CARDINAL COUPLE

CARDINAL COUPLE
Welcome to Wednesday ! And, thanks to one of the weather guys on local radio who gave me TUESDAY's forecast this morning and had me confused for a brief bit. Just another tricky day, eh?

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2019 Concludes -- Favorite Moments -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


MOMENTS AND MEMORIES FROM JARED


There's not much to cover in the final day of the calendar year over here.  Women's basketball played their final game of the year Sunday.  They will be the first sport to kick off the 2020 year when they visit Clemson on Thursday.

Football was the final UofL team to play in 2019, as they defeated Mississippi State in the Music City Bowl.  Congratulations to Scott Satterfield and his team.

I'd like to reflect on some of my favorite moments of 2019 and ask that you contribute yours too:


Louisville defeated UConn in front of a massive crowd on January 31.  Jeff Walz and Asia Durr embrace each other during an on-court postgame interview on ESPN. .




On Senior Night on February 28, Asia Durr went off for 47 points as the team cruised to a win against a tough NC State team.


Walk-off! In a back-and-forth game on April 17, softball took down Kentucky on a walk-off.  The team celebrates in the background as Funke beats the tag home.


On an April 8 Monday night prime-time game on ESPN, softball shocked Florida State on a... you guessed it... walk-off hit.  The Cards claimed the series over the Seminoles, who had not dropped a conference series in several years.  The sky over campus was one of the best we'd see all year.


Soccer had a historic season including some major upsets.  The team celebrated the lone goal on Emina Ekic's penalty kick to defeat Vanderbilt on September 15.


Although Lacrosse is still in a rebuilding period, they did have bright moments on the year.  A blowout victory over Mercer on February 23.  Ally Hall made her way through multiple defenders to go airborne for a goal.


Field hockey is another team that had a historic season.  They also knew how to keep us on the edge of our seats.  This goal with no time remaining in regulation led to an eventual overtime victory over Iowa on October 20.


Volleyball has a strong rivalry with Notre Dame so when the Cards got the sweep on November 22 the sold out crowd in attendance was ecstatic.  A powerful block by Piper Roe in the second set fueled a run.  The Cards went on to be another team with a historic season.


Outside of sports, I do like to do a little bit of other work.  Many student-athletes have been my biggest supporters so it meant a great deal when a few members of the soccer team approached me for a preseason shoot.  Can you name all four?

Everyone have a safe and Happy New Year!  If you choose to partake in any adult beverage consumption make sure you have a ride home or a place to stay.


Not only will I see all of you next year, but also next decade!  And my 2020 vision says that it's going to be an excellent year to be a Louisville Cardinal!

Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!

Jared


EDITOR NOTE: 

These are just several of the thousands of wonderful pictures Jared Anderson took in 2019. CARDINAL COUPLE is so fortunate to have someone who has such a keen eye for "getting the shot they'll talk about" at UofL women's sporting events. The pledge here is to bring you more of Jared's work in 2020. 

He also writes some very good articles for us. 

I love this picture he caught of me interviewing softball's Celene Funke after a game this spring. It may be the only photo that exists where the talented hitter/outfielder isn't running, jumping, cheering or generally creating craziness. 

"Smile, you're on Jared camera" !!

paulie
xxxxx

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Louisville WBB squeezes out Orange 62-58 -- MONDAY CARDINALCOUPLE


FRANTIC FOURTH FALLS CARDS WAY IN FOUR-POINT WIN



Louisville women's basketball returned to the KFC YUM! Center Sunday and battled a tough, physical Syracuse squad for 40 minutes before finally gaining their first ACC win of the season in front of 10084 fans.

This one was expected to be close, and was.  Jazmine Jones stepped up huge for the 12-1 Cards with 24 points to give Louisville the win in their opening ACC tilt. 

The 'Cuse led 20-19 after one, thanks to 7-13 shooting (53.8%) and hitting the three-ball (3-6). Syracuse forward Digna Strautmane nailed two from the deep and had eight points in a 10-minute session where the visitors grabbed a 8-2 opening lead, allowed Louisville to go on a 8-0 run to tie it at 10-10 and weathered a eight-point first quarter from Jazmine Jones.


