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Friday, June 30, 2017

Fly Free Louisville Swimmers, Hoops and Radio -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Splish Splash


Nothing seems to be holding down UofL swimmers Kelsi Worrell, and Mallory Comerford, letting them fly free at the US National Championships in Indianapolis.

The event, featuring 7 UofL current and former swimmers is being held at the IU Natatorium on the campus of IUPUI.  The event also serves as a trial event for the World Championships which will be held in Budapest, Hungary.

Comerford won the 100m Freestyle event Tuesday evening with an American Record 52.81 seconds, the first time an American has finished in under 53 seconds.  She beat out Olympian Simone Manuel by about a quarter of a second.  Worrell touched 4th at 53.99.

Comerford also got a 4th place finish 200m Freestyle event Wednesday night.

Meanwhile on Wednesday, in addition to the 4th place finish for Worrell in the 100m Free, she absolutely blitzed the field in the 50m Butterfly, which is her signature event, beating the rest of the field by a half a second, touching in 25.69, which is only about a fifth of a second off of the American Record held by swimming great Dana Torres.

Last night, Worrell did it again, with the 100m Fly with a time of 57.38.  In this one, Comerford, not particularly known for her Butterfly stroke, finished 3rd with 57.97.

The overall event continues through tomorrow.

Same Song, 7th Verse


Brendan McKay, the phenom 2-way player, picked up the last, and arguably most prestigious, of the
seven major player of the year awards in Baseball.  Let me clarify that, he won all of the previously announced six as well.

The Golden Spikes award was announced last night on ESPN's SportsCenter.

To many, this seemed almost like a foregone conclusion, but it wraps up the major awards in a sweep for McKay.

McKay was drafted 4th in the MLB draft by the Tampa Bay Rays and signed with a record setting 7 million dollar deal.


Your Favorite UofL WBB player


We started a poll a few days ago on who your favorite UofL WBB player is/was
during the Jeff Walz era. The response has been good so far and your current leader
is Asia Durr....with 15% of the vote. Agree? Got another? We have 15 choices and even
a "other" choice in case we don't have yours mentioned.

You can vote on the poll on "The Right Hand Side Of The Site."  Let us know.

We'll discuss it and many more things on our weekly radio show tomorrow at 11 a.m.
on THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR . Very special guests Daryl Foust and Julie
"The Bird Lady" Sullivan join Paulie and me in studio...plus Paulie's chat with Sara Hammond.

Don't miss this one! 

-- JMcA

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Cards, IU to face in Women's basketball -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Louisville women's basketball, Hoosiers to face for first time in Walz era.



What scheduling couldn't put together...the Four Letter Network has accomplished. Louisville women's basketball now knows their 2017 opponent in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge..and it will be the neighbors to the north...the Indiana Hoosiers. 

The Cards will travel to Bloomington, IN to take on IU on Nov. 30th. in Assembly Hall. That's a Thursday, in case you are looking ahead, a week after Thanksgiving. No game time has been set yet for the border battle. Last year, the Cards faced Maryland in the challenge and fell 78-72 in the KFC YUM! Center. It may be best remembered for the game that Jeff Walz explained his views on participation. 

Walz has never faced the Hoosiers during his time at Louisville, nor has he faced IU head coach Teri Moren since he has been at Louisville. The Cards last played the Hoosiers back during the Tom Collen era back in 2005 and took a 72-65 victory on Dec 4th.

It was in that game we found out how valuable Helen Johnson could be for the Cards...with 20 points off the bench and we got one of our first looks at a precocious freshman by the name of Angel McCoughtry. The Cards held a double-digit lead late in that one before IU started connecting on threes late in the contest to narrow the score. 


The Cards draw an IU team that will have a little different look for 2017-18. The Hoosiers have picked up Notre Dame transfer Ali Patberg and Pitt departee Brenna Wise...but both will have to sit for the 2017-18 season per transfer rules. They do bring in one of the best in Kentucky Girls Basketball...Louisville Butler's Jaelynn Penn. Penn was the 2017 Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year and also led Butler to two state championships in her career as a Bearette. She's one of four freshmen that will give Moren back-ups and potential key contributor strength. 

IU does return some very familiar faces. Top scorer Tyra Buss (18.2 p.p.g.) who also led the squad with 60 threes enters her senior season. Also back is Amanda Cahill...the 6'2" senior front-liner finished second in points with 14.8 a contest and led the Hoosiers in grabs with 8.9 per outing.

The Hoosiers went 23-11 last season...10-6 in the Big Ten and went to the WNIT. Some thought they might fall into the NCAA Tournament off the fence...they were a solid bubble team. The WNIT adventure did give them four additional games to end the season, though, and they did defeat Ball State, St. Louis and SMU before falling to Villanova. All four games were played at Assembly Hall. 

Teri Moren on playing Louisville:

"This is a really intriguing match-up...not only for our team but for our fan base as well. They are a very solid opponent that will be a challenge in our non-conference schedule...as well as prepare for Big Ten play." 

We did reach out to Jeff Walz to comment on the match-up as well: 

"We're very excited about the opportunity to play Indiana. It's a start to what I would love to see become a year-in, year-out series. Teri's done a fantastic job with them since arriving there and they have a knowledgeable and passionate fan base...so visiting them relatively early in our season will be a true test and challenging match-up for us. We hope our fans will make the trip to Bloomington for what will be an exciting game." 


paulie
xxxxxx


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Introducing Jared Anderson...WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



JARED ANDERRSON JOINS CARDINAL COUPLE WRITING STAFF

Editor Note: 


Over the years...we've tried to present Cardinal Couple as a site that promotes the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports...in fact, all UofL sports. We go for a fan's perspective. And, we've had...and continue to have...some very excellent UofL fans grace these pages with their writings. When we get the chance to add to that arsenal...we are happy to do so and grateful for the opportunity. 

