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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Women's Soccer to Host Opening Round of NCAA Tournament -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Women's Soccer to Host Opening Round of NCAA Tournament

Less than 24 hours after we heard the great news of Field Hockey making the NCAA Tournament and having the privilege of hosting we find out the Women's Soccer will follow suit.

Louisville was named to the 64-team tournament.  The Cards will host Lipscomb on Friday at 6:00 p.m.

Louisville finished the regular season with a record of 12-3-2 but a first round loss in the ACC Tournament adds a tally to the loss column.  The Cards sit in the Top 25 at #22 and have an RPI of 28.

This will be the sixth time Louisville has received a bid to the NCAA Tournament and their second straight.  All six times have come under the guidance of head coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes.

Lipscomb received the automatic bid from the Atlantic Sun (ASun) Conference after defeating Kennesaw State 1-1 (4-3 penalty shootout).  The Bison were the 2-seed and had defeated JIT tom reach the finals.  Kennesaw State was the 5-seed in the six-team tournament and had won two matches, including an upset over 1-seed Florida Gulf Coast, before falling in the final.

The Bisons improved their record to 13-5-2 following the tournament.

Offensively, 10 players have scored a goal for Lipscomb.  Olivia Doak leads the team with 25 points following 10 goals and five assists.  Molly Grant and Maycie McKay are tied for second with six goals and seven assists apiece.

The Bisons average 2.05 goals per match while allowing 0.90 goals per match.  Defensively, Lipscomb has been one of the best, surrendering a mere 18 goals on the year.  Starting goalkeeper Melissa Gray has 77 saves and just 14 goals allowed.  Backup keeper Hannah Parrish has six saves and four goals allowed.

Lipscomb and the Cardinals had no common opponents in the 2019 season. The Bisons are on a hot streak and have won their last seven games. Their victory in the A-Sun Tournament came as a result of a 4-3 penalty kick edge after two overtimes had been played to break a 1-1 tie.

Tickets are on sale for $10 per chair back seat and $5 per general admission ticket.The weather should snap out of this arctic blast we're currently experiencing and , hopefully, be close to 50 degrees by first kick., according to long range forecasts.

Whoever triumphs victorious in this one will face the winner of BYU and Boise State. The BYU Cougars received the #2 seed in Louisville's region and is 18-0-1 on the season and ranked #4 in the nation. Boise State drew the automatic qualifier out of the Mountain West Conference Tournament with a 2-0 win over San Diego State. They are not ranked in the top 25.

Make it a nice day trip to Louisville's Belknap Campus this Friday to see Field Hockey face Michigan at noon and Women's Soccer face Lipscomb at 6:00 p.m.

Both Field Hockey and women's soccer will be holding a press conference today at 1:45 p.m. at the KFC YUM! Center, following the Chris Mack presser, to discuss their upcoming tournament bids. Paulie will be on hand to capture the words, thoughts and comments of Justine and Karen and he'll have that audio for you in the Wednesday Cardinal Couple.



The numbers don't lie. The WBB Cards lead the way in ACC WBB attendance this season. There is nothing else to say. We're #1 !!

Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!


Monday, November 11, 2019



We now know the where, who and when for post-season NCAA Louisville Field Hockey play.

The Cards were placed as a #4 seed (behind UNC, UConn and Virginia) and will host the first two rounds in one of the four regionals. Louisville will start against Michigan (13-8) on Friday, Nov. 15th at 2:30. If they win, they would play the winner of Boston College vs. Northwestern, who have the first game at noon Friday in Louisville, in the 2nd round (or Great Eight) in Trager Stadium at 1 p.m. Sunday. 

Last night's selection show revealed that six of the seven ACC schools that participate in Field Hockey were invited to the 18-team tournament. All six of the ACC schools (Louisville, Duke, Virginia, UNC, Boston College and Syracuse) selected are all ranked in the nation's top 12 and are all in the top eight in the latest RPI. 

Louisville returns to the tournament after not being selected in 2018 and it is the sixth appearance in the last seven years for Justine Sowry's Cards.

It was a joyous, raucous celebration, as you might well expect, when Louisville heard their name called. A Twitter link to it below:  


Ticket information will be released in the next day or so. We'll have the details for you here att Cardinal Couple.

This is huge for the Stick Girls.

They made it to the semifinals of the ACC Tournament by beating Syracuse, They fell to UNC in the semis, who defeated Boston College in the finals for their 42nd consecutive win. The question we had here at Cardinal Couple was...did the overall body of work from Louisville get them into a hosting chance and a top four seed? 

Yes it did, in the eyes of the selection committee.  We couldn't agree more. 


Coach Justine Sowry's comments about the selection: 

“Just to make the NCAA tournament is not easy, and we missed out last year, so that was our first goal this year, to get back to the tournament,” said UofL head coach Justine Sowry. “As the season went on, we kept building and got some big wins. It was a tight race this year. We’re excited to be in, but to be the first team in our program that has hosted here at Louisville is really exciting for our program. But the work starts tomorrow morning when we get up. Michigan is an incredible opponent and we’ve had difficulty with them in the past. We’ve set ourselves up well and now it’s back to the drawing board and hopefully we can advance past the next round."

