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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Two Volleyball Cards selected for AVCA honors...BIG EAST to expand?

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WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

-Arslanbekova, Brauneis named to All-Northeast Regional 1st team

-BIG EAST GETTING READY TO ADD FIVE?

Lola Arslanbekova and Taylor Brauneis have been selected for America Volleyball Coaches Association honors by being named to the Northeast Region's All-Star 1st team. Emily Juhl received honorable mention status.
Taylor Brauneis is one of the best
setters in the BIG EAST.
Lola is a junior and both Taylor and Emily are sophomores, so the future bodes well for Anne Kordes' squad. The Cards lose just two from this year's squad to graduation and Anne Kordes had been recruiting well...so the power and strength for Louisville return virtually intact for next year.

Emily Juhl a
definite scoring
threat.
Lola may just be the best volleyball player to ever don the red and black. Consistently the leading kill shot artist on the Cardinal squad, opponents scheme to stop her and few are rarely successful. Juhl compliments the Cards offensive attack from the outside hitter post and is a threat to post double-digit kills anytime she walks onto the court. Brauneis has been the set and assist "go-to" for the Cards and a valuable part of the modes of the defense and attack sets of the Cards. Along with Caitlin Welch's excellent ability to dig and Kaitlynn James on the front line...the Louisville volleyball team returns a strong nucleus for the 2012-13 season. If the Cards go for and get an extra year for middle hitter/blocker Gwen Rucker...all the better.

Congratulations to all three girls for their outstanding efforts and award this season. And, to Anne Kordes, good job in your first year as Cardinal skipper. The future looks very bright for the wide net sport at Louisville and the dominance that the Cards have had in BIG EAST Volleyball over the past several years shows no signs of slowing down...

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Marinetto has lost more teams to rival
conferences than any other BIG EAST
commissioner.
BIG EAST commish John Marinetto could announce, as early as today, the addition of five new schools to the BIG EAST. It's been speculated that Houston, Central Florida and SMU are coming on board for all sports and Boise State and San Diego State will join for football only.

What does it mean for women's sports in the BIG EAST down the road? None of the three all-sports additions play field hockey or lacrosse. None of the three are shaking up the NCAA in women's basketball or women's soccer. The three schools are a combined 7-16 in ladies hoops this season...Houston with a woeful 0-8 record...so the BIG EAST isn't gaining any Notre Dame or UConn type powerhouses here...Softball might benefit slightly with the addition of these three...Syracuse was a strong member of the diamond powers in the BIG EAST, Pitt an also-ran and WVU didn't field a softball team.  

Hugo the Hippo is no relation to the
Big East commissioner.

Let's face it. This is all about football. Are the five schools equal to...or better that the eventual departees (West Virginia, Syracuse and Pittsburgh?) in the gridiron game? We'd have to say "No" at this point and time. But, the markets are large (Dallas, Houston and Orlando) and it gives the BIG EAST some notoriety in the high school rich football tradition of Texas.

One thing that Cardinal football fans will probably grumble about is, when completed and set in place, the re-alignment will probably see Louisville in the western division of the BIG EAST with SMU, Houston, Boise St. and S.D. State.

The eastern division will probably have Rutgers, Cincinnati, South Florida, Central Florida and Connecticut. That's a whole lot of travel and new playmates for the Cards.

As far as women's basketball goes, who knows? A divisional split would be a tough one to figure out and the Cards would most likely end up not playing UConn, Rutgers and the east coast schools as often.

Interesting times ahead. With BYU thumbing their nose at the BIG EAST because of unwillingness to share or give up their television contract, the service academies not ready to sign on...and the woeful, regrettable decision not to bring in Memphis and East Carolina into the mix...one has to wonder if Marinetto and the BIG EAST decision-making conglomerate is seeing with 20/20 vision.

And, get ready for Saturday afternoon tailgating in....San Diego and Boise? Yikes...
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