting good performance out of a team, for example, when the top six players on the team graduated last year, may mean getting them to a 10-15 record, instead of what might have been considerably worse.


The Irish spread the points around fairly well, with 5 averaging in double digits:  Destinee Walker with 14.6, Katlyn Gilbert with 13.8, Sam Brunelle with 13.4, Anaya Peoples with 12.6, and Mikayla Vaughn with 10.4.  Brunelle is the leading shot blocker with 26 on the year...and Kylee Shook chuckles.  The team loses pretty much every statistical category with the exception of two that really are pretty significant.  They have  better field goal percentage, but worse 3pt field goal percentage and a better free throw percentage.

Peoples is out, a torn labrum, but the others are active. 

The game starts at 3pm, and is on the ACC Network, so no need to stream if you don't want to.  It is the pink game for the season, and reports are that Jeff Walz will be sporting some nifty white Adidas sneaks with pink stripes for the game.

Softball Gameday


Participating in the ACC/Big Ten Softball Challenge, the Cards are continuing to struggle a bit.

Hosted by UNC in Chapel Hill, the Big Ten representatives are Michigan and Wisconsin.

Michigan is a perennial power in Softball, and Wisconsin isn't too shabby.  So far on the weekend, the Cards dropped their first decisions against Michigan and Wisconsin on Friday, but did get the win over the Badgers yesterday, 3-2.

It was a slow start against Wisconsin yesterday, with no one crossing the plate for three innings.  The Cards would get on the board first in 4th inning.  Sisters Cassady and Carmyn Greenwood both got hits to get on base, setting up Maddy Newman to bring them both home for a pair of runs.  Wisconsin would answer with a pair of their own in the bottom of the 4th, but then would get no more for the rest of the game.  It could've been a lot worse for the Cards in the 4th, after Wisconsin had scored their two, one of which was a result of an error, the Badgers had runners on third and only one out, Jenna Servi caught a line drive single up the third base line, and stepped on the base before the runner was able to get back to tag for an unassisted double play.

Servi would continue the excellence with a double in the 5th, advanced on a sacrifice ground out by
Caitlin Ferguson, and score on a hit by Cassady Greenwood.

3-2 would be the final score, with the other two and a half innings in the game going scoreless.

The Cards will see Michigan again today and try to get to a .500 record for the weekend.  That's a tall order against the 8/11 ranked Wolverines.  This one kicks off at 10am, and no video links have been found for these games.

Tennis


Also in action yesterday, the tennis squad against Bowling Green State.  The Falcons came down to Bass Rudd and didn't see much success against the Mark Beckham UofL squad.  The final tally was 6-1.  UofL got the doubles point with a win at 2 of the 3 courts.  Raven Neely and Maia Haumuller got the win at court one, while Rhea Verma and Diana Wong would get the win at court 3.

Haumuller would sit out the singles, but all of the rest of the doubles victors would pick up points in their singles matches.  Nikolina Jovic would replace Haumuller and get a singles point, while Jelena Vujanic would recover from her doubles loss with Dina Chaika, to get a singles point as well.

Lacrosse


The Denver Pioneers visits the Louisville Lacrosse Stadium and would overwhelm the Cards.  Denver is 9th ranked, so there's no shame in this one.  I was unable to be in attendance for this one or watch online as I was dealing with some family matters, but Paulie was there, and perhaps will contribute his thoughts and analysis.

The Cards did get some good scoring with a pair by Caroline Blalock, and one each from Alex McNicholas, Paige Richbourg, Ally Hall 1, and Shayla Scanlan.  Louisville did well on the draw control with a margin of 13-10 in the game, although the best part of that was in the first half where the Cards had a 8-3 draw control margin, but lost out to the Pioneers 7-5 in the 2nd half.

Louisville was unable to capitalize on any of their seven free position shots in the game...that's always going to hurt your chances.  Credit to Rachel Florek in goal for 13 save compared to Denver's five, keeping the score from being a lot worse.

Paulie thoughts: I asked most of my questions about the match in the post-game interview I did with Coach Teeter. The runs Denver went on to end the first half and begin the second half were enough to get them the "W"... Thanks to Jared Anderson for the video work and some of today's pictures. 

Scott Teeter postgame link:  LINK: https://youtu.be/ZW0kguOcISE

This is a very young Louisville squad, with more than half of the team being freshman.  It's year two of a total rebuilding effort by Scott Teeter, and there is more and better to come, for sure.

CCRH Silent Yesterday


Due to scheduling issues both with the facility and with people, we couldn't get in the studio for a Cardinal Couple Radio Hour episode.  The library has had a program going on that has prevented us from scheduling the studio on Saturdays, but that program has apparently finished and scheduling should be easier going forward.


Tragic Volleyball News


If you're in the Louisville area, you may be aware of this, but some tragic news hit the volleyball
community Friday.

Four people, Lesley Prather, Rhyan Prather, Carrie McCaw, and Kacey McCaw, were killed in a car crash in St. Louis.  Lesley and Carrie were mothers with their 10 and 11 year old daughters, Rhyan and Kacey, on their way to Kansas City to a club volleyball tournament when a truck towing a generator crossed the center median of I-64, apparently rolled over the cable barrier, and struck the minivan the four were traveling in.  The women were pronounced dead on-site and the two girls were taken to a local hospital where they succumbed to their injuries.

The girls played for the KIVA under 12 Red team coached by UofL volleyball alumna Courtney Robison-Dixon, Claire Hellman, and UK volleyball alumna Jackie Napper.

