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Saturday, October 8, 2022

Volleyball Sweeps; FH Continues ACC Slump -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Louisville Makes Quick Work of BC

The Cards went on the road to Boston College yesterday afternoon and, though the win hasn't been officially recorded on Louisville's or the ACC's websites, moved to 5-0 in the ACC. Louisville sits tied with Pitt atop the league, though the Panthers have the much tougher Sunday opponent in Georgia Tech. While Louisville's next matchup is also 4-1 in ACC play, Syracuse is just 8-7 on the season. The Orange have played just one team with a winning conference record, and their loss last night gave Notre Dame its first conference win of the season.

All that aside, Louisville still has to take care of business in every match. For the time being, they are still doing so without the services of Anna DeBeer. So far, they've been mostly unbothered from a results perspective, and that continued last night. Claire Chaussee once again earned the lion's share of the attack attempts, taking 28 of the team's 86 swings. She converted 14 of those and committed just three errors for a hitting percentage of 0.393. Pretty nice for a pin hitter. Amaya Tillman was right behind her with 19 attempts, and she was the only other Cardinal to post double digit kills with 11. With no errors, that was a clean 0.579 percentage. Leading the way in that category was PK (Phekran Kong), who put up an 0.857 on 6/7 hitting.

The blocking numbers in this one are all out of whack, as the statbroadcast format shows only total blocks. Louisville finished with 12 as a team, but I can't break down the solo blocks from the assists. I can tell you that in addition to her solid hitting night, Amaya Tillman contributed to eight blocks. I can also tell you that five Cardinals contributed to more than one block and seven Cardinals contributed overall. In fact, more players earned at least an assisted block than earned a kill. Sydni Schetnan was the one that put her name on the sheet in the blocking column but not the kills column. It might also be nice of me to mention that Louisville did all of this blocking in the first two sets.

Boston College was largely overmatched, as Louisville won the match 25-15, 25-20, 25-13. The Cards hit 0.430 as a team, committing just seven total errors, and BC hit 0.099 with 23 errors. It was a night to forget from the service line, as Louisville had just one ace and five errors, but the Cards made up for it elsewhere in the match. Raquel Lazaro seems to be back to 100%, as she assisted on 34 of Louisville's 42 kills and added six digs and three block contributions. That didn't stop someone else from getting the assist on match point, though, as Paige Morningstar served for match point and assisted Chaussee's 14th kill to give the Cards the win.

Louisville is back in action tomorrow at 1PM on ACC Network Extra. The Cards are at Syracuse tomorrow before returning home next weekend to take on Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. The Cards will twice get Pitt and Notre Dame in back-to-back matches with travel in between, but those are problems for a later date. Tune in to ACCNX tomorrow to see the Cards in quality more befitting of a college team than a rec league (looking at you BC).

Field Hockey Falls at Wake Forest

Louisville's woes in ACC play continue as the Cards are now 0-3 in conference after falling to the Demon Deacons 2-0 yesterday evening. Through the first half of the conference season, only Louisville and Duke are winless, though even the 4-8 Blue Devils are ahead of the Cards for the time being as they're just 0-2. Louisville's offense was lackluster again, as the Cards were outshot by Wake, and the team's usual second half passion was nowhere to be found.

Louisville opened the match with some fire, as an early penalty corner forced a save by Sasha Elliott. The Cards wouldn't give up another offensive opportunity for the remainder of the quarter, as they used two penalty corners to force three saves and later had another shot blocked. Unfortunately, four shots and no goals through one quarter doesn't get you anything, so the teams moved on to the second. Louisville once more came out hot with a penalty corner just 34 seconds into the quarter, but the ensuing shot was blocked. 

Wake had had about enough of that by that point, and the remainder of the second quarter belonged to their offense. The Deacs put together four shots, with only one coming from a penalty corner, and held the ball for the rest of the half. Louisville was up to the challenge, as Elliott snagged three saves and the fourth shot was blocked, but Wake had smelled the blood in the water. The two teams went into the half with the same number of shots and Wake holding a one shot advantage in shots on goal. 

Out of the half, Louisville earned the first shot, but Mattie Tabor's effort was wide of the mark. The next possession gave Wake a shot of their own, forcing another Elliott save. A few minutes later, the Demon Deacons earned another penalty corner and forced another save. Undeterred, Wake's offense continued applying the pressure and earned a penalty stroke. On the shot, Sky Caron earned her fifth goal of the season and Louisville trailed 1-0. The Cards would get another shot just before the quarter ended, with Katie Schneider forcing a save, but they headed to the fourth still trailing.

With a little desperation kicking in, Louisville found themselves with a bit of a spark to open the fourth, as they worked an offensive play into the Wake circle. Katie Schneider forced another save, and Minna Tremonti was on hand for the rebound. Unfortunately, Tremonti's shot was wide, and the threat dissipated. It was Louisville's last shot of the evening. Wake took control of the offense from there and was relentless in working to secure an insurance goal. A shot with ten minutes left was saved. As were shots with nine and seven minutes left. The onslaught continued, though, and Elliott had done just about all she could. Wake iced the game at the 53:37 mark with a goal from open play to give the Demon Deacons the final 2-0 lead. 

The effort in goal gave Sasha Elliott a career high nine saves, but it was the offense that let her down, not the defense. Coach Justine Sowry called it a "disappointing result" and said that the Cards were just unable to capitalize while Wake made the most of their chances. The road doesn't get much easier for Louisville in their next match, as they'll take on 16th ranked Liberty on the road. Louisville is 3-3 in ranked matches this season, sweeping non-conference foes. Tomorrow's match is at 12PM on ESPN+.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

I'm out this week celebrating my wife's birthday, but the show continues ever onward. You'll have at least Paulie and Jeff, but I make no guarantees about the other knuckleheads. Jeff will be excited to talk about the successes of volleyball, and I'm sure Paulie will be less excited to talk about the other results of the week. Nevertheless, the show will do what it always does, bringing you the joy and excitement of UofL women's athletics. As always, you can check out the live stream of the show by going to the Cardinal Couple YouTube page and clicking on the live video. Jeff usually creates that about an hour before the show, which officially starts at 11 AM Eastern. If the live time doesn't work for you, there are plenty of playback options, so be sure to check out whichever is best for you!

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Until next time, Go Cards!


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