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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Should Old Acquaintance be forgot -- Wednesday Cardinal Couple



A few things we'd like to see for 2015




As 2014 comes to an end, we've come up with a few things we'd like to see for 2015 when it comes to University of Louisville women's athletics. And...a few memories from 2014.  As the first line of the song Auld Lang Syne goes...Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot...a few things we'd like to forget from 2014 would include:

-- The beatings UConn WBB put on Louisville. A new conference, new hopes and aspirations. We say "bye-bye" to a few longstanding foes in Geno, USF, Rutgers and Cincy but expect that the UofL sports teams will run into them from time to time down the road. 


-- Watching Louisville softball pitching die on the vine at
the end of the season/start of the NCAA Tournament. Beating USF to take the AAC Tournament was special. Getting romped by LSU and Boston College...definitely forgettable. Coach P. has a few new arms. We hope they are strong and accurate ones.

-- Losing to Kentucky in women's soccer, volleyball, basketball and softball. We're glad they don't field teams in field hockey and lacrosse. We'll leave those disappointments in the past and hope for better results in 2015. . 

THINGS WE'D LIKE TO SEE IN 2015




-- A return to the Final Four for women's basketball. If you close your eyes and think about it...it's not that difficult of a wish to imagine. A strong conference run will be needed...but Duke, UNC and Florida State have all shown vulnerabilities and are beatable. Notre Dame is all that was expected...and Louisville must go there to play...but they have their weaknesses.  Walz warns that Louisville will take a few losses in the ACC. Looking at the schedule, I can see four...maybe five. 12-4 headed into ACC Tournament play would be very doable. 

-- Lacrosse continuing the upward climb. 2014 was a stellar season for Kellie Young's crew...the best in lacrosse history. There will be new challenges in the ACC. Tougher opponents and new venues...but this is a very solid, experienced and deep group of stick-holders that will toss that ball into the net. Turn loose the pocket book, Mr. Jurich and build a decent press box and a concession stand out there. Or move the games to the soccer stadium across the street. These girls deserve the best. 



-- Volleyball finding that passer or two and return to conference domination. If there's one sport that felt the lumps in moving to the ACC...it was Anne Kordes' netters. We've touched on it time and time again...giving Katie George a chance to perform her magic as the setter starts by getting her the ball without having her do a 100 yd. dash to obtain it. A lot of the wide net girls are back, though...and a promising class comes in. We may never see the likes of a Caitlin Welch again in passing excellence...but we'd settle for a 90% duplicate.


We wish all sports at Louisville the best of the 2015 seasons that await. We could spend January watching Louisville go 8-0 in hoops. February would be fun if the wins continue and softball gets off to a strong start with lacrosse. March would be marvelous with WBB winning in the ACC Tournament and a strong strut through the NCAA Tournament. April would have the Cards celebrating another Final Four trip and softball and lacrosse atop the ACC. 

We'll stop at April. If Louisville can turn in that strong of a four month performance, we may be in need of smelling salts or a ammonia snap.


Whatever the outcome, it's a great time to be a Cardinal fan. It always is, you know...We look forward to hearing the crowd roar as another ACC opponent falls in the KFC YUM! Center. The celebrations on the lacrosse field after another LAX score. The ping of the bat and watching a Cardinal trot around the bases while we duck for cover behind the left field fence. We also wish soccer, field hockey, golf, tennis, rowing, track and field, cross country and swimming unparalleled successes in 2015. 



From Albiero to Walz...from Arica to Young...and all points in between, L1C4...Cardinal fans... and keep Al Greener's pep band busy playing the fight song after each score in 2015.