If you know the Louisville volleyball community, then you know that it is close knit, and there are particularly strong ties between KIVA and the UofL volleyball program.  Lesley Prather was an alumna of the UofL Volleyball program and was the older sister to UofL Volleyball Director of Operations, Sarah Petkovic, and there has been a steady parade of KIVA players coming through the UofL program, with Alexis Hamilton and Alexa Hendricks being former KIVA players on the current UofL roster.  Lesley was a professional firefighter for the City of Louisville.

I did not ever have the opportunity to meet the Prathers or the McCaws, but I did see Lesley around L&N Arena on several occasions...usually with a girls volleyball team in tow.

Obviously this is a tragic situation and my thoughts are with the many families and communities affected.

-- 
JMcA

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Softball Drops Two Games; Lacrosse Hosts Home Opener -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Softball Struggles Continue


Despite Louisville's season opening victory over a ranked team, the wheels appear to have fallen off of the softball train before it even left the station. Since the win over 21/25 Ole Miss, Louisville has dropped its last six games, with only one other game coming against a ranked team. The Cards are clinging on for dear life trying to get to through February and get back to Ulmer Stadium, but before that, they'll have to face Michigan and Wisconsin again, Penn State, Alabama twice, and Oklahoma State twice. That's not even to mention the rest of the teams mixed into the remaining weekends. There is still a lot of season left, but Louisville needs to get back on track quickly or the hopes of a tournament bid may be on the ropes before the Cards even play a home game.

Louisville opened yesterday's games with an 11 AM start against Michigan, ranked 11/8 over the two polls. After a scoreless first, the Wolverines opened the scoring in the bottom half of the second inning with a two run double. They'd follow that up with a couple of runs in the bottom of the third that chased Chardonnay Harris and the Cards found themselves down 4-0. After Louisville was finally able to keep Michigan off the board in the fourth inning, they got a pair of runs back on a two run homer by Taylor Roby in the top of the fifth. The momentum was short lived, though, as the Wolverines grabbed those two runs right back in the bottom half. Louisville was unable to find any more offense in the last two innings and the final score was 6-2.

The second game saw Roby take the mound against Wisconsin, and she pitched a pretty good game. Roby gave up two runs on five hits with no walks and six strikeouts in a complete game. Unfortunately, Louisville found themselves unable to score for the first time this season, and Roby's two earned runs in the second inning were the deciding factor in the game. Wisconsin's Kaitlyn Menz pitched a gem, with three hits and one walk against five strikeouts. The Cards threatened late, loading the bases with just one out in the bottom of the seventh, but a strikeout and a foul out ended the inning and the game. 

Despite the issue for Louisville recently being of the pitching and defensive variety, this year is seeing unusual struggles at the plate. The Cards currently only have seven players even qualifying for season batting statistics, showing that the offensive lineup remains wholly unsettled. Of those seven, Roby's .316 is the only average above .300. Two players are below .200 and four are below .225. The most surprising of those is Celene Funke, who is certainly in a funk to open the season. Despite her insane triple pace (50% of her hits are triples), she's batting just .148 (4-27) and has no walks compared to nine strikeouts. As the leadoff hitter, Funke paces the team offensively, and she'll need to get back to her old self for Louisville to succeed.

The Cards will get their chance at revenge against both the Wolverines and the Badgers this weekend. The second game against Wisconsin gets underway at 1:30 PM today and the rematch against Michigan is tomorrow morning at 10 AM. We'll see if Louisville can't get some momentum going and put another mark or two back in the W column.

Lacrosse Brings in Denver


Louisville opens their home schedule this afternoon when the Denver Pioneers, ranked 9th in the country, find their way to the Louisville Lacrosse Stadium. The two teams have a strong recent history, having played every year since 2013. Louisville is 3-4 all time against Denver, but have lost the last three, including the program's all time worst loss last season in Colorado. Louisville struggled in the snow during that game and fell 18-2. The last victory for Louisville came in 2016 at home, so perhaps the Cards can use a revenge game to springboard a big season. The first draw will be at 12PM and Paulie and Jared will be on hand for all of the action. Tune into ACC Network Extra if you can't make it down to campus.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


Due to scheduling conflicts between hosts and studio availability, we won't be able to bring you a show this week. We'll look forward to getting back into the studio next week and staying on track to bring you the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports.

Until next time, Go Cards!
-CH-

Friday, February 14, 2020

WBB Cards Corral Wolfpack 66-59 -- Softball Starts ACC-BIG 10 Challenge today -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


FAST START, FEROCIOUS DEFENSE LEAD TO CARDS WIN

Louisville women's basketball tied up the standing at the top of the ACC with an impressive, hard fought 66-59 win over NC State Thursday night in Raleigh. 


Jazmine Jones led all scorers with 19 points, Kylee Shook knocked on the triple-double door with 10 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks and Elizabeth Balogun added eight fourth quarter points in the Cards 22nd victory of the year.

Dana Evans played all 40 minutes for the Cards and added 14 points in the Cards sixth straight victory over the Wolfpack. The squads played  before a sold-out Reynolds Coliseum (5575 attending).

The Cards contained Elissa Cunane, the NC State All-ACC contender, to just 10 points on 1-12 shooting. If the UofL defense has looked any better this year, I'd be hard-pressed to say when.

