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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday Cardinal Couple -- Recognition for UofL women's sports growing but not where we want it.



TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

-Gains and progress are there. More coming.


It pleases me when friends and associates, even people I don't know...will mention the women's basketball team at UofL when we are engaged in UofL sports discussions. This always hasn't been the case. Maybe it's because a lot of them know I run a website about UofL women's sports. Maybe it's because of the successes that they've had over the past several years...this year, in particular. Maybe they're starting to notice there is more to UofL Athletics than Rick Pitino, Charlie Strong and Russdiculous.

A nationwide showcase of a basketball program that shocked the women's basketball world by defeating the "expected to be crowned Queen" Baylor Bears. A team that backed it up with wins over higher-ranked Tennessee and California after that. A unique duo on campus, both basketball programs in the final four...in the final game.

And, the publicity is wonderful. Deserved and well-earned.

But, we can be greedy here at the Ol' Cardinal Couple. We want more. We want nationwide attention to the incredible play of Nikki Boltja, Kaylin Morissette, Cortnee Daley, Katie Oliverio and their teammates displayed this season in turning Louisville Lacrosse around. They finished the regular season 11-6, you know. We're hoping they get their first-ever NCAA bid on May 5th. A talented combination of freshmen and veterans that have jelled and are commited to working hard every day...as a team.

We want front page news about the Softball success in Ulmer this year. Alicja Wolny, Katie Keller and Taner Fowler. The strong hitting, very solid pitching and Cardinal propensity to "run rule" any opponent at any time. Tied for the league lead in the BIG EAST at 17-2 with Notre Dame. 44-8 overall and facing a regular-season three game deciding conference title set with the Irish in South Bend this weekend. 

We are unrelenting. We think sports shows and sites beside ours should be discussing Volleyball and Anne Kordes' top notch job with the already powerhouse program and the rebuilding job ahead of her after losing Lola, Gwen, Kaitlynn and Tanya to graduation.

We'd like to hear discussions on all 13 UofL women's sports on a regular basis on the local sports show...the regional sports shows and regular discussions...not just passer-by comments when one of them do well.

It's a long, hard road to travel, though. The popularity of women's sports at UofL is (in our opinion) at a all-time high...but a recent "listen in" to two popular Louisville based radio shows produced 360 minutes of air-time and not one single mention of any UofL women's sport.

This must change. We challenge our associates that cover UofL sports in general to step up their game. We are grateful that sites UofL Card Game, Cardinal Sports Report, Cardinal Authority and a couple of others do pay homage and do wonderful work with articles about women's sports at UofL. The official UofL website...gocards.com is also a great provider of news and information on all UofL Sports...men and women. We rely on them for news and information. They never fail us.

We're demanding, though. We want to see more from other sources. The games, the story lines, the players and coaches are there...and there are some wonderful stories waiting to be told. To shared. To be discussed.

Join us, won't you...Louisville and regional media? The water is fine and the action fantastic....the attention is well-deserved and definitely earned. Give the ladies more coverage and props. It is time. It's been time. Spread the word.

We'll be here, and always will be...but we also ask you to let the other sources of Cardinal sports information outlets out there locally what you want. Call them, e-mail them, put it in your blogs, twitters, facebook time lines and on your "to do" lists. Eventually, they will have to listen and provide. Be diligent and persistent in your task. Acknowledge your desires and demand satisfaction.

Thank you!

-Paulie

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday Cardinal Couple -- Softball, Lacrosse win on Senior Sundays




MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

-Softball slugs past Georgetown 10-1

-Lacrosse holds off Villanova 13-10

-Crescent Hill Radio's Derby Kickoff


Sunday was Senior Day for both the softball and lacrosse team on Belknap Campus. Each squad stepped up big to honor the graduated with wins. Here's the results:


LOUISVILLE 10 - GEORGETOWN 1


Louisville beat up on Hoya pitching for 11 hits, including three home runs, in five innings to go to 44-8 overall and 17-2 in the BIG EAST.

The Cards took an early lead in the bottom of the first when Jordan Trimble singled and scored on a Maggie Ruckenbrod double. UofL hitting got into full stride in the second when Taner Fowler blasted her ninth home run off the year to begin the inning. Hannah Kiyohara followed with an infield single and reached the plate when Trimble got her second hit of the game...a double to left. Katelyn Mann made it 5-0 when she blasted a base-clearer deep over the center field fence.

Louisville picked up five more runs in the fourth inning. Mann doubled to start things off. She scored on a Alicja Wolny fielder choice. After a Ruckenbrod walk, Whitney Arion bombed one over the left field fence to make it 8-0 Cards. Fowler beat out an infield hit and came home when Chrisanna doubled. Kiyohara doubled to score Roberts and UofL had a 10-0 advantage.

