THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
- "The Paulie" looks at UofL Voleyball.
I was asked recently how I thought the UofL Volleyball team would do this season. Taken back a bit...usually I get these questions about women's hoops and softball...I managed to piece together an answer that noted they were the BIG EAST favorites, that they had a few tough early season contests and that I expected them to win the BIG EAST again and advance a few rounds in the NCAA Tournament, since it was home court advantage for them.
My quizzer, though, was not placated with the general answer. She continued by asking if they'd win 20 matches or not. The jig was up. I had to confess that I wasn't actually sure how many matches they had in the regular season.
The encounter led me to doing some research on the season for Anne Kordes' players and opponents.
In what may be the first ever prediction of its kind on the internet, I now bring you
The VolleyCards will participate in 28 matches before BIG EAST tournament play...and then a game against the OVC Champion after that (which I've never really figured out why)...so let's call it 29 games. Here's how The Paulie sees it.
After wins against WKU and Morehead State, Louisville gets perennial power Penn State in the KFC YUM! This will be the Cards first loss of the season.
Kentucky had Louisville's number last year...but this one this year is in the YUM! and Louisville gets by the Kitties this year. After that, Duke, Marshall and Samford should be wins at the YUM...then Louisville travels to Cincy for the BIG EAST/BIG TEN CHALLENGE. Big 10 Volleyball is always pretty decent, and Purdue and Illinois beat Louisville last year. Time for wide net revenge...and I'm calling for Cardinal wins in both matches. The Cards end the pre-conference slate with a weekend YUM! fest with MTSU, UNLV and Miami...which they should sweep.
We'll predict that they're 11-1 going into BIG EAST play.
Games against DePaul and Notre Dame in the YUM! will be battles...especially the Irish...but the
October sees them with eight matches...the first three at home. I predict wins over Seton Hall and Rutgers...but a narrow loss to #2 preseason ranked Texas...the third match in three days for the VolleyCards.
Five matches on the road close out October...and the Cards should prevail in New York, Storrs, Syracuse and Milwaukee. The Oct. 27th. match in Cincy against the Bearcats should be a doozy...Louisville narrowly escaping with the "W". The end of October sees Louisville with a 21-3 record.
Four home matches greet the Cards in November before the BIG EAST Championships. Villanova, Georgetown and Marquette leave with losses. The Cincinnati Bearcats visit the YUM! on 11/11/12 and head back up I-71 with a "L" also. The Paulie sees Louisville at 25-3 going into BIG EAST Tournament play.
Not sure, obviously, who the OVC Champ will be but Louisville should polish them off pretty easily before starting NCAA Tournament action.
So, there you have it.
And, just in case anyone was wondering...72 days till women's basketball starts. (People always ask...)