Coach Walz demonstrates the "self fist bump" to Dana 
Defense ruled in the second quarter, with neither team shooting better than 22.7%. Louisville gained a 31-25 lead late in the second quarter, Jones and Konno doing the scoring, but Syracuse battled back and cut it to one at 31-30 on a three with 30 seconds left in the half. It stayed that way as the teams went into the break.

Imagine a half where your top two scorers have no points. Evans and Shook were held scoreless in the first 20. Jaz was on fire, with 18 points on 7-9 shooting but Syracuse had a "three grab" lead in rebounds and this contest was far from settled. 



Louisville went to work on gaining some separation in the third period.

A Shook three with 5:58 left in the quarter pushed Louisville out to a 43-35 lead and a Evans three gave the Cards their biggest advantage of the night at 48-37 with three minutes left in the quarter. Things were looking promising after 30 minutes and UofL held the 50-43 edge. A 19-13 quarter for the Cards, six different players had scored and Louisville had forced six turnovers in the first ten minutes of the second half. I was hoping for a dominating, pull-away-from-the-foe fourth quarter, but...

Syracuse refused to go away. 

Back-to-back threes from the Orange's Teisha Hyman knotted the score up at 54-54 with 5:23 to play. After the media timeout, the Cards got a huge three from Evans and retook the lead at 57-54. Syracuse responded with two baskets and held their first lead since midway through the second quarter at 58-57. 

Coach Walz spoke of chopping wood at his Friday presser. On Sunday, "Q" team was doing the chopping late and they were in a serious position of being able to yel "timber" by knocking down the #7 Cards. 

2:37 remained and Louisville was without Jones, who was having a cramped muscle attended to on the sidelines. 



JJ. re-entered a minute later and drew a foul off Gabrielle Cooper. Jones sank both attempts. After Balogun missed two free throw attempts with 31 second left, "E" wisely pursued the last free throw miss, got the rebound and connected with a two-pointer inside.

61-58 Cards.

 "E " would get two more free throws awarded with 12 seconds left and sank one for the 62-58 final score. A final Syracuse three missed the mark and the Cards had survived a Sunday afternoon thriller. 



FRED REPORT

FREE THROWS -- The Cards went 14-20 from the free throw line (70%) and that's the standard we (at least) want to see. Jaz was automatic on them, making seven of eight. Five out of eight in the decisive fourth quarter, while Syracuse attempted zero in the final ten minutes. I'll give the lower case "f" as the letter assignment. 

REBOUNDING -- A rare night where the Cards were actually out-rebounded 43-37. No one accumulated more than six (Diop and Dunham). The Cardinal centers were responsible for just six combined. A stronger boards effort (besides Dunham hard work) was needed and I'll assign no letter here

EFFORT/EXECUTION -- Louisville committed just five turnovers and Coach Walz will take that any night. Three point-shooting still needed a boost (4 for 14) but a points-off- turnovers domination (16-3) and Jazz's spot-on efficiency from the floor (8 for 12) led to a Cardinal win and that deserves a capital "E". 

DEFENSE -- It was a strong defensive effort for UofL when you consider the visitors scored just 58 points, shot just 35% and committed 17 turnovers. Syracuse star Kiara Lewis was held to 14 points on 5 for 14 shooting and the Orange took just 23 threes, about 12 less than their average. I'll gladly award a capital "D" because solid defense was a huge key in the win. 

FINAL FRED TALLY:   f-_-E-D


THEY SAID IT

Post-game Quentin Hillsman link:   https://youtu.be/Z_XUyBANPCk

Post game Jeff Walz, Jazmine Jones and Bionca Dunham. LINK:  https://youtu.be/kmVisGRrEF8


SO...



The third win in a row where the Cards have played to the level of the foe. Coach Walz warned us in the post game presser we can expect more of these nail-biters and, as long as they results in "W"s...I'll take my blood pressure pill and deal with it. 

A game where the two "dependables" didn't launch until late and an afternoon where Jaz returned to early season form. Louisville struggled early, got it under control but then watched as Syracuse battled back into the contest. 

It's a nerve-wrecking way to get wins, although exciting at times. If this is the way Louisville is going to continue to rack up "W"'s , I'm recommending Pepto-Bismol. Rolaids and stress relief massages be offered in the concession stands and the media room. 