The Hoyas got a run in the top of the fifth for the 10-1 final score. Rachel LeCoq tossed four innings of three-hit softball. Caralisa Connell pitched the final inning...allowing one run on two hits.

LOUISVILLE 13 - VILLANOVA 10


Lacrosse ends the regular season with a 11-6 record...downing Villanova 13-10 at UofL Lacrosse Stadium.

After the Wildcats scored the first goal of the game, Louisville roared back with a 5-0 run. Kaylin Morissette opened the scoring spree and Nikki Boltja, Cortnee Daley and Monica Negron followed with net-finders. Morissette tallied again to give the Cards a 5-1 advantage with 11:37 left in the first half.

'Nova answered with a goal, but Louisville took off on another run...this one a four-point streak. Coleen O' Malley connected for the first two, Boltja found her second goal and was followed by Daley's second "back of the net" shot.

The Hoyas closed it to 9-3 with a late first half goal but Boltja scored again...almost at the end of the half to make it 10-3 Cards after 30 minutes.

Villanova would make a contest of in the final 30 minutes...scoring six out of the first seven goals to draw within 11-9. Boltja's fourth goal of the game separating two three goal runs by the Wildcats.

The Cards outscored VU 2-1 in the remaining minutes, though...going into a ball possession mode of offense...to get their third straight BIG EAST win.


CRESCENT HILL RADIO ROCKS EXPO FIVE


The annual Raise A Note Crescent Hill Derby Kickoff Concert took place Sunday at Expo Five in Shively and attendees were entertained by the music of Robbie Bartlett, Anton Mink, Nick Peay, Bridge 19 and Memphis Beck...some of the many bands who took both stages in the gala affair. Tara Bassett was emcee for the show.

Sonja and I attended for a little over half the show, alternating back and forth from the main stage and second venue. Robbie Bartlett, despite a ailing voice from allergies, put on a fantastic set...getting the crowd up and in full boogie mode with selections "Play that Funky Music", "Brick House" and "Stormy Monday". Sadly, the short set did not allow Bartlett to perform two of my favorites by her..."Mustang Sally or CARDINAL COUPLE theme song "Change Is Coming."

I got a chance to speak with Bartlett's percussionist Mike Allgeier shortly before the band took the stage. He's a huge Cardinal basketball fans and we discussed at length the incredible runs that both Cardinal teams experienced this past season.

We also got to talk with Crescent Hill Radio station engineer Kelly "Stacy Lacy" Newton and show organizer/station owner Kathy Weisbrod as well. A fun evening of great local and regional music for an appreciative crowd!

-Paulie

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Cardinal Couple -- Softball splits, Lacrosse plays today




SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

- Louisville splits double header against Georgetown

- Lacrosse ends season today against Villanova


The No. 7/8 University of Louisville softball tean split a BIG EAST doubleheader against Georgetown yesterday. They Cards took the first game 8-0 in five innings but fell in the nightcap 4-2. The loss put Louisville a game behind Notre Dame in the BIG EAST standings. 

Louisville 8 - Georgetown

The Cards struck early in the first game against the Hoyas. Jordan Trimble doubled in the first inning and scored on an Alicja Wolny single. Louisville added a second run in the second when Taner Fowler doubled and scored on a Katie Keller walk with the bases loaded. It was 2-0 Cards after two innings.

The third inning brought Louisville their third run. Maggie Ruckenbrod and Whitney Arion delivered singles to start the inning. Ruckenbrod scored on a Hannah Kiyohara sacrifice fly. Make it 4-0 UofL after four frames. The Cards loaded the bases when Trimble singled and Wolny and Ruckenbrod walked. Arion's single scored Trimble.

Louisville broke their run-per-inning trend in the fifth. Kiyohara started the inning with a blooper single and Katelyn Mann's bunt left both runners safe. That set the stage for a three-run homer from Trimble, which made it 7-0. The Cards added the final run on hits from Ruckenbrod and Arion.

Rachel LeCoq was magnificent in the circle...allowing just four hits in the five innings to go to 18-4 on the season.


GEORGETOWN 4 - LOUISVILLE 2

Caralisa Connell was in the circle for the second game and it didn't go well for her early. A double and two-run homer in the top of the first put the Cards behind before they ever got to bat. Louisville did respond with two runs in the bottom of the first.

Trimble singled and Keller got hit by a pitch. A wild pitch advnaced them. Trimble scored on a Wolny sacrifice fly and Keller made it home on a Arion sacrifice fly. It was 2-2 after an inning.

Georgetown touched Connell for two more runs in the second. Two walks and three singles gave GU a 4-2 lead.

The Cards threatened several times to score again. Bases loaded and one out in the second but nothing got to the plate. Scorers in position in the fourth and sixth as well. Louisvile left nine runners on base for the game.

Connell went the distance and gets the loss to go to 25-4.

The teams play again today at noon.  It's senior day and Louisville will honor seniors Katelyn Mann, Jordan Trimble, Alicja Wolny, Jennifer Esteban, Chrisanna Roberts and Chelsea Leonard prior to the game.


LACROSSE ends regular season against Villanova.


Louisville Lacrosse will end the regular season against Villanova today at 1 p.m. at the UofL Lacrosse Stadium. The Cards will not qualify for the BIG EAST Tournament regardless of the outcone...they take the top four (Connecticut, Loyola, Georgetown and Syracuse). The Cards 2-5 in the BIG EAST and 10-6 overall.

Lacrosse will say good-bye to three seniors today...midfielder Katie Oliverio, goal-keeper Danielle Pawliw and defender Janaye Dzikewich.

No word or idea yet on whether a 11-6 or 10-7 record would be good enough for an NCAA bid.




Saturday, April 27, 2013

Lacrosse romps Rutgers...Softball hosts Georgetown



SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

- Lacrosse has all the right moves in 14-1 win over Rutgers

-Softball set to host Georgetown

-Hello Arianna!

-Oh, yeah....we be doin' radio today

CARDS LACROSSE ROMPS RUTGERS


Louisville Lacrosse picked up their second straight BIG EAST win of the season by defeating Rutgers 14-1 at the Louisville Lacrosse Stadium Friday night. The Cards (10-6, 2-5) got a total of nine goals from Nikki Boltja and Kay Morissette in the win...shutting out the Scarlet Knights for the final 52 minutes of the contest.

Morisette started the scoring for Louisville, getting her first goal at the 26:46 mark of the first half. A score from Cortnee Daley gave Louisville a 2-0 advantage with just five minutes ticked from the clock. Rutgers scored their lone goal a few minutes later...but the Cards responded with two straight scores from Nikki Boltja to make it 4-1. Faye Brust, Morissette and Jamie Redding also found the back of the net and the Cards took a 7-1 lead at the half.

The Cardinal defense remained strong in the final 30 minutes, and the offense registered four scores in the first ten minutes of second half action. Boltja accounted for three of them. Morisssette and Boltja scored again to make it a 14-1 triumph for Louisville.

It's the second time Louisville has limited an opponent to just one goal this season.

The Cards will play again on Sunday against Villanova at 1 p.m. It's Senior Day, so make sure and come out to say thanks to Danielle Pawliw, Katie Oliverio and Janaye Dzikewich for their four years of service for Kellie Young. 


SOFTBALL SET FOR GEORGETOWN

After a heartbreaking midweek 2-1 loss to UK in Lexington, the UofL softball team returns home to face Georgetown for a three game series starting today at noon with a doubleheader. Louisville (42-7, 15-1) is #8 in the ESPN poll and #7 in the USA Today rankings. They are tied with Notre Dame for first in the league standings.

The Hoyas come to town with a 19-28 record and are 8-8 in the BIG EAST. They went 2-1 against Providence in a three game series last time out. Georgetown is current fifth in the BIG EAST standings.

Louisville is 6-0 against the Hoyas lifetime and shut them out in three games last year...4-0, 11-0 and 3-0.

Cardinal Softball will also host the MLB Pitch, Hit and Run at Ulmer Stadium after the second game. Girls from 7-13 are eligible.


THE ARIANNA FILES

Thanks to loyal and regular reader Kenny Schneider for this find...an interview with recent Louisville commit Arianna Freeman. Click the link below and enjoy! She's gonna be a good one, fans!

Arianna on the Air



CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO

Lest you forget, the CARDINAL COUPLE Radio Show darkens the airways of the Internet and Frankfort Avenue today. beginning at 11 a.m. In what may be a radio first, Jeff will wrassle an enraged mama Grizzly bear live on the radio. It could be a short show. Thankfully, he (and the bear) have major medical and hospital insurance.

We'll also talk about hoops, softball, lacrosse, golf and other assorted UofL women's sports. Attempts to get Shoni to make a live appearance with Brittney Griner and play one-on-one in the studio were unsuccessful.

Griner chickened out.

LINKAGE FOR LIVE LISTENING!

CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR ON CRESCENT HILL RADIO



-Paulie

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Cardinal Couple -- David Watson takes a look at....Jeff Walz



FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

(David Watson pilots us into the weekend. Seems the lad is still celebrating the Cards runner-up finish in the 2013 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament. As well he should...it was an exciting ride on the Redemption Train.

Today, he looks at Lady Cards head coach Jeff Walz.)