Louisville took control of the contest early on, going on a 14-0 run in the first quarter that spanned a six-minute stretch. The Cards went from trailing 6-1 to assuming a 15-6 lead in that stretch, getting contributions from four of the starters and a Jones three with 3:17 left in the first set the score at 15-6 Louisville. 

Jones would score the final six points of the first session to give UofL a 19-8 lead. The huge NC State crowd had quieted down quite a bit, partially because NC State was 3-16 from the floor for a woeful 19%. 

The Cards would keep up that early momentum in the second quarter, and a Yacine Diop three had UofL holding a 24-13 edge with 7:43 until halftime. Evans gave UofL their largest lead of the half when she rolled in a layup to make it 30-16 with 3:28 left in second quarter action. 

You expected NC State to make some kind of run sometime in the contest and their first one followed the Evans score. Seven straight points from the Pack cut the margin to 30-23 with a minute-and-a-half until the mid-game break. Shook recorded a huge block on Cunane, though, with 54 seconds to go and Evans sent a dagger through the NCST defense when her three attempt found paydirt with seven seconds left in the half.


The teams went to the break with Louisville holding a 33-23 advantage. UofL shot 50% (13-26) in those first 20 minutes, Evans and Jones had 10 points each and the Wolfpack limped into the locker room with a paltry 25% (8-32) shooting mark.  Kayla Jones was the only bright spot for Wes Moore's squad on offense, leader Elissa Cunane had no baskets and just a few free throws, getting dominated by the Cards contingent of Shook, Bionca Dunham and Liz Dixon. The Cards had also held star-guard "Ace" Konig to one successful basket in the first twenty. 

UofL maintained the double-digit lead for most of the third quarter. A Jones jumper created a 36-25 Cards advantage with just a minute-and-a-half into the third quarter. "E" Balogun picked up her third foul a minute later and went to the bench but the Cards were still productive. Evans knocked back a contested shot to make the score 42-31 and Shook made a nice inside move to score with 2:19 left in the quarter to provide the Cards with a 44-35 cushion. 

NC State mounted another challenge to close the quarter, getting five straight points to trim the Cardinal advantage to 44-40 with 1:30 on the clock. Louisville was able to find Shook inside again to make it 46-40 with 41 seconds to play in the third and the quarter ended at that score. 

The Cards managed just four points in the final four minutes of the third, on Shook's two scores. The Reynolds Coliseum crowd was getting loud again and the Cards knew they had a fight on their hands entering the fourth. 

Cunane got the fever pitch inside Reynolds even louder when she sank her only basket of the contest, a wide-open three that came just 33 seconds into the final quarter. 46-43 now and NCST was closer than they'd been since early in th first quarter. How would Louisville respond? 

After two missed NCST free throws that could have made it a one-point affair, Diop answered with a three to push the Cardinal lead back to six points at 49-43. The Pack responded with a three, though. Balogun got un-tracked with a jumper, though, ith 6:30 left and it began a 9-2 UofL run over the next three minutes that featured another Balogun score and a dead-on Jones three that pushed Louisville a 60-48 edge with four minutes to play. Two Cunane free throws were all the home team could muster in that stretch.


The Wolf Pack looked deflated, the crowd had quieted and the Cards were back in control.

Balogun connected on a three with 43 seconds to play and Louisville was up 65-53. She added a free throw to close out the Cards scoring, NC State had a couple of threes to get the margin closer in the last 30 seconds. Walz had inserted Laemmle and Duvall into the game, victory assured.

UofL had come into #4 in the nation's den and pulled off a 66-59 win with superb defense, 48.1% shooting and sent the crowd at Reynolds home suffering their squad's first loss at home this season.  


THE FRED REPORT


If Fred McMurray had been there, maybe he
would have called this one "My Three Cards." 
FREE THROWS -- Not the best night for the Cards at the charity stripe. No one attempted more than four and the Cards shot 7-13 from the "free one" line. 53.8% doesn't qualify for a letter. 

REBOUNDS -- The Cards battled NCST hard on the boards but, led by three players with seven grabs each (Kayla Jones, Cunane and Jakia Brown-Turner) the Pack took the rebounding battle 39-34. Kylee led all rebounders with 10 and Jaz added eight grabs, Balogun seven. Losing the rebound battle won't get a letter. 

EFFICIENCY/EXECUTION -- UofL had just nine turnovers in 40 minutes and shot an impressive "almost 50%" against one of the best defenses in the ACC. Only nine assists on 26 made baskets, but, the "three ball" found its way back into the Cardinal offense. Diop and Jones combined for five of the seven made threes in 18 attempts (38.9%). Five players with at least eight points each, in a game where Louisville tallied just 66 points, show the passing was above average and we'll hand out a Captial "E" for the better-than-average execution. 

DEFENSE -- This is where the Cards "brought it" last night. Holding the Pack to 32.3% shooting. Containing Cunane to 1-12 shooting and Konig to 1-6. Despite losing the second chance points (15-10), points-off-turnovers (14-12) and points-in-the-paint (32-30), Louisville held NCST to 15 points below their season average and did it in the Pack's house. Kylee was everywhere (10-10-and seven blocks)  Defense gets a Capital "D" for last night's caging of the Wolves. 

FINAL FRED TALLY:   -_-_E-D


CONCLUSION


A much needed road win over a "maybe ranked too high" #4 NCST that stopped the Cards two-game losing streak. Louisville came out aggressive, got their offense working early and played a whale of a defensive game. The starters got this done, with some huge assistance from previous starter Diop and a gutsy, strong 16 minutes from Kasa Robinson.

