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Sunday, June 30, 2019

WUGs and More -- Sunday Cardinal Couple

The monsoons have stopped, and the temperatures are reaching into the 90s, and we're about to switch over into the collapsed, "Ain't nobody here but us chickens", July calendar on the GoCards website.

The WUGs Return


The biannual World University Games, the Cardinal Couple beloved "WUGs" return this week.

The UofL rooting interest in this one is for Tori Dilfer, one of the two setters on the US Women's Volleyball contingent.

The US Volleyball WUGs participants depart for Napoli Italy today.  The beginning of the volleyball competition is Thursday with qualifying rounds getting underway.

Dilfer is officially listed as being from the Cardinals, but has yet to hit the court for an official UofL Volleyball match as she joined the team in January after transferring in from TCU.  The current expectation is that the fall setter role on Cardinals squad is Dilfer's position to lose, though there is a good incoming freshman from Arizona, Shannon Shields, who will be looking to win some time in the position.


Name to know? 


The Louisville WBB coaches are always on the lookout for talent. a 2021 COLLEGE PROSPECT, Meg Newman -- a 6'3" post out of Indianapolis North Central, is getting a lot of attention from the coaches.

She attended the Walz elite camp in mid-June. She also spent some time checking out the campus and facilities after the camp. She was very impressed with what she saw and called her relationship with the coaching staff and Walz as "close" and went on to say she was impressed with everything she saw and mentioned:

"I like them (Louisville) a lot. Louisville is really impressive. It is obvious the staff is exellent at player development. And, the facilities are unmatched. I've never been to a school with such impressive facilities for all sports in place."

Newman is a very agile "4" that can create in the paint, operate well in the half-court offense and works hard on both ends of the court.

She's #49th currently in the ESPN rating system for 2021 prospects and is also being courted by Arizona, Arizona State, DePaul, Indiana, Michigan, Minn, Northwestern, Penn State, Purdue and Vanderbilt.

She also plays soccer at North Central. I'm guessing most opponents quake at the sight of a 6'3" attacker approaching the goalkeeper...


The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


(PROBABLY DIDN'T LISTEN TO THE SHOW...)
Case, Paulie and Jeff took to the airwaves and Facebook Live for the weekly Saturday CARDINAL
COUPLE RADIO HOUR yesterday at 11 a.m. A lively discussion ensued about UofL women's sports and the second half of the show featured another Worldwide Cardinal Couple Quiz, administered by Paulie.

UNFORTUNATELY, ONLY A MINUTE OF THE SHOW EXISTS. on the Facebook Live link below..gremlins again attack our broadcast. Hopefully you heard it live...the Facebook Live feed seems to have disconnected and there is no audio backup of the show.

It was a mascot quiz and the boys didn't do too badly on it...Case scoring the best and getting the ceremonial one-eared, toothpick-holding bear (with toothpicks) for his "win".

Be sure to catch The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour on Saturdays at 11 a.m. on WCHQ 100.9 FM, (usually Facebook Live) or dowmload the WCHQ app.




Cardinal in the Big Leagues


Brendan McKay made his Major League Baseball debut with Tampa Bay yesterday.  He pitched for 6
innings, and retired his first 15 batters with no one getting on base.  McKay also showed some fielding prowess in the 2nd.  The infield was shifted heavily to the right but a pop up just into foul territory by left base had no other infielders left to field it.  With a quick run over to the 3rd base line, McKay helped his own cause catching the fly just in foul territory.

McKay, who was much beloved as a Cardinal, has rocketed up through the ranks of pro ball, spending barely a month at the AAA level before being called up to the Rays.  OK, admittedly, the Rays have had a rough time of it of late, so they're looking for answers.  With the 5-2 win over the Rangers, it looks like they may have one.  They may have found two, even, as word on the street is that McKay, who has always gone both ways, with a history of producing some prodigious offense as well, will be getting a chance to shine in the batter's box as well.

We don't typically follow Cardinal Baseball too closely, here at Cardinal Couple, but I did want to stop and take a moment to recognize McKay as an Cardinal to continue to be proud of.


"Big Wol" and GB Win Opener

Alicia Wolny connected on a two-run home run to left-center in the second inning for Great Britain...as they won their opening game in the 2019 European Softball Championships.

Great Britain defeated Greece 12-5.  .

Wolny played for Louisville Softball from 2010-13 and was selected for the 2013 NFCA Second-Team All-America squad.

It's her second stint with Great Britain, playing for them also in 2013. Wolny's mother is British, so she is eligible and can play for the squad.

Here's to many more "long balls" and "fence clearers" for Cardinal Forever "Big Wol" -- Alicia Wolny !!!!

--
JMcA

Saturday, June 29, 2019

A Cardinal's Ties to the USWNT -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Ekic Sees Time with USWNT U23s



I'll bet you didn't think I could do yet another women's soccer article this week. You'd be wrong. It's summer time. Nothing else is going on. I'm allowed to write about what I want, and the USWNT just knocked off their biggest challenger in their World Cup title defense. I've still got soccer on my mind. This week, though, I wanted to put some focus on a Louisville player that may very well see herself on this stage at some point in her career. 

