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, wchqfm.com, 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!