The attitude and mission statement the Cards had was, "We don't lose three in a row." and they accomplished the mission. The shooting touch returned for Kylee, Jaz and Dana -- they went 18-34 (53%) from the floor and after a foul-plagued, slow start...Balogun showed what she means to the team with a strong fourth quarter. 

The Cards showed a bunch of heart, pride and toughness in their best effort of February and since a 32-point win at Notre Dame last month. Those same Irish comes into the KFC YUM! CENTER on Sunday for the "Play 4 Kay" Pink-out game. 

Notre Dame comes to town Sunday after losing a heart-breaker, last second contest to Boston College last night. It's Play 4 Kay. PINK OUT Day so dress accordingly and get out to back your 22-3, 11-2 Cards as they start their final, five-game run to capture the ACC regular-season title. 


Redemption and results. Both happened last night for Louisville on Tobacco Road. 

(We couldn't find any post-game presser audio/video for either head coach anywhere. The ACC Network did feature Kylee and Jaz on interviews after the contest.  We will offer Wes Moore's post game, radio comments. )

 LINK: MOORE POST-GAME RADIO COMMENTS



SOFTBALL SWINGS INTO ACC/BIG 10 CHALLENGE ACTION THIS MORNING. 


Holly Aprile's Cardinal Softball squad is in Carolina also, participating at UNC's field in Chapel Hill against Big 10 representatives.

They'll get in four games in three days, two each against Michigan and Wisconsin and start it out this morning at 11 a.m. against the Wolverines. 

We haven't found a TV link for this yet. It doesn't look like the ACC Network Extra is going to stream it on line, either, so we'll be reduced to following the live stats updates. 

Here's a link for those:  

LINK:  http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=309190

The Cards will also face Wisconsin later today at 4 p.m.

We did submit a offer to talk with head Coach Holly Aprile earlier this week, but, did not receive an answer out of the Softball S.I.D office. A quick turn-around for Louisville Softball, though, coming from Florida, getting home and pretty much turning around to go to North Carolina. 

The Cards go into the Challenge with a 1-4 record. 

Another slate of tough games await with the Wolverines (5-0) and Badgers (4-1).

We'll try to keep you updated of Friday's fortunes on Twitter    (@cardinalcouple)  or follow the Tweets on the right-side of the site Twitter feed page. 


Have a fantastic Friday!

paulie
xxxxx






Thursday, February 13, 2020

WBB at NC State Tonight -- Walz Presser -- Lacrosse Interview -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


SHOWDOWN IN RALEIGH 

The University of Louisville women's basketball squad is in Raleigh, NC and will take on the Wolfpack at 8 p.m. this evening in a game that could either propel the Cards into a share of the ACC lead or drop them to two games behind NC State. 

No easy task ahead for Jeff Walz's Cards. 


NC State is 22-1 overall and 11-1 in ACC conference games. They are ranked #4 in the nation now and on a eight-game winning streak. Only UNC has blemished the Wolfpack's record. NC St. handled Virginia Tech 71-59 last time out. 

Ms. Wuf's school has some put some very impressive numbers to date. They only commit an average of 12 fouls a night and are a strong defensive rebounding team at 31 a contest. They average a +19.1 scoring margin over opponents and allow just 54.9 points per game. 

Leading the way for NC State offensively in sophomore center Elisa Cunane. Averaging 17 points a night, she's considered one of the front runners for ACC Player of the Year and is one of three Wes Moore-coached players in double figures. Senior Aislinn "Ace" Konig contributes 11.1 ppg and junior Kayla Jones produces 10 ppg. 

The Cards get back Elizabeth Balogun for this one, having returned from Serbia, where she played for the Nigeria National Team during their Olympic qualifying action. A healthy Yacine Diop could also bolster the Cards chances in Carolina tonight.

Jeff Walz points out that when one of the two mentioned here play well, the other usually doesn't. It's time to break that trend and get hue games out of both tonight.

Louisville will need to be aggressive and find a way to take advantage of the fact that NC State commits more turnovers than they force other teams into. The scoring woes of sub-60 point performances in the last two outings for Louisville need to end. The Cards need to be bolstered by Jaz Jones and Dana Evans, hopefully they'll be a huge, positive factor if they can get her shot to fall.  Kylee will have her work cut out for her with Cunane, but we hope the all-time blocks leader in Louisville WBB history can gather a few swats and keep Cunane away from the basket. 

Evans picked up two more national honors this week, being named to the Ann Meyers Drysdale Award Watch list and the Citizen Naismith Trophy Mid-Season team. 


The Cards have been the "hunted" most of this season and find themselves in the role of the "hunter" tonight. Louisville has had a modicum of success in previous outing against North Carolina State, They hold a 7-3 all time record against the Wolfpack, are 2-0 in Raleigh since joining the ACC and have won five in a row against the Raleigh squad. Last time out, in the ACC semifinals last year, the Cards beat NC State 78-68 in Greensboro. It was a back-and-forth game, both teams actually had double-digit leads in this one. 

It's a ACC Network televised event and Pam Ward has the call with Deb Antonelli providing analyst work. Nick Curran and Adrienne Johnson will handle radio duties on 790 AM (WKRD) Cards Radio. The toughest conference test of the season awaits the two squads in a sold-out Reynolds Coliseum and we'll have the results for you here tomorrow morning. 


WALZ PRESSER

Jeff Walz met with the media yesterday morning to discuss tonight's game and I was there to offer questions and capture the words. A link to the audio of his weekly presser is below for your listening pleasure. 