Jared Anderson really needs no introduction to a lot of UofL fans. The recent UofL graduate is a fixture at a multitude of Cardinal sporting events. Whether he's dressed in his one-piece, red body suit (making him the largest "Gumby" in the area) or nattily attired behind home plate in his Cardinal gear leading cheers...Jared embodies many of the principals we see as essential to being a Cardinal fan. A friend of many of the student-athletes and coaches on campus...he's also the managing editor for the website RIVER CITY CARDS. 

We're pleased to add him to our writing staff for a weekly look at Cardinal Athletics through his uniquely spectacular viewpoints and observations. You've enjoyed him on our broadcasts at THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR and we know you're going to like him on our pages here! 

Paulie

***********************************************************************************************************

SUMMERTIME NAMES

Happy Wednesday Cardinal fans! Summertime means downtime in the wide world of Louisville athletics...or so it seems. Some are still making news, though.

Our pizza man John Schnatter, and his football stadium continue the expansion for the 2018 season. Volleyball is moving right along on Cardinal Arena in their total revamp for the 2017 season. 

Sticking with volleyball, Tess "Tickles" Clark and Maggie DeJong are working on a new vlog. Let's hope they keep the videos off of You Tube until the season is over...(silly NCAA and their made up rules). 

Lacrosse announced big news for a pair of recent graduates. Hannah Koloski and Stephanie McNamara find themselves receiving honors on the All-ACC Academic team. The pair join 34 others from the conference who have accumulated a 3.0 GPA during their career as well as a 3.0 or better GPA in the spring of 2017. 

Field Hockey picked up another star for the upcoming season. Marisa Martin Pelegrina hails from the tricky-in-pronunciation hamlet of Mulheim an der Ruhr, Germany. The defender/midfielder is on Germany's U21 team and helped her club team win a 2016 national championship. 


The hot summer weather means we need a pool to cool off in. Our Louisville swimmers just got hotter, however, in the pool and wrapped up day one of the World Championship trials in Indianapolis. Olympic gold medalist and NCAA champion Kelsi Worrell, NCAA Champion Mallory Comerford, Zach Harting and Nicolas Albiero advanced to the semifinals.

Magical Mal took first in the 100m freestyle, topping Worrell and Simone Manuel. The swimmers begin day two today before finishing up on Friday. 

With my closing remarks I'd like to thank Paulie, Jeff and Case for the opportunity to contribute to Cardinal Couple. I hope my sub-par writing doesn't scare them off five months before Halloween! 

Jared

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Sweet Deal --Angel McCoughtry dishing out cones and scoops instead of assists this summer...TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



MCCOUGHTRY TAKING THE SUMMER ONE DISH AT A TIME



If you want to get on Angel McCoughtry's good side...a scoop of ice cream is a good way to start. 

The Atlanta Dream and Louisville Cardinals all-time scorer realizes the importance of fruits and vegetables...but her guilty pleasure and special treat is ice cream. 

"I eat it almost every day...it's my secret! " McCoughtry will confess...if pressed. So, what would make more sense than for the 6'1" WNBA All-Star to open her own ice cream parlor, right?

McCOUGHTRY'S debuted in early June in Atlanta. Located in Atlanta suburb Castleberry Hill....southwest of downtown Atlanta...the shop is close to Mercedes-Benz Stadium...home of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons and Philips Arena...where the Dream play. For this summer, McCoughtry is spending her time greeting customers, posing for pictures, taking orders, helping her staff with customer service tips and...finding time for an occasional scoop or two. 

"It was a hard decision...sitting out the WNBA season. I know though, that if I want to prolong my career, I needed to take some time off for my body. I guess you could say I needed to hit that recharge button. I'm not retired and I believe I have many more years left. I'll be back better and strong for the Dream net season. I just needed a summer to do this and just to enjoy the summer for once." 

In the fall, she'll return to Russia and play for Dynamo Kursk...where she and Nneka Ogwumike led them to the Euroleague title this spring. McCoughtry earned MVP honors and also teamed up with Epiphanny Prince to defeat Fenerbache for the crown. 

As for now...though...in Angel's world...it's deciding between the sweet potato waffle sundae and butter pecan ice cream or the homemade from scratch chocolate chip cookies. (we say both, please...) 

What makes a great ice cream? Most will tell you it's the flavor that is the biggest factor. Fresh and natural ingredients...along with the options of vegan and lactose free choices are available at McCoughtry's.

I, too, have been a huge fan of ice cream since I can remember. McCoughtry's is on "the bucket list" of places to hit the next time I venture to Atlanta. It just might be worth taking a road trip the next time the WBB Cards travel to play Georgia Tech. I couldn't find a menu to pull up on-line and present to you in this article...the clincher for me would be a decent banana milkshake. Locally, SmashBurger....out on Dixie Highway...leads in that category for me...but Dairy Del and Dairy Kastle are definitely in contention for that honor. 


Know of a good banana milkshake in town that I need to get out and try? Leave me a comment or send me an e-mail. I'll go out and take one for the team and see what's up.

Click the link for a nice news feature on the restaurant. It's good to see that some of her Dream teammates are getting over to see her.

LINK: MCCOUGHTRY'S  

Playing basketball, eating Ice Cream...

Life can be so difficult at times...right? 



paulie
xxxxx




Monday, June 26, 2017

WNBA...No surprises at the top so far. -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



As the WNBA rolls into the dozen games played mark of their season, a look at the standings offers no real surprises at the top so far. Atop the standings are the Minnesota Lynx with an 11-1 record. The Lynx came in second in 2016...losing the best of five championship series to the Los Angeles Sparks. The Sparks are, coincidentally, in second place with a 9-3 record. 

