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Monday, December 9, 2019

Strong Second Half sends WBB past Norse 85-57 -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


As Jeff Walz  put it Sunday, it's all on the backs of his players now...this season. Either they want to play hard and win or they don't. And, if they don't, they won't play. 

Louisville showed up to play eventually in the third quarter against Northern Kentucky University Sunday in Highland Heights, KY at the B.B.&T Arena, going on a 12-0 run to begin the second half and continued to augment on a 37-35 halftime lead. After three it was 68-44 Cards and they went on to build the lead to 35 midway through the fourth before the game ended.

The game started out with a bit of an interesting twist. The starting Cardinal five consisted of Bionca Dunham, Dana Evans, Liz Dixon, Yacine Diop and Jess Laemmle. The first two in the sequence are starters we've grown accustom to. Liz did see some early season starts. Jess was a bit of a surprise. Speculation filtered through the media (basically me, Sonya and TCZ's Tom Farmer), plus on Twitter about this. Was it a disciplinary move? Turns out Walz picked out the five players he thought worked the hardest in the practices following the Oregon loss and put them out there. 

It was a slow beginning for the Cardinal starting five. NKU jumped out to a 7-1 lead. Eventually Louisville rallied, a few players entered from the bench and the Cards went on a 9-0 run at the end of the first to hold a 22-16 lead. 

NKU wasn't done battling, though. 

The Norse fought back to tale a 25-24 lead after three minutes of the second session on a  Carissa Garcia three. They led 30-26 halfway through thee second period after Ally Niece knocked in a jumper in the paint. Louisville picked up the defense , though, and reclaimed a 35-32 lead with 1:26 until halftime on a "E" three. The half ended with the Cards clinging to a 37-35 edge. 

The Cards had 12 from the resurgent Jaz Jones. Nine turnovers were costly but Louisville was holding a 12-0 fast-break for points edge. Molly Glick and Garcia combined for 20 for the Norse and NKU had made six threes. 

According to Jaz (who went 9 for 10 on the afternoon and scored 21 points), the halftime discussion centered around defense and getting the transition game going. Coach Walz gave a slightly different answer. Coach impressed upon the squad that the focus on things should be about what they want instead of what he wants. Walz reminded everyone he had six years left on his contract. If they wanted to have a disappointing season, he reminded them his goals were still to reach a Final Four and National Championship but he couldn't do it, they had to do it. That dialogue eventually morphed into a dialogue about the new players and the past. 

Coach got  ball from NKU celebrating his
return. before the game. He didn't shoot it. 
Whatever actually transpired in the locker room seemed to have an immediate effect on the Cards. Louisville roared out to a 10-0 start and never looked back. The defense was creating stops and the transition game was rolling. A steal and layup by "E" sent the Cards up 57-37, capping a 20-2 run to start the second half. After three, Louisville led 68-44 and Norse effort had turned into a worse effort. 

The Cards were never seriously challenged in the fourth, Walz played all 11 eligible and Molly Lockhart got in seven good minutes and responded with three points. Final: 85-57

Paulie and Barry Johnson, who was my fraternity
"little brother" 30+ years ago at UofL 
Jaz's 21 led the way, Dana had three threes as part of her 16 points and "E" added 12, with a couple of trifectas included. Everyone who played scored. Norika Konno sat out, she tweaked a knee after Oregon and could have gone but Walz wanted to rest her. 

Points off turnovers went 31-17 Louisville's way. The Cards did have 17 miscues but NKU topped that with 21. UofL won the points-in-paint battle 44-20, swept the fast break for points stat 23-0 and second chance points 14-5.

A tale of two halves, it was. 8 for 20 from the deep, with five players hitting threes, is nice and Jess even nailed one when she was on the court as a starter. Louisville eventually put away a Horizon League team picked to finish sixth in their conference but winners of their previous four by eventually adhering to two major important factors: 

Playing defense and creating off that defensive effort. Defense leads to potential points. 

I loved that second half version of the UofL WBB team. I hope Walz left the first half version in Highland Heights by the Skyline Chili parlor. 


FREE THROWS -- 11 for 14 is 78.6% and that passes our standard of 70%. Equally distributed among the seven Cards who attempted them. Yacine Diop goes to the head of the class by hitting all three of hers. We can award a Capital "F" for Sunday's effort at the stripe. 

REBOUNDS -- Louisville all the way with a huge 42-20 edge. When you consider NKU went 8 for 28 (28.5%) in the final half, Louisville corralled a lot of those misses. Kylee Shook had seven grabs in 18 minutes and Bionca had six in 21 minutes, those rebounding numbers look even more impressive. And, each Cardinal that played gathered at least one. Yes, we award a Capital "R" for the UofL rebounding effort. 

