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Monday, July 31, 2017

Summer Draws to a Close -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

The FINA World Championships wrapped yesterday, which means the end of Cardinal sports for a little more than a week. However, the month that seemed like it might never end has done just that. Tomorrow is August 1st, which means heading to the all-sports calendar on the Louisville Athletics website will show you actual university competitive events. It will be a magical time, as it always is when the fall sports swing into gear. After a brief (and final) swimming update, we'll take a look at what is to come for your favorite fall sports.

Worrell Wins Gold


Kelsi Worrell, Cardinal Forever, one whom we should not quickly allow to leave the annals of our memories, added yet another medal to her collection yesterday in the final day of the FINA World Championships event. Swimming her preferred stroke, one at which she is quite masterful, Worrell helped the USA Women's 4x100 Medley relay team win gold and set a world record. Worrell spun a 56.30 butterfly leg to help the team become the first women's team to ever go sub 3:52 with a final time of 3:51.55. The silver medal finished in 3:53.38, the Russian team setting a European record. Essentially what I'm saying is that they swam really fast. Congratulations to Kelsi, Mallory (who helped set up this team with a preliminary win), and all of the other Americans and Cardinals representing their schools and countries at this event. We look forward to more great swims this season and perhaps a first full title.

Women's Soccer Clarity


After some digging on B1G athletics sites, I have come up with my own answers regarding Louisville's first two competitions this year. Despite none of the three school's schedules indicating such, Louisville will begin the season with exhibition games against Ohio State and DePaul. The first game will be against Ohio State on the road on August 9th, which will be a good indication of how this season may shape up early. Coach K will lead her Cardinals back to the Ville for a home exhibition against DePaul on August 12th at 5PM. In addition to being the first game for this sport, it will also be your first chance to catch Louisville athletics at home this fall. The Kickin' Cards will get their real season underway the next Friday, 8/18, against Ball State University. The game comes during a double header with a men's game so be sure to block out your evening for a full night at Lynn Stadium. I've still got high hopes for this team and I am looking forward to seeing them get started.

Field Hockey Openers


Justine Sowry will get her team in shape and begin the quest for their first national championship when Miami of Ohio comes to town on August 18th. The game gets started at 1:30, so it may be a tough one to make for the working crowd. However, there will be plenty of other opportunities to see one of the women's teams that is experiencing a lot of success early in Louisville's ACC tenure. Louisville beat Miami (OH) last season 2-0 and will look for the same success to get their year started off on the right foot. The annual alumnae game is on August 19th and will be a good chance to see this year's iteration of the team as well as some of your favorite players from the past. It may not be the most competitive event around but it is sure to be a lot of fun. I hope to make it to some of my first field hockey games this season, so maybe I'll see you there!

Volleyball in on the Action


It seems as though the weekend of the 18th will be a busy one on campus. In addition to all of the students returning from their summer breaks of various lengths (Speed School's is only about a month), nearly ever fall sport will be in action in some capacity. Volleyball will get in on the fun with their annual red vs black scrimmage on August 19th at 6PM. This will be their first event with Cardinal Arena exclusively hosting their games so be sure to stop by to get a look at the team and the facilities. Jeff will be more than happy to bring you more information about this event and just about every other game throughout the season regarding volleyball so stay tuned.

Basketball Trials


While true competition for the 2017-18 Louisville women's basketball team is not yet on the horizon, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the U-23 trials officially begin today. I am not sure how tight lipped these sessions will be, but I believe that if there is information to be had about the event, there is a good chance Paulie can find it for you. If nothing else, the event ends this week so we can see relatively quickly which Cardinals will be heading to Japan.

Football Open Practice


Camp officially began for the Cardinals last week, but Coach Petrino held off on practice for a few days. I'm sure his days have been full of meetings, video sessions, one on one instructions, and the like, but today marks the true beginning. We're about a month from kickoff in Indianapolis against and old friend in Jeff Brohm, and practice gets underway today. Louisville football will host an open practice today beginning at 4PM. This is a great chance to see the work that many players put in over the summer to perfect their craft as well as seeing the new faces. With so many members on the team, it's never too early to begin memorizing numbers. There are high expectations after last year's season ended with a thud, and I believe this team has the capacity to meet them. We'll all find out together.

Until next time, Go Cards!
-CH-

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Another Big Splash - Sunday Cardinal Couple

FINA World Championships Winding Down


The FINA World Championships in aquatics are about to wrap up in Budapest, but it wasn't before Mallory Comerford made another big splash.

With a 3:55.95 overall, Comerford anchored the 4x100 medley relay with a 52.90 to bring the US team home with about a second lead over the rest of the field in the prelims.  The team with likely field a different 4 for the finals.

In the late session yesterday, Comerford also was part of setting another World Record, this one is more likely to stand for a little while, at least.  In the finals of the 4x100 Mixed Freestyle Relay, the Americans scorched the World Record by almost 3 1/2 seconds, keeping in mind that the mixed relay events are still relatively new to the International swimming scene.  Comerford swam 3rd, and only had to hold on to the lead established by the two guys that lead off the event.  With a 52.71, she did that job quite well, and Simone Manuel brought the anchor leg home for a total of 3:19.60.

As this was the finals of this event, this World Record will hold at least until the next sanctioned event.  That will be a nice change from the previous world record which Comerford and Kelsi Worrell were a part of setting a couple of days ago in the 4x100 Mixed Medley Relay event.  In that event, they set the record in the semi-finals, and were prompted bettered by the other 4 members of the team in the finals of the event that night.

The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


Another edition of The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour is in the books and on the cloud.  You can check it out on the soundcloud.

We had JC Sullivan in the studio with Case, Worldwide, and Paulie - brain-addled from a week's vacation.  We also heard from Louisville Women's Basketball great, and Louisville native, Tia Gibbs in our summer "Catching Up" series.  We also ran down some of the swimming events from Budapest, ranted briefly about the difficulty of finding any information on FINA's website, and briefly discussed, without any firsthand knowledge, just how terribly awful The Emoji Movie is.

It was great fun in the studio, check it out!

