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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Someone wake up Snarky Worldwide -- Sunday Cardinal Couple

Worldwide back with you after a week on the road, and most of the weekend trying to catch up on sleep.  If someone ever tells you that you can be social in the evenings on Pacific time, and wake up in the mornings on Eastern time, don't believe them, at least not if they claim to do it for more than a few days.  Compound that with a red-eye flight back east, and I was having a tough time forming coherent sentences Friday.


Now, let's take a bit more of an in-depth look at Volleyball, because there's a good chance you'll be surprised at what we find.

I don't want to jinx anything, and am pretty happy with flying under the radar on this, but the Louisville Volleyball squad finds itself tied for 3rd in the conference this week.  It's a little bit of a shakeup in ACC standings over what is typically expected.  Pitt and NC State are in the top two spots with undefeated conference records, neither of which are particularly known for their volleyball prowess.  Tied with us in third is a resurgent Syracuse.  Of course, The Orange do have a tradition of some quality volleyball, but they haven't been quite on their game in the past couple of years.  Leonid Yelin has his strongly international recruiting plan in gear, and while I haven't seen them play, I suspect blocking is a strong part of their game.  We won't meet Syracuse until the last match of the season, but expect a block party in the house that day.

What was expected to be the class of the conference, Florida State, finds themselves squarely in the middle of the pack with a 3-3 record.  After we swept them in Cardinal Arena, they went up to South Bend and got edged out by an also resurgent Irish squad in 5 sets.  They did get the win over Miami in a mid-week in-state rivalry matchup, but then fell to Pittsburgh in 4 sets Friday.  After the losses to us and Notre Dame, the Seminoles did drop out of the Top 25, but did still receive some votes.  I suspect even those will disappear this week.

Notre Dame is also picking up a few votes in the coaches poll, and will probably get more this week with a win over Virginia on Friday, and what I expect will be a win today over Virginia Tech.  As long as The Cards can get the job done as expected today in their battle over Virginia, I suspect we may join The Irish in the "Getting Votes" category.  Interestingly, despite the lofty coach's poll consideration, ND is only sitting at 2-3 in the conference.  To be fair, they have opened the conference slate with what is turning out to have been a pretty intense schedule, going down to defeat to us, NC State, and Miami before picking up wins against Florida State and UVA.

Now let's turn to the RPI for a second.  The first RPI ratings came out this past week.  Keep in mind that the RPI is a computerized ranking system that doesn't have any biases towards "traditional powerhouses" like we pretty clearly see in the coach's poll.  Louisville holds the highest spot of any ACC team in the RPI, at 22.  Of course, some of this comes thanks to the absolutely brutal non-conference slate that the Cards played.  While we took a number of losses in those matches, they were uniformly against top teams.  Of the 5 losses that UofL has taken in the overall season, only 1 is to a team outside the Top 25 in RPI (UNC), the rest are against teams in 24th, 7th, 5th, and 4th.  The next highest ACC team is Notre Dame, who is not far behind us in 26th.  The Florida twins, FSU and Miami, sit in 33rd and 34th, with NC State close behind at 37th.

So, don't look now, but Louisville is poised to start climbing into the Top 25 rankings in the next week or two.  Again, this is presuming we don't drop a head-scratcher at UVA, and successfully hold court as we should over Clemson and Georgia Tech next week.  The schedule turns into a scorcher again after those, with a visit down to Florida for rematches against FSU and Miami, then a short prep time for a mid-week rematch with Notre Dame in South Bend, and then Pitt comes for a real challenge in Cardinal Arena on Friday.

In short, this team has put themselves pretty much in the driver's seat at this point in conference play.  There are challenges ahead in the quality play of the ACC, but they are starting to show what the possibilities are for the team.



The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour had some strong bench performances yesterday with Case and Jared both otherwise occupied.  Julie "JC" "no periods" Sullivan and Paige "I write on just about every sports outlet in the city" Sherrard joined Paulie and I.  There's no drop off in the Cardinal Couple bench, let me tell you.  We got their thoughts on the latest from the Men's Basketball scandal, I updated my thoughts with the provocative thought, "No one who has 'interim' or 'acting' in their title should be hired into the permanent position - anywhere in the University, right now."  We talked Volleyball, we talked Field Hockey for a bit, and we talked about Women's Basketball some.  Let's face it, when you get JC and Paige in the house, you don't skip Louisville WBB. Paulie led a discussion on his WBB practice visit earlier this week. 

You can check out the rebroadcast at the Soundcloud.

Next week's show looks to be a pre-recorded affair due to an early Football kick-off.  It's also looking likely that Paulie will be on the bench for this one, though hopefully getting some good audio for later shows.  So, no calls for next week's show...wait, we never take calls...still, no calls for next week's show either.

-- JMcA

6 comments:

  1. Paige and Julie. Keep them on the show!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are fortunate to be able to draw from both of them and also Daryl Foust. Three excellent and informed voices that can step in with the "A" team when we have an open chair and greatly contribute.

      Paulie

      Delete
  2. It looks like Volleyball is coming back nicely from last year's disappointment. Thanks for the update.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dani is doing a great job with Volleyball! A few position changes , some new strategy and philosophy and they are a new team. Transfers in have helped too.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. Guess was correct but wasn't the first one correct. DCW gets the entry but thanks for participating!

      Paulie

      Delete

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