EXECUTION/EFFICIENCY --  Once again, a tale of two halves. Only seven second half turnovers and the transition game was working with the whitewash in fast break points. But, we look at the whole contest and the first half wasn't pretty in terms of getting things done with the ball. 38.9% shooting in the second quarter hurt the 53.2% shooting for the entire game. We'll compromise and award a lower case "e" for this stat. 

DEFENSE --  The defensive effort really picked up in the final 20 minutes, especially in holding the Norse to that 28.5% shooting, compared to 50% in the first half. Nine steals (Diop and Kasa with three each) and 21 turnovers committed by the Norse. For fairness, we'll split the difference, Louisville played a half of great defensive and a so-so half of guarding. We'll assign a lower case "d" for Sunday's overall defense.  



Coach Walz and Dana shared the post-game interview. Their words are worth hearing and you can access these words at the link below. They didn't pass the microphone around to the media for this one so I hope the questions asked aren't too hard to hear. The guys from the AP and some local Northern KY writer must have been under the delusions that they were the only ones in the room, so you won't hear Paulie on here except once. We left before the NKU interviews, sorry bout that, y'all. 



Sonya and I hoped for a blowout win, and we got one. Eventually. Hoped to see the Louisville vs Oregon team instead of the Louisville vs Ohio State squad and we got that for a half. 

Give NKU a lot of credit for sticking around that first half. Glick, Garcia and former Mercer County star Emmy Souder took the fight to the Cards and should probably make the All-Horizon Conference All-Star teams. 

I'm not sure this was the type of contest leading up to UK I wanted to see, though. I hope that Walz finally impressed upon his players that going full strength and hard all the time you are on the court, in practice or in a game, is what will get you playing time. 

He's Norse, of course. 
It was good to see Jaz come out of the three game slumber she had been in and I hope that emergence stays around. Walz teased that she was prone to picking up fouls even in the pre-game warm up and gathering just two in 20 minutes is a start in the right direction. The Cards WBB squad, now 9-1, has to realize they are going to get everyone's best shot from here on out and must be ready to come out and take on the fight for 40 minutes. Regardless of who Walz starts or ends with. 

I hope they take his words to heart over the week between games. I hope they work on the "jelling" and remember that defense leads to the opportunity for offense. I hope they can play two halves in Lexington like they played the final half against the Norse. 

Time will tell. 


Sunday, December 8, 2019

Sunday Cardinal Couple

Basketball Gameday

Jeff Walz is taking his squad up north.  Or perhaps you prefer "Norse".

The Norse are, of course Northern Kentucky University, a member of the Horizon League, and alma mater for Jeff Walz.  NKU is a relatively new school to Division I athletics, having made the transition from Division II in 2012.  Originally joining the Atlantic Sun Conference (in 2008), they changed to the Horizon League as they completed their transition period to Division I.

The Norse are 4-4 to this point in the season, and perhaps a little amusingly, they started their season with four straight loses, followed by four straight wins.  They dropped decisions against the Samantha Williams led Eastern Kentucky, Saint Louis, and, in a visit to Nashville, both Lipscomb and Belmont.  Wins came against The University of Nebraska at Omaha, Central Arkansas, Jacksonville State, and Florida International.

Based on that competition, I don't expect NKU to put up too much competition for the Cards today.  Who should the Cards keep an eye on amongst the Norse, though?

Molly Glick is a 5'11" guard and the scoring leader, including from beyond the arc with almost 40% success.  The supporting cast is Ivy Turner, and then a committee of Carissa Garcia, Emmy Souder, and Ally Niece.  Souder will be the biggest presence in the middle, a 6'2" forward/center.

The game is at 2pm, and is only available for streaming on ESPN+.  You might prefer to just tune in Nick and AJ on the radio, where they should be on the call, as always.

Volleyball Tournament Update

Thanks to Case for the excellent recap of UofL's win over WKU Friday night.  You can check his article yesterday for analysis and breakdown of that.  He hit on pretty much all of the points and takeaways that I had from watching the match in person.

Let's take a moment and look around at the rest of the tournament.

As of last night, all of the first and second round matches are complete and the sweet 16 is set.  The Cards are, of course, in and will be hoisting another black banner in the L&N Federal Credit Union Arena in the fall.  Back to the present, however, their opponent will be 2-seed Texas, who had a surprisingly difficult time getting past UC Santa Barbara on Texas' home floor in Gregory Gymnasium.  Being the highest seed to advance to the Regional level, they will be hosted the matches this weekend including with Louisville on Friday.  The other half of the Regional bracket includes Minnesota and Florida.  Minn had a serious challenge last night against Creighton, taking five sets to get the win.  Creighton is a very fine team, and was ranked in the top 25 for much of the season.  Florida dispatched UCF is three relatively easy sets.