"You are a Cardinal. You became one on your own accord. Emulate the Cardinal Bird. A fierce and fearless protector that runs off bigger foes from its territory. Protect your turf. Be the one that they would like to be. Be the one that they fear.The C is for Champions Play like one anytime you take that field of honor. The A is for Academics. You are a student-athlete. The student comes first for a reason. The R is for Respect. Respect the game, the opponent and earn the oppositions' respect.  The D is for Dedication. 110% is what you strive for. The S stands for Success. Anytime you raise that "L" with your thumb and two fingers...remember what it means, and signifies...the proud tradition behind it and your duty to continue it. You are a Cardinal. "

(Author unknown) 

paulie

  

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tuesday Cardinal Couple - WBB Aces Evansville

Basketball Aces Evansville



Jude Schimmel stood out in the last non-conference game of the UofL Women's Basketball season, tying Emmonnie Henderson for the most points in the game at 12.  Add four assists and four steals, all in 22 minutes of play and she was clearly the stand-out player of the game.  The Cards won the game by a comfortable margin of 22, with a final score of 73-51.



UofL took it to the Purple Aces down in the paint, with 44 points in the paint vs EU's 16.  Its good that they were able to get points going inside because the outside shooting was unimpressive, with the only three point shots for the Cards being the two of four contributed by Jude for a disappointing 13.3% team 3-point shooting average. 

The inside game was also evident in rebounding, with a 45-26 rebounding margin for UofL, resulting in 12 2nd chance points vs UE's 1...I'm not sure how you get a single second chance point, but that's what UE was credited for in the first half.

"Paulie...Three is better than two and seven for
eight could be the basis for a new Walzian
theory on the significance of free throws"  
The upside of the shooting numbers is that there was no Walz Math needed to justify the free throw shooting tonight with the Cards going 7 for 8.  Meanwhile, Evansville only hit 29.4% overall, with the end result being a significant improvement over the halftime percentage of 16.7%.

The only other Cards scorer in double figures was Bria Smith with 11.  She also added three assists, a block, and a pair of steals to her stat totals.  Nearly all players got some good playing minutes, with the only players that didn't get double-digit minutes being Sheronne Vails, who just missed out with 9 minutes, and Ariana Freeman who played for the last 3 minutes.

  
Cortnee Walton was dressed and available for play, but some soreness in her foot left her on the bench for the game.  In post-game comments, Walz suggested that her broken toe may not yet be fully healed and will be evaluated again medically.  Walton can play in the Georgia Tech and Pitt games and still qualify for a medical redshirt.

Attendance was listed as 7909.


Overall, this served as a nice warm-up for Georgia Tech on Friday.  Evansville is a good team, though not top tier, but they didn't give up, they kept playing hard even in the face of significant fatigue from a lack of depth.



So...this concludes the non-conference schedule for this season, along with closing out the year of 2014.  With the brand new year comes brand new challenges as UofL WBB embarks on ACC play for the first time.  Georgia Tech comes into the KFC Yum! Center Friday evening, January 2nd, at 7pm.  If you're still recovering from New Year's celebrations, you can catch this one on ESPN3.

-jmca-

Monday, December 29, 2014

Louisville WBB returns to action -- Monday Cardinal Couple



5-5 Evansville visits the KFC YUM! Center



Jeff Walz's 2014-15 women's basketball squad has returned to campus after the Christmas break and hopes to continue the merriment and joy of the holiday season with a win over the Evansville Purple Aces WBB squad tonight in a 7 p.m. square-off tonight in the KFC YUM! Center. 

An interesting nickname, indeed for tonight's opponent. 

The Aces monicker came into play in 1926 after Louisville
lost to the Evansville College Pioneers. The Pioneers head coach, John Harmon told sports writer Dan Scism that Cardinal coach Tom King commented that Evansville didn't have four aces up their sleeve, they had five.



A mascot was created by Evansville Press artist Larry Hill. "Ace Purple"  was a rough, mean-looking riverboat gambler since Evansville is on the Ohio River. In 1977, a fan submitted a revised version of "Ace"...a smiling, friendly looking figure...that was adopted and remains popular with the fan base today. A more modern logo is also associated with University of Evansville sports also. 


The Purple Aces will need a whole deck of Aces to trump the 12 Cards that will take the court this evening. At 5-5 on the season, they hold wins over Austin Peay, Miami (OH), Murray State, Oakland City and Troy. Losses have come to Southern Indiana, Ball State, IPFW (and Don the Mastadon), IUPUI and a 83-39 drubbing by West Virginia. 



