MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
-Angel, Atlanta off to 6-1 start in WNBA
-Camps a chance for players to give back and learn
One wondered how the Atlanta Dream of the WNBA would fare with new coach Fred Williams at the helm this season. Things are just fine on I-75, thank you...as Angel and the Dream are 6-1 in the early part of the season.
Atlanta dismantled Chicago 88-74 Sunday in Phillips Arena to go 4-0 at home this season. McCoughtry led the Dream with 23 points...14 in the first half...as Atlanta jumped out to a 34-18 first quarter lead and outscored the Sky 22-17 in the final quarter to gather their sixth win of the season.
A balanced scoring effort for Fred's squad...Erika de Souza adding 16 points and 11 boards, Tiffany Hayes 16, and Jasmine Thomas 13.
"It's defense that is getting us there". Thomas noted. "Turning up the pressure and creating turnovers is the key for us."
In case you wondered how Delaware star Elena Delle Donna would rotate into the WNBA, it looks like she's adjusting quite well. She totaled 25 points yesterday against Atlanta, causing Fred Williams to remark:
"It takes about 2 1/2 players to guard her."
Both squads were missing key players. Atlanta's Sancho Lyttle is with the Spanish National team for the European Championships and Chicago's Epiphanny Prince is toiling for the Russian National squad. No, not a misprint. The Russians.
June is a busy month for camps on the UofL campus for women's sports. Louisville Volleyball just finished one that ran all last week. Jeff Walz's Elite Camp was Saturday and another starts this morning that runs for several days for younger players. Karen Ferguson Dayes' women's soccer camp for the 7-13 year olds kicks off this morning and Sandy Pearsall will also begin one this morning for softballers over at Ulmer Stadium.
The camps, in addition to being great learning opportunities for young ladies to learn the game, also give the UofL women's athletes a chance to teach the fundamentals of the sports and do some coaching.
Karen Ferguson Dayes related to us in an interview we aired on CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO that Chloe Kiefer was wildly popular with the young soccer attendees and that players baked her cookies, brought her donuts and spray-painted her hair during the course of the week last year. Sandy Pearsall will have softball players demonstrating fielding and hitting techniques today at Ulmer Stadium. And watching the UofL women's basketball players busily engaged Saturday at the skills camp was just as big a show as the young prospects.
Shoni Schimmel, prowling the sidelines...barking out instructions for drills and demonstrating techniques. Asia Taylor, head coach of one of the elite teams, plotting out strategy and outlining offensive patterns to her eager charges. Even transfer Janelle Cannon, dashing to and fro on the Cardinal Arena floor, offering a tip here...assisting in a drill there. She seems to have easily fit in with the WBB squad she just joined and her positive, take-charge attitude will serve these Cardinals well.
Perhaps the most heart-warming site was seeing a group of young skills camp attendees following 6'4" Sherrone Vails to the ground floor court for instruction. The thought of a proud mother hen leading her baby chicks on a stroll came to mind...Sherrone grinning broadly and the girls following dutifully with expressions of awe, pride and reverence.
Seeing Shoni Schimmel in dialogue with Sydney Brackemyer on the Cardinal Arena main floor. Exchanging tips and viewpoints. Shoni will never play on the same court as Syd in college, but the passing on of advice, handing the torch down to the next wave of Cardinal WBB defenders was pleasing to see.
Camps. In full swing. And serve. And kick and pass. Who says the college campuses are drowsy and inactive during the summer? At UofL, the bouncing of balls, stomping of shoes and shouting of instructions are in full motion.
Teaching. It's what universities do. It's what camps provide. For the students and the instructors. And, it is in full swing on the Belknap Campus this summer.