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Sunday, April 16, 2023

Lacrosse Tops Duke, Softball Doesn't Upset Oklahoma - Sunday Cardinal Couple

A Busy Floyd Street

Floyd Street was hopping yesterday with events from Women's Soccer hosting Michigan State in Exhibition play, up past Lacrosse hosting Duke, further north to a big Track & Field meet, and Volleyball bringing in hordes for their last day of Spring play.

(Photos, except as otherwise noted, by Jared Anderson)

Lacrosse Comes Back Against Duke

Scott Teeter's squad is looking for some wins late in the season, with only one more game before the post-season starts.  They got one in the form of a 14-13 win over Duke.  Both Duke and Louisville were sitting at 1-6 in ACC play before the game.  The last game of the regular season is a tilt with 5-3 in conference Notre Dame team, so yesterday was an important game.

While Louisville would get the opening goal of the game thanks to Nicole Perroni, Duke would jump out to a 2-6 lead near the end of the first quarter.  Hannah Morris got the other unassisted goal during that Duke run.  She would also score another in the last minute of the quarter bringing it to 3-6.

Louisville would pull the game closer opening the 2nd quarter, as Negai Nakazawa and Perroni would score 30 seconds apart to make it a competitive 5-6 score.  That was followed by a 3-1 run by Duke, with Perroni getting the hat trick for the one.  The Cards would then shut down Duke for about a 15 minute stretch spanning the end of the 3rd quarter and the beginning of the 4th.

Allegra Catalano would get the 5-0 Louisville run started with her first goal of the game, and Morris would complete her hat trick to finish out the 3rd to bring the score to a, again competitive, 8-9.  The run would continue in the 4th though, starting with a pair by Perroni, and a followup from Negai Nakazawa.  This would be the first lead for the Cards since the opening minutes of the game at 11-9.

The rest of the game was mostly trading points with Louisville holding a slim lead the rest of the way.  Negai Nakazawa completed her hat trick, then sister Kokoro Nakazawa got on the board, along with Izzy Seikel to bring the lead to 14-11.  Duke would close out the game with a pair, with the last score at 39 seconds left in the game to bring it to a nail biting 14-13 conclusion.

Big credit goes to Sara Addeche between the pipes with a whopping 17 saves.

As mentioned earlier, the last game of the regular season is against Notre Dame.  That will be in South Bend on Thursday, with the ACC tournament starting a week from today in Greensboro.

We also know that the Cards and Blue Devils will match up on the first day of the ACC Tournament, with Louisville as the #8 seed and Duke as the #9 seed. They'll play in Louisville.  

Softball Sizes Up Oklahoma

In Softball's weirdest of weekend schedules, after playing Miami (OH) on Friday at Ulmer the team traveled to Oxford, OH, to Miami's home field to play...Oklahoma.

If you follow the state of College Softball nationally, you probably didn't give Louisville much of a chance of winning this one.  Oklahoma is the consensus number one team in the country, with a 34-1 record coming into the game with us.  Their previous four games had been shutouts, and of their now 37 completed games on their schedule, 21 of them have a parentheses after them with a number indicating a run-rule victory.

So it's no surprise then that Louisville went down to defeat in this one 10-1 in five innings.

The lone Louisville run came in the 2nd inning.  After a 1-2-3 first, Taylor Roby led off the 2nd.  Being the biggest stick on the Louisville team, and with plenty of places to put her on the basepaths, Roby drew a walk.  Vanessa Miller came on to pinch run.  Sarah Gordan sent the ball out to right center for a double, moving Miller to 3rd, who then scored on a Daisy Hess groundout.

In the circle, Taja Felder started the game off, retired one, but then allowed three runs - admittedly two were a two-run homer - before Taylor Roby came in to finish the inning.  Unfortunately Roby didn't have much better success, allowing another four runs before getting out of the inning.  Cassie Grizzard pitched the second inning, and also allowed three runs, also with a two-run homer in the mix.  Finally, Alyssa Zabala came in to pitch in the 3rd and 4th innings and kept Oklahoma scoreless for the two innings.  Unfortunately the damage had already been done as the score had reached 10-1 in run-rule territory and Zabala's efforts in the circle only served to keep the score from being worse by the time the run-rule kicked in during the 5th inning.

(Grizz is Oakland's mascot, not Cocaine Bear...)

Softball is back in action today with more of the Miami Softball Invitational back in Louisville at Ulmer Stadium.  They have a double-header scheduled against Oakland.  No, not the A's or the Raiders. This Oakland is a university out of Auburn Hills, Michigan. 

That double-header is, of course, weather permitting. There is a threat of rain in the area through the morning and early afternoon.  Scheduled start times are 1pm and 3:30pm.


Karen Ferguson-Dayes Soccer squad was in action for spring exhibition play, hosting Michigan State at Lynn Stadium.

We have very little information about this one as Cardinal Couple was unable to get anyone in attendance at it, and the team's social media didn't put out much.  What we do have is a final score, 0-0, and the result of penalty kicks, 4-2 advantage MSU.

They do have one more spring play date for Saturday, with time, location, and opponent to be announced.


(The line to enter LNFCU Arena at 4:40pm. Doors
opened at 5pm. Photo by Jeff McAdams)
If you came out to L&N Federal Credit Union Arena yesterday to watch the final day of spring volleyball, I hope you heeded my advice to get there early.  With a huge JVA club volleyball tournament going on at the Fairgrounds, quite a few teams that had the evening off came over to watch UofL play Tennessee.  Add that crowd to the typical Louisville fanbase, and there was already a line down to the end of the block of fans waiting to get in over 20 minutes before doors opened.  After the doors opened promptly at 5pm, the report I  received shortly after was that they were closed at 5:10 as the arena had reached it's capacity crowd, with an estimate of 200 or so fans still outside that weren't allowed in.

(Elena Scott continuing to be one of the best
Libero's in the country).
The match with Tennessee was competitive, and Louisville won 3-1, but there are a few caveats on that.  First, Tennessee came out on the court with a roster of 15, which is quite large for spring play as most teams are fielding their fall teams minus graduates and transfer exits, though perhaps with a transfer arrival or two.  In comparison, after the fall roster of 18, Louisville had 12 players representing, and two of them were out with minor injuries meaning an active roster to build a line-up out of only 10 players.

So the Cards had several players in positions that were not their normal positions, had limited substitution possibilities, and still played competitively against a much more complete team.

(Cece Rush not swinging left side in this moment).
The shuffle in positions for UofL was the same as what we saw up at Ohio State, but it involved Aiko Jones, normally a right side hitter, hitting left side.  Phekran "PK" Kong, mostly moved from middle to the right side, though later in the evening we saw Cara Cresse move out to the right side and PK move back into the middle.  There was even a little bit of play where Cece Rush, listed as a L/DS, but mostly plays as a service specialist, was in the front row as a left side hitter.  All of the above played their abnormal positions well, though if you looked closely you could see some tendencies from each creep in from their normal positions.

Molly Urban (left), and Kamden
Schrand (right) - both incoming
freshman for the fall (photo by Jeff

There were two, that I got to meet, of the five incoming freshman for the Cards in the stands, Molly Urban out of Martinsville, IN (about halfway between Bloomington and Indianapolis), and Kamden Schrand out of Villa Hills, KY (northern Kentucky).  Both are Libero/DSes.

The next action for Volleyball is expected to be their international trip that they are taking to Brazil in June.  The whole squad, including incoming transfers and freshman, will be able to make the trