Women's golf is playing in the Fall Intercollegiate Invitational, the last tournament of their fall schedule. On the second day of competition, the UofL team has moved into a tie for first place with Kennesaw State.
The Cards are lead by Olivia Cason, now a Junior, got a lot of attention in Louisville at the end of her freshman year when she was the lone Cardinal golfer to qualify for the NCAA Championships, and Lauren Hartlage. They sit tied for 3rd, and tied for 6th one stroke back in the overall tournament. Hartlage played a textbook round yesterday, in less than stellar weather, with a scorecard full of pars broken up by only a single birdie. I think I've played a round of golf that well at some point in my life, but it was at Putt-Putt.
The top 5 teams in the tournament so far are Louisville, Kennesaw State, Illinois, Georgia, and Indiana. The 2nd Louisville team currently sits in 9th. Molly Skapik is also playing for the Louisville scoring team and is only two strokes back from Hartlage tied for 11th.
Volleyball Standings Update and Destiny Control
I spoke about this on the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour yesterday, and posted a twitter thread from the CardCoupleRadio account Friday night. Case hinted at some of this in his article yesterday.
Four matches in the past two weeks have put Louisville in the driver's seat for ACC Volleyball play. It starts back on the 18th, when NC State got beaten by in-state rival UNC. No doubt fueled by their first conference loss in the mid-week match, they came back and hung the first conference loss on Pitt on Sunday the 22nd. By this point, Louisville had taken its 2nd conference lose to Miami (on the 20th).
Then Friday happens. Pitt comes to Cardinal Arena. Louisville had just played a long 5 set match just two days before at Notre Dame, and pulls off the upset, again in 5 sets, against Pitt. After the match was over, word starts to spread around that Miami had swept NC State in Coral Gables that evening as well.
So, in ACC standing, that puts Louisville, Pitt, and NC State, all sitting atop the leaderboard with 2 losses. Technically, Louisville holds 1st place alone right now with a conference record of 10-2 compared to the 9-2 records of Pitt and NC State because we played Wed. and Friday this week, while Pitt and NC State have more typical Friday and Sunday (today) schedules. Presuming Pitt and NC State win their matches today, at the end of this week's conference play, we're all in a 3-way tie for first. I'll point out that NC State plays Florida State today, and Pitt plays Notre Dame...neither of those matches are easy wins for the Pack or the Panthers.
OK, so let's look out the future. We still have to play NC State (November 17th, here in Louisville). That match will resolve the tie one way or the other between NC State and Louisville. If Louisville wins that, and we get to the end of the conference season still tied for first with Pitt, we have the tie-breaker over Pitt in the head-to-head win (we only play them once this season) and would get the NCAA tournament automatic qualifying bid for the ACC as there is no ACC conference tournament.
This all means that at this point, Louisville controls it's own destiny in the Volleyball. Not bad for a team picked to finish the season in the middle of the pack. Now, there is a lot of volleyball still left to play in the season, and this assessment assumes Pitt, NC State, and Louisville all win out the rest of their matches in conference other than the NC State head to head with UofL, which is not even close to being certain given the level of parity among the top 4-6 teams in the ACC.
So, if you haven't checked out this volleyball team this season, maybe do so. They're more than a little bit of a surprise on the upside to just about everyone. They play a very fun style of volleyball with lot's of spectacular power hitting thanks to the likes of Tess Clark, Melanie McHenry, and Amanda Green, fantastic blocking with credits to Maggie DeJong, Jasmine Bennett, Wilma Rivera and the aforementioned hitters, and even the defensive play is fun to watch with the GabMolLexis trie of Gabbie Wiley, Molly Sauer, and Alexis Hamilton flying all over to the court, coming out of nowhere to dig up balls with amazing accuracy to get the offense running.
The next home match is November 10th vs Virginia at 7pm.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour
Another fun hour of The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour happened yesterday. Paulie, Case and I were joined by first time guest Mike Gilpatrick, editor-in-chief of River City Cards. Let's hope we didn't traumatize him too much so he will be willing to come back and join us again sometime.
As always, you can check out the replay on SoundCloud, thanks to our wonderful hosts WCHQ FM. We covered a lot of territory yesterday...talking about the Women's Basketball luncheon, summarized the above about Volleyball, talked about Field Hockey, and more.