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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Volleyball wrap-up

THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

(CARDINAL COUPLE staff columnist Jeff McAdams takes us to the net with a UofL VolleyCards wrap-up and a preview of ACC volleyball.) 

 

Volleyball finishes for the year

*** Three named to All NorthEast Region team***

*** ACC Volleyball***

*** Random Trivia***

Three named to All NorthEast Region team

Lola Arslanbekova, Gwen Rucker and Caitlin Welch have been named to the AVCA's All NorthEast Region team.  This great honor makes the three eligible for to be named All American's, which would be a tremendous honor, indeed.

Lola was selected for the All NorthEast Region team all 4 years of her play at UofL, while this is the second year for Gwen Rucker to be selected.  This is the first selection for Caitlin Welch.

ACC Volleyball

Sandy started us off with a look at ACC Softball yesterday, so let's take a look at the competition in the ACC for Volleyball.  Overall I believe its a step up from Big East volleyball, but it is not a powerhouse conference.  No teams from the ACC have made it to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA volleyball tournament, so let's consider the final standings.

At the top of the conference standings is Florida State (28-4, 18-2), Miami (FL) (25-6, 17-3), and North Carolina (26-6, 16-4).  The middle of the pack is NC State (22-10, 12-8), Clemson (21-10, 12-8), Georgia Tech (19-12, 10-10), and Virginia Tech (16-4, 9-11).  The remaining teams (excluding Maryland who's place we're taking) are Duke (15-7, 6-14), Wake Forest (11-21, 5-15), Boston College (10-22, 4-16) and lastly Virginia (9-22, 3-17).

All-time against the teams (in their ACC standings order), UofL's record is: Florida State 5-9, Miami (FL) 2-0, North Carolina 3-4, NC State 1-0, Clemson 2-0, Georgia Tech 2-1, Virginia Tech 16-2, Duke 2-3, Wake Forest 4-0, Boston College 0-0, and Virginia 3-0.

The ACC got 4 teams into the NCAA tournament.  Florida State was the 9 seed, just above us and lost a 5 set match to Purdue (We feel your pain, FSU fans).  North Carolina lost in a 5 set match to 15 seed Iowa State.  Miami (FL) lost - what I feel can only be considered an upset - in a 5 set match to College of Charleston.  And NC State lost 3-1 to Texas A&M.

So, when you consider that Volleyball is, like so many of the programs at UofL, a rapidly improving program, I rather like where we stack up against these teams.  Several of the teams are well regarded in Volleyball overall.

Random Trivia

If I can remember this right, I believe there are five schools that compete in Division 1 athletics that do not have the word "University" in their official school name.  Two of them are ACC schools, Georgia Tech (officially, "The Georgia Institute of Technology"), and Boston College.  The other three are the service academies, Army, Navy, and Air Force.

EDITORIAL COMMENTARY:

We take a brief step away from Louisville women's sports here to weigh in on a matter that has many Louisville fans talking:

Charlie Strong.

And, there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that Tom Jurich has offered to change UofL's name to Charlie's College in order to entice the current UofL football head coach Charlie Strong into staying. The Louisville athletic program is getting more attention these days than Barack Obama would if he dressed in a nightgown and sang showtunes to Mitt Romney. Big East to ACC, Bowl bid to New Orleans and the Allstate Sugar Bowl, coaching rumors and drama.

What is important to remember here is that Louisville has many good and successful men and women's athletic programs on campus. Football may be an economic engine, but UofL was a powerhouse in basketball way before football caught fire. WE like the fact that Tom Jurich has already let the coaches know he wants plans and strategy ideas on how Louisville sports team can duplicate the success they've had in the BIG EAST in the ACC. That's forward thinking and we love it.  Louisville has the best athletic director in the nation and he proves it day after day.

As far as the continuing soap opera surrounding Charlie and job opportunities go, to us it's very simple. IF he wants to be here and be a part of it...stay. If not, he certainly wouldn't be the first high profile coach to leave. The program will survive. We remember when Tom Collen left the WBB program to go to Arkansas. We were shocked and surprised. Then, a young assistant at Maryland named Jeff Walz took the job. Turned out pretty well, don't you think?

The Louisville football program has a saying that has grown popular amongst the fans. "Get On The Train". It's time for Charlie to do that. Whether it's a local train or outbound...the speculation and drama concerning this football team, the athletic program...at a time when Cardinal fans should be rejoicing the entry into the ACC and a major BCS bowl game...is ridiculous.

Que sera, sera.

 
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21 comments:

  1. Jeff, with Notre Dame joining the ACC also, is it probable that the best two volleyball teams in the ACC in 2014 will be BIG EAST transplants?

    --Joe Hill--

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think there's something of an argument to be made for that, but I don't think its a very strong one.

      This year, FSU was a better team than Notre Dame, and Miami (FL) was probably in the ballpark as well. Historically, Notre Dame is probably a better team than those two are, but if you look at historically, Louisville probably drops out of the mix.

      Looking forward? We might see the ACC volleyball standings topped by former Big East teams...heck, even Syracuse and Pitt occasionally put on pretty good shows. Overall, though, I think there will be good competition in the conference for Volleyball, probably better than the Big East, and that's a good thing to see.

      I hope someone more knowledgeable than myself will comment about Field Hockey and Lacrosse (perhaps a reader can add some comments?). My understanding is that the ACC is pretty much the powerhouse conference for those two sports and that we'll really have to step up our game there to be able to compete effectively.

