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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Meet the USA WBB U 18 team -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


WALZ HAS U 18 SQUAD IN MEXICO CITY TO BEGIN PLAY WEDNESDAY


With a gold medal performance in the hip pocket of the USA U 17 squad, it's now Jeff Walz's turn to mine a little precious metal down Mexico way with the U 18 team. Hopefully, they'll get in, win and get out before the proposed border wall goes up...in any event, a very solid and talented squad of 12 goes to group play beginning Wednesday at 7:30 PM against Group A opponent Argentina. 

I'll leave any pre-game write-up possibilities and pool analysis to our esteemed Jared Anderson and his Wednesday check-in. Today, let's look at who will play. Highlighted below is the players name, class she's in, position and height. 

AIJHA BLACKWELL -- 2019 -- Guard -- 6'0" 

From the Whitefield School in Berkeley, MO, she's undecided yet on her college commitment. She averaged 24.2 ppg as a junior and was selected for the USA Today All-Missouri First team. She's ranked #22 in the 2019 ESPNW Hoop Gurlz Super 60. Has a list of 12 college finalist, including Louisville. 

JENNA BROWN -- 2018 -- Guard -- 5'10" 

Hailing from The Lovett School in Smyrna, GA, she'll be on the Stanford campus this fall. 
Jenna was named to the 2018 Naismith All-American First Team and was a 2018 McDonald's All-American. She also made the 2018 All-USA Second team. Played on the 2016 USA U 16 squad. Ranked 18th. overall on ESPNW Hoop Gurlz Super 60 for 2018. 

DESIREE CALDWELL -- 2018 -- Guard -- 5'8" 

Desiree played for Byron P. Steele II High School in Cibolo, TX. She'll take her game to USC (Southern Califonia) this fall. Part of the 2018 Texas Association of Basketball Coaches All-State, All-Region and All-Star teams. She was ranked 19th. in the 2018 ESPNW Hoop Gurlz Super 60. Her sister Reece played for UCLA and Texas Tech. 



MAORI DAVENPORT -- 2019 -- Forward -- 6'4" 

Out of Troy, AL, was a star at Henderson H.S. and named to the USA Today All-Alabama squad. She's still uncommitted for college. Ranked 13th, in the 2019 ESPNW Hoop Gurlz Super 60. Averaged 18 points and 12 rebounds as a junior to help lead her team win the Alabama 5A State title. Louisville on her list of colleges to consider. 

NAZAHRAH HILLMON-BAKER -- 2018 -- Forward -- 6'1" 

From Cleveland, OH...she played for Gilmore Academy and will go to Michigan in the fall to play for Kim Barnes Arico. Selected for the 2018 USA Today All-Ohio First Team and named Ohio Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Year for Division III. Ranked 58th. in the 2018 ESPNW Hoop Gurlz Super 60. 

RHYNE HOWARD -- 2018 -- Guard -- 6'2" 


Played for Bradley Central H.S. (Cleveland, TN) and will suit up for Matthew Mitchell and the Kentucky Wildcats this fall. She received Jordan Brand recognition, was the 3A Tennessee Player of the Year, 2018 Gatorade Player of the Year and USA Today All- Tennessee First Team selection. 32nd on the 2018 ESPNW Hoop Gurlz list.




ASHLEY JOENS -- 2018 -- Guard -- 5'11" 

She's keeping it in-state by going to Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa after playing for Iowa City H.S. in (you guessed it) Iowa City, IA. Gathered the 2018 Miss Iowa Player of the Year Award and the Gatorade State Player of the Year. Ashley checks in at 26th. on the 2018 ESPN Hoop Gurlz list. Spelling of last name is correct but often referred to as Jones. 

OLIVIA NELSON-ODOBA -- 2018 -- Post -- 6'5" 

Excelled at Winder-Barrow H.S. in Winder, GA. Packing her bags for Geno and UConn this fall. Part of the 2018 USA Today and Naismith All-American Second Teams. Selected for the McDonald's All-American and Jordan Brand Classic teams. Georgia Player of the Year. 
Ranked #5 on the 2018 ESPN Hoop Gurlz Super 60. 

ANAYA PEOPLES -- 2019 -- Guard -- 5'10" 

The lone ACC prospect on the squad, Anaya played for Schlarman H.S. in Danville, IL. She's verbally committed to Muffet McGraw and Notre Dame for the 2019-20 season. As a junior, she received the 2018 USA Today Player of the Year award and was on the First Team. Her 16.9 poiants per game helped her high school team win the Illinois 1A title. 

SEDONA PRINCE -- 2018 -- Post -- 6'7" 

The tallest player on the roster, she played at Liberty Hill H.S. in Liberty Hill, TX. She'll stay in the Lone Star state and perform for Texas in the Big 12. Honors include the 2018 Naismith All-American Second team, 2018 Jordan Brand Class and McDonald's squads. Played on the 2016 USA U 17 World Cup Squad and 2015 USA U 16 team. #3 Hoop Gurlz.


