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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Hottest Team -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Hottest Team

A few weeks ago I discussed which team was hottest.  Field hockey and soccer were both undefeated and volleyball had suffered a couple early season losses.

All teams have started conference play and played quite a few games since then so I figured it was time to revisit.

Field Hockey


They were the hottest team when we looked at things in early September.  They've stayed course and have made a strong case to be the hottest team still.

Field Hockey is now 8-1 on the season with the only blemish coming on the road to #1 North Carolina.  They do have multiple road wins against ranked opponents, though.

The Cards have outscored opponents 24-11 this season.  If you take away the outlier UNC game then they've only surrendered seven goals in eight games.  The defense and goalkeepers have registered three clean sheets.

With eight goals on the season Bethany Russ is by far the go-to offensive player.  Madison Walsh is second in line and in the mix of a handful of Cards with either three or four goals.

Field Hockey is currently ranked 6th in the country.

Soccer

Soccer made a good argument to be the hottest team back then but hadn't faced strong competition at the time.  They've done nothing but strengthen their cause to be named the hottest team.

Like field hockey, soccer's only loss came to a powerful North Carolina team.  They are 9-1-0 on the season with a 2-1 conference record.

The Cards finally hit the road this season and they had some obstacles to overcome.  Food poisoning created issues that led to a match being delayed until the next day.  Still, the Cards had no problem blowing out Syracuse before having a short turnaround at Boston College and earning a win.  They also had an incredible upset win against a Top 10 Vanderbilt team.

Soccer has outscored opponents 23-7 on the year.  If you take away the UNC game they've allowed four goals in nine outings.  Gabby Kouzelos and her defense have been near-perfect.

Emina Ekic paces the offense with six goals and six assists for 18 points.  The junior All-American said she's aiming for eight goals this year, which she is certainly on pace to do.  Delaney Snyder has four while Maisie Whitsett and Brooklynn Rivers each have three.

They're currently ranked 16th in the country.

Volleyball



A few speed bumps have hit volleyball with the most recent being a blowout loss down I-64.  However, they have started conference play strong.

The Cards are currently 9-3 on the year.  Other Power Five conferences have had their way with the Cards so far with Louisville going 1-3 against SEC and Big Ten opponents.

Louisville has won 28 sets this year while dropping 18.  They've swept three opponents, won in four sets against three, and then winning in a five-set showdown against three opponents.

The 6-2 system hasn't been present as much lately as Coach DBK has decided to take a more defensive approach.  Tori Dilfer has stepped into the number one spot and has pulled way ahead in the assists category.  Melanie McHenry and Aiko Jones have been competing for most kills on the year with the senior leading the way 166-132.  No one else has reached 70 yet.

McHenry was named ACC Player of the week yesterday. As we've seen and I expect we will continue to see : As Mac goes, so the team goes.

Alexis Hamilton has 176 digs to captain the defense.  McHenry has been number two back there with 107.  The two setters sit in the stats next.  Mia Stander and Alexa Hendricks have traded off for the other defensive position with Coach seeming indecisive right now.  In fact, there has been a bit of indecisiveness in outside hitter and middle blocker positions too.

Volleyball is toying with the rankings this year and they're currently 26th in the country.



So, the Hottest Team?

Field Hockey and Soccer both have strong cases to be the hottest team.  I'm going to have to stick
with the sticks by just a smidge.

Coach Sowry's squad has proven it isn't afraid to take on a loaded schedule and has looked just as good on the road as they have at home.  Despite losing the best goalkeeper in the world they've allowed fewer goals at this point this year and seem to play as a team better than last year.

We will review everything again as the regular season winds down for each team and they prepare for postseason play.  Currently, all three are on pace to make the NCAA Tournament.


Happy Wednesday and Go Cards!

Jared

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