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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Louisville Fall Sports Media Day -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Three fall sports answered questions and discussed their upcoming seasons at the Fall Sports Media, held in the first floor press conference room of the Kueber Center Planet Fitness building on Floyd Street yesterday. 

Aiko Jones
Volleyball went first and the "wide net" Cards were represented by head coach Dani Busboom Kelly, defensive setter/libero Alexis Hamilton and opp. Aiko Jones. Below you'll find (2) links for hearing the Volleyball (as well as the other two audio only and one video/audio. The questions (mostly presented by me) are hard to hear on the video version. 

Sorry that I couldn't do anything about the commercials that precede the video versions  in all three. Google and the other mega-million corporations gotta rake in them dollars, right? 



Carter Ayars
After Volleyball, Field Hockey's head coach Justine Sowry and student-athletes Bethany Russ and Carter Ayars took the chairs and answered questions on the "Stick Girls" upcoming schedule and season. 



Maybe the most interesting aspect of the video link for Field Hockey is a 30 second commercial for Chromebook and only 56 seconds of an over six minute actual player and coach question and answer session. 

I guess I didn't do a very good job on this one. 

Cross Country's head coach Dale Cowper was the third speaker. Cowper coaches both men and women's cross country. He did not bring any student-athletes


( I could not find any video of Cowper's remarks) 

It's always great to catch up with the coaches and student-athletes at events such as these. It is a mystery to me why more media don't attend them.

After the Media Day, I sauntered upstairs to say "Hi" to any coaches around from the Louisville women's basketball and Louisville Lacrosse programs. I hit pay-dirt in that journey...talking briefly to Jeff Walz, Sam Purcell, Jonneisha Pineda, operations director Kate Tucker, associate strength and conditioning coach Beth Burns and director of player relations Adrienne Johnson for hoops and Scott Teeter and Kay Morissette on the Lacrosse side of the building. 

No recordings on those chats. Highlights of the journey upstairs included meeting Coach J.P. for the first time (a delightful young woman!), presenting Coach Sam a bag of chips, discussing with Coach Walz his travels over the summer and reviewing the Canada trip with Kay and Teeter.  We definitely need to set up a Cardinal Couple interview with coach J.P...and have set those wheels in motion. 

Have a terrific Tuesday!



Monday, August 19, 2019

Diop, Senegal fall to Nigeria in FIBA Afrobasket Finals -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


University of Louisville women's basketball student-athlete Yacine Diop's FIBA women's Afro-basketball experience came to an end yesterday when the Senegal squad dropped a close one in the finals against Nigeria 60-55.

Diop started in the final game against Nigeria but saw just 10 minutes of action. She was 0-2 from the floor and had a rebound and assist. Senegal (4-1) trailed early 14-10, was behind 32-24 at the half and 48-37 going into the fourth quarter before making a late rally to tie the contest at 54-54 with 1:50 to play. 

Former UK star Evelyn Akhator started for the victorious Nigeria squad and led them with 14 points. She also had nine rebounds in 33 minutes. 

Diop played in all five of the Senegalese games and saw 19 minutes a contest, averaging 7.2 points a contest. Her highs came against Angola in the quarter-finals, producing 14 points and grabbing seven rebounds in 29 minutes. 

In her five games, Diop went 15-38 from the floor (39%), 4-12 from three-point range and had 21 eight steals. 

Diop is expected to play a big role for the Cards in the upcoming 2019-20 season. The transfer from Pittsburgh played in four games last season for the Cards before tearing her left knee anterior cruciate in the first minute of a 58-56 win over Arizona in the Southpoint Shootout on Nov 23rd, 2018. Diop tried to return to the floor after leaving the game but was unable to go. 

She started two games in 2018-19 and saw 65 minutes of court time, scoring 25 points and grabbing 17 rebounds before going to the sidelines and subsequently receiving a medical redshirt....making her eligible for this year. 

Her career at Pittsburgh was pretty spectacular...she's 18th on the Pitt All-time scoring list (1093 points) and was their leading scorer her redshirt junior year. She had 26 points against the Cards that season on Jan. 18, 2017 


Rated the No. 54 overall prospect and the No. 6 forward by ...Rated the No. 83 overall prospect by HoopGurlz ... Rated No. 69 by BlueStar Basketball ... A standout at nearby Seton-La Salle, Diop Averaged 12 points and 12 rebounds as a senior and led her team to Class AA WPIAL and State title ... Saved one of her best performances for the state title game as she posted 10 points, 23 rebounds and six blocks vs. Neumann-Goretti to help the Rebels win a PIAA Class AA Title ... Named to the Fabulous 5 by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ... Played her sophomore year at Oak Hill Academy before coming to Seton-LaSalle for her junior and senior year ... Named MVP of African Cup tournament in 2013 as a member of the Under-18 Senegalese National Team after leading the them to the African Cup championship ... Fluent in English, French and Wolof - a regional Senegalese language.