NALYSSA SMITH -- 2018 -- Forward -- 6'3" 

Heading to Kim Mulkey's Baylor Bears in the fall, Nalyssa play her high school bass at East Central in Converse, TX.  Picked for the McDonald All-American and Jordan Brand Classic squads. A USA Today First Team Selection. Second Team Naismith All-American. ESPN Hoop Gurlz has her as the #13 overall player. 

CHRISTYN WILLIAMS -- 2018 -- Guard -- 5'11" 


Out of Little Rock, AR. where she played for Central Arkansas Christian H .S...Christyn heads to Storrs, CT for a Connecticut Huskies jersey this fall.  A three-time Gatorade Player of the Year recipient in Arkansas. Was on the 2017 FIBA 3x3 squad that won the gold medal. ESPN Hoop Gurlz has her at #1 in the 2018 rankings. 




As you can tell, tons of talent for Walz and the assistant coaches to use. The games will be available for watching on YouTube.com/user/FIBAWorld

In a friendly scrimmage Monday night in Mexico City, USA defeated Canada 72-42. Walz played all 12 on the roster and Rhyne Howard led the scoring with 14 points.

Walz's comments: 


"I thought it was great - some encouraging things happened. It was nice to get a chance to compete against another team. I thought we did some really good things and we got better in areas -- but, we still have some growth to do. We got a chance to run some things and a chance, depending on how they guarded us, to see how our kids would read what the next pass should be. We'll be able to take this one and grow from it. It gave us some confidence." 

Confidence. Something that should surely build as the USA U 18's work their way through Pool play and onto, hopefully, another gold for USA Basketball. 





paulie
xxxxx












Monday, July 30, 2018

World Cup Field Hockey: Irish fall 1-0 to Eng. -- USA ties India -- USA U squads WBB -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


ENGLISH MANAGE LATE GOAL TO DEFEAT IRELAND 1-0



With Ayeshisa McFerran in goal and a depleted Louisville scoring attack a possibility for 2018 Louisville Field Hockey, we had joked on the Saturday morning CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR broadcast that Louisville Field Hockey might be winning a lot of 1-0 contests this season. In Women's World Cup action, we got a 1-0 final in the final game of pool play, but it was the English with the "1" and McFerran's Ireland squad posting the "0" Sunday afternoon in the finals of Pool B play. 

A penalty corner with about seven minutes remaining gave England the lone score of the contest. The goal wasn't really McFerran's fault either...the "score" shot deflected off of a Irish defender's leg, which altered the path of the ball and the orb skipped past the out-stretched Louisville and Irish goalkeeper to find net. Sad to say, but that's how the ball bounces. (Groan). 

McFerran's heroics in goal kept the Irish in it for 53 of the 60 minutes. The English controlled the attack throughout the contest and had several shots on goal that McFerran was able to prevent from becoming scores. The Irish offense was not faring well against #2 England defense...they had no shots on goal in the first half on Sunday. 

Despite the close loss, Ireland still wins their Group play and had already advanced to the quarterfinals. The Green Army enters crossover play, waiting to see who their next opponent will be, pending the winner of the India vs. Italy match. McFerran's team will play again on Thursday.  The English needed at least a draw to make crossover play but vaulted to second place in the pool with their first win in the 2018 World Cup. 

No disgrace in keeping the second-best team in the world scoreless for over 80% of the match and falling 1-0. Ireland finishes Group B Pool play with a 2-1 record with 6 points, England second with 5 points, India and USA with 2, but the tie-breaker (goal differential) belongs to India. 


USA TIES INDIA 1-1...FINISHES LAST IN POOL PLAY


For the other Louisville Field Hockey player (Nicole Woods) participating in the Field Hockey World Cup, the results weren't so good. A tie Sunday against India lands them last in the Group B Pool and effectively ends their World Cup run. Only the top three teams advance out of the pools. 

USA needed a win to assure a shot at the crossover round...to face Italy...but couldn't not win a match in the three-game Pool play, getting just a two ties and a loss. 

I was unable to view the USA vs. India match, and the stat sheets for these games aren't made public, so I don't know how much time Woods saw on the turf. 

Still, it's a great honor to be selected for the team for the recently graduated Woods, a native of Beverly, MA. 

For Ayeshia, a chance to keep that Cardinal (and Green Army) spirit alive. Ireland has already gained a berth as one of the eight teams to play for the World Cup title. Here's hoping they can continue the success. 


USA U 17 WBB TEAM WINS GOLD

Going into the semifinals of the FIBA U 17 World Cup Girls Basketball game, the USA squad had a simple motto to follow. "Defense wins Championships". In Minsk, Belarus...the USA squad lived up to the motto by eliminating Hungary 84-39. The win advanced USA to the gold medal round against France and they once again lived up to the phrase by pounding the French squad 92-40 to capture the gold. 