Congratulations to the first of two fall UofL women's sports squads to make it into the "Big Dance" !!  Women's soccer will find out today at 4:30 p.m. where they'll be placed for the NCAA Women's Soccer selection Show. Jared Anderson will have all those details in his Tuesday article 

The selection show can be viewed on line at:


When two Volleyball teams have identical records and face each other, often the deciding factor can be the venue. That was the case yesterday 

The #24 Cards fall in four sets 25-18, 16-25, 12-25, 22-25 to unranked FSU. 

The Louisville Volleyball squad ended their southern swing with a stop in Tallahassee, FL yesterday to take on Florida State, who had the identical record as the Cards going into the match (16-7, 9-4). The Cards looked impressive in the first set. Despite FSU opening the game with three straight points, the Cards roared back to take a 5-4 lead. The Noles returned the favor and battled their way to a 15-12 lead, but UofL dominated the rest of the way, closing out the set with a 13-3 run for a 25-18 win. Claire Chaussee had six kills and Anna Stevenson produced three blocks.   

It went south for UofL after that. 

FSU jumped out to a 9-1 lead in the second set and had little trouble in getting a nine-point win. The Cards did battle back to close the gap to four at 16-12 but FSU regained their momentum and put a 9-4 fun on UofL to win by nine. 25-16 

It was all Noles again in set three early on. They led 7-1 before UofL fought back to close the gap to 7-5. FSU closed the door, though, with a 10-2 run for a 17-7 advantage.  They ended set three by taking six of the seven final points for a convincing 25-12 win.

In the final set, the Cards looked much better and, in a back and forth affair, were tied at 8-8, led 15-14 and were within one at 21-20. Three of the final points went FSU's way, though, and all three came on FSU blocks at the net as the Noles secured the set and match by three at 25-22. 

Chaussee recorded a career-high 19 kills for Louisville. The Cards return home to face Syracuse Friday night at 7 p.m. in the LNFCU Arena on campus. Combined with Field Hockey, Friday looks to be a great day to spend on Floyd Street !! 


A heartfelt "Thank You" to my wife, father, father-n-law, uncles, cousins and all who have served this nation to protect us. 

To say, "I will serve to protect our freedom and way of life. I will fight for you" is admirable and noble. To be willing to lay your life on the line to make sure we are safe is the ultimate duty and sacrifice.

Bless each and every one of our veterans. 

Whether in peacetime or war, -- Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard -- what was done was done out of love and respect for this country.

If you see a veteran today, say "Thank you".  And, let us pray for all of our current servicemen as well.  


I know, we don't cover football here, as a rule but I have the link below of former Cardinal and current Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson and his out-of-this-world 47 yard TD against the Bengals


Have a marvelous Monday ! 


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Sunday Cardinal Couple

Volleyball Stands Alone

In UofL women's sports, Volleyball stands alone today.

The Cards will take on the FSU Seminoles at 1 p.m. to wrap up their four match road trip.  The Cards are coming off of a nail biter five set win, with some bonus points involved, at Miami on Friday.  Today's task is more challenging, with Florida State being involved with the 4-way tie for 3rd place, along with the Cards, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina.

Claire Chaussee
Overall, the Cards have been on a bit of skid since losing the services of Melanie McHenry at Notre Dame three weeks ago.  More subjectively, the Cards have just looked unsure of themselves on the court.  Is it just a matter of their confidence having been shaken?  Claire Chaussee has largely taken over the left side hitting duties in place of McHenry, and while McHenry is, to be fair, the better player of the two, the drop isn't that significant.  Chaussee has done great work bringing her power under control, though admittedly there is more to be done.

Let's hope the gritty win at Miami restores some confidence to this squad that they can persevere through challenges, close sets, and matches.  They'll need it today against the Seminoles for sure.

Anna Stevenson
Most of the offense for FSU comes from #15 Payton Caffrey and #3 Morgan Chacon, with about 300 and 200 kills on the season respectively, with both coming from the left side.  Leading the middle blocking and attack is their big 6'3" middle #13 Taryn Knuth.  Also be on the lookout for another big 6'3" swing from #4 Jasmyn Martin.  Looking for the settings to be done mostly by #7 Lily Tessier, with perhaps some time from #17 Adrian Ell.  Neither setter seems inclined to the setter dump, which should hopefully give our middles, likely Anna Stevenson and Amaya Tillman, the ability to stay down on the set and better counter the middle attack from Taryn Knuth.  I haven't seen who is playing the Libero position for FSU, with two listed on the roster with about equal stats, both, however, have fewer digs than Caffrey and Chacon.

Will the Cards realize that the season isn't lost just because McHenry is now basically serving as "Coach McHenry" rather than being out on the court?  They still have plenty of talent to be one of the top teams in the ACC, let's hope the Miami match served to bring them together to play as a coherent whole, and to quit doubting their abilities.