      Delete
    2. Don't know how knowledgable I am, Jeff...but I'm going to cover ACC Field Hockey Friday...women's soccer and lacrosse next week. AS always, reader comments are more than welcome.

      Paulie

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    3. Hope I didn't steal your thunder.

      I've gone to a few field hockey and lacrosse games here at UofL...mostly though, I've sat there scratching my forehead at what's going on out on the field. I've read the basic rules for both, so I have a general idea of how the games work, but that's a far cry from being able to keep up with the action and being able to critique things or consider team strengths.

      Delete
    4. All good, Jeff! The legendary Sonja was a Field Hockey superstar (in her own mind) and gave me the 20/20 on the sport. AS far as lacrosse goes, I'm raising my hand and asking for a little help here. I'm in the boat with ya on that sport. Fun to watch, though!

      Paulie

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  2. Paul, you are dead on (unless it was you Sonja)with your comments about Charlie Strong speculation and worry. Louisville fans should be celebrating the move to a conference far superior than the Big East and a major BCS bowl bid. Charlie is right about one thing. Louisville needs to fill Papa John's. I think they will, though, when they start playing the Va. Tech's, UNC's and Florida State's instead of South Florida, Temple and Memphis.

    --Joe Hill--

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First it is Tennessee getting Mercedes Russell. Now going after Charlie. They must be stopped. I'm sending Bill the Goat to Knoxville. Kamakazi mission. This ends here.

      Paulie

      Delete
  3. Barack Obama in a nightgown singing showtunes to Mitt Romney? Thanks, C.C. I spewed coffee all over my laptop.LOLOLOL!!

    Blue Lou

    ReplyDelete
  4. How about Virginia Tech, Jeff? Wouldn't they be one also?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I double-checked that one because I thought the same thing. They are officially "Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University".

      Delete
  5. So Charlie is not a man of integrity and he is cut that way. Too bad he's not courageous enough to stop the speculation, be a man and tell the truth. I guess he's afraid to try and bulid a program from the ground up. He need's a huge building block already in place in the form of a traditional powerhouse in the SEC. I am thankful he got the football program back on track but he should never have said to us and his "kids" that he would stay here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is a mandatory, important team meeting scheduled for the UofL football players today at 3:45 p.m. WE plan on dressing Timmy the Intern in pads, a helmet and uniform and getting inside scoop. We hope we have more success than when we put Co-Co in a Louisville WBB jersey and tried to sneak her on the bench during the UK/UofL game...

      Paulie

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    2. Rumor is that Charlie will tell the team he is staying. His assistants have been telling prospective recruits he is staying. I think Charlie is a man of his word and will strive to improve the Louisville football program by staying and building upon his success. I'm still on the train. How about you?

      Curtis Franklin

      Delete
  6. I am on the proverbial train, never got off, actually. I have never thought he was leaving, not this go round anyway. I don't think you walk away from a Teddy Bridgewater. Some Coaches work their whole lives and never see a talent such as his. To walk away from that, Russdiculous!

    Jenny

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jenny, Jenny

      Your Charlie Strong will dump the Cards just like Bobby Motorcycle, Johnelle Smith and Howard the Pipe. Louisville is a temporary stop for coaches, not a final desination.

      Matthew Mitchell for Governor

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    2. Sage football advice from the land of Joker Phillips and the home of the SEC Gridiron doormat.

      Beautiful.

      Paulie

      Delete
    3. Looks like Charlie isn't dumping the Cards and at least we get football coaches that other schools want. Shake the mud off your doormat football team and wake up. UK football stinks and always will. Go cahyets. Tell Matthew 1-800-Rogaine.

      Delete
  7. And Kentucky is where they go to die...

    ReplyDelete
  8. It looks like Florida State, Miami and North Carolina are the three main threats in ACC Volleyball, although five school actually had 20+ win seasons (add NC State and Clemson) and Ga. Tech was close with 19 wins.

    The real question is how good will UofL Volleyball be in 2014. Caitlin Welch will be gone by then. Lola, Gwen will be two years gone. I know it is tough to predict how freshmen, incoming recruits and recruiting prospects will do. What does Louisville have in the future besides Katie George, who was the only freshman who seemed significantly contribute this season?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Katie George has certainly shown that she's the real deal.

      Haley Pouliezos (who's last name spelling I always have to double-check) certainly contributed as a DS. I would guess when "C-Dub" graduates that Haley will be the next Libero.

      Davionna Holmes looks to have seriouis potential as a good middle, which is good since Brooke will graduate next year, so we'll have complete turn-over of our middle positions.

      Courtney will be in her senior year when we start in the ACC and while she probably won't excel in any particular position, she is a good all-around utility type of player.

      Lastly, we've got Janelle Jenkins, who red-shirted this year, so we haven't seen her efforts at all yet. I hear that she's got a great vertical for playing in the middle (and she has the right body type for that).

      Our signed class for next year looks to have some really great talent as well, but of course, they're as much or more of a question mark as the freshmen that we didn't see much time from this year.

      I think we're in good shape, but of course only time will tell.

      Delete
  9. Multiple sources are reporting that Charlie turne down Tennessee (twice), he's staying and UofL is re-negotiating his contact.

    Great news for Cardinal fans!

    Paulie

    ReplyDelete

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