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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Louisville Fall Sports Media Day -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Three fall sports answered questions and discussed their upcoming seasons at the Fall Sports Media, held in the first floor press conference room of the Kueber Center Planet Fitness building on Floyd Street yesterday. 

Aiko Jones
Volleyball went first and the "wide net" Cards were represented by head coach Dani Busboom Kelly, defensive setter/libero Alexis Hamilton and opp. Aiko Jones. Below you'll find (2) links for hearing the Volleyball (as well as the other two audio only and one video/audio. The questions (mostly presented by me) are hard to hear on the video version. 

Sorry that I couldn't do anything about the commercials that precede the video versions  in all three. Google and the other mega-million corporations gotta rake in them dollars, right? 



Carter Ayars
After Volleyball, Field Hockey's head coach Justine Sowry and student-athletes Bethany Russ and Carter Ayars took the chairs and answered questions on the "Stick Girls" upcoming schedule and season. 



Maybe the most interesting aspect of the video link for Field Hockey is a 30 second commercial for Chromebook and only 56 seconds of an over six minute actual player and coach question and answer session. 

I guess I didn't do a very good job on this one. 

Cross Country's head coach Dale Cowper was the third speaker. Cowper coaches both men and women's cross country. He did not bring any student-athletes


( I could not find any video of Cowper's remarks) 

It's always great to catch up with the coaches and student-athletes at events such as these. It is a mystery to me why more media don't attend them.

After the Media Day, I sauntered upstairs to say "Hi" to any coaches around from the Louisville women's basketball and Louisville Lacrosse programs. I hit pay-dirt in that journey...talking briefly to Jeff Walz, Sam Purcell, Jonneisha Pineda, operations director Kate Tucker, associate strength and conditioning coach Beth Burns and director of player relations Adrienne Johnson for hoops and Scott Teeter and Kay Morissette on the Lacrosse side of the building. 

No recordings on those chats. Highlights of the journey upstairs included meeting Coach J.P. for the first time (a delightful young woman!), presenting Coach Sam a bag of chips, discussing with Coach Walz his travels over the summer and reviewing the Canada trip with Kay and Teeter.  We definitely need to set up a Cardinal Couple interview with coach J.P...and have set those wheels in motion. 

Have a terrific Tuesday!



Monday, August 19, 2019

Diop, Senegal fall to Nigeria in FIBA Afrobasket Finals -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


University of Louisville women's basketball student-athlete Yacine Diop's FIBA women's Afro-basketball experience came to an end yesterday when the Senegal squad dropped a close one in the finals against Nigeria 60-55.

Diop started in the final game against Nigeria but saw just 10 minutes of action. She was 0-2 from the floor and had a rebound and assist. Senegal (4-1) trailed early 14-10, was behind 32-24 at the half and 48-37 going into the fourth quarter before making a late rally to tie the contest at 54-54 with 1:50 to play. 

Former UK star Evelyn Akhator started for the victorious Nigeria squad and led them with 14 points. She also had nine rebounds in 33 minutes. 

Diop played in all five of the Senegalese games and saw 19 minutes a contest, averaging 7.2 points a contest. Her highs came against Angola in the quarter-finals, producing 14 points and grabbing seven rebounds in 29 minutes. 

In her five games, Diop went 15-38 from the floor (39%), 4-12 from three-point range and had 21 eight steals. 

Diop is expected to play a big role for the Cards in the upcoming 2019-20 season. The transfer from Pittsburgh played in four games last season for the Cards before tearing her left knee anterior cruciate in the first minute of a 58-56 win over Arizona in the Southpoint Shootout on Nov 23rd, 2018. Diop tried to return to the floor after leaving the game but was unable to go. 

She started two games in 2018-19 and saw 65 minutes of court time, scoring 25 points and grabbing 17 rebounds before going to the sidelines and subsequently receiving a medical redshirt....making her eligible for this year. 

Her career at Pittsburgh was pretty spectacular...she's 18th on the Pitt All-time scoring list (1093 points) and was their leading scorer her redshirt junior year. She had 26 points against the Cards that season on Jan. 18, 2017 


Rated the No. 54 overall prospect and the No. 6 forward by ...Rated the No. 83 overall prospect by HoopGurlz ... Rated No. 69 by BlueStar Basketball ... A standout at nearby Seton-La Salle, Diop Averaged 12 points and 12 rebounds as a senior and led her team to Class AA WPIAL and State title ... Saved one of her best performances for the state title game as she posted 10 points, 23 rebounds and six blocks vs. Neumann-Goretti to help the Rebels win a PIAA Class AA Title ... Named to the Fabulous 5 by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ... Played her sophomore year at Oak Hill Academy before coming to Seton-LaSalle for her junior and senior year ... Named MVP of African Cup tournament in 2013 as a member of the Under-18 Senegalese National Team after leading the them to the African Cup championship ... Fluent in English, French and Wolof - a regional Senegalese language.

