VOLLEYBALL BATTLE OF BLUEGRASS TONIGHT AT 7 PM
|Ronnie Van Zant of Lynyrd Skynyrd (I had a hat just like his...) |
Does it surprise you with the news that UofL and UK have played in Volleyball against each other 56 times since 1976? 45 years worth. Some of you dear readers weren't born when the rivalry started. As for me, ol' Paulie was a dapper dude down on the Belknap campus, making the conversion from disco, "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" and leisure suits to Lynyrd Skynyrd, blue jeans and "Free Bird".
The long-standing series is currently in the Cats favor 31-25. And, slipping back to 2019, UK won the last matchup between the two Volleyball squads 3-0 -- up in Memorial
Barnyard Coliseum. Both squads are top 10 ranked coming in to tonight's battle...the Cards (8-0) sitting at #5 in the latest poll and UK (6-2) is at #8, according to the coaches who vote on such.
|The incomparable Katie George|
Tonight's venue is the LNFCU, affectionately still called Cardinal Arena and, no, not a new vegetable soup option, but the L&N Federal Credit Union Arena. The showdown is sold out, but will be available on ESPNU. And, Katie George comes in for the color analysis work tonight, with Eric Frede on mic as well. It's set for a 7 p.m. E.T start.
It'll be Cardinal VB hed coach Dani Busboom Kelly's fourth attempt to best the Cats. They'll no doubt be buoyed by the news that Louisville libero Elena Scott was just named ACC Freshman of the Week. She put on the hard hat went went to work in the Cards last two outings, getting 16 digs against Purdue and 13 against Xavier. In case your Volleyball terminology is not real proficient...a "dig" is the first contact made after an attacker from the offensive team sends the ball over to the defensive team. Basically, you're keeping the ball from hitting the floor -- and we can dig that.
|(We love DeBeer ! ) |
Weapons? Yeah, the Cards have an arsenal full.
Anna DeBeer, Aiko Jones, Tori Dilfer and Amaya Tillman were all named for ACC pre-season honors. Anna Stevenson, Claire Chausee and Elena Scott have impressed and played well for the VolleyCards this season, too. And, the Cards have been a dominant force in sets. Consider that the Cards have played 26 sets in eight games -- and won 24 of them. And blocking? (No. not the gridiron kind) It's been superlative as well. The Cards 3.21 blocks per set is tied for first in the country. And, the .335 hitting percentage ranks second in DI.
The Cards eight wins have been against Cal Poly, Texas A&M - Corpus Christi, Arizona State, Missouri, South Dakota, NKU, Purdue and Xavier.
As for the visitors, they still have Cardinals nemeses Madi Skinner (98 kills), Alli Stumler (79 kills and eight service aces), middle blocker Azhani Tealer. The Cats battled Creighton University early Saturday morning on Sept 4th and inexplicably suffered a straight-set loss (in Lexington) to the BlueJays. They also fell, in four sets, to #2 ranked Wisconsin five days ago in Madison. Wins have come against Texas St., Dayton, Cincinnati, N. Iowa, So. Cal., and Marquette...and they've all been straight-set, 3-0 sweeps.
I'm not seeing either squad taking tonight's match in straight-set fashion. The only thing you can depend on is that it'll be loud (and very warm) in the LNFCU. When the facility was upgraded a few years back and Volleyball moved from the KFC YUM! Center to their current home, someone forgot to call a HVAC company in to upgrade the A/C units. At least there are none of those annoying fans that grace the ceiling of UK's home court. I always wondered if a high "set" were to get clipped by one of those fan blades in Memorial, how the officials would react?
Our Volleyball expert Jeff will be "in house" cheering the Cards on and probably too busy to tweet. Ace photographer Jared will also be in the LNFCU. taking "selfies" with attendees and snapping photos of student-athletes jumping. He'll also recap the results in the Thursday Cardinal Couple and we'll add plenty of his excellent photographs to the article.
As for me, I'm content to rest these old bones in my recliner and watch the proceedings on my TV. It should be a great evening of Volleyball action, let's hope the VolleyCards can win the blocks, kills and aces battles and break the seven-game UK win streak. The Cats will come in with mucho attitude, after all, they are the defending National Champions and very, very talented. Hopefully, it won't be a "Wildcat Win Wednesday" and they go back on their bus back to Lexington on I-64 East tonight with an "L" levied by Louisville.
What could be a better birthday gift for L/DS senior Mia Stander than a UofL win?
Have a Wise Wednesday!