Bionca Dunham puts on her hard hat and does work every time out. Not much of it is flashy or eye-popping, but she's rapidly turning into this year's Sam Fuehring type of ballplayer. Elizabeth Balogun showed some flashes of brilliance Sunday like the ones that got her the ACC Freshman of the Year award last season. Her continued jelling into this team's style and mode of operation. 

Syracuse just may be the best 6-6 team in the nation. There is no quit in them and, let's face it, the record books don't list emotional or psychological wins, but the Orange probably got both Sunday. They'll be fine in the ACC, no need to fret over them. 



Everybody Clap You Hands ! (clap clap clap clap clap...)
One game at a time. One win at a time.

Nothing spectacular or domineering counts just as much in the "W" column as a 30-point blowout. We'll accept these Cards we've been dealt and hope they continue to win games. 

ACC. Always Competitve Conference


PHOTOS BY JARED ANDERSON


paulie
xxxxx

Back Home Again -- End of an era --SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

WBB Returns from Walkabout


The Cards women are returning from from gallivanting around...let's call it the Southeastern US.  Of course that definition has to be stretched a bit to include the US Virgin Islands.

It's been over a month, since November 24th against Boise State, since Walz and his squad have convened with CardNation in the KFC Yum! Center.

The opponent for the homecoming is the Syracuse Orange.  One of two meetings that the Cards will have with Quentin Hillsman's team this season, with possibly more in the post-season.

"Q" has had to re-format and rebuild this squad in 2019-20, when it was discovered "do-it-all" Aussie
Tiana Mangakahia had cancer and would sit out the season. In 2018-19, the talented guard led Syracuse with 16.9 p.p.g, 287 assists and a 88.2% success rate from the free throw line.  Syracuse has struggled a bit, albeit against a very demanding schedule, with the reboot, going 6-5 so far. 
.
Kiara Lewis (5-8, Guard) is the big offensive producer for the Orange averaging about 17 points per game, with a committee of folks backing her up.  Gabrielle Cooper, Digna Strautmane, and Emily Engstler average between 10 and 9.5 points per game.  Engstler (6-1, Guard) is the leading rebounder, though Amaya Finklea-Guity (6-4, Center) does the most to give the Syracuse 2nd chances on offense on the board.

Expect those five to be the starting five for the 'Cuse, as they have been all season long for Hillsman.  Off the bench, look for Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi (6-2, Forward) to be the leading scorer averaging a little over eight per game.  Bench perimeter contributions could come from Taleah Washington (5-7, Guard), although she's only hit nine on 39 attempts, so she's not exactly winning the efficiency battle.

Lewis is the big threat overall, in addition to being a scoring threat, she can dish as well, with almost six assists per game.

What are the keys to the Cards game for a win?  Well, I watched a game last night, and first and foremost on my mind is to make free throws.  I tend to harp on free throws a lot because there's no blaming the opposing team's defense when you miss them.  As I joked with a twitter friend last night, "Their free throw defense was incredible."  Success or failure at the free throw line is totally on the player, and it's easy to practice them and get better even if it's just you in a gym alone.

Otherwise, contain Kiara Lewis and protect the ball.  For other advice, I would suggest taking a moment to appreciate the sartorial excellence that Hillsman nearly always brings to the floor, and then put him out of your mind.  The Cardinal-Couple-beloved Q is larger than life and grabs attention, but if you let him get into your head, you're not playing the game.  Combine his antics with his obvious expertise as a coach, and it's critical to stay in the game, follow the game plan, and shut out distractions.

Game tip is at 2pm at the KFC Yum! Center and it will be on ESPN2, with Pam Ward, and Debbie Antonelli on the call, I believe.  Today is superhero day at the game, so if you can make it out, I expect we'll see a bunch of adorable kids in some fantastic costumes.  Will we see a reprise of Lamont Russell as Spiderman?  Maybe.  Beth Burns as Captain Marvel?  Ok, probably not so likely on that one.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


In the hit musical Hamilton, George Washington sings a song to Alexander Hamilton about his intentions to retire from politics titled, "One Last Time".  That song feels a little apropos to the CCRH at WCHQ right now.  We were on the air one last time from WCHQ, and we reminisced about the show's tenure up to this point.  We remembered various contributors to the show over the years, some of the guests we had on the show, and the good times we've had broadcasting first from the basement on the hill, and later the magnificent media mansion on Mellwood.  We did also talk about sports, with women's basketball returning home to start ACC play, and overall Paulie and I enjoyed our last time at WCHQ.