For all your Cardinal women's sports news, check us out daily! Tomorrow, I'll report on the UofL Fall Sports Media Day I'm attending later this morning. Volleyball, Field Hockey and Cross Country head coaches plus student-athletes will attend and answer questions. 


Sunday, August 18, 2019

Volleyball's Red and Black Scrimmage -- WSOC vs Butler -- Sunday Cardinal Couple

Red and Black Volleyball Scrimmage

Summer is over.

OK, maybe only for college athletics.

Last night saw the kick off of fall women's sports at UofL with both Volleyball and Women's Soccer in action, albeit both in pre-season scrimmage form.

The Volleyball split up and played intra-squad competition, with the bolstering of a couple of the practice players that have been helping out in the pre-season training.  There are no official stats available for this one, and honestly, stats for an event like this are usually not terribly meaningful, so we'll be sticking with general observations and analysis.

First, the usual suspect...Melanie McHenry was limited in her play as she is dealing with a minor abdominal pull.  She's played, didn't serve, did play defense, and did some hitting, but definitely wasn't swinging with full power.

So who did impress?  Aiko Jones made good use of her red-shirt year and played a major role on the red squad with 13 kills, along with Claire Chaussee's 14.  On the victorious black squad side of the net, transfer Anna Stevenson, and freshman Amber Stivrins led the attack with 5 apiece.  Anna is part of the major position battle happening for middle hitters and blocks, while Amber swings from the outside.

Amaya Tillman played predominantly in the middle for this scrimmage, though I expect she will see some significant time at the opposite/right side position.  Unfortunately, she did go down in the middle of the scrimmage when it appeared that she landed on another player's foot and rolled her ankle.  The injury didn't appear to be severe to myself, or to several other spectators that I spoke with who were sitting in different locations around the arena.  We'll hope there's no significant damage and a few days rest (and probably wearing a boot) will get her back into action healthy.

One not-really-a-position-battle, but discussion only really relevant to this scrimmage was, who would be the second libero on the team?  Alexis Hamilton clearly has the primary libero jersey claimed, but who's the first backup?  Let's just say that this question still isn't solidly answered.  The candidates were Alexa Hendricks (freshman), and Mia Stander.  They played 4 sets in the scrimmage, and each donned the libero jersey for two of them.

We knew the starting setter question wouldn't be answered last night, as transfer Tori Dilfer, and freshman Shannon Shields were split between the two teams.  Might we even see a 6-2 offense with two quality setters of similar style and play?  I keep getting hints that it might happen some this year.

Prior to the scrimmage there was the seemingly now annual Volleyball picnic for season ticket holders and Side Out Club members.  My mother and I got a chance to mix and mingle and chat with various of the players.  We got an introduction to the whole team and found out some amusing facts about each player.  Mia Standar is slightly allergic to the sun, despite being the most tanned member of the team; Jamie Vasilou is a former gymnast and may be, for her height, one of the best jumpers on the team.

All in all it was a fun evening, and encouraging to everyone to see the depth and talent pool on this team.  Bolstered by the #16 recruiting class in the country, the squad is poised to have a great year.

Volleyball will be back in exhibition action next Saturday at 3pm against Miami (OH).  The season will get underway with the Cardinal Classic on Friday the 30th.

Women's Soccer

Women's Soccer was also in action last night in an exhibition match against Butler at Lynn Stadium on Floyd Street.  There were no tweets emanating from the stadium with any updates on the action, and I was unable to attend, so I have no observations at all to share with you.  Since Jared was there, we do have some pictures, which I'll add in below (along with another couple of Volleyball pictures for good measure) Paulie's observations.

Case Hoskins provided excellent analysis and commentary on the action. You're gonna love his reports when the season "officially" starts.


Since the UofL women's soccer coaching staff wanted us to refrain from revealing scores, stats and such (can't be giving "THE" Ohio St. OR ACC foes any fodder, right?) we didn't post any Tweets or do an in-depth article.

So, here are six non-game detail events of the night. If you were there, you saw the score.

1) No EHRLER's . We have been spoiled over the last couple of years with free Ehrler's ice cream cups in the press box. None for this scrimmage, however. We can only hope this changes.

2) DAILY DOUBLE.  It's always a treat to see a "J.J." at any UofL Sporting event. We hit the Daily Double last night with two J.J.'s -- WBB's Jaz Jones and softball great Jenna Jordan.

3) STAT STATUS. One stat we can share with you. A total of three trains passed by the north side of the field during the contest. This will be the over/under line for the remainder of the season. It's got to be a bit confusing to opponents to suddenly hear bells and then the roar of a train while they're playing. Plus hard for them to hear the coach's instructions. Place your bets.

4) SCOREBOARD LOOKING GOOD!  The improvements to the main scoreboard are fantastic. Better clarity and resolution the most noticeable. Look what we can do, Louisville!

