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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cards fall short in NCAA Field Hockey bid


Wednesday CARDINAL COUPLE:

-Field Hockey fails to make NCAA Tournament

-Volleyball's Juhl selected BIG EAST Freshman of the Week

-Women's Basketball prepares for Tennessee

-Who's the guy with Jim Kelch?

The selections for the NCAA Field Hockey Tournament were released Tuesday evening and one prominent name was left off the field of sixteen.

The University of Louisville Field Hockey team won't be participating in the event. Finishing with a record of 16-7, TEAM CARDINAL was passed over in the selection process and their season is now over. We at CARDINAL COUPLE felt that the Cards had a good shot at being one of the "at large" picks to make the field but the BIG EAST got only two teams into the field while the BIG TEN is sending four schools to participate. Also faring well is the ACC, with four headed to the Big Dance.

The case for Wake Forest getting in is interesting. They finished 10-9 on the season. The Cards played six of the schools selected for the tournament, splitting two games against Connecticut, defeating American University but falling to Maryland, Ohio State, Syracuse and Princeton.

Louisville's two losses to end the season, a 6-0 defeat to Maryland and a 2-1 loss to Connecticut in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Tournament probably figured heavily in the selection committee's decision.

Still, it was a good season for "The Flock" and Pam Bustin has a solid nucleus of returning players to pick up the sticks and go to the goal for next season. Team leader Nicole Youman and her scoring abilities will be missed, as well as other seniors Tuli Lim, Rachel Hollenbach, Simone Attles, Karah Nall, Nikki Auker and Jenna Ahern. The Cards do have goalie Erin Conrad returning, as well as key players Hayley Turner, Amber Thomas and Haley and Lacey Jurich.

We watched the selection show on line at the NCAA site and wondered what the criteria was for selecting the "host" for the program. It became evident early on that the young lady handling the broadcast duties had very little knowledge of Field Hockey...Kinda like me trying to explain macro-economics. To 3rd graders.

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Emily Juhl has grabbed her second BIG EAST Freshman of the Week honors this season for her outstanding play against Pitt and West Virginia. Juhl had 23 kills in the two matches...along with seven serving aces against the Mountaineers. The Cards are assured a berth in the BIG EAST volleyball tournament in Pittsburgh Nov. 19-21 along with Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Marquette, and Villanova. Eight teams are still in the hunt for the final three spots. The regular season ends this week and the Cards are on the road for games at Marquette and Syracuse.

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Jeff Walz has the Cardinals working hard for the Friday night women's basketball game against Tennessee. 22,000 tickets have been distributed for the contest. There is word on campus that several hundred of these tickets were distributed to UofL students at no charge, plus a $5 food voucher. CARDINAL COUPLE has received several inquiries about the availability of tickets for the game. As far as we know, none are left to sell at the ticket office. The contest will be shown on a delayed basis on CBS College Sports at 9:30 p.m. Friday night.

Walz will have to contend with the defensive minded Vols Friday night. Head Vols coach Pat Summitt was none too happy about the Vols giving up 60+ points in their 50+ point win recently. She has stressed that the defense needs to pick it up and the Cards will need to have their offensive game on early against the full court pressure they'll most likely run into.

Who will start for Louisville? No early starting lineup has been released yet but if WE were to make a guess...look for Shoni Schimmel, Tia Gibbs, Asia Taylor, Sherrone Vails and Keisha Hines to get the nod. It all depends on who works the hardest and does the best in practice...so our prediction here could be way off. Regardless of who is on the court for the opening tip, expect the Cards to throw numerous combinations and players at the #4th. ranked Volunteers.

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Jim Kelch has returned to handle the play-by-play radio duties for Lady Cards basketball again this season. Kelch's call is one of the best out there and he spent the last eight months in the announcer's booth calling Cincinnati Reds' games. With Adrienne Johnson concentrating on marketing duties...who was the guy sitting next to Kelch doing the color commentary for the contest? We saw Adrienne before the Indiana Wesleyan game...but forgot to ask.

It is no other than legendary college coach Paul Sanderford. WE originally reported on this site that it was Charlie Just (information provided to us by someone in the UofL S.I.D. office). It is not Just. It's Walz's ex-coach and one ofthe sharpest minds in women's college basketball.

We'll miss the insightful comments and breakdown of the action that "A.J." provided. Her WNBA experience made her an expert at analyzing the action on the court. Paul has some big shoes to fill and we missed his "on air" debut against Indiana Wesleyan but his knowledge of the game is pretty huge and we're sure he'll do a fine job along with Jim.

University of Louisville women's basketball broadcasts can be heard on WKRD 790 AM/ 101.7 FM.

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