Sara Dickey (a preseason all-Missouri Valley Conference selection) leads the way for UE with 18.7 PPG. Mallory Ladd averages 16.4 per contest and Kat Taylor adds 13 a game.

The Aces got 16 from Taylor last time out in a 62-50 loss to IUPUI on Dec. 21st. Evansville is 1-5 on the road this season. They return four starters from a squad that went 15-16 last year. 


In the series, the Cards hold a commanding 10-2 advantage...but lost the last time they face E-Ville...60-58 in Evansville on November 24, 2002. Freshman Connie Neal led Louisville with 15 points in Martin Clapp's final season as Louisville head coach.

The Cards led until 3:20 left in the game at Roberts Stadium. Two Sara Nord free throws tied it late but the Aces got a basket with three seconds left and Louisville mishandled the in-bounds pass trying to send it to overtime. 

Tonight's game shouldn't be nearly as close. The Cards
looked to be back in sync last time out with a 70-57 win over California and Walz will use this one as a tune up for the start of ACC play...Louisville will host Georgia Tech on Friday, Jan 2nd. at 7 p.m.

This one will be available on CARDS TV at Gocards.com...as well as Gocards.com GameDay Live mobile application. Matt Andrews and Adrienne Johnson will handle the radio duties at WKRD 790 AM. 



Ring out the old year with us tonight down at the KFC YUM! Center as the Cards say goodbye to the non-conference schedule and move on to ACC action! 

(Funny...but we didn't hear Coach Walz say anything about $2 Champagne for this one)

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The latest CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO broadcast is up and available on the archived, heavenly SOUNDCLOUD at Crescent Hill Radio. Worldwide carries Paulie early on and the lads recap the latest in Cardinal WBB, look at the Softball schedule and recap the first half of the 2014 Louisville women's athletics accomplishments and news. Link below:

THE LAST CARDINAL COUPLE BROADCAST !!! (of 2014)






Sunday, December 28, 2014

ACC Hoops -- David Watson -- Sunday Cardinal Couple



NO WEAK STOPS -- NO AUTOMATIC WINS


Paulie asked me to fill in for the Sunday edition of CARDINAL COUPLE and it's my pleasure to return to these pages once again.

Ol' Dave has been busy in his retirement.

Chasing white balls down a green fairway, tracking my oldest daughter's field hockey exploits, working with my son's golf game (much to his golf coach's displeasure) and watching my youngest daughter run. And run. 

I admire the dedication in all three. Their quest to rise to the top makes me a proud dad. 

Louisville womens' basketball mirrors the challenges that Abby, Nathan and Celeste have chosen to encounter. Especially this year -- where the old guard (no offense Jude and Bria) is meshing with the next newest and greatest thing. 

It has to be a challenge for Jeff Walz to mix and blend this proliferance of freshmen and seniors -- nine of the 12 currently able to go fall in these two class groups -- and deliver a splendid bakery confection each night. And consider that one of the seniors (Sherrone Vails) played in the 2010-11 season. Shawnta' Dyer would have if it hadn't been for an injury.  Three conferences. 

This mix of young and old is also faced with the advent of being the new kids on the block in the toughest women's basketball conference in NCAA D1. Gone are the pushovers of the AAC and BIG EAST.

Each and every ACC women's basketball team will go into conference play at .500 or better.  

Gone from the CARDINAL WBB schedule is UConn -- that probably doesn't upset anyone. Traded in, though, for Notre Dame. A Notre Dame that led the ACC last year. Yes, UConn handled the Irish pretty well earlier in the season. UConn will handle everyone in the weakened AAC WBB group pretty well this year.

Also back to test the Cards is Syracuse and Quentin Hillsman. This was a fun rivalry when the Cards and Orange were paired up in the BIG EAST. They're 8-3 and losses to Baylor, Michigan State and South Carolina -- three teams that would give the Cards a battle. 