In other matches of potential interest to UofL fans, Kentucky swept Michigan with relative ease in Memorial Colliseum.  They'll play Washington in the Sweet 16 in Waco with the Regional being hosted by 1-seed Baylor.

Cincinnati, led by US National Teamer Jordan Thompson, who put up 41 kills on the Cards earlier in the season, advanced over UofL conference-mates and 6-seed Pittsburgh.  This was a battle royale, with extra points in sets and a 5th set nail biter that Cincinnati finally won 15-13.  The Bearcats will play 11-seed Penn State.  They'll be hosted by 3-seed Stanford.

How has the ACC done in the tournament so far?  Well, with four teams entering, and only one team advancing to the Sweet 16, I'd say it hasn't been spectacular.  As mentioned, Pitt lost in the upset to Cincy last night, while Notre Dame and FSU both were eliminated in the first round.  ND lost to UCLA, and FSU lost in what could be argued is an upset to UCF, though since neither were seeded or ranked, that's subjective.

So that's where things stand overall.  The Cards will be playing Friday against Texas in Austin, as mentioned previously, though game times will not be set until the TV gods weigh in...probably some time today.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

Case and I were able to put together a decent show yesterday, discussing the roller-coaster week that was for the Basketball squad, as well as the successes of volleyball thus far in the tournament.

Speaking of successes, playing Paulie's walk-up music for Case won't be counted among my own, but we had fun with it.

Check out the stream, if you didn't listen live, at:


Saturday, December 7, 2019

Volleyball Advances to Sweet Sixteen -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Cards Take Down Toppers in Five Sets

In what was one of the closest matches Louisville has played this season, the Cards took the floor in Diddle Arena for the second straight night and came away with their second win of the tournament over the hosting WKU Hilltoppers. Louisville's second win puts them tied with Louisville Men's Soccer for the most wins by a UofL fall team in this season's NCAA tournaments. One more win would bring them level with Field Hockey for being closest to the championship game. A lot of things had changed since Louisville beat WKU 3-1 in L&N FCU earlier this season. Melanie McHenry's career ended, Louisville changed lineups multiple times, WKU refused to lose any other games, and Louisville struggled through a few slumps. Everything goes out the window in the tournament, though.

I mentioned this looked like one of Louisville's closest matches of the year, so let's take a look at why. First, the set scores of the first four sets: 21-25, 25-22, 25-21, 21-25. The fifth set looks a bit lopsided at 15-5, but that can easily happen. If a team jumps out to a run, it's hard to recover in a race to fifteen. Now let's look at some key stats. I'll list Louisville's number first in all of these. Kills: 58-58; Errors: 30-31; Assists: 56-58; Hitting: .179-.162; Aces: 6-6. Those numbers are all extremely close over a five set match. Then we get to a couple of critical differences. Louisville outblocked the Toppers 17-6 and had only four service errors compared to ten from WKU. The blocking stat is a bit misleading, but the difference in service errors is a pure difference in points. WKU gave away six more points than the Cards. As for the blocks, Louisville was able to knock home 11 points on WKU attempted kills, but the close errors stat shows that Louisville was not necessarily capitalizing on all of those opportunities as they had more unforced errors. Either way, scoring a point defensively is still a positive. 

Unfortunately, after a big dinner and having settled in on the couch for this one and the basketball game in split screen, I fell asleep sometime early in the fourth set and awoke to the match being over. Without the benefit of a play-by-play in the box score, I can't give a good recap of how the match actually looked at the end. Perhaps Jeff can fill us in today on the show. I can note that after the first set, it was clear that this match would be close. Both teams were playing well and WKU simply looked like the better team in the set, running out a 9-4 advantage to win. Early in the second, as well, it looked as though Louisville's susceptibility to runs would put the Cards in danger as they went down early. However, the Cards made a run of their own to take the lead and carried it through to the end of the set. In the third, Louisville took a fairly big lead before WKU pulled back to lose close. Louisville led 2-1 and it looked like they may be able to escape cleanly.

From there, my recollection is limited to what the UofL Volleyball Twitter account can tell me. The Cards and Toppers played the first half of the fourth set very closely, finding themselves at 10-9. Louisville earned a decent advantage and worked up an 18-14 lead. However, that susceptibility to runs I mentioned came into play as a 7-0 run put the Hilltoppers at 22-19 before Louisville could stop the bleeding. The Cards were unable to recover from that run and lost the set to move to the decider. As I mentioned before, when a team jumps out to a big lead in the fifth set, all bets are off. Louisville quickly found themselves ahead 6-1 and moved that lead to a 9-2 advantage before ultimately claiming the set 15-5. Some may call that an anticlimactic ending, but we'll take whatever win we can get in the NCAA Tournament.

