A 9-4 start to the 2018 season might not be how many of us expected the Louisville volleyball season to go, but there isn't reason to fear at this time. There is plenty to look forward to on a year that could still end up better than last year.
All four losses came against ranked opponents- USC, Florida, Purdue, and Kentucky. They have no victories against ranked opponents yet this year. The Cards played the Boilermakers close in five sets and took one set at the Gators home court. The losses to the Trojans (neutral site) and Wildcats (home) were sweeps. In matches where Louisville is favored they have come out on top.
Through 13 games in 2017 Louisville held an 8-5 record and was 2-1 in conference play. The sole ACC loss was on the road to North Carolina. Three of the five losses were to ranked opponents. The Cards did get upset victories over #24 WKU and #21 Florida State in that run.
Jasmine Bennett is third in the country in hitting percentage at 0.467. These stats do not include results from this past weekend where Bennett is now down to 0.416. Molly Sauer is 34th in aces per set Wilma Rivera is 47th in assists per set. Once again, these are not up-to-date with this weekend's results and are subject to change.
Currently sitting one spot outside of the Top 25, Louisville has been competitive in almost every match. In close games the Cards have found ways to pull through, proving that they have what it takes to survive.
Besides the graduation of one of the best players in the country in Tess Clark last year Louisville took a loss when Alexis Hamilton tore her ACL early into the season. Thankfully, it appears she is still eligible to red-shirt, but put one of the Cards' best defenders on the bench for the remainder of the season.
Where Will Louisville Sports Be In The New Rankings?
The main question is who will be ranked higher: field hockey or men's soccer? As of last week field hockey was seventh and men's soccer was sixth.
Field hockey went 1-1 over the weekend including a disappointing loss at Wake Forest. They should drop some, but should remain in the Top 10.
Men's Soccer earned a Friday night victory over an ACC opponent and shouldn't move anywhere since everyone above them won too.
Volleyball is at the top of the list in the receiving votes category after a pair of conference wins on the road. #26 in the country isn't too bad for a team in their second year of rebuilding and never fully broke the rankings last year.
Women's soccer was at the top of the receiving votes category last week, only a few points shy of breaking the Top 25. With two conference victories on Thursday and Sunday and tied for best in the ACC right now it's tough to imagine them not finding themselves in the rankings when the new poll is released.
Football is nowhere close to the rankings, nor should they. This team has just been a disappoint for Cards fans and is in jeopardy of not becoming bowl eligible this year.
There hasn't been a new women's golf poll to come out since Sept. 6, so hopefully we see a new one released soon. This weird #26 thing continues with women's golf, who has had a couple big finishes in early season tournaments against major opponents. When the next poll comes out expect to see the Cards in it.
With Paulie on vacation with Sonya we have switched a few things around this week to give him a chance to fully enjoy his time off. He won't be writing any this week. However, he's sure to be active in the comments and still has phone in case you need to reach him. He'll be back in time for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour this Saturday.
For now, you will have myself, Case, and Worldwide running the show on here trying to keep you updated with all the happenings with women's sports at UofL.
Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!
- Jared -