Former conference foe Pittsburgh returns. This isn't Agnes Berenato's BIG EAST doormat anymore. The Panthers are 8-3 and Brianna Kiesel and Monica Wignot could start for any college basketball team. 

Louisville has also had past conference alliances with Georgia Tech, Florida State, and Virginia Tech. Way before the current Walz regime, of course, but Louisville is a just a combined 26-29 against the trio in women's basketball history.

New challenges, new demands. 

Not counting Louisville, four teams in the top 25. A Duke dismantling of Kentucky. Notre Dame at 11-1 and sole loss to UConn. Another 11-1 in North Carolina and the powerful Naismith Trophy watchlist trio of Stephanie Mavunga, Allisha Gray and Xylina McDaniel.

New venues, new opportunities.

January promises to be a whirlwind, non stop Cardinal womens' basketball roller coaster. Eight games -- five in the KFC YUM Center and stops at Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, and Florida State. Five games on national TV. Four Sundays, two Thursdays, a Wednesday and Friday. 

I'm ready. How about you? 


David Watson   


Saturday, December 27, 2014

2014 UofL women's sports in review -- Part I ....Saturday Cardinal Couple



January - June recap on the year that 2014 was -- Part 1



The first six months of 2014 in Louisville women's sports brought a lot of good things to the Cardinal athletes, squads, coaches and fans. Let's take a look at some of the highlights:



JANUARY


-- Women's basketball was in conference play after going 13-1 in non-conference games and a 1-0 slate in the AAC. The Cards swept January...going 8-0 with wins at Temple, vs. Cincy, at USF, vs. UCF,  at SMU, at Houston, vs Memphis and at Rutgers. 

-- January marked the return of Nita Slaughter to the court...hitting the court vs. the Bearcats on January 4th and getting five points in 16 minutes. Slaughter collapsed on the bench on Dec. 3rd, 2013 after playing 3 minutes against Missouri State. 

-- Louisville Lacrosse was voted in a preseason poll to finish 3rd in their final BIG EAST Lacrosse season. The LAX Cards looked to be higher than that to the CC Radio crew....

-- Softball was fighting the elements to get in preseason practice before their final AAC season. Fielding grounders in the Trager Practice Facility isn't exactly skill-building...

FEBURARY


-- Women's Soccer and Field Hockey announced their signing classes for the 2014 seasons. We had no way of knowing then how instrumental the WSOC freshman would turn out to be for KFD.

-- Softball got underway with a couple of warm tournaments out of town. They went 8-6 in Boca Raton, Jacksonville and Ulmer Stadium.

-- Basketball lost to UConn but downed USF and UCF again. They also defeated Temple, Memphis, Houston and Rutgers again. 

-- Lacrosse received a #20 NCAA ranking and went 3-1...losing at Duke but downing Detroit, Old Dominion and William and Mary. 


MARCH

-- Walz's crew took two more losses to UConn, but beat Cincy, Houston and USF. In the NCAA Tournament the Cards travelled to Iowa and knocked off Idaho and Iowa. They returned to the KFC YUM! Center and beat LSU in the regionals.

-- Shoni Schimmel was selected as a ESPNW second team selection.

-- Softball went 12-8...getting rained out in two California stops and weather-cancelled against Michigan but doing well in their two tournaments in Ulmer. Louisville was discovering that transfers Kelsi Jones and Brittany Duncan were every day players and freshman Maryssa Becker was the real deal on the mound.

-- Lacrosse was 4-2 on the month...getting snowed out against Canisius and winning the conference opener at Georgetown 14-13. 

APRIL



-- WBB ended their season with a loss in the Great Eight to Maryland. Three Cards did get drafted in the WNBA, though.

-- Women's Golf won the AAC tournament and qualified for the NCAA regionals

-- Softball went 11-5 for the month...whipping up on AAC opponents but losing to UK twice. 

-- Lacrosse swept the BIG EAST...going 6-0 for the month...7-0 overall in the BIG EAST and got the #1 seed in the BIG EAST Tournament.

