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Saturday, May 14, 2011

It's official...Softball Cards in final and Women's Basketball announces the signing of Smith, Schimmel and Niamke

For the second year in a row
Louisville and Syracuse meet
in the BIG EAST Softball
Tournament final game. 

-Walz comments on the Spring Signing Period

-Louisville to face Syracuse in BIG EAST Softball
Tournament final today

-Off the Rez airs tonight at 9 p.m.

It's they like to say at the racetrack after a race.
Jeff Walz has announced that Monny Niamke, Jude Schimmel
and Bria Smith have all signed to play for the University of Louisville next season. They join Sara Hammond to give Louisville a 2011 recruiting class that has been ranked as high as fifth. Coach Walz released a statement about it:

"This late signing class solidifies our back court and will no doubt put us in a position to dial up the pressure on opponents. We couldn't be happier about addressing the needs of our team along with adding wonderful young women who will be great ambassadors to the university and our community."

Dial up, indeed. Most of Louisville's opponents in the 2011-12 won't want to answer that Cardinal call of a back court that will be the deepest in UofL women's basketball history. Here's the official bio on each of the the late period signees...courtesy of the UofL Sports Information Department:

Monny Niamke, 5'5", Point Guard, Paris, France (Victor Hugo)

Niamke has played for the French National U16, U17 and U18 teams the last five years. Last season she helped guide them to a silver medal in the FIBA U17 World Championships. She was also named MVP of the European Tournament in Forgeres (France). Won a gold medal at the 2009 Youth Olympic Games in Finland with the U16 squad. Also won a bronze with the U16 in Italy. She is described by Walz as 'one of the best young guards in  Europe. She brings to the team one element we have been lacking for some time, pure speed. She is very skilled on the perimeter and will utilize her quickness to attack the basket and distribute the ball. She also has the capability to be a lock down defender and cause havoc in our defensive schemes.'

Jude Schimmel, 5'5", Combo Guard, Mission, OR. (Portland Franklin)

Schimmel finished her senior year averaging 28.4 ppg, with 9.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 7.3 steals per game. Gathered 5A first team all state honors this season and finished with 1,546 career points. Game high this year of 51 points. Was Portland All-City and on the Oregon All-Star team for the Northwest Shootout. She has played AAU for the Oregon Reign from 2008-10, Team-Concept Fire in 2009-10 and American Horse from 2002-07. Also lettered in softball and cross country. Walz comments...'We are thrilled to add another Schimmel to our Louisville family. Jude will have the opportunity to impact our game with her athleticism and ability to score off the bounce. She is as hard a worker as I have seen in some time, and will no doubt be on the finishing end of precision plays with her sister.'

Bria Smith, 5'10", Combo Guard, Massapequa, NY (Christ the King)

The #8 ranked player in the nation by Hoop Gurlz. This season was named a McDonald's and WBCA All-American. Also first team Parade All-American. Miss Basketball in New York state. New York Daily News Player of the Year. She averaged 21.1 ppg, with 7.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists as a senior. Third year for All-State and All-City honors. She also was on the USA team at the FIBA U17 World Championships. Has been invited to the USA Basketball U19 trials. Walz remarks...'This is a monumental moment for our program and fans of Louisville basketball. Bria brings with her a pedigree of success and star status. She is an electrifying scorer with a great basketball mind. Her competitiveness is unsurpassed and her will to win is paramount. She comes from one of the premier high school and AAU programs in the country and will no doubt elevate our program to new heights.'

The cupboard is stocked full of provisions. It's now up to Walz and the coaching staff to mix a entree that will delight Cardinal fans and win games. The players will need to show Walz and the coaching staff their desire to earn the playing minutes with hard work, determination and a willingness to play defense...a Walz staple.

Take a few days and do something with the wife and kids, Jeff. Disney World, skiing...maybe a family cruise or trip to the mountains. You've brought in a bumper crop to go with an already fantastic base. Time for the farmer to go to the barn dance before harvesting the yield.


Cardinal senior Chelsea Bemis says it's just a matter of
selecting a pitch and driving it against Syracuse
pitcher Jenna Caira. Bemis drove a three run
blast over the fence yesterday in the 6-0 romp over
the Irish.
Here we go, again. Louisville vs. Syracuse in the BIG EAST Softball Tournament final. Despite the gloomy skies that greet us as we write this article this morning...the game should be far from depressing and should feature a great pitching match up between Cardinal killer Jenna Caira and torrid Tori Collins hurling the softball. The plate approachers aren't ready to let this one be a pitcher's duel, though., Syracuse used a bottom of the seventh inning hitting frenzy to advance past Pittsburgh in the quarterfinals and jumped on DePaul early yesterday in the semifinals to get to the championship game. Sometimes, two runs is enough...especially when you have the juggernaut Jenna Caira tossing the orb.

Louisville went ballistic on Notre Dame in the third inning yesterday en route to the 6-0 win. They waited till late to pounce the USF Bulls in the quarters...2-0 with a run in the sixth and seventh. Tori Collins has been barely hittable...holding the Bulls to a couple of singles and the hard hitting Notre Dame squad to just four singles. Someone set up lounge chairs and umbrellas for the UofL outfielders...Collins either strikes them out, gets them to pop up to the infield or ground out.

There is also the irrelevant fact that Syracuse has won the last five games vs. Louisville. Swept the regular season three games series, took one from the Cards early in the season in a tournament in Alabama and won the BIG EAST Championship last year. Matters not. Today is a new day, new game and you can toss streaks and trends into the trash can.

Game time is scheduled for 5 p.m. On ESPN 2 if you can't get out to Ulmer. Should be a doozy! Stay away...rain!


Just a reminder...the documentary Off the Rez shows tonight on TLC at 9 p.m. A look into the life of Shoni Schimmel and her family as they make the move to Portland, Oregon from the Umatilla Reservation.


  1. Watched "Off the Rez" tonight. Good story and a lot of insight into her life as a basketball player from the Rez.

  2. Agreed. WE are fortunate to have several tribal residents from the Umatilla Reservation check out CARDINAL COUPLE on a regular basis and can tell you that the bond and love for her there is VERY strong...

  3. Agreed. WE are fortunate to have several tribal residents from the Umatilla Reservation check out CARDINAL COUPLE on a regular basis and can tell you that the bond and love for her there is VERY strong...


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