Used to be, when people would listen to me talk about Jeff Walz and the job he's done at UofL with the women's basketball program -- they'd sometimes point to the Cards 2009 success with a verbal asterisk. He inherited Angel. What's he done lately, since she's gone?

We can finally put that caveat to bed. Bury it in the garden. 2013 will be remembered as the year in women's college basketball when Baylor DIDN'T win the national title after being picked by 9 out of every 10 people who pretend to know a little something about the game -- because a color-blind, stuttering coach from Louisville, KY sent the Bears into early hibernation and caught the hearts and imaginations of probably every fan base in women's college basketball but the Bears, UConn Huskies and Kentucky Wildcats.

That 10th. person resides in Connecticut.

You know UK fans. They still think Matthew Mitchell is better. It was great to see all of them in New Orleans.

So, who is this guy? This coach who has taken a 4 and 5 seed to the Big Dance title match twice in five years?

Meet Jeffrey Jacob Walz. Born October 27th., 1971 in northern Kentucky. I was at my dear old alma mater in South Bend at the time, protesting the U.S. involvement in Vietnam and missed the blessed event. He attended Fort Thomas Highlands High School and was a decent enough basketball player to garner a scholarship to Northern Kentucky University. After a couple of years, he "retired" from the team and freed up a scholarship. The athletic department was in full agreement, according to him. He was fascinated with coaching, though...began at the eighth-grade level and parlayed his success, and the success of his younger sister Jaime ( Kentucky Miss Basketball 1996) into a job with Paul Sanderford at Western Kentucky University...where he coached her as a graduate assistant and got a master's degree in secondary education.

It wasn't in food service management, even though he's been pondering a career working for his friend Geno Auriemma in restaurant operations.

When Sanderford took the Nebraska head coaching job in 1997, Walz accepted the invite to be an assistant coach and headed to Lincoln. He and Paulie made three consecutive NCAA appearances there together.

In 2002, a lady named Brenda Oldfield (now Brenda Frese) asked him to join the staff at the University of Minnesota. He spent a year there, watching her improve the Golden Gophers from a 8-20 record to 22-8. She was named AP Coach of the year, and promptly left for Maryland. Walz went along, figuring he'd tried lutefish and was ready for some crab cakes. They turned the Terps into a national power...winning the 2006 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament.

Tom Jurich was watching. He was faced with the dilemma of replacing Tom Collen, who was offered a chance to go home to Arkansas and tend to the Hogs.
Cardinal fans should have seen that move eventually coming. Collen all but had the Vanderbilt job but because of a discrepancy on his resume..the 'Dores passed on him. Collen "settled" for Louisville. He craved the SEC. He finally got back there. It was great to see him in New Orleans also.  

Never claim to be an astronaut unless you've been one. Or list that you were one of the original Beatles. Collen seems like a nice enough guy. He bears a striking resemblance to Mel Brooks. That probably wasn't on the resume.

You know Jurich. He works his magic on everything. When the 2007-08 season tipped off, Walz was on the Freedom Hall bench -- skippering the Lady Cards.

He had Angel McCoughtry. A junior. He had another talented junior in Candyce Bingham. A precocious freshman named Dez Byrd was trying to learn how to be a point guard. Brandie Radde was the three-point specialist and the Cards were getting ready for their third season in the BIG EAST. Walz's inaugural team posted another 10-6 conference record, third in a row, and went 26-10. They made it to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. They also cracked the top 15 in attendance in WBB college ball, with 6500 fans a game watching McCoughtry magic.

We all know what happened in 2008-09.

He is now preparing for his seventh season as the head coach of Louisville. He is at 148-65 in his time at the corner of Cardinal Blvd. and Floyd Street and five wins away from becoming the leader in career wins for the Lady Cards program. It took Bud Childers eight years to get to 152. Against decidedly weaker competition.

Others are noticing. Tennessee considered making the call before elevating Holly Warlick. Ohio State rang the doorbell. There will be more inquiries and calls. It happens.

People want the best they can get.

Walz is a shooting star. He handles it with style -- unafraid to display his wonderfully sarcastic sense of humor in pressure situations.

He answers his own phone and returns his own e-mails and texts.

For now.

That he does that speaks volumes for the man. Paulie told me of a story recently where he was trying to get an on-line interview with Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb after the Bears made the Final Four. He sent an e-mail to Ms. Gottlieb. He got a reply from an assistant intern, stating the the coach would love to do something like that. Would, in fact, reply that very evening. Paulie's still waiting for that reply. From either Gottlieb or the assistant intern. Or anyone in California.

Walz has sent two assistants to head coaching jobs. His college kids graduate and (although some do transfer) are taught life lessons about what to expect when their playing days are over. They stay in touch. They appreciate, eventually, what he teaches them.

So, how do you keep a shooting star in your galaxy?

