CARDINAL COUPLE

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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Holly Aprile Press Conference -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



"THIS IS A DESTINATION JOB" -- HOLLY MEETS THE MEDIA


Holly Aprile was officially introduced as the second softball coach in Louisville history yesterday on the UofL Campus and we learned many interesting things about her, her philosophy, why she came to Louisville and what she wants to do here. 

It's been a whirlwind 48 hours for Coach Aprile, flying into Louisville on Tuesday, meeting with the media and then the team Wednesday and starting off Thursday on Howie Lindsey's "Louisville First" radio show. From all accounts, Holly is quite excited to be here, loves the city, facilities, administration, campus and city.

A destination job. It was her thoughts about Louisville and Louisville athletics the first time she ever stepped onto campus -- back in her assistant coaching days at Pitt. Now that she's arrived, she outlined some of the things she wants to accomplish at her destination. 

She spoke of improving on the already strong tradition of Louisville Softball and taking it to new heights. That would involve taking the Cards to their first-ever Softball College World Series appearance. She's also a fan of Louisville Baseball's Dan McDonnell and cited him as a role model on how to build a successful program. Holly stresses scoring runs anyway you can, defense and pitching. She's a former pitcher, something she and A.D. Vince Tyra have in common, and vowed to develop a strong pitching arsenal at Louisville.

Holly met with the media in the YUM Practice Facilities Interview room on the first floor. A place Cardinal Couple columnist are well familiar with...attending conferences there for Jeff Walz and Scott Teeter. The room was full of media columnists, reporters, television cameras, talk show hosts, a few players, UofL administration (including Vince Tyra, who introduced her to start off the press conference) and sports information directors. 


After a brief, three minute introduction from Tyra, Holly made an opening statement and then opened the room for questions. I was one of several who offered questions to her and she handled all of them with solid answers -- not "coach-speak". 

Holly believes in learning from mistakes -- as she pointed out, you're going to have them in the course of the season -- but stressing the fact that she wanted to see her players "fail forward". That means learning from them, and avoiding committing the same ones again. It's a philosophy we've heard many times from Louisville head women's basketball coach Jeff Walz and Louisville head lacrosse coach Scott Teeter. 

She takes over a team that went 33-20 in 2018, returns their top five hitters (Funke, Hensley, Melton, Ferguson and Newman) top five pitchers (Hensley, Watson, Snyder, Paige Schindler and Hale) and narrowly missed a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament. There are positions to fill...a strong center-fielder and team leader in Nicole Pufahl has graduated. Steady utility player Alison Szydlowski, catcher Jenna Jordan and second-baseman Jamie Soles have graduated. 

When you hear Holly speak, it is immediately obvious that there is a passion, a fire and a dedication in her words, descriptions and in her voice. To match that drive and desire with the resources available at the University of Louisville has the potential to create great things at Louisville Softball. She made a great first impression. I doubt there are many that will out-work her in her recruiting, teaching and mentoring her players. Reaction, of course, by many to her will be simplified to her win/loss record, who she brings in and what she does with what she currently has on campus. I'd encourage readers to give her ample time to build Louisville Softball her way. I think you'll like the end result. 


Hitting the ground running. Eager to meet with local players, club teams, coaches and to get started on the recruiting trail. Holly Aprile made a very strong and good impression in her first appearance before the media and we, here at CARDINAL COUPLE, look forward to seeing what she can do here.  

Welcome to the "Viile", Holly. Do well here and add to the proud tradition of Louisville Women's Athletics. The Louisville airport has a banner that reads "Success Is Created Here." She saw that on her way to baggage claim. She'll get her chance to live up to that phrase. 

You came in, you had your control, threw strikes and produced a strong performance. Consider this columnist quite impressed.

Be envious no more, Holly. You're here. 

You can see/hear a brief promo for her at the link below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rU7HW6SByMI

Note: When there are a bunch of electronic devices in the interview room, like yesterday,  any recordings I try to do in there are accompanied by a annoying clicking, static noise. Nevertheless, if you want to hear the entire presser, follow the link below. Sorry about the quality.  

Holly Aprile Introductory Presser


paulie
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5 comments:

  1. It sounds like a dynamic beginning for Holly Aprile. I'll be pulling for her to succeed here at Louisville. It looks like she has a solid nucleus to build around her first year and we'll see how she recruits. I give her a "thumbs up" -- Wait, that's a umpire signal someone is out. How about a double fist pump?

    Curtis "Calls them like he sees them" Franklin

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  2. Who is this new minion that the Curious-Urinal sent to cover the presser? She mis-spelled Melton's first name and why start an article about envy? Just another example of how a once-proud and relevant newspaper has devolved into a rag not even suitable for bird-age lining.

    Good job on your recap, Paulie. I don't follow softball a whole lot but I'll be watching in the spring of 2019 to see how Aprile's first year goes. She sure is saying all the right things.

    Nick O.

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  3. Hey, ho! Dave-O here!

    An auspicious start indeed for Holly Aprile with her press conference remarks. It's hard to believe that Louisville never made the Softball College World Series in Pearsall's 19 years but stranger things have happened in sports.

    I hope she can recruit well and get her team fully behind her philosophy. Defense is an important aspect in softball and from what I saw, an area where Louisville had problems the last couple of years. Louisville has had a history of great pitchers and Hensley returns as one of those but I'd like to see more development and improvement out of the other pitchers on the staff.

    Despite the exclusion of any SEC teams in the Final Four last year, it's become clear that SEC Softball has become the standard bearer for the sport, along with the Pac 12. Maybe Louisville, along with Notre Dame and FSU can start a drive toward excellence that will get the ACC in the same sentence with these two conferences. For years, the Big 12 was that standard-bearer and they're still probably better than the ACC top to bottom. I hope the ACC can keep growing and getting better.

    Full speed ahead Holly! And find a way to beat UK. Next target in the periscope is Oklahoma City.

    Dave-O
    David Watson

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    Replies
    1. Not to throw a water balloon or anything at your thesis, Dave-O but since 1982, the PAC 12 has had the NCAA Softball Champion 17 times. I'd say that puts them well above the SEC (3 times) or Big 12 (2 times).

      Go for all you can, Holly. You've got an AD and community that'll support you.

      The Real Joe Hill

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    2. PAC-12 has a few very good teams. Basically *all* SEC Softball teams are very good. PAC may have gotten more 'ships, but top to bottom there really is no better softball conference than the SEC in the past decade or so.

      Delete

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