For all your Cardinal women's sports news, check us out daily! Tomorrow, I'll report on the UofL Fall Sports Media Day I'm attending later this morning. Volleyball, Field Hockey and Cross Country head coaches plus student-athletes will attend and answer questions. 


Sunday, August 18, 2019

Volleyball's Red and Black Scrimmage -- WSOC vs Butler -- Sunday Cardinal Couple

Red and Black Volleyball Scrimmage

Summer is over.

OK, maybe only for college athletics.

Last night saw the kick off of fall women's sports at UofL with both Volleyball and Women's Soccer in action, albeit both in pre-season scrimmage form.

The Volleyball split up and played intra-squad competition, with the bolstering of a couple of the practice players that have been helping out in the pre-season training.  There are no official stats available for this one, and honestly, stats for an event like this are usually not terribly meaningful, so we'll be sticking with general observations and analysis.

First, the usual suspect...Melanie McHenry was limited in her play as she is dealing with a minor abdominal pull.  She's played, didn't serve, did play defense, and did some hitting, but definitely wasn't swinging with full power.

So who did impress?  Aiko Jones made good use of her red-shirt year and played a major role on the red squad with 13 kills, along with Claire Chaussee's 14.  On the victorious black squad side of the net, transfer Anna Stevenson, and freshman Amber Stivrins led the attack with 5 apiece.  Anna is part of the major position battle happening for middle hitters and blocks, while Amber swings from the outside.

Amaya Tillman played predominantly in the middle for this scrimmage, though I expect she will see some significant time at the opposite/right side position.  Unfortunately, she did go down in the middle of the scrimmage when it appeared that she landed on another player's foot and rolled her ankle.  The injury didn't appear to be severe to myself, or to several other spectators that I spoke with who were sitting in different locations around the arena.  We'll hope there's no significant damage and a few days rest (and probably wearing a boot) will get her back into action healthy.

One not-really-a-position-battle, but discussion only really relevant to this scrimmage was, who would be the second libero on the team?  Alexis Hamilton clearly has the primary libero jersey claimed, but who's the first backup?  Let's just say that this question still isn't solidly answered.  The candidates were Alexa Hendricks (freshman), and Mia Stander.  They played 4 sets in the scrimmage, and each donned the libero jersey for two of them.

We knew the starting setter question wouldn't be answered last night, as transfer Tori Dilfer, and freshman Shannon Shields were split between the two teams.  Might we even see a 6-2 offense with two quality setters of similar style and play?  I keep getting hints that it might happen some this year.

Prior to the scrimmage there was the seemingly now annual Volleyball picnic for season ticket holders and Side Out Club members.  My mother and I got a chance to mix and mingle and chat with various of the players.  We got an introduction to the whole team and found out some amusing facts about each player.  Mia Standar is slightly allergic to the sun, despite being the most tanned member of the team; Jamie Vasilou is a former gymnast and may be, for her height, one of the best jumpers on the team.

All in all it was a fun evening, and encouraging to everyone to see the depth and talent pool on this team.  Bolstered by the #16 recruiting class in the country, the squad is poised to have a great year.

Volleyball will be back in exhibition action next Saturday at 3pm against Miami (OH).  The season will get underway with the Cardinal Classic on Friday the 30th.

Women's Soccer

Women's Soccer was also in action last night in an exhibition match against Butler at Lynn Stadium on Floyd Street.  There were no tweets emanating from the stadium with any updates on the action, and I was unable to attend, so I have no observations at all to share with you.  Since Jared was there, we do have some pictures, which I'll add in below (along with another couple of Volleyball pictures for good measure) Paulie's observations.

Case Hoskins provided excellent analysis and commentary on the action. You're gonna love his reports when the season "officially" starts.


Since the UofL women's soccer coaching staff wanted us to refrain from revealing scores, stats and such (can't be giving "THE" Ohio St. OR ACC foes any fodder, right?) we didn't post any Tweets or do an in-depth article.

So, here are six non-game detail events of the night. If you were there, you saw the score.

1) No EHRLER's . We have been spoiled over the last couple of years with free Ehrler's ice cream cups in the press box. None for this scrimmage, however. We can only hope this changes.