LINK: THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR 7/29/17

-- JMcA

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Still Swimming -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

World Championships Continue


I'm going to keep this Saturday morning article short and sweet. Something you can breeze through while you sip your coffee and wait for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour to come on. I'm also going to milk the cow which is the FINA World Championships in Budapest as long as I can while there isn't much else happening in the sports world. The event is nearing it's end however, so Louisville's amazing swimmers will soon be returning home bearing hardware.

As the second to last day of the event winds down, we may have seen the last of Mallory Comerford at this event. She swam in the 100m freestyle final last night, unfortunately failing to podium. Mallory finished fourth behind three Olympic medalists. She has had a successful event, nonetheless and it may not be over. She is not swimming in the women's 50m freestyle final, but she is still an eligible selection for the 4x100 mixed freestyle relay preliminaries.

Also continuing to impress is former Cardinal Kelsi Worrell. Worrell is swimming her hardest trying to catch the Swedish superstar, Sarah Sjostrom. Sjostrom is one of those who beat Comerford last night in the freestyle, and is also the swimmer that posted the world record split during the relay in which both Cardinals won gold. Worrell swam her fastest ever 50m fly yesterday in the semifinal and was still 0.27 seconds behind Sjostrom. Kelsi will have her work cut out for her in the final, but perhaps she'll be able to knock off the giant. Kelsi is also eligible for selection in the mixed freestyle relay.

Good luck to both of these ladies and the rest of the swimmers and staff representing UofL across the world. We look forward to seeing them return to their home pool and smashing the competition stateside just as they do globally.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


Paulie is back from vacation and will man the helm during the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour today at 11AM. Be sure to tune into WCHQ in your preferred capacity to hear us chit chat for the second to last week of the dead period. This week marks the return of Julie "JC" Sullivan, The Bird Lady, and we'll hear her thoughts on some of the things we've discussed in weeks past as well as continue plodding through July. We'll also have a very special "Catching Up With..." segment and another unique quiz. As always, we thank you all for reading, listening, and commenting.

Until next time, Go Cards!
-CH-

Friday, July 28, 2017

Cardinal Couple - Just Keep Swimming...Saturday Surprise...--FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Just Keep Swimming


Alright, you know the drill by now.  FINA World Championships, Budapest, Kelsi Worrell and Mallory Comerford of most note.

The latest event with results relevant to UofL is the 4x200 Freestyle Relay.  Mallory Comerford, with a 2nd leg split of 1:56.92, helped the team to another gold medal.  Joining Mallory on the podium for this event were Leah Smith, Melanie Margalis, and Katie Ledecky.

In other events, Kelsi Worrell will be headed to the semi-final of the 50 Fly, her specialty event, recording a personal best of 25.65 in the prelims.  That puts here only .15 off of the American Record held by Dana Vollmer.  Sarah Sjostrom posted a 25.25 in her heat to advance, and will be the odds-on favorite to win the event overall.

Just Keep Rowing


Paulie and I have both had the opportunity several times to speak with Rowing Head Coach Derek
Copeland, and have enjoyed every minute of those conversations.

One of the least visible programs at UofL, despite the huge number of athletes involved, the Rowing team has a new Associate Head Coach in Sheila Rinozzi.

Rinozzi has been an assistant coach with the program for 3 years and has been a part of the program's meteoric rise is prominence on the national scene.  While the change in title reflects the trust and respect for Rinozzi, and, we presume, a salary adjustment to boot, the role she will play with the program likely will not change drastically.  As Copeland put it, "Assigning Sheila the title of associate head coach was an easy decision as she has already been contributing to the program at this level since the day she arrived".

We look forward to the annual Red and Black Regatta for the Rowing program, usually held in the October timeframe, on the Louisville waterfront near the UofL boathouse.  This is always a fantastic event, and we would encourage all UofL sports fans to take the opportunity to head down and cheer on a program that just doesn't get as much visibility typically.  The boathouse is spectacular, a real sight to behold.

Oh yeah, and they also always have a nice spread of food for everyone to eat lunch.


SATURDAY SURPRISE


We have a surprise guest for you on the "Catching Up" with segment for THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR Saturday. Here's a few hints:

-- She had the WBB Cards highest three point shooting percentage her senior year.

-- She led the WBB Cards in steals her sophomore year.

Who could it be? Tune in Saturday @ 11 a.m. to find out!





-- JMcA

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Cardinal Couple With Spirit

Jared checks in after catching some TV last night.  He reminds us of a portion of UofL Athletics that doesn't get put front and center all that often, despite their amazing success.  Then we catch up with the happenings in Budapest


So Sharp


The premiere of "So Sharp" happened on Lifetime last night. People from everywhere tuned in to see what the hype was about. What they saw was Todd Sharp and the Louisville Ladybirds.

Before going in depth to our spirit squads at Louisville I do want to clarify one thing. "So Sharp" is a reality tv show and does NOT accurately depict any of the folks on the show. The show is entirely scripted and everything that happens is staged. Well, except for their talent.

The talent of our cheerleaders and Ladybirds is incredible. Young women from all around the country come to the University of Louisville in hopes of joining the best of the best.

The cheerleaders are divided into three groups: small coed, large coed, and all girl. Small coed has won 10 national championships with the most recent being 2017. Large coed has 17 championships, with their most recent being in 2016. All girl has claimed the crown 13 times, most recently in 2017. The Ladybirds have had most of their success recently, winning their 14th championship in 2017.

While many people are kicking back and relaxing throughout the summer the members of the spirit squad are having to stay in shape for the upcoming season and tryouts. Tryouts happen over the summer so the teams can start preparing even before the school year starts.

Once school starts they find time to practice in the evenings 30 minutes across town at GymTyme. The late night practices are to prevent conflicts with school, which despite what you may have heard on the tv show, school does come first. The weeks leading up to nationals in Daytona involve intense practices as the members finish up perfecting their routines.

I'm sure some people are asking why I'm talking about an unofficial sport at UofL. Well, they work just as hard as any of the athletes do. The cheerleaders and Ladybirds are students and find a way to balance school and cheer/dance. And on top of that they receive ZERO scholarship money. Each and every one of the members has to pay their own tuition unless they have academic scholarships and then have to fund their own outfits and equipment. And of course, each of the squads has enough championships on their own to beat out all of the 21 official UofL sports combined.