For the Lynx, Sylvia Fowles and Maya Moore lead the way...which is no big surprise either. Along with Lindsey Whalen, Seimone Augustus and Rebekka Brunson are also big factors in Minnesota's success...all but Whalen are averaging double figures in scoring...and she is at almost nine points a game. They all average over 24 minutes a game for the Lynx and pose a multi-dimensional threat to anyone who faces them. Only the Connecticut Sun have claimed a victory over them...although the next two games see them on the road in Phoenix and LA and could be challenges. 

The L.A. Sparks have Nneka Ogwumike, Candace Parker and Chelsea Gray leading the way...all above 15.0 p.p.g. and that's as good of a threesome as you'll find in the league. Complimented by Alana Beard, Odyssey Sims and Essence Carson...L.A. doesn't seem to be missing Kristi Tolliver all that much from last year. Tolliver, meanwhile has been one of the factors that has gotten the Mystics off to a good start. Indiana, Atlanta and Dallas have hung losses on the Sparks...but none of these were by more than six points. 

So, have these two become the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers of the WNBA? 


Washington might argue that...along with New York. Those two hold third and fourth places with five losses each. The Mystics have one more win that the Liberty and the big news in D.C. is the arrival of Elena Della Donne. Washington probably has to be wondering what life would be like if they didn't have to play Minnesota...two of their five defeats have come at the hands of the Lynx. Phoenix is 7-5 also...the story there is, of course...Brittney Griner and Diana Taurasi. Griner leads the league with 23.1 p.p.g. and Tauasi is sixth in scoring. 

Out of the other seven squads...Dallas, Connecticut and Seattle are playing .500 basketball. Indiana is close to that at 6-7 while the Atlanta Dream, obviously feeling the effects of no Angel McCoughtry, are 5-6.

That gets us to the doormats of the league...Chicago (3-10) and San Antonio (0-14). The Stars only need to lose six more games in a row to equal the league's worst losing streak...put up by Tulsa in 2011. Welcome to the WNBA...Kelsey Plum. 

Four players are averaging over 20 points per game. We mentioned Griner earlier...behind her are Fowles (21.0), Tina Charles (20.5) and Ogwumike (20.3). Della Donne is knocking at the door with 19.3.

Now that the conference system has been scrapped in terms of playoff eligibility and the top eight teams wherever make the playoffs...if played today, the "odd teams out" would be Indiana, Atlanta, Chicago and San Antonio. 

A pleasant and maybe unsuspected surprise this season has been 6'6" Jonquil Jones and her play for the Connecticut Sun. Jones was impressive at George Washington University during her college days...no doubt...but the second-year pro has doubled her points and rebounding average from last year and leads the WNBA in grabs. 

Morgan Tuck just might find herself out of a job when she returns from injury...


paulie
xxxxx




Sunday, June 25, 2017

Emmonnie Throws, Cardinal Arena Grows -- SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Emmonnie Henderson Finishes 10th


Emmonnie Henderson competed at the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, CA yesterday afternoon.

Henderson finished in 10th place, with a throw of 17.02 meters (55' 10 1/4").  The USA Track & Field Championships is not a college event, meaning athletes can compete even after they finished their college careers.  Among college athletes at the event, E finished a quite respectable 3rd.

We've spoken about Emmonnie's "5th year" of eligibility in the past, mostly on The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour, in talking about Emmonnie's past experiences with the basketball team.  No one really thinks that "E" will make a return to the hardwood, but we overlooked some facts in "E"'s history on the Track & Field side of things.

It's important to note that the NCAA considers Indoor Track & Field to be a separate sport from Outdoor Track & Field.  Indoor is a fall sport, while Outdoor is a spring sport.  "E" didn't start competing with Dale Cowper's T&F squad until spring of her freshman year.  The takeaway from that is that, while her 4 years of eligibility for Outdoor Track & Field is complete, she has only competed for 3 years in the Indoor side of things.  She is also only 4 years through her total 5 years of all sports NCAA eligibility.  This means we still have a fall Indoor Track & Field season where we will continue to get to cheer "E" on as a Cardinal.

Throw 'em far, "E".

Cardinal Arena Expansion


The UofL Volleyball and Women's Basketball organizations are swapping locations.  Volleyball, which has had their offices and practice facilities in the "Little Yum" facility are in the process of moving to the SAC building up next to Brandeis/Cardinal Avenue on Floyd St, while the Women's Basketball program will be moving south down Floyd Street to take up their residence, along with Men's Basketball and Lacrosse, in the "Little Yum" center.

Cardinal Arena has been getting a needed face lift in the process.  The Volleyball program has been posting pictures and short video clips of the work.  The recent pics have started to show how there will be some small amount of extra seating added to the arena, so I thought I would share them with you here.




I'm looking forward to a spruced up arena, just be sure, if you're sitting in any of these end-zone seats, to be alert (because the world needs more lerts...but seriously, keep alert...there are too many homeless lerts already...I'll be here all week, don't forget to tip your waitstaff).


RADIO DAZE

The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour aired another successful broadcast Saturday. Jared Anderson joined Paulie, Worldwide and Case in studio to talk baseball, basketball, track and field and other Cardinal Sports.

The guys also attempted the highly regarded Worldwide Quiz, moderated by Paulie. Yesterday's test was on mascots. As tough as it was, the crew came through in fine fashion...Jared and Worldwide tested out at 80% and Case scored a 70%. They retain their eligibility for next week.