MAY

-- Lacrosse won the BIG EAST Tournament and beat Ohio State in the NCAA Tournament before falling to Northwestern in Evanston. 

-- Louisville Rowing sent three teams to the NCAA Tournament. 

-- Softball won the AAC Tournament by beating South Florida but fell to Boston College in the NCAA Tournament.

JUNE



-- Sara Hammond was a winner in the 3 on 3 World Championships. 

-- Mariya Moore and Jeff Walz headed to Colorado Springs for the U17 Tryouts for the FIBA Qualifiers. 

-- Worldwide Jeff had his gall bladder removed and got a grape slushy! 

(Part II to follow...)

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Cardinal Couple RADIO airs today @ 11 a.m.  The guys will be discussing hoops (because that's about all that is going on right now) and recapping the 2014 year. 

Join them at WCHQ 100.9 FM or on the internet at:

END OF THE YEAR BROADCAST


paulie







Friday, December 26, 2014

Five to remember from 2014 -- Friday Cardinal Couple



FIVE PLAYERS TO REMEMBER FROM 2014


As we wind down 2014 -- let's take a look at five players who left some long lasting memories on UofL women's sports during the last 12 months. 

Erin Yenney -- Soccer 

"Yen" was a four year starter and stalwart at midfielder for the Karen Ferguson-Dayes soccer team. Her role as one of the few seniors on a freshman and sophomore laden team was one of guidance, leadership and inspiration. She was second on the squad with shots-on-goal and led the team in shots. Her shoes will be big ones to fill...


Katie George -- Volleyball


The Louisville native was everywhere on the court as the team's primary setter...she was the one responsible for tracking down the Cards less than perfect passing so the Cards could score. An AVCA All-East Region selection, she returns for her senior year to lead a team that went through a learning season in the ACC.


Nikki Boltja -- Lacrosse


The senior scoring machine helped lead Kellie Young's squad to a perfect Big East season and trip to the NCAA Tournament. Young calls her the hardest working, most dedicated player she has ever coached and this year's team will get to reap those skills again this year...as Boltja has been added to the Lacrosse staff as a program assistant.

Alyssa Voelmle -- Field Hockey


The heart and soul of Justine Sowry's defensive squad...Vo
elmle was the guiding force behind the UofL point preventers that took the team to the NCAA Tournament. A key contributor on UofL's corner attack offense, the senior was selected to the First Team All-American squad.


Shoni Schimmel -- Basketball

Fill in your own memories of the four year career of the prolific, dynamic guard. I'll contribute two...shooting the Cards back into the Maryland game and almost putting the Cards into the 2014 Final Four and "the layup" against Griner.

All five were aided by the outstanding team and coaching support that surrounded them. Their accomplshments at UofL will last a long time.




Thursday, December 25, 2014

Here comes Santa Claus (right down Santa Claus Lane) - Elvis Presley







From the staff of Cardinal Couple...


A very merry Christmas to all! 

We appreciate your reading of the site in 2014. As we take this break from the daily reporting on Louisville women's sports...please keep the tenets of this holiday season on your mind and in the forefront. 

Good will, charity, peace, love, kindness, hope and praise. 

And...as you gather with your family, friends or that certain special someone, please also remember -- as the song lyrics suggest -- we are all God's children and equal in His eyes.

A shining light beams down on all of us...rich or poor, young or old, black or white and near or far. Let that be your guiding light as you go through your holiday endeavors. If you believe, you can achieve...and be a good person, not just during Christmas...but 365 days a year. 

paulie

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

2015 Cards WBB Class tearing up the hardwood -- Wednesday Cardinal Couple



UofL's five recruits showcasing in senior year


As Asia Durr, Brianna Jones, Taja Cole, Sam Fuehring and Erin De Grate prepare to enter the University of Louisville as the 2015 Cardinal WBB recruiting class, there's still the challenges of their senior seasons on the hardwood that are drawing their current attention.