So next time you're watching a halftime routine or see some highlights of the Louisville cheerleaders and Ladybirds take a minute to reflect their dedication and hard work. And also be sure to thank Todd Sharp for his terrific leadership and choreography.

Swimming World Record...With a Caveat


In Budapest, the dynamic duo of Kelsi Worrell and Mallory Comerford also had some success yesterday.  Kelsi and Mallory swam the last two legs (Fly and Free) of the US Mixed Medley 4x100 relay team in the semi-final round.  After the Ryan Murphy kicked off the event with an improved time over his Olympic appearance in the backstroke, Kevin Cordes continued to the US excellence in the breast stroke.  Then Kelsi hit the water for her specialty, the Fly, with a 56.17 split.  Then it was Mallory's time to shine in the Free.  She charged past the World Record pace line, and finished off the event with a 52.82 split, for a total time of 3:40.28, bettering the World Record by about a second and a half, and beating the rest of the field by about 4 seconds.

Alas, the record wouldn't be held for long.  In the evening, the other half of the mixed medley team took to the water and shaved about 2 seconds off the overall time to improve the WR that much more.

The Mixed Medley event is a relatively new event on the International Swimming scene, with it only being added to the World Championships for the last competition in 2015.  It will be in the upcoming 2020 Olympics, so there is an air of excitement around the race.  Because it's such a new event, however, frequent World Records are to be expected.

Regardless of the newness of the race, Kelsi and Mallory can, and should, revel in having held, however briefly, a World Record.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

U-23 Trials Drawing Near -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Cardinals Aim to Make Team


While the men's basketball team is producing practice results leading to Rick Pitino grading players on a 1-5 scale (with +/-) instead of an A-F scale, the core of the women's basketball team is gearing up for a different challenge completely. I don't quite have the insider information that you may be accustomed to when reading about basketball on this site, but I can at least offer my thoughts on the matter.

Jeff Walz, Asia Durr, and Myisha Hines-Allen are on their way to (if not already in) Colorado Springs, Colorado for the U-23 USA Women's National Team selection trials. This type of thing is something fans in the area should be accustomed to, as Jeff Walz has been an assistant coach in these situations before and both John Calipari and Rick Pitino have had their hand in coaching national teams. However, this is new land for the USA in terms of team structure. This year's iteration of the U-23 Women's Team will be the first the US has fielded. All 40 players reporting for tryouts must be under 23 (obviously), a US citizen, and be a freshman, sophomore, or junior in college. There is no room, apparently, on this team for stud high schoolers that may have dominated at the U-19 level.

After 40 attendees report on July 31st, the roster will be trimmed to 12 by August 4th. The short international exhibition tournament will get underway on August 12th in Tokyo, Japan. Assuming that both players make this team, Louisville will lose its core for approximately a month. That said, the assistant coaches will be working tirelessly with the team members remaining on campus to ensure that they are prepared for the upcoming season. These members of the team out on the road will be staying in shape and gaining invaluable experience with other great players from around the country and Jeff Walz will be making wonderful connections with the USA Basketball organization as well as other coaches and players. 

Many people have mixed feelings about coaches and players being absent so close to the season, and that is completely understandable. However, I am firmly on the side that these kind of experiences are important for the players and coaches as people, not only as professionals. In the professional sense, the players and coaches selected for these assignments are being honored by their peers and higher-ups for outstanding work. As people, they will receive the experiences of a lifetime travelling with like minds to be introduced to new places and new cultures. I wish Asia and Myisha the best of luck during tryouts and wish Jeff Walz well in his new coaching endeavor.

Until next time, Go Cards!
-CH-

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tuesday Cardinal Couple

Jared brings us a look at the Pros and Cons of Volleyball playing at Cardinal Arena.  Meanwhile Worldwide chimes in with some more coverage of Swimming in Budapest.

Pros and Cons for Cardinal Arena


When Coach Dani Busboom Kelly took over as head coach for the volleyball team here at Louisville there were a few changes made. The one most well-known is the transition back to Cardinal Arena for home games. Moving away from the KFC Yum! Center has its pros and cons.

Pro: In the players' prospective Cardinal Arena is on campus. The close proximity to their dorms and classes makes it easier to get to and less travel time. This could also allow for fewer missed classes

Pro: With the smaller size of Cardinal Arena noises are amplified. The sound 1,000 fans could make downtown is much greater in a smaller arena. The cheers from the fans and songs from the band are a great way to help energize the team.

Con: Parking is not as easy. The KFC Yum! Center had a parking lot below the facility and another one right next door. Plus you could always find street parking downtown. UofL's campus is limited in parking. Weekday games might be frustrating as fans circle campus and the nearby streets hoping to find somewhere to park. The Floyd Garage can hold so many cars, but many are reserved for student residents. What's left is on the higher floors and is still a short walk to the arena instead of an elevator ride up.

Con: Cardinal Arena may be undergoing a full renovation to increase the current 840ish seats, but the concern for lack of seating will still be a problem. Last year's team saw plenty of games that broke 1,000 fans. Once you take away the seating for friends and family tickets and season ticket holders you're left with some seats for single game tickets and student tickets.

Pro: This will be a volleyball ONLY facility. The team will not have to share the facility with the men and women's basketball team, nor will they have to deal with the KFC Yum! Center scheduling. By the way, UofL getting the boot on priority for months like October would've been a major blow for volleyball scheduling anyways. It was just good timing moving back to Cardinal Arena.

Pro: Concession stand prices will be a tad cheaper. I don't mean that we will see a drastic change in prices, but those $6 fountain drinks and $8 personal pizzas might drop a dollar or two. It might not sound like much, but if you buy a drink every game then you could find yourself saving quite a bit of money.

The team and its fans have handled Cardinal Arena well over the years. They've also managed to host the first and second round of the NCAA Tournament just a couple years ago. Overall the switch back to Cardinal Arena will be beneficial for all, even if we were spoiled by our fancy downtown arena for a few years.


Just Keep Swimming


Cardinals continue to find the podium in Budapest.

Kelsi Worrell put up another personal best in the 100 meter Butterfly to take third place in the finals at the World Championship Event that we continue to cover.  The 56.37 time shaves another fraction of a second off of her best as she continues to improve and advance in the international standings.  This is Kelsi's first individual medal in a major international event.  She was beaten by world record holder Sarah Sjostrum who swam the event in 55.53.  Australia's Emma McKeon took 2nd at 56.18, which is also a new Australian Record.

Also in Budapest, Grigory Tarasevich finished 3rd in his semifinals heat to advance with a 5th place seed to the finals 100 backstroke.  The finals for this event will be tonight.

In prelims this morning it's all guys for the Cardinals.  Carlos Claverie will be swimming in the 50M breaststroke, Etay Gurevich will be in the 200M Fly, and Marcelo Acosta goes for a longer swim in the 800M Free.

We'll continue to bring you these results as the week continues.

Monday, July 24, 2017

More Non-UofL Competition -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

As we continue in the summer dead period of July, it may seem a bit monotonous to continually talk about UofL athletes competing in non-UofL capacities. However, I would argue that the fact that we have athletes competing at higher levels during their offseasons is quite an accomplishment. It is something that I believe we should be proud of, and thus is worthy of reporting on this site. Today's article will pick up on some of the items Jeff mentioned yesterday. If this type of thing isn't of your interest, you have my permission to stop reading now.

Swimming in Budapest


The women's 4x100m Freestyle squad featuring Kelsi Worrell and Mallory Comerford followed up their top seeded qualifying swim with a gold medal finish in the event finals. Mallory Comerford led off the relay with an American record leadoff split, which was previously held by her teammate in this event (and the anchor of this race), Simone Manuel. Despite the fast start, the USA actually trailed after the first leg with Sweden's Sarah Sjostrom turning in a new world record leadoff split. Fortunately for our swimmers in question, the USA team fielded more consistency, with all four swimmers turning in splits of under 54 seconds. Simone Manuel anchored the team with the fastest split of the four and the USA claimed gold. Yesterday was only the first day of the finals and there will be many more swims to come.

Hockey World League Semifinals


It has been a busy time for Louisville field hockey-ers away from the Commonwealth. Both Nicole Woods, as Jeff mentioned yesterday, and Ayeisha McFerran have been representing their countries at the Hockey World League Semifinals, a qualifying tournament for next year's Hockey World Cup. Nicole Woods and the United States managed to come back in yesterday's final against Germany and secured a win of the tournament in a shootout. Nicole played six minutes in yesterday's game and totaled 40 minutes in the tournament while appearing in all 7 games. Meanwhile, Ayeisha McFerran and Ireland had a comeback of their own, coming from down a goal to defeat India 2-1 in the 7th place match.

The Hockey World Cup qualifying is a bit obscure. Sixteen teams will be selected to compete. The host nation is an automatic qualifier, as are the winners of the five continental cups (which have yet to be played). If the host nation wins one of those continental cups, an additional at large bid will be opened. The at large bids go to the highest placed teams at the Semifinals tournament, which has just been completed. The USA (and hopefully Nicole Woods remains on this team) are assuredly in, as they would be the highest at-large bid if they fail to win their continent. Ireland still have a good chance to get in as well, with their seventh place finish. Congratulations to these Louisville Cardinals. Hopefully this international competition experience has helped prepare them for this season back in the Ville!

Until next time, Go Cards!
-CH-

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Results to Report

We don't often get any actual results to report during the Summer Slump, and they're not UofL results, but they are results nonetheless, so we're going to report them, because that's what we do here at Cardinal Couple.

As an aside, I do think it's nice that the weather here in Louisville has decided, this morning, to show solidarity with the current and former UofL athletes competing this week.  The soft rain is actually rather pleasant, and dare we hope that it may cool things off a little bit around here?  That wouldn't be unwelcome.


Swimming in Budapest


The University of Louisville has quite a contingent in Budapest for the FINA World Championships.  We've mentioned Kelsi Worrell and Mallory Comerford, swimming for Team USA, along with Coach Arthur Albiero being on the coaching staff.  But there are a total of 8 Cardinals swimmers and 4 coaches involved with various national teams at the Hungary event.  The UofL Swimming and Diving team is one of the most international teams on campus...rivaled, perhaps, by Field Hockey, and Women's Soccer not too terribly far behind.  So first a quick rundown of the people beyond the above mentioned, and their national affiliations.

First the swimmers:
Grigory Tarasevich - Russia
Marcelo Acosta - El Salvador
Carlos Claverie - Venezuela
Etay Gurevich - Isreal
Nastja Govejsek - Slovenia
Andrej Barna - Serbia

And then the coaches:
Vlad Polyakov - Russia
Kameron Chastain - El Salvador
Stephanie Juncker - Venezuela

Swimming events started at 9:30am local time in Budapest this morning, which equates to 3:30am here in EDT-land.

The biggest result thus far is Kelsi Worrell's preliminary time of 56.44 in the 100 Fly.  That shave .04 off of her previous best, and also puts her in 5th place for the fastest swimmers of all time in the event.  It also is the 5th fastest individual swim for an American in the event with the other 4 being by Dana Vollmer.  Kelsi still needs to shave off about a second to reach the world record (55.58) held by Sarah Sjostrom of Sweden.  Nastja Govesjek also competed in the event, finishing in 25th.

A number of Cards finished in the mid-20s; Marcelo Acosta with a 24th place finish in the 400 Free, and 28th for Carlos Claverie in the 100 Breast.

The 4x100 Free Relay also featured Kelsi and Mallory, and finished with the top seed going into the finals tonight, with splits of 53.27, and 52.47, respectively.  Andrej Barna anchored the Serbia 4x100 Free Relay, and they finished just out of the advancement positions in 9th.

We'll continue to follow and bring results to you from the Cardinals in Budapest.

Field Hockey in Johannesburg


Nicole Woods, one of our Attack Yorkies for the Field Hockey team, is with Team USA in Johannesburg, South Africa, competing in the  championship game of the Hockey World League Semi-Finals (yes, it took me a few minutes to decipher that as well).  They are playing against Germany at the time of this writing, with Germany currently holding a 1-0 lead.

