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Sunday, August 29, 2021

Sunday Cardinal Couple - Volleyball Wins the Weekend

 Volleyball Victorious Again




After Case wrote the great American novel recapping the four competitions from Friday, we only have a single volleyball match to cover today.

The Cards got the victory and head back home for the home opener next weekend with a 3-0 record after the 3-2 win over Arizona State 25-15, 24-26, 25-17, 24-26, 15-11.

Initially, I expected Arizona State to be the main competition for this weekend, but upon looking at the AVCA pre-season rankings, I reconsidered and thought Cal Poly, receiving votes, might be the tougher competition than Arizona State, who isn't receiving any.



I should've stuck to my intuition.  While Cal Poly certainly played competitively against the Cards, Arizona State proved to be the more challenging opponent.

As usual, the "A-Team", Anna Stevenson, Anna DeBeer, Amaya Tillman, and Aiko Jones; along with Claire Chaussee were a spread attack against the Sun Devils, with DeBeer stepping to the forefront in the match with 18 kills and only four miscues, with the rest contributing between 10 and 12 each.

ASU struggled in defense along with serve receive, shanking a number of shots, but they scrambled well, covering for a bit of weakness in defense.  Neither team served well, with a whopping 34 service errors in the overall match.  UofL went for more of the high risk and high reward service, totally 19 errors on nine aces, while ASU sent 15 off into never-never land and only letting "The Inferno", ASU's student cheering section, hold up their big ace of spades playing card five times.

The difference maker in the match, though, was the UofL blocking.  Anna Stevenson put up four big solo blocks in the middle, while Aiko Jones is credited with eight block assists.  Things get a little funny on the stat sheet with the block assists, though.  Along with Jones' eight, Amaya Tillman has five, and Anna Stevenson has four.  No one else on the team is credited with a block assist.  If you think about the combinations, that would mean that on at least one attack in the match, Aiko, Anna, and Amaya would all be up on the block, but as Anna and Amaya are both middle blockers, they were never on the front-row at the same time.  There's something fishy with the stats there.  Regardless of funky stats, the UofL blocking was excellent.




Both teams scrambled pretty well in this match, resulting in a number of long rallies, with multiple times where you would have reasonably thought the play to be over and be shocked that the teams kept the ball alive.  This included at least one nearly perfect bump set by Elena Scott in the libero jersey while she was seated on the floor.

The high risk, high reward strategy for serving has it's value, and that value isn't completely captured in the stat sheet, 19 errors on nine aces is a concerning mismatch in risk-reward.  The balance would require the aggressive serving to help win at least another 10 points in the match by putting ASU out of system from the serve receive to be a net positive.

The Cards didn't get the full sweep on the weekend, but do come home with an unblemished 3-0 record in advance of their home opener.  Volleyball starts at L&N Federal Credit Union Arena on Friday at 4:30 EDT when South Dakota matches up against Northern Kentucky.  UofL will get things under way against Missouri at 7pm EDT, assuming SD vs NKU doesn't run long.


Today...



Two events on campus to enjoy this Sunday -- Field Hockey hosts New Hampshire at 2 p.m. at Trager Field and WSOC brings in NKU for a 7:30 p.m. match at Lynn Stadium.

New Hampshire played Ohio U yesterday at Trager and got a 1-0 win over the Bobcats. 

NKU comes to Floyd Street with a 1-2 record so far. They hosted but fell to Cincinnati to begin their women's soccer season 2-1. They did get a 2-1 overtime win at home over EKU, and then went on the road to face Dayton, falling 2-1.  

The Norse don't have any local, Louisville high school players on their roster. They do have the Horizon League goalkeeper of the year, though, in Mimi Stines.

The Cards lead the all time series vs. NKU 1-0 -- getting a 1-0 win back on Oct. 15th, 2014. 

Due to a prior commitment, Paulie will miss the Floyd Street fun today, but Jared should be present for at least one of the eents and will recap the action for you tomorrow. 

These are events are free and a good chance to see two undefeated Louisville women's fall sports squads in action. 

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast




It was four of a kind for the CCRHP yesterday.  Paulie, Case, Jared, and myself held down the fort and spent the hour recapping the madcap Friday of competition primarily.  With two volleyball matches, a rain delayed Field Hockey game, and a Soccer game, there was plenty of fodder for discussion.

You can check out the Youtube live stream recording below, however I think there may have been a data transmission hiccup at one point in it, so you may be better off snagging the podcast recording that Case puts together at your favorite source for artisanal podcasts, a number of while are listed below:
Anchor (podcast host): Link
Apple Podcasts: Link
Breaker: Link
Google Podcasts: Link
Overcast (free account required): Link
Pocket Casts (free account and app required): Link
RadioPublic: Link
Spotify: Link


 JMcA

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