Outscoring their opponent 46-12 in the second half and limiting them to 24.6% shooting for the entire game, USA easily captured their fourth goal in the event. 7-0 in this year's competition and a sparkling 36-1 since the event began in 2010. The USA squad entered the this year's quarterfinals and emerged with a 66-31 drubbing of Spain to advance. USA allowed 110 points in three basketball games. It equates to basically giving up nine points a quarter. 

Jordan Horston was named the tournament MVP and Aliyah Boston led USA 's five double-digit scorers in the final with 16 points (in a mere 17 minutes) 

Horston, a part of the stellar 2019 class is uncommitted for a college choice yet. A slew of schools are hot on her trail and UNC, Ohio State and UCLA have already received visits from the 6'1" point guard. She's also planning trips to Louisville, Duke and South Carolina. 


Boston, a 6'4" post from St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands and also a part of that 2019 class, is also uncommitted and has Louisville's interest as well. She's another top 10 prospect like Horston and the #1 ranked post in the class. She's a bit of a youngster (only 15 years old) but Boston is used to playing against older competitors. Her older sister Alexis has served as a motivation for her to grow into the game.

Alexis spent the 2017-18 campaign playing for Owens Community College (Perrysburg, OH) as a freshman.  

Now, it's Jeff Walz and the U18's shot at a gold. They're already in Mexico City and will begin play August 1st. when they take on Argentina in Pool play this Thursday at 7:30 EST.

Today, we've discussed a lot of pools. Hey, it may be time to go swimming! 


paulie
xxxxx













Sunday, July 29, 2018

WNBA All-Stars -- SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

WNBA All-Star Game



One Cardinal was in action on hardwood yesterday.  Angel McCoughtry was in Minneapolis for the WNBA All-Star Game, where she was selected as a starter on Candace Parker's team.

Team Parker came away the win, 119-112 in a good second half of play.  Team Della Donne, captained by Elena Della Donne, held a 54-50 lead at halftime.  Angel stated 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists in the game.  The MVP went, understandably, to Maya Moore, who picked up 18 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, and a steal in the competition.

The first half was a whole lot of showboating, and, let's be honest, not very good quality basketball.  In the second half, you could tell that the innate competitiveness of these players took over and it started getting to be a somewhat serious game.

Liz Cambage, in the waning seconds of the game, demonstrated her ability to dunk the ball, pushing the 3 point lead out to the final 5 point margin.

Maybe the most gripping competitive action was during halftime during the 3-point shooting
competition.  Allie Quigley, going last in the preliminary round, got the second most points, meaning she took another round, right after, in the "Final Round", with Kayla McBride, having the highest score in the preliminary round, getting the advantage of knowing the mark she needed to beat.  McBride wasn't able to best Quigley, though, with both scoring 18 of the potential 34 points (16 1-point regular balls, 9 2-point "money" balls).  The shoot-off round was all Quigley, though.  She came out and absolutely torched the net, scoring 29 points, including hitting every one of the "money" balls in the money ball rack that she had placed at the right shoulder location.  McBride did well in her round, but came up short with 21 points.

The WNBA returns to regular season action Tuesday, when Myisha Hines-Allen with the Washington Mystics will visit Atlanta to play the Dream and Angel McCoughtry.

Swimming Nationals


Information about the US Swimming Open Nationals is a little hard to correlate.  Here's what I'm sure of.

Kelsi Dahlia nee Worrell won both the 50 and 100 Fly events to punch her ticket to the Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo.  She finished the 50 by tying her own American record at 25.48, and boarded a 56.48 in the 100 Fly.

Mallory Comerford will also be making the trip.  She finished 2nd in the 100 Free behind Simone Manuel.  Comerford made the two trips up and down the pool in 53.09, with Manuel finishing out in 52.54.

Zach Harting finished in 2nd place in the 200 Fly to earn the trip to the land of the rising sun, finishing with a 1:55.11.

My understanding is that there is another Cardinal who has qualified for the Pan Pacs, but I haven't been able to find out who and in what event that is.  I suspect once the full event wraps up this evening, we'll get an update from UofL on relevant results.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


We're still looking for a perfect outing for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour.  We had all four of us knuckleheads back in the studio this week, which was great, but a couple of flubs by yours truly on the technical side has us still looking for that perfect game.

Enjoy the fun at the Facebook Live link at https://www.facebook.com/WCHQfm/videos/2135176659838939/
and pardon the audio dropouts in a few spots.

--
JMcA

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Rouse to Miss Beginning of Louisville Season -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Mollie Rouse Named to England U20 WWC Roster


After attending training camp for the upcoming Under-20 Women's World Cup this summer with England, Mollie Rouse has officially been named to the squad that will compete in the event. While this is wonderful for Mollie, of course. We've mentioned before while talking about Mollie and the UofL field hockey players currently participating in their world cup how great the experience of playing on an international level is. However, it does mean that she is guaranteed to miss some time for UofL as the season begins. 