For Euphonium references, the Lord Jeff sequence, revelations on why coaches get tossed from games and a couple of sophomoric Indiana jokes...click the link to hear the rebroadcast:

LINK: THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR 6/24/17

-- JMcA

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The True Summer Slump -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

We knew this day would come. In fact, we have been expecting it for quite some time, and we're fortunate as sports fans to have lasted this long. But now it is real. With Louisville baseball having fallen in their quest for a national championship, Louisville is officially in the summer slump. There are no Cardinals currently hitting the practice field gearing up for this week's game, meet, match, etc. There are summer workouts going on, no doubt, and teams learning one another's ins and outs to get the best on field chemistry they can, but there are no real games on the near schedule. So here we sit, Louisville's "All Sports Calendar" in a barren, compressed state for more than a month. Women's soccer gets it all started on August 9th, but that's away. Even still, by that point, we will have driven ourselves crazy with anticipation of some sort of sportsball.

Image result for zach galifianakis meme mathThere will be content on this site every day, though, make no mistake. We will have interviews, speculations, player profiles, you name it. The Cardinal Couple team will do our best to keep your joy and excitement for Louisville sports high even as the University faces its own rough patches this summer. One of the pieces of content I'm excited to bring you is my statistical roundup. I've never taken on a task like this before, though I have considered it. I want to dive deep into the statistics of our women's sports teams and see where they went right or wrong last year. How they stacked up in conference on advanced statistics, not just the ones that are readily available. This is going to be a project that takes me some time, and I've yet to be able to start it. I am finishing school this weekend, and then I promise to get that excel document started. With that said, please let me know in the comments if there is anything specifically you want me to take a look at in this project. It can be how the women's soccer team's time of possession affected their win rate or anything obscure like that. You name it, and I'll work to address it. This project is as much for your entertainment as it is for my enjoyment of creating it.

I'll keep it short and sweet today. There are many days left to go before a ball is put into play and I can't exhaust all my creativity on day one! The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour is back today, with Jared Anderson once again joining us in the studio. This week's episode figures to be much more cheerful than the last, despite our upcoming dearth of content and the loss we'll need to cover. We've got an hour to fill and I'm sure we'll find some crazy way to do it. Tune into 100.9 FM WCHQ, the WCHQ app, or online at crescenthillradio.com at 11AM to join us. 

Until next time, Go Cards!
-CH-

Friday, June 23, 2017

Drafts and Accountability - Friday Cardinal Couple

Mitchell to Denver, No Wait, Utah


In the NBA Draft last night, Donovan Mitchell was officially picked up in the 13th pick by the Denver Nuggets, but with a trade arrangement in place to send him off to Utah, who was trading up with Denver in order to get Mitchell.

I don't follow the NBA much at all, and certainly not their draft process and prospects, but congratulations to Donovan in heading out to Salt Lake City.  Perhaps he can get some pointers on living life in a city that is less than 3% African American from Darrell Griffith.  The great #35 on the men's team played 11 years for the Jazz.  The demographics of the city have become more diverse over the past 20 years particularly, with a huge influx of Hispanic and Latino population, though the portion of African Americans still hovers around 2 1/2%.

Baseball to Louisville, No Thanks to the Men in Black


Dan McDonnell is a better man than I.  Let's get that out of the way first.  In UofL Baseball's loss to TCU in the elimination side of the bracket of the College World Series, McDonnell demurred on the officiating of the game.  The Cards lost the game 4-3 and will be heading home from Omaha.

Let's face it, the officiating was a stinker.

I will be the first to excuse officiating for missing calls in live action.  Plays happen fast, angles and perspectives play a role in perception of what happened, and humans aren't perfect.  I have absolutely no tolerance for not getting it right when there are good camera angles of the play in review, however.  There are times where the available camera angles also don't adequately capture the action to be able to affirmatively overturn a ruling on the field.  In at least one game-changing case last night, however, that wasn't the case.  In the throw at the plate, the replay clearly showed Colby Fitch putting the tag on the runner's knee before the runner's hand touched the plate, and the officials upheld the out called on the field.  Inexcusable.

Maybe I'm just a bit of an anti-authoritarian in general, but I'm a firm believer that there needs to be some degree of visible accountability for officiating in sports...particularly at the college level.  The officials are the only people on the field of play during play action that get paid.  Visible accountability should be part of that deal.  We expect these rhetorically-amateur athletes to answer questions about their play, win or lose, but the professionals get to walk off the field with no after action report, and no real accountability for their mistakes.  Pitiful.

OK, that rant out of the way...

Huge congratulations to the Baseball team for the amazing season they had.  They outperformed every expectation that anyone had for what was expected to be a rebuilding year for the program.  Dan McDonnell is a class act of a coach, and his team exudes greatness, both as players, and as people.

With so many graduating or going to the pros...one would expect a bit of a rebuilding job for 2018 for Dan and his staff. Funny...the same was said about the team last year after Burdi, Funkhouser, Kidston, Ray and Rosenbaum went to  the pros.


Great season, and I can't wait to see this team play again next year, and some of the players in the pro ranks.

-- JMcA

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Louisville women's soccer continues to bring in top talent -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



EKIK, KERWIN WILL CONTRIBUE IMMEDIATELY FOR KAREN FERGUSON DAYES


As Louisville head women's soccer coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes continues to build a roster that can compete with and beat ACC foes...we've seen some very talented players don the Cardinal jerseys and take the turf out at Lynn Stadium over the last several years. Gabrielle Vincent excited Cardinal fans with her ball movement and hawking abilities in 2015. Brooklyn Rivers, Alison Whitfield and Sarah Feola delighted Louligans with their impressive freshmen play back in 2016. On a team that will have six seniors for the 2017 season....new talent is of the utmost importance and UofL continues to attract and draw good talent to the Belknap Campus with freshmen and a transfer. Nine new Cardinals join the roster for 2017. It's the largest incoming class I can remember in recent years for Ferguson-Dayes. 