  Check it out at:


The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour will broadcast from WCHQ no more.  The radio station will shut
down its operations Tuesday night, but the CCRH will live on, as we have been saying.  We have been working on several plans in parallel to bring a Youtube Live Streamed version of the CCRH in the future.  The biggest sticking point that we've (I've) run into recently is getting a hold of people to finalize getting access to facilities where we can get together to record/stream due to the holidays.  Our efforts will continue, though they may not come to fruition in time to have a show next week.  Stay tuned to these pages for developments.  In the meantime, you can connect with the Cardinal Couple Youtube channel, where streams will go live, at:


The channel is a bit bare bones at this point, with only a few videos of player and coach interviews that I got at the volleyball selection show.  This will be where we stream so you can subscribe, and consider hitting the bell button to be notified of new videos when they start posting.

EDITOR NOTE: 

We ended our time at WCHQ the way we started it. Me and Jeff. It was a long and beautiful run, but it is over. We move on optimistically to the next phase of broadcasting our voices and views.

Just a huge "thank you" here to all that were involved, participated, listened to or supported us on 100.9 FM. We have always said, "You are Cardinal Couple and we appreciate it." We will be back, probably with a name change, definitely at a new venue and will continue to do what we do, bring you the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports. 

To Jeff, Case and Jared : You're the "A" team and three of the best knuckleheads I've had the pleasure of knowing. We move on, boys, and remain strong and solid. 

Paulie
xxxxx

I'm looking forward to getting 2020 started off on a good note, I hope you are, too.

-- 
JMcA

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Cards Prepare for Conference Slate -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Louisville Begins ACC Play Tomorrow


When the Cards take on Syracuse tomorrow afternoon, they'll do so to open their sixth season in the ACC. Louisville has had pretty nice success in this conference, since coming over from the brief stint in the American Athletic Conference. Since joining the ACC, Louisville holds an overall 68-12 conference record, not including tournaments, and has had a season low of just 12 conference wins (twice). The Cards have never been the outright regular season champions, twice tying with Notre Dame at the top, and have only once held the crown at the end of the conference tournament. 

This year, however, is different. Notre Dame, after losing all five starters to graduation/the WNBA, is squarely in a rebuilding year. The Irish sit at just 5-7 and have lost three straight. Their wins have been generally narrow margins and they have not come against particularly quality opponents. They'll open their conference season with Clemson tomorrow and we'll see if their dominance is truly diminished for this year. 

Louisville was selected by the coaches to finish as the number one team in the conference, and the Cards have, so far, lived up to that billing for the most part. Despite the loss to Ohio State and a couple of other scares, Louisville has just the one loss on the season and already has a top-15 road win after taking down their rival in Rupp. Louisville also took down then-ranked No. 1 Oregon in one of the early season tournaments. At 7th, the Cards are the highest ranked ACC team in both polls, ahead of Florida State by one spot in each. Both FSU and Duke currently sit ahead of Louisville in the standings, but only by way of having played a conference game already.

Louisville's athletics site points out that Jeff Walz is 10-2 in conference openers since taking the top job at UofL. The last came all the way back in 2012, when the Cards dropped a six-point loss to Depaul in their Big East opener. The only other conference opening loss for Louisville was in 2008, and it coincidentally came against the Orange of Syracuse. As Paulie pointed out in yesterday's article, the Cards typically do not have a lot of trouble after the holiday break, and I don't imagine that changing tomorrow. Surprises happen, though. Syracuse is only 6-5, but four of their five losses came to ranked teams. The fifth loss was to Green Bay in overtime, so perhaps these Orange have more to them than meets the eye. Walz and Co. are sure to be prepared.

And so, the Cards' regular season title defense begins. 