Money helps. Filling the seats in the KFC YUM Center couldn't hurt. It's more than that, though.

There is the love of the campus, the city. He has the best boss in the business in Tom Jurich. He gets to watch Rick Pitino practices and play golf with him. And, he gets good seats for the Kentucky Derby. He even likes most of the local media guys. Think you can get that in New England or Knoxville?

Geno's job for him -- of busing tables and hauling trash -- may have to wait a very long time. Which begs the question...when the "man" steps down eventually in Hartford, does the "mad scientist" get the phone call?

Only Jeff Walz can answer that. For now, the challenge awaits of facing his pal for a season in a league where UConn and UofL look to be the exacta pick. Then, to battle against the ACC.

Jeff Walz will take it all in stride. From being the uninvited party crasher who ruined the dance -- his destiny will most likely turn out making him the honored guest at the coronation. And, he'll deadpan that, as well.

I've never met the man. Through Paulie's site here and on-line clips, though -- I feel I've known him for years. I'll probably never meet him -- my days of travelling 3 1/2 hours to watch Louisville WBB games are about to end. It's an age thing, and with this wonderful thing called the internet, I can follow the Lady Cards' successes in the comfort of my recliner. I may even start a checkered shirt collection.

I'll never match him in air miles. Every flight attendant at Southwest is probably on a first-name basis with him. I bet he gets two packages of peanuts or crackers. He probably never loses a piece of luggage.

Keep it up, Coach. These are fun days. When's the first game, again?

-David Watson


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday Cardinal Couple

( Jeff McAdams jumps in for today's CARDINAL COUPLE. He reviews Louisville's heart-breaking loss in softball to the Cats, talks about radio, rankings, volleyball and more! WELCOME to UofL's latest 2014 WBB commit... Arianna Freeman. Cards rollin', get on board! )

 

Softball Drops a Heartbreaker in Lexington

What a difference 80 miles makes.

On a chilly night, April 3rd, Louisville Softball beat Kentucky 5-1 at Ulmer Stadium here in Louisville.

Last night, again a chilly night, Kentucky got their revenge with a 2-1 victory over the visiting Cardinals in Lexington.

A pitcher's duel for most of the game, it wasn't until the later innings that the bats got going at all from either dugout.  It wasn't until the bottom of the 6th that UK scored a run on a bases-loaded, two outs, wild pitch.  Leading off the top of the 7th, Taner Fowler evened it up with a home run shot to left field.  The Cards were able to load the bases after that, but weren't able to get anyone home.

After six pretty good innings of pitching by Rachel LeCoq, I'm sorry to say we were visited by Caralisa "Bad Carl" Connell.  After allowing a single, following it up with a wild pitch where the runner advanced to 2nd, and then two walks, LeCoq re-entered the game to a bases-loaded, one-out situation.  A single up the middle scored the runner from 3rd and ended the game.

Credit to Kentucky's freshman pitcher Kelsey Nunley who did a great job of shutting down Louisville's bats.

The Cards come back for the typical Saturday, noon and two double-header; Sunday, noon third game; series against Georgetown at Ulmer Stadium.  I don't envy the Hoyas, coming in to play Louisville after a loss.

The forecast currently is calling for a small chance of rain with temps in the mid-to-upper 60's.

Did You Know We Have a Rowing Team?

Not many Louisville fans do.  I admit that I generally do a much better of job of following the team
sports than I do more individual effort sports like Golf, Tennis, Swimming and Diving, and Rowing; but like so many sports at UofL, our Rowing team is making a good showing of themselves on the national stage.

Despite not having any truly "home" events, by which I mean nothing closer than a two hour drive away (and even that is only once you get to the NCAA championships in Indianapolis), and not having great waterways to practice on (I suspect the mighty Ohio isn't exactly the ideal practice facility...but their boathouse, just down from Tumbleweed, is very nice indeed), our Louisville Rowing squad has achieved a ranking of 18 in the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA)/ US Rowing Coaches Poll.

I know less about rowing than I do about Lacrosse, but the regional breakdowns of rankings seem to put Louisville in good standings as well, with an overall 2nd place in the South Region, as well as 2nd place spots for our first Eights team and our Fours team, and a 4th ranking for our second Eights team.

The Varsity Eights team was also selected as the Big East Boat of the Week after an impressive showing over the weekend in Clemson South Carolina.  The Varsity Eights crew consists of Ellen Fawcett, Darya Marchanka, Hannah Ritter, Erin Bennett, Amy Van Syoc, Kara Savegnago Katya Monchenko, Morgan Dunham and Sam Sinnett.  Yes, that was nine names...Ellen Fawcett is the coxswain.

The head coach of the Louisville Rowing Program is Derek Copeland.  Derek is in his first year as head coach, and was an assistant coach for the team for the two previous years.

