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Sunday, September 16, 2018

Victorious Saturday report - Sunday Cardinal Couple

They're Wins, But...

Three major team sports were in action for the Cardinals yesterday.  Football eked out a come from behind win over Western Kentucky in a game where basically no one seems terribly satisfied with how the Cardinals played.  Things were better at Cardinal Arena yesterday afternoon, but there is definitely still room for improvement in the Cards Volleyball play.

The Cards beat the Tennessee - Chattanooga Mocs in straight sets, 25-17, 25-18, 25-14.  While, honestly, the stat sheet looks pretty good, with a .471 hitting percentage as the highlight, the play still felt a little bit lackluster.  I really thought the Cards would be ready to come in after a bad loss to Kentucky and play their best and dominate the mid-major Mocs, and the Cards did win solidly, but it didn't feel like their best effort.

The Cards line-up continues to be a little bit fluid, with Piper Roe finding her way back into the starting lineup in the middle blocker position...a position that was largely filled by Emily Scott last weekend.  Coach Busboom Kelly continues to try out different combination of hitters and DS substitutions.  The bright spots in the hitting this match came from Amanda Green and Megan Sloan with 14 and 12 kills, respectively.  Both also hit efficiently in the process, with Megan ending with a .400 hitting efficiently, and Greene tallying an amazing .591.  The only higher hitting percentage came from the middle, with Jasmine Bennett putting down an error free 7 of 9, for .778.

Defensively, the highlight was blocking, with six total blocks for the Cards, though that is still a bit below what this team needs to be putting up for big success.  It was a good afternoon for Wilma Rivera at the net, though, with two solos and a share of another.  Amanda Greene also soloed a block.  Jasmine Bennett got a hand in on three.

Credit to another freshman, Mia Stander, who got some significant court time in the DS roll.  Credit her with a service ace, and 3 digs.  Of course, we can't forget team stalwart, Molly Sauer, who dug a pretty typical (for her, arguably the best libero in college volleyball) 15.  Rounding out a good game for Amanda Greene, her 10 digs give her a double-double in the match.

With this match, the Cards have finished their non-conference slate, and launch into the meat of the season with conference play.  For the Cards to have post-season aspirations, they will need to nearly run the table in conference play, and the last likely chance at a signature win over a Top 25 team will be against Pitt on Oct 21st.  The conference schedule starts in North Carolina, Friday the 21st a 7pm against NC State.  The Cards will stay relatively nearby with a visit Sunday the 23rd at 1pm at UNC.

Soccer Shines

Women's Soccer probably had the best day yesterday, with the 2-0 win over Pitt.  The Cards advance to 7-1-0 on the season.

Karen Ferguson-Dayes squad pressured the Panthers all night, ending the evening with an 18-4 shot advantage, and not letting the hosting Pittsburgh team get a shot off in the second half at all.  The UofL barrage does result in a fairly impressive stat line for Pitt's GK, Amaia Pena, who ends the evening with 8 saves.  I'm sure, however, that she would gladly give up most of those saves for a stouter defensive effort to keep the opponent off the board.  Pitt only got a single shot on goal the whole game, giving Gabby Kouzelous the save stat for the night.

The Cardinal scorers were Maisie Whitsitt, on a feed from Brooklyn Rivers in the 5th minutes of the match; and Mollie Rouse, with a feed from Arianna Ferraro early in the 2nd half.  As the above shot stats would indicate, the Cards offense would have other opportunities to score and weren't able to convert.  Emina Ekic had a couple of good opportunities in the game, and Delaney Snyder had two back-to-back good attempts that didn't find the back of the net.  The Cardinal's attack was relentless, with Sarah Hernandez missing just wide in the 84th minutes of the game.

UofL will be back home Thursday in the friendly confines of Lynn Stadium on Floyd Street for a 7pm start against Notre Dame, where I suspect Paulie will have more success getting on the field to get a post-game coaches interview with  than I did, getting shoo'ed off the court, at Volleyball yesterday afternoon.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

Check out yesterday's Cardinal Couple Radio Hour broadcast and here my near panic when our opening music wouldn't play.  The technical difficulties did get sorted out in a few minutes, but thanks to my cohorts in the studio, Paulie, Case, and guest Mike Gilpatrick for rolling with a bit of an unusual opening.  We did go on to talk about the week's action in Volleyball, Soccer, and even snuck in a little Football at the end.

Regardless of the challenges, it's always a fun hour in the magnificent media mansion on Mellwood.


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