Let's kick it off with soccer, shall we?
The spring portion of this soccer season is only five games, mostly against non-conference opponents. Yesterday's foe was Auburn, and it was a close fought game. The Tigers would eventually get the win on a penalty kick in the 2nd overtime period.
In the low scoring affair, the offensive attempts that the Cards generated were well spread in the team. One shot apiece came from Ravin Alexander, Taylor Kerwin, Jessica Camken, Morgan Bentley, Delaney Snyder, Emma Hiscock. Alexander and Snyder were on frame, but Auburn Goalkeeper Maddie Porhaska was able to corral both.
Meanwhile, on the defensive end, Gabbie Kouzelos had to handle a bigger burden. Auburn put seven shots on frame out of their 13, with Kouzelos collecting six of them before the final PK made it past.
The Kickin' Cards will be back in action next week a couple of hours south playing Western Kentucky in Bowling Green in the mid-point of the relatively short spring portion of this season.
Softball also played the Tigers, of the Clemson variety, as they continued their homestand in Ulmer Stadium.
Clemson set the tone early when their lead-off hitter, on the 3rd pitch of the game, almost hit the ACC Network Extra camera in center field.
The Cards would answer in the bottom of the 4th in the form of Rebecca Chung with one out. One pitch, and the ball would be visiting the other side of the center field camera.
Clemson would finish it off when they got the bases loaded in the 7th, a sacrifice bunt got a run home and it would prove to be just enough as the Cards couldn't answer in the bottom half of the frame.
In the 2nd game of the day, Clemson got all of their scoring done in the first half of the game. While the Cards got their run late, but it wasn't enough.
Clemson used five hits in the 2nd inning to get three runs scored, and then would tack on another run in the 3rd inning. The 4th inning saw a pair of solo home runs to reach their tally of six runs for the game.
What they did get can perhaps partly be credited to Louisville softball alumnae Chelsea Bemis, Alicja Wolny, and Jordan "the Guv" McNary. Shown out on the berm dancing and cheering as the telecast returned from he inning break. The result was the first career home run from freshman Vanessa Miller. Miller was the lead off hitter, and the count to full before dropping the ball on the berm pretty close to where the former Cards were bringing the hype.
The finale of the series is today at 2pm, of course still on Don Dobina field at Ulmer Stadium. Of course, you will be able to see this one on ACC Network Extra with our latest writing addition here at Cardinal Couple in the studio facility pushing the buttons to help bring the great video coverage to you.
There was ACC Network Extra coverage of volleyball's matchup with Florida State, playing in Charlottesville, but I'm gonna be honest with you and say it wasn't great. A single mediocre camera from behind the Cardinals side of the court, with no commentary, no score graphics or any graphics at all really, and a flakey live stats system left everyone not in attendance squinting to see what was going on, and not always being able to tell. The UofL volleyball twitter account was left to tweeting score updates sent to them from Alexis Hamilton's mother Tina in the stands and a cell phone picture of a stat sheet texted from the locker room.
While the Virginia volleyball program was suddenly flipped on it's head this week with the sudden suspension and then removal of the whole coaching staff and cancellation of the rest of it's season, it didn't make the limited coverage any easier to consume.
To the game, though. The Cards won this one 19-25, 25-16, 25-21, 25-16.
In the opening set, the Cards looked a little bit like the Keystone Cops, with nothing going right, and making seemingly more errors than usual. They settled after the 1st set, however, and then got right to work winning this one over a good Florida State team.
The Cards mostly silenced Taryn Knuth, making Emma Clothier, and Morgan Chacon do most of the damage for the Seminoles. The A-team got a lot done on defense, with Alexis Hamilton and Aydan Bartlett getting 15 and 18 digs respectively. The middle blocker brigade also had a very nice day with Anna Stevenson tallying a pair of solo blocks and sharing credit on seven, and Amaya Tillman getting a trio of solos and sharing four.
Some position battles do continue for the Cards with Claire Chaussee only seeing action in two of the four sets and Anna DeBeer clocking time in all four. It probably was a good call as DeBeer did lead the team, along with Aiko Jones with 14 kills. Anna Stevenson was close behind with 13, for a gaudy - even for a middle - .632 hitting percentage.
UofL will officially get a win today as they were scheduled to play UVA, but with that cancellation not being related to Covid, it will be recorded as a "not contested" which is essentially a forfeit.
We wish nothing but the best to the fine players at UVA, and look forward to their return next season under the guidance of a new coaching staff.
UofL returns home for matchups against Georgia Tech and North Carolina State next weekend...hopefully. The Cards haven't yet had a weekend of play in this spring part of the season go off as planned without cancellations, so our fingers are crossed we get a nice, normal, healthy and drama free weekend upcoming.
On Tap Today
Lacrosse hosts Notre Dame starting at noon at LLS.
Softball finishes their four game series with Clemson with a 1pm start at Ulmer.
All of the above should be available on ACC Network Extra as usual.
Cardinal Couple Pick'em
Time is running out to get your entries in to the Cardinal Couple Pick'em. I'll be spending my normal 10 minutes of examining the bracket to get mine entered here in a few.
Can anyone take down David Watson? I'll be giving it a shot. Post your picks in the comments and our bracket czar, Jared, will get them recorded for Excel and posterity.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
Speaking of Jared, he did check in briefly on the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast from Ulmer stadium as he was getting ready to capture some of the great pictures you see here on the site. Daryl had to be at the ACC Network Studio to get her finger button-pushing warmups in before the start of the telecast for Softball, so Paulie, Case, and myself held it down on Youtube.
Good discussions of basketball, including the NCAA's shameful disrespect of the women in San Antonio, volleyball, field hockey, soccer, lacrosse...just about all the sports as nearly everyone is in action this spring.
You can also check it out the recording in any place you normally get your podcasts.