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Friday, November 2, 2012

Volleyball returning home

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FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

- Volleyball with homestand

- Field Hockey in BIG EAST TOURNAMENT tonite

- Reynolds to announce Friday

(In response to the e-mails we've had about our wildly popular Breeders Cup picks...we hope to have Friday's selections at the bottom of today's column by 10 a.m. EDT. The chimps are typing as fast as they can.)


( CARDINAL COUPLE Correspondent Jeff McAdams gets us caught up on CARDINAL Volleyball today. Watch the net, practice your set and get ready for the kill! )


Past, Present and Future

Its been a while since Louisville volleyball has played in the friendly confines of either of either of their home floors, but they're about to return for a match this Friday at Cardinal Arena against Villanova, followed by Sunday back downtown against Georgetown.

I figured now was a good time to look back on the past 3 weekends of play, check out current national standings, and look ahead at the rapidly dwindling set of matches still to be played.

St. Johns, Connecticut, Syracuse, Marquette, Cincinnati

The last three weekends have seen the VolleyCards on the road.  My normal dog sitters were on an extended vacation, and I had already been warned that it wasn't wise to let Coco and Timmy dog sit, so I didn't get to make it to any of the matches in the first two weekends.  The last weekend was just a quick jaunt up I-71 which can be done in just a day trip...and my dog sitters were back in any case.

The first trip was a swing through the northeast with visits to St. Johns and Connecticut.  This trip really should've been an easy victory tour, but both St. Johns and UConn gave the Cards some challenges to overcome.  They did prevail, however, and came back with the Ws.

The next weekend brought another of the crazy Big East road trips, with visits to Syracuse and Marquette.  After getting stuck in Detroit overnight on their way back from Pitt when they flew commercial, the Cards decided to charter this one.  This trip included one of the bigger challenges for playing volleyball in the Big East this year, Marquette.

After handling Syracuse without any real discomfort, the Cards really made their presence felt in Milwaukee taking the match 3-1 and playing quite well.  Marquette did stream the match on the Internet, so I did get a bit of a chance to see how this one went.

Finally, the Kordes Krew made their way back into the Ohio Valley with a single match this past weekend at Cincinnati.  Usually Cincinnati is a serious threat in the Big East.  This year...not so much.  They have some good talent on the team, but with a new coach, they just haven't seemed to put it all together.  The Cards got through the sweep pretty quickly and without much drama.  Its good to get the win, but I would've liked to have seen it be a bit more interesting for the ESPNU coverage...though not too interesting, of course.  The outcome was never in much doubt, despite Louisville giving as many points to Cincinnati as they could via service errors.

The Volleyball world, as it currently stands

The top 10 in both the coach's poll and the RPI is graced by the likes of Stanford, Penn State, Nebraska, Texas, and UCLA...no real surprises in any of those.  Some of the others making appearances in one or both are Oregon, Minnesota, Washington, and Hawaii...again, nothing that causes any real jaw drops.

Louisville continues to creep back up the coach's poll, making it up to the number 12 spot in the just released poll.  Some thanks is due to the previous number 11 Florida who dropped their match against previous numer 12 Florida State.  Florida dropped two spots to 13, and FSU joins us in getting bumped up a spot.

In the RPI, we continue to hang on to the number 7 position.  We've been winning consistently, but for the most part, not against any real powerhouse teams, so we haven't been getting much of a bump from the wins.  The win over Marquette probably helped us stay where we are, as well as continued good performance by the likes of Kentucky at 15, Miami(FL) at 16, Purdue at 21, as well as...go Hilltoppers...WKU at 33, and then Illinois at 35.  Marquette checks in at 36.

The RPI, of course, takes into account not only a team's own win-loss record, but the win-loss record of their opponents and even of their opponent's opponents, so our earlier wins over these teams that are all representing well in the RPI, helps out our own ranking.  On the other side of the equation, our only losses are to Penn State, checking in at 2, Texas following closely behind at 4, and lastly Notre Dame, who's coming in at 34, which means that our loses aren't hurting us that much at all.

Let's play "Good news, Bad news, Good news"

For home vs away:
Good news:  The rest of our regular season matches are all at home.
Bad news:  Only one of the matches is at the arena downtown.
Good news:  Cardinal Arena is pretty darn cool, too.

For RPI consideration:
Good news:  There's a pretty good chance we could win out the rest of the regular season.
Bad news:  We won't be playing much of anybody that can help us out much in the RPI.
Good news:  Except Marquette, again.

On TV coverage:
Good news:  We'll be on TV twice.
Bad news:  Versus Georgetown and Cincinnati, neither of which should be terribly competitive.
Good news:  The Cincinnati match is nationally televised (ESPNU) again.

Tournaments

There's a berth already waiting for the Cards in the Big East tournament which will be held at The Al McGuire Center in Milwaukee November 16th through 18th, with Marquette hosting.  Marquette, Notre Dame, and Louisville have already clenched spots in the tournament based on their league records at 10-1.  Louisville currently has the number 1 seed in the tournament based on our overall win-loss percentage due to the Big East tie breaker rules.  Each of those losses in those 10-1 records is against one of the others.  We lost to ND, ND lost to MU, and MU lost to us.  This tie-breaker scenario will change, however, as we play Marquette again, and Marquette also has another match against Notre Dame.  It also would change if any of the three teams lost another conference match.

