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Friday, December 10, 2021

VolleyCards advance to the Elite Eight -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Good morning readers,
It is finally Friday and I hope you are getting in the Christmas spirit!  I do know that my mood significantly improved yesterday after Cards got the win at Freedom Hall.  I just love being able to drop a UofL Classic reference with relevance!  It warmed my heart knowing thousands of people were filling the building at the Fairgrounds with new memories.  I wasn't able to make it out there during the work day, but I did pull it up on my phone at the desk.

I am proud that UofL continues its historic run! 

                Photo: Jared Anderson

UofL remains undefeated on the season, continuing their quest for the national championship.

The Cards opened their visit to historic Freedom Hall with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-12) sweep of the #16 Florida Gators Thursday afternoon in front of a crowd of more than 3,000. As a team, the Cardinals had 43 kills, hitting .341 with four aces, 36 digs and nine blocks. Amaya Tillman hit a team-high .667 for seven kills on nine swings.

Florida got off to a quick 3-0 start but the Cardinals would not be intimidated as they went on to score seven straight, led by Anna DeBeer and Tillman.   With the lead 7-3 Louisville, Florida called a timeout. The Cards only giving up one more point before getting the serve back with a 9-5 lead. With the serve, Louisville put together another run to extend its lead to seven at 12-5 over the Gators. Florida scored two to get back within five at 12-7, but UofL wouldn't let up, scoring two of their own before stringing together another three-point scoring run, highlighted by an ace and kill from DeBeer.  The Gators would call their final timeout of the set down 17-8. The teams traded points following the timeout before UF rallied for a 3-0 run of their own forcing UofL to call its first timeout of the set with a 19-13 lead.  Coming out of the TO, a big kill from Claire Chaussee would put the Cards up 20-13. The teams once again traded points but solid serving from Aiko Jones would push the Cards to take the final four points of the set, giving UofL a 25-16 victory in set one.

                                                                           Photo: Jared Anderson
Set two would be the most competitive of the three in the match, Florida striking first. taking a 3-1 lead with the Cardinals storming back with three straight for a 4-3 lead. From there, the teams traded points, Florida giving their all to keep their season alive a little longer.  With the Gators up 8-7, back-to-back kills from Tillman and Aiko Jones got the Louisville offense fired up, scoring three consecutive points to take a 10-8 lead. The Cards then took four of the next six points to extend their lead to four at 14-10. Florida rallied to score four straight points and tie the set at 14-14 before a service error gave Louisville a 15-14 lead heading into the media timeout. The Gators were aggressive out of the TO, scoring another three straight to take a 17-15 lead. The Cardinals rallied to tie the set 17-17, but another two points from Florida put UofL down 19-17 late and forced Louisville to call its first timeout of the set. The teams traded points following the timeout, but two straight points off kills from Chaussee and Jones brought the Cards back within one at 21-20 and forced Florida to use a timeout.  After giving up the first point after the break, UofL scored the next two points to even the score 22-22 and force the Gators to call their second and final timeout of the set. The Cards closed the set landing three straight kills to win the second set 25-22.
                 Photo: Jared Anderson 
Louisville carried all of the momentum into the third set, scoring four of the first five points to jump out to an early 4-1 lead. The Cardinals forced the Gators to take an early timeout after scoring two more points to extend their lead to 6-2.  The teams traded points out of the break with UofL maintaining its four-point lead at 10-6. The Cardinals hammered four more straight points, led by Tori Dilfer with an ace and a kill, to extend their lead to seven at 13-6. Florida battled for two points to get back within five, but Louisville kept pushing, going on a 3-0 run to go up 17-9 late in the set. The Gators scored one to stop the Cardinals' run but were forced to call their final timeout after Anna Stevenson landed a kill and block back-to-back to put the Cards up nine at 19-10. Louisville continued to dominate the set, scoring four straight points out of the timeout to extend its lead to 23-10 and cap off a 6-0 run. UofL would go on to take two of the next four points to take the third set 25-12 and finish of the 3-0 sweep. 

                                                                                 Photo: Jared Anderson

The Gators ran out of gas as the Cards poured on the fire power.  Jared was out there snapping photos and Jeff led the C-A-R-D-S chants from the sidelines. 

The Cardinals face off against a familiar ACC foe in #8 seeded Georgia Tech on Saturday, Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. ET closing out the Freedom Hall region for a trip to the Final Four.  It will be shown on ESPNU.

The Cards swept GT 6-0 this season when they were the #18 and #14 ranked team in the country. 

The Yellow Jackets swept Ohio State 3-0 Thursday following the Cards' match.  The match was a close one throughout, however, with the GT winning 25-22, 26-24, 25-21.  Georgia Tech has defeated the Citadel, WKU and OSU to secure the matchup with the Cards. 

Photo: Jared Anderson 

Other matches around the NCAA Tournament:

Pittsburgh sweeps Kansas 3-0
Purdue over BYU 3-2

Pittsburgh vs Purdue Saturday 12/11

Minnesota over Baylor 3-2
Wisconsin over UCLA 3-0

Minnesota vs Wisconsin Saturday 12/11

Nebraska over Illinois 3-0.
Texas over Washinton 3-2

Nebraska will face Texas on Saturday 12/11.

Thoughts on this weekend:

Good luck to the WBB squad as they take on Kentucky Sunday afternoon at the KFC Yum! Center.  The Cats are coming off of a loss 85-94 to DePaul on Thursday evening, a game that was held at Rupp Arena rather than Memorial Coliseum.  Meanwhile the Cards last played on Sunday December 5th with the win over Belmont.  The #7 and 7-1 WBB squad popped over to Freedom Hall on Thursday afternoon to catch the #1 VolleyCards victory over Florida.

The Cardinal Coupe Radio Hour Podcast will go into the Volleyball win in more depth on Saturday at 11 a.m. Don't miss it! You can find it at any of your favorite podcast directories. 

                                                                                Photo: Jared Anderson

Good luck to ALL of the Cards this weekend! ~Daryl

1 comment:

  1. A good win and I could listen to Katie George all day. Bring on Georgia Tech. Swept them twice, we'll do it again

    Nick O


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