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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tuesday Cardinal Couple - A Sportsful Weekend


A Sportsful Weekend

Lots of Volleyball

Paulie did fine write-ups on the results of the Active Ankle challenge that UofL Volleyball hosted this
weekend.  I thought I would add a bit of color with some commentary.

First up for the Cards was Tennessee State University.  This is a team with heart and bravery, but unfortunately, they just aren't in the same level of play as the other three teams that were here in Louisville this weekend.  Louisville, Cincinnati, and Appalachian State all won fairly easy victories over the Tigers of Tennessee State.  Their fans were gracious and enjoyable to visit with.

To more of the meat of the weekend, then.  UofL faced long-time conference rival Cincinnati in non-conference play for the first time in a decade or more.  To face Cincinnati this early in the season did have a bit of an odd feel to it.

Molly Alvey took over a Cincinnati program that was in disarray and has been slowly but surely piecing together a new program from the shards.  This is an ongoing process.  While Cincinnati was able to win a set over UofL, they aren't quite back into the full swing of things up I-71 quite yet.  The improvement over the past two years is very apparent, but its going to take some time to get the talent level back up to where it was previously...only hopefully this time it won't be accompanied by some of the factors that caused such a turmoil a few years back.  I love this series, and am thrilled that it is continuing out of conference.  I look forward to seeing Cincinnati being an even more competitive matchup in years to come.

The me, at least...of the weekend was Appalachian State.  About the only thing I knew about this program going into the weekend was that they had knocked off Tennessee the previous weekend in a sweep.  Tennessee has frequently been a power in the SEC conference in volleyball, but looking at their resume' thus far in the season...well...its not impressive to say the least.  Despite that, I can say that App State is an extremely good team.  Appalachian State may very well be the very best digging and passing team I have ever seen play.  While they have decent offensive weapons, their strength is in getting digs and playing hits from the opponent that would get to the floor with most teams.  They return the volley, and largely wait for the other team to screw up.  This is a strategy that is very frustrating to watch...and I imagine to play against...if your team is the team screwing up.  Unfortunately its a strategy that has traditionally worked pretty well against the Cardinals, and did again this past weekend.

If you want to see an example of excellent digging and passing, check out this clip from the UK match in 2012.  Louisville won this match in four sets as you'll see, but notice how many shots that UK gets to that you expect to find the floor.  UK plays in much the same style as Appalachian State.

That brings us to tonight.  The latest installment of UofL vs UK occurs tonight at 7pm at the KFC Yum! Center.  UofL is wanting to set an attendance record, which right now stands at just over 5,000...a crowd which you heard in the clip above, as the current attendance record was set that night against UK.  Come out to the KFC Yum! Center tonight to be a part of volleyball history.  Tickets should be available at the door.  There should be no problem getting tickets in the lower bowl, but at this point, you may find yourself in a corner if you don't have tickets already.

Some Women's Soccer

Again, Paulie provided a fine recap of the UofL Women's Soccer game against Miami (OH), but as I did attend, I wanted to add some commentary to that as well.  I'm no expert in Soccer, but both teams seemed to be playing pretty good ball.  There were some errant passes from both sides and occasionally some passes that I just didn't even know who they were trying to pass to, but overall the play was good.  Late in the game, with Miami up 2-1, UofL pressed the attack hard and really had Miami pushed back into purely defensive play, but alas, none of the shots made it in goal.  A valiant effort, particularly in late game, but with so few scoring opportunities, a team really needs to play a full game so they don't get in a deficit that they need to dig out of.  Both goalkeepers protected their nets well.  There are clearly some places where UofL's play could get cleaned up a bit, and we have a fairly young team, so with some maturity, this team could develop into something really great.

The new stadium is absolutely fantastic.  If you haven't been to a soccer game yet this year, you should definitely go and check out this facility.  The newly silo-less view from the seatback chairs is quite nice, and will only improve.  The silos are all torn down at this point, though they aren't all the way to the ground yet, and the site is still quite a mess, but the openness of the area is noticeable.

Lastly... Some Basketball Recruiting

One of the top prospects, if not the top prospect, of 2015, Asia Durr, will be announcing her choice today at 3:15.  Louisville, Duke, Baylor, Maryland, and Notre Dame are considered the final five.  There has been a significant amount of chatter suggesting that she will be picking Louisville.  I'm sure many of our readers will chime in with thoughts on this topic...many with more insight than I have, without a doubt.

A Note on the Title

Google Chrome tells me that "Sportsful" isn't a word.  I'm going to go with it anyway, despite the red squiggles.



  1. For what it's worth, two sites with good recent track records are both predicting Louisville. The general consensus for months has been Maryland.

  2. Sportsful - that is how language changes and words are created. I think I like it better than physicality which is a legitimate word.

  3. I sure hope we can beat out Maryland for Durr. She is an incredible guard.

    Curtis Franklin

  4. I wish that we would leave her alone until she gets a chance to announce as she has intended. I am sure that more than once fans have caused a change of selection by a recruit - to both for and against.

    It is fun to speculate and truly only shows the amount of interest and excitement by fans of UL but I guess I am afraid to put it out there as with her added to what we have, I smell national championship.
    Go Cards!

    1. Recruiting speculation on choices is perfectly normal. One would seriously doubt that fans wanting a player to come to a school would affect a decision by a player. Name me an instance.


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