We'll stay in the holiday mode Worldwide started yesterday and play the role of Ghost of Seasons future by taking a look at how the Fabulous Fivesome are doing so far. 



-- Asia Durr recently became the all-time leading scorer (men and women) in St. Pius H.S. history while leading her undefeated team to a 55-21 win over Stone Mountain. In true Durr humility, she stated:

" I'm grateful for my teammates because they found me on the court. I'm just glad I could finish. It shows that all of my hard work is paying off "

The #1 ranked 2015 girls high school player in the nation...Durr continues to stuff the stat sheet every time she walks on the court. Durr the blur.... 


Brianna Jones popped in 36 points and grabbed 21 boards in a recent 55-45 win. She's a 5'9" guard that has displayed triple/double capabilities anytime she walks onto the court. Jones occasionally wears a t-shirt that reads "Defy Expectations". So far, in her senior season...she has done just that. UofL has actually had five "Joneses" suit up over the years for WBB. Brianna looks to be primed to be the one that Cards fans will remember.


Taja Cole is averaging 22 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists in her senior season. When Cole was eight years old, the coaches had to ask her to stop stealing the basketball in games and practices. 

"People were looking at me as being a bad person." Jones recalls with a laugh. "I was used to playing against boys and they never took it easy on me on the court. So, I didn't take it easy on the girls I was playing against." 

We'll make sure the Louisville Police Department doesn't press theft charges, Taja...keep up the pilfering!



Sam Fuehring is drawing rave reviews in the Garden State during her senior season at Immaculate Conception for her paint work. The steady improvement from her outstanding junior season has Sam ranking as one of the top three "bigs" in New Jersey. Her domination in both squares of paint on the court and splendid teamwork with junior teammate Jasmine Gee have Immaculate Conception pegged as the team to beat in Jersey girls' hoops. 


Erin DeGrate is owing the paint in Texas high school hoops. She recently totaled 31 points and 14 rebounds and her team is 14-2. At 6'5" she can wreck havoc on an opponent...not only inside, but from either elbow or the free throw line. She exhibits a very soft touch inside which equates to lots of second chance points. 

We may have to change the name to "Erin THE GREAT!" 



The 2015 Class is showing that the #1 ranking bestowed on them is warranted. A point guard, shooting guard, wing, forward and center coming in. Combine that with the eight excellent players that will still (hopefully) be on campus when the freshman arrive and Walz may have to consider "five in-five out" platooning during games. 

The Ghost of Seasons future approves and the UofL WBB future isn't scary at all. The Cards look to be ready to leave a lot of haunting memories in their opponent's minds down the road.


Yes, indeed. The future looks "Boo"tiful, baby!

paulie 




Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Cardmas!

'
Worldwide unloads his Christmas Stocking -- Beware Dry Cleaners in the regional area...




Tis the week of Christmas, tonight is the seventh night of Hanukkah, Festivus is upon us today, and Kwanzaa begins on Friday.  (I think I have all of those right)(Dang it...tonight is the eighth night of Hanukkah, not the seventh...my apologies to any Jewish readers for getting that wrong)

Whatever your religious persuasion, I hope you will join me in wishing the very best for Louisville Women's Athletics in 2015.

In the spirit of the season, I give you my Christmahanakwanzika list for UofL Women's Sports teams.


Basketball


I was originally going to ask for some three point shooting and specifically for Jude to find her shooting touch again, but apparently the team was able to convince Santa Walz to let them open those gifts early.  That can only leave one gift unopened...a national championship.  Anyone care to join me for a belated Christmas celebration in Tampa?



Field Hockey


The holiday season is a difficult time to show restraint, but I'm going to show a little bit here.

After a fantastic start to their ACC experience, the Field Hockey team made another appearance in the NCAA championship.  I have two items for Field Hockey on my list.
  • A better tournament format than 19 teams.
  • An NCAA tournament win.

Lacrosse

Lacrosse, too, had a fantastic first showing in the ACC, but I've got some gift ideas, here.
  • A stadium upgrade.  Dare I ask for an actual press box and a concession stand?
  • As with Field Hockey, lets not be greedy.  How about an NCAA Elite 8 appearance? Though, I have been in Philly in May and its...well...not as bad as Philly during other times of the year at least so I wouldn't mind a May road-trip for a Lax Final Four.
  • 4 more All-Americans.  Kay Morissette and Faye Brust are back, but we need two to step up to fill Nikki Boltja and Monica Negron's shoes here.

Rowing


Yet another sport that debuted in the ACC to considerable success.  We here at Cardinal Couple worldwide headquarters have made an effort to follow the successes of the UofL Rowing team, but its a tough task, so my first entry on the Rowing wish list is to host a home competition.  I've spoken with head coach Derek Copeland, and while its possible that UofL could host a home event at some point, he has been more focused on building up one of the newest UofL sports teams and developing a tradition of winning, meaning they haven't been able to take the effort to organize a home competition for the Cardinals Rowers.

My second wishlist entry for the Rowers is to have more DiTommasos on the team.  Lauren and Nicole DiTommaso are completely unrelated so far as they know.  One is from New Jersey, while the other is from northern Kentucky, but both experienced success this year as boatmates.  I just think it would be fun to have a boatload, literally, of DiTommasos, that are all unrelated to each other and winning races.

My last Rowing related wishlist entry is to get help understanding and pronouncing, "Repechage."


Soccer


They already have a nice shiny new stadium with a fantastic press box, so in terms of facilities there's really not much to ask for, here.

After a bit of a rough season, how about let's ask for some Junior and Senior Leadership for this very young team, and hopefully along with that, we can ask for a winning season record.

The ACC is a tough nut to crack in Soccer, so maybe a Nutcracker.  A Sugar Plum Fairy might be a little out of place at Lynn Stadium, though.


Softball


Another sport that achieved less success than was hoped for.  Our main wishlist item here is probably no real surprise to any regular readers of the site, or listeners to the Cardinal Couple Radio Show.  Solid pitching.  We have several pitchers on the team, although they are all fairly young with Caralisa "Carl" Connell and Rachel LeCoq having graduated, but now we just need one or two to really step up and be the solid presence on the strip that this team needs to really make it to the next level.

Also, how about some nice weather before the season starts and in the early season.  Last year was bitterly cold and snowy right up until the season started, so the team didn't have as much opportunity to practice and get ready to play outside on the actual field at Ulmer Stadium and I'd like this year to not be a repeat.

Swimming and Diving

The Cardinals Swimmers have already met the approval of the ghost of swimming meets past for this year, but the ghost of swimming meets future has yet to arrive.  I would ask that Tanja Kylliainan and Kelsi Worrell continue to put up wins and records for my first wishlist item.  My second wish is to have some success on the Diving side of the Swimming and Diving team.  With a new diving coach, KZ Li, on hand, I hope to have some winning in the deep end of the Ralph Wright Natatorium.

Tennis


We've talked about Soccer and Softball having challenges with lack of upper-classmen, but the Women's Tennis team really takes the cake.  With only a single senior (Manuela Velazquez), and no juniors at all, the bulk of this team is freshmen and sophomores.

So my wishlist is for steady play for such a young team.

Also, maybe Uncle Tom Jurich can wrap up a few new outdoor courts for the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center.  Maybe enough that we can host a major tournament?

Volleyball


  1. Passing.
  2. How about some passing.
  3. Did I mention passing?
After a .500 season and missing the NCAA tournament for the first time in program history (other than a year when it was on NCAA probation, lo these many years ago), I want to see this team get back to their winning ways.  The ACC is a step up in competition, to be sure, but we've had a couple of seasons now that have not had the sorts of results I'd really like to see from this team.  Again, I don't want to be greedy, so how about let's just shoot for a winning record in conference and a trip to the Sweet 16 for next year.  We can start working on 2015's wishlist from there.

Also, how about a whole home slate of matches at the KFC Yum! Center, rather than splitting the season in half with the other half played at the too small Cardinal Arena?



