(Please pardon the late entry today. I slept in and Jeff decided to have me post the article he wrote. Hey, pitcher....give the catcher a little advance warning when you're going to throw the knuckleball...)
Yes, it's the "overlap" season, which usually means giving the other team a point if you get called for an overlap in Volleyball. For Cardinal Couple, it's the exciting, and busy, time of year when Fall sports are finishing up, and Winter sports are already underway. Specifically, we've got both Volleyball and Women's Basketball in action today.
In a shocking turn of events, I won't actually be watching this one, as I'm going to be taking my niece down to Nashville to go to the women's basketball game instead.
Today's match is against North Carolina, in Chapel Hill. No, you're not going crazy, we just played UNC last week, which hopefully means that the scout is still fresh in the mind of the team. UNC did take a set off of the Cards last week, the opening set when the UofL team came out really flat. We saw something of a repeat performance Friday at Georgia Tech, but it was the two opening sets that the Cards didn't play well.
Hopefully DBK's team has gotten all of that out of their system and they'll show up ready to play from the first serve.
UNC should not be a significant threat to UofL, they're sitting at 15-10 on the season, 7-7 in conference. Longtime head coach Joe Segula always puts together a solid team, and there are years when they do quite well, but this year, they're floating around the middle of the ACC pack.
The Tarheels will be coming into this game off of a loss, to...well...UofL last Sunday as we covered above. The Tarheels didn't have a Friday game, so they have had an extra couple of days of rest, and you would expect them to be going to school quite heavily on game film from last Sunday's matchup.
The two biggest offensive threats for UNC are Mabrey Shaffmaster, in her sophomore year at UNC, and Charley Niego, another name that may be familiar, but not from UNC...well, unless you were paying attention last week. Niego is a transfer in to UNC from Notre Dame, and, bluntly, part of why Notre Dame just isn't very good this year.
Meanwhile, UofL is getting a good spread of offensive production, with Claire Chaussee having two matches in a row with career highs of kills, including 27 at Georgia Tech. OK, that was an epic five set match which does help with total kills numbers, of course, but during the GT telecast, the ACCNX crew did show a stat looking at potential national players of the year, including GT's Julia Bergmann, and Chaussee. Among the four players highlighted, Chaussee had, by some margin, the highest hitting percentage of all of them, .319 on the season, and averaging almost four kills per set.
Of course, of much interest in Anna DeBeer's gradual return to play. She is playing still only in the back row, but we did see her take a handful of back row attacks, including several quite impressive ones. Will we see more of a step towards full action? I wouldn't hold my breath. I know if I were on this coaching staff, I might encourage her to dial it back just a smidge for UNC where the extra offensive firepower and options shouldn't be as necessary.
The match gets underway at 1pm in Carmichael Arena in Chapel Hill. ACC Network Extra streaming has the coverage.
Jeff Walz and the basketball squad are just getting the season underway of course with only two games under their belt thus far. IUPUI demonstrated that teams that could shoot the three ball could have some success against The Cards, and today's game will test that further.
Belmont is the host, in the Curb Event Center in Nashville Tennessee. This will be the first time ever for a "reigning" Final Four team to play in the Curb Center and The Bruins have designated this one a white out game.
All of this is more evidence that UofL will be a team with a target on their backs pretty much everywhere they go this year, and today is no exception.
The Bruins have only played one game so far in this young season, a 56-54 win over Chattanooga in Nashville.
Destinee Wells was the big point scorer for Belmont on Wednesday going 1-3 beyond the arc, 6-18 overall, and sunk a perfect seven from the free throw line. Tuti Jones is the next threat, dropping two of six from three range and 3-8 overall. She also led the team in steals with four, so it would be wise to keep an eye on her.
The game is in Nashville, as mentioned, at the Curb Event Center, with a tip-off of 5pm EST, 4pm in Nashville. TV streaming is only on ESPN+ streaming, so if you don't have the added package, you can pick up the call on the radio on 93.9 with Nick Curran, and I believe and ex-Cards star and Cardinal Couple favorite Cortnee Walton is working with him on the radio calls.
The Curb Event Center was funded and named for musician, executive and about a billion other titles Mike Curb. He had a band called the Mike Curb Congregation back in the 60's and 70's. Below is a clip of them on the Glen Campbell Show. He's the keyboard player.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
Daryl, Paulie, and myself were on the call, while Jared was down in South Carolina with future in-laws and UofL football. Case? Oh/ who knows where Case was off to this week.
It's always a good time when we get to talk basketball, and with two basketball wins to start off the season, life on the CCRHP is good. Add to that recounting the crazy epic battle in mid-town Atlanta for Volleyball, and we had plenty of joy and excitement to talk about. We did also touch on the end of the season for Field Hockey. And I got to be a bit of a nerd, but hey, nothing new there.
As always, anchor.fm hosts the podcast, so you can find it at: https://anchor.fm/cardinal-couple/episodes/Basketball-Gets-Underway--Volleyball-Wins-an-Epic-Match--and-Field-Hockey-Ends-Their-Season-e1qlg4k