-- JMcA

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Topics Galore -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


I am going to keep today's installment of Cardinal Couple short and sweet, with a shameless plug for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour. The CCRH is broadcast on 100.9 WCHQ FM and on all of WCHQ's streaming services. For Cardinal Couple to have the support of a local station such as this is wonderful, and it is only right that they are given the credit they are due. If you are looking for something to listen to on Saturdays at 11AM, we are happy to have you join us for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour. However, if you're looking for something to listen to at any other time in your day or week, you should tune into WCHQ as well. Crescent Hill Radio supports local artists and personalities by playing local music and showcasing their community. They can only do it with the help of listeners, so downloading the app or tuning into 100.9 if you're in the area can go a long way for a small station. We at Cardinal Couple thank them for their airtime and for all that they do.

A True "Cardinal Couple"
The reason I'm giving the radio show its own post is simple: many of the topics we will be discussing today have already been written about many times both on this site and throughout Louisville media. Of course we will be bringing you the joy and excitement of women's sports. We have an interview with women's soccer head coach, Karen Ferguson-Dayes, which Paulie teased earlier this week. We will also discuss the upcoming women's sports seasons as we are only about 3 weeks away from being in the midst of the fall sports schedule. In addition to the fun stuff, we'll weigh in on what more we know about Cards Pass and share all of our opinions on the saga that continues within the UofL leadership turmoil, specifically regarding the new lease agreement for the Yum! Center. The show will wrap up with a quiz which ensures we can't finish on a sour note. If you enjoy our opinions, be sure to stop by. If not, come listen anyway. We'd truly love to hear how you think we can improve. We thank you all each week on the show, but allow me to do it here as well. Those of you that read, comment, listen, reach out; you are the reason this site exists. Sure, we write and go on the radio because its fun, but that consumers of Cardinal Couple get something out of this site's existence is the driving force. Thank you all for being here, and I look forward to seeing you all in the comments section as the season progresses.

Until Next Time, Go Cards!
-CH-

Friday, July 21, 2017

Splish Splash -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Arena Deal Drama


Well now, the KFC Yum! Center arena deal negotiations certainly got a lot more dramatic in the past day, didn't they?

In case you missed all of the...let's say "entertainment", even though it wasn't all that pleasant to watch...yesterday, three different organizations met yesterday to put their stamp of approval on UofL's new lease for playing at the KFC Yum! Center downtown.  The deed was done, but not without some conflict.

The University of Louisville Athletic Association met first, in the morning, and while there were some pointed questions, most notably about Tom Jurich's opinion on the deal (answer: a seemingly unenthusiastic acceptance), the measure passed easily.  In the afternoon, concurrently, the University of Louisville Board of Trustee's and the Louisville Arena Authority Board met.  Both approved the deal, the Arena Authority in a rather perfunctory manner, while the UofL Board of Trustees meeting was contentious.

I don't think there's a great need to go into the details of how the meeting went down as Insider Louisville, Business First,  the CJ, and others have detailed and fair recaps of the events as they happened from reporters that were in attendance and taking copious notes.  The results from the Board of Trustees vote?  Of the 13 members, 4 abstained, 2 didn't vote, and 7 voted yes.

So, UofL will pay the Arena Authority 2.4 million more dollars than they were previously; and will give up their rights to their October dates at the Arena, although they will still work with the Arena to schedule the Men's Basketball Red and Black scrimmage in October.  UofL did gain the ability to add a surcharge to ticket prices, to help offset the hit of the extra payment, so ultimately, it's going to be the fans that pay for this.

Swimming in Budapest


The Cardinals contingent has arrived in Budapest for the World Championships.  While the overall
aquatics championships have been going on for about a week, the swimming events don't start until Sunday morning (about 3:30am Eastern time, if I remember my timezone conversion for Budapest correctly).  Swimming and Diving Head Coach Arthur Albiero is on the coaching staff for Team USA in Budapest.  Two UofL swimmers are in the competition, graduate Kelsi Worrell, and rising Junior Mallory Comerford.

Look for results as these two compete throughout next week.

Faye Brust Joins Lacrosse Coaching Staff


UofL Lacrosse offensive standout Faye Brust has returned to Louisville to join the UofL coaching staff under head coach Kellie Young.


Brust was an offensive powerhouse during her four years at UofL with her name appearing in another of different places in the record book.  Until this past year, she held the record for most free position goals, she is 2nd in goals, and 3rd in points, in the season record books.  She had 143 career goals, in a career cut short by an ACL tear midway through her senior campaign.

With that resume, just from her time playing at UofL, it's unsurprising that she will be joining the Cardinals staff as Offensive Coordinator.  Prior to return to Louisville, Brust was Offensive Coordinator at Furman University, and has experience in club coaching as well.

Brust is, as are many standout Lacrosse players, from Maryland, with her hometown being Bel Air.  (We hope she got a chance to say "hi" to the Fresh Prince during his stint there...wait, what?  Wrong Bel Air?  Well, there goes that joke.)

Welcome back to the Ville, Faye!

-- JMcA

Thursday, July 20, 2017

ARENA THOUGHTS and Jared Anderson's women's fall sports predictions... -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


ARENA HOLDS OUT HAND


EDITOR'S NOTE: Jared Anderson may be back later today with some thoughts on the arena situation. Check the comments section. I'll drop a few of my own in here in the interim. The Arena Authority has their hand out and they're not asking for assistance to walk across 2nd street to the Troll Pub. $2.42 mil is the number for this shakedown cruise and UofL seemingly has approved that the Athletic Department pony up. 

Ridiculousness.  

Here's the deal...UofL is getting handed the s#!tty end of the stick and there's no hand sanitizer or towel in the room. 


Don't piss off Tom Jurich. He was right in the beginning to want the facility on campus, he's done a helluva job in rebuilding and re-branding Cardinal Athletics since he's been here and now you want to curtail his involvement, impact and authority? What is this...a Saturday Night Live parody on how to run an academic/athletic program? Why now? What next? A mandatory visit to at least one arena area club/restaurant before or after each game to ensure their vitality and allow you to purchase season tickets? And, then this from Uofl: 

"We didn't have to negotiate a new deal. We did it to be good tenants." 