Speaking of National Rankings

While we here at the Cardinal Couple mostly focus on women's athletics at UofL, we do support all athletics at UofL.

I got in a Facebook comment thread the other day that got me to thinking about the overall success of our Athletics programs, both men and women.  I mentioned this tidbit in the thread and thought I'd share it here as well.

For the 2012-2013 academic year...of the 10 team sports that UofL fields teams for (see the previous section for my acknowledgement that I don't follow "individual" sports very well)...Football, Men's and Women's Soccer, Field Hockey, Volleyball, Men's and Women's Basketball, Lacrosse, Softball and Baseball...every one them has achieved a national ranking for at least a portion of their season.

(Editor's note)...The recent successes of Louisville basketball have given the University unprecentented attention and praise...but, as Jeff mentions...CARDINAL ATHLETICS is so much more than that. If there is a better athletic program, all-encompassing...than the University of Louisville...show it to me. And to think the BIG 12 chose West Virginia? A blessing in disguise...the Cards will go on to acheive GREAT things in the ACC,  just like they've done in the BIG EAST. Cream rises to the top every time.

Cardinal Couple Radio Show

The Cardinal Couple Radio Show, on Crescent Hill Radio, should be back to nearly a full cast this
week.

Last week, I travelled to Bowling Green to catch the last of the spring play for UofL Volleyball, but will be back in the studio this week with our usual cast of zany characters.

There is one person that hasn't made it into the studio, though...and that is you.  Tweet at @CardCoupleRadio any questions or comments that you have about the show and we'll do our best to respond.  I do monitor this twitter account while we're on air, so feel free to tweet at us during the show and you'll likely get a shout-out...and if you're really lucky, a coherent response...on the air.  Of course, any questions or comments that you may have before or after the show are welcome as well.

FREEMAN "FEELS THE LOVE" and COMMITS TO LOUISVILLE

Paul VI Catholic junior guard ALL-MET Arianna Freeman committed to Louisville on Wednesday afternoon, won over by the fact that the Cardinals coach Jeff Walz attended all of her games at the Nike Boo Williams Invitational over the weekend and then flew in for an open gym at Paul VI on Tuesday.

"It was the love. Coaches can want you and say come to our program, but it's all about who shows up. When I have an 8 a.m. game and I look and see the head coach in the stands, he (Walz) was the only head coach of the schools in my top four who was there. Just the love. A coach can't fake love." --ARIANNA FREEMAN

Freeman de-committed from West Virginia last month. Other schools she was considering were Kentucky, Tennessee and Penn State.

The 5'11" junior was the leading scorer and rebounder for Paul VI this past season (29-5). After calling Walz and his staff from the Washington, D.C. area Paul VI athletic office Wednesday afternoon to announce the commitment, Freeman and her mother, Veronique, had a moment to themselves.

"Me and my mom took a whiff of fresh air and let our hair down and started doing a little dance. It was a little weight off my shoulders."

We have no doubts that when Freeman gets here for the 2014-15 season, Cardinal WBB fans will join in the chorus line. This is a huge one for Louisville WBB and Walz, kiddos.

-Jeff McAdams

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Basketball recruiting


WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

(Jenny O'Bryan with the Wednesday CARDINAL COUPLE edition. She looks at one of her favorite areas of college basketball -- recruiting. )




Louisville Women’s Basketball made it’s second appearance in the National Championship game in just 5 years.  Coach Walz took a team in 2009, with the likes of Candyce Bingham and Angel McCoughtry, to the Championship game. 

But, Coach Walz inherited those players.  All of this current team was recruited by Walz.  That legitimizes (in case you needed convincing) that Louisville Women’s Basketball and Walz belong in the conversation of basketball programs.  This team, a team blistered with injuries for the last two years, and who sat 3, sometimes 4, would-be starters due to injuries much of the season, made it to the Championship Game.  

The Cardinals were the talk of the post season.  With a program-changing win over Baylor, equally impressive wins over Tennessee and Cal, Coach Walz and his Cardinals were the buzz in the post season.  As well they should have been!

Every time you tuned in to post season basketball commentators were talking about the game planning of Coach Jeff Walz and crew.  Dubbed the “Mad Scientist” on the sidelines our beloved Coach was talked about incessantly.  Let me tell you folks, you cannot buy that kind of publicity. 

The recruiting boon for Louisville Basketball started happening after the 2009 Championship game.   The recruiting class of 2009 was in the books, but the class of 2010 had the 2009 run on their mind.  Need I remind you of the young women who entered campus in the Fall of 2010?  The class was highlighted by Shoni Schimmel, the highest ranked recruit to ever don a Louisville uniform, ranked at #8 coming out of high school.  I cannot seem to lay my eyes on the rank of the class, but I believe it was in the top 4 in the country.  The following year Bria Smith, Sara Hammond and Jude Schimmel arrived on campus.  Smith also ranked #8 in her class, matching the highest ranked recruit to ever play for Louisville Women’s Basketball. 