We've talked about Emina Ekic at length ever since she committed to the Cards. Ekic was born and raised here in Louisville, and her high school soccer field at Manual was not far from where she plies her trade now. She has been critical to Louisville's success since joining the team and her success has been noted by conference and national honors. Apparently, her success has also been noticed by the US Soccer Federation. Earlier this spring, Ekic was invited to camp with the US Women's National Team U23 squad in Portland, Oregon. Only 19 at the time (she turned 20 this month), Ekic was playing well above her class in games against current NWSL teams. We didn't give this much coverage as it happened in late March/early April and something else pretty major was going on around that time. Can't quite put my finger on it.

Over the camp period, the U23s competed against Reign FC (Seattle), the Portland Thorns, and the Chicago Red Stars, going 2-1 in that time. Ekic saw very limited time in the "tournament", logging 17 minutes against the Red Stars in the final game. They were her only game minutes during the camp, but the U23s did score a stoppage time winner with Ekic on the field in that game. Considering the team scored only four goals in the three games, I would say that being on the field for a quarter of those goals isn't too bad. 

The primary benefit for Ekic in this situation is not the game time. Sure it would be nice for her to have gotten more, but this is surely far from the last time she will camp with the USWNT. Ekic's first invitation came just before her freshman season at UofL. Having just turned 18, Ekic traveled to the Czech Republic to compete with the U19s, again competing above her class. She started both of the games the US played on the trip. Given her past invites, her college credentials, and the willingness of US Soccer to bring her up, Ekic is in a fine position going forward. 

Of course, the USWNT pipeline is loaded with talent. This is why the USWNT is dominant on the world stage. Soccer is bigger for women here, especially in the youth stages, than it is in most other places throughout the world. Other countries are catching up, to be sure, and that is partially due to FIFA's encouragement of the growth of the sport. It's a good thing for everyone, but it means that being very, very good may not be enough to make it here. A number of international players make their teams because they are a very good player that does not compete domestically but has eligibility to compete for their country. In fact, Thailand's team in this world cup was the only team that had every member of the squad compete in the domestic professional league. That is not the case for US born players. The competition is fierce to be able to get to the same stage on which players like Mia Hamm, Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe, and Alex Morgan compete.

Could Ekic be that next big star to wear the stars and stripes? Of course she could. All signs point to her being in the good graces of US Soccer and we've seen what she can do here at UofL. All we can hope for is that her experiences against greater competition continue to help her improve her game individually and help the Louisville Cardinals improve. Last season, Ekic finished with 19 points on 7 goals and 5 assists. Her points, goals, and shot percentages were topped only by forwards Brooklynn Rivers and Maisie Whitsett. Her assists were third behind only Rivers and Allison Whitfield. She controlled the field from the center midfield position and will continue to do so as given the opportunity. I'm looking forward to year three.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


As Jared mentioned yesterday, his long stretch run on the radio must end as work finally calls him back. We'll carry on without him this week as Paulie returns from his vacation to bring Jeff and me the first mascot quiz of the season. We're still heavy in the summer slump so we'll bring more professional news, fall season prognostications, and weird happenings around campus. As they say during the offseason, "no news is good news", but Louisville has already appeared in the headlines a couple of times this week. Tune in to WCHQ this morning at 11AM for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour. WCHQ is available at 100.9 FM, wchqfm.com, the WCHQ App, and Facebook Live.

Until next time, Go Cards!
-CH-

Friday, June 28, 2019

Jared Anderson's "A history of" -- Swimming and Diving -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


A History of Louisville Women’s Sports Chapter 5: Swimming and Diving

As we transition from the fall sports to winter sports I decided to focus on a program that does not receive the publicity and recognition equivalent to their accomplishments.  In terms of national championships combined between individual and team events the Louisville swimming and diving program is unlike any other.  Their streak of national championships traces back to when I first started as a student.  However, today we are focusing solely on the women’s side, so we will negate all men’s accomplishments for the time being.

Ralph Wright is a name recognized as the aquatic center where the Cardinals compete at today, but the name means much more than that.  Ralph Wright became the first swimming and diving (S&D) coach at UofL for the 1948-49 school year.  Wright had a prestigious record long before his time at UofL including a stint in the U.S. Marine Corps.  He continued to coach in town at the Y.M.C.A, Lakeside Swim Club and Plantation Swim Club up until his death at the age of 45.  There are now multiple buildings named in his memory.  Wright is now a member of the Louisville Athletics Hall of Fame.

There was a gap in stats, numbers and records following Wright’s departure up until the 1990’s when UofL
started keeping records.  That’s when Rick Hill came in.  He was the second most recent swimming and diving coach, where he held the position from the 1990’s to the 2002-03 season.  Hill spent his time as coach as a member of Conference USA and now has an award named in his honor.