The match airs on the ACC Network Extra at 1 p.m.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

Paulie and I held down the fort at WCHQ for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour.  Jared was banking,
while Case was in an undisclosed location...why?  We're not at liberty to say...or maybe we just don't know.  Either is possible. Case may not even remember. 

In any case, we had a good chat about Volleyball, Field Hockey, Soccer, and Basketball.  We discussed the tournament prospects for Field Hockey and Soccer, we discussed the Volleyball win over Miami, and what it will take to get the team back solidly on the winning ways.

You can check out the replay at the Facebook Live link:

The days at WCHQ are numbered, but work is ongoing in planning for the next phase of the CCRH.


Saturday, November 9, 2019

Led by WBB's 36-point win, Cards Have Busy Friday -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Field Hockey Falls to UNC

After picking up a much needed victory over Syracuse in the ACC tournament to get the late season back on track and pad the NCAA tournament resume once more, Louisville ran into the buzzsaw that is North Carolina. The Tarheels have been the number one team in the country for most of the year, currently sitting undefeated, and continued to show why yesterday. North Carolina jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. The Heels scored once more in the fourth before Louisville was able to grab a goal to keep the final score a bit kinder at 3-1.

Bethany Russ was the goalscorer in this one, picking up her tenth goal of the year off of corner assist by Mercedes Pastor. It was one of Louisville's seven corner attempts, and the inability to capitalize on those corner opportunities has plagued the Cards all year long. Though the Cards were only 1-7, it should also be said that UNC was only 1-6. While they have struggled in scoring on penalty corners this season, Louisville has at least generally been equally as stingy on the defensive side.

Louisville now sits at 15-5 as they await their fate for the NCAA tournament, but three of their five losses have come in the last five games. Given that the Cards made up for a road loss to William and Mary with a road win over Duke in the next game and immediately followed a loss to Syracuse with a win over the Orange, perhaps things aren't as doom and gloom as they seem. Louisville still sits at 6th in the country based on the last rankings and it would be very hard to see them not getting into the tournament. Selection for the 18 team tournament is tomorrow, and we'll be sure to keep you updated on the future of the Cards.

Volleyball Picks Up Hard Fought Win in Miami

Seemingly unable to play a match that is not a barnburner this season, Louisville Volleyball went on the road to Miami and grabbed a five set win that may have gone forever if you had to win by two sets. Each team alternated set wins, and the fifth set went into extra points. In total, the sets were decided by only 20 points. The minimum number is 10, and the first set score was 25-16. As you might expect based on such a tight score, the two teams were also well matched in most other stats. Louisville had only eleven more kills and two more blocks, while Miami had three more aces and the two teams tied in errors. 

Louisville was once again led offensively by the trio that has stepped up in a big way since the loss of Melanie McHenry. Aiko Jones led all scorers in the match with 20 kills, but Claire Chaussee was only one behind her (and still ahead of every Miami player) at 19. Amber Stivrins again chipped, using the most of her playing time, adding 12 kills. Aiko Jones also added 5 blocks and two aces, beaten in the former category only by the six laid down by Anna Stevenson, who continued to be a rock in the middle. Tori Dilfer was unable to put down any of her attack attempts, finishing with a negative hitting percentage by erring on one of the seven attempts, but she did add 57 of the team's 63 assists while grabbing an ace, three blocks, and nine digs. Shannon Shields did not play, and perhaps Jeff has more information about that. Alexis Hamilton, as always, held down the back row with 17 digs.

The win was much needed by the Cards, who used it to stop a 3-game skid. With the victory, Louisville also guarantees it won't finish the major road trip winless. Louisville has one more game on this trip when they head just up the state from Miami to take on the Seminoles of Florida State in Tallahassee tomorrow at 1PM. After the FSU match, Louisville will get three more matches at home, all rematches, before the last match of the regular season in Pittsburgh. That match against the Panthers may not be for the conference title as many expected, with Louisville now sitting at 9-4 in conference, but it will still be a major matchup in Louisville's NCAA tournament picture. Until then, the Cards have four more matches to work to get back on track as the regular season draws to a close.

Louisville Thumps Murray State in Basketball

After playing strong defense and leading by 25 points at the half, Louisville used a 20 point run in the third quarter to completely squash any thoughts the Racers had about a potential comeback. The Cards went on to win 76-40 in their second game of the season, with no player scoring more than 14 points. Louisville will get a bigger break after this matchup, playing next on November 14th against the Chippewas of Central Michigan in the KFC Yum! Center.

Louisville opened last night's game with what may be the worst possible outcome on offense... a pair of missed free throws. (I couldn't decide if missing free throws or a turnover was worse. Let me know what you think.) Just thirty seconds later, Elizabeth Dixon would again get the opportunity to open the scoring as she stepped to the line and sunk both. Remember that thing I said about turnovers, though? They were just waiting for the Cards to score. Louisville turned the ball over on three straight possessions, gave up two offensive rebounds and fouled on a shot. How Murray State was unable to score in that time is beyond me, but Louisville would finally score again nearly two minutes after their first points. Despite the fact that the Cards would go to the quarter break leading 16-4, they certainly couldn't be happy, having given up 11 turnovers in the first ten minutes of the game, including three by both Norika Konno and Jazmine Jones. Konno would go on to finish the game with only three turnovers. Jaz picked up two more.