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


The time has come. The last Cardinal Couple Radio Hour from WCHQ is nigh. The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour will go out as it came in, with Jeff and Paulie leading the way. The rest of the cast are otherwise indisposed, with me becoming a late scratch due to illness. The guys will bring you a great show for the last one of the WCHQ era and will have plenty to discuss as they prepare for the conference basketball season. Jeff may also give an update to the future of the CCRH as we prepare the way for our new presentation methods. Have no fear: the joy and excitement of Louisville women's athletics isn't going anywhere.
Until next time, Go Cards!
-CH-

Friday, December 27, 2019

Cards WBB after XMAS break -- Walz Presser Today -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Affter the Break



Most of the student athletes returned to their homes for a few days with family and friends. Coming back after that means getting used to the routine of school, practice, study and games. For Louisville WBB, it's usually around five days or so away. Players are expected to do a little "something" to maintain their fitness during the break.

Stretching for the turkey at the table and carving the pumpkin pie doesn't count for exercise credit.

So, how is that first game back after the break? Let's look at what Walz teams have done in their first game after the holiday.

Louisville was in the Big East when Walz arrived on campus. In 2007-08, they returned from home to face Mercer and Louisville won 99-74. The 2008-09 continuation of action brought the Cards back for three straight games, in the Marriott Cardinal Classic. They downed Morehead State 66-38, Central Michigan 94-72 and New Hampshire 82-40. That, of course was Walz and squad's first trip to the Final Four.

2009-10 was a rebuilding year of sorts and the Cards left their candy canes and parents to face IPFW after the break. They had no trouble in a 88-58 win. In the 2010-11 season, UT Martin visited and left a 92-67 loser. In 2011-12, Louisville players went to their hometowns after a three game road trip to Cincinnati, Portland and Washington St. Shoni and crew got back to Louisville after that to face UT-Martin again, in Louisville again, and won again -- 70-57.

Where were these folks? Group potty break? 
2012-13 was another Final Four trip for the Cards WBB squad. Tennessee State came to town for the post-Christmas break contest.  The Cards had no trouble against them with a 88-25 romp. The following year, Louisville had left the Big East for a year in the AAC, got away from the mid-major, after the break foes in 2013-14 with a visit from SMU after Christmas. A 71-51 win developed for Walz' squad. It was to the ACC and back to a regional squad visit in 2014-15 with Evansville paddling up river. UofL took care of beating the Purple Aces after Santa's Day with a 75-51 victory.

The Asia Durr era began in 2015-16 and the first game after XMAS was old favorite UT-Martin again. 88-66 was the final outcome, another Cards win over the SkyHawks.  In 2016-17, Louisville's opponent was Syracuse, who the Cards will face on Sunday. The 'Cuse was #17 in the nation at the time, but, fell to Louisville 91-76. In 2017-18, the contest against Georgia Tech proved to be the closest of the first game back from holiday win in Walz's tenure, and, the first on the road. Nevertheless, Myisha Hines-Allen pulled the Cards out of the burning building with a 74-71 win.

Whaddya mean it'll be my last time
playing here? 
Last year, North Carolina visited on Jan 3rd., the longest "off time" since Walz has been on campus. It was the game after the scare at Central Michigan on Dec., 20th, 2018. Louisville blew out the Tar Heels in the first half and held on for a 73-66 win. Walz played eight players and five of them reached double figures.

So, in Walz's tenure, the team has scored an average of 81 points in their first game after XMAS break. Their opponents have managed 58.3.  Louisville is 12-0 in these matchups. Some have been very nice, a few indicate Louisville must have been naughty in preparing.

It'll also be getting back into the swing of things for the Cardinal WBB fan base this Sunday. Walz and crew haven't been in the KFC YUM! Center since Nov 24th., when they got noisy versus Boise. Huge game for sure, but sandwiched in between two major UofL men's athletic events. Let's hope people wait around and attend this one before heading to Nashville.


WALZ PRESSER TODAY

Whaddya mean Santa isn't coming? 
A UofL WBB presser today at 12:30 to presumably discuss next foe Syracuse, but, you know how Walz pressers go. Anything and everything is potential subject matter. 

Syracuse is travelling to Louisville with a 6-5 record, unusual for a Quentin Hillsman team to be hovering .500. When you look at the slate they've faced though, it's partially explainable. Oregon, Stanford, Green Bay, Michigan and West Virginia have wins over the Cuse and Q. 

Why they chose to take on Aaron Rodgers and the Pack is anyone's guess. I heard former Cardinal Jaire Alexander had a few late "picks" to secure the win.   