5) PRESEASON FOR THE REFS.  WE DON'T NORMALLY BASH THE OFFICIATING CREW, but they need work on calling fouls correctly and off-sides. Enough said.

6) YES, THEY WILL CHECK. Security is earning their checks. It took them five minutes to go through my media bag and ask questions on what my assorted game day devices do. And, I was scaled down from what I normally bring. Also, they need to remember to set up a check-point table. My search was conducted on the top of a trash can. Preseason for them, too, I'm guessing.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

Paulie, Case, and I were in the studio again for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour, along with the
prominently identified Floyd the Touchdown Squirrel.  Apparently Floyd has become quite the WCHQ celebrity.

He's been happily living at WCHQ for a couple of years now, but some of the other show hosts have apparently only recently become aware of his presence.  We just hope, in his newfound celebrity, that he doesn't forget about us at The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour.

In addition to basking in the reflected celebrity of Floyd, we did also talk quite a bit about the Soccer and Volleyball exhibition play going on.  We had fun as always.  You can check out the fun at:

You can also look through the other updates at WCHQ at:

and maybe check out some of the other show streams and see if you can spot other appearances by Floyd.


Saturday, August 17, 2019


We've talked about it quite a bit, maybe even ad nauseum, but today is finally the day: Louisville women's athletics are back. The men's soccer team kicked things off last night (pun intended) with a 2-1 win over Lipscomb in an exhibition game. Yesterday, Louisville softball also announced their fall schedule, which includes three doubleheaders at Ulmer Stadium against Eastern Kentucky, Bellarmine, and Indiana. The Cards will also take on Kentucky in Lexington. Today we'll talk briefly about the two sports getting underway tonight, and how you can join us in taking them in.

Volleyball in the Red vs Black Scrimmage

Coach Dani Busboom-Kelly's squad will open the action for the Louisville women's teams this fall when they play their annual Red vs Black Scrimmage at 6PM this evening. The match will take place in the L&N Federal Credit Union Arena (formerly Cardinal Arena) in the lower level of the Student Activities Center. Though Louisville announced yesterday that single game volleyball tickets are on sale for this season, tonight's intrasquad match is free admission. Parking, however, is not free, so make sure to plan ahead for street or garage parking. If you do intend to make it to a number of games this year and do not have season tickets, you may want to jump on the opportunity to buy single game tickets early, as the L&N Arena can sell out very easily. 

In addition to the scrimmage, if you are a season ticket holder, be sure to head out early for the annual season ticket holders' picnic from 4-5. After tonight, the Cards will play an exhibition match against Miami (OH) next Saturday before opening the regular season by hosting the Cardinal Classic starting August 30th. This season's Cardinal Classic sees Dayton, Florida, and Texas A&M come to town, which should be quite the beginning to the season for the Cards, who found themselves ranked in the preseason top 25.

Soccer Hosts Butler (Not the High School)

Following the volleyball match, the women's soccer team will open their season with an exhibition match against the Butler Bulldogs at 7:30 PM. This match, like the majority of Louisville's matches this season, will be at Lynn Stadium on Floyd Street. The Cardinal XI will not be starting from scratch tonight, having played a number of spring matches and a closed scrimmage last Saturday. Results from that match are withheld, but we can at least say that the Cards won't be spending too much time shaking off the rust tonight. Louisville will be looking to establish lineups and formations and determining what works best in this new season.

I'll particularly have my eye on the defense as the team goes through a bit of a transition after losing Gaby Vincent. I don't expect Butler will be a huge challenge for the Cards, but they do return 21 players from a 13-6-1 campaign last season. Among the returners are a 2018 All-Big East Freshman team player in Anja Savich and a 2018 All-Big East First teamer in Annika Schmidt. Schmidt will be key while trying to stop a strong Louisville offense, but I'll be interested to see what kind of pressure the Bulldogs can put on Louisville's goal, with Savich at the helm. I expect Louisville to be comfortable in this game, but it may not be quite the pushover that it seems on the face.

Tonight's match is the only publicized exhibition for the Cards and they'll get right into the season with their only away non-conference match next Thursday when they open the regular season against Ohio State. Admission tonight should be free, as was last night's men's game, but the clear bag policy is in effect. Parking on the street will be free at the time of this match, as meters go free on Saturdays after 6, and as Jared outlined, you can park in the Cardinal Stadium lot for free for soccer games. 

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

The summer slump is finally over for us at the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour, as sports are back. We don't have any games to recap quite yet, but we do have some to preview. We're excited to roll straight into the season with the support we have from Cardinal Couple readers and listeners and look forward to another year covering Louisville women's athletics. Tune in to the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour at 11 AM on WCHQ FM. WCHQ is available at 100.9 FM,, on the WCHQ App, or you can watch the show on Facebook Live by going to the WCHQ FM page. 