In the second quarter, the Cardinal defense fell off just a tad, but it may have only been a product of a faster overall pace of play. Louisville scored 22 in the second quarter, turning more of their turnovers from the previous quarter into points instead. Going into the break up 38-13 would usually lead a coach to a generally positive halftime speech. Going into the break up 38-13 with 14 turnovers and 7-12 from the free throw line is not going to garner priase from Jeff Walz. One positive from the half was Dana Evans showing that she is ready for a major offensive role, scoring 10 points in the half with 7 coming in just over a minute as the clock wound down in the second quarter.

In the first three and a half minutes of the third quarter, the Cards and Racers traded baskets, with a Murray State three pointer cutting the lead to 21. Louisville decided that was quite enough of that. Over the next five minutes, the Cards methodically demolished the will of the Racers, allowing Murray State to score no points and extending their lead to 41. After a couple of more baskets, Louisville carried a 40 point lead into the fourth quarter. The final quarter saw a large contingent of non-starters grab court time as Murray State won the period 17-13. By that time, the damage had long been done, though, and the Cards coasted to 2-0 while the Racers dropped to 0-1 on the year.

Kylee Shook made the most of her time in the second half, putting up all 13 of her points in 12 second half minutes. Shook also grabbed a double-double, scoring 13, rebound 12, and adding in a block and a steal. Three other players--Evans, Jones, and Elizabeth Balogun--finished with double-digit points. No Cardinal player saw more than 22 minutes of court time. Norika Konno did her best to make up for her 3 first quarter turnovers by finishing the game with 4 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists. She'll have to make more of her shots (just 2-7) for Louisville to get the most out of its offense, but it's good to see a freshman recover after a rough opening stanza. 

The CASE Report

Paulie alluded to The CASE Report earlier this week when he gave the FRED Report after Louisville's opening game. For a brief refresher, here's how the CASE Report works. CASE stands for Care, Assists, Steals, and Efficiency. All of the categories are stat based, with a pair of thresholds for each granting the possibility for letter improvement. We'll get through this one with some explanation.

C-Care: The Care section focuses on Louisville's turnovers. Generally, there will be a point awarded for Louisville turning the ball over 65% of the opponent's season average in turnovers forced (we expect Louisville's offense to be better than the opponent's defense) and another point awarded for turning the ball over less than the opponent. Since this is Murray State's first game, Louisville actually set their season average at 21 forced turnovers. I'm actually going to break from the standard of the scoring here, because even though Louisville forced 24 turnovers from the Racers, I cannot award a letter for 11 first quarter turnovers and 21 in the game. No letter.

A-Assists: This section awards a letter for assists based stats, namely assist percentage and assist-to-turnover ratio. As always, a huge turnover number is going to put this stat in a hole, but the game of basketball is pretty intertwined so it's ok if my stats are too. Louisville finished with 16 assists on 29 made baskets, which is not bad and is over the 50% threshold. However, it yields an assist-to-turnover ratio of less than 1. We're going for 2. Lowercase 'a'.

S-Steals: The most straightforward of the CASE Report. Half a letter for getting more than 7.5 steals, another half for getting more steals than the opponent. The Cards grabbed 12 in this one, just edging the 11 put up by Murray State. Capital 'S'.

E-Efficiency: This is where the CASE and FRED reports overlap a tad. We're looking at shooting efficiencies in this one. Specifically, we're looking for better than 45% from the floor and better than 75% from the line. Louisville finished with 6-26 shooting from beyond the arc, driving their overall shooting percentage all the way down to 40.8%. They also struggled to recover from 5 missed free throws in the first quarter, finishing at just 66.7% from the line. No letter.

In the opening CASE Report of the year, Louisville finishes with just _-a-S-_. The flashy final score and 20-0 run in the third make this game seem like a nice win, but the stats show that Louisville did not have a great night. Everything that Louisville did poorly, Murray State just did worse. It's only the second game of the season, but the Cards definitely have some work to do to get to the dominance they're looking for this year.

They said it: 




Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

I'm out once more, but the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour lives on. We are still exploring our options for the future of the show, so keep an eye out, but for the time being, the show still comes to you live from WCHQ FM. Today, join Paulie and Jeff as they are both back into their wheelhouses with volleyball and basketball fully in swing. They'll bring you those and more at 11AM on WCHQ. Catch the show at 100.9 FM, the WCHQ App,, or on Facebook Live.


Until next time, Go Cards!

Friday, November 8, 2019

Field Hockey to ACC Semis -- Volleyball and Basketball tonight -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Mercedes "Meche" Pastor delivered the lone goal is Louisville Field Hockey's 1-0 win over Syracuse yesterday afternoon in Newton, Mass. The game was held at the Boston College Field Hockey complex and the Cards were fortunate to draw the early game. The night contest between Virginia and Duke was contested in a driving rainstorm for all four quarters and had to be miserable for the two squads.

Virginia won 2-0 to advance to the semifinals, where they'll face Boston College...who took out Wake Forest in the second game of the afternoon. 

The Cards advance to face #1 North Carolina today at 1 p.m.

Pastor's score came in the ninth minute of the match. She took a feed from Whena Munn  and sent a scorcher past Syracuse goalkeeper Sarah Sinck for her ninth goal of the season. 

Louisville dominated in the stats -- out-shooting the Orange 13-3 and the Cards had a 5-1 edge in penalty corners. 

Coach Sowry on the revenge 1-0 win: 

"Obviously very happy with the result. We had to do certain things that we didn't do well last week against them. They are a very good team and they put a lot of pressure on you. They are lethal with their transitions, especially their counterattack. We had to work harder with the ball and we had to anticipate turnovers and be right there to win the ball back immediately. Defensively we had to contain them to stay in the contest. We had to keep their best players from being involved and I thought we did an outstanding job there. They did get a couple of breakaway opportunities but our deep defense handled it very well. I am proud and pleased with our group that we were able to make those adjustments from last week". 


A much harder task awaits the Cards today against North Carolina. The Tar Heels trounced Louisville 4-1 in Chapel Hill earlier this season. UNC is 17-0 on the season and the defending National Champions.  The "Heels" are on a 40 game win streak. 

A Cardinal win would be a monumental upset. Sowry's stick swingers have a huge task ahead of them but the #6 Cards may have an equalizer in the weather in Beantown....temperatures are expected to be around the freezing mark when the match starts.  

Good luck to "David" as they take on "Goliath"...this one can be viewed on the ACC 937 for Spectrum viewers. GO Cards !!


The 1-0 Louisville women's basketball squad entertains the Racers tonight at 7 p.m. -- maybe appropriate, since Churchill Downs is conducting Fall racing currently. This one, though, looks like it could be over before they make the final turn and head for home. 

Louisville put up a program high 115 points up against Murray last year in the YUM! and Murray returns just two starters and has lost about 50% of their scoring from last year. Kylee Shook had a career high 21 points against MSU last year and "B"...Bionca Dunham produced a double-double (19 points, 16 rebounds). 

They do return 2019 OVC Freshman of the Year in Macey Turley and lone senior Cekeya Mack. They went 13-17 overall last year, 9-9 in conference and were eliminated in the first round of the OVC Tournament by UT-Martin (who Louisville will visit on Dec. 19th.) 

One would assume that Coach Walz would return with the same starting line-up that he employed against WKU and probe even deeper in substitution patterns and combinations on the court.  I'll be interested in seeing whether Louisville speeds up their offensive attack with fast breaks and whether they use a full-court press against Murray. 

I' also hope to see a better effort in the Cards rebounding. It was an emphasis point Walz made after the WKU game -- that it was a key area Louisville had to get better at. I can't fault Liz Dixon nor Jazz Jones for their board production. They combined for over half of UofL's grabs against the Toppers with 21 (Dixon 13, Jones 8). I'm guessing Walz would like to see the others, primarily Dunham, Diop and Shook, pick up their numbers on the glass. 

The ACC Network Extra has the coverage for this one, with our buddy Don Russell and Heidi Mueller. I'm pretty sure it's not the Heidi Mueller actress who's married to NFL star DeMarco Murray. 7 p.m. is start time but you might want to arrive a bit early, since it is Hawaiian Night Promotion and there will be $6 mixed drink specials. 

I wonder if Don Ho will perform at the half, or if the guys from Hawaii 5-O will swarm the court and arrest someone? Remember that great theme song from the original Hawaii 5-O television show? Is Magnum P.I. leaving the Isle to come in for a visit? 

I've got the opening soundtrack linked up below. I love that opening drum sequence. Book 'em, Dano!  

LINK:  The Ventures - Theme from Hawaii 5.O


While Louisville WBB is doing battle with Murray State, the VolleyCards will be playing in sunny Miami against the 9-11 Canes. 

The Cards have some things to work out, now that Melanie McHenry is sidelined for the season. They are 2-4 since she injured her knee and have dropped their last three -- against Pitt, BC and Syracuse. 

We're hoping for a successful start to this southern  road swing (the Cards also play Florida State on Sunday) and that UofL can defend the powerful UM attack of Janet Kalaniuvalu, Savannah Vach and Elizaveta Lukiandva. 

Let's hope the multitude of Cardinal fans in Miami for the Cards football game Saturday will make their way over to the Knight Volleyball Complex to cheer on Dani Buboom Kelly's squad. Reports we heard indicate that Cardinal fans nearly outnumbered Canes fans for the men's basketball game earlier this week. 


A small but mighty cast and crew will be on hand for tomorrow's broadcast of The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour at 11 a.m. on WCHQ 100.9 FM. Just Jeff and I manning the microphones, with everyone else involved in other activities. 

We'll have plenty to discuss. Action from Friday and earlier this week event, plus upcoming activities for women's basketball, women's soccer, Field Hockey and Volleyball. 

Give us a listen or watch on Facebook Live. After tomorrow, just seven shows before the station closes it's doors. 


Have a fantastic Friday! 