LINK: WALZ PRESSER 2/12/20

If you'd like to view as well as listen, the UofL link is below. Walz is resplendent in his black Adidas pullover and if you're wondering what to get Paulie for his birthday this year, I won't say no to one of those...

LINK: WALZ 2-12-20 PRESSER (VIDEO VERSION)  


LACROSSE INTERVIEW


My day on the Belknap campus yesterday concluded with my weekly interview with Louisville Lacrosse head coach Scott Teeter and student-athlete, junior attacker Ally Hall.

Coach and Ally discussed the season opening win over Cincinnati and Saturday's upcoming match against #9 Denver. The Denver game is Louisville's home opener and will take place at noon at the Louisville Lacrosse Stadium. Admission is free. 

We also got to know a little more about Ally, who is from Maryland andd led Louisville on Sunday with four goals. 

Just audio on this one, but it's a fun, lively and informative chat that is definitely worth a listen ! 

LINK:  LACROSSE INTERVIEW WITH SCOTT TEETER and ALLY HALL

We'll be doing these "talks with Teeter" and a player throughout the Lacrosse season when scheduling allows and hope you find this look into the action, players and philosophy of what makes Louisville Lacrosse enjoyable !! 

We invite you to give Lacrosse a try, if you're new to the sport. It has been described as "basketball with sticks" and you'll find a lot of the same terminology and movements, like fast breaks, zones, blocks, feeds and sets, that you find in basketball. Lacrosse offers a bit more scoring than Field Hockey or Soccer and the action is exciting! 


Have a Terrific Thursday ! 

paulie
xxxxx 



Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Midweek Report -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


With some pressers and interviews today for Paulie, we decided to swap days.  Tomorrow will feature those as well as Paulie's breakdown of NC State.

Midweek Report

We have quite a few teams in season right now with many have upcoming games and matches this weekend so why not take a look at those, right?

Women's Basketball


Sitting at 21-3 on the year, we have had plenty of controversy and discussion on the issues that arose recently.  Everyone should be back for the game against #4 NC State, a game that could ultimately decide the ACC regular season champion.

Still, the Cards are ranked #9 right now and another loss won't kill the season. They're a #3 seed in Bracketology, if that measure matters to you.  Remember this,  none of this decides the ACC Tournament champion or NCAA Tournament champion so I would much rather they lose now than later. I do hope for a Cardinal WBB win in Raleigh Thursday night, of course.



Lacrosse

A victory in the season opener is always nice and helps get the nerves out of the way.  The next two matches are at home on a familiar field and several key players have a couple of years under their belt with the Teeter system.

Defense has shown major improvement and Rachel Florek put on a show in goal against Cincinnati.  Offensively, there are plenty of players who have proven they can score.

You can catch them at home Saturday at noon against Denver and Monday at 1:00 against Marquette.

Softball


After starting the year with an upset over Ole Miss the Cards dropped four straight games.  Thankfully, softball is a long season with many games.  The Cards lost 23 games last year, so there is plenty of time to make up ground this year.

They remain on the road for several more weeks with early season tournaments before coming home for the start of March.  This coming weekend features the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.  Louisville will face Michigan and Wisconsin each twice.


Tennis

A shocking loss to Furman last week but the first blemish on an otherwise perfect record.  Still, at 6-1, the Cards are off to their usual early season hot start.

Mark Beckham's squad had a slight schedule change this weekend.  They will now host Bowling Green at 11:00 and Northern Illinois at 3:00.


Swimming and Diving

The Cards are home for the final time this season before the ACC Championships and NCAA
Championships.  They will have both Friday and Saturday action, hosting the Louisville Invitational.

The women are ranked #19, which is a slight drop from recent years, but Arthur Albeiro has shown no concern,  He is fully confident in his team and I don't expect them to disappoint in the postseason.

Obviously, Saturday is a full plate on campus.  Assuming this old man (currently 25) can muster up the energy for it I'll start my day at the Ralph Wright Natatorium, move to the Louisville Lacrosse Stadium midday, and conclude the day at Bass-Rudd Tennis Center.


Burger of the Week


Another burger challenge is from a popular local bar right down the road from my work.  It has had a history of changing ownership often and most recently made some changes when the owner passed away a year ago.

Bambi Bar is home to the Bambi Burger and the Bambi Walk.  They're one of the few restaurants we've looked at so far that is open every day.

I have not yet been to this long time local favorite to try out the Bambi Burger but I have heard nothing but praises from friends and Yelp gives it a high rating.

What makes "the burger" for your taste buds? Lots of "dressed items" like onion, lettuce and tomato? What type of cheese? Or, the size of the hamburger pattie? Are you a mayonnaise, ketchup or mustard dressing fan? Type of bun? A couple slices of bacon?  Let us know what "makes" your burger in the comments section today !

Happy Wednesday and Go Cards!

Jared

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

New Rankings -- ACC Tournament Pick Em -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

New Rankings

Who will dance with me? I dance in March ! 
It appears the AP voters were more generous to the WBB Cards than most of us expected.  Despite a pair of conference losses during the week Louisville women's basketball dropped from #5 to #9.

Louisville, who is now 21-3 with a 10-2 conference record, has been without Elizabeth Balogun and Norika Konno the past two games.  Konno has recovering from a knee injury that occurred during the Team USA game.  Balogun has been with the Nigerian National Team as they try to qualify for the 2020 Olympics.

