SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
- Volleyball dispatches of Samford in evening session
-Field Hockey waits out rain delay, wins 3-2 over Davidson
-Annual gridiron clash may have to dodge a few puddles
Louisville Volleyball followed their morning win over Marshall win a Saturday evening triumph over Samford in the KFC YUM! Center in four games...winning 25-22, 25-16, 22-25, 25-15.
A sluggish start for the Cards to open the match, falling behind 5-1 early and trailing by scores of 7-3, 12-7 and 14-10 in the first game before mounting a rally that tied it at 15-15 on a block from Tanya Lukyanenko. The Cards were still deadlocked with Samford at 20-20 and proceeded to lose two of the next three volleys before scoring the final four points of the game on a kill from Kaitlynn James and blocks from Gwen Rucker and Lukyanenko.
Louisville came out much more aggressively in the second game and jumped out to a 4-1 lead after a kill from Lola Arslanbekova. A brief Samford rally pulled them to within one at 8-7, but after that...the Cards steadily pulled away and led 15-12 after a Samford service error. Louisville went on a 9-2 run after that to lead 24-14 following a kill from Carly Sahagian and ended the match with another kill from Sahagian to win 25-16.
After the halftime break, Samford showed they had some fight left in them by playing the Cards close throughout all of game three...neither team able to gain an advantage of more than three points and Louisville found itself holding a 22-21 late in the action. Samford got four straight points, though on two kills from Katie Murphy and then two from Elizabeth Neisler to win game three 25-22.
The Cards got the wake-up call and jumped out early in the final game. Lukyanenko's kill made it 5-1 Louisville. Kaitlynn James made it 10-5 with a kill. Lola got in the action with a kill to make it 15-8 Cards. It was 20-13 after a Sahagian kill and another from Lukyanenko had Louisville ahead 24-14. Lola put the Bulldogs out of their misery with a kill that ended the game at 25-15.
Lola led the Cards with 22 kills. She was also named MVP of the tournament and made the all-tournament team along with Gwen Rucker and Brooke Mattingly for the Cards.
Field Hockey beat Davidson 3-2 and also outlasted the weather that caused nearly a two-hour delay in the Saturday afternoon game at Trager Stadium. Lightning and heavy downpours stopped the match with the Cards up 3-2 with about 17 minutes left in the game.
The Wildcats scored first but the Cards responded quickly with goals from Mallory Mason and Erin Schneidtmiller in a four-minute stretch to regain the lead at 2-1. That's the way the first half ended...the Cards holding an 8-4 shot advantage.
Becca Maddock pushed the Cards ahead 3-1 when she scored about eight minutes into the second half. A couple of minutes after the Wildcats cut the lead to 3-2, the skies opened and the flash of lightning sent both team to the sidelines.
After play resumed, Davidson and the Cards battled scoreless the rest of the way.
"It wasn't a pretty one, that's for sure. The delay in the game made for a very long day under difficult conditions. We got a win and that's a great thing, but a lot of lessons need to be taken away from this game. Davidson didn't allow us to play the game we wanted to. Some positives to take away were definitely our attack play - that was an area we really wanted to work on. We generated some pretty good scoring opportunities but overall we do need to take a lot of lessons from today and continue to grow and move forward." -- Louisville field hockey head coach Justine Sowry.
The Cards (2-1) return to action Monday when they play Ball State at 2 p.m.
Finally, the Battle for the Bluegrass takes place in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. when Louisville and Kentucky put on the helmets and duke it out in front of 57,000+ rabid fans in football.
You've seen the staff picks. Our informal poll revealed that 70% of you think UofL will win by 10 points or more. Louisville picked preseason to win the BIG EAST, UK picked to secure the basement in the SEC East Division. The chance of stormy weather and soggy conditions for these young men as Red and Blue clash in front of a sold out stadium and national television audience. Ponchos as important as tailgate food today, it appears.
CARDINAL COUPLE will be there, but not in reporting or game coverage mode. May the best team win. If you go, remember to be "good" Cardinal (or Cat) fans and act responsibly. Be gracious in victory and complimentary in defeat. The eyes of the nation are watching, don't act like idiots. Cheer heartily for your team but don't be an obnoxious loudmouth. Enjoy the game and allow others around you to do the same.
And, GO CARDS!