Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Wednesday Pressers -- ACC WBB Standings -- W. Golf finishes third -- Celene Funke recognized -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
Lacrosse Interview with Scott Teeter and goalkeeper Rachel Florek: LINK
WBB Presser with Jeff Walz: LINK
FOUR CONFERENCE GAMES REMAIN FOR MOST ACC TEAMS
As we roll into the twilight of the 2019-20 ACC WBB regular season, Louisville has regained the conference lead with a 12-2 mark. The Cards guided their own destiny with wins over NC State and Notre Dame in their last two outings and were aided by previous conference leader NC State dropping the Cardinal contest and getting knocked off by Georgia Tech in Raleigh.
These two squads appear "locks" for getting byes in the first two days (Wednesday and Thursday) of ACC Tournament play in Greensboro March 4th and March 5th. Who else could join them in the two-round bye column? The WolfPack would have to stumble badly in their final four...they go to Miami, and host Duke, Syracuse and end the conference slate at Virginia.
Louisville takes to the road Thursday at Georgia Tech, which could be a very tough game. They then travel to Pitt before ending the regular season hosting Boston College and Virginia Tech. The Cards control their fate and would have to lose twice, providing NC State goes 4-0, to be bumped out of the top slot.
Jeff Walz will preview the action and other Cardinal WBB "goings-ons" in his weekly presser today at 12:30 p.m. Check back here later to hear the presser.
The other two first and second round "bye" slots are still up in the air. Three teams hold 9-5 conference records. FSU, Va. Tech and Duke are in the running, but there are three teams right behind them with eight wins, in Boston College, Syracuse and Georgia Tech.
Duke's path looks arduous, they host Virginia Thursday night but must go to NC State, Virginia Tech and North Carolina to end their conference schedule.
Va. Tech, winners of their last three, go to Notre Dame on Thursday and then get Virginia and Duke at Cassell Coliseum. Their conference-seeding fate could hang on a March 1st. visit to Louisville.
FSU appears to have the easiest slate of the 9-5 teams, hosting Wake Forest Thursday night, going to Georgia Tech after that and finishing with Clemson and Notre Dame at home.
I'll predict that FSU gets a two-round bye and after that, it'll be a toss up to see who fills the remaining spot. I'll venture it's Va. Tech.
At eight wins, Syracuse could possible have the inside track at getting the final double bye out of the eight-win teams. They should handle Clemson at home, Notre Dame on the road. Going to Raleigh and NC State will be a true test and surprising Boston College visiting the Orange Dome on March 1st could be their deciding factor on bye status.
Boston College has impressed lately, with three conference wins in a row, and shouldn't see much of a challenge from visiting Pitt on Thursday night. Slumping Miami visits after that, but the Eagles have to travel to Louisville and Syracuse to end the regular season.
Georgia has just three games left, and two are at home. Two are tough ones, though, when Louisville and FSU visit and they get a breather to end the season at Clemson.
North Carolina, on a four game skid, is one back of the eight-win teams at 7-8 in ACC play. For any post-season NCAA consideration, they probably need to win out, on the road, against Wake Forest and Dame and beat Duke in Chapel Hill...plus have a strong ACC Tournament. They're not trending that way, but anything can happen. They needs wins to stay out of the Wednesday first round bracket.
Virginia and Wake Forest are possible candidates to play in the opening round with six conference wins, Miami and Notre Dame will join them with five win each and Clemson (three conference wins) and Pitt (1-13 in conference) have already purchased their Wednesday reservations.
As I mentioned earlier, anything can happen, as the 15 teams "make the turn and head for home" -- using a horse-racing term. Upsets, yes, there could be a few and these current standings could really be shook up if they occur.
Just 10 more days of ACC WBB conference season play before we know the seeding for Greensboro. Sit down, buckle up and hang on -- it could get crazy.
Paulie's "trending" teams: Louisville, Duke, Virginia Tech, Syracuse and Boston College
Paulie's "retreating" teams: NC State, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Clemson, Pitt.
CARDS WOMEN'S GOLF RALLIES TO TAKE THIRD IN MOON GOLF INVITATIONAL
After a rain-delayed first day of action Monday where Louisville finished in 10th. place, the Cards had a strong final day yesterday and climbed seven spots to finish third in the standings.
Old Miss won the event in Melbourne, FL and Augusta College grabbed second place. Louisville was three shots back of Augusta for third. The Cards finished in front of #12 Alabama, #21 Kentucky, ACC member North Carolina, Furman and last year champs in the event UCF.
Atop the Cards golfers was freshman Hana Ryskova. She tied for sixth place overall and had a 54-hole score of 2-under-par 213. She tied for team lead in birdies with 11 of them. Senior Lauren Hartlage finished at 215 and recorded a 3-under-par 69 in her final 18 holes. She also had 11 birdies. Sophomore Lauren Thibodeau had a strong tournament at 216 and was the third Cardinal golfer with 11 birdies. Rounding out the Cards starting five were sophomore Mairead Martin at 221 and Delaney Shah, who had an eagle on her final round and finished with a 223 for 54 holes.
Louisville also had three golfers competing as individuals. Margot Bechadergue led the way with a one-over-par 217. Meghan Nay and Agustina Gomez Cisterna also teed it up for the Cards.
The Cards next outing takes them to Bowling Green, KY., where they'll challenge WKU for a one-day event on February 29th.
Celene Funke named 2020 Senior CLASS Award Candidate
Another early-season award for the Cards senior center-fielder Celene Funke. She's one of 25 Senior CLASS Award nominees.
The acronym CLASS stands for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School.
The award focuses on the total student-athlete and recognizes nominees for using their platform in athletics to make positive impact as leaders in their communities.
She's the third UofL Softball player in history to get the nomination, the last one being Cardinal Couple favorite Katie "Killer" Keller back in 2014. Funke is highly involved in studies, activities, community, campus life and high academic results.
It seems anywhere you go around campus or in our fair city, Funke is volunteering, aiding and cheering on her classmates who participate in other sports. She's been a three-year starter on the diamond and Louisville Softball's only two-time Academic All-American. She has volunteered for Blessing in a Backpack, Norton Children's Hospital Festival of Trees and dozens of other community involvement events
Despite her slow start to the 2020 Cardinal Softball campaign (.152 batting average in nine games), we know she'll bounce back and forge a great season for the 2-7 Cards.
Louisville travels to the Bama Bash this weekend for five games in three days, starting Friday in Tuscaloosa. They'll face Penn State once and Wichita State and Alabama twice.
I will be on campus for interviews and a presser today. I'll start the day with Lacrosse's Scott Teeter and a scheduled appearance from Cardinal goalkeeper Rachel Florek as well. Then, it's downstairs to the Planet Fitness Media Room for the weekly Jeff Walz presser.
More miles on the 2011 Ford Taurus.
Be sure to check back here at CARDINAL COUPLE to hear the audio from my "Talk with Teeter" and the "Word from Walz" later today. I'll post these at the top of the page.
Have a wonderful Wednesday!