I fully support the team's decision to allow Balogun to play with her home country.  In my opinion, having the opportunity to represent your home country in the Olympics is way more important and a much higher honor than a pair of regular season games.  Assuming Louisville has no major collapse the rest of the year the Cards will still be dancing in March and should host I dance in the first two rounds.

South Carolina remained #1 in the country and rightfully so.  The Gamecocks continued to prove their worth after controlling UConn from the start in a Top Five match-up last night.

Ms. Wuf definitely can dance 
Baylor remained #2 and Oregon #3.  NC State moved up to #4 to become the highest ranked ACC team while UConn fell a spot to #5.  The Huskies may drop again after a blowout loss to South Carolina.

Mississippi State moved up to #6, UCLA jumped up to #7, Stanford dropped to #8, and Maryland broke into the Top 10 in the final spot.

Florida State is the only other ACC team in the rankings at #14.

Louisville (10-2) and NC State (11-1) will meet on Thursday at 8:00 p.m., for a showdown to decide who will take the prime spot in the ACC.  A win will give the Cards the head-to-head tiebreaker with five games to go while a loss will set them two games back and just barely ahead of FSU.



ACC Tournament Pick Em

Hoping for no busted brackets dance
We are a little under a month away from the ACC Tournament.  Paulie will head to Greensboro when the time comes to cover the entire tournament.

As is tradition, we will be having our Cardinal Couple ACC Tournament Pick Em.  Each correct pick in each round is worth one point.  Whoever has the most right at the end wins.  What the prize will be will be announced by Paulie himself later on.

Paulie will have an interview with Coach Teeter and perhaps a player or two tomorrow.  They will discuss their match against Cincinnati as well as look at their upcoming matches at home on Saturday (vs. Denver) and on Monday (vs. Marquette). .

Jeff Walz should be having his weekly press conference this week, which I assume Paulie will attend.  It is not a special one to discuss the two recent losses but I assume that will be a large topic of the presser.  Walz will also look at the upcoming games against NC State and Notre Dame.

Not sure of Teeter's dancing skills
The variable here is timing.

Paulie has pre-arranged to have a "Teeter Talk"  at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, and will endeavor to meet with him and selected Lacrosse student-athletes throughout the season (when Paulie isn't out of town). Walz is fond of Wednesday pressers, too, so we hope the time frame works out where he can get both interviews here. I wouldn't be surprised, if a time conflict occurs, that he goes with Lacrosse.

Walz seemingly prefers the bright lights and TV cameras for his audience. We don't have an "in" there, nor the money or backing to do that.

Toss in a "in the works" request to meet with softball's Holly Aprile before the team takes off to Chapel Hill for the ACC/Big 10 Challenge this weekend and our fearless leader has a busy few days ahead of him, tracking down the joy and excitement of Louisville women's sports.

Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!

Jared

Monday, February 10, 2020

Recapping Sunday Action for WBB, Lacrosse & Softball -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


TWO "L"'s and a "W" 

The three sports we give most of our coverage to in the spring were all in action yesterday. None of them were in Louisville but Jared and Paulie were in neighboring Cincinnati for Lacrosse to view their win over the Bearcats. In Syracuse, things didn't go as planned for the UofL WBB squad and the Softball Cards closed out their action in the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Clearwater, FL. Here's the recaps....


LACROSSE STARTS SEASON WITH A WIN


Let's start with the good news. Louisville Lacrosse began their 2020 campaign with a 16-11 win over the UC Bearcats yesterday afternoon, getting off to a 8-4 halftime lead and closing out the home team on a day that took a couple of weather turns as the contest progressed. 

Louisville got four goals in the contest from junior Ally Hall to lead Louisville to their 13th. consecutive win over Cincinnati. Falling behind 1-0 to start, the Cards never trailed again...putting up four straight goals, from four different players, to counter the Bearcats early score. Louisville never looked back and three Cards (Hall, freshman Allegra Catalano and junior Caroline Blalock) each had two scores on the sheet as the half ended.

Rachel Florek made some spectacular saves for Louisville in goal-keep. The red-shirt junior totaled nine saves in the match and the rest of the defense was efficiently active early, limiting UC to just one shot in the first half of the first half. 

A overcast, chilly day at start got a bit crazy as the first half ended. Big snow flakes blanketed the field, making the final six minutes a winter wonderland. You could barely see the players leave the field for the locker room at halftime, The Cards picked up two goals in the "whiteness" to creat the four-goal halftime edge. 


Jared Anderson and I headed for the UC press box during the mini-blizzard, after watching the game from the field for most of the opening half. 

Hannah Morris drove home all of her three goals in the second half and the Cards got back-to-back goals from Hall to forge a 12-4 advantage with 16:52 left in action after Morris's second score. From there, UC picked up the pace a bit on the "now clear of snow" field and actually out-scored the Cards 7-4 the rest of the way. 


"I don't think the heavy stuff is going to come out for
quite some time..." 
Morris put her final score in the net with about nine minutes to play and sophomore  Kristen Parker closed out Cardinal scoring at the 2:32 mark. 16-11 the final. CARDS WIN! 

In a post-game interview recap with Paulie, Coach Scott Teeter indicated that he was pretty happy with the overall effort Sunday and he thought they competed for 60 minutes. He knows the Cards have a lot of players who can put the ball in the back of the net and they just have to find them and spread the ball around. Much more with Teeter below: 


LINK TO INTERVIEW:  SCOTT TEETER POST GAME COMMENTS




Great helmet !! 
A nice win on the road to start the season that indicated Louisville has multiple options on the attack, some mid-fielders who are excellent on both ends of the field and create havoc for opposing offenses and a goal-keeper in Florek who blocks shot attempts. All good things. 

