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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Let's Be Friends - Cardinal Couple Thursday

Without Golf there would be no news

Two Louisville Women's Golf teams are competing in the Pure Silk Women's Collegiate Team Championship.  This is a three day tournament put on by the Women's Golf Coaches Association.  Each of the three days involves a different golf format.  The first day is a Alternating Shot format for each two person team.  The second day switches to a Best Ball format, and the third day is a Best Combined Score.

Louisville's two teams are Emily Haas with Laura Restrepo, and Tara Lyons with Katie Petrino.  Haas and Restrepo shot a 67 in the Best Ball round yesterday, for a current tally of 144...you math wizzes will deduce that they shot a 77 in the Alternating Ball Tuesday.  Lyons and Petrino are sitting on score of 149 with rounds of 78 Tuesday and 71 yesterday.

144 is good for 4th place currently, only 6 strokes back from the leaders from Michigan State and only 2 strokes back from 2nd place held by a team from Tennessee.  Iowa holds the 3rd spot.  Lyons and Petrino's 149 is good for the the 9th place.

Let's Be Friends

As I was reading some news articles on one of my 19 devices (it was 18, but I had a new laptop get dropped off on my desk at work Tuesday), I came across an article from the CBS Sports Blog.  You may be aware...we mentioned it very briefly at the end of Saturday's Cardinal Couple Radio Hour show...CBS Sports recently named Louisville as the most successful college athletic program of the year.  This article...go ahead and go read it, I'll wait for you here...is clearly intended to be mostly about Tom Jurich's success leading the UofL Athletic program, particularly from the perspective of Rick Pitino's Basketball team.  While I'll stand and agree with anyone that wants to sing the praises of Tom Jurich and what he's done for the UofL Athletic Department, there was something else in Gary Parrish's blog that struck me.

While talking about what Tom Jurich has built at Louisville, 3 words seemed to stand out to me, "culture," "friendship," and "family."

I'm definitely not an insider of the UofL Athletic Department, but I have been able to see, from the outside, some of the evidence of this culture, these friendships, and the strong family-like bond among many of the coaches, staff and student-athletes.  Jeff Walz is right, too, its not just between the basketball teams.

If you want to see some of your favorite students athletes, your best bet may be to go to other UofL sporting events.  Its pretty rare, these days, to go to a UofL sporting event and not see athletes from other sports there cheering on the team.  Gorgui Dieng and Peyton Siva were regular attendees at Volleyball and the Women's Basketball games and often had other Men's Basketball players in tow.  The Swimming and Diving teams frequently make their presence known at various Volleyball matches, sometimes in quite dramatic fashion.  Softball, and Baseball games present a veritable parade of student-athlete spectators.

When you attend these events, you start to see these familiar faces in the crowds, particularly if you go to some of the events where the crowds are smaller, like Lacrosse...another good reason to go see Kellie Young's team play...but I think more importantly, you start to see that these people are there because they are invested in each other, they like each other, and they genuinely want to see all of the teams and players succeed.

In my mind, this may be the greatest measure of success for Tom Jurich and the rest of the UofL Athletic Department.

We're a fan blog, trying to share the joy and excitement of UofL Women's Athletics, and in doing so, we frequently post score updates, results, commentary about the play of various athletes on the field or court, but sometimes I think its good to take a step back and remember that these young women and men are real people, with real challenges in their lives.  Part of being a fan, then, is supporting these young people as they transition through some of the most interesting 4 or 5 years of their lives.  Part of why I'm such a fan of the University of Louisville Athletics is because of this culture that that has been built.  It makes it extra special to be a fan when you see the Athletic Department doing things "Right", doing things with integrity, doing things with honesty, and doing things in mutual support of each other.  That's an organization, and group of people, that I'm proud to cheer for.

Cardinal Couple Radio Show

Speaking of the radio show, we're excited to get back in the studio again this week, Saturday at 11am on http://www.crescenthillradio.com, after having, by far and away the biggest response and number of listens to our show from last week on the Sound Cloud.  By biggest response, its not even a close contest...less than a week from upload, we've had well over triple the number of plays of our next highest show archive, which goes back to early March.

This week, we'll have the second part of my interview with Head Volleyball Coach Anne Kordes, covering what they're doing now in the pre-season to get ready for the fall schedule of matches, as well as her thoughts on scheduling philosophies and how they're using non-conference scheduling to prepare the team for success.  I haven't heard what Paulie has up his sleeves for the show, yet, but I'm sure it'll be entertaining.

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