Add two new assistant coaches in Andy Stoots and Hunter Norton and we'll be using the program guide early in the season from the press box to identify and track a sizable amount of the 'Kickin' Cards this fall...

Let's meet the new players!

TAYLOR KERWIN. Midfielder.  Her high school senior season just ended in Whitefish Bay, WI and she was named Wisconsin Gatorade Player of the Year. She led her team to the State Championship title and had three goals in the championship game...won 5-1 by Whitefish Bay. 

EMINA EKIC. Midfielder. A Louisville, KY native, she started both games for the USA U19 squad in their recent matches in Europe against the Czech Republic. Out of Manual High School...she was the Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year in 2015 and 2016. 

MOLLIE ROUSE. Midfielder-Center. Mollie comes from the Stratford Upon Avon School in England where she also had extensive playing experience on the English U17 and U19 squads. Known for being a creative scorer...she also has a flair for passing and earned four caps playing in international competition. 

T.J. ANDERSON. Midfielder. T.J. comes out of the Wesleyan School in Atlanta, GA. She was Georgia's 2016 AA Player of the Year. She was a scoring machine in the Peach State...with 17 goals in 11 games in 2015 and possesses a very deep and long throw from the sidelines. 

LANA BATSON.  Goalkeeper. Played at Patrick Henry H.S. in San Diego, CA. A great shot stopper with excellent footwork, she's also 5'9"...which would make her the tallest goalie on the Cards roster. She'll compete for playing time right off the bat. 

MORGAN DEWEY. Defender. From Blessed Trinity H.S. in John's Creek, GA...Morgan led the defensive charge to runner up finishes in Georgia State soccer in 2014, 15 and 16. A wide defender who can also attack out of the back.

MORGAN EVERETT. Forward. East Forsyth H.S. Kernersville, NC. The Cards beat out ACC competition to get the 5'10" scorer and that's what she does...score. Very fast and can play wide or central forward equally well. 

NADAGE L'ESPERANCE. Midfielder. Lakeshore H.S. Quebec, Canada. Played for the Canadian Team in the U17 World Cup. Can also go to back line if needed and has extensive experience in international competition. Won three straight high school titles. 

KENNEDY CARBIN. Forward. Transfer from Mississippi State. Comes back to Louisville after two years as a Bulldog. Was 2013 Kentucky Female Player of the Year. Led the Bulldogs in scoring in 2015 and was second in 2016. Also has World Cup experience with Bahamas. 

A talented group indeed that joins a roster which returns Inger Katrine Bjerke, Ariana Ferraro, Niamh Nelson, Alison Price and Kaela Dickerman in addition to the players mentioned earlier in today's column. This roster should be the one that will crack the .500 mark the Cards have put up over the past two seasons and could get them into the NCAA Tournament....as well as produce a successful ACC campaign. 

It all gets started in less than eight weeks...when the Cards travel  to Ohio State for their first competition. Based on the 6-1 spring exhibition season...look for great things to take place by the train tracks on Floyd Street this fall! 


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IT'S NOW OR NEVER...

The classic Elvis song would apply to the University of Louisville baseball team this evening...as they face the TCU Horned Frogs in a CWS elimination game tonight in Omaha. Win and you get a rematch with Florida. Lose...and the season is over. 

Tough place for the freshman lefty Nick Bennett to get the start...but he was a Freshman All-American and third team ALL-ACC performer. Bennett is 5-0 on the season and sports a sizzling 2.70 ERA. 

Eighteen days since Nick last climbed the hill....getting in five innings in a no-decision during the Cards win over Xavier in the NCAA Regionals. 

For Louisville, a definite call for hitting is out there. 

We'll see...a 8 p.m. Louisville start time on ESPN2...competing with the NBA draft tonight. 

Let's hope good things happen for the Hit and Pitch Cards and Donovan Mitchell tonight! 



paulie
xxxxx

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Louisville women's basketball -- Then there were two. -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



HINES-ALLEN, CARTER REMAIN FROM THE 2014 CLASS


It was a much ballyhooed, highly ranked class. Five players that would continue to keep the Cards WBB program making NCAA regional finals and more. A talented group coming in to join an already existing talented group. Three five-star prospects, a four-star and four of the five in the ESPNW Top 100 rankings. 

Cards fans were excited about getting Myshia Hines-Allen, Mariya Moore, Arica Carter, Sydney Brackemyre and Arianna Freeman on campus. Rightly so, a lot of talent existed in the bunch and they were ranked eighth in the nation. 

We jump from May 2014 to June 2017. Along the way...Freeman decided that better opportunities existed at Colorado and went to play for the Buffs after a freshman season at UofL where she didn't see a lot of court time. She put up 7.7 and 3.2 for Colorado as a red-shirt sophomore on a 17-16 squad that got to the third round of the WNIT. She found the minutes she was looking for (18 per game). Would she have seen that many as a junior at Louisville last year? My guess is no. 


Brackemyre, injured before she got here, oft-injured while here and seeing the court just twice in two years at Louisville...was the next to wave good-bye to The Thinker statue on the Great Lawn off 3rd Street. Hers was a northern move....to the UofI (Indianapolis) Greyhounds in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. The injuries healed, the playing time increased and the three-point shot we all knew she had returned in "Naptown"...she ended second leading scorer on the squad (15 p.p.g) for first-year coach Krystan Drayban and the 17-14 'Hounds. Would Brackemyre have been able to get close to those numbers and the 'Ville'? I just don't see that happening. We've seen it before with ex-UofL WBB players...a drop-down in competition quality results in a improved player performance. Get' em Syd! 