JEFF WALZ PRESSER 12/27/19


Have a fun Friday! 

paulie
xxxxx

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Back to the Grind -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Back to the Grind

(EDITOR'S NOTE)



The unenviable task of writing the day after Christmas falls to Jared this year. It is a very "dead" day for Cardinal women's sports, so Jared has reverted to looking at upcoming events. We promise things will get more exciting later in the week.

Our thoughts on sending him to Japan to check up on Norika Konno failed when we looked at the CARDINAL COUPLE bank statement and realized we could get him to Taylorsville, not Tokyo. 


So, here's his "full-of-turkey, I-need -to-get something-up-on-the-site" effort this Dec. 26th. It is what it is.  You can always liven it up in the comments section.


If we were doing a FRED report on today's column...no letter awarded. 


Paulie



Shuffleboard? Certainly !! 
Post-Christmas and post-holiday season sadly means back to work and the real world for most of us.

( Although, a day or two to recover sure would be nice ).

However, it also means that we get to see one of our favorite UofL women's sports pick up.

Women's basketball returns back to action after an extended break when they kick off ACC play against Syracuse at the KFC Yum! Center this Sunday.

Women's tennis gets to continue their vacation in Hawaii, but will play a few matches a week after New Year's Day.


Women's swimming and diving will head up north to Evanston, Ill., for a meet against Northwestern in a couple weeks.  Thankfully, meets are all indoors.

Women's track and field will also be headed north.  They'll head up to Lafayette, Ind., for the weekend long Gene Edmunds Cup the weekend of Jan. 10-11.

Classes pick back up Jan. 6.

As games approach we will break down opposing teams as well as give you  live and up-to-date coverage.

Wishing everyone a continuous Happy Holidays and Go Cards!

Jared

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Vball Final Rankings -- Holiday Traditions -- Editor Note -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Vball Final Rankings

With the conclusion of the 2019 NCAA Tournament the final volleyball rankings were released.  The Cards finished 14th.

That's not too bad of a ranking for how the season went, but a team that made it to the quarterfinals (Elite Eight) should at least earn the respect of at least a Top 10 ranking, if not eighth.

Champion Stanford was the unanimous #1 with runner-up Wisconsin right behind.  Final Four contenders Baylor and Minnesota came next in line.

Texas, who the Cards beat in the Sweet 16, dropped to #8.  Pitt was the only other ACC school listed at 11th.  Kentucky came in at 12th and Purdue 13th.  WKU, another team the Cards upset during their Cinderella run, finished 22nd.

Although Louisville got cheated a little on their final ranking it does appear that they should be Top
15 when the beginning of next season rolls around.  As we discussed on air last week, next year should be an extremely fun year with a potential trip to the Final Four coming.

Most coaches dream of getting almost the entire roster back after a successful season and that's the case with  the returning Cardinals. We know not yet about transfers and such, it seems there are always a couple in most sports we cover, but Louisville Volleyball looks to be in fine shape for 2020.


Holiday Traditions

We are in the midst of several holidays so I'd like to take a moment to share some of my traditions and ask to hear yours.

Christmastime has always been about family for us.  On Christmas Eve we will gather at my grandma's (mom's mom) house for dinner and presents with that side of the family before heading to the Candlelight Service at church.

Christmas morning features me headed to my parents' house where I will join them and my brother for presents.  Lunchtime involves us headed to my other grandma's (dad's mom) place for lunch and presents with that side of the family.

The busy day and a half is always something I look forward to as I get to spend time with the ones I love.

What are your holiday traditions?

Merry Christmas (Eve), Happy Holidays, and Go Cards!

Jared

PS: Food for Thought: Instead of calling December 23 "Christmas Eve Eve", why not refer to it as "Christmas Adam"?  I'll be here all week, folks!


From Your Editor

Tomorrow, Christmas Day, is one of the few days we actually "shut down". You'll see a Christmas
greeting here and that's about it.

2019 has been a interesting year here at Cardinal Couple, and there's still a tad of it left. We found out that the radio station we've broadcast from for years is closing their doors. We saw many wonderful sports develop and grow throughout the year. We decided to stop "coming to you" for donations and we now depend solely on advertising sponsors. It has been a bit of a "year of change" but we have survived, held our own and remained true to our cause:

Reporting on the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports.