We received word that the audio was poor and why the Go Cards website failed to post our post-game interview with Coach Teeter on their Go CARDS site. 

You decide. SID Nick Evans was in Syracuse with WBB, he covers both sports in the spring. I guess we're not ready from prime time, in the eyes of the staffers he sent to the Queen City. 

Nice contributions from the freshman Sunday. Izzy Holmes had three assists, Catalano scored the "hat-trick" with three goals and first-year players Maggie Foster, Megan Mangines, Maddie McDonough and Louisville Eastern High School product Ashley Osbourne drew the starts. 

The Cards host Denver at the Louisville Lacrosse Stadium on Saturday for the home opener. Admission is free. 

(LACROSSE PHOTOS AND POST GAME INTERVIEW FOOTAGE BY JARED ANDERSON) 



WBB HOOPS TAKES SECOND STRAIGHT LOSS 59-51


We were able to follow Louisville Women's Basketball in bits and pieces from Tweets while in Cincinnati....and caught the fourth quarter in the car while heading back to Louisville. 

 Louisville put up just 35.2% shooting, had 22 turnovers and lost the second quarter to Syracuse 15-8 Sunday, to take their second straight loss in the ACC. 

After a firs quarter that saw the Orange in the lead 15-12, Dana Evans connected on the three to tie the contest up. After that,though, Syracuse went on a 15-5 run to close the quarter and hold a 30-20 lead. 

Two threes (from Evans and Jess Laemmle) early in the third session got the Cards close but Syracuse was able to get five points from guard Kiara Lewis to close the quarter and hold the 41-32 lead after three. 

The 'Cuse extended the edge out to double digits several times in the final quarter. It was the lowest point-production of the season for the Cards. The Cards did rally to get within six near the end, shooting a improved 7-11 from the floor (63%) in the final period, but the Syracuse lead was just too much to overcome. 

Jones and Evans combined for 28 of Louisville's 51 points, but were 10-31 from the floor in doing so (32%). 

This lack-of-successful shooting comes after Jeff Walz has indicated he has tried to simplify the offense so better production can occur. Louisville had the highest shooting percentage in the ACC (45.7%) going into the game, but the last two Cardinal efforts have not mirrored that. The Cards are now 21-3 on the year and 10-2 in conference, one game back of league leading NC State. These two will match up Thursday in Raleigh at 8 p.m.



Jess Three? Write it down as... Good! She
hit two bombs against the Orange for six points. 
Another game where neither team shot 40%.  Counting the Team USA Exhibition, the Cards have failed to reach 60 points in three straight outing now, after two 80+ point totals against Pitt and Notre Dame. 

Speculation will run rampant about the loss. NLet's not forget, though, that Syracuse was here earlier this year and the Cards survived a late Syracuse run to win 62-58. 

Orange fans were looking to celebrate coach Quentin Hillsman's 300th. win in his career and they got want they came for. 

"Q" talks about it in the link below: 

COACH QUENTIN HILLSMAN POST GAME LOUISVILLE

I don't have much more to say about this one, so we'll go the Fred Report and summation.




THE FRED REPORT


"What's the matter, Fred?  We lost at Syracuse."  
FREE THROWS -- The Cards got 12 free throws chances and hit eight of them for 66.7%. Four Cardinals attempted them, Jaz leading the way...going 3 for 7. Not quite up to our 70% standards for earning a letter, so we won't assign one. 

REBOUNDING  -- Syracuse out-grabbed the Cards 40-37, despite Kylee Shook's 13 and Jaz's seven. Our standards are if you win the rebounding numbers, you get a letter. Louisville did not. No letter here. 

EFFICIENCY/EXECUTION -- The numbers indicate a sloppy performance in the "E-Stats" 22 turnovers way too many against a team that was 11-11 going into this one and 5-6 in the ACC. The Cards also lost the points-in-paint battle again and Kylee got only six shot attempts in 32 minutes, Liz Dixon none in 18 minutes and Bionca played 26 minutes and went 1-5. Louisville looked unmotivated and listless from parts of this one I saw. I can't assign a letter for 51 points-produced and 5-17 three-point execution.

DEFENSE -- in the scheme of the entire game, the Cards held Syracuse to just 59 points and 35.3% shooting. It's the first time this year the Cards have loss despite holding the foe to under 60. 10 steals is a encouraging defensive number and 18 Syracuse turnovers indicate to me that defense wasn't a major problem for the Cards, expect for they allowed more points than they were able to produce. I'll compromise and go with a small case "d" here. 

FINAL FRED REPORT TALLY:   _-_-_-d


SUMMING IT UP 

You have to score more points than the opponent to win. That involves shooting the ball better than the foe. Let's hope the Cards can solve the recent lack of production on offense in their next outing against league-leading NC State (who was idle Sunday) at Raleigh on Thursday. Elizabeth Balogun should be back in the lineup by then, but, the problems go deeper than just missing one starter for two games.


SOFTBALL FALLS TO MISSOURI 5-1


Louisville Softball closed out their trip to Clearwater with a 5-1 loss to yet another SEC opponent in Missouri Sunday. The Cards faced SEC squads, Mississippi, Mississippi State and the Tigers in the three-day trip. 