The spring of 2017 brought a surprise when a third member of that class decided to seek other venues. Although Mariya Moore was firmly ensconced as one of the top scorers and starters for the Cards after three seasons, she gave notice, packed her grip and left the building.  A desire to play closer to home. The chance to spend a coupe of years on the same roster as her younger sister. She gets what she wants. A big surprise in the women's college basketball community. Deep rumors that there may have been other reasons as well. In any event, investment in a program has to be 100% and hers was not for the Cardinal program in the future. Better to leave and be happy than to stay and sulk. 


Remember when? 
Hines-Allen and Arica Carter remain. 

MHA. The front line force. The one you want out on the court in the paint. Carter, maybe buoyed in her injury season, seeing the game from a different angle. She'll get every opportunity to run the point for Coach Walz. 

Two that survived the distance marathon. Two that showed that they are fully vested, made it through the ups and downs and have done the work. Two that have never experience the thrill of getting to an NCAA Final Four but still have that opportunity. Two of thirteen that will face the 2017-18 season with questions about the upcoming year but part of a unit that looks very strong, solid and experienced. 


On this first day of summer, thoughts race to November...when the two, along with 11 other very talented and skilled warriors, go on the quest that is the women's college basketball season.  How many of the three freshmen coming in will we be discussing senior seasons in a Cardinal uniform about several years from now. How will Carter come back from her injury? Who wins the battle for the vacated wing position, center and point-guard spots? 

When the leaves fall from the tree...we will see. 



FLORIDA FIASCO...CARDS BASEBALL FALLS TO GATORS

Leaving seven guys on base is no way to win a baseball game. Although the Louisville Cardinals outhit the Florida Gators seven to five last night...the Gators made the crucial at-bats count and tallied five runs to down Louisville 5-1 in the College World Series. 

It's now do-or-die time for Dan McDonnell's diamond-dwellers. Facing the TCU Horned Frogs Thursday night will get them another chance to knock off the Sunshine State stars. A loss and it's pack-your-bags time and come home. 

Long balls were the difference here. A solo shot in the third inning by UF gave them the lead. They would touch Cade McClure again for a three RBI fence clearer in the fourth. Both by guys who were batting under .250. 

Dan McDonnell's philosophy with this team has been one game and one win at a time. That's everyone's philosophy now...by default "Run to the Roar" has been a team motto of sorts this season. We'll alter it a bit for the next two games. First "Leap over the Frogs" and then...be a Gator Exterminator. 


paulie
xxxxx



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Dropping the hot potatoes for a day -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



STONE, WALSH GATHER USA FIELD HOCKEY HONORS



There has been plenty of coverage on the NCAA findings and punishment afflicted on UofL Basketball over the past several days. And, just when you thought this dreadful horror movie was about to end and you could leave the theatre...there is a plot twist, the protagonist surprises all and...not only is the Empire going to strike back, but the movie is far from over. We got done wrong and we're not gonna take it. How long will this go on? 

Louisville Baseball, one of the shining beacons in the mass of negativity surrounding University of Louisville athletics currently, gets a tough test in Florida tonight in the College World Series. Those Gator boys don't let a lot of opposing runners cross home plate and the Cards will need to have the bats ready to roll in Omaha. A lot has been said about that lately...as well. 

Let's change the navigation charts and set sail in another direction today, though. 

We're setting sail and heading back to women's sports. After all, it is the premise we formed the website on some eight years ago and we certainly love to talk about the joy and excitement there. 

Taylor Stone and Katie Walsh are members of the University of Louisville Field Hockey team. Both will be juniors when the Cards take the pitch at Trager Stadium in a couple of months for Justine Sowry's top-ten program.

Stone, out of Herndon, VA...one of the hotbeds for high school Field Hockey nationally in northern Virginia (near the Maryland border)...is a two-year starting defender for the Cards. She recently took part in the USA Field Hockey's Young Women's Championships. She earned a spot on the Under-21 Junior National Camp team in the action. We'd also like to wish her a Happy Birthday today! She doesn't do much with Twitter but we've got @tstonee as her handle.

Walsh, a midfielder out of Louisville Ballard, also participated in the event. She gathered a spot on the National Camp developmental squad. Earlier in the month, the Bruin also participated in Field Hockey's Young Women's National Championship (YWNC) with rising sophomore Carter Ayars. Congratulate Katie her and follow her on Twitter...@katiewalsh20


Both Stone and Walsh are also eligible for our "attack Yorkie" squad....standing at 5'3" each. With Nicole Woods at 5'2"...Louisville Field Hockey has three solid entries for the illustrious and prestigious club.  

Justine Sowry is lining up the "young guns" in big quantities down at the corner of Warnock and Floyd. Dare we forget about returnees Ayeshia McFerran, Minout Mink and Whena Munn? 

The opener for the "Stick Girls" is just two months away...on Saturday, Aug 19th....when Miami (OH) comes to town to start off the season. A very special year for Field Hockey...not only will they host the ACC Championship in early November -- but Louisville is also where the 2017 NCAA Field Hockey National Championships will be held. 

Looking for a sport to add to your arsenal of Louisville sporting events to attend? We heartily recommend you add Field Hockey to your fall rotation. Admission is free to Louisville home events, the seating is excellent and there is a concession stand (with beer available) inside...plus a McDonald's next door. The action is non-stop and fast paced. 

What else do you need to get you out there? 



paulie
xxxxx




Monday, June 19, 2017

Four More Wins -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Louisville Uses Big Inning, Tops A&M 8-4


Before I get into this, I promise that after baseball season ends, in whatever fashion, I will get back to boring you with talks about women's soccer when you'd rather be reading about women's basketball. For now, though, you'll have to settle for reading about baseball when you'd rather be reading about women's basketball. We're an equal opportunity sports site here at Cardinal Couple.

