Volleyball Falls 3-1 at Miami
It was bound to happen sooner or later. Louisville's volleyball team was on a six game win streak entering last night's rematch with Miami. As I alluded to earlier this week, Miami was keen on getting revenge for Louisville handing the Hurricanes their first loss of the season. In the end, the Canes had completed their revenge and brought the win streak to an end. Louisville still holds a 1 game lead over Miami in the conference standings, as this was only Louisville's second loss in the conference.
Louisville kept this match close, despite it only going four sets. When looking at the set scores, the fourth set (25-14) stands out as an anomaly. Further investigation shows that isn't truly the case, though. Louisville dropped the first set 21-25, due to untimely errors and great hitting (.452) by Miami. In the second, the Cards returned the favor with a .406 set to Miami's .167. The match score was tied 1-1 and total points won was at 46-46. It was pretty close. The third set is the tricky one. When it ended, Miami had come away with a 24-26 set win. However, it wasn't as close as the final score appeared. Louisville had to make a furious comeback from down 15-21. They got to 24-24 before Miami finally halted the comeback. It was clear Miami was playing better after dropping a set to the Cards, and the fourth set only confirmed that. Louisville was unable to mount another large comeback, and the final score reflected a strong set by Miami instead of falsely implying a close game.
The Cards were plagued by errors in this one, namely service errors, of which they had 12 (15 total). It is hard to win matches when you're giving the other team so many points. However, when all was said and done, Miami finished with 18 errors themselves. The difference is that Miami was able to take more advantage when they had control of the serve. Also working heavily in favor of the Hurricanes was the play of one Olga Strantzali. Louisville had no answer for Strantzali, who finished with an ACC record 33 kills. Her 33 were more than half of Miami's total 60 and 2/3rds of Louisville's 51. Just like in basketball, if you can't stop a player from scoring, you are going to be in for a long night.
Louisville was led once again by Melanie McHenry in kills, but she was followed closely by Amanda Green and Tess Clark. Wilma Rivera predictably led the team in assists but she also led in digs. Molly Sauer actually tied with Gabby Wiley and Green for second with 10 digs, which shows that Miami was able to actively and effectively keep the ball away from Sauer and remove key contributors from plays. If that is a tactic that other teams have success in implementing, Louisville could continue to see trouble from it.
The Cards remain on the road tomorrow against Florida State, another rematch. The Cards took down the Seminoles earlier this year when the team from Tallahassee was ranked in the top 25. Expectations for the Noles have dipped since then, but, like Miami, FSU is sure to be looking for revenge against the Cardinals for their contributions to the swoon the Noles experienced. The match begins at 12 PM and is not currently listed as available for viewing. Keep up with the Louisville Volleyball twitter account for quick gameplay updates.
Field Hockey in for Big Weekend
It is not often in any sport that a team will play two unique teams from the top-5 in back to back days during the regular season (sports that play series like baseball and softball would be an obvious exception). However, that is the situation that Louisville's field hockey team finds themselves facing this weekend. The Cards will take on the number 3 Virginia Cavaliers today for a chance at the ACC regular season title and number 4 Michigan gets their shot tomorrow. A major factor that could be at play for the Cards in these games is the fact that they are being played at Trager Stadium. Louisville is 6-0 at home thus far this season with some pretty big home wins. The Cards are currently on a 7 game winning streak, most recently defeating the top-5 UNC Tar Heels.
Today's game is the last in the ACC for the Cards and they'd love to finish with a positive result in order to boost their standing for the ACC tournament. The Tourney is also held at Trager Stadium, so if the Cards can finish the season perfect at home (they also play Ohio next weekend) and be the top seed in the ACC tournament, they will have a ton of confidence entering postseason play. This Louisville team has taken their lumps throughout the season, but it seems as though they may be hitting their stride. This weekend poses a tough matchup, but we'll see what they've got.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour
For the first time in awhile, the basement studio of Crescent Hill Radio will play host to the myself, Paulie, Jared, and Jeff all at the same time. We'll have a great show lined up for you talking fall sports recaps and previews. There's plenty to talk about so we'll see no issues filling out our hour. We hope you'll come spend the morning with us, leading up to the noon starts for football and field hockey. Check out 100.9 WCHQ FM, the WCHQ app, or crescenthillradio.com at 11AM for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour.
Until next time, Go Cards!