Arthur Albiero first took over in 2003.  He came from Alabama, where he played an integral part in their rebuilding period.  Albiero worked with architects on the design of the Ralph Wright Natatorium just in time for UofL to join the Big East Conference.  Since then, Albiero has helped the Cards onto numerous individual conference championships in the Big East, AAC and ACC.  He has guided Cardinals onto higher levels with NCAA Championships, World Championships, and Olympic medals.  The women won their first ever conference championship in 2009-2010, under his guidance.  Two women’s swimmers have one individual NCAA titles- Kelsi Worrell Dahlia and Mallory Comerford.  Albiero has also coached the Brazilian Olympics team.

Worrell won titles in 2015 and 2016.  Comerford went three years with the crown in 2017, 2018 and 2019.  Both swimmers were also a part of the 2016 Rio Olympics USA gold medal team.  On the men’s side, Joao De Lucca and Carlos Almeida have both taken the title during their careers.

The Ralph Wright Natatorium has been home to the Cards since September 2005 after a two-year construction project.  It is most well-known for Louisville swimming and diving but serves a greater purpose.  Local swim and dive events happen year-round at the venue.  The University takes advantage by offering aquatics classes for students and swim lessons and classes for the public.  It has eight full lanes for competition while the diving area goes as deep as 18 ft. 

Prior to the Natatorium was Crawford Gymnasium.  It was host to the swimming and diving teams for most of the program’s life, starting with its construction in 1963.  Crawford Gym was also home to several UofL P.E. classes up through its demolish in late 2016.  It has been replaced by a state-of-the-art classroom building.


Now a national powerhouse, UofL Swimming and Diving consistently finishes ranked in the Top 10 and
finished in the Top 5 last year.  Admission is free to all UofL Swimming and Diving events at the Natatorium, but they usually charge for parking in the area.  You can catch a few of us Cardinal Couple folks at events throughout the year.

From the basement of a gym to a state-of-the art facility...Louisville Swimming and Diving has continued to grow and attract the best swimmers in the world. We don't see that changing.



She's back...

Milwaukee's loss is Louisville's (and the ACC) gain. 

Former Miss Kentucky,  Cardinal Volleyball setter and Assumption High School Alumnae Katie George has left her role as the sideline and digital reporter for the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks after 10 months to take a position with the ACC Network. 

George will be an anchor and reporter with the ACC Network. One can logically assume that she'd be a part of the network's Volleyball coverage -- but she's the type of person you can throw into any situation and she'll shine. 

For more on Katie and her decision to return to Louisville and the conference where she spent her final two years of her student-athlete career, check out the link below: 


Country music legend Jerry Lee Lewis recorded a classic hit back in 1968 titled "What made Milwaukee famous".

LINK to song:  George Jones' Classic Hit

In this case, though...Milwaukee isn't sending us a fool or loser back home. We are re-gaining an up-and-coming shining star who continues to move up in her career. 

Can the return of the double fist pump be far away? 


                                                                    #############


I’m back to banking this weekend and Daryl is tossing pitchers for saying “that’s horrible”.  Paulie, Worldwide and Case will be on air for another World-Famous Cardinal Couple Quiz so tune in to see if you can win! Don't miss The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Saturday morning on WCHQ 100.9 FM, Facebook Live, the WCHQ app or listen live at the station's website:  


Emanating from the magnificent, marvelous and massive media mansion on Mellwood ...the best of UofL Womens' Sports...



Go Cards!
Jared Anderson







I’m back to banking this weekend and Daryl is tossing pitchers for saying “that’s horrible”.  Paulie, Worldwide and Case will be on air for another World-Famous Cardinal Couple Quiz so tune in to see if you can win!

Happy Friday and Go Cards!

Jared

Thursday, June 27, 2019

ACC Network -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


PROMISING OPPORTUNITIES FOR VIEWING (FOR SOME)


As most of you know, the ACC Network is coming. On August 22, this network will begin broadcasting ACC Sports. The current providers in Louisville are DirectTV, Hulu, Vue, Fios, Optimum, Google Fiber and "other providers"...according to the ACC Network information website. The ESPN app is another option. 



One notable name is missing. Spectrum.  

For those of you (myself included) who haven't "cut the cable" and still use this provider, the question, I suppose, is "Will Spectrum carry the ACC Network?" I decided to do a little research and "see what I could see".

After scouring the Internet and not finding out any relevant information on whether the ACC Network would be on Spectrum or not, I went to "Plan B" and decided to call Spectrum and ask a few questions. 

As usual, when you call most businesses anymore, you have to go through a series of "prompts" to reach a real person. I call this the "Automated Alice" procedure. I was eventually able to convince "Alice" I wanted to speak to a live customer service representative. And, after a five minute "hold time" I had a human being on the line. I realize that call centers are, for the most part -- understaffed... and delays are inevitable if you want a real person. 

The customer service representative I spoke with was polite but could not provide an answer on whether Spectrum would be negotiating with the ACC Network or ESPN to carry it. So, I politely asked to speak to someone who might provide more information. This is what the industry calls a "supervisor transfer call" and the hold time here was 12 minutes.