Perhaps Louisville's biggest achievements one the night were their ability to play through the outsides rather than the middle and their resiliency against WKU clearly putting them out of system. Louisville had 56 assists on the night and Tori Dilfer finished with only 46. She was forced into 13 digs, which is an extremely high number for your setter, and she dumped home a pair of kills. In fact, Dilfer finished with more digs than Alexis Hamilton's 12, which is crazy to think that Louisville could recover from that when we've previously seen them so cemented to the way they've played. The Cards also had only three attackers hit positive. Claire Chaussee, Amber Stivrins, and Aiko Jones led the way, with Jones leading all scorers in the match with 20 kills. Chaussee and Stivrins had 14 and 13 respectively. Anna Stevenson and Amaya Tillman were ineffective on offense, combining for nine kills and 12 errors on 29 attempts, but they made their presence known defensively. The two finished with a combined two solo blocks and 13 block assists. Jones was also in on the block party with one solo and five assists of her own.

The Cards will take this win and send the Hilltoppers home with just two losses on the year, both to Louisville. Louisville now advances to their fifth Sweet Sixteen in program history and the road only gets tougher from here. It is safe to say that you could call this season a success, and you can probably consider anything beyond last night's match "playing with house money." That said, why not continue reaching for the stars. The Cards will advance to take on the Longhorns of Texas, the overall number two seed in the NCAA tournament. Tough draw. The Longhorns lost only three matches in the regular season and they were against Baylor (the number one seed), Stanford (the number three seed), and Rice (another tournament team). In 23 wins this season, the Longhorns have lost just nine sets. They're good. Date and time have yet to be determined for the Sweet Sixteen matchup, but we'll be sure to let you know when we find out.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

Do you think we'll have anything to talk about this week? Jeff and I are alone in the studio this time, but with basketball having played a pair and Jeff fresh off of his return from Bowling Green, I'm sure we can find some content. Tune in to the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour at 11AM on WCHQ FM as we bring you the joy and excitement of Louisville women's athletics. WCHQ is available at 100.9 FM, the WCHQ app,, and on Facebook Live. 

Until next time, Go Cards!

Friday, December 6, 2019

WBB falls to Ohio State 67-60 -- Vollleyball wins in three sets. --FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


It was more of a boxing match between two heavyweights that a basketball game last in the Value City Arena in Columbus, but Ohio State get the 67-60 decision over the Cards. Louisville shot 36.9% for the game, missed nine of their ten final shots and saw four OSU players reach double figures against them on a night against a powerful, aggressive Big 10 squad.

No one really started to gain an advantage in this game until late in the third quarter. The Buckeyes broke open a 45-45 contest with 2:10 left in the third when Kirsten Bell scored on a OSU layup, got fouled by Molly Lockhart and sank the following free throw. After a missed Dana Evans jumper, Janai Crooms took a Bell rebound and bullied her way past the Cardinal defense to give OSU the 50-45 edge. 

The quarter ended that way and, although Evans nailed a three to start the fourth quarter, OSU pushed back to a six point lead and held that advantage pretty much the rest of the way. 

Louisville ended the match going 1 for 10 from the floor to end the contest. OSU held a 62-57 lead after Norika Konno made a layup with 3:47 left in the contest. The Cards would not connect on a basket again until Konno made a layup with 17 seconds left to cut the Buckeye's lead to 65-60.

 In the pivot-able fourth quarter, Louisville went 5-18 (27.8%). Ohio State countered with 4-9 shooting. Seven Cardinal turnovers in the fourth, also, certainly didn't help their cause. This contest stayed at 62-57 for over three minutes late in the fourth and Louisville missed all seven of their shots in that time frame, negating any possible comeback 

This one is one I'll wager a lot of Cardinal fans will prefer to forget. Louisville trailed by two after the first quarter but had a nice second period from Evans, who got six of her team-high 18 points in those 10 minutes and the Cards held a 33-31 edge at the break.

Bionca Dunham finished with 10 for the Cards, all in the first half. For some reason, the Cards quit going inside to her, Kylee Shook (6 points) and Elizabeth Dixon (8 points) as the game wore on. And, Jazmine Jones, saddled with foul trouble early, never made much of an impact on the contest in 20 minutes, fouling out after 1-8 shooting and one rebound. 

As we've seen so many times before...what gets accomplished by those who are on the court at the end in a close game either make it or break it for a squad. Based on last night, applications may be available for a couple of those five, end-of-game spots. 

When you are playing a rough-and-tumble BIG 10 opponent, sometimes you have to rumble right back on them instead of trying to outrun them. 

Jeff Walz said after the Oregon game that this UofL squad wouldn't go through the season undefeated. Probably he, and definitely I expected a "L" to enter the squad's record so early after knocking off Oregon, though. 