The class of 2013 is all but in the books.  We have a lot of great recruits to look forward to joining this team next year.  Even more exciting, is that for the great recruits we do have, we were in the final 2 for the #1 recruit in the nation, Mercedes Russell.  We were in the top 3 of #4/5 ranked player in the country Becca Greenwell.   This was 4 years past the 2009 Championship Game and top recruits in the country were very seriously considering Louisville Basketball for their destination. 

While Coach Walz and Company did not snag those top recruits, it is important that they were in it to the final stages with those kids.  I think the day where Schimmel and Smith are the highest ranked recruits to play for Louisville Basketball is about to come to an end. 

With this post-season run and the phenomenal accomplishments of the entire Athletic Department, Louisville has secured itself as a destination for elite athletes.  I, without a doubt, believe this. 

My intent of this article was to talk about names that are being mentioned as potential recruits.  As I sat down to write it though, I ran across this very nice article by Jody Demling at CARDINAL AUTHORITY.   I am going to just point you to his article to read about the names being mentioned.  Of the kids he mentions I am hearing a LOT of chatter about Ariana Freeman, Jasmine Lumpkin and Kelsey Mitchell.    My intent was to profile those 3 kids in-depth, but that can wait ‘til next week.
 
Enjoy the read:
 
CARDINAL AUTHORITY 

-Jenny O'Bryan

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(Editor Note...Louisville women's golf did finish second to Notre Dame in the BIG EAST Championships and softball (weather permitting) heads to Lexington today for battle with the 'Cats. Last we heard...it was a 6 p.m. start and was to be televised on Fox Sports South.)

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday Cardinal Couple -- Golf second after Day 2...Bingham hired by WKU



TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

- Louisville women's golf one stroke from lead

-Candyce Bingham hired as assistant at WKU

The University of Louisville women's golf team remains in the hunt for the BIG EAST Championship at Reunion Resort in Orlando, FL...one stroke behind Notre Dame after 36 holes in the three day meet. Sophomore Emily Haas leads all golfers with a two round total of 140...which included a sizzling 68 on Monday.

The Cards led by five after Sunday's action but Notre Dame turned in a impressive team score of 285 on Monday to take the lead by one stroke. Two round totals have the Irish at 579 and Louisville at 580.

Besides Haas' 140, Katie Petrino is in fifth with a 145...firing a 74 Monday. Laura Restrepo and Tara Lyons are in the top ten...Restrepo (147) is tied for seventh and Lyons tied for tenth (148). Senior Candice Wiley is tied for 37th. at 160.

Behind the Irish and Cards are Cincinnati (602), Seton Hall (603), St. John's (605), South Florida (612), Georgetown (614) and Rutgers (622).

After today's action, the Cards will await regional assignment in the NCAA Tournament. Based on their late season successes, they are a squad to be respected and feared.

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Candyce Bingham, a member of Louisville's 2009 National Finalist team as a player and 2013 squad as a staff member, has joined the Western Kentucky University women's basketball staff as an assistant coach.

Bingham joins head coach Michelle Clark-Heard and assistants Greg Collins and Margaret Richards. Collins was a former assistant at UofL under Tom Collen. Richards worked on the Cardinal staff.


After playing pro ball overseas, Bingham took the head coaching job at Fern Creek High School in 2011. She won eight games for the Creekers despite having a inexperienced squad with only one player having major varsity experience. Bingham reunited with Coach Walz in the 2012-13 season as a graduate assistant.

Bingham was a fixture at UofL practices, press conferences and other functions at UofL this past season. While she was performing her duties here, former Lady Card Laura Terry had the same role for Clark-Heard in Bowling Green last season.

After garnering All-State honors at Louisville Manual High School, Bingham played her first two years of college ball for Kevin McGuff (now Ohio State head coach) at Xavier. She transferred to Louisville and played two years for Walz.

The 2008-09 Lady Cards, led by her and Angel McCoughtry, posted a 34-5 record...Bingham averaging 12.5 ppg and 7.3 rebounds. Collectively, they were known as "Mom" (Bingham) and "The Crazy Aunt" (McCoughtry).

Best wishes and good luck to "C.B." in Bowling Green! With so many Louisville connections on the staff, we may just have to start calling the Lady Toppers "Louisville-South" or the University of Louisville at Bowling Green!