Image result for mollie rouseAlthough there are only 16 teams and the rest periods are not as drawn out as the men's world cup that just finished, the upcoming event will still take place over 19 days this August. Group play begins on August 5th with England taking on North Korea on Matchday 1. England's group could be tough with Mexico and Brazil rounding out the group. Matchday 3 for the group stage is on 8/12, so Rouse is guaranteed to miss the opener against Morehead State. Should England go on a run and make it to the semifinals, Rouse would miss UofL games against Wright State, Xavier, and Dayton, and would likely miss the 8/26 game at Michigan. The final and third place games are on 8/24 and Rouse would require travel time and rest. We would hope she would return available in time for the Kentucky game on 8/31.

In addition to Rouse, the USA also qualified for the event. Should the USA make a long run, Michigan would be without their goalkeeper come time for the game against the Cards. Louisville opponents have a total of 7 players on the USA squad for this event with the aforementioned keeper from Michigan, one player from UNC, one from Virginia Tech, and a whopping four players from Virginia. Virginia is the most represent club on the 21 player roster.

Rouse could be missed if she is unable to return to the team for an entire month. In her freshman season, Mollie gathered two goals and an assist in 865 minutes over 15 games. Those stats don't stand out as a team leader, but she is poised to have a larger role as the midfield looks to create more cohesion this season with greater experience. While Rouse will be competing against some of the most talented players at her level next month, team chemistry cannot be understated, especially for midfield players. Louisville will look forward to her return whenever England's time in France is complete. 

Myisha Hines-Allen Stops by Practice


During the WNBA All-Star Break, Myisha Hines-Allen became the most recent former UofL athlete to stop by her old stomping grounds and socialize with some former teammates. Coaches of different UofL sports operate in many different ways when it comes to returning alums, but it is good to see that former WBB players feel welcomed enough to return to practice. MHA was a force that will be nearly impossible to replace on this team, but supporting her former teammates is sure to bring them some positive energy. I always look forward to stories like this that help to remind me that UofL is not just a stopping place for athletes on their way to the next step in their life. For many, UofL becomes their home, and I am happy to see that the door of their home remains open to them.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


You can't keep us away for long. Jared and I are both back in the studio today after having last week off and we'll join Paulie and Worldwide in the studio as the summer is drawing to a close. The quiz will continue, but for the first time in a long time, the Louisville all-sports calendar is not completely collapsed. Tune in at 11 AM for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour however you listen to or stream music. WCHQ is available at 100.9 LPFM, wchqfm.com, the WCHQ app, or on Facebook live. The link to watch our stream is available on the right side of the site. 

Until next time, Go Cards!
-CH-


Friday, July 27, 2018

Ayeisha McFerran -- Volleyball Uniforms -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Louisville Field Hockey's Clutch Defender

The roar of the unusually large crowd echoed through the confines of Trager Stadium.  Despite the chilly weather fans and players alike were dripping in sweat from head to toe.  The two teams huddled together in their respective groups just in front of the midfield point.  Every eye was on what was happening at the north goal.  Lined up directly in front of the goal was Duke's Haley Schleicher, who had hopes of putting the equalizer into the net.  Peering through the cage-like mask was Louisville's only chance of defending the final shootout of the heavily-favored Blue Devils.

Schleicher drug the ball to her right, hoping to race around the corner to beat the keeper off the edge.  With one final breath she attempted to fire a shot into the goal, but was stopped after traveling just a few inches.  The ball deflected off of the padding and stick of the defender and seemed to travel at a snail's pace to the side of the goal and out of bounds.  The Louisville players, decked in red uniforms with a white and black bold lettering outline rushed to their goalkeeper.  A victory over Duke sent the Cardinals into their first ever ACC Championship game.

Louisville's savior?  Ayeisha McFerran.

McFerran posted a career-best 18 saves in the game.  Her stellar defense gave Louisville the fighting chance they needed to march to victory.  In the five-shot shootout, the Irish goalkeeper silenced Duke twice.  It was just enough for the Cards to slip by in the shootout, 4-3.

Now, a rising senior, McFerran has her eyes on not only Louisville's first ever ACC Championship, but also on an NCAA Championship.  However, before she can begin her final season in the Red and Black, McFerran must help Ireland's national team on their journey through the ranks of the World Cup.  Yesterday, Ireland defeated India 1-0 to advance to the Women's Field Hockey World Cup quarterfinals using a bit more McFerran magic. Behind her shutout, the Irish snuck their way through their second victory of the tournament.  In their first game of the World Cup, the Irish upset the United States (and Nicole Woods) 3-1. Now in the quarterfinals, the Green Army will face England on Sunday, July 29.

For the Louisville side of things for McFerran, the Cards will have their annual Alumnae game on Saturday, August 18, at 1:00 p.m.  They will then head to Columbus to face Michigan in a friendly they following day at 4:00 p.m.  August 24 will be the official start of the season when Louisville visits Indiana.

