vs Florida State
'Tis the weekend to be playing Florida State. Football got the win over the Seminoles yesterday in Tallahassee, and today it's time for the women to take the field, with both Soccer and Volleyball matching up with the school from the state capital.
FSU arrives in Louisville with an 8-2 record. They dropped an early match in a sweep to Michigan, and had a mighty battle against UCF before losing in the 5th set (15-13) two weeks ago. The FSU schedule isn't exactly littered with wins over powerhouse teams, with one exception. The Seminoles took four sets to beat a then-ranked 14th Florida team that was already licking its wounds from dropping two in a row to Baylor.
Florida State started receiving some votes in the AVCA rankings this week and, along with UNC, will be looking to be the fourth or fifth ACC team in the polls.
Taryn Knuth, FSU's big middle standout has finally graduated, and the team has moved on and seems to be playing quite a spread offense with four players registering more than eight kills per match so far. Morgan Chacon leads the way with 94 kills so far in the 10 match old season. Chacon is perhaps ever so slightly undersized as an outside at 5'11" but makes it work. Audrey Koenig is definitely not an undersized outside at 6'3" with 88 kills on the season so far. FSU also features a couple of well matched middles, each with 86 kills so far, 6'3" Khori Louis, and 6'2" Emma Clothier.
Freshman Emery Dupes will likely be the libero and Lily Tessier the setter. Louisville should be wary of Tessier, as she gives up nothing on the blocking from hitters that would be in the front row otherwise, thanks in no small part to her 6'3" stature.
Louisville's vaunted blocking will be tested with FSU having numerous offensive options. In the reverse direction, FSU's 2.22 blocks per set is respectable, though short of UofL's 3.3. All of the data, and the eye test, suggests that Louisville is the better team, here, but FSU is one of the better teams in the ACC meaning that UofL will need to play at the level that they have shown they can.
Florida State also will be in action farther south on Floyd Street, with the women's soccer team playing at Lynn Stadium.
This game will be a tall order for the Cardinals. While UofL is in a tie atop the ACC standings currently along with four other teams, including FSU. That will separate further as we're only two games into conference games so far.
When you zoom out to the larger soccer landscape...yeah, Florida State is still on top with all but one of the first place votes in the most recent United Soccer Coaches poll. Of course, the ACC is well represented with four of the top 10 teams and Clemson starting to climb into poll, currently at 22nd.
The lead FSU goal scorers are Beata Olsson, a 5'5" Swedish sophomore credited with 5 goals on the season so far; Gianna Mitchell, a 5'10" Redshirt Senior out of Massachusetts who is listed as a defender, but apparently finds her way forward with some regularity scoring 4 times so far this season; and Clara Robbins, another defender, also listed as a midfielder, another redshirt senior out of Virginia and also with four goals on the season.
Goalkeeping duties are about evenly split between Cristina Roque and Mia Justus. This appears to be quite the position battle with the two alternating in goal each game so far. If the pattern holds, we'll see Mia Justus on the field today. Both have three saves to their credit in the season thus far, while Cristina Roque has one more goal against, three, than Justus does at two. You have to credit the rest of FSU's defense for keeping all of those numbers so low. Roque is a 5'7" sophomore from Winter Garden, FL, and Justus is 5'9" and from Lakewood, OH.
Both Soccer and Volleyball get started today at 1pm, and both should be available on the ACC Network Extra streaming.
Lacrosse Exhibition Play
Our ever-active Jared was on Floyd Street yesterday to catch some photos at Lacrosse fall exhibition play.
Louisville played UIndy at 10am, Youngstown State at noon, and Cinncinati at 2pm.
No word on results of any of the play, though I suspect Louisville, having picked up a very early pre-season 21st ranking from Lacrosse Magazine, should have been victorious against these squads.
Check out more of Jared's photos below.
(PHOTOS TODAY BY JARED ANDERSON)
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
Case, Paulie, and I held down most of the CCRHP show yesterday, though Jared did manage to pop in for a bit between games at the Louisville Lacrosse Stadium. Daryl, we're guessing is still wandering the grounds at Louder Than Life...looking for Snoop Dogg handing out Corona's or Kirk Hammett.
We had a good discussion and recaps of Soccer, Field Hockey, and Volleyball, as would be expected given the fall sports in action.
Check out the Youtube replay below, or you can find the audio in podcast form at any of your favorite podcast feeds.