I have been so fortunate to have very good writers and radio personalities with me again this year. The works of Jared, Case and Jeff stand alone as a prime example of that "wonderfulness" We've had great occasional contributors in Daryl, Paige and David Watson. We are thankful for them.

Most importantly, though, we are thankful for you.

You read the site. you make observations and we appreciate that. As we've said so many times before, and still firmly believe today...YOU ARE CARDINAL COUPLE, we never forget that and we thank you.

Finally, none of this would be possible without the student-athletes we report on. They are the obvious reason we are here. Over the years, so many contacts and relationships have been built and treasured. If they didn't do what they do, we would have empty pages.

A recent encounter with a former student-athlete earlier this year bears that out. I had finished my post-game interview duties at an event and was trudging off to my vehicle when I was stopped by a young women. She asked if I remembered her.

 I did, and we chatted briefly about her life after UofL, after her days on the field of honor and competition. She was doing well, and I was happy for that and her.

One thing she said stayed with me. She said that just a brief mention of what she did... here in one of our columns and an accompanying interview was important to her, her parents and it was something she would always treasure. Something that sometimes I take for granted had touched someone's life.

Maybe that's the reason I do this...despite my advancing age and health. I made someone feel important and good, That's the biggest joy and excitement of all, if you ask me. A kind word, a bit of praise. Using your talents to praise someone else. Recognizing and praising someone else's efforts.

Pass it on, please.

YOU can make it happen.

You can effect a change. Whatever it is that you do in this journey, this life...try to make a difference for the better. Be the good guy//gal. Be quick to praise and slow to criticize. Shine brightly and share your light. You're beautiful, unique and important. 

paulie
xxxxx

Monday, December 23, 2019

Are you ready for some ACC WBB? -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


SEVERAL TEAMS RIDING HIGH AS ACC PLAY DRAWS NEAR



Apologies to Hank Williams, Jr. for slightly altering his famous Monday Night Football "catch line"...but I am, and you are probably as well, ready for some ACC women's basketball. 

Most of the 15 schools have finished up their early non-conference games and sent the student-athletes packing to spend a few days at home. Yesterday, two ACC squads took to the hardwood. FSU remained undefeated with a 79-63 over the Michigan Wolverines and Syracuse got narrowly knocked off by West Virginia 71-69. 

For what it's worth, the #14 Kentucky Wildcats squeaked one out against California out west, 63-61. This time Rhyne Howard made her final shot of a contest, and her mid-range jumper was the decider. She tossed in 29 points, 19 in the fourth quarter. The girl has game. 
I told him. Jeff, to watch what he eats///" 

The huge news of Sunday was un-ranked Texas sending #1 Stanford back to the trees with a 69-64 trimming. Geno sat out UConn's win with diverticulitis but the Huskies romped Oklahoma without him. Chris Dailey, who filled in as the head coach. would probably be an all-conference coach anywhere in the nation if she ever accepted a top slot somewhere else. 

Looking at the ACC WBB slate, we already have two conference game results. FSU and Duke at 1-0 in the conference standings, the 'Noles toying with Clemson before sitting them down 81-64 and Duke delivered against Boston College 85-73. 

As we roll into Santa's big time of the year, two ACC schools remain undefeated so far this season. The aforementioned FSU (12-0) and NC State (11-0) have no "L's" in their resume. Right behind them are the Cards (11-1) and Virginia Tech (11-1). UNC continues to surprise with a 9-1 record available for review. The TarHeels lone loss came against (Sweet Home) Alabama. 



Still having great seasons SO FAR are Georgia Tech and new head coach Nell Fortner at 9-2. We attribute that to Cortnee Walton's role as an assistant down there in Yellow Jacket territory. The Miami Hurricanes are riding out the weather at 8-3 and that's a little surprising, considering how much pre-season hype the Canes and Mompremier received. 

Duke is also showing well in their non-conference agenda with a 7-4 record, a mark they share with Wake Forest. Boston College is still above .500 with a new skipper at 7-5. Our buddy "Q" has had some bumpy travelling against a very tough pre-season slate but his and the "Cuse"s  isn't too awful at 6-5. Their losses came against Oregon, Stanford, Green Bay, Michigan and West Virginia. The Cards get Syracuse to start their ACC slate on Sunday, Dec. 29th.

