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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Lady Cards at practice...Jenny reports

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WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE:

-Jenny O'Bryan gives her report on Lady Cards practice

-Volleyball falls to Lipscomb 3-1

-Velasquez & Harris lose in semi-finals to Tennessee

(CARDINAL COUPLE writer Jenny O'Bryan attended the Lady Cards practice Tuesday. Here is what she saw)

The women's basketball team hosted a trivia challenge on their FACEBOOK page this summer. The contest asked all kinds of fun questions about the girls stats, hobbies, career highs, recruiting questions, etc. The winner, or in this case, winners got to attend practice as a reward. Today, I cashed in on my reward. 

In thinking about the team and anticipating the upcoming season, my biggest questions were: 1) How do the freshmen look? 2) What will be the contribution from last year's redshirt players? 3) How have the returning players grown from last season?

Our freshmen. One word. Fast. On any running of laps, suicides or sprints...they led the pack. On Tuesday, Sara Hammond stole the show. She was fast, strong, went hard to the basket, fought for rebounds and finished near the basket. Sara has a big, broad body. She is going to be an enormous asset to this team - especially in BIG EAST play. Bria and Jude showed their defensive prowess. Their quickness in traps and their fast, quick hands knocked down a lot of passes and created havoc in the passing lanes. They will contribute to the Lady Cards defensive arsenal. While Coach Walz was quick to say that today's practice was not a great one...I see great potential in all of them.

The red shirts. I have been very excited to see Cierra and Shawnta on the hardwood. They did not disappoint. Cierra fought for rebounds, took an especially hard charge from one of the practice guys and had some strong moves underneath the basket. Shawnta has a really pretty shot. She is going to be another offensive weapon for us. She was connecting on pull-up jumpers and behind the arc.

Our returning roster looks strong and improved. Shoni and Mo were consistent and smooth. Sherrone looks to have added some muscle. I look forward to see how her added strength plays out during game time situations. Antonita seemed to be the most improved player on this day I was at practice. With season tickets behind the bench, I have heard Coach Walz's critiques of Nita's defense. Last year, it was not uncommon for her to hit back-to-back threes...only to be benched because of her defensive breakdown. Today, she defended hard. If today had been a game day, she would have not been benched. I was duly impressed. And, her shots were falling today, too.

The biggest thing I took from my sneak peek at the team was the depth. Plenty of depth and options are available at each position. With the speed and defensive efforts the team is showing, it is going to be a fun and exciting season.

I walked into today's practice excited about the potential of this team. I have been ecstatic about the McDonald's All-Americans. The hype of back-to-back ranked recruiting classed has set the bar high. I have been optimistic about a deep run into tournament play.
I left practice today with my questions answered and one prevailing thought on my mind...

L Yeah!

(Thanks to Jenny for a great report on the Lady Cards preparing for their Oct. 30th.scrimmage against Lindsey Wilson and the rest of the season. From the sound of it...we're going to be saying "L Yeah!" a lot this year...)

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Volleyball took a surprising lost last night to Lipscomb University in Nashville last night 25-22, 18-25, 25-23, 25-21. Lola's 16 kills weren't enough to down the Atlantic Sun foe...Louisville held a 14-7 advantage in blocks but lost the kill battle 64-45.

The Cards fell behind 13-5 in the first set but rallied to make it a 20-18 deficit. They couldn't get any closer, though and lost by three. Louisville came back strong in the second game and jumped out to an early 7-2 lead. It held, although the Bison did get within one at 18-17. The Cards went on a 7-1 game ending run to even the match at 1-1.

Louisville could not gain an advantage in game three...but did get close, coming from a 24-20 deficit to get to 24-23. The Bison got the final point of the match, though for a two point win. In game four, Louisville (15-5, 7-0) once again fell behind early...down 10-5. A rally got the Cards within two at 23-21 but Lipscomb (14-6, 7-0) closed out game, set and match with the final two points.

Maybe an off night for the Louisville spikers...losing to an Atlantic Sun opponent won't improve the Cards national ranking any...hopefully they'll get it back together for a busy weekend against WVU Saturday in Cardinal Arena and Pittsburgh in the KFC YUM! Center.

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Louisville women's tennis doubles team of Manuela Velasquez and Amelia Harris bowed out in the semi-finals of the Ohio Valley regionals Monday in Memphis...falling to Tennessee's Natalie Pluskota and Kata Szeleky 8-2.

They are the first Cardinal doubles team in history to reach the semi-finals in this event in history. 

Coach Mark Beckham was philosophical about the loss:

" While I am disappointed they lost, it will be a big help in their development. It is good to see other names emerging to a national level. Within our little tennis community it is always about Julia Fellerhoff and Becca Shine. Now we have Manuela, who's a freshman and Amelia Harris, who has been working hard throughout her time here to get to this point. I am proud of them and we have this program headed in the right direction."
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1 comment:

  1. great report on the practice - thanks!

    ReplyDelete

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