Predicting Fall Records Part Two: Volleyball
We move onto another fall sport that is just around the corner- Volleyball. The VolleyCards begin their season of Friday, Sept. 26 at home.
Like soccer, volleyball has an eight-match schedule that features two home and two away style. The regular season will conclude a month after it begins, with Louisville finishing the season at Pitt on Oct. 25.
Louisville and Notre Dame have a history of close matches and a solid rivalry. Most matches have gone into five sets between these two foes minus a sweep over the Irish near Thanksgiving last year. UofL returns pretty much all of last year's team minus Melanie McHenry and a couple transfers. They should be locked up to start the season 2-0.
To kick off October, Louisville heads north to Boston College. The Eagles caught the Cards in the midst of a losing streak last year and won in five sets. The Cards will get revenge and take both matches, improving their record to 4-0.
The Cards return home for their final two home matches to host Syracuse in early October. The two foes split their meetings last year, but the Cards are in much better shape than last season and will continue their winning streak up to 6-0.
One of the top teams in the country last year and reigning ACC Champ Pitt is the final stop of the tour for Louisville this year in late October. Pitt has won the last three match-ups and the Cards are looking to halt the streak. Still, playing at Pitt makes the challenge a little tougher. Louisville and Pitt will split the two-match series and each claim a share of the ACC regular season title. The Cards will finish the year at 7-1.
Here are some bold predictions for you:
-Coach DBK will spread the wealth, letting players see an equal share of playing time. There is no ACC Tournament nor is there a current scheduled NCAA Tournament listed according to the NCAA website. There is not much to play for this season so it's a good chance to let the new faces get accustomed to college ball.
-No one will break 50 kills on the year. If you look at last year's numbers then we would see 50-60 kills as the high. Following my previous prediction, no one will see the court enough to reach 50 kills.
-Louisville will get beat on digs, again. Opponents had one more dig than Louisville last year (1557-1556). As we see different rotations on the court we will see more errors on both the offensive and defensive end, leading to less digs in the back row.
I forgot to add my bold predictions for soccer on Tuesday's post so I'll add them now:
-Emina Ekic will not score the most goals on the team. With Brooklynn Rivers and Allison Whitfield posing as offensive threats last season the focus was spread out, giving Ekic more scoring opportunities. Rivers and Whitfield graduated and there isn't a clear number two to run with the All-American, allowing opposing defenses to focus on her.
-The Cards will average no more than 1.0 goals per match. That average last year was 1.5/match. With a tough lineup, Louisville is up against tougher defenses with fewer offensive weapons.
-Anna Henderson will emerge as the breakout player. Henderson had a strong showing in the spring, but has had a relatively quiet career her first two seasons. By being able to fly under the radar so far she will be able to surprise opposing defenses.
Pastor Selected to Preseason All-ACC Field Hockey Team
Mercedes "Mechi" Pastor was a preseason selection to the All-ACC team, as voted by the seven conference coaches. Pastor was the only Louisville player selected to the 11-player team.
Duke also had just one player selected while Wake Forest had no selections.
The senior midfielder was also named to the preseason All-ACC team last year. She has also been a National Field Hockey Coaches Association twice. She scored a career-high nine goals last season, and finished with 22 points.
Three Volleyball Players Selected to All-ACC Team
Louisville Volleyball had plenty of good news to share yesterday with three players being named to the All-ACC Volleyball Team. Tori Dilfer, Aiko Jones, and Anna Stevenson all received the honors to the 18-player team.
Pitt and Georgia Tech each had three players as well to lead the way with Louisville.
Aiko Jones had a breakout season during her redshirt freshman year. She started every set while leading the team in kills and attack percentage.
Anna Stevenson was the primary middle blocker for the Cards, starting all but one match. She obliterated the rest of the team in blocks, even topping 10 against Boston College.
Tori Dilfer was the primary setter for the Cards last season. The senior averaged nearly 8.5 assists per set and finished second on the team in service aces.
Happy Thursday and Go Cards!