 I get it. There are less supervisors than call center customer service representatives.

I posed the question several ways. Each time the response was the same. She had no information on whether "corporate" Spectrum was negotiating with the ACC Network for coverage.  So, I decided to "retreat" and try another angle. I did make a request that Spectrum include the ACC Network on their roster and she promised she would deliver the message.  



I thought a call to UofL and to the department that is working with the ACC Network might provide some answers. Unfortunately, I got the voice mail of the person listed as "executive director of TV productions". Once again, I understand that....I'm sure that there are a lot of details and things to be worked out in preparation for the Cards part of the ACC Network and this person can't be sitting by the phone waiting to field questions from people like me. I did leave a detailed voice message, however, including my name, affiliation, phone number, e-mail address and reason for the call. I haven't had a reply yet....if I get one, I'll add it to the comments section.  

So, batting 0-3 and nervously looking toward the dugout to see if Coach Aprile was going to send in a pinch-hitter for me...I debated my next options. 

Perhaps Vince Tyra would know? Or Kenny Klein, the senior associate AD/SID? Maybe one of the assistant SID's would have an answer? Coach Walz knows a lot of stuff...maybe he had the answer I was looking for. I've got this "know-it-all", opinionated neighbor, who I'm sure would weigh-in with his "two cents worth"...even though he subscribes to ATT U Verse...and is a UK/SEC fan. (For the record, ATT has not signed a carriage contract with ESPN either to carry the ACC Network). Maybe my priest or that helpful guy at the Auto Zone had the answer? 

I came to the conclusion, though, that the UofL folks were probably way too busy to field a call from an independent website owner.  I did not make these calls. And, my neighbor is on vacation, so that venue wasn't possible either. 

I wondered if "Ask Jeeves" was still an active website?  I checked and got directed to ask.com but found no answer there either. 

Then it dawned on me. Why not call ESPN? So I did.  

My call was answered by ESPN's version of "Automated Alice" but the prompt sequence went pretty quickly. The customer service representative I spoke with was did not know anything about any negotiations with Spectrum for carrier coverage but suggested I might ask "the Customer Care team". But, as it turns out, this "team" wasn't in the office. Maybe they were out travelling for an away game or practicing for their next opponent. 

I did try again to speak with "the team" a few minutes later but a different Automated Alice informed me that no support agents were available to take my call and was asked to please call back later. A few subsequent attempts came up with the same results...but eventually, I did get through to a member of the Customer Care team.

I did find out that negotiations are ongoing between Spectrum and ESPN about a carrier pairing....so that is a bit of positive news. 

I also went to the site support.espn.com. There is a lot of information there, including a much broader list of providers that will carry the ACC Network, and the site is worth checking out.

So, I must sadly report that my quest for knowledge came up with limited success. I was 0-6 and I'm sure Coach Walz has someone getting off the bench to replace me. Maybe it'll be Jess, Kasa or Lindsey...I can't seem to get any offense generated and I'll have a seat next to Sam Purcell and discuss my lack of positive performance. Sometimes, the shots just don't fall. 

I wonder if the gang at NCIS knows? Ol' Gibbs and McGee, they're pretty sharp, you know...

It is a fact the the SEC has (2) channels on Spectrum. One of them doesn't do a lot of programs, just plays the same song over and over again. Can the ACC get equal coverage? 
Shoot, just give us one channel...but, if we get two, I bet the ACC could come up with a better song to play over and over. 

The promise of the ACC Network offers a great deal of programming, live events and such to keep any of the fans of the 15 schools in the ACC happy. Dedicated soccer, field hockey, volleyball, basketball....you name it...nights. Live events, replays and more.  As of now, some media subscribers will have unlimited access to these. 


The rest of us will wait, hope for positive developments and see what happens. I sincerely hope the negotiations go well. 

 Maybe you're reading today's column in a different city than Louisville. If so, I hope you have access to the ACC Network. Feel free to let us know your status, thoughts and what you know about the ACC Network in the comments section below. 

If you would like to request that Spectrum, or ATTUVerse carry the ACC Network in your area, you can make a request for this coverage with your provider. Just be prepared to prompt Automated Alice first. (Maybe we could get her on a broadcast of The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour as an automated guest? I wonder how she'd do on our weekly quiz?) 

Fans interested in learning more about the ACCN can go to www.getaccn.com


Have a terrific Thursday!

Paulie
xxxxx

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Where Are They From? -- Wednesday Cardinal Couple


CARDINAL STUDENT-ATHLETES FROM A GEOGRAPHICAL VIEW


Since we have spent so much time looking ahead to next school year and all the sports coming up I wanted to take a moment to look back at last season from a different perspective- a geographical perspective.  Louisville brings in athletes from all around the country and several countries around the world, so I did some research to find out where our athletes are from.

As important points of reference, my numbers come from the 12 Louisville womens athletic programs and the 2018-19 season. 

In my messy, indecipherable chart I was able to break down each state (U.S.) and each country where the athletes originate as well as the breakdown of each individual team.  Some of my findings surprised me while others fell right in line with what I expected.

The only state with a representative from each team is Kentucky, which should come as no surprise.  Most of the non-revenue teams are limited on scholarships, meaning many of the student-athletes are paying some or all of their tuition out of pocket.  In-state tuition is way cheaper than heading out of state.  For example, in-state tuition at Louisville is around $11,000 per year while out-of-state tuition would cost over $26,000 per year.

Kentucky is home to 54 of the student-athletes that we saw last season.  Track and field led the way with 12 representatives while lacrosse and tennis (Again, a reminder -- all sports discussed in today’s article are women’s sports) each had one representative.

Indiana was next in line with 20 student-athletes calling that state home.  Softball and track and field combine for half of that with each team hosting five players from the Hoosier State.  Basketball and rowing each have one person from Indiana.

Other states in the double-digits with student-athletes include Florida (14), Ohio (14), California (12), Pennsylvania (11), Virginia (11) and Maryland (10).  The other states contributing student-athletes include Alabama (2), Colorado (4), Delaware (2), Georgia (9), Hawaii (2), Illinois (4), Louisiana (2), Massachusetts (2), Michigan (7), Missouri (1), New Jersey (5), New York (6), New Hampshire (1), North Carolina (7), Oregon (1), South Carolina (2), Tennessee (4), Texas (5), Washington (3) and Wisconsin (6). 

U.S. territory Puerto Rico has (1) student-athlete on UofL womens' sports roster.

There’s also plenty of players that came from outside the United States.  In all, 38 student-athletes across women’s sports last season were considered international players from 22 different countries.

The countries that were home to UofL student-athletes include Argentina (1), Australia (1), Bosnia (1), Brazil (1), Canada (9), Czech Republic (1), England (1), France (2), Germany (1), Ireland (2), Jamaica (1), Kenya (3), New Zealand (3), Poland (1), Portugal (1), Puerto Rico (1), Russia, (4), Senegal (1), Slovenia (1), South Africa (1), Spain (1) and the United Kingdom (1).

Now let’s take a moment to analyze a few of those numbers

If you take out rowing and track and field, you lose half of your international players and countries right off the bat.  Only six members of the swimming and diving team (women’s side, don’t forget) originate from outside the United States.  I expected that number to be higher from all the times we talked about our swim team competing overseas or the numerous countries represented in the Olympics.

There are no women’s athletes hailing from Mexico despite it being a border country.  We did see nine student-athletes spread across five sports coming from our northern border in Canada.

Besides Antarctica providing us with no players for obvious reasons, Asia is the least represented continent.  However you choose to argue Russia’s inclusion with Asia and Europe and where the specific players come from only four players come from Asia, all from Russia. It should be noted that women's basketball has an incoming freshman from Japan. 

Outside of Indiana, Virginia and Ohio we don’t have a lot of athletes from the other four border states.  Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, and West Virginia combine for nine athletes with West Virginia having zero.

The Northeast/New England area is a popular recruiting area.  Field hockey, lacrosse and swimming and diving have been key contributors to that.

The West Coast brings in more players than I initially thought.  California, Oregon and Washington combine for 16 players.  Soccer has played the biggest part in claiming seven of those.

The time, effort and research that the Louisville coaches engage to find our student-athletes is something that should be appreciated by all Cardinal fans. Whether it is from mountainous towns of the Rockies or the sunny beaches of the southern states, be ready student athletes. UofL coaches will find, recruit and bring you to campus. 


                                                         #########################



Let me know your thoughts and reactions and where our student-athletes hail from.  I found it to be a nice summer project with some interesting results.

Don’t forget to check back here, as I continue with Chapter 5 of our UofL women’s sports history on Friday!

Happy Wednesday and Go Cards!

Jared

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Cards WBB releases 2019-20 Home Schedule -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


14 HOME GAMES FOR LOUISVILLE WBB 

We now know the 2019-20 home slate for the University of Louisville women's basketball squad. No major surprises here....five out-of-conference foes come to town and nine ACC teams will visit 2nd and Main. 

Let's see what's in store for Walz's Warriors in the downtown arena: 

WKU 


Western Kentucky travels up I-65 to face Louisville after the Cards outscored the Hilltoppers 102-80 last year in Bowling Green. The Conference USA foe went 20-15 last year and was invited to the WNIT, where they gathered two wins before falling to Ohio University 60-68. Big Red's leading scorer Dee Givens returns, she had 18 vs. UofL last year. 
Former UofL asst. coach Greg Collins always gets the best out of his players...



MURRAY STATE

The Racers and Cards did not play each other last year. A struggling season for Murray, going 13-17. Their season ended with a loss to UT Martin in the OVC Tournament. Head coach Rechelle Turner has seven letter-winners returning but loses last year's leading scorer Evelyn Adebayo.


CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY

Who can forget the Cards escaping the Chippewa's home court with a 72-68 win last year? The "Chips" complied a 25-8 record last year (and were 13-1 on the road). Sue Guevara's MAC school was knocked out of the NCAA Tournament in the first round by Michigan State in a nail-biter 87-88.  The two big guns, Renya Frost and Presley Hudson have graduated, though. 

UT CHATTANOOGA

Head coach Katie Burrows was 14-17 last year in her inaugural season as the Mocs head honcho. One of those losses was a 75-49 drubbing by Louisville. Their season ended with a second round Southern Conference Tournament loss to Furman 73-67. Leading scorer Lakelyn Bouldin returns for her senior year. 

BOISE STATE


The Cards handed the Mountain West Conference's Broncos their second worst loss of the season last year up there 74-55. It was an outstanding season for the Idaho university, though, going 28-5. They were defeated inthe first round of the NCAA Tournament by Oregon State 80-75. Leading scorers Brayley Hodgins and Riley Lupfer return and they have a Sykes on the roster! (Kimora Sykes). No relation to me that i know of... 


We now look at the ACC visitors. 

BOSTON COLLEGE

A tough year in 2018-19 for Baldwin's Eagles with a 14-17 record. Joanna Bernabei-McNamee's first visit to the KFC YUM Center as the BC head coach resulted in a 87-51 loss to the Cards. They were knocked off 70-58 by Pitt in the ACC Tournament and weren't invited to any other post-season affairs. 

DUKE

A 15-15 record for the Blue Devils and the Cards handled them pretty easily in Cameron with a 73-51 win. Duke made it to the second round of the ACC Tournament but their season ended there with a 51-41 loss to FSU. Stars and leading scorers Haley Gorecki and Leaonna Odom return for head coach Joanne P. McCallie. 


FLORIDA STATE

The Noles went 24-9 last year but fell to UofL 68-49. They were invited to the NCAA Tournament but ran into South Carolina in the second round and that resulted in a 72-64 loss. Kiah Gillespie is back for Sue Semrau's Seminoles and both are probably glad to see Asia Durr in the WNBA now..."Nite-Nite" lit them up for 29 in Tallahassee last year.  

NOTRE DAME


We all know how the Irish's season ended last year, bowing out to Baylor in the NCAA Championship game 82-81. We also probably remember how Muffet McGraw's marauders handed it to the Cards twice last year...82-68 and 99-79. Gone from that 35-9 squad, though, are five seniors and Jackie Young...so it'll be interesting to see what a new crop of Domers can do against UofL. 


PITTSBURGH

A tough 2018-19 season for Roc the Panthers crew wit a 11-20 mark for first year head coach Lance White. The Cards took it to UofP twice...70-42 and 67-40. Pitt bowed out of the ACC Tournament with an opening round loss to Duke 86-64. Losing five seniors might make this year a rough one again up on "the Hill". 

SYRACUSE

"Q's" Orange amassed a 25-9 record last year but the Cards showed no mercy on them with a 76-51 smack down. The 'Cuse made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before dropping a somewhat surprising game to South Dakota State 75-64. They do get the awesome Aussie Tiana Mangakahia back, though, and the roster features three players from Paris, France on this year's roster. Will we see "Q" in a beret and nibbling on croissants? 

VIRGINIA

The Cavs struggled last year with a 12-19 season. Louisville added to the misery with a 71-49 win over them. UVA's season ended with a ACC Tournament second round loss to Syracuse 67-57. Tina Thompson does return a wealth of talent, though, in Dominique Toussaint, Jocelyn Willoughby, Lisa Jablonski and 6'9" center Felicia Ayeotan. 

VIRGINIA TECH


Kenny Brooks and his Blacksburg ballers put up an impressive 22-11 season in 2018-19 but got snubbed by the NCAA Tournament committee. Someone explain that one to me. They gave the Cards a close game, losing only by nine, 72-63. Having to settle for the WNIT, they won two games before falling to JMU 70-66. Returning names you need to know...Dara Mabrey, Trinity Baptiste and a graduate transfer Cardinal fans will probably remember...Taja Cole....who lands on the roster after stints at UofL (2015-16) and Georgia. 





WAKE FOREST

The Demon Deaconesses batted .333 last season with a 10-20 mark. They had a rough go of it against UofL, ending up on the short end of a 73-49 score. The ACC Tournament wasn't very kind to them either, they went home after a first round 85-63 loss to Virginia Tech. Jen Hoover brings five freshmen into Winston-Salem, but does get Ivana Raca, Gina Conti and Alex Sharp back.

We'll get a little more in-depth on these 14 visitors as the season gets a little closer. 


Have a terrific Tuesday!

Paulie
xxxxx









Monday, June 24, 2019

What They are Doing Today -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


CATCHING UP WITH....MONIQUE REID

(OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF MONTHS, PAULIE WILL BE DOING AN ARTICLE EACH WEEK CATCHING YOU UP WITH FORMER LOUISVILLE WBB STARS. WE START WITH "33" -- MONIQUE REID.) 