Thursday, November 7, 2019

WBB to Play USA Women's National Team -- FH in ACC Tournament -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Louisville WBB Set to Play USA Women's National Team

Included in their national tour the USA Women's Basketball Team will make a pit stop in Louisville to play Louisville women's basketball in an exhibition.  Team USA will be competing in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo later in the year.

Currently, the team is highlighted by Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Elena Delle Donne, A'ja Wilson, Skylar Diggins-Smith, Sylvia Fowles, Chelsea Gray, and Nneka Ogwumike.

Although an exhibition doesn't always seem like the greatest idea less than a month before NCAA postseason Coach Jeff Walz seemed more than thrilled with the opportunity

"What an unbelievable opportunity for our program and our fans to host the USA National Team," said Jeff Walz.  "They have had so much success, they are an inspiration to women and girls everywhere.  It's an honor to play them on our home court and I'm looking forward to our fans packing the KFC Yum! Center."

The game, which is set for Sunday Feb. 2, at 2:00 p.m., is not included in the season tickets.  They can be purchased as soon as this Friday at 10:00 a.m., for $10.

Field Hockey Prepares for ACC Tournament

After a rough stretch to end the regular season Louisville field hockey found itself sitting at the 5-
seed in the ACC Tournament.  Their opponent, 4-seed Syracuse, came to Trager Stadium last week and stole a win in overtime on Senior Day.

The foes will square off again today at noon at the Boston College Field Hockey complex.  The winner will face 1-seed North Carolina on Friday.

6th ranked Louisville is 14-4 on the year but sits at 3-3 in conference play.  Louisville has outscored opponents 44-21 this year and have had 12 different players record a goal.

The Cards have played matches on every day of the week this year with their only losses coming on Thursday, Friday, Saturday.  They're undefeated (9-0) the rest of the week.

The Cards need to pick up the scoring in order to win this one. Sowry's squad has managed only one goal each in their last three matches, losing two of the three

The NCAA Selection Show is set for Sunday, Nov. 10 at 10:00 p.m.


Don't forget about the rare Friday night game for Louisville women's basketball this week.  We hope to see you there! Murray State is the foe for this Friday night under the lights at 7 p.m. It'll also be on ACC Network Extra if you can;t get to the YUM!

It'll be the season opener for Rechelle Turner's squad. She has seven players from the commonwealth of Kentucky on her roster. including three from Murray, KY.  Murray went 13-17 last year and did not face Louisville. They compete in the Ohio Valley Conference and are one of two teams UofL WBB will face from the OVC -- UT Martin being the other.

Check back tomorrow for Paulie's preview of the contest.


Strange bedfellows in Charlotte
You may have noticed all the cell phones blinking during the Cards pre-game introduction at the WKU game. You can get in on the fun, too, while there !

To get in on the light show with the rest of the fans download the CardsMobile app for free and have your phone out ready to go.  Many thanks to Tom and Karen Nolan for showing me this cool trick at the bank.

The photo (featuring Tom and Karen on the far right) and Paulie (far left -- holding the Festivus Stick...don't ask) comes from a night in Charlotte for a UofL Football bowl game several years ago.

Happy Thursday and Go Cards!


Wednesday, November 6, 2019

WBB Opens 2019-20 Campaign with 75-56 win over WKU -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


It was a wonderful night for the Cards guards Tuesday Night in the KFC YUM! CENTER but rebounding wasn't quite where Walz expected it to be in the 75-56 win for UofL. Junior Dana Evans exploded for 19 points on seven for 14 shooting and sophomore Elizabeth Balogun nailed the first five three-pointers she attempted for her 15 points. This was a game that Louisville was in control of from the start. Worried about three-point shooting? I think "E" has alleviated those fears.  

After allowing an early basket to the Hilltoppers, UofL eventually went on a opening quarter 9-0 run to establish a 17-8 lead on a Bionca Dunham jumper. WKU would get no closer that six points the rest of the way. Four Cardinals ended up in double figures -- Liz Dixon and Bionca Dunham with 10 points each for Louisville.  

Louisville won each quarter and started out with excellent shooting, hitting their first 9 out of 11 shots. Walz played all eleven that were dressed for action, no one played more that 32 minutes and Coach Jeff Walz tried a variety of combinations in the win. The 31-63 shooting checks in at 49.2%, WKU went 19-57 from the floor - 33%. 

Kasa Robinson did not play -- shoulder injury -- and Molly Lockhart remained on the side lines with her foot in a boot, No details yet on whether the two would be ready for Murray State on Friday yet. 

Freshman Norika Konno entered the game for the first time with 3:03 left in the first quarter -- along with Yacine Diop. Ya-Ya scored on a jumper inside the paint less than a minute after entering and Konno got the crowd of 8304 enthused with a winding, driving layup early in the second quarter through the lane that earned her a basket and free throw attempt. 

The first half ended with the Cards comfortably ahead 34-25. 

Louisville push the advantage to 41-25 to start the second half. with a Jazmine Jones layup, Evans three-pointer and a Dunham jumper off a feed from Jones. The Cards had pushed the advantage to 55-43 after three quarters and went on to outscore the school from Bowling Green 20-13 in the final quarter.