Anyway, Louisville started off their College World Series in a way they haven't done in their previous three appearances. They won their first game. Louisville pitched their ace, Brendan McKay, and it was the star pitching lineup of McKay, Bordner, and Henzman that saw them through to victory. McKay looked shaky at times, and actually gave up all four earned runs, but the bats were strong and the bullpen stronger. Louisville had a 5-0 lead, chasing the Texas A&M starter in the second inning, before McKay was touched for his first run, and Bordner and Henzman combined for four perfect innings.

Big innings have been Louisville's MO this postseason (and much of the rest of the season, but I didn't do the math to back it up). In 7 victories this postseason, Louisville has scored 59 runs. Only 19 of those runs have come in innings where the Cards scored fewer than 3 runs. In fact, Game 2 against Kentucky was the only game in which the Cardinals did not have a three run inning, and they still scored six runs in the game. Louisville used another big inning yesterday when they used a couple of walks and a lot of singles to score 5 runs in the second inning. Texas A&M pulled their starter (who was actually their number 2 guy) after four runs and replaced him with a long reliever (who was actually their ace). When the Aggies cut the lead to 5-4, it looked as though using both pitchers might pay off if they could get the win. When they ultimately fell, the reality set in that Texas A&M had used their best two starters in the same game and now are down to their Sunday guy in an elimination game. I would call that, "not ideal." The bats have been important this postseason, and that won't change as the tournament goes on. As long as pitching can continue to hold serve, and the bats can stay hot, Louisville has a really good chance at this thing.

While Brendan McKay may not have been his normal "Player of the Year" self on the mound
yesterday, he labored to a decent start, and never trailed. Despite A&M's leadoff batter reaching in all but one inning of work for McKay, he limited damage to four runs spread over two innings before he was relieved by Sam Bordner. McKay worked himself out of a lot of jams with the help of his defense, but he got to a point where he wasn't missing bats and the bats weren't missing gaps. Not much the defense could do about it anymore, so Dan McDonnell made the move. Sam Bordner did as he has done all year and twirled 3 perfect innings, snuffing out hopes of an Aggie comeback.

Louisville will get a taste of their third straight SEC matchup on Tuesday night in the winner's game when they take on Florida (who defeated TCU) at 7PM on ESPN. Winning the opening game of the double elimination format is very important. Winning the second game puts you squarely in the driver's seat. If Louisville can stay perfect, they're four wins away from a national title. To quote the team, "[they] didn't come for some of it, [they] came for all of it." Run to the roar, Cardinals, and bring home the hardware.

Until next time, Go Cards
-CH-

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Cardinal Couple Sunday - Follow The Yellow Brick Road

Yesterday, Case admirably laid out the path forward for CardNation.  So today we're going to follow it.

All eyes front.

Follow the yellow brick road.

Keep your arms and legs inside the car at all times.

Set Destination: Omaha

College World Series Is Off


Brendan McKay, the junior phenom from Pennsylvania, is set to lead the Cardinals from the mound in their first game in the 2017 College World Series.  The two-way super-star has left no room for questions other than the one question of what position he'll play once he gets to the pros, first base, or pitcher?  The Tampa Bay Rays have said they will be giving him the chance to play in both to see where he settles in, so don't look for that question to be settled anytime soon.  Pretty much the rest of the questions about McKay have been answered, or should be a foregone conclusion.  Most of those questions take the form of, "Will McKay win the _________ award, for the best _____________ in College Baseball?"  Spoiler: The answer is, "Yes."

The Cardinal's foe will be Texas A&M, with first pitch scheduled at 2pm and will be televised on ESPN.  Stick around (if you don't have a 6pm sand volleyball match like your correspondent does) to find out who the Cards will play next.  The CWS is essentially broken into 3 distinct "tournaments", with eight teams participating in total.  It starts with two, four team, double-elimination tournaments, with the winners of those two tournaments meeting up for a best of 3 series (a double-elimination tournament of two teams, if you will) to determine the National Champion.  The other half of this first double-elimination tournament with UofL and the Aggies have Florida and TCU.  So the winners of todays games will meet Tuesday at 7pm, and the losers start their path through the elimination bracket Tuesday at 2pm.

As with the Regionals, and even Super Regionals to a degree, there is a distinct advantage in staying on the winning side of the bracket as it results in fewer games played, and longer rest between each game.  

On paper, this game should be a relatively easy win for the Cards.  The Aggies were a Regional 3 seed, beating hosting Houston, Regional 2 seed Baylor, and Iowa.  They advanced in the Super Regional over Davidson, who advanced to the Supers against all odds as a Regional 4 seed in the North Carolina hosted Regional which also had FGCU and Michigan in attendance.  Beyond this game, the matchups, regardless of which team it is, look tougher, with Florida and TCU holding overall 3 and 6 seeds, respectively.

The other double-elimination bracket in the CWS sees unseeded Florida State, and Cal State Fullerton, both teams that give Cardinal Baseball fans nervous shudders; as well as overall 4 seed LSU, and overall top seed Oregon State, who made the trip without pitcher Luke Heimlich.  Heimlich did not travel with the team to Omaha after The Oregonian reported this week that he pled guilty to felony child molestation as a teenager, stating that he didn't want to be a distraction to the team and direct too much unwanted attention to the victim of his crime.

In action yesterday, Oregon State and and LSU won their respective games, dispatching FSU and CSF to the elimination side of the bracket.  FSU and CSF will see each other tomorrow with a 2pm first pitch, with the loser going home, and the winner waiting around to see who they will play, that being the loser of the OSU and LSU game starting at 7pm.

It is Nebraska, perhaps corn on the cob should be on the menu?  Might go good with a couple of those mail order Omaha Steaks. Go Cards!



THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR


Our rebroadcast from yesterday's THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR is now up and available on the the Crescent Hill Radio website. We had a great crew on board with Worldwide, Paulie, Case and Jared Anderson. The prime topic of discussion was the sanctions on Louisville basketball, and we also looked at the College World Series and gave the boys a quiz that they aced with flying colors. 

