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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Q reviews WBB -- Softball takes two -- Gadd not bad



SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

-Quentin Voigt recaps WBB regular season

-Louisville Softball downs UNC, EMU

-Gadd takes sixth in 1-meter board

-More FCC sanctions coming...CARDINAL COUPLE on radio today.


(Quentin Voigt returns to the fray after being on the injured reserve list here at CARDINAL COUPLE for a couple of weeks. We're glad to see him back in the lineup and hope you enjoy his report on Louisville WBB!)

MEETING EXPECTATIONS

Muffet McGraw was invited to sing Danny Boy on
the CARDINAL COUPLE Radio show today but
declined the offer.
The University of Louisville Womens' Basketball team is, at best, "meeting expectations" with their performance this year -- to date. While it's true that UofL was picked to finish third in the BIG EAST but actually finished fourth -- the difference is minuscule. The Cards also received a preseason ranking of #9 but have hovered around outside the top 10 for most of the year.

Good things appeared on the horizon for Louisville when, on November 9th., they beat a good Texas A&M team -- who eventually beat Kentucky on the way to a SEC Conference Tournament Championship. A solid win over Gonzaga on November 22nd. got UofL a #7 ranking, their highest of the year.

After leading Kentucky by 11 points with less than 10 minutes remaining, the Cards lost by a point when freshman guard Janee Thompson (who averages 4.2 points a game) hit a three pointer for her 13th point of the contest. UofL had the game won and had a commanding lead that most teams are able to maintain from the free throw line down the stretch -- but the Cards couldn't.

Maybe the residuals from the Kentucky loss led to the less than stellar performance Dec.14th. at Colorado or maybe not. Colorado recently slipped to #19 in the national rankings. They still remain a talented, well-coached team with height and speed.

Following closely on the Colorado loss was the news regarding Shawnta Dyer's injury of her ACL and end of season for her. A major hit to Louisville's prospects for the season, she joined Tia Gibbs, Asia Taylor, Monique Reid and Monny Niamke on the bench as spectators. Dyer started 10 games for Jeff Walz and was the second leading rebounder for the Cards at the time of her departure with 5.5 grabs a game. She was also averaging 7.5 points.

On Jan., 5th., the most perplexing loss of the season occurred -- at DePaul by six points. Lack of focus, no defensive intensity and a late game fold led to a 86-80 defeat.

Bad losses to the two BIG EAST bullies -- Notre Dame and UConn, that -- if nothing else -- showed that not much ground had been gained on the two from the previous year. The inexplicable loss to USF by 11 in the YUM and season-ended surrender to Syracuse finishes up the "low-lights" of the regular season. An encouraging BIG EAST Tournament win over St. John's but a nasty loss to Notre Dame again brings us to a 24-8, 11-5 record for the pride of Derby City.

A #16 ranking and a shot at being a #4 seed in one of the regions for the NCAA WBB Tournament. I call it a record that fans can be proud of -- but one that just barely meets expectations.

A few breaks here and there and the team is 28-4 and a bonafide top ten in the nation. For Walz and players, "meeting expectations" probably wasn't the mission statement they started the season with...but it is where the Cards are as they head into NCAA Tournament play.

-- Quentin Voigt.

***************************************************************

Louisville softball took two in the opening day of the Louisville Classic yesterday in Ulmer Stadium. The Cards are now 23-3 on the season.

LOUISVILLE 4 - NORTH CAROLINA 2

Caralisa Connell drew the start for the Cards in the first game but it was the "bad Carl" version and she found herself in hot water after facing six batters in the first inning. 1-0 Heels...and runners on all three bags when Sandy Pearsall went to the circle and summoned "the Le Gran Coq" to the strip. Rachel got the next two outs and Cards got out of the inning with no further damage.

As Tony Soprano might say..."This girl, what stugots she got!"

The Cards evened it up in the bottom of the first when Katie "Killer" Keller walk and advanced to home eventually due to some general nonsense by the UNC infield.

Louisville took a 2-1 lead in the third when Killer got plunked by the UNC pitcher and dashed home after a single by Cards first basewoman Alicja Wolny. UNC tied it up in the sixth but the Cards, knowing I was frustrated because GAMETRACKER froze up at the end of the sixth inning, got the win in the bottom of the seventh when Wolny singled and danced home when "the Ruck" Maggie Ruckenbrod sent a shot out onto Brandeis Street to end the game with a walk-off homer. 4-2 C-A-R-D-S!

