Monday, November 29, 2010
Volleyball draws MTSU in NCAA 1st round
MONDAY @ C.C.
-Volleyball travels to Purdue in NCAA
-Lady Cards on road for IPFW hoops
The University of Louisville volleyball team will face Middle Tennessee State University in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday night at 5 p.m. at Purdue University. The Blue Raiders (29-5) were the winners of the Sun Belt Conference and received an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships...as did UofL (22-7).
The Cards are familiar with the opponent. They played the Blue Raiders in the opening round of the 2007 NCAA Championships and lost in five games to them in Louisville. Out of the current crop of Cardinals, only Lindsey Mango has played against MTSU. Led by Lindsey Cheatum and Izabela Kozon, MTSU ranks 10th in the nation in hitting percentage at .290.
Louisville enters the match after defeating Austin Peay 3-1 on Friday night. The Cards would go up against the winner of the Purdue vs. Kentucky match if they advance on Saturday... in West Lafayette.
The BIG EAST placed two team in the field of 64...Louisville and regular season champ Cincinnati. Both are in the same region and could possibly meet again for the third time this year if they both get to the regional finals...being held in Austin, TX/ on Dec. 10/11.
Jeff Walz takes the Lady Cards basketball team back out on the road for a Monday night matchup against the IPFW Mastadons in Fort Wayne at 7 p.m. tonight. The game is a "Pack the House" promotion for IPFW...so Walz and gang can expect a loud and rowdy crowd to meet them in the Gates Sports Center.
IPFW is 3-1 on the season, losing to Michigan State in East Lansing 90-66. They are led by redshirt junior Stephanie Rosado, a 6'2" transfer forward from UTEP, who averages 21.3 ppg and 9.5 boards. Kayla Drake is a 5'5" transfer guard from Eastern Kentucky that scores 11.3 a game. The Mastadons have three other players that average eight or more points a game. Their roster lists five transfers from Division I schools. They play in the Summit Conference and are coached by Chris Paul (not the Wake Forest / NBA star) who was an assistant and associate there before taking the head coaching job three years ago.
Louisville (3-3) enters the game after a tough 69 -65 loss on the road to Old Dominion. Louisville leads the series with IPFW 3-0 and defeated the Mastadons 91-62 last year in Freedom Hall. This is the Cards first trip to Ft. Wayne.
A return to the announcers table for Adrienne Johnson tonight...filling in for color commentator Paul Sandeford, who had a prior commitment. She'll join play by play expert Jim Kelch for the 7 p.m. broadcast on WKRD 790 AM / 101.7 FM.
The IPFW athletics site has live video available for the game if you sign up and register with them. Single games are $5.95 each.
This is the type of game that can be a blessing or a curse. The Cards come in on a two game losing streak and need a feel good, blowout win on the road before returning home to play in the YUM against Mississippi Valley State on Thursday night. The crowd will be near capacity and strongly behind the Mastadons in this one, though...and Louisville has not performed well in similar settings previously this year. A loss to a Summit Conference opponent right now would be a crippling blow to the already fragile nature of this year's version of the Lady Cards...a team that was supposed to be highly improved over last year's squad but that has lost a couple of games on the road that were within grasp and that Louisville enjoyed sizable leads in.
A win streak of two would be most beneficial for Louisville going into the UK game on Sunday December 5th. in the YUM. The Cats (5-0) are nationally ranked and recently won The Lady Eagle Thanksgiving Classic in Hattiesburg, Mississippi...defeating Southern Miss in the final.