Until next time, Go Cards!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Louisville Soccer Media day -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


The University of Louisville soccer teams held a combined team media day yesterday at the Lynn Stadium soccer complex. Both head coaches addressed the media and fielded question along with selected players. 

For our purposes here at CARDINAL COUPLE, we focused on the women's Soccer team. Joining Karen Ferguson Dayes were senior defender and team captain Arianna Ferraro, goalkeeper Gabby Kouzelos, forward Brooklynn Rivers and mid-fielder Emina Ekic. Sonya accompanied me to the media day and we both agreed that we learned a lot from Coach's and the student-athletes responses to the media questions. 

Some listening points for the linked up interview below: 

-- Coach Karen Ferguson Dayes opening remarks.

-- The selection process for team captain

-- The squad's strength in senior leadership

-- The balance between offense and defense

-- Notable freshmen

-- discussion on graduated senior and professional Gabi Vincent

-- Arianna Ferraro on being the team captain

-- Emina Ekic's status

-- Coach Ferguson-Dayes discusses ACC Network

-- the motivation carried forward from last year's NCAA Tournament appearance.


I skipped the men's soccer portion of the media day, primarily because I had the opportunity to have an exclusive "breakout" interview with Ekic and Kouzelos after they addresses the main group of media attendees.

That interview was also quite informative and we had a bit of fun with it as well. You can hear the audio to that below: 


I've also attached the video of both the women's and men's Media Day comments. It is long (about 45 minutes) and, unfortunately, you can't hear the questions being asked from the media to the players and coaches: The start also features my expanding "bald spot" on the back of my head. Avert your eyes...


(A special thank you to Louisville women's soccer SID Kim Pemberton for her work on the Soccer Media Day and to Coach Karen, Gabby, Emina, Brooklynn and Arianna for the great comments and observations.) 


Thursday, August 15, 2019

A History of Louisville Women's Sports Chapter 12: Rowing -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

I traded places with Paulie as he has a special feature this Friday.  Tune in tomorrow to see what he might have in store for you! -- Jared

A History of Louisville Women's Sports Chapter 12: Rowing

Ah, we have reached the conclusion of our summertime history lessons. And just in time too, with volleyball and women's soccer each having an exhibition on Saturday.  To wrap things up we shall look into the history of our rowing team.

Derek Copeland is the head coach for the Cards, where he has held the position since the summer of 2012.  In preparation for the upcoming season, Copeland enters is eighth season and hopes to continue on the success he's had in this position.  Copeland guided the Cards to a conference championship back in 2014.  They also qualified for their first NCAA Championships berth that year.  Three Cardinals have earned All-American honors since Copeland took over.  He was an assistant for two years with Louisville before his promotion.

Laura Aubrey was the head coach prior to Copeland.  She held the position from 2007-2012, all spent in the Big East.  Aubrey has since become a real estate agent with Kentucky Select Properties.

Julio A Viyella founded the program and helped it quickly grow and had 30 student-athletes after just two seasons.  He is now working in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area as the Director of Sales for AGSE.

The G. Garvin Brown III Center is home to Louisville Rowing.  Often referred to as "The Boathouse", it is located along River Road, not even half a mile east of the Big Four Walking Bridge.  They share the dock with LMPD.  The two-story Boathouse opened in February 2011.  The indoor part of the building has a storage area for boats, indoor boats to continue training year round, and a workout facility.  Upstairs there is a lounge area as well as several rowing stations.

UofL isn't clear on when their rowing team started but an October 1999 article by a site called "The Christian Science Monitor" mentions that they had just completed their second season as of that time.

Louisville is one of two rowing teams in the state of Kentucky.  The other is Murray State.

The only regatta in town is the Red and Black Regatta (scrimmage) as the Ohio River is unfit for competition.  You can stay up-to-date with UofL Rowing here with us at Cardinal Couple.

ACCN and Charter/Spectrum reach a deal

If you are a subscriber to Spectrum here in the Louisville area (or elsewhere), take a deep breath and relax.

The two mega-corporations have come out of their negotiations and reached a deal. Spectrum WILL carry the ACCN. The ACCN, part of the Disney empire, was added to the Spectrum lineup -- along with the other Disney packages.

No word yet on two other large providers -- DISH and ATT-UVerse -- on whether they'll be a part of the August 22 premiere for the ACC kickoff.  Charter/Spectrum joins DIRECTV, YouTube TV, Hulu and PlayStation Vue as providers here in Louisville.

Get ready for unprecedented coverage of Cardinal Athletics, Louisville fans! Here's a link that gives you all the details: 

LINK:  ACCN on Charter/Spectrum

Happy Thursday and Go Cards!


Wednesday, August 14, 2019

A Reminder of Dos and Dont's this Fall -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

A Reminder of Dos and Don'ts this Fall

With the first exhibition of any sport just two days away and the first two women's sports exhibitions three days away I thought it would be a good time to send reminders of what to do and not do at games as well as what you should/can and should not/can not bring in.

First things first.  The clear bag policy remains in effect.  When first introduced and enforced this policy was met with mixed emotions.  Let's be real.  UofL implemented the policy originally to stop people from smuggling alcohol into football games.  Since then, it has become more of a security measure to help protect those in attendance as well as the student-athletes on the field.  Women's soccer and volleyball will be the stricter fall sports on the women's side since they check tickets at the same time.  Field hockey is a little more relaxed since admission is free but they have been known to turn away spectators not following the clear bag policy


Also, don't bring in artificial noisemakers such as whistles..  Security will be quick to confiscate those unless you find yourself with the Cardinal Pride Pep Band or cheering alongside the Louligans (UofL soccer supporters group).

Laser pointers, flashlights, and other lights falling under the category also are prohibited at sporting events.  It can momentarily blind the players and can create a safety hazard.  This issue happens more at football or basketball.  Flash photography can also create issues but phones now have a disable flash option to accommodate that.

                                                                                                                                                            Respect the players and their efforts. Please don't do anything that may distract them. We do encourage you to yell and clap for great plays
Sometimes, we may disagree with a referee or official's calls (or lack of calls). Don't be overly critical, though, and please don't use profanity when expressing your difference of opinion.

Remember, these are family events.

Do not come in on an empty stomach.  Now, this isn't me bashing the concession stands but using a UofL game for lunch or dinner might not be the best idea.  The food prices sit on the higher side and can quickly empty your wallet.  However, I would recommend stopping there for a beverage or light snack.

Please do bring in your UofL gear and proudly wear it.  Show your Cardinal pride by coming to events decked out in Cardinal apparel from head to toe or even just a nice UofL shirt or hat.  It looks good on TV, too.

Bring friends.  If you have extra tickets to a game or buy extra tickets sometime bring a friend or two.  Not only will you get to watch your favorite Cardinals in action but it can be used as a fun social outing and lead to a great discussion following the game.

Have cash for parking.  Volleyball and field hockey patrons are often directed to the Floyd Street Parking Garage where it usually costs $5 to park.  They will only accept cash at the spectator parking entrance.  You can typically park for free at Cardinal Stadium when attending a soccer match, which does require a short walk.  There are a few parking meters closer that sit on the other side of the railroad tracks.  Meters are enforced 7:00 am - 6:00 pm Monday-Saturday so you may luck out with evening or Sunday events.

Do make sure to say "hey" to any of us at games.  The four of us seem to have all of the sports covered well in terms of in-person presence.  We can often be found scattered around either in the seats, in the press box, or on the field.

How Are We Doing?

Paulie asked this yesterday in the Tuesday Cardinal Couple and we received quite a bit of feedback- thank you!  We try our best to bring you coverage about the latest and greatest of UofL Women's Sports year round.

Our research shows us that Women's Basketball is the most popular sport among those who read and participate on our posts so we try to bring you some extra WBB coverage.

If there's anything we can improve on or anything we can do to help draw your interest more, don't hesitate to let us know here in the comments section or by email to

Happy Wednesday and Go Cards!


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

How are we doing? -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Opinions matter to us here at Cardinal Couple.

As we get ready to roll into another season of UofL women's athletics, it's time to ask the question..."How are we doing?" 

Cardinal Couple's mission statement is to promote the joy and excitement of UofL women's athletics from a fan's viewpoint. It is helpful and beneficial for us ask and know whether we are fulfilling that quest in your eyes. 

How are we doing? 

Whether you are a long-time reader or just recently stumbled upon our site, your response is important to us. After all, if we aren't putting articles out there that interest you...we've failed in our mission quest. 

I've heard from time to time that our comprehensive coverage of a wide variety of women's sports at UofL is a good thing. Readers get a little information about a sport or player that they may not have followed or known. I've also heard that our women's basketball coverage is the main reason that we get read. 

It's important, also, to realize what Cardinal Couple is. 

We present a daily article for your viewing just about everyday of the year. Between me, Jeff, Case and Jared (our current writing staff) and the occasional contribution from David Watson..we end up with a wide variety of topics, thoughts and viewpoints. I also think it's important to remember a couple of things as well.

1)  Dave-O and I are the only "retired" writers of the crew. Our other three writers are still in the workforce and combine their love of Louisville women's athletics with the everyday complexities of earning a paycheck. 

2) We are non-profit. We do what we do here for love of sport, of game, of program and the components that make these entities what they are. Some good news on that front. For years, we have made November our annual "donation month" -- where we have come to you -- hat in hand -- and asked for your financial help.

We have reached the point, though, where that will no longer be needed. We now have a group of great sponsors, including one very generous one who prefers to remain anonymous, that have stepped up to help us cover the costs associated with Cardinal Couple. The past donations from individuals will always be appreciated -- as we like to say: 

"You are Cardinal Couple and we never forget that".

So...sound off. 