I'm hoping my rentors call me with the same philosophy...

We try to be the joy and excitement voice for Cardinal athletics froma fan's view. Today, it's hard to be that. 

This situation come could at no worse of a time. With NCAA investigations, board shakeups, women's basketball season ticket changes in certain sections and no fall sports yet to fall back on...the negative publicity is something that UofL definitely could do without right now. However this thing shakes out, I hope the the UofL administration will remember this one vital thing:  

Don't piss off Tom Jurich. 

paulie
xxxxx


OPPORTUNITIES AND IMPROVEMENT

Recently Case posted an article about what success is and how each of the University of Louisville's women's teams can be successful in their upcoming seasons. With the start of many fall sports seasons only a few weeks away, I thought I would post some of my predictions. 

WOMEN'S SOCCER


This is the team that kicks off (no pun intended) the 2017-18 year for UofL athletics. August 4th is the magic date when the Cards visit Ohio State for an exhibition match. A 20 game season ahead -- which features some fantastic opponents in UNC, Virginia, Duke, Clemson, FSU, Kentucky and more. The ACC portion of the schedule will be as tough as last season where Louisville finished 2-5-3. 

With much of the starting lineup returning the team has the experience that last year's squad could have used. If the Cards can find ways to score, the defense looks solid enough to hold up just fine. I expect to see a 10-7-3 season with a conference record of 4-4-2. it's not great but it's a step up from last year. Be sure to catch Paulie's interview with Coach Karen Ferguson Dayes that we'll play on the Saturday morning CARDINAL COUPLE Radio Hour and is now available on Soundcloud for listening. 

FIELD HOCKEY


The 2016 squad finished 15-6 and 3-3 in ACC play. The ACC dominates college field hockey. There are some solid teams on the landscape that live and breath field hockey. Teams like UNC, Syracuse and Duke are ones thaat you'd expect to find in the "Great Eight" of the NCAA Tournament and guess who has to play them all? With studs in Ayeshia McFerran and "Minnie" Mink this squad has some pillars to construct another top flight team around. Coach has recruited well, also and (according to Paulie) assistant coach Lucas Piccoli is excited about the season ahead. The ACC Championships and NCAA Final Four will be played in Louisville this year. Thaat should be motivation enough to increase the regular season mark to 16-3 and 4-2 in conference. The Cards will make a strong effort to be participants in the post-season affairs on the Trager pitch. 

VOLLEYBALL

There were many worries and woes last season. The Cards had a somewhat embarrassing year. The starting lineup constantly changed in hopes of finding "the right six" but it never seemed to happen. 7-13 in ACC play and 12-18 overall was a sad way to end the Anne Kordes era. Upsetting Notre Dame at home may have been the biggest highlight. Morgan Miller transferring at the end of the year was a major blow. Dani Busboom Kelly takes over, moves the squad to Cardinal Arena and we expect that we'll see plenty of other changes, too. 

Junior libero Molly Sauer will be a major impact on this team as a captain and the Cards try to turn the season around. The current roster has eight players listed at six feet or taller and that should help with the competitiveness . With a schedule jam packed full of teams that found themselves dancing in the tournament last year -- a rebuild season could be setback. This team will hopefully be sitting a 20-10 and 13-7 in ACC play following conclusion of the regular season. That would definitively be a step in the right direction. 


Granted, I could be highly inaccurate on my predictions and every team could fall short of them this year. But every team could also find a high level of success as well. Injuries, stress from school, personal lives, weather (for the outdoor sports) and many more factors can play a crucial part into any individual player or team's performance on any given day and ultimately change the outcome of a contest. 

Let's hope these predictions are close to being accurate. We hope to see ACC and NCAA tournament for all three. Have a great day and stay cool out there. Heat exhaustion is nothing to fool around with..



Jared Anderson

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Promising spring, incoming class give Ferguson-Dayes plenty to smile about -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


WSOC Opens Home Exhibition Schedule Aug. 8th.



On a sun-splashed Tuesday morning I headed to the Belknap Campus to discuss the Louisville women's soccer program with head coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes. Instead of the usual, yearly in-office, pre-season chat...I was directed to the McDonald's practice field to conduct the interview. (Ever wondered what the name of the soccer field next to the Bass-Rudd tennis courts and across from Trager Stadium and McDonald's was called? You now know.) 

Summer camp was in session for 65 eager young girls dressed in white t-shirts. The Future Cardinals camp is designed to work with the younger players to develop comfortably and control of the ball. I got lucky, the campers were on a re-hydration break when I showed up..so Coach K. and I were able to get about ten minutes in before the whistles started blowing again. And...two UPS planes joined us as well....which you'll notice during the interview we'll play on Saturday's THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR. (We pride ourselves on getting a plane, train or siren during our outdoor interviews).  

Louisville women's soccer begins the exhibition season on Aug 4th at Ohio State. Most the players are already on campus and a few were present working the camp. I kept my questions pretty short and direct for coach. 

You had a very good spring season from all reports: 

We did! It was actually an excellent spring and something we have prided ourselves on. We kept a clean sheet for our goal keepers and didn't give up a single goal all spring (in four games). We felt really good about that defensively. 

What are some of the expectations you take out of the spring as you get ready for the fall. What are some of the things you're looking for? 

We have a lot of returning players who know our language. Know how we talk. Who have played significant roles for us...who will continue to keep us riding the success of the shutouts in the spring. 

Tell us a bit about the returnees. You have five out of your seven top scorers back and a Bjerke back from China...

K.B. is fantastic. One of the best leaders I've ever coached. she's locked in with what our expectations are, making her teammates better. She's a team captain...this will be the third year she's been a team captain and I'm super excited to get her back on campus. She went to Norway from China. 

A lot of freshmen who have become sophomores. That bodes well for you. 

Absolutely! That class is fantastic. A lot of key kids that played significant roles for us. They are a year older, a year wiser, a year stronger, a year quicker and a year smarter. 

You have some adds on this year. A transfer and some talented freshmen come in. 