2) DAILY DOUBLE.  It's always a treat to see a "J.J." at any UofL Sporting event. We hit the Daily Double last night with two J.J.'s -- WBB's Jaz Jones and softball great Jenna Jordan.

3) STAT STATUS. One stat we can share with you. A total of three trains passed by the north side of the field during the contest. This will be the over/under line for the remainder of the season. It's got to be a bit confusing to opponents to suddenly hear bells and then the roar of a train while they're playing. Plus hard for them to hear the coach's instructions. Place your bets.

4) SCOREBOARD LOOKING GOOD!  The improvements to the main scoreboard are fantastic. Better clarity and resolution the most noticeable. Look what we can do, Louisville!

5) PRESEASON FOR THE REFS.  WE DON'T NORMALLY BASH THE OFFICIATING CREW, but they need work on calling fouls correctly and off-sides. Enough said.

6) YES, THEY WILL CHECK. Security is earning their checks. It took them five minutes to go through my media bag and ask questions on what my assorted game day devices do. And, I was scaled down from what I normally bring. Also, they need to remember to set up a check-point table. My search was conducted on the top of a trash can. Preseason for them, too, I'm guessing.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

Paulie, Case, and I were in the studio again for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour, along with the
prominently identified Floyd the Touchdown Squirrel.  Apparently Floyd has become quite the WCHQ celebrity.

He's been happily living at WCHQ for a couple of years now, but some of the other show hosts have apparently only recently become aware of his presence.  We just hope, in his newfound celebrity, that he doesn't forget about us at The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour.

In addition to basking in the reflected celebrity of Floyd, we did also talk quite a bit about the Soccer and Volleyball exhibition play going on.  We had fun as always.  You can check out the fun at:

You can also look through the other updates at WCHQ at:

and maybe check out some of the other show streams and see if you can spot other appearances by Floyd.


Saturday, August 17, 2019


We've talked about it quite a bit, maybe even ad nauseum, but today is finally the day: Louisville women's athletics are back. The men's soccer team kicked things off last night (pun intended) with a 2-1 win over Lipscomb in an exhibition game. Yesterday, Louisville softball also announced their fall schedule, which includes three doubleheaders at Ulmer Stadium against Eastern Kentucky, Bellarmine, and Indiana. The Cards will also take on Kentucky in Lexington. Today we'll talk briefly about the two sports getting underway tonight, and how you can join us in taking them in.

Volleyball in the Red vs Black Scrimmage

Coach Dani Busboom-Kelly's squad will open the action for the Louisville women's teams this fall when they play their annual Red vs Black Scrimmage at 6PM this evening. The match will take place in the L&N Federal Credit Union Arena (formerly Cardinal Arena) in the lower level of the Student Activities Center. Though Louisville announced yesterday that single game volleyball tickets are on sale for this season, tonight's intrasquad match is free admission. Parking, however, is not free, so make sure to plan ahead for street or garage parking. If you do intend to make it to a number of games this year and do not have season tickets, you may want to jump on the opportunity to buy single game tickets early, as the L&N Arena can sell out very easily. 

In addition to the scrimmage, if you are a season ticket holder, be sure to head out early for the annual season ticket holders' picnic from 4-5. After tonight, the Cards will play an exhibition match against Miami (OH) next Saturday before opening the regular season by hosting the Cardinal Classic starting August 30th. This season's Cardinal Classic sees Dayton, Florida, and Texas A&M come to town, which should be quite the beginning to the season for the Cards, who found themselves ranked in the preseason top 25.

Soccer Hosts Butler (Not the High School)

Following the volleyball match, the women's soccer team will open their season with an exhibition match against the Butler Bulldogs at 7:30 PM. This match, like the majority of Louisville's matches this season, will be at Lynn Stadium on Floyd Street. The Cardinal XI will not be starting from scratch tonight, having played a number of spring matches and a closed scrimmage last Saturday. Results from that match are withheld, but we can at least say that the Cards won't be spending too much time shaking off the rust tonight. Louisville will be looking to establish lineups and formations and determining what works best in this new season.

I'll particularly have my eye on the defense as the team goes through a bit of a transition after losing Gaby Vincent. I don't expect Butler will be a huge challenge for the Cards, but they do return 21 players from a 13-6-1 campaign last season. Among the returners are a 2018 All-Big East Freshman team player in Anja Savich and a 2018 All-Big East First teamer in Annika Schmidt. Schmidt will be key while trying to stop a strong Louisville offense, but I'll be interested to see what kind of pressure the Bulldogs can put on Louisville's goal, with Savich at the helm. I expect Louisville to be comfortable in this game, but it may not be quite the pushover that it seems on the face.