Using Freddy Kreuger for
"Nightmare in Value City Arena"
FREE THROWS -- Louisville attempted 12 and made seven. That's 58.3% and doesn't impress much at all. Consider only four Cards attempted them and three were successful in hitting them. Someone needs to get Bionca on the stripe and get more practice, practice, practice in. No letter awarded here for the effort. Meanwhile, Ohio State went 19-23. Ouch.

REBOUNDS -- The Cards held their own with the big "Bucks" and won the boards battle 34-32. Bionca was the boards battlers, with 11, completing her double-double. Kylee grabbed five in 23 minutes. A small case "r" is the assignment here. 

EFFORT/EXECUTION -- Louisville did lead for most of this one, but failed to finish. Costly turnovers, not sufficiently guarding the three-point threats and that dismal fourth quarter showed this team couldn't close out in an "away" environment with a small (3600) but enthused home team fan base. No letter to award here. 

DEFENSE -- The Cards lost the second half 36-27 and, although they kept the scoring relatively low, Buckeye posts Rebeka Mikulasikova and Dorka Juhasz played typical hard-nosed and aggressive Big 10 hoops and that combo (26 points) plus the steady play of guard Kirsten Bell (14 points) proved to be too much for the Cards to handle and contain. We end the Fred report with no letter here either.  


So, in their first true away game, on another school's court, it was less than the desired result. The hope is Louisville learns from the debacle, works hard on the shortcomings and proves a bit better against another team Sunday that plays a similar style in NKU. 

Learning what works. Playing every game with energy and passion. Objectives for this "still jelling" Cardinal WBB squad.

Lessons learned on a chilly night in Columbus. 

Personally, I'm just glad I found my way out of the basement maze where the media room and press interview was conducted. Hanzel, meet Gretel. Hiking a half-mile to hear coach speak after a loss wasn't exactly on my bucket list.


Coach Walz addressed a small group of media (me and Sonya made up 1/2 of the contingent) after the game. Hear his words at the video below. 



Now, for some brighter news...

Volleyball Sweeps Samford

The volleyballers got it done in fairly easy fashion last night in Bowling Green as they swept the Samford Bulldogs, 25-21, 25-12, 25-22.

The opening set was a bit of a nail biter. The opening set of NCAA plays always seems to be as teams (and fans!) aren't sure of the new, higher pressure setting of "Win or go home."  The Cards felt a bit tentative and out of sorts.  They fell back to their training and planning and got it done, though.  Out of the gate, Anna Stevenson showed early that she was going to have a great match with 4 kills on 5 attempts in the first set.  She would go on to a ridiculous .857 hitting percentage after missing a shot near the end of the match to bring it down to that from the .917.  The total was 11 kills on 13 attempts, with no errors.

The second set was a Cardinal romp, with the Cards firing on all cylinders and Samford seemingly unable to do anything to slow the roll.  The Bulldogs would take their first timeout with the Cards leading 5-0.  Samford did show a little bit of spark, though, keeping the lead from growing significantly through the middle part of the set, but then the Cards would put together a couple of big runs to finish it out with ease.

The last set started out as another barn-burner, with the Cards jumping out to a big lead, but Samford would fight back.  The teams traded runs and sometimes just points, but that's not what you want if you start out the set behind 10-3, and Samford would never close that lead for good.  The Cards reached a 24-18 set point and the Cards fans in attendance, only a fraction of the red-clad attendees with Western Kentucky being the host team, were feeling jubilant.  Samford would put a slight damper on that, however, reeling off four straight.  The Cards did get the final point and exited Diddle Arena on a high note.

The Cards second round match will be tonight, against at Diddle Arena, against host WKU, who dispatched Kennesaw State in a sweep of the nightcap.  Let's give KSU some props, however, for keeping all three sets close, the Hilltoppers won it 25-23, 25-20, 25-23.  The match will be at 7pm local time, 8pm EST.

The Cards beat WKU early in the season, the second weekend of the season, in fact, in four sets 25-18, 22-25, 25-22, 25-15.  This was the only match WKU lost all season and in C-USA post-season play.


Thursday, December 5, 2019

WBB Prepare for Ohio State -- VBall Begins NCAA Tournament -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

WBB Prepares to Face Ohio State

#2 Louisville WBB is set to face Ohio State in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge tonight in Columbus.  Tip-off is set for 8:00 p.m., on the Big Ten Network.

The Buckeyes enter the game with a 4-3 record. Recently, they went 1-1 in the Southpoint Shootout in Las Vegas.  They took down Northern Iowa 64-46.  Their loss came to a tough South Dakota team, 68-53.  The Coyotes made the NCAA Tournament last year.

Ohio State also played UConn this year at home.  The Huskies came out on top 73-62 in a contested match-up.  The other loss came to Ohio.

Ohio State's three other wins outside of Northern Iowa included Kent State, Valparaiso, and an overtime over Cincinnati.