Walz was pleased for the most part with the starters and rotation. For Kylee Shook, it was a night to forget, though. The senior forward saw just 12 minutes, went 1-6 from the floor -- missing several wide open chances near the rim and picking up two fouls in just 32 seconds in the first quarter. 

Louisville barely out-rebounded the smaller Toppers 40-37 and the majority of the Cardinal grabs came from Dixon (13) and Jones (8). 

A serviceable win over a WKU squad that is experience, has excellent leadership and looks to be stronger than last year.  It's probably unfair to do a realistic recap and review of either team so early in the season -- and Louisville does have some definite things to work on. A win is a win, though. Evans was steady at the point, Jones almost had a triple-double with eight points, eight rebounds and an incredible 10 assists.

You can't say enough about "J.J." airlines. 

Final individual numbers: 

Evans -- 32 minutes, 19 points, 2 rebounds and 3 assists
Balogun -- 29 minutes, 15 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists
Dixon -- 28 minutes,10 points, 13 rebounds and 3 assists
Jones -- 25 minutes, 8 points, 8 rebounds and 10 assists
Dunham -- 18 minutes, 10 points, 3 rebounds and no assists
Konno -- 26 minutes, 9 points, 1 rebound and 2 assists
Diop -- 15 minutes, 2 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist
Shook -- 12 minutes, 2 points, 4 rebounds and no assists
Robins -- 8 minutes, no points, 1 rebound and no assists
Duvall -- 5 minutes, no points, no rebounds and no assists
Laemmle -- 2 minutes, no points, no rebounds and no assists.

For WKU, three in double figures (Porter with 15, Givens 12 and Creech 10). 

The potential of the 2019-20 Louisville WBB squad is a work in progress, with so much talent and high-profile players...but I liked what I saw in the opening effort for the most part. The Georgia Tech transfers showed why they were ACC Freshman of the Year last year (Balogun) and All ACC Freshman Firsst team (Dixon). 

It takes time for a roster this huge and relatively new to each other to jell. I do believe the "jelling" will continue to improve as the games go on and I expect we'll see a even better effort in that regard Friday when Murray State comes to town.

Another great recap can be found from our buddy Sam Draut from Sports Illustrated at the link below: 

Sports.Illustrated's. Sam's Synopsis


If you are new to the site, we do a FRED (Free throws, Rebounds, Effort/Execution and Defensive analysis) after each game. We assign a "capital letter, small case letter on no letter at all". Case Hoskins does his own CASE report when he has the write-up.

FREE THROWS -- Not many chances for Louisville at the charity stripe, with just three Cards attempting then, but 5-9 is just 55.6% and Louisville can certainly do better than that. Konno was 3-4, Evans 2-3 and Jones 0-2. 

NO letter awarded.

REBOUNDS -- Beside Dixon and Jones' big board efforts, not much else to brag about here. Louisville barely won the board battle 40-37. 

NO letter awarded.

EFFORT/EXECUTION -- Louisville played all 11 that were dressed and, for the most part, did what they had to do. 16 turnovers isn't too bad for their first game and 40 points in the paint a fairly decent number. Loved Jaz's energy, Evans direction of the offense and Balogun's three-point excellence. 20 fouls are way too many, though, even with the extended rotation. So are 16 turnovers. 

 small case "e" awarded. 

DEFENSE -- Louisville held WKU to 56 points and created seven steals. I was very impressed with the low second-chance numbers allowed WKU...second chance points (16) and points off turnovers (15). The squad looked a little better than I expected on defense and Walz never employed a press, which may be been wise...considering WKU's talented guards Creech and Porter. A definite poor job on the officiating, whistling Louisville for 20 fouls and EKU just 14. You win by 19 and hold the foe to 33% and you get a:  

Large Case "D" awarded.



First off, a poor job by UofL staff in checking the microphones for audible accuracy in the media room and getting post-game stats to the media in a timely matter. They also couldn't produce a post-game "full" book. A printer jam was the supposed reason for no post-game "big" book, but we were also told their aare two printers in the production room. If they were in the FRED REPORT, I would award NO letter. Very disappointing.  Rant over, but i expect a better game from them Friday. You're supposed to be providing information. 

LINKS below: 




FINAL THOUGHTS in the books for #9 ranked UofL WBB and a contest that was a solid one, entertaining but not overly spectacular.

Remember that  WKU is even better than last year, it would appear... and has a very solid guard combo in Porter and Creech, outstanding boards specialist in Raneem Elgedawy, probable CUSA player of the year in Dee Givins and strong bench, who got 16 pf their 56 points.

Louisville needs to toughen up inside. Dunham and Dixon had OK efforts but the Cards need to block out better and "go to" missed shots. One would think free throw shooting would be a lot better after a summer and fall of practice. 

Let's take the "W' over a team that I think will make NCAA Tournament and move on. LOUISVILLE will improve as the season goes on and the players become more comfortable with each other. 