-- What is it that you like about Cardinal Couple? --

-- What would you like to see more of? --

-- Are there areas where we could do a better job? -- 

-- Why do you read our articles? -- 

-- How are we doing? -- 

We'd like your comments and suggestions. We want to hear from you. Please leave a comment in our comments section -- you can do so anonymously if you wish. 

You can also e-mail me at:

Feel free to send me a text or give me a call at 502.291.3651

You are fans. We are fans. Please take a moment to share your thoughts with us. Help us "do what we do" better. 

Have a terrific Tuesday!


Monday, August 12, 2019

Cardinal Couple Countdown -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

We're in the heart of the countdown to fall sports here at Cardinal Couple.  It's only about 5 days (Friday) until the beginning of Fall sports, even if only in exhibition, with Men's Soccer kicking it off Friday evening at Lynn Stadium (the one on Floyd St, of course).  Women's Soccer and Volleyball start off the women on Saturday with the Volleyball Red and Black Scrimmage, and a Women's Soccer scrimmage against Butler.

To say that I'm excited for the season would be understatement that is beyond quantifiable.  And as much of a volleyball fan as I am, it's not just the wide net sport that I'm getting hyped for.  I don't tend to make it out to too many soccer games, and am thankful for the excellent coverage and analysis of Soccer by our resident soccer guru, Case Hoskins.  I am also getting excited for Field Hockey, though.

I've enjoyed watching field hockey for several years now, and this year doesn't look to be any exception.  We heard from Coach Justine Sowry the other day in one of Paulie's late summer interviews and I'm raring to go on this season.  Of course, we have a little longer wait for the first field hockey pass-back as they don't get their exhibition game against the FH alumnae underway until the 24th with a scrimmage against Michigan State on the 25th.

If you've followed Cardinal Couple over the past week or so, you probably know all of this, at least in broad strokes.  Here we come to a little bit of cruel irony about the run-up to fall sports, though.  All of the teams are heavy duty into the midst of pre-season practices, which means there is even less outward facing activity than there is over the bulk of the summer.  This is a case of "No news is good news", of course, as the only news I would expect to hear out of pre-season training would be injury reports, and I'll be quite a happy camper to not have any of those to report on.

Are you ready for the sports year to get underway?  I suspect many of you are just as excited as I am.  If you're not, I've got one more thing, if you haven't seen it yet, that might get you there.  Last week, the Louisville Athletics twitter account posted the video below.  Surprisingly, I haven't seen it made available anywhere since, but if this thing doesn't get you ready to run through a wall, I'm not sure what will.

I'll see you Saturday at 6 o'clock in the L&N Federal Credit Union arena, formerly Cardinal Arena, on Floyd street.


Sunday, August 11, 2019



(Paulie sent in for the Sunday Cardinal Couple article out of the bullpen today. It seems Jeff has Sammy the Shark issues and will be back on these pages Monday. Sorry this is late...I slept in this morning and it seems no one ever uses the "call" function on their cell phones anymore...I saw the text about three hours after Jeff sent it to our group chat). 

Quick question, do you ever call anyone on your cell phone anymore? Leave your response in the comments section.

We are in the process of re-establishing the daily Poll Question here at Cardinal Couple. 


It was USA vs. Canada for the Gold in the World Cup U 19 Tournament and USA had little trouble in capturing the Gold 13-3. 

"They're a veteran team and considered some of the best players In the world who are competing in the NCAA right now," Canadian coach Scott Teeter said, of the U.S. "A lot of our girls haven't played an NCAA game yet. Our 2015 team was a little bit older than we are right now. We'll take this experience and it will definitely pay dividends for our senior team."

Teeter squad lost just twice in the 22-team event, both times to USA. 


Asia Taylor and Arica Carter probably didn't expect this when they joined the Phoenix Mercury roster.

With about six minutes left in the fourth quarter of a close game against the visiting Dallas Wings and on Brittney Griner Bobblehead Day, the 6'9" Mercury center and Wings post Kristine Angiwe locked arms going for a rebound and chaos ensued. It appeared Angiwe attempted to punch Griner after they untangled and then sprinted away from the towering center toward the Wings bench with Griner in hot pursuit. 

Both benches empties and it took referee Billy Smith and several coaches to restrain the combatants. Six players were tossed from the game after a lengthy review, including non-active Diana Taurasi...who appeared to be serving as a peace-keeper but was pitched for leaving the bench. 

Phoenix is struggling to remain in the top eight of the WNBA standings and make the playoffs. Myisha Hines-Allen and her Washington squad are tied for the league lead, so they're 99.9% assured of a playoff berth. Asia Durr's NY Liberty are in 10th. place overall and need to catch fire in August to crack the top eight. 

Neither Taylor nor Carter were expelled or threw any punches. Dallas went on to win 80-77.