The Buckeyes are averaging 69.9 points per game.  They have shot .438 from the floor on the year with a .307 mark from three-point range.  Free throws have been a weakness for Ohio State, shooting just .565 from the line- something the Cards would be smart to take advantage of that.

Another weakness of Ohio State is ball control.  The Buckeyes have turned the ball over 119 times this year for an average of 17 per game.  They have dominated down low, out-blocking opponents 35-13. A young team for head coach Kevin McGuff, 10 of his 13 players are freshmen or sophomores. According to some sources, Ohio State has had the toughest schedule in the country through their first seven game, and bringing in the #2 Cards only augments that difficulty of opponents.

The OSU defense holds opponents to .346 from the field and a sub-.300 mark from deep.  Their free throw defense has been atrocious as opposing teams knock down roughly 73% of their free throws.  Ohio State's defense is allowing 62.4 points per game, a mark UofL's offense has been way above.

Dorka Juhasz. Not only does she rebound and score
but she takes a pretty nice photo as well.  
Dorka Juhasz (10.2 ppg) and Kierstan Bell (10.0 ppg) are the sole players averaging scoring in double-figures.  Juhasz has also led the team in rebounds through their first seven games, averaging 8.5 per game.  Janai Crooms and Braxtin Miller have carried the team in assists with 38 and 22, respectively.

Louisville is 2-0 all-time against Ohio State.  Both meetings came in Columbus.  The most recent was in November of 2017 when the Cards prevailed 95-90 in overtime.  Asia Durr set a school record with 47 points and tied a school record with nine three-pointers in the game.

Paulie and Sonya will be in attendance as well as a photographer friend of mine, who will take my place for the game.  You'll get plenty of live coverage from our women's basketball guru and he'll have some postgame footage to add to it.

If you can't attend, the Big Ten Network will be televising the event. It is available on most cable providers in our Metro Louisville area and ll you who have "cut the cord" can probably figure out a way to watch on-line. And, you can always go to the dependable Nick Curran and A.J. for the radio feed, on 790 WKRD AM

Matt Andrews, radio voice for Buckeye women's basketball, held the same position for Louisville before he left for Columbus. Like Nick, who also calls Louisville Bats games during their season, he also does minor league baseball broadcast for the Columbus Clippers. Reports are he's already gotten word to Paulie via sources that the media buffet in the Value City Arena doesn't rival the one in the KFC YUM! Center.

On a side women's basketball note, you can check out Paulie's interviews with Jeff Walz and Dana Evans at the top of yesterday's post.  Just click on the link and it'll redirect you right to an audio recording or follow the two interviews at these audio/video links below.

JEFF WALZ 12-4-19

DANA EVANS 12-4-19

Volleyball Faces Samford in NCAA First Round

Just down the road from Louisville in Bowling Green, KY will be another Cardinal team in action.

UofL Volleyball prepares for a first round match-up against Samford today at 6:00 p.m. ET.  Make note that Bowling Green is an hour behind so the game will be 5:00 p.m., their time.

Louisville, who is 19-9 on the year, is making its 28th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history.  The Cards earned an at-large bid and are one of four ACC teams to make the tournament.

Samford is in its second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance after going 24-5 on the year, finishing 15-1 in the Southern Conference, and winning the SoCon Tournament 3-2 over ETSU.  This is the Bulldogs' fifth tournament appearance, all coming in the last eight years.

Kelsi Hobbs has been the leader for Samford this year.  She was recently named the Sports Imports/AVCA Player of the Week.  She was also named Most Valuable Player of the Tournament.

The Cards, who were 14-3 to start the year, finished 5-6 after Melanie McHenry went down with an injury.  They did, however, go 4-2 to close out the year.  As they continue to adjust without their senior leader the Cards will have their hands full.

Host Western Kentucky will face Kennesaw State in the second match of the day.  The two winners will square off on Friday. The second round is schedule for 8 p.m. Louisville time.

A unique viewing opportunity for those unable to attend. Hilltopper Sports Satellite Network - HSSN on Facebook will stream the match. Link for that is:

"Mr. Worldwide" Jeff McAdams will be present for the game, and I think it's safe to assume his mom, Ms. Vivian will accompany him.  I cannot guarantee you'll see a lot of  tweets out of  his @CardCoupleRadio Twitter account, but Jeff will split the writing duties with Paulie tomorrow.

Happy Thursday and Go Cards!


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

WBB: Walz/Evans Interviews -- Dana Does It Again -- Volleyball Information -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


The two spoke separately to the media on Wednesday afternoon. Hear the words below: 



Great material in both pressers and well worth the listen ! Sleepy, Dopey, Grumpy, Sneezy and the rest of the "Heigh, Ho...Heigh, ho...we'll interview you, yo." group fired questions at the two. 

No injuries occurred. I even got a couple of queries in, tough sledding with this group. The pauses in questions are due to the "pass the microphone to ask a question" edit that Nick Evans has decreed for these encounters. 