LOUISVILLE 6 - EASTERN MICHIGAN 1

"Good Carl" showed up for the Cards second game...Connell holding the the EMU Eagles hitless for six innings in Louisville's five run margin of victory. The Cards started off in fine fashion...Jordan Trimble sending one onto the outfield berm in the first to make it 1-0 UofL.

Whitney "Arion Nation" singled in the fourth inning and made it to the plate when freshman Jasmine Smithson-Willett singled. Good to see JSM back out there in the lineup! GO JSM! (Paul's new favorite player, sorry Jordan...)

The Cards increased the lead to 3-0 in the fifth when Trimble doubled and travelled home on a Ruckenbrod double. UofL added three runs in sixth...Killer, Arion and JSM all getting hits and receiving greetings at home plate.

Connell (who was voted Favorite Cardinal Womens' Athlete of 2012 by our CARDINAL COUPLE readers) was magnificent...no-hitting the Eagles until the top of the seventh. She finished with ten strikeouts, just one walk and allowed two hits to go to 14-2 on the year.

The Cards take Saturday off and then return Sunday to face Wisconsin at 10 a.m. Pajamas optional.

**************************************************************************

Hannah Gadd prepares to dive from...no
wait...that's Hannah Kiyohara. Never mind.
Congratulations to Louisville Womens' Swimming diver Hannah Gadd, who finished sixth in the NCAA Zone C Meet up in West Lafayette, IN on the Purdue campus. She advances to the championship rounds....where participants will try to qualify for the NCAA Championships.

A chance for more for the senior. Once a competitor qualifies for the NCAA Championships in any of the three diving events, she is permitted to compete on all three boards at the NCAAs. However, divers must continue to compete in every event at the Zone meet...even if they qualify for the NCAAs on the first day of the Zones.

Eat your Wheaties, Hannah...

***************************************************************************

CARDINAL COUPLE radio rears its' ugly head again this morning at 11 a.m. on Crescent Hill Radio.  We're down a host since Jenny is in Indianapolis on a 10-day contract with the Pacers. Or something like that. Jeff and I will need to step our game up...and since we have no game whatsoever...this could be challenging. When the brains of the bunch is gone....chimps rule!

We'll discuss womens' hoops, softball, lacrosse, swimming and we have an exclusive interview with Cardinal WBB head coach Jeff Walz. Our Jeff McAdams is busily rehearsing the Irish classic Danny Boy with the Dixon brothers and Bill the Goat for a St. Patrick's Day salute of the blarney stone.

Somehow, we'll muddle through. If push comes to shove, the option of taking a microphone out on Frankfort Ave. and doing a few "man on the street" interviews is always a possibility. Maybe the ladies from the hair salon will participate. We could try sumo wrestling on the studio floor. Coward Goatsmell might stop by. Where did I put those pliers? It's gonna be fun, don't miss it.

www.crescenthillradio.com


-Paulie

-- 



5 comments:

  1. Quentin - My take on the season is a little different than yours. Given the injury situation (the mid-season loss of Dyer was huge, and Reid obviously can't do what she could pre-injury)I think we did as good as we could. Sure, the UK and USF losses hurt. Syracuse not so much - they were at home, playing for the double bye which we had already secured, and Walz held Reid out. The "less than stellar" performance against Colorado resulted directly from the fact that Hammond didn't make the trip due to her grandmother's death. And there was no "late game fold" at DePaul since we came roaring back from double digits down only to give up an uncontested layup late after a big basket by Reid. As for the "bad" losses to ND and UConn - pretty much everyone not named Baylor or Stanford has similar "bad" losses on their resume - those teams are just at a much higher level than anyone else. All in all a good year so far and hoping for two Yum! wins and a Sweet 16 berth against (probably) Baylor or Stanford.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well Played.

      Delete
    2. It was 80-78 after Reid scored. Final was 86-80. I see that as a game ending 6-2 DePaul run. Call it whatever you want, but the Cards didn't outscore them.

      Curtis Franklin

      Delete
    3. Playing the semantics game, I still wouldn't call what happened at DePaul a late game fold. We played poorly, were down big, made a great comeback and then Shoni made a defensive mistake at 80-78 to give DePaul a layup and a four-point lead. It was free throws after that. To me fold implies that we had a lead and gave it away...the UK game was a late-game fold.

      Delete
    4. Quentin, Coach Walz lost the UK game. Yes the ladies missed a few free throws but if Walz hadnn't slowed the game down, put up another W this season.

      Delete

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