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We're out of the gates and running with the 2019-20 season. Sit down, buckle up and enjoy the ride. Or..stand up, yell your lungs out and act like a puppy in a room full of treats. This is going to be a fun season. The Cards are deep, talented, have precise shooting and a lot of speed. 

Give them a little time to continue jelling and I think you have a Final Four squad. 



Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Women's Basketball Season! -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Women's Basketball Season is Here!

The time is upon us- women's basketball season has arrived!  It comes as no surprise that women's basketball season is our most popular sport and we try to bring the best and latest in coverage of Louisville women's basketball.

Louisville opens up the 2019-2020 season with the same team they led off with last year- Western Kentucky.  The Cards won that game 102-80 in Bowling Green.  The Hilltoppers still hold the series with a 20-17 advantage, although Louisville is is 9-5 at home in the series.

Scouting WKU

Western Kentucky returns over 85% of its offense from last year and over 80% of its rebounding. The top five scorers from last year's squad are back on the roster this year.

Second year head coach Greg Collins has plenty of ties to Louisville.  He holds a bachelors degree and masters degree from UofL and was an assistant coach from 2002-2007.  He led WKU to a 20-15 record last year and an appearance in the WNIT.

Dee Givens has already joined the 1000-point club.  Givens is a threat from anywhere on the floor and is near-automatic at the free throw line.

At 6'4, Raneem Elgedway is a strong rebounder.  Last season, she averaged 7.7 rebounds per game and was the second leading scorer, averaging 15.4 points per game.

The Lady Toppers (like many schools, WKU's women's basketball team still carries the "Lady" in front of their name) were picked to finish 3rd in Conference USA.  WKU has finished in the top two in C-USA the last two years.  They're 35-11 all-time in season openers.

The Cards and What They'll Do

Louisville has three starters to replace from last year's team- Asia Durr, Arica Carter, and Sam Fuehring.  The trio played a major part in the Final Four run two years ago and the Elite Eight run last year.

Dana Evans returns as a junior and is expected to become the primary point guard, captaining the
Cards down the court.  Yacine "Yaya" Diop is back to healthy and will play her final season.  Diop can be a big scorer and rebounder, possibly picking up a scoring role for the void in the offense.  Mykasa Robinson will also be in the frontcourt.  Robinson was more of a one-on-one defensive threat this year but has worked on her shooting in the off-season. She is a game-time decision for Tuesday, though -- with a shoulder issue.

Bionca Dunham and Kylee Shook will have some help down low this year, but carry senior leadership.  Molly Lockhart comes in as a redshirt freshman and Georgia Tech transfer Elizabeth Dixon will fight for playing time as well.  Dixon was a major force on offense and defense for the Yellow Jackets and has the potential for a breakout season. She'll start Tuesday night, per Coach Walz.

Elizabeth Balogun also transferred in from Georgia Tech.  She was named ACC Freshman of the Year and has Asia Durr-like scoring abilities.  Although I don't think she can match what Louisville's second leading scorer all-time did I do think Balogun can be "the spark" on offense this year. She's another starter for Tuesday night.

Kianna Smith is another transfer in.  Smith is a three-point threat and does an excellent job of finding players for an open shot. She'll sit this season, along with Green and Parker, as red-shirts.

Other returnees include seniors Jazmine Jones and Jess Laemmle and sophomores Lindsey Duvall and Seygan Robins.  Jones is probably one of the most-athletic and most-electric players you'll see in all the NCAA this year.  Laemmle has been a crowd favorite and has proven to be a major leader.  Duvall continues to be an exterior shooter and Robins will look to make a bigger impact in her second season.

Norika Konno joins Diop as the only international players on this year's squad.  The Japanese native is a do-it-all player, finding ways to fill up the stat sheet in all categories. You can expect her to see significant minutes at the wing Tuesday night.

Here is Walz's presser from Monday. It's a good listen:



The Cards should win this one by double-digits.  They won't break 100 like last year but will get into the 80's.  Louisville will try to settle into new roles and adjust with a much different looking roster from last year.

WKU will keep the game close for the first half, giving fans a way-too-early panic feel before the Cards wear them down in the second half.

Attendance won't break 10,000.  Between opening night being on a weekday and the men's basketball team playing at Miami (FL) at the exact same time circumstances are not good for a great crowd.

Paulie and I will be on the floor to give you in-depth coverage as well as a juicy recap, a (hopefully) fun postgame, and some fresh pictures for you.

Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!


PS: It's Election Day here in Kentucky so make sure to go vote!  Kentucky has had notoriously low voter turnouts lately so it's time to change that.  Here at Cardinal Couple, we do not directly endorse or oppose any of the candidates and our thoughts and views on our personal social media pages do not directly reflect the views of Cardinal Couple.

We do think that everyone who is registered to vote, though, should get out Tuesday and exercise that right. And do your research, as our buddy Paige Sherrard so eloquently put it on the Saturday broadcast of THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR  If you don't vote, then you have no right to complain.

Paulie has inserted two of his favorite "election" songs at the bottom. Joe Walsh's "Vote For ME" and Alice Cooper's "ELECTED".