It's still a work-in-progress. 


What a week for the Cardinal WBB point guard! 

Winning the Paradise Jam, getting named espnW and ACC Player of the Week. And we find out yesterday that she's also been named USBWA Player of the Week. This award equally huge as well, because it's the basketball writers who determine it. Sadly, I don't get a vote in it, I probably would have put her in all three of my top picks.  

Her stay in St. Thomas was pretty spectacular. She averaged 21.3 points per game and that led all the participants down there. To get that many points, your shooting has to be pretty "spot on" and hers was.


-- 18-38 from the floor. 47%
-- 11-21 from three-point range. 52%
-- 17 for 18 on free throws. 95%

This excellent shooting trend has been a part of a great start to the season for her. She leads the entire ACC with 19.9 points per game. 

In the ACC, as of Dec 2nd., only four teams remain undefeated. Louisville and NC State are at 8-0. FSU is 7-0 and surprising UNC, under first-year head coach Courtney Banghart. 

Just a brief aside on Banghart: She joined the Heels after Sylvia Hatchell stepped down in the off-season. She's from Princeton. She's an interesting story. She played in college at Dartmouth, and still holds the team record for career three pointers. She became the head coach at Princeton at the age of 29, and took the Ivy League school to a 254-103 record over 12 years. 

Back to Dana. She and Coach Walz will address the media today at 12:15 p.m. I'll pop back in here this afternoon and add the audio. With the Cards now #2 in the nation, I expect it'll be  crowded media session. The more, the terms of spreading the news about WBB.  

The Cards head out on a two-game road swing that starts Thursday night in Columbus vs. Ohio State and then goes to Northern Kentucky for a Sunday afternoon contest. Ol' Paulie will be at both, combining a bit of hoops with Sonya and our visit to a life-long friend and her new husband who live in Lebanon, OH.

So, you guessed it, I won't be on the Saturday Cardinal Couple Radio broadcast. Whether Worldwide Jeff and the other knuckleheads decide to do a broadcast is up to them...


Jared will probe a little deeper into the Cards first-round NCAA opponent (Samford) tomorrow, and our Jeff McAdams will be on site in WKU's Diddle Arena for the Thursday and (hopefully) Friday game. He'll be a fan, cheerleader and will also add to my Friday article, which will cover the hoops results in Columbus. 

Yes, you get a "2 for 1" Friday (keeping in the holiday bargain season/tradition society seems to expect this time of year) and we offer low financing, easy payments and non-aggressive sales tactics. You won't find a better deal anywhere in....(oops, I lapsed back to my 'selling mode' from years past. It's OK. I'm back now.) 

Anyway, you can get your tickets for Cardinal Volleyball at the site below:


Be on the lookout for this guy leading cheers during
opposition time-outs. 
If you are not heading to Columbus, why not take a leisurely jaunt down I-65 to Bowling Green and the WKU campus? Pat Big Red on the head and go watch Volleyball in Diddle? Wave to Cardinal Couple reader Nick in Sonora as you pass. 

Other helpful information: 

Parking for fans will be in the PS2 Parking Structure. Follow the signs once you get near Diddle. A map of the campus is linked up for you below. (PS2) is next to the arena...

WKU Parking Map

The doors open one hour before first match. That'll be 4 p.m. C.S.T Thursday and 6 p.m. C.S.T. Friday. Game time for Louisville is 5 p.m. C.S.T. Thursday.

If the Cards advance, they'll play NCAA Second Round action at 7 p.m. Friday C.S.T. (C.S.T. stands for Central Time Zone. That means it's an hour behind Eastern Time Zone, which Louisville is in. For example, when it's midnight in the C.S.T., it's 1 a.m. in the E.S.T.).

Next we'll cover if six, forget sure to check back later today for the Walz/Evans Media Day link. I'll put it at the top of the page, so even Jared can find it....

Have a wonderful Wednesday !


Tuesday, December 3, 2019

WBB Cards Jump to #2 -- Dana Evans Awards -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

WBB Cards Jump to #2 in Polls

After a three-game sweep in the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam, including a major victory over #1 Oregon, Louisville women's basketball moved up in the rankings.  In fact, they jumped all the way from #8 to #2.  Not too shabby for a team that had three starters graduate last year, huh?

The Cards are now 8-0 on the year after a red hot start to the year.  They have four road games before they return home to the KFC Yum! enter to start conference play.

Louisville seemed to turn heads with their win.  The Cards had some preseason doubters, especially with the loss of Asia Durr.  But those doubters didn't seem to know just how talented this year's roster is.  And with the incredible coaching staff we have it was an easy turnaround.