Below the .500 mark are rebuilding Notre Dame (6-7), Virginia (5-6), Clemson (4-8) and perennial patsy Pitt (3-8).  

The ACC slate kicks into full gear the Sunday before New Year's Day with six in-conference contests. NC State travels to Boston College, Virginia heads to Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech tries their luck at FSU, Wake Forest heads south the Miami, Clemson visits Notre Dame and, as we mentioned, Syracuse at Louisville.

The fun is just around the corner, and we'll soon get an idea of who is on Santa's naughty or nice list in conference performance. 



Have a marvelous Monday !

paulie
xxxxx 








Sunday, December 22, 2019

Fall successes and A Bucket Catching Water -- Sunday Cardinal Couple

Empty Calendar


No, we haven't time traveled back to July.  We just have a short-term lull in UofL Sports calendar entries.  Fall sports are all now officially done with the crowning of an NCAA volleyball Champion last night (Stanford beat Wisconsin in a sweep, if you're interested).  Of course Christmas is this week, and Chanukah has begun its eight day run.  Students are home on the winter break between the fall and spring semesters, and the focus at this time of year turns away from the sports world a little bit.

This is only a short term lull, however, as the women's basketball team will be back next week with the beginning of their conference play and also the first home game in approximately a month.

I always find transitions like this are a great time to take a step back and take stock of where things stand a little bit, and using that to prepare for the future.

First off, let's celebrate the UofL women's fall sports teams' success this year as a whole.  We had All-
Americans named in all three, Field Hockey, Soccer, and Volleyball.  Each of the three had good post-season runs with a program best Elite Eight appearance for Volleyball.  All three finished the year with impressive records.

Basketball has finished their non-conference slate of games with a pretty impressive win-loss record, 11-1, and they weren't all over cupcakes.  Yes, we've had some clunkers of wins, but they still go in the win column, and they serve as an opportunity to learn and improve.  Other wins were very impressive indeed, including, of course, a victory over then top-ranked Oregon, and a fourth straight win over a Top-15 ranked UK team in a tightly contested battle down to the final seconds.

Now the basketball Cards get ready to embark on their conference schedule.  We get home and home match-ups with several teams, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Boston College, and Pitt.  The rest, Clemson, Duke, Miami, Wake Forest, UNC, Virginia, Florida State, NC State, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech, we will only see once in the regular season.

Add in the exhibition game against the US National Team on February, and we have a recipe for 3+ months of fun basketball ahead of us.

Here's a scheduling note that might take you by surprise.  We're only about a month and a half away from Softball season.  Now, of course, our Softball squad almost always schedules almost a month of road games to open the season...and almost always to the south to take advantage of warmer weather.  I can't say that I blame them.  In any case, even the home opener is only about two and a half months away.

Softball is coming off of a good season last year, with a win over a Top-25 UK team, as well as a program first series win over Florida State, so they'll be looking to better that.


What an exciting time of year, both in the sports world, and outside of it.  I hope, whatever roles you may play in life, that the next week will give you an opportunity to step back, rest, and rejuvenate a little bit to close out this year strong and head into the new year on a good footing.

It is a chance to reflect on how well the UofL women's sports programs did this fall, are doing this winter and what will the spring bring? We'll make a New Year's resolution right now that we'll do the best we can do here at Cardinal Couple to keep you informed, enlightened and entertained.. 

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour


The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour is winding down its time on WCHQ FM, our home since the start of the show, but that doesn't mean the shows are getting any less interesting.

We had a full house yesterday, with the full compliment of five in studio, Paulie, myself, Jared, Daryl and Case "The bucket that catches water".  What does that mean?  Check out the replay on Facebook to find out, or listen and still be completely mystified like the rest of us:


In any case, we had fun wrapping up the Volleyball season, and discussing the head-scratching that is
currently part of being a UofL women's basketball fan, given the recent games.

Al Davis, of Oakland Raiders fame, used the phrase: "just Win, Baby!" WBB has taken that to heart, it's just the margin of wins and way they are getting them that has many of us considering blood pressure medication and experiencing brief panic attacks. 

Next week will be our final broadcast from WCHQ 100.9.
It has been a unique opportunity to be a talk show, about women's sports, on a station that has emphasized local music. 

Enjoy the holidays!

-- 
JMcA