Their first home game will be against Ohio State on Sunday, August 26, at 1:00 p.m.  Admission into Trager Stadium at Cardinal Park is free, but be wary of any attempts to sneak in outside food and drinks, as those are prohibited.  Look for Paulie and Worldwide in the press box and myself on the field and don't forget to say hi!

Volleyball Takes Over UofL Social Media




For you social media gurus out there you may have noticed a lot happening on the GoCards accounts about UofL volleyball.  Yesterday was their preseason photo and videoshoot day.  It was also the first sneak peek at the 2018 uniforms.  It's not too late to get season tickets or individual game tickets for the season!  Worldwide convinced Case to come in a major ACC match-up and the Cards won it in a five-set thriller.  You can catch Worldwide in the stands, Paulie on the media bench, and myself trying to figure out how to work my camera again.


What are your thoughts on their new look?

*Note: You can click on the image to enlarge it if viewing from a computer.  This does not work for mobile devices.*

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


After overnight storms threatened to disrupt last week's episode of The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour, everything appears to be in order to return to action tomorrow at the Magnificent, Majestic Media Mansion on Mellwood (did I say that correctly?).  The four knuckleheads will be back in the studio to discuss whatever comes to mind as well as take another one of the highly-coveted Cardinal Couple Quizzes!  Tune in to see if you can beat us! Catch us on Facebook Live to see why we have faces for radio.

What Day Is it?

Why, it's National Scotch Day, so if you like this type of whiskey -- have some! (in moderation, of course). It's also Creme Brulee Day and feel free to indulge in the vanilla custard with the caramelized sugar crust/topping. Just be careful if you're mixing the two treats. 8 oz. of Brulee isn't that much but 8 oz. of Scotch might have you mumbling this old saying from Scotland:  "Whit's for ye'll no go past ye" -- which roughly means "whatever is meant to happen to you, will happen to you".


Happy Friday and Go Cards!

- Jared -

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Angel, Asia, Ayeshia and Myisha: How Are They Doing? -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


NUMBERS ON THE CARDINAL TRIO IN THE WNBA

UPDATE: Ireland defeats India 1-0 to advance to the Women's Field Hockey World Cup quarterfinals. Louisville's Ayeshia McFerran with a shutout in goalkeep and several great saves for the Irish...now 2-0. 

As the WNBA heads to their All-Star game, we though we'd catch you up on how the three UofL WBB players in the league are faring. 

ANGEL McCOUGHTRY -- ATLANTA DREAM


The Dream are having the most success of the three teams that have Cardinal WBB players on them and Angel is a huge part of Atlanta's success. Atlanta is 16-9 on the season, in second place in conference standings and 2.5 games behind league leader Seattle as of 7/25/18, and Angel is the second leading scorer for the Dream with 16.5 points per game. 

The Dream defeated Los Angeles 81-71 Tuesday night and Angel had 19 points to lead Atlanta in scoring. She also grabbed seven rebounds in the win, which was streaking Atlanta's eighth win in a row. Putting in a team-high 31 minutes, Angel also pilfered three steals. Tied after three, the Dream outscored the Sparks by 10 in the fourth quarter. 

McCoughtry is the second leading scorer this year for Atlanta with  16.5 p.p.g and averages 28 minutes on court. She's started 24 of the 25 Atlanta games. She be in the All-Star game Saturday, playing for team (Candace) Parker.

Interesting that the WNBA has eliminated the conference vs. conference match up in the All-Star Game and the player selections were made by a "draft" between the two players that have the squads named after them...Parker and Elena Della Donne. 


MYISHA HINES-ALLEN -- WASHINGTON MYSTICS

At 14-11 and in seventh place in the overall league standings, the Mystics are 4.5 games back of the league leaders. Myisha Hines-Allen, who has been on the roster all season is serving primarily as a back-up player on the front line in her rookie season in the WNBA. 

In Tuesday action, the Mystics ran into a tough Connecticut Sun foe and fell 94-68 despite winning the first quarter. Myisha saw 11 minutes and picked up four points and three rebounds in the loss. 

She's played in 22 of the Mystics' 25 games this season and has 1 start to her credit. She's been averaging 11 minutes per contest and scoring 3.9 points per game. 

Such are the trials and tribulations of being a rookie on a team that has an unquestionable superstar like Delle Donne. The Mystics play three guards a lot to set up Della Donne and we're no WNBA experts here but have noticed that Washington averages -1.0 rebounds less than their opponents this season. Maybe Myisha could help that stat? Interesting that Hines-Allen was averaging 18 minutes a game in the Mystics' first nine games (where they were 6-3) but time has dropped off since then. 


ASIA TAYLOR -- INDIANA FEVER


Woe is the plight of the Fever, the worst team in the WNBA with a 3-23 record. Asia Taylor was picked up by Indiana after Washington released her and has provided a back-up role on a team that seems to have lost their identity and has no clear leadership on the court. Asia played in the Tuesday night 92-72 loss to league-leading Seattle but saw just three minutes with no points and no rebounds.