Kennady Carbin has been with us here. She came in as a transfer (Mississippi St) last spring and it was invaluable for us to have her for that spring schedule. An exceptional athlete. We look for her to provide an impact for us in scoring goals, creating goals.

The team had a unique opportunity to go to Costa Rica during spring break. Fill us in on that. 

It was a wonderful experience for our team. I think we are a very special group. It gave us a chance to get ever closer. there was not a lot of centered media or telephones...so it gave us a chance to hang out together. We got a lot of positives that will help us be successful this fall. 

( For the entire interview, be sure to catch the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Saturday)

                                    --           --           --          --          --


Successful. It is something the Louisville fans want to see out of "The Ladies of Lynn". 

Coach was hesitant to discuss the freshmen at length...even though all but Emina Ekic are already on campus...but the Cards have some very good ones in her, Taylor Kerwin, Nadage L'Esperance and European standout Mollie Rouse all part of the class of eight newcomers. 

Will they, along with "K.B."...a handful of leading scorers back from last year and a new mindset be enough to get the Cards over the 7-7-4 2016 season and the 8-8-2 record in 2015. Can the Kickin' Cards compile an above .500 slate in the highly-competitive ACC? The Cards haven't been to the NCAA Tournament since 2013...something fans bring up to me at times when we discuss the program. 


On a bright, beautiful morning on the Louisville campus...all seemed possible. All sounds well for the UofL WSOC program. We'll find out how it starts when the ball hits the pitch in Lynn Stadium in a little over three weeks when the the Cards host DePaul in an exhibition. The Blue Demons bested the Cards last year. The returnees haven't forgotten that. 

The ACC competition will not get any easier in 2017. The Cards will be challenged with the pre-conference slate as well...with UK, IU, Purdue, Boston University and Marquette as a few of the teams that will test the Cards. 

Fall sports. They're getting closer and the coaches and players (along with the fans) can't wait. 


paulie
xxxxx

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Field Hockey Adds Argentinean Midfielder -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Mercedes Pastor Joins the Fray


Multi-talented Mercedes motors to UofL 
Whether or not Ms. Pastor will be on the field for UofL when the field hockey team opens play next month or isn't available until 2018 is unclear, though if I had to guess, I would say all of the buzz is surrounding a player that will be coming to a campus near you immediately. The story I'm sourcing from currently has conflicting dates. Two points in the story indicate a 2018 arrival while a few more indicate Mercedes will be joining this year's team. Let's hope Paulie can go through his sources to clarify this for us. (Editor note: as of Thursday it  was not determined yet. She'll on campus but...we're waiting on the NCAA...again...-Paulie)

At any rate, Mercedes has signed her National Letter of Intent. For those of you who do not particularly care about recruiting, the NLI is currently the only thing keeping fax machines alive in the United States. Every year, thousands of high schools for thousands of players break out their dusty old machines and punch in the number included on business cards that you never worry about having to use. The NLI essentially locks a player into their commitment and is the thing that a committed players needs to be "released" from in the case of a late decommitment. 

Lucas likes her skills
The Argentinean national hails from Buenos Aires and will be studying Industrial Engineering, which she says is the career she always wanted. She cited the ability to go to school and play high class hockey in the same place as her reasons for selecting Louisville. The Cards are equally as excited to have her, as associate head coach, Lucas Piccioli, lauded her versatility. Listed as a midfielder, Pastor is capable of playing all six front positions and Louisville will likely take advantage of this fact.

Pastor has been a member of youth national teams in her home country since joining the U18 team in 2013. She has been on the U21 team since 2015 and scored 11 international goals. Since 2007, Pastor has scored 27 goals for her club team of Hurling Club. The coaching staff is excited to welcome Mercedes to the team and there is clearly good reason. Whether she is coming this year or next, she is likely to be a cog that drives Louisville's offense for years to come.

Until next time, Go Cards!
-CH-

Monday, July 17, 2017

Cards Pass -- The chatter continues...MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


QUESTIONS, CONVERSATION CONTINUE ON NEW WAY TO CLAIM WBB SEATS

(Editor note: You may be accustom to reading our Case Hoskins here on Monday Mornings. He and I have switched days this week, so his writings will be here Tuesday. In the meantime, you're stuck with the old guy who has the bionic hip and 
no clear understanding on how to Tweet properly. Enjoy!  Case will be back tomorrow.  -- Paulie) 


CARDS PASS. What is it? How does it affect you and how does it affect seating for the University of Louisville WBB seat for the 2017-18 season? We'll try to look at the new way of seating people in selected sections (from an objective view point) and your reactions. 

A couple of things to clear up. First, I don't have season tickets. Because of the media coverage I provide for WBB, I am allowed to sit on press row. I used to be a season ticket holder years ago but that was back in the Freedom Hall days. Secondly, the information I am receiving is from other sources. I did not get the e-mails about the changes, nor did I get the e-mails about meetings planned to explain the process. Nor did I receive the short video about the process...but someone sent it to me.I wouldn't mind attending one of those scheduled meetings. I did get an invite from a couple of Cardinal WBB staffers.

First off, the e-mail that has caused the chatter: 


"In an effort to enhance the game day experience for Louisville women’s basketball fans, a CardsPass mobile ticket option is being implemented for the 2017-18 season. In addition to this ticket option, we have updated the seating arrangements for 2017-18 to create a more dynamic environment for women’s basketball.
Reserved, hard-ticket locations will be in sections 104-108 and 114-118. The remaining sections are for the CardsPass or single-game tickets. CardsPass holders will receive best availability on a game-by-game basis, however, seat locations will vary each game.
In late July, the Athletics Ticket Office will conduct its women's basketball season ticket relocation. To provide our current season ticket holders the best season tickets available, you are able to log in to your ‘My Cardinals Account’ on your selected date and time to view all available inventory and possibly upgrade your season tickets. The relocation process is conducted in point order with the information below. We will have dedicated phone lines for customer service during these times to answer any outstanding questions.
We are very excited to use this online program for the relocation process and to implement a dynamic ticketing option to provide the best environment for the Louisville women’s basketball program! If you have any questions, please contact the Athletics Ticket Office at (502) 852-5151.
Thank you again for your support of Louisville Athletics!
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

Next,  a link to the video: 

http://gocards.com/sports/2017/7/6/womens-basketball-cardspass.aspx


Now you know what I know. 