What's on your wishlist for the Louisville Women's teams?  Maybe adding a Rifle team so we can have compasses in the stocks?  (Yes, I added that just so I could get a "Christmas Story" joke in there.  Sorry.)  I'd love to see us add a sand volleyball team, personally.

-jmca-

Monday, December 22, 2014

Hammond, Dyer spark WBB win over Cal -- Monday Cardinal Couple



CARDS SURVIVE SCARE -- DEFEAT CALIFORNIA 70-57



The attendees at the Sunday afternoon Louisville vs. California women's basketball game threw stuffed bears on the court at halftime to support a Christmas toy drive. They probably should have left a couple of the larger ones on the court to help guard Sara Hammond and Shawnta' Dyer in the final twenty minutes. 

The inside duo had 18 of the Cards 28 second half points to lead Louisville to a 70-57 win over UC in front of 8339 in the Haas Pavillion. The win did not come that easy, however...

Cal went on a 8-0 run early in the second half to draw within two at 46-44 after a Mercedes Jefflo three with 14:49 remaining that had the attendees in a frenzy. From that point, though...Louisville responded with a 24-13 run to get their eleventh win of the season.


The game got off to an exciting start...Jude Schimmel knocking down back-to-back threes to give Louisville an early 6-0 lead. After a Mariya Moore trifecta, it was 9-2 Cards and Louisville was showing no ill effects from the sub-par performance three days earlier in Phoenix. 


Shawnta' Dyer connected from inside to make it 18-8 UofL with 11:44 remaining and the Cards took their biggest first half lead a minute later after Schimmel's third three of the half at 21-10.

Moore popped in her second three to make it 28-20 Cards at the nine minute mark and Hammond got into the act with a three to set the score at 35-28 with three minutes left in first half action. The Bears would trim that lead to five with 56 seconds when Gabby Green connected from the deep...but a Megan Deines three (Louisville's seventh of the half) with eight seconds on the clock set the halftime score at 42-34.

The Cards had forced Cal into eight turnovers in the first eight minutes but Reshawnda Gray (11 pts) and Brittany Boyd (seven points) were keeping the Bears within striking range. 

Two Hammond scores in the first 150 seconds of the second half gave Louisville a 46-36 advantage...but Cal narrowed that to two. Louisville got two key free throws from Bria Smith and a jumper from Denies to forge back out to a 54-47 edge with 12:30 to play.

A Moore layup made it 58-49 Louisville with less than ten minutes remaining and the Cards still had a nine point lead after a Smith jumper five minutes later. Hammond scored her eighteenth point of the game to set the Cards up with a 68-56 cushion with a little more than two minutes to play and Louisville held on for the 70-57 triumph. 

The Cards shot 48% in the second half while limiting Call to 21% shooting. The Louisville defensive intensity limited Boyd to just four second half points and six for Gray.


Hammond led all scorers with 18 points and had nine rebounds. Dyer finished with 12 and was the Cards enforcer in the paint in the second half. Schimmel added two second half free throws to her three first half threes to total 11 points. She also had nine rebounds and seven assists. Moore was the Cards fourth double figure producer with 10 points. 

Smith contributed eight points, Denies strong off the bench with seven and Hines-Allen totaled four. Cortnee Walton and Arica Carter saw minutes for the Cards but did not score. 

Gray led the Bears with 17. Boyd was the only other double figure producer with 11.


An encouraging win for Louisville as they take off for the winter break. Cal put together a nice, early second half assault that got them back in the game. Louisville did not fold and crumble, though...and the Cards speed and quickness eventually wore the Bears down as the half progressed. 

Cal head coach Lindsay Gottlieb was prepared to try and
stop Louisville inside. Instead, it was seven first half threes that gave Louisville the early lead and the duo of Hammond and Dyer late that bested Gottlieb's game plan.

On an afternoon where two freshmen Cards returned to their home state...it was senior leadership that guided Louisville to their second win against a top 25 opponent this season. 

paulie