Volleyball at Duke to Set a Record
Good morning from Durham, NC.
As was talked about on the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast yesterday, I hit the road after the show and drove to Durham and will be attending the UofL Volleyball match against Duke here this afternoon.
The Cardinals are 20-0 on the season so far with half of those being conference match-ups. That ties the 2005 volleyball squad for the best "start" to a season for the UofL Volleyball program ever. Does it make sense to still be calling it a "start" when it's three quarters of the way through the season? Regardless, the 2021 Cards have the chance to take hold of that distinction alone today.
Duke is a low-to-mid tier team in the ACC this year. 13-9 overall, and 4-7 in ACC play has them tied with Syracuse for 9th place in the conference.
Notable non-conference match ups for the Blue Devils are a five set win over Iowa, a five set loss to Michigan, and being swept by UNC, and yes, that last one was non-conference. Duke was scheduled to play Michigan State after Michigan, but the match was cancelled, perhaps for Covid reasons, so UNC and Duke decided to play a non-conference version of their rivalry match.
Duke has also played a conference version of the UNC match and were swept again. They'll also play again as the season finale for the teams. Otherwise, the conference results are about what you'd expect. Getting swept by Syracuse is a bit interesting given how similar the team records are.
The other interesting data point was Notre Dame's match with them on Friday which went five with Duke coming out on the victorious side. This one is mostly interesting because of the utter enigma that Notre Dame is this year. The Irish are the "box of chocolates" team this year, you never know what you're gonna get.
Who are the threats on Duke's squad? Ade Owokoniran (6'3") is the kill leader on the team, with just north of 3 kills per set, on par with Anna DeBeer. Owokoniran is listed on the roster as both a middle and an outside. I think they've been lining her up outside, but I'm not certain of that. Otherwise, watch for Gracie Johnson (6'0") and Moorea Woods (6'2"), both outsides tallying just a little over two kills per set.
Feeding the hitters should be Alex Springate (5'9") controlling the offense from the setter position, although Camille Nazor (6'1") stepped into the role Friday evening against Notre Dame. And the libero for the squad I expect to be Mackenzie Cole (5'10"). 5'10" is fairly tall for a libero, though she does get over 4 digs per set, compared to just a little under 4 per set that 5'9" Elena Scott gets. Scott's numbers may be slightly off because of the great Louisville block keeping fewer balls from getting to her to begin with.
The prognosis for Louisville is good here in Durham. The Cards should be well rested with Friday off, and the Dukies are coming off of a five set marathon with Notre Dame. Again, as has been common this season, the Cards are the more talented and more poised team with a squad that has not had radical changes in composition for nearly two years, now. They were challenged last time out by a very good Pitt squad who were able to bring some minor flaws to the surface and have now had a week of practice to work on those improvements.
Check this live stream out on ACC Network Extra at 1pm. Hopefully you'll get to hear some of the C-A-R-D-S cheer on the telecast. We're expecting some area alumni to make an appearance as part of an Alumni Association event going on here this weekend, so hopefully the Cardinal crowd can spook the Blue Devils.
Tennis Hosts the Cardinal Classic
Tennis was the only women's event on the calendar yesterday, with the Cardinal Classic described as a "hidden-dual" format. I'm no tennis expert, but my understanding is, unlike typical tennis squad matchups in Division 1 where the team will play doubles on three courts and then singles on six courts against the same team, in a hidden dual, the team will play the double courts against one team, and then switch to playing against a different team for the singles courts.
Four teams are playing in the Cardinal Classic, with DePaul, Ball State, and Middle Tennessee joining the Cards.
In action yesterday, the Cards picked up seven court wins (there's no overall match scoring due to the hidden-dual nature of the format). They swept DePaul on the double courts, won two of the three in doubles against Ball State, and then picked up another two of the six in singles action against Ball State.
The schedule for the event only shows UofL playing against MTSU on singles courts today at noon, so you can head out to the Bass-Rudd if you'd like to check that out.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
Everything was back to relative normalcy for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast, if anything with Paulie involved can ever be described as "normal". Four of us on the call, with Case, Jared, Paulie, and myself. We covered the big volleyball match vs Pitt on Sunday, the close of the Soccer season, more Field Hockey success in the form of a conference title, and the Women's Basketball Tip-off Luncheon.
We were also able to air Paulie's always-entertaining Tip-off Luncheon interview, which apparently also doubled as an audition, with the unflappable Sam Purcell.
You can check out the CCRHP at its live recoding at:
you can also catch a lightly edited version at its native anchor.fm site at:
It should also be available at all of your favorite podcast apps and sites.
Cardinal Couple YouTube: Link
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