This year's squad has learned fast.  The defense has continuously improved and shut down some major offensive threats.  On offense, the pace and ball movement has quickened and starting to reflect that of Jeff Walz teams from the past. Kylee Shook has begun to make her presence known in the paint and the Cards are grasping the idea of team play.

Here's the Top 10 (plus a few teams of local interest):

1 Stanford
2 Louisville
3 Oregon
4 UConn
5 Oregon State
6 South Carolina
7 Baylor
8 Florida State
9 Maryland
10 Mississippi State
13 NC State
15 Kentucky
21 Miami

Four ACC teams are currently ranked.  The Cards also face Kentucky soon, who sits at 15th in the country.

Dana Evans Earns Awards

Dana Evans earned espnW National Player of the Week and ACC Player of the Week honors after an impressive performance at the Paradise Jam.

The junior guard averaged 21.3 points per game while shooting 47%.  She shot .524 from three-point range and was a near perfect 17-18 at the free throw line while at the "Jam".

Evans has stepped up as a leader on the team and starting to show her colors as a true point guard.

Louisville travels to Columbus for a match-up against Ohio State this Thursday. The Buckeyes are at 4-3 so far this season and head coach Kevin McGuff has quite a young roster, with 10 of his 13 players either freshmen or sophomores.

OSU has lost to UConn 62-73, South Dakota 53-68 and Ohio 68-74.

A Great Read

Want to know more about 2022 Louisville verbal commit Alexia Mobley? We're happy to provide the link below about the Reynoldsburg, OH student-athlete. 

This read is well worth the time ! 

/////////// LINK:   ALEXIA MOBLEY  \\\\\\\\\\

Her announcement Tweet : 

Beyond excited to announce my commitment to @UofLWBB ! Thank you @CoachJeffWalz @villehoopcoach @CoachJPineda24 @SamPurcellCards for this opportunity.. L’s uuuuuup! @AngelsBballClub @CoachDante

Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!


Monday, December 2, 2019

Louisville Volleyball in NCAA Tournament, draws Samford -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


There probably wasn't much doubt that the University of Louisville Volleyball squad would make the field of 64 at all, the major questions were who would they play, where and when? 

On last night's NCAA Selection Show on ESPNU, the drama played out until the very end. Finally, the final regional was announced, we saw Western Kentucky hosting and playing Kennesaw St. and then Louisville flashed on the screen to be facing Samford. 

A 6 p.m. E.T. Thursday match on Dec 5th. at Diddle Arena in Bowling Green for UofL Volleyball. Win and advance to play there again at the interesting selection of Friday at 6 p.m. It seems there is a basketball game on Saturday in the arena, so Volleyball has to play Friday. The Lady Toppers are bringing in Arkansas for hoops on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

The Cards gave WKU their only loss of the season back on Friday Sept 6th. in the LNFCU. A 3-1 set "W" for the Cards 25-18, 22-25, 25-22, 25-15. Before the cart gets too far in front of the horse, though...Louisville does have Southern Conference Tournament champion Samford to face first. The Bulldogs won the three-day event in Spartanburg, SC by beating The Citadel, Furman and East Tennessee State. 

Samford (24-5) has won their last 12 matches and went 15-1 in conference to win the regular season title as well in the Southern. They faced WKU in non-conference play and fell 3-0 in sets to the Hilltoppers. Other losses were against East Tennessee St., Northern Kentucky (who made the NCAA Tournament also) and Tulsa 

The main kill artists for the Bulldogs are Kelsi Hobbs (459), a 6'1" right side hitter who is a senior and sophomore Lauren Deaton (421), an outside hitter. Briana Holmes leads Samford in blocks with 128. Setting is the major job for Corinne Meglic (1260) and Emily Naubert is Samford's dig leader with 442. 

Where is Samford?  In Birmingham, AL. is the answer. No Louisvillians on the Bulldog roster but middle blocker Sierra Rayzer is from New Albany, IN. The junior played at Christian Academy (IN). 

Jeff McAdams was at the Selection Show viewing with the team and also got a few interviews after the selections. We have them at the bottom of  today's article. We'll also have more information later in the week about the bracket, Cards and WKU. 

A nice draw for Louisville, it would appear, for the first two rounds, but powerhouse Texas awaits if the Cards climb by Samford and (WKU/Kennesaw St.). 

-- Fans can purchase all-session tickets for $12 per ticket at 

-- Additional information on the tournament can be found at

-- The bracket pairings can be printed from: 

Dani Busboom-Kelly on the draw: 

"We were excited to hear out name called. While we don't know much about Samford yet, we know they are good since they are in the field of 64. We won't have to worry about travelling and dealing with that, so, that is a huge plus for us. It will new new for us to play on the Thursday/Friday match in the first round but it is a quick turnaround for us."

Player/Busbooom-Kelly interviews on tournament: 
Tori Dilfer 

Aiko Jones

Dani Busboom Kelly