TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
-2014 WBB recruit chooses UofL
-Jeff McAdams report on the VolleyCards
We've posted the Tuesday edition of Cardinal Couple rather early today...because we have great news!
.... I've decided to play college ball for the university of Louisville next year 😅😅🙌❤
2014 WBB recruit Myisha Hines-Allen announced her college decision early this morning and the choice is...UofL!
Hines, a 6'2" forward who can play any position on the court, is ranked #4 in the nation at forward and #17 overall in the 2014 class.
Here's the scoop on her (courtesy of ESPN)
" At 6'2", Hines-Allen of Montclair, N.J. has a great set of physical tools. She is a fluid athlete with long limbs that allow her to be a versatile defender and create mismatches on the offensive end. Hines-Allen makes her presence felt on both sides of the ball as she showed that she had more than just natural ability. With her physical tools and a commitment to continue to develop her skill set, Hines-Allen will be a prospect to watch moving forward."
The words above are from April 2012. Fast forward to September 2013. Hines may arguably be the best girls high school player in New Jersey this season.
Walz is getting a good one that will have an immediate impact (in our opinion) when she gets here next season. With Syd Brackemyer, Arianna Freeman and Mariya Moore and Ms. Hines-Allen the 2014 class looks quite impressive, indeed. More to come?
Stay tuned to CARDINAL COUPLE for the latest in recruiting news.
Watch #22 do her stuff in the video at the link below:
You're going to like this lady a lot, Cardinal WBB fans.
Columnist Jeff McAdams has returned from his Nittany Lion
hunt and gives us his recap of several days in Happy Valley.
I had the opportunity, thanks in large part to fellow UofL Volleyball fan John Wieland and his fine piloting skills, to catch the opening weekend of the Volleyball season with UofL playing Syracuse and Penn State. We came away 1-1 after the weekend, and the contrast between the two matches was striking.
In the first match, Friday evening, Louisville came up against former coach Leonid Yelin at the helm of Syracuse. Add past conference meetings to the mix and you have two teams that are quite familiar with each other. The orange aren't a conference opponent for us this year, having already moved on to the ACC, but will be waiting there for us next year when we join.
Louisville claimed a solid win over Syracuse with good execution that exploited...and I'm trying to find a nicer way to put this and failing...really awful defense by Syracuse. The Orange's serve receive was particularly dismal. Though that usually shows up in service aces, UofL didn't score particularly high in that stat category. Syracuse was almost perpetually out of system on serve receive, however, and Louisville's high flying hitters were able to mostly keep Syracuse out of system for the rest of the volleys.
This was a solid win for UofL and was a good chance to see some of the great talent on our team.
Some other brief observations:
- The mostly Penn State crowd was extremely gracious in their appreciation for Louisville, and particularly Maya McClendon, being the little sister to Penn State senior Deja McClendon.
- The McClendon family was able to attend en mass, and were an absolute delight to chat with.
- The Penn State team watched the first two sets, which is not uncommon in these sorts of tournaments to scout, but Deja watched the whole match and was clearly thrilled to see her sister's excellent performance.
- Coach Kordes wasn't kidding when she told us in our interview that Maya could really fly! You'll definitely want to check out her athleticism at Cardinal Arena and the KFC Yum! Center. She plays much bigger than her 5'9" height. But, enough, for the moment, about people named McClendon.
- While we didn't get many (any?) stomps from Brooke "Stomp" Mattingly in this match, we did get a few from our Graduate Student transfer, Randi Ewing and with good reason, she hit .714. Now that's a Monstar stat. Speaking of jumping ability, Randi showed us that she has some serious hops as well. Of course, she does come by it honestly.
- Our already good setting last year, from Hannah Kvitle and Katie George, has been stepped up a notch this year. The back set is definitely in play more often, to Emily Juhl's delight.
- Traveling to road matches gives me even greater appreciate for The Voice of the Cardinals, Sean Moth. The announcer at Penn State did a perfectly acceptable job, but reminds us that Sean is just fantastic.
- They raise them right in Southlake, TX. Janelle Jenkins had a fair match with 6 kills and 5 miscues, but she really impressed after the match, when she made extra effort to come greet myself, John, and our other fellow traveller Brian and thank us for making the trip.
Saturday night was the closing match of the Penn State Invitational, and the outcome wasn't what had been hoped for. Penn State is a monster of team, was ranked #2 when we played them, and has, in the most recent coaches poll, taken over the #1 spot. Louisville has the talent to play with a top-notch team like Penn State, and it showed in the match. Yes, we lost in three sets, and yes, the scores were not particularly tight, but watching the play in the match tells a more complete story. There were a number of volleys in the match that were lengthy and exciting, with both teams playing excellently, mostly in system, and making strong attacks. What led to the fairly lopsided score is that Louisville, with four freshmen and sophomores in regular playing rotation were not able to maintain that level of excellence as consistently. Meanwhile, Penn State just doesn't make mistakes.
Some bright spots from the match include those competitive volleys, some great hitting from Maya McClendon frequently dug by none other than Deja, and Penn State only hitting .247 thanks to some pretty good defensive play from the Cards.
Quick hits from the PSU match:
- A great balancing act by the McClendon crowd, and they were a crowd just on their own, with t-shirts emblazoned "Team McClendon" with one word in red, the other in blue. UofL's logo on one sleeze, PSU's on the other.
- We did get some Brooke stomps this match thanks to a handful of good blocks.
- Haley Pouliezos really struggled with her serve receive, but she was usually trying to receive PSU setter Micha Hancock's serves. Hancock's serving has to be seen to be believed.
- Penn State has an Ice Creamery on campus where they make their own brand of ice cream. They had a post match ice cream social and, ever the gracious hosts, invited the Louisville families and fans to join in. I must say, that ice cream was really good.
- PSU coach Russ Rose came out and spoke to the ice cream eating crowd. While I wasn't in earshot at the time, my fellow traveler Brian was and he related that Coach Rose had some very complimentary things to say about UofL's play and team, including that in his estimation, UofL is a top 20 team, which is born out by his putting us 19 in his latest coach's ballot.
The latest AVCA coaches poll has Louisville rising two spots, despite the loss to PSU, to 17th place. The VolleyCards next play at a tournament in Fargo, ND, with matches against North Dakota State, Northern Iowa and also-getting-votes-ranked Wisconsin.