Paulie's pre-show prep. 
Three of us took to the airwaves and Facebook Live from the majestic, media mansion on Mellwood for The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour yesterday. Case, Jeff and I had a great discussion on several upcoming UofL women's Fall sports and our final Cardinal Couple Radio Quiz for the season went to Jeff 100-80. 

You can join in on the fun and take the quiz at the link below. Jared claims an "off-site" score of 110 while shirking important work duties to listen. We'll award him the remaining toothpick from the one-eared, toothpick holding bear ceremonial winner's trophy whenever he shows up again. 


Have a super Sunday!



Saturday, August 10, 2019

A Look Ahead at Women's Soccer -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

We’re now just one week away from the 2019 women’s soccer season getting underway with an exhibition game against Butler next Saturday night. In the past few weeks, I’ve talked about specific players and how I think the team stacks up. Yesterday, Paulie aired his interview with Coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes about the upcoming season. The interview managed to make me even more excited about the season, but there was one thing that stuck out to me. I provided some of the questions for the interview, and I’m a bit concerned about the defense this year. Coach KFD didn’t quite assuage my doubts with some of her responses. There is still plenty to be excited about, but the defense is definitely something to keep an eye on as the season develops. With all of that said, let’s go ahead and take a look at the upcoming season. 

A "Pre-Cap" of Last Year and This One

Last year, Louisville finished 12-7 overall, 6-4 in the ACC, and bowed out in the first round of both the ACC and NCAA tournament. It’s hard for me to sit here and predict that the Cards will do better than that this season, especially considering the big hole in the back line. However, the 10 returning starters will be eager to build upon last season’s successes. That makes it hard for me to predict that they’ll do worse, too. I’ll make a stand now and say the Cards finish with at least a matching record to last year, going 12-5 overall and 6-4 in conference. 

The Non-Conference

The Cards start this year with a road game against Ohio State, before rattling off 7 straight home games, including every other non-conference game of the season. Because of the Cards’ success last year at home, I’ll predict that the Cards match their 6-1 non-conference mark from last year. I believe the loss will come in that first game of the year, as the road environment proves too much to overcome the new look central defense. I think it will be close, as most games should be for the Cards given their offensive talent, but I just don’t know enough to see the season starting off without some hiccups. 

The Cards take on two teams they faced last year, Morehead State (exhibition) and Dayton. The two games ended in 4-0 and 1-0 victories, respectively, and the Dayton game was on the road. Interestingly, Louisville doesn’t play Kentucky this year, but they’ll replace the Cats with two other local rivals in Indiana and Vanderbilt. Vandy finished last year at 16-4-1, going undefeated at home. They lost in the first round of the SEC tournament and the second of the NCAA tourney. That said, Louisville gets the ‘Dores in the last game of the non-conference schedule, so they’ll (ideally) be a well oiled machine by that point. Indiana finished last year 8-8-2 without making the Big Ten or NCAA tournament. 

St. Louis and Eastern Michigan round out the non-conference schedule for the Cards. I don’t see Louisville having any particular trouble in these two home games, but each team brings its own challenges as the women’s soccer landscape is fairly even across the board. Just like any other night, Louisville will have to bring their A-game to the field, or risk being surprised in a sport where one goal can make a difference. 

The Conference Matchups

In the conference schedule, Louisville will face a matching slate to last year with two replacements: Boston College takes the place of Virginia Tech and Clemson switches with Pittsburgh in 2019. Virginia Tech provided one of Louisville’s two home losses last season on the last day of the regular season, so perhaps the Cards will be happy to see them drop off of the schedule. As such, three of the Cards four conference losses remain on the schedule. Pittsburgh was the first conference game of the year and it saw Louisville take a 2-0 win in Pittsburgh. The Cards will hope to pick up two wins out of these swaps.

Duke, North Carolina, and Virginia are very good teams. Duke and Virginia both made it to the Sweet 16 of last year’s tournament before being knocked out, and North Carolina advanced to the final game before losing to ACC foe Florida State. Fortunately, Louisville will not face the Seminoles this season. However, Virginia was Louisville’s first home loss last season and the Cavaliers later knocked off the Cards in Charlottesville during the ACC tournament. That away game this year will be very challenging. North Carolina and Duke both come to Lynn Stadium this year, but North Carolina defeated the Cards 5-1 last year and will be looking to avoid an upset like the one from two years ago. It is also Louisville’s first conference game of the year and the last game of the 7 game homestand. Duke may be a game that Louisville can surprise people in, but it will be a battle on a day that may turn into Senior Night for the Cards.

The remainder of Louisville’s games were all victories last season, but that isn’t likely to be repeated. Syracuse, Miami, and Notre Dame all become road games, and I could see one of those being an issue. Wake Forest and NC State have been consistent challengers for Louisville since joining the ACC as they occupy similar statuses in the league table. NC State is the other game that may turn into Senior Night, but it is on Halloween, so that may be enough festivity for one game. 

