Virginia Cancelation Causes ACC Shuffling
Louisville WBB announced the beginning of the fallout from Virginia opting out of the remainder of the season, plus the recovery of some previously postponed games, yesterday when the University provided schedule updates on three upcoming games. I'm sure Jeff Walz is happy to play as many games as possible, but with the Cards having moved to 11-0, I believe he's only focused on finding two more games to get to tournament eligibility.
With the schedule updates, Louisville should get to that 13-game mark this week. In addition to tomorrow's game against FSU (which we'll talk about on the podcast and Jeff will have more about in the Sunday column), a game against Syracuse was added to the calendar for Thursday, January 21st at 9PM. It's a dreadfully late start for a pair of Eastern Time Zone teams, but it's being carried by ESPN2, so at least we won't have to deal with any shenanigans to watch it.
The Cards will play another game on ESPN2 to open February, as the House of Mouse decided that they still want to see Louisville vs NC State in prime time on their network. The Cards will host the Wolfpack on February 1st at 7PM. The matchup has been among the most anticipated conference matchups of the season, and many were disappointed when it was canceled from tomorrow's original scheduled date. It's been interesting over the last few years, as it seems the "most anticipated" ACC games always feature Louisville, regardless of the rotating cast of characters around the league. A good position to be in, I'd say.
The third game adjusted is the rematch against FSU. Louisville will now travel to Tallahassee on February 21st, making it the second to last game on the regular season calendar. The game has not had a time set yet, which has also prevented the announcement of a network carrying the matchup. It will, ideally, be the Seminoles looking for revenge in that game, but we'll have to see after tomorrow.
Spring Sports on the Horizon
While basketball seemingly limps to the finish line on all levels (the NBA is seeing that playing outside of a bubble is not so simple), spring sports are right around the corner, with the likes of swimming, track and field, and tennis already underway. The fall sports that have spring calendars should also be releasing those schedules soon, so the spring should be busy. Already, though, we have seen that the spring schedules will not be immune to impact by Covid-19. Louisville has not had any direct issues, but we can't ignore some larger trends.
In December, the Big West Conference announced that it would not play spring volleyball as previously planned. Wednesday, the University of Dayton announced that they would not participate in the Pioneer League's planned spring season, instead returning to a traditional football offseason, missing the entirety of the 2020-21 season. And the first hit to softball came yesterday. Texas softball returned to practice yesterday, and Miranda Elish didn't join them. Elish, Softball America's 2020 Player of the Year and their second rated player in the 2021 preview, announced that she would be opting out of this season's competition due to concerns surrounding Covid-19.
I know I have been rather negative regarding playing during this pandemic (which is probably another story completely), but I don't bring these things up to say that spring sports are likely to be canceled. I just want to keep everyone prepared for the possibility that spring sports won't look so different from fall and winter sports when it comes to opt-outs, quarantine shutdowns, and schedule shuffling. We'll do our best through it all to keep bringing you the joy and excitement of UofL women's athletics, and hope that the Cards are successful throughout this winter and spring, whatever this time may bring.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour
We're back with a full house today, as Jared returns to the booth from his banking duties. We've got a pair of wins to cover, plus the aforementioned FSU and Syracuse games to preview. Also, there was pretty big soccer news for the city and UofL this week. All that and more as we bring you the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports on the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour. Tune into the Cardinal Couple YouTube Channel at 11AM for today's live show, or check out the replay on the channel at any time. As always, subscribe to the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast to have episodes pushed directly to your device every week.
Until next time, Go Cards!