-Paulie

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday Cardinal Couple -- Softball, Lacrosse get wins... Golf leads in BIG EAST




MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

-Softball victorious over Villanova

-Lacrosse defeats Bearcats

-Golf leads BIG EAST Championships

-Rowing gets win in Clemson Regatta


A busy Sunday in Louisville women's sports...with four squads engaged in action. Let's get to the action!

Louisville 8 - Villanova 1


UofL's softball sluggers improved to 15-1 in the BIG EAST with a 8-1 trouncing of the Villanova Wildcats in Philly Sunday. The Cards maintained a share of the lead in the BIG EAST conference race with the win and also secured a spot in the BIG EAST championship tournament by knocking off VU. The Cards have now won 15 games in a row.

The teams battled in a scoreless affair for three innings before the Cardinal bats got untracked. Louisville opened the fourth inning with Whitney Arion receiving a base on balls. She was safe at second when Hannah Kiyohara reached on a grounder. Kayla Soles drove Arion home with a single to left and Katelyn Mann filled the bags full of Cardinals after getting hit by a pitch from 'Nova starter Kate Poppe. Katie Keller's single plated two more Cardinal runs and Jordan Trimble's base hit made it 5-0 UofL.

Villanova countered with a run in the fifth and had the bases loaded against starter Caralisa Connell with no outs....but Rachel Le Coq entered the game and got the next batter to line out to Arion, and then forced a ground ball double-play to get the Cards back to the dugout with no further damage.

Louisville added their final three runs in the sixth. Mann and Keller singled and Trimble's double returned Mann safely home. Alicja Wolny's single drove in Keller and Trimble...giving the Cards the 8-1 lead and eventual win.

Carl gets the "W"...going to 25-2 on the season. She went 4.1 innings and allowed the lone run on four hits. Rachel Le Coq picks up the save with 2.2 innings of one-hit pitching.

The Cards travel to Lexington on Wednesday to face The University of Kentucky.

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Louisville Lacrosse got back on the winning track by defeating Cincinnati 18-10 Sunday at the UofL Lacrosse Stadium. The Cards struck early with a 4-0 offense attack to begin the game. Goals from Colleen O'Malley, Nikki Boltja, Cortnee Daley and Monica Negron in a dizzying 180 seconds propelled the Cards to a comfortable lead after four minutes had passed with no scores.

After UC pushed a goal past Ashley Herbst, Louisville responded with a three-goal streak...O'Malley getting her second score of the day, Boltja also finding net and Jamie Redding pushing the Cardinal lead to 7-1.

The Bearcats managed two goals in the final 10 minutes of first half play to send the teams to halftime with Louisville enjoying a 7-3 lead.

The action picked up in the second half. Scores from Daley and Laura Patterson gave UofL a 10-4 lead. UC responded with two goals within 20 seconds of each other to cut the Cards' lead to 10-6. Louisville responded with a three-goal run, though...Patterson, Kaylin Morissette and O'Malley all scoring to make it 13-6 Cards.

UC went on a run after that, their three-goal run had them within four at 13-9. Louisville was able to outscore UC 5-1 the rest of the way, though...Morissette, Botja and a couple of Faye Brust goals ensured the eight-point Cardinal win.

Louisville is now 9-6 and got their first BIG EAST win of the season.

The teams gathered at midfield before the game for a moment of silence to honor the tragedy in Boston and also the passing of a member of the Cincinnati womens' lacrosse family.

Louisville stays home to play their next two. Rutgers comes in Friday for a 5 p.m. contest and the Cards end the regular season on Sunday when Villanova visits.

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Louisville women's golf leads the BIG EAST Tournament at Reunion Resort in Orlando, FL. after one round. The Cards fired a -1 under par 287 to take a seven stroke lead over Norte Dame after 18 holes Sunday.

Four Cards golfers are in the top ten scorers. Tara Lyons and Katie Petrino are tied for second place with a 71. Emily Haas carded a 72 and Laura Restrepo fired a 73.

St. John's Harin Lee leads the pack with a 70.

Seven BIG EAST teams are participating. After Notre Dame (294)...Seton Hall (301), St. John's (302), Cincinnati (304) Rutgers (304) USF (305) and Georgetown (305) make up  the first day order of finish.

They tee off day two today, beginning at 8 a.m.

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#18 Cardinal Rowing took a big win in the Clemson Regatta Sunday in Day 2 of action on Lake Hartwell. The varsity eight crew defeated five other competitors (Clemson, Cornell, Duke, Michigan State and Oklahoma) winning the event by 1.2 seconds over the #14 ranked Tigers.

Second Varsity +8 gave a strong fourth place performance also in the activities earlier in the day. 

Because of strong wind conditions, four other Louisville crews competed but the results were deemed unofficial.

Next up, BIG EAST Championships on May 19th. in Princeton, NJ.

-Paulie

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