If the Cards can manage to earn six wins again (Boston College, Wake, Clemson, NC State, and two of Syracuse, Miami, and ND get you there) then eighteen points should be plenty to make it to the NCAA tournament. Of course, picking up all seven of those games or grabbing one of the big upsets, even as a swap, would also be nice. Twelve wins should also see the Cards into the NCAA tournament, where they would be in a position to make noise. Given how the defensive line shapes up over the season, this team could be very dangerous to anyone given their strong goalkeeper play and what should be a fantastic goal scoring offense. This is going to be a fun year.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

I’m back in the studio after a quick break last week and Paulie, Jeff, and I will bring you the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour. Jared and Daryl are off doing banking and brunch (not at the same time) but we’ll surely soldier on. We’ll likely discuss a number of the interviews Paulie has done this weekend, look at how the WNBA season is continuing on, and look ahead at the upcoming fall sports seasons. Who knows, maybe we’ll even get one more Worldwide quiz this summer. The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour is brought to you by WCHQ FM and is available at 11AM on 100.9 FM,, the WCHQ App on your smartphone or tablet, or via Facebook Live.

Until next time, Go Cards!

Friday, August 9, 2019

Karen Ferguson Dayes Interview -- A History of Women's Sports Chapter 11: Track and Field -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Louisville Women's Soccer comes off an NCAA appearance last season, a season that was head coach Karen Ferguson Dayes 19th. at UofL. I got the chance to interview "Coach KFD" earlier this week at the Lynn Stadium offices and we bring that interview to you today. 

She returns a strong roster that has pre-season ALL-ACC selection Emina Ekic at midfield and the other top two leading scorers from last year (Maisie Whitsett and Brooklyn Rivers.).

Louisville has been picked to finish eighth in a preseason poll in the ultra-competitive ACC conference that sent 10 of their 14 squads to the NCAA Tournament last year.

Louisville's season begins on Aug 17th. with an exhibition against Butler at Lynn Stadium




(Thanks to Louisville women's soccer S.I.D. Kim Pemberton for her work in arranging this interview.) 


We move onto the tail end of our summertime project.  Today we will look at A History of Louisville Women’s Sports Chapter 11: Track and Field.  As always, we’ll refer to women’s track and field simply as track and field unless otherwise noted.

Louisville’s records trace track and field back to 1989 for outdoor. and 1992 for indoor.  They started with the Metro Conference and remained there through 1995.  UofL transitioned to Conference USA in 1996 and enjoyed a 10-year stint there.  They went to the Big East from 2005-2013 and visited the American Athletic Conference briefly in 2013.  Since 2014, Louisville track and field has participated in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Note: The men go back to 1976, several years before their women counterparts.

The Cards had moderate success in the Metro Conference, often finishing around 3rd or 4th.  Their time in C-USA was not great, with subpar finishes nearly every season.  Once in the Big East, Louisville took off and had 1st place outdoor finishes five years straight and was often top three in indoor finishes.

Throwers D’Ana McCarty and Emmonnie Henderson are the most notable track and field star for the Cards.  D'Ana won the NCAA Indoor Weight Throw Championship back-to-back years in 2009 and 2010. Emmonnie Henderson holds the school record for the shot put throw and also participated in the NCAA Championships  Dorcas Wasike, still on the squad for 2019, holds two school records for distance running and has also participated in the NCAA Championships. 

Dale Cowper is the current head coach for the track and field team at Louisville.  He holds the same position with the cross-country team as well, with several the student-athletes participating in both.  Cowper took over as head coach in 2013 after having been an assistant with the Cards from 2006-2013.  Several individuals have had breakout performances under his reins, including Edwin Kibichiy, Emmonnie Henderson, Dorcas Wasike, Makenli Forrest, Alexis Gibbons, and Gabriela Leon.

Prior to Cowper, Ron Mann was head coach.  He held that position from 2004-2013.  He was with Northern Arizona for 24 years before that.  During his time in Louisville he oversaw four student-athletes win six individual national championships.  Mann retired, resulting in Cowper’s promotion.

Cardinal Park has been home to the Cards since 2000.  Originally, the middle field was used by both soccer teams.  Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium- not to be confused with the new Lynn Family Stadium that houses Louisville City FC- opened in the fall of 2014, leaving track and field alone.  The facility can seat 2,200 people but can more than triple that with standing room early.  Cardinal Park hosts some of the largest track and field events in the country including the Lenny Lyles Invitational and the Louisville Invitational.

Most track and field events are free with some larger events charging admission.  However, there is plenty of room to grab a lawn chair and sit outside the chain link fence to watch UofL perform on campus.  If you’re lucky you might be able to climb to the top of Ulmer Stadium or Trager Stadium to get a good view. 

We strive to bring you the latest and greatest updated from Louisville Track and Field here at Cardinal Couple.  Stay tuned next week as we wrap up Chapter 12: Rowing, just in time for the start of the fall sports season!

Happy Friday and Go Cards!