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Saturday, November 12, 2011

VolleyCards down Villanova...W. Soccer, Swimming and football today..Softball signs a pitcher

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THE SATURDAY EDITION OF CARDINAL COUPLE:

-Lola leads Volleyball to 3-2 win over the Wildcats

-Belknap campus a busy place on Saturday

-Pearsall signs Smithson-Willett

The University of Louisville clinched #1 seed in the upcoming BIG EAST Volleyball tournament with a hard fought 17-25, 25-23, 25-20, 21-25, 15-10 win over Villanova last night in Philadelphia. Once again, Lola Arslanbekova led the way for the Cards with 25 kills, who improve to 19-7 overall and a league leading 12-1 in the BIG EAST. With one game remaining in the regular season, at Georgetown on Sunday, the Cards could be tied for the top spot if they lose and either Cincinnati or Marquette win...but Louisville hold the tie-breaker over both...having defeated both in the regular season. 

The Cards got off to a slow start in this one...a pumped up 'Nova squad jumping out to a 6-0 lead in game one. Although Louisville would battle back to get within three, they never could take away the lead and fell by eight in the opener. Lola earned six of her kills in the first game.

Things got better for Anne Kordes' squad in the second game. They roared out to a 9-3 lead and pushed it to 13-5 before a Nova run cut the margin to three at 13-10. Louisville looked to be in control at 21-15 but Nova fought back to tie it at 23-23 before the Cards gathered the final two points to win by two.

25 kills for Lola Friday night
The Cards handled the Wildcats during the third set and got outstanding play from setter Taylor Brauneis, Lola and hitter Kaitlynn James to keep the lead throughout and win by five.

Nova wasn't ready to head to the locker room just yet, though, and battled back to break away from a 18-18 tie and score seven out of the final eleven points to win by four and knot the match up at two games each.

Louisville started slowly in the fifth game, falling behind 5-2, but rallied after a Kordes time out, scoring six of the next nine points to grab the lead. Although Villanova climbed back within one at 11-10, the Cards blasted the final four and secured the five point win with, fittingly, a Lola kill to end the match. Brooke Mattingly had a big final game for the Cards with three kills and a block.

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Gonna be a busy day down on Floyd Street today, with football at noon, swimming and diving versus Notre Dame at 1 p.m. and women's NCAA Soccer Tournament action for the Cards against Dayton at 7 p.m.

-Football looks for their fourth straight win and a chance to become bowl eligible today when Pittsburgh rolls into town. The Charlie Strong led Cards will need to apply the pressure to a weak Pitt offensive line and give Panther QB Tino Sunseri a view of the Louisville sky from his back. The Cards QB Teddy Bridgewater seems to get a little better each week but will be tested by the blitz happy Pitt defensive squad.

-Louisville women's soccer looks to advance in first round NCAA Soccer Tournament action against a tough Dayton Flyer squad. The Ohioans are 19-3 on the year, won the Atlantic 10 regular season and conference championship titles and defeated some pretty impressive foes in Kansas, Kentucky and Northwestern. Look for the Cards to get it to Christine Exeter for points and call on their point-preventing defense to shut the Flyers down.

-Dual meet in swimming and diving in the Ralph Wright Natorium today when the Cards face Notre Dame. Louisville looks to get a big splash off the board from diving ace Hannah Gadd and the Cards come into the match after recently defeating Pittsburgh.

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She hits, she throws, she fields but can she
direct the pep band?
Louisville softball landed an excellent addition to the 2012-13 pitching staff when Jasmine Smithson-Willett signed yesterday to become a Card. Out of Lakeside HS in Lake Elsinore, CA., the righty holds a school record 53 wins and has a career total of 567 strikeouts. She also led her travel team to the 2011 Premier Girls Fast Pitch National Championship.

"My first and only visit was to Louisville. They say when you know, you know. I knew. It was everything I could hope for in a college-the dorms, facilities and the dream field. After my tours and getting to know the school, I knew I found my new home. All the coaches and players made me feel welcome and that's when I decided I would not want to be anywhere else." -Jasmine-Willett on her choosing Louisville.

The Cards beat out California, UCLA, UC-Santa Barbara and San Diego State for her services. In addition to having a strong right arm, she's also an infielder and outfielder who can hit for power.

Reloading. It's what Sandy Pearsall does with the Cardinal softball program and does well. With Smithson-Willett, sounds like the Cards have one that can do everything but spell Al Greener directing the pep band during games.

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And, finally, in case you missed it...Rick Pitino's guys blew out Tennessee-Martin last night in the KFC YUM! Center. No big surprise there. 600 career wins now for the UofL head coach. 83-48. Another one where the lower level folks probably started up the stairs with eight minutes to go.

coachsandypearsallistheonlycoachinthehistoryoflouisvillesoftballsomeonedownatuoflshouldrenameulmerstadiumafterherpearsallparksoundsprettygoodtous
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