For the season with the Fever, Asia has played in 13 contests with no starts. She averages 2.0 points per game and 8.3 minutes a night. 

Surprising that a team with Candice Dupree and Cappie Pondexter, who both have 12 years inn the league, could be so bad. Three very talented rookies in Victoria Vivians (Mississippi St) and Ohio State stars Kelsey Mitchell and Stephanie Mavunga have seen plenty of time but Indiana just can't seem to find a winning balance. 

Losers of seven out of their last eight, maybe Indiana and head coach Pokey Chatman needs to shake things up a bit and give our Asia a bit more time on the court? Let's be perfectly frank and honest here. Could it get any worse for the Fever? Give A-Tayy, the rookies and Natalie Achonwa a chance to see what they can do. 

We wish all three Cardinals Forever the best of luck in what's left of the WNBA schedule and hope that their successes are huge the rest of the way. 


USA FIELD HOCKEY TIES ENGLAND 1-1

In their second contest in the Women's Field Hockey World Cup, the United States pulled off a pretty big surprise by tying #2 ranked England 1-1 yesterday in London, England. Almost 11,000 on hand for this one...The English taking a 1-0 lead after a scoreless first half but USA getting the equalizer from Erin Matson (UNC) about five minutes later for the tie and final score. 

Trying to find a box score for this event is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Coupled with the fact that the events are now pay-per-view, it's almost like the USA Field Hockey Association is trying to drive fans away instead of fostering interest. I never came up with a box score. Let me know if you find this pebble on a beach. 


UofL's Nicole Woods is part of the 30 player roster and Taylor Stone plus Katie Walsh on the Development roster. Woods has graduated from UofL. Stone and Walsh will be seniors for Justine Sowry in the 2018 season. Not sure if Woods played or not since I didn't purchase the event. 

Ireland, with UofL goalie Ayeshia McFerran in net, will take on India this morning at 9 a.m. EST. I'm debating buying this one. 


Grudingly. It's only $3 but it's the principle here. 


paulie
xxxxx










Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Predicting Fall Sports Outcomes -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Jared Picks the Outcomes for the Fall Sports

I have talked in the past briefly about each of the fall sports as well as questions or concerns facing each team.  A few of the other writers have broken down the seasons and what they think will be the outcome for each team and I thought I'd take a stab at it.  Bear with me as I make try to stay afloat with my guesses for volleyball, women's soccer, and field hockey...

EDITOR'S NOTE: WHO CAN FORGET JARED'S BOLD PREDICTION IN 2017 THAT "MINNIE " MINK WOULD AVERAGE 2 GOALS PER GAME LAST YEAR FOR LOUISVILLE FIELD HOCKEY? WHEN SHE FELL A BIT SHORT OF THIS, SHE DECIDED TO GO BACK TO THE NETHERLANDS AND SEE IF SHE COULD FULFILL JARED'S WISH THERE. 



Volleyball

Dani Busboom Kelly's inaugural season was a breakout year for the Cards.  One season removed
from a sub .500 record Louisville managed to stun just about everyone when they claimed the ACC title.   Well, actually they split the regular season title with Pittsburgh, but had the head-to-head tiebreaker.

The 24 wins was the second-most in the last five years, one behind the 2015 season. Their 18-2 conference mark was par with the 2015 ACC Championship year.  Sadly, the Cards bowed out in the first round of the NCAA Tournament when they were swept by Northern Iowa.

Six players either graduated or transferred following the conclusion of the season with three of them playing a key role.  Coach Kelly has some big shoes to fill on the front line.  There are some returners that have a good chance to step into that role as well as the newbies that are joining Louisville in the fall.

Louisville's non-conference schedule is highlighted by a trip to NCAA Runner-Up Florida.  The Gators are a powerhouse and protect their home court well.  Kentucky will make a visit to Cardinal Arena after sweeping the Cards in Memorial Coliseum last year.  USC is another big name in volleyball and has a reputation of playing in a dominant Pac-12 conference.  Louisville will also visit West Lafayette for a mini tournament hosted by Purdue, and the Boilermakers are a tough team to take on as well.

ACC play doesn't get any easier.  UofL will play at NC State and at Pittsburgh this year, two of the Top 4 teams from last year.  Miami and Florida State- third and sixth from last year- will visit Cardinal Arena.  Louisville lucks out and plays four of the top teams in the conference last year once and will face most of the bottom half twice throughout the season.

My prediction: 22-7, 15-3 ACC

The road/neutral site matches against USC, Purdue, and Florida will damage the Cards early on.

Kentucky will continue their dominance over Louisville in volleyball.  NC State and Pitt will get revenge on their home courts from last year and Notre Dame will sneak away with a win at home late in the season.  However, the Cards will remain undefeated at home during conference play and will only falter in Cardinal Arena once- a five-set battle vs the Wildcats.  Their 15-3 conference mark will be just shy of taking the conference title, but they'll earn a bid to the Big Dance where they will fall in round one.

