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Saturday, September 26, 2020

Volleyball Loses Season Opener — SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Cards Swept By Irish

Louisville volleyball put a swift end to any hopes of an 8-0 season yesterday afternoon when they lost their opening match of the season in straight sets to Notre Dame. While we weren’t quite right about a five set match, we did correctly predict a close match with extra volleyball. The final score in this one was 27-25, 25-22, 26-24. Attendance for this one was extremely limited, with Louisville listing just 150 and even our resident volleyball aficionado being unable to join the fray. Whether that lack of a rambunctious crowd made a difference, we’ll likely never know, but playing a tough match against the Irish could only be expected. We’ll have to hope that the sweep was a matter of the Cards coming up on the unlucky side of the close sets.

In this match, the problem for Louisville was unforced errors. The Cards actually out-killed the Irish 44-41 but also out-erred them 22-17. Louisville got consistent play from their primary front line players, with Aiko Jones finishing with 13 kills, Anna Stevenson with 12, and Claire Chaussee with 10. Unfortunately, none of the other hitters on the team hit better than .100. Another killer for the Cards was the serving game. Louisville had 6 service errors, compared to 7 for Notre Dame, but only 2 aces compared to 7 for the Irish. In a game so tightly contested on the floor, winning serves can make all of the difference. Louisville actually out-hit Notre Dame .119 to .098 in the third set, but the difference were three points on serves for the Irish.

It was a forgettable match for the Cards, and they'll need a short memory to move on with this quick season. However, the loss is made better (?) by the fact that Pittsburgh also fell at Syracuse yesterday evening. That the Cards are not already behind the Panthers in the standings is good, but that may mean that Syracuse poses a bigger threat than previously expected. Also working against the Cards is that it looks like they may not be playing 8 matches at all this season. 

Today's match against the Irish has been postponed due to Covid-19 protocol. There is not additional information about this available, but we can maybe use some outside information to infer possibilities. Notre Dame played USF in football last weekend. This weekend, both teams have postponed their games due to Covid-19 protocols. While it's not clear which campus this came from, it seems easy to assume that this represents the first case of one team spreading the virus to another. Similarly, it would make sense that athletes on the same campus would spread it to one another (a certain party at UofL comes to mind). While this may not be true, and UofL may be the source, there's no real way to know without someone coming out and saying it. My concern is that this appears to be a bit reckless. Notre Dame announced their football postponement much earlier this week. That should have piqued concerns about the virus on campus and in the athletic program. As such, it would seem prudent to ensure the wellness of all team members for other sports before putting them up against another school. This is not intended to throw blame. As I said, much of this is based on assumptions. There also could have been a round of negative tests with a late onset positivity. Either way, today's match is postponed and I'm not sure if there is a plan to make it up. Louisville's next scheduled match will come against Boston College on 10/2.

Field Hockey Opens Season Against Duke

The final fall sport at UofL will get underway today as the field hockey team welcomes the Duke Blue Devils to Trager Stadium. As of the time of post, there has been no news about this one being affected by the volleyball postponement, so the two teams are set to get underway at 1PM. 

Duke leads the all-time series between the two teams 11-5, but Louisville won exactly 11 months ago in Durham. Duke was scheduled to have already begun their season last weekend at Syracuse, but postponements in those games means that today will be the season opener for both teams. As a reminder, this will be a double-header weekend, but only the first of the two games will count toward the conference standings. If the Cards can only win one of the two, they'd much prefer that win to come today. Today's match will be available on ACC Network Extra, with tomorrow's getting the true ACC Network treatment.

Louisville Athletes Lead March Against Injustice

Following the announcement of grand jury decisions in the Breonna Taylor investigation, protests have been rekindled (though they smoldered all summer) in the Louisville area. Thursday afternoon, the Louisville men's basketball team announced that they would be hosting a protest march around campus and invited anyone to join them. Yesterday afternoon, a group gathered at Cardinal Stadium, marched, and returned to the stadium for brief remarks. From instagram and other accounts, we can confirm that members of the Louisville women's basketball team, Louisville track and field, women's soccer, and softball joined the march. Volleyball and men's soccer were playing or preparing for a match at the time, and I can't find any confirmation for the field hockey team. 

Louisville native David Johnson was near the front of the pack for much of the march. During the remarks, the team put action to their protest as well, announcing a voter registration event to be hosted by the team. The event will be held at the Shawnee Park basketball courts on Saturday, October 3rd, from 11AM-1PM.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

TIME CHANGE! Due to the field hockey match timing, the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour will get underway an hour earlier than normal. The live show will appear on the Cardinal Couple YouTube page at 10AM rather than 11, with the recorded version appearing immediately after. The podcast will be available, as will be the goal going forward, shortly after the show is final. We'll have plenty to talk about, with game results in two sports and a preview in another, plus everything else that has gone on.

Until next time, Go Cards!



  1. Sad to hear about VB being cancelled. I will agree with the assumption that Notre Dame "brought it with them" from South Bend. Will there be full disclosure?

    Stay safe you guys covering Field Hockey today.

    Nick O.

    1. What we've heard is that it's "Covid protocol", which, we think, suggests that there are no positive tests, but maybe based on contact tracing. Obviously we're hoping that no positive tests do come out of this going forward.

      2020, man. Crazy days.

  2. So it turns it out was actually someone with UofL’s program. We aren’t sure who it was or how many people tested positive but let’s wish the best for everyone! I was incorrect on my assumption that it was Notre Dame.


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