Tonight's match is the only publicized exhibition for the Cards and they'll get right into the season with their only away non-conference match next Thursday when they open the regular season against Ohio State. Admission tonight should be free, as was last night's men's game, but the clear bag policy is in effect. Parking on the street will be free at the time of this match, as meters go free on Saturdays after 6, and as Jared outlined, you can park in the Cardinal Stadium lot for free for soccer games. 

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

The summer slump is finally over for us at the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour, as sports are back. We don't have any games to recap quite yet, but we do have some to preview. We're excited to roll straight into the season with the support we have from Cardinal Couple readers and listeners and look forward to another year covering Louisville women's athletics. Tune in to the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour at 11 AM on WCHQ FM. WCHQ is available at 100.9 FM,, on the WCHQ App, or you can watch the show on Facebook Live by going to the WCHQ FM page. 

Until next time, Go Cards!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Louisville Soccer Media day -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


The University of Louisville soccer teams held a combined team media day yesterday at the Lynn Stadium soccer complex. Both head coaches addressed the media and fielded question along with selected players. 

For our purposes here at CARDINAL COUPLE, we focused on the women's Soccer team. Joining Karen Ferguson Dayes were senior defender and team captain Arianna Ferraro, goalkeeper Gabby Kouzelos, forward Brooklynn Rivers and mid-fielder Emina Ekic. Sonya accompanied me to the media day and we both agreed that we learned a lot from Coach's and the student-athletes responses to the media questions. 

Some listening points for the linked up interview below: 

-- Coach Karen Ferguson Dayes opening remarks.

-- The selection process for team captain

-- The squad's strength in senior leadership

-- The balance between offense and defense

-- Notable freshmen

-- discussion on graduated senior and professional Gabi Vincent

-- Arianna Ferraro on being the team captain

-- Emina Ekic's status

-- Coach Ferguson-Dayes discusses ACC Network

-- the motivation carried forward from last year's NCAA Tournament appearance.


I skipped the men's soccer portion of the media day, primarily because I had the opportunity to have an exclusive "breakout" interview with Ekic and Kouzelos after they addresses the main group of media attendees.

That interview was also quite informative and we had a bit of fun with it as well. You can hear the audio to that below: 


I've also attached the video of both the women's and men's Media Day comments. It is long (about 45 minutes) and, unfortunately, you can't hear the questions being asked from the media to the players and coaches: The start also features my expanding "bald spot" on the back of my head. Avert your eyes...


(A special thank you to Louisville women's soccer SID Kim Pemberton for her work on the Soccer Media Day and to Coach Karen, Gabby, Emina, Brooklynn and Arianna for the great comments and observations.) 


Thursday, August 15, 2019

A History of Louisville Women's Sports Chapter 12: Rowing -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

I traded places with Paulie as he has a special feature this Friday.  Tune in tomorrow to see what he might have in store for you! -- Jared

A History of Louisville Women's Sports Chapter 12: Rowing

Ah, we have reached the conclusion of our summertime history lessons. And just in time too, with volleyball and women's soccer each having an exhibition on Saturday.  To wrap things up we shall look into the history of our rowing team.

Derek Copeland is the head coach for the Cards, where he has held the position since the summer of 2012.  In preparation for the upcoming season, Copeland enters is eighth season and hopes to continue on the success he's had in this position.  Copeland guided the Cards to a conference championship back in 2014.  They also qualified for their first NCAA Championships berth that year.  Three Cardinals have earned All-American honors since Copeland took over.  He was an assistant for two years with Louisville before his promotion.

Laura Aubrey was the head coach prior to Copeland.  She held the position from 2007-2012, all spent in the Big East.  Aubrey has since become a real estate agent with Kentucky Select Properties.

Julio A Viyella founded the program and helped it quickly grow and had 30 student-athletes after just two seasons.  He is now working in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area as the Director of Sales for AGSE.

The G. Garvin Brown III Center is home to Louisville Rowing.  Often referred to as "The Boathouse", it is located along River Road, not even half a mile east of the Big Four Walking Bridge.  They share the dock with LMPD.  The two-story Boathouse opened in February 2011.  The indoor part of the building has a storage area for boats, indoor boats to continue training year round, and a workout facility.  Upstairs there is a lounge area as well as several rowing stations.