Women's Soccer

A lot of talent fills the roster for the lasses at Lynn Stadium.  Last year went well until conference play started and the Cards went 3-5-2 and finished 10th.  Non-conference went well including an upset in Lexington over UK on a rainy night.

Louisville has never seemed to make it over the hump since joining the ACC, where the soccer world is split between us and the Pac-12.  In order to find the success they have lacked lately they'll need to find ways to earn three points in more outings in the conference.

Kentucky is the big name on the list when looking at non-conference matches.  A messy, rainy night may have helped the Cards earn a fluke win last year in a sport where the Wildcats have had the Cards number.  The non-conference schedule is weak.  No non-conference opponents finished the season ranked in the Top 50 last year.  Louisville finished 74th, by the way.  Remember when they broke the Top 25 after starting 5-1 last year?

Once ACC play hits things have the potential to crash and burn, but Louisville's talent also has another year of experience under their belts, or boots.  Having to visit every ACC opponent in the state of North Carolina, who also happen to hold four of the top five spots from last season, is brutal to have on the schedule for any team.  They should still be able to snuff out some wins at home and possibly one or two on the road.

My prediction: 8-6-3, 3-5-2 ACC

Things will look great in the first half of the season as things are smooth.  Karen Ferguson-Dayes will have her team scratching their way to the Top 25 after a half dozen games.  The rivalry match-up and a road trip or two could cause some minor bumps but fans will have that early season hope again.  When conference play hits the good will halt.  A few key losses from last year's team will begin to show as the players to fill the void cannot keep up with the level of play in the ACC.  Final Four team Duke and their buddies a few miles down the road are both on another level when it comes to collegiate soccer and we won't see another 2015 Thursday night shocker.  Louisville just isn't ready for the ACC in soccer and they will need a couple more years to adjust.

Field Hockey

This team is coming off one of their best seasons in recent years.  They took third in the ACC regular season, but had the chance of taking the title in their final conference match of the year.  In the ACC Tournament, Louisville not only won their first ever ACC Tournament game, but advanced all the way to the finals, falling 1-0.  Their 14-8, 4-2 mark was plenty to earn them a spot in the NCAA Tournament.  They fell just short in their opening game.

Last season's top scorer has gone back home to Europe but Justine Sowry believes their are plenty of players ready to fill the void.  Having Ireland's top goalkeeper healthy and back in action will take pressure off of the defense and the Cards can focus more on an aggressive style of play.

Coach Sowry loves to play an intense non-conference schedule that includes teams like Delaware, Northwestern, California, and Miami (OH).  You could include Michigan too but they are just an exhibition.

ACC play will not be kind.  Six of the seven ACC teams found themselves in the 18-team NCAA Tournament.  That's one-third of the bracket for you mathematicians.  The six-game conference schedule is split in half in terms of road and home games.  In ACC field hockey anyone can win at any location.

My Prediction: 11-5, 4-2 ACC

It will be a slight drop from the 2017 season, but still one to keep the Cards ranked and in the NCAA Tournament.  Louisville stunned then-reigning champ Delaware last season and the Blue Hens are out for revenge.  UofL lost to Northwestern twice last year and they are the only Wildcats on the schedule this year so they will find a way to take down the flock in the red and black.  Duke will be playing with the ACC semifinal in the back of their minds when they come to visit and won't be playing nice.  North Carolina is the best candidate in the conference to take national championship this year and will stop at nothing to get there.  Sowry's squad is used to tough opponents and can play with anyone in the country and will pull out some hard-fought wins.  Expect to see them make it to the ACC semifinals at least and even win their first round game in the NCAA Tournament.


This analysis does not reflect the views and opinions of the other writers at Cardinal Couple and reflect solely on my prediction for the 2018 season.  How do you think the Cards will do in these sports this year?  Feel free to compare and contrast your schedule with mine.  And maybe we'll see some goose eggs in the losses column for these teams this year!

Injuries, freshman development, star-player performance -- all of these can come into play over the course of a season. No way of knowing any of this in advance. The ACC is tough but the Cards will give it all they've got for these three stellar coaches.


What Day Is It? 


Some fun days to celebrate today! It's national Hot Fudge Sundae Day, so hit the local ice cream
purveyor place you like and treat yourself or a friend to one (or more) of those decadent, delicious treats. Afterwards, why not hit an amusement park for a up and down trip? It's also national Carousel Day.  If you have a sensitive stomach, feel free to reverse the order on these.

Happy Wednesday and Go Cards!

- Jared -

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Coaching them up -- Louisville women's sports coaches -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


THE PEOPLE WHO GUIDE CARDINAL WOMEN'S SPORTS

Let's take just a few minutes here. There are 12 women's sports that compete in NCAA Division I athletics at the University of Louisville. Each sport has a head coach.


