WIN ONE, LOSE ONE
(Paulie filling in for Case today, who still refuses to come inside the house until his snowman is finished.)
A little good with the bad today, in the Saturday Cardinal COUPLE EDITION. A five-set thriller for Volleyball in Atlanta, and the Cards come out on top...plus a puzzling, head-scratching loss for Field Hockey at Michigan vs. Penn State 0-5 n the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.
Let's get the "bad" out of the way first. And the less said about this one, the better.
Louisville Field Hockey played in the first round of the NCAA Tournament got taken to the wood shed yesterday in Ann Arbor by the Penn State Nittany Lions 5-0. And, it could have been 7-0, but the PSU squad had two shots bounce off the crossbar.
The loss was the fifth in the row for UofL.
When a squad goes through a late season slump like Louisville did, the culprit is sometimes key injuries -- but he Cards didn't appear to have any of those. Conspiracy theorists might suggest that there is some kind of team discord and disconnect and the players just gave up.
I can't see that option either.
In Justine Sowry's defense, this was one of the youngest squads she's had at Louisville and the ACC is arguably the toughest Field Hockey conference in DI. Still, this team that lost to Penn State Friday looked nothing like the squad that beat Penn State on August 28th. on the Nittany Lions home turf 2-1. .
So, a disappointing end to a Louisville Field Hockey season that started out full of hope, optimism and wins. The question is...can Sowry figure the demise out, correct it and bring the Cards back strong for 2023?
We're betting she can.
Now, for the good.
# 5 Louisville Volleyball made the trip to the Geogia Tech campus to shoo away a dangerous swarm of Yellow Jackets Friday night. For awhile, though, it was the Bees who were holding court and it looked like the Cards would be exiting the O'Keefe gym a three-set loser. Two 17-25 set losses for the Cards were distressing.
The Cards weren't ready to go home, though.
We don't know what occurred during the halftime break or what was said in the Cards locker room. I hope Dani Busboom Kelly kept the speech and strategy, though, to bring back out if her squad ever falls into a similar sinkhole.
The Cards came out firing in set three and knocked the Jackets out of their nest with a one-sided 14-25, third set win. All of a sudden, we had a match worth watching and Louisville stayed with the momentum by taking set four 25-19.
Hello, fifth set. It was Louisville with the momentum now and Tech was beginning to look a little fatigued and nervous.
And, it was a back and forth fifth set to start out. When the teams traded side, it was GT with the 8-7 edge. The Cards caught a break with a GT service error to tie the match, though and Anna DeBeer went back to serve. She also deflated the ball with a thunderous kill to put the Cards ahead 9-8. Claire Chaussee said, "Hey, that looks like fun!" and responded with two kills and the Cards had a 11-8 lead.
Claire figured, "OK, I'd like to leave with a win tonight." and had two more kills to get the Cards to a 13-10 lead. The Fat Lady was clearing her voice and getting ready to approach the microphone to sing.
GT had lived and died by Julia Bergmann's kills all night, so maybe it was ironic that she ended the night with two attack error in three attempts. 15-11 Cards. Set and match Cards.
Louisville goes to 23-2 on the season. They'll head to UNC for Sunday action next.
THE CARDINAL COUPLR RADIO HOUR PODCAST
We'll be with you this morning at 11 a.m. for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast. From what I can tell, it's me, Jeff and Daryl with you today. .Jared is in Clemson, meeting future family at the Louisville vs Clemson football game and the un-official "selfie" count is in double digits, we hear. Case still won't come in from the snow, so he's "86'ed" from the broadcast as well.
We got hoops, Field Hockey and Volleyball to discuss...plus our usual silliness and ennui. Join us if you dare.
Go to the Cardinal Couple You Tube page and follow the nebulous instructions to listen live. Or, you could just c'mon over to my crib and sit on the couch and listen. Or follow the link below. The possibilities are endless.