While its not a tournament, a quirk of volleyball scheduling is that the Cards play another "regular season" match after the Big East tournament, versus whichever team is the champion of the Ohio Valley Conference tournament.  A quick look at OVC standings suggests that we could have a rematch with Morehead State as they are 12-0 in conference play.  Of course, anything can happen tournament time.

And then the big one.  The NCAA tournament selection show will be Sunday November 25th at 4pm ET with the tournament beginning Nov. 29th.  In volleyball, only 16 teams in the tournament of 64 are seeded, with the rest being placed geographically.  The first and second round matches are at non-predetermined sites, almost always at the locations of the 16 seeded teams.  This is why we've played so many of our tournament matches at Purdue in past years.  The 16 seeds typically follow the RPI rankings very closely, so if UofL keeps winning, we'll likely be a host for the first and second rounds of the tournament.  I understand that the athletic department is already making (tentative) plans for the event at The KFC Yum! Center based on the likelihood of UofL being seeded and hosting. 

Third and fourth rounds are at predetermined sites.  This year, the Regionals are at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, CA;  CenturyLink Center in Omaha, NE;  Gregory Gymnasium in Austin, TX;  and...wait for it...Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, IN.  Geographic principles still apply, so if the Cards advance to Regionals it looks like another road trip to Purdue...I think my Jeep can make the drive on its own, now.

And, of course, we get the honor of hosting the Semifinal matches and the National Championship at the KFC Yum! Center December 13th and 15th...you do have your tickets ordered already, right?

Jeff (white shirt) is also an avid WBB fan!
Incidentally, Kentucky is hosting a Regional in 2013 at Memorial Coliseum, and a 2014 Regional will be back here in the 'ville at The KFC Yum! Center.

This weekend

Villanova and Georgetown come into town to play this weekend.  Villanova is 11-15 (5-6), and Georgetown is 7-17 (1-10).  The GU match is slated to be shown by WHAS.  Realistically, as long as this UofL team doesn't take these matches for granted, neither Villanova nor Georgetown should really pose that much of a threat.  I'll be in my usual seats, come say hi.

( A great article by Jeff today! Go VolleyCards!)


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The BIG EAST Field Hockey Championships are at Trager Stadium on campus this weekend also. #25 Louisville faces off against #5 UConn at 7:30 p.m. The action begins at 5 p.m. with Providence and Syracuse taking the field.

GO CARDS!

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Jordan Reynolds, another target of Jeff Walz on the 2013 recruiting trail, is scheduled to announce Friday where she'll be attending college.

We want her at Louisville, make no mistake about it. She's a hard-slashing combo guard that played with Alexis Montgomery and Mercedes Russell in Oregon AAU Team Concept ball and made a huge name for herself at Central Catholic...as well as on the West Coast. 

Make it the 'Ville, Jordan! Now that we have Coach Walz firmly entrenched as a coach/referee, you'll get the best calls and plenty of free throw opportunities at Louisville.

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FRIDAY BREEDERS CUP SELECTIONS

( Please remember these are for entertainment purposes only and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CARDINAL COUPLE staff. Bill the Goat thought they were tasty, though...and ate them the minute we got them posted on here. GOOD LUCK! )

JUVENILE SPRINT

PAUL                                                      SONJA
Merit Man                                               Merit Man
South Floyd                                             Super Ninety Nine
Super Ninety Nine                                   Sweet Shirley Mae

MARATHON

PAUL                                                       SONJA
Atigun                                                      Eldaafer
Not Abroad                                              Atigun
Jaycito.                                                     Grassy

JUVENILE FILLIES TURF

PAUL                                                        SONJA
Flashy Ways                                             Watsdachances
Spring Venture                                          Spring Venture
Tara from the Cape                                   Sustained

JUVENILE FILLIES

PAUL                                                         SONJA
Executive Privledge                                   Beholder
Kauai Katie                                                Executve Privledge
Beholder                                                     Dreaming of Julia

FILLY & MARE TURF

PAUL                                                          SONJA
The Fugue                                                   Marketing Mix
Marketing Mix                                            Zagura
In Lingerie                                                  The Fugue

LADIES CLASSIC

PAUL                                                           SONJA
Questing                                                       Awesome Feather
Royal Delta                                                  Royal Delta
Grace Hall                                                    My Miss Aurelia

Our buddy J.J. Hysell has done extensive research on today's card and you can see her well-thought out selections over at IN THE MONEY.  Click the box NOV 1 to see them when you get there.  Link below:

IN THE MONEY


GOOD LUCK AND WAGER RESPONSIBLY!

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3 comments:

  1. Hey, P.

    Watch Sweet Shirley Mae in the Juvenile Sprint.
    Horse is locked and loaded. Also, Sustained in the Juvenile Fillies turf and Royal Delta in the Ladies Classic. Will look to hook up with u out at CD.

    Little Jeff

    ReplyDelete
  2. Reynolds to Tennessee. Not really a big surprise.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think Walz already knew this and was sort of poking fun at her with his recent Twitter joke. Anyone else catch that? She was pretty much demanding a press conference. These kids are funny. I really admire Imani Wright for keeping it simple and personal. She seems like someone that just loves the game and not just the glory.

    ReplyDelete

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