Missouri struck early with two runs in the bottom of the second inning with three hits. Louisville cut that lead in half when Taylor Roby went "grass, track and wall" in the top of the third with her team co-leading second home run of the season, but it was Louisville's only score of the morning. 

Chardonnay Harris (0-3) drew the start in the circle for the Cards, allowing three runs in 2.2 innings Taylor Roby finished the Cards pitching duties, allowing two runs, unearned, in the sixth inning. Roby was 2-2 from the plate and freshman third-base starter Jenna Servi went 2-3 at bat, with a double. 

Louisville next go to Chapel Hill next, for the ACC vs. Big Ten Classic. They'll face Michigan and Wisconsin on the UNC Field. 

Have a meaningful Monday! 


paulie
xxxxx








Sunday, February 9, 2020

Sunday Cardinal Couple - All the Action

Gamedays Abound


You get a gameday!  You get a gameday!  Everyone gets a gameday!
It's Sunday in February, and it seems just about everyone is in action today in the winter and spring crossover period.  Basketball, Softball, and Lacrosse are all in action today.  Let's take them in scheduled order.  Softball gets us started this morning, Lacrosse gets a 1 o'clock slot, and Women's Basketball gets a 2 o'clock start

Softball


Celene Funke will get things underway as the typical lead-off batter for the Holly Aprile's Softball squad.  UofL will match up against Missouri with a 10am start.  Missouri is in the receiving votes category of the rankings, as is UofL, though the Tigers are getting more votes than we are (depending on which set of rankings you're looking at).

The Cards are competing in the NFCA leadoff classic in Clearwater Florida.  All of the games are being streamed via a Youtube setup.  UofL will be the visiting team on Field 2 this morning.  I'll try to embed the appropriate Youtube link here.

The squad had a rough day yesterday.  After splitting games on Friday, they took two losses yesterday, to Texas State and Mississippi State (neither are ranked or RV).

The first game of the day yesterday was the Texas State game.  The Bobcats would win this one mostly on the strength of a 4-run 3rd inning.  They had also gotten a run in the 2nd inning, putting the Cards in a big hole for much of the game.  The Cards would get one back with Caitlin Ferguson going yard to lead off the 6th, but couldn't develop any more offense in the inning beyond that.

The Bobcats would complete their scoring efforts in the top of the 7th meaning the Cards would have to score 6 to extend the game.  They would get a bit of a rally with 2 outs with Jenna Servi singled.  Celene Funke came up to the plate and...guess what she did?  A triple?  Yes, Celene Funke ripped a triple to the surprise of absolutely no one, scoring Servi.  Ferguson came back to the plate and singled to bring Funke home, but the Texas State pitcher would close out the game with a strikeout.  The final score was 7-3.

In the second game of the day, Mississippi State took eight innings to get the win 3-2.  UofL put a mark on the scoreboard first, in the 3rd inning, with Maddy Newman getting a single, advancing on a Charley Butler sac bunt, and then finishing the round trip on a pair of Mississippi State errors.  The Bulldogs would answer in the 4th, then get a go-ahead run in the 6th.

The Cards were able to even it up in the bottom of the 7th, this time with Jenna Servi getting the single, and advancing on a Butler sac bunt.  Ferguson singled to load the bases, and the big bat of Taylor Roby pushed the pitcher into a bases loaded walk, scoring Servi and evening the game at 2 apiece.

The event is using the international rule of starting extra innings with a runner on 2nd, which helped Miss. State to get a run in the 8th, putting the pressure back on the Cards in the bottom of inning.  Jordan Wolfe took the position at 2nd to start.  Servi's hit was fielder's choice, but both speedsters were safe with Wolfe advancing to 3rd, and Servi safe at first.  Servi stole 2nd, putting two runners in scoring position with one out, but a groundout and strikeout kept the runners in place and ended the game.

Lacrosse


Jared and Paulie are treking up to Cincinnati to take in the season opener of Scott Teeter's Lacrosse squad led by pre-season All-ACC selection Caroline Blalock.

Loaded with Freshman, this team is a great big huge question mark leavened by a good sized contingent of Juniors, including the aforementioned Caroline Blalock.  I would expect Junior Rachel Florek to have the most presence in goal, though appearances by Jen Schaaf, also a Junior, wouldn't be surprising.  The other GK listed on the roster is freshman Jordan Trabue.

Louisville is undefeated against the Bearcats, and are 9-3 all time in season openers, so the historical stats are in the Cards favor, but as always, you have to go out and actually play the game, not just depend on history and stats.

First draw is at 1pm, and if you aren't heading that way to join Jared and Paulie, you can catch this one streamed by the University of Cincinnati at their site:

Basketball


Jeff Walz squad may be licking their wounds after the Florida State loss, but they'll be back in action today at 2pm against Syracuse at the Carrier Dome.

Syracuse is, of course, coached by Cardinal Couple favorite Quentin Hillsman.  The Orange are coming off of a solid win against Boston College and will be celebrating National Girls and Women in Sports Day.  You can catch the broadcast on ESPN2, with Roy Philpott for play by play and Brooke Weisbrod on the analysis side.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


Case, Paulie, and I were back the Library for the latest edition of The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour yesterday.  We spent quite some time and had some great discussion about women's basketball.  We also covered the results of the Softball games to that point, and previewed today's action.  It was a jam-packed show, just over an hour, making it an increasingly misnamed show, but that's why we love it.

Check it out below.

-- 
JMcA