It is important to point out a couple of things. Only certain sections in the lower bowl are affected. 104-108 and 114-118 are not in the end zone and are not affected Hard tickets will still be issued for those areas. Secondly, the CARDS PASS introduction is being called a relocation process. I had questions. I called the phone number listed to ask them. From a reporters point of view. The call went to voice mail. Twice. Maybe call levels were high...They did provide a e-mail address on the recording...so I sent an e-mail. It is below:  

Hi! 

I am doing an article at our website about CARDS PASS and had some questions. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this with you, with our readers in mind. Feel free to contact me at the e-mail address below for Cardinal Couple or give me a call.

Sincerely,

Paulie
Paul Sykes
Co-Owner/Senior Columnist/Radio Host
CARDINAL COUPLE LLC
CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO - Now on WCHQ 100.9 FM and still on the internet.
www.cardinalcouple.com
cardinalcouple@twc.com

502.291.3651


I am waiting for a reply. If I get one after this article is posted, I'll come back in an update the article. 

I did get a reply from someone connected with UofL WBB. It is below: 


Paul - 
Thanks for reaching out. We are rolling out a new ticket plan in the corners/end 
zone's  to help with the large gaps in empty seats that seem to happen during 
ball games. Club seats and sections connected to the club are not being 
affected. 
 
We are having some educational sessions this week with Coach Walz and the ticket 
office at our new practice facility. Would love for you to come so you can be in 
the loop. 
 
Wednesday 07/19 - 8:30am till 9:30am 
Wednesday 07/19 - noon till 1pm 
Thursday 07/20 - 5:30 till 6:30Ipm 
 
2432 South Floyd street 
Louisville Ky 40209 
 
 







I will attend one of the sessions. 

HERE IS SOMETHING THAT IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE AND SHOULD BE ALWAYS REMEMBERED. JEFF WALZ WILL FIGHT FOR HIS FANS. HE HAS ALWAYS DONE SO IN HIS 11 YEARS HERE AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO. FROM NCAA TICKET PRICING, TO THE MOVE TO THE KFC YUM! CENTER AND ALL POINTS IN-BETWEEN AND ANY OTHER ISSUES YOU CAN THINK OF, WALZ HAD BEEN ON YOUR SIDE. HE ALWAYS WILL BE. HE IS APPROACHABLE, HE IS RECEPTIVE AND HE IS DEDICATED. 


Let's move on to your reactions. We have comments in our comments sections that you can read. The comments are spread over several days...just so you know. I also get e-mails...believe me, I get e-mails. I have only received one quasi-positive response about the CARDS PASS introduction. It's below: 



Hi, Paulie: 

I like the idea of this Cards Pass. It will fill up those glaring empty seats in the end zone that people see on TV broadcasts. It will give grade and middle school teams a chance to see the action closer up. I bet a lot of those seats were purchased by football season ticket holders anyway. I don't have seat in the affected area. I will receive hard tickets for the season, just to make that clear. 

(Name withheld) 

Then, there is the other side of the fence. Here are some excepts from e-mails I have received from those who aren't in favor of CARDS PASS. Once again, names withheld. 

...A stupid idea that will just lower attendance. Anyone ever notice that when Walz first got here he wanted 12-15,000 a game in the KFC YUM! Center? Last year, it was 7-8,000. I have seats in the affected area, to boost football points, but we do attend most of the games. I do not use apps, though, and I wonder what they'll do when I show up with my proof of purchase at the door and nothing to scan?...

...i don't even bother with season tickets. I just walk up and buy them outside. Several times last year, I had people walk up to me and give hand me tickets. I offered to pay. No money was accepted. I was on the sidelines -- real good seats -- each time...

...Just another way for UofL to track you. I'll watch on TV or listen on the radio. They are experimenting with WBB. Eventually it will spread to all seats at all ticketed events. If you don't have a smart phone, they don't want you as a fan...

...You notice they brought out Mr. Golden Voice Sean Moth to explain CARDS PASS on the video? Better than Walz or Paul Rogers, I guess. I have hard tickets. They better not ever try to change those...


The end zone in this picture looks pretty packed.... 
So...an interesting move at a time when one major sport at UofL has already left the YUM! and attendance is dropping in WBB. 

I want the best of both worlds for the program and attendance. Full end zones and increased attendance. i'm not sold on the idea that CARDS PASS is the answer. It seems to have stirred up season ticket holders, which was probably the opposite of what the athletic department intended. 

Basketball season is still several months away. We'll see how this plays out. In a time where a ton of WBB programs are just trying to get more fans in the seats...it looks like UofL is focusing on a new approach toward seating some of them. I'm sure they obviously want more season ticket holders in general and fans to attend games, too.  


Paulie in the end zone for football. I like the end zone for
football and  always have...even in the old Crunch Zone
Crazies days in Cardinal Stadium. 
I have moved on into the world of apps after I upgraded into the smartphone world a couple of years ago. I like to listen to the radio station we do THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR from WCHQ sometimes on their app. There are other apps that I have downloaded and use from time to time. 

I don't know exactly how I would react if I was in the section that will be affected by CARDS PASS. I guess I'd try to find a couple of seats in the hard ticket section. I might bug a buddy who has club seating for all KFC YUM! Center events for his tickets...because he rarely attends UofL WBB. Gathering those CAF points. 

I do know that I'll never give up my end zone seats for football. Had 'em since PJCS opened and it's the most exciting way for me to watch the game. People criticize me for not using my media pass to go to football games. People who have slyly asked if they could use them to get in. 

(No, you can't...) 


This public service announcement from the Field Hockey
people. Home opener is against IU. 
Quite frankly, I like football from a fan/spectator's viewpoint and not a reporter's eye. We got guys on staff now that do that much better than I could or would.  If I want to get up and yell for Lamar to reach the end zone on a run or pass or the defense to make a 3rd and short stop in front of me...I can do so. We all have ways we like to watch events. Sometimes, I like being a fan. After all, this is a website based on fans views. 

Give me your thoughts in the comments section. 

Go Cards! 




paulie
xxxxx