Listen to the replay here: THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR 6/17/17

-- JMcA

Saturday, June 17, 2017

So, What Now? -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

The question of the day for UofL athletics seems to be, "So... What now?" Everyone wants to know what happens next, whether that be with basketball, baseball, or any other sport in between.The answer to this question in many situations is vague, but I will do what I can to provide my thoughts on the coming days/weeks/months ahead.

Basketball


The star of the show right now is basketball. That's a shame because the baseball team is currently in Omaha, Nebraska, on the cusp of fighting for a championship. However, news breaks when it breaks. It doesn't wait for it to be convenient. I remember when the story first broke. It was early on a fall Saturday morning. My friends and I were piled in a Corolla on our way to Atlanta for the Chick-Fil-A kickoff game. News related to stories like this has a way of taking over. I challenge Cardinal fans to push it aside, at least for a couple of more weeks, while the Cardinal IX fight for their first title.

The Cardinal Brass during their press conference.
Credit: Courier-Journal
By the way, waiting a couple of weeks for this to envelope your thoughts will hardly make you miss anything. The answer to "what now" in the basketball saga is more waiting. Louisville fans waited for the official announcement for months, hoping that the day the NCAA finally came up with something would be the day this all ended. We were wrong, and now we must continue to wait. We would be waiting 45 days regardless, as that is the amount of time Louisville officially has to respond to the vacation of records infraction. However, Louisville didn't even wait for their scheduled press conference to announce that they would be appealing every aspect of the handed down sanctions. The appeals process has specific timelines, and I would expect that the NCAA and University will follow them to ensure that a hiccup in this process doesn't swing the appeal in their opponents favor. 

Personally, I'm not very confident in the appeal. I think that what was done was terrible. There is no way around it, and if someone tells you otherwise, they're a fool. Andre McGee took advantage of players', recruits', other coaches', and the University's trust. And he did a terrible thing with that advantage. However, Louisville did what they thought was right to rectify the situation and the NCAA, claiming "no precedent," ignored it all and handed down extreme punishments. To those saying, "the punishments should be worse," what exactly does worse mean? Did you want the men's basketball program at UofL to be shut down? I know the acts were bad and gross and the details of the situation make me want to gag, but I hardly think that is warranted. That said, I think Louisville will lose this appeal because it's through the NCAA, and they make up all the rules themselves.

Losing the appeal won't end it all for Louisville, though. I anticipate them taking this to a legal court. I don't exactly know what their plan will be there, but they won't be the first school to pursue this route following NCAA sanctions. Penn State and Miami also took the NCAA to court over their punishments and won, at least partially. Louisville says they are appealing the verdict on all counts, but that doesn't mean they won't compromise, taking the fines, Pitino suspension, and probation in return for scholarship losses and vacation of records. They'll fight this hard.

So the answer to the question for basketball is that we kick back, wait, and see what happens. You, oh humble fan, can do nothing to affect this situation. I encourage you to put it out of your mind, enjoy the other sports we have still going on and the fall sports coming up, and ride it out. 

Baseball


Dan McDonnell has his team hot this postseason. We've talked about it many times. The Cards are 6-1 this postseason, with their only loss coming against a Florida State team that they've had trouble with all year and can't possibly see again until a championship matchup. Brendan McKay became the highest UofL baseball draft pick when he went fourth (after turning down a deal for first) and then won yet another college baseball award. McKay has been named the Player of the Year by every publication that has announced such an award and, although he is trailing in the fan voting for the Golden Spikes, it would be a shock for him not to win. McKay will be the starter for the Cards tomorrow against Texas A&M.

"So... What now?" Louisville will look to do what they haven't done before--win their opening game at the CWS. Choosing to pitch your lefty Ace against a lineup where lefties are the best hitters is Dan's start to that goal. We saw McKay work against left-handed hitters against Kentucky last week and everyone supporting the Cards will be hoping for a similar result. 

What about the players? Louisville had eight players selected in the MLB draft this week. We know for sure that McKay (1, 4) and Ellis (2, 44) will sign their deals and be gone before they've exhausted their college eligibility. Louisville will lose their seniors, and those that were drafted will hopefully rise through the ranks. The Cards also lost a member of their incoming freshman class. Jo Adell, from Louisville's Ballard High School was selected to the Angels' organization with the tenth overall pick. He has already signed his contract with the organization. The rest of the players, including Kade McClure and Lincoln Henzman, have a decision to make. I honestly couldn't tell you what that decision might be for many of the players. 

I do know that they're all focused on the College World Series first and foremost. Louisville opens play tomorrow against TAMU at 2PM on ESPN.

Everyone Else


Enjoy your summer as much as Olaf would.
The rest of the sports have entered into the summer period. Fall sports are ratcheting up summer training, whether that is organized team activity or individual work in the dead period. The spring sports are just getting into the swing of their offseason, but they are likely working on perfecting their craft as well. Construction continues around campus, improving facilities and renovating offices. Some of these projects will be done this season, like volleyball, and some will be an eyesore for the rest of the year, like football. No matter, Louisville facilities expanding only means good things for the teams' current successes and their future successes in recruiting.

"What now for me?"


You, my dear readers, can now turn your attention to the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour. We will, of course, discuss nearly all of what I mentioned in this article. By tuning in, you can hear a few more of my thoughts on the matters at hand than I've already told you. Jeff and I will be joined by the recovering Paulie and the ever lively Jared Anderson. This will be a show you don't want to miss. Tune into 100.9 WCHQ, the WCHQ app, or crescenthillradio.com at 11AM for our madness. My ability to follow FCC rules will be put through the ringer.

Until next time, as always, Go Cards!
-CH-