"Mo" is the answer to a trivia question I like to pop on Cardinal women's basketball fans. Who is the only Cardinal WBB player to play in both of UofL WBB's NCAA Championship games? 

Monique Reid.


As a freshman at UofL, she saw 24 minutes in the Cards 2009 loss to UConn. 7 points on 2-9 shooting with three rebounds. Fast forward to her redshirt-senior season...Reid played 15 minutes in 2013 NCAA Championship game, against UConn again, and totaled five points and four rebounds. 

People will argue that the math doesn't work...it was five years in between the Cards appearances in the Big Dance's Final dance. I point out to then that Reid was injured in the 2011-12 season and only played in eight games and was granted the extra year. 

Monique is 8th. on the all-time scoring leaders list at UofL, with 1725 points and 802 rebounds. 

Let's fast forward now to 2019. We currently find Monique playing for Colegio Los Leones Quilpe in the Chile Women's League. In two games, she's put up 64 points...41 in a game two days ago. 

So...what got her to Chile and where has she been? 

She graduated from UofL in 2013 but was not selected in the WNBA Draft. She needed and had knee surgery in the summer of 2013 and, instead of heading overseas to play, decided to try her hand at coaching. She accepted the head girls basketball job at her alma mater (Fern Creek High School)...(replacing Jess Laemmle's dad, Rick)...but when the opportunity presented itself to get back out on the court as a player, she took it. 

2014 found her with New Basket Oberhausen and in the DBBL, which is the premier women's basketball league in Germany. Reid rapidly became a starter and averaged 14.9 points in 18 games in the 2013-2014 season. Her 2014-15 season with New Basket Oberhausen was even better, with 15.6 points per games in 20 games.

In 2015-16, she split time between two European teams. Monique started the season with BC Univ. Goldis ICIM Arad in the Romania National League. A total of 22 games produced a 18.6 points per game average. In January of 2016 she decided to move again and went to Montana. 


That's interesting, you might query...moving from southeastern Europe to the fourth largest state in the United States...but, this Montana is in Bulgaria. She played for Montana 2003 in the Bulgarian National League and averaged 23.8 points in 19 games. 

The 2016-17 season had Ms. Reid on the move again. Staying in Bulgaria but playing for Beroe Stara Zagora where she put up 23.5 points a contest in 32 games. After that season ended, she switched locations to Puerto Rico for two games with Atenienses de Manatee.

2017-18 brought a return to Europe and a starting role with Wasserburg Germany in the DBBL. 21 games with them and an 18.6 ppg average. After the DBBL season ended, it was back to the USA, where she played five games with the Atlanta Monarchs in the WBCBL. Meighan Simmons and Evelyn Akhator were on the same squad on this developmental team for the WNBA. She and her squad won the WBCBL Championship.  

Last season, Monique decided to try her skills in Israel with Hapoel Petah Tikva and had another great season with a 21.3 ppg clip per night with 11.8 rebounds as well. She was named to the All-Israeli League 2nd Team. One of her teammates was Brittany Sykes (Syracuse) who is currently with the WNBA's Atlanta Dream. When the Israel-D1 league concluded their season, she went to Chile...where's she's currently playing. 


Six different countries. Nine different teams. And she's not even 30 yet. A great example of how a player can take her NCAA DI skills and turn them into a colorful, adventurous opportunity to travel the world doing what she loves to do....play basketball. 

For Monique Reid it's "game on" and it really doesn't matter the venue. If there's a backboard and rim, teammates and an opponent to play, you can bet she's ready to muscle her way inside the paint and score, drill from the perimeter and grab missed shots. 


We heartily say..."Go, Mo...GO !"  


DREAMS

I have this recurring hope that someday the WNBA will come to Louisville. Of course, I'd love to see a squad that had a bunch of former Louisville players on it. I can think of one that would be a powerful presence in the paint. Monique Reid.

I could get used to seeing this view
every morning
Such are the nature of dreams, though. On this Monday morning, I'm back in Louisville but still dreaming of my brief respite from the site and city. Thanks to Joe Hill for the wonderful Gatlinburg chalet and the "knuckleheads" for managing to hold this site and The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour together on Saturday with little collateral damage and no reader/listener complaints. 

There are times when one needs solace, time to reflect and a change of venue. It so happened Sonya and I both needed all of the above. Renewed and refreshed, it's time to get back into reality. Grudgingly, almost reluctantly...but realizing that dreams don't last forever and life goes on. 



paulie
xxxxx

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Sunday Cardinal Couple - A Look at Volleyball Roster

Prospective, and Speculative, Volleyball Lineup


Case posted a run-down of the expected Women's Soccer line-up for the fall.  That seems like a pretty good idea for the beginning of the official "Summer Slump".  So let's take a look at the Volleyball.  There's been some roster news for Volleyball since we last talked about it here, so there may be some names in here that you don't recognize.

Let's start with the obvious and we'll work our way through the more speculative ones as we go.