UofL isn't clear on when their rowing team started but an October 1999 article by a site called "The Christian Science Monitor" mentions that they had just completed their second season as of that time.

Louisville is one of two rowing teams in the state of Kentucky.  The other is Murray State.

The only regatta in town is the Red and Black Regatta (scrimmage) as the Ohio River is unfit for competition.  You can stay up-to-date with UofL Rowing here with us at Cardinal Couple.

ACCN and Charter/Spectrum reach a deal

If you are a subscriber to Spectrum here in the Louisville area (or elsewhere), take a deep breath and relax.

The two mega-corporations have come out of their negotiations and reached a deal. Spectrum WILL carry the ACCN. The ACCN, part of the Disney empire, was added to the Spectrum lineup -- along with the other Disney packages.

No word yet on two other large providers -- DISH and ATT-UVerse -- on whether they'll be a part of the August 22 premiere for the ACC kickoff.  Charter/Spectrum joins DIRECTV, YouTube TV, Hulu and PlayStation Vue as providers here in Louisville.

Get ready for unprecedented coverage of Cardinal Athletics, Louisville fans! Here's a link that gives you all the details: 

LINK:  ACCN on Charter/Spectrum

Happy Thursday and Go Cards!


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

A Reminder of Dos and Dont's this Fall -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

A Reminder of Dos and Don'ts this Fall

With the first exhibition of any sport just two days away and the first two women's sports exhibitions three days away I thought it would be a good time to send reminders of what to do and not do at games as well as what you should/can and should not/can not bring in.

First things first.  The clear bag policy remains in effect.  When first introduced and enforced this policy was met with mixed emotions.  Let's be real.  UofL implemented the policy originally to stop people from smuggling alcohol into football games.  Since then, it has become more of a security measure to help protect those in attendance as well as the student-athletes on the field.  Women's soccer and volleyball will be the stricter fall sports on the women's side since they check tickets at the same time.  Field hockey is a little more relaxed since admission is free but they have been known to turn away spectators not following the clear bag policy


Also, don't bring in artificial noisemakers such as whistles..  Security will be quick to confiscate those unless you find yourself with the Cardinal Pride Pep Band or cheering alongside the Louligans (UofL soccer supporters group).

Laser pointers, flashlights, and other lights falling under the category also are prohibited at sporting events.  It can momentarily blind the players and can create a safety hazard.  This issue happens more at football or basketball.  Flash photography can also create issues but phones now have a disable flash option to accommodate that.

                                                                                                                                                            Respect the players and their efforts. Please don't do anything that may distract them. We do encourage you to yell and clap for great plays
Sometimes, we may disagree with a referee or official's calls (or lack of calls). Don't be overly critical, though, and please don't use profanity when expressing your difference of opinion.

Remember, these are family events.

Do not come in on an empty stomach.  Now, this isn't me bashing the concession stands but using a UofL game for lunch or dinner might not be the best idea.  The food prices sit on the higher side and can quickly empty your wallet.  However, I would recommend stopping there for a beverage or light snack.

Please do bring in your UofL gear and proudly wear it.  Show your Cardinal pride by coming to events decked out in Cardinal apparel from head to toe or even just a nice UofL shirt or hat.  It looks good on TV, too.

Bring friends.  If you have extra tickets to a game or buy extra tickets sometime bring a friend or two.  Not only will you get to watch your favorite Cardinals in action but it can be used as a fun social outing and lead to a great discussion following the game.

Have cash for parking.  Volleyball and field hockey patrons are often directed to the Floyd Street Parking Garage where it usually costs $5 to park.  They will only accept cash at the spectator parking entrance.  You can typically park for free at Cardinal Stadium when attending a soccer match, which does require a short walk.  There are a few parking meters closer that sit on the other side of the railroad tracks.  Meters are enforced 7:00 am - 6:00 pm Monday-Saturday so you may luck out with evening or Sunday events.

Do make sure to say "hey" to any of us at games.  The four of us seem to have all of the sports covered well in terms of in-person presence.  We can often be found scattered around either in the seats, in the press box, or on the field.

How Are We Doing?

Paulie asked this yesterday in the Tuesday Cardinal Couple and we received quite a bit of feedback- thank you!  We try our best to bring you coverage about the latest and greatest of UofL Women's Sports year round.

Our research shows us that Women's Basketball is the most popular sport among those who read and participate on our posts so we try to bring you some extra WBB coverage.

If there's anything we can improve on or anything we can do to help draw your interest more, don't hesitate to let us know here in the comments section or by email to

Happy Wednesday and Go Cards!