Can you name all twelve coaches? Close your laptops, your monitors, your smart phones and grab a piece of paper and writing utensil and start listing them. 

We'll provide the answer to this quiz a bit further down in today's column. Just to give you a little help, the sports are basketball, cross country, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, rowing soccer, softball, swimming/diving, tennis, track/field and volleyball. 

Some of the head coaches' names will come fairly quickly to you. I was able to name 10 right off the bat and had to do a little thinking on the remaining two but got them. I'll give you another hint. you'll only end up with 11 different names, since one coach is the head coach in two sports.

Here's your final music for contemplation: 

JEOPARDY MUSIC 

NOTE: The music is a "loop" that goes forever it seems (with stupid commercial interruptions). If you can listen to five minutes, we'll give you the one-eared, toothpick-holder bear as a reward. Or a Laurel and Hardy handshake. I listened to three minutes and now the tune is stuck in my head. There is some pretty cool music that follows, as well).  


* (remember, no cheating...)


* (one of the coaches' last name rhymes with "dowry".)


* (one of the coaches comes from right here in good ol' Louisville) 


* (better hurry!) 



OK, contestants! Time is up. Here are your answers: 

BASKETBALL   --      JEFF WALZ
CROSS COUNTRY --  DALE COWPER
FIELD HOCKEY --     JUSTINE SOWRY
GOLF --                   COURTNEY TRIMBLE
LACROSSE --            SCOTT TEETER
ROWING --               DEREK COPELAND
SOCCER --                KAREN FERGUSON DAYES
SOFTBALL --            HOLLY APRILE  
SWIM/DIVE --            ARTHUR ALBIERO
TENNIS --                 MARK BECKHAM
TRACK/FIELD --        DALE COWPER
VOLLEYBALL --        DANI BUSBOOM KELLY

So...how did you do? 

An A+ for you If you named all 11 names, congratulations! You really know your UofL womens' sports! Proceed to the front of the class! 

8-10 is not bad and we'll give you an A. You're up on things and smarter than your average bear...oops...Cardinal fan. 

5-7 is so-so and worth a B. You probably have some specific sports you follow and we encourage you to get to know the other sports that you missed. 

2-4 is passing, but barely a C. We'll recommend that you read CARDINAL COUPLE every day for a year and no dozing while you do it! 


1 is a D and pretty bad but, hey, you're either still a Cardinal fan that doesn't follow coaching or a visitor from another school. WE APPRECIATE YOU STOPPING BY !!! We'll not be too harsh toward you. Give us 5 laps around the gym and 100 free throws. 

0 is an F. It means you either stumbled across this site and were looking for bird information or to see what the site is about. Stay around awhile and learn something about the women's sports that UofL has and we report on. 

Here at CARDINAL COUPLE, we try to balance the excitement of UofL women's sports with what is seasonal and what YOU, the reader, want to read about. We try to follow Cardinal Greats when they move on to other aspects of their lives...pro ranks, coaching or other things. Sometimes, this can be an arduous and challenging task.


Fortunately, we have, in my opinion, three great columnist (and me) who have our own specific interests...but are adept at covering any of the sports. Most of you know Volleyball and Basketball are Jeff's first loves. Jared encompasses those and softball. Case loves Soccer and knows his way around the hardwood also. I try to be open, but, if pinned down...I'll admit basketball has long been my first UofL women's sports passion. I have become a fan of the other 11 sports, though, and have has so many great chats with the players and coaches in them. We do wander away from specific sports, at times, during the summer doldrums. We do hope you enjoy these little "side trips". 

We also get a lot of feedback from you, the reader. Both in the comments section and directly to me via e-mail or text. Usually it's positive and uplifting commenting, but I/We do get called on the carpet occasionally. There's a few of you who wouldn't mind this being a WBB site all year. I get reminders on how Field Hockey and Softball need coverage from time to time. I've grown to love and adopt Lacrosse as a sport I hate to miss over the last couple of years and, occasionally, some of you want to read about sports that we don't cover enough here. 

Last, but certainly not least, behind each team, staff and coaching crew there are the Sports Information Directors. We deal with and depend on a half-dozen or so of them throughout the year to help us get interviews, provide information and deliver updates on events, media opportunities and activities that are either out-of-town or something we might have missed. They play an important role and we appreciate what they help us do. They play a much bigger role to the sport(s) they represent. In the words of Emil Faber: "Knowledge is Good". 

Fall sports draw near. 18 days until women's soccer scrimmages Morehead in Lynn Stadium. All across the Louisville sporting contingent, practices are either underway or getting ready to start. Coaches are faced with the duties of evaluation, recommendation, instruction and analysis concerning their rosters. Student-athletes have been staying in shape and await the specific instructions designed to help them and the team grow and prosper. 

We wait with anticipation and excitement. Another UofL sports season is around the corner. 


paulie
xxxxx