Melanie McHenry


Melanie is expected to be the only Senior on the team this year, barring further transfer news.  She has been a mainstay of the Cardinal line-up since the opening weekend of her freshman year where she won MVP of the Bowling Green Tournament in Bowling Green, OH.  If you have followed Cardinal Volleyball anytime in the past three years, you know Melanie.  She's an outside hitter with a wicked cross that can dent the floor.  She's also a very competent 6 rotation player giving her the chance to rack up some digs as well as swing out of the pipe from the back-row, perhaps even in the same play.  Mel is a no-brainer for one of the starting outside hitter roles.

Alexis Hamilton


With Molly Sauer graduating, I don't think there's much doubt that Alexis Hamilton gets the Libero jersey.  Red-shirting last year with an ACL tear immediately before the start of the season, that puts the only question mark on the beginning of her reign as Libero...will she be back 100% for the start of the season?  Or at least enough to take the role?  If you haven't seen Hamilton play, she's a dynamo on the court.  She throws herself all over the court with reckless abandon and regularly reaches and betters balls that I thought were dead.

Claire Chaussee


I think you'll see Claire Chaussee also swinging from the outside more than you saw last year.  Claire will be a sophomore and can also bring the thunder, both swinging at the net as well as from the service line.  We saw some service control issues last year, let's hope she's spent some time in the gym bringing some discipline to the power.  Big power serves are always high risk/high reward, but let's hope we shift more to the reward side this year.  Chaussee is more effective at the net, but even swinging away she does have some control challenges.  This isn't uncommon for young players, but it is always an open question of how much they improve through their career.

Tori Dilfer


Transferring in from TCU, I think we see Tori Dilfer running the team at setter.  There could be a little bit of a position battle with Shannon Shields coming in from Arizona, but until I see evidence otherwise, I suspect Tori gets the nod.  Tori will be playing for Team USA at the World University Games next month, so she'll be getting practice against high level opponents and should come in to Cardinal Arena ready to play at her best.

Mia Stander


We're getting into a bit more speculative predictions here, but I still feel like I'm on pretty solid ground by saying the Mia Stander will be one of the DSes that we see on the court.  With Alexis Hamilton going down last year with the ACL tear, and Kelly O'Neal battling back issues all season, Mia Stander and Akela Juhl were called on to step up and handle the DS role.  Alexis returns and takes the Libero role, Kelly doesn't.  I think Mia was the better of the two between her and Akela and gets the bulk of the time in the role this year.


Now we start getting into seriously speculative territory...

Alexa Hendricks


An incoming freshman from Assumption High School here locally.  A product of the Ron Kordes/Assumption/KIVA world, I've only seen a very minimal amount of Alexa's play, but have heard good things.  I think, maybe, she edges out Akela for the 2nd DS role.

Middles


Volleyball lineups usually include two middle hitters/blockers.  This whole role is completely a coin-toss bracket in my estimation.

Piper Roe is headed off to Anaheim to play for one of the US Collegiate National Teams.

Emily Scott played in the other middle position some last year when now-graduated Jasmine Bennett was unavailable due to injury, and competed with Piper for time in the position when Bennett was healthy.

Anna Stevenson transfers in to UofL from Auburn and will be a Junior when she hits the Cardinal Arena court.  Averaging nearly a block per set, her videos look pretty good.

Amaya Tillman is a highly lauded incoming freshman.  Will she be able to adjust quickly to the speed of collegiate level quick sets?  If so, she could definitely compete for time in this role.

If forced at gunpoint to predict how the middle roles will play out.  I'll say that Anna Stevenson gets regular time, Emily and Piper split the other position, with Amaya making occasional appearances.

What About the Right Side?


Oh who knows.  Opposite hitting is similarly up in the air.  You rarely see more than one dedicated right side hitter in a lineup, but you could see Aiko Jones in that role, or perhaps incoming freshman Nena Mbonu.  Otherwise, you can add another general outside hitter and spread the right side duties among them with all of the same names in the mix.



There are still a couple of names we haven't mentioned on the current roster.  Amber Stivrins is a freshman, but enrolled in January, and Jamie Vasilou.  Amber will probably see the court some, but don't expect her to be a major contributor this year.  Her time will come.  Jamie Vasilou was a manager last year, but has earned a spot as a walk-on setter this year.  I wouldn't expect her to get many sets being a likely third in the setter lineup behind Dilfer and incoming freshman Shannon Shields.


So there are lots of new faces with some positions that are only questionable because of the prospective of some of that amazing new talent arriving.  Regardless I expect the action in Cardinal Arena...sorry, L&N Federal Credit Union Arena...to be fun and exciting, and I think we'll see another year of good UofL Volleyball play among the top teams of the ACC.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


Three of us made it to Mellwood to grace the airways, despite my bungling on the controls.  Case, Jared, and I held down the fort my Paulie was away.

Case brought a quiz, and Jared and I came out with a better score than anyone expected.  Baseball, WNBA, and more were on the topic list.

Check it out:

-- 
JMcA