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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Alex Wilharm promoted to Associate Head Volleyball Coach -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


If you have ever attended a Louisville Volleyball game over the past four years, chances are you've seen Alex Wilharm. Towering over six feet, a shock of bright red hair and patrolling the sideline with the frequency and intensity of his head coach Anne Kordes...Alex isn't just another face in the crowd or body on the sidelines. 

He arrived at Louisville in 2011 as a volunteer assistant. Fresh from graduating from Clarke University in Iowa, he had been the Male Athlete of the Year and led the Crusaders to the NAIA national finals in Volleyball. The school is similar to Bellarmine here locally...a small liberal arts Catholic university with it's roots in Dubuque. The son of a high school Volleyball coach...he got his feet wet in the coaching pool while in college...working with club teams and even coaching the women's team his senior year at Clarke in the fall before playing for the men's team in the spring.  

He moved quickly through the UofL ranks...starting as a volunteer assistant coach and now as an associate head coach. Earlier this year he was named as one of The American Volleyball Coaches Association Thirty Under 30 award recipients. The honor recognizes up-and-coming coaching talent at all levels of the sport.  

Louisville will probably not be the last stop for Alex. Under the careful tutelage and learning experiences from Anne Kordes...there will be head coaching possibilities down the road. He's known as an excellent recruiter...being a part of bringing three Top 25 classes to Louisville. 

Bright skies ahead for the Iowa native as Louisville prepares to get the 2016 season underway with a trip to Bowling Green, OH to participate in the Hampton Inn Bowling Green Tournament. The Cards will get in three games in two days on the Falcon campus in the Stroh Center starting tomorrow. 

Louisville will face Oakland at 10 a.m. Friday to kickoff the action. As my co-host on THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR pointed out to be Saturday, this is not the Al Davis, John Madden, Fred Bilitnekoff band of Raiders from the Bay's the Horizon League Golden Grizzlies from Rochester, MI. Worldwide is attending the events and will have reports on our Saturday morning show about the games vs. Oakland and the Friday 4:30 p.m. match-up against Virginia Commonwealth. The Wide Net Cards will also take on host Bowling Green on Saturday.

Oakland went 18-13 last year and is expected to contend for the Horizon League title this season with five starters returning. Bowling Green struggled through a 7-22 year in 2015 and is a part of the MAC Conference. VCU ended last year with a 14-17 record and plays in the CAA. 

Not top notch, stellar competition for the Louisville Wide Netters...but a great chance to test a young team's skills on the road early in the season. We'd be surprised if the Cards lose a set in any of the three matches...but all three opponents could add a significant feather to their cap by knocking off the #23 squad in the nation early on. 

Fall sports. They're here and coming rapid fire at us now. 

Besides Volleyball..we have Field Hockey (at IU) and women's soccer (vs. UAB) on tap Friday also. Plenty of chances to get out and cheer on the Red and Black! Next week gets even crazier...but don't fret...your Cardinal Couple tour guides are here to navigate you through it all. 

Seats upright, tray's locked...prepare for takeoff, fans! 



  1. From what you and others have written it looks like volleyball leadership will come from Jenkins, Clark and Sauer this season. Am I missing anyone?

    Curtis Franklin

    1. No one obviously is going to replace Katie George and those three you mentioned were at the Fall Sports Media Day but I'll acquiesce to WorldWide for his knowledgeable reply here.


    2. Jenkins, Clark, and Sauer will definitely take on some leadership. I expect to see the most from Janelle, but the others will be helpful as well. I would also add Eleni Georgiafandis into that mix. You may not see her on a court a great deal, but probably more than last year, and I do expect to see some sideline leadership in much the same style that we saw from Courtney Robison her senior year.

      I've been saying that Leni is a senior, but I realized when I was at the Red & Black Scrimmage that she is only a junior, so we get her for another year after this one.

  2. Paulie, 55% of UK roster is in state. We reach to our 15th player on the roster to find an in stater. Shows difference in recruiting styles I guess.
    My question is prior to UK recent UK player implosion would you agree Walz was outgunned by Matt for Guv when it came to in state recruits UNLESS they hailed from inside Loo ah vul? Aside from Slaughter, Mo and Tia by transfer who did Walz beat out Mitchell for?
    Mitchell out recruited Walz mercilessly in state whenever they went after same players until this summer. It would not haved changed this summer either if Mitchell wasn't such a goof

    1. I like replying to my own comments. I should add not being from Ky I was not aware of the 85% geographical disadvantage Walz was facing in recruiting and he never was able to break the Guv's choke hold until the Guv did it for him in recent months. This is a huge breakthrough the last two recruits and they still weren't easy.

    2. Paulie is Etown Cards or Cats country?
      Or Notre Dame if it's a top 10 player they want. Hard reality they raid state and get whoever they want. The Natalie kid from near Lexington few years ago and Erin Boley. That's why they are soars to beat. They can reach into a lot of states and recruit over in state schools like we are beginning g to do just not on ND's level.

    3. Is ND on pg Evans(Gary IN) list of schools?
      How sweet it would be to pull a top10 player they want from their home state

    4. Remember this awful prediction
      Erin Boley going to ND means Cards will not beat ND during her career if she is on the floor and not injured during the game or has food poisoning and plays through it.

    5. I'll point out we did keep Sara Hammond from UK's clutches. Monique Reid was a local girl (Fern Creek). You mentioned Nita. Shelby Harper was a Bowling Green girl who earned her scholly. A couple that didn't pan out were Ashley Rainey and Janae Howard.

      I think it is important to point out that Club ball also has a big influence on a lot of the in-state prospects and Kentucky Premier has had a decidedly "Blue" tint to their allegiances until recently.

      Elizabethtown (or E'Town as we call it) is about an hour out of Louisville and pro-blue for the most part. Actually WKU probably has a larger fan base in E'Town than the Cards do.


      Boley would have been a great catch, no doubt, but Louisville's academic curriculum didn't match up with hers. Same with Rebecca Greenwell.

    6. Rebecca Greenwell did not have as great a sophomore season like I expected. Mistake I make is I assume players will be better each year just from experience. Not the case.

  3. Excellent point on Sara who I totally overlooked and should be tarred and feathered and weakens my argument about the Guv having Walz in a total choke hold. ND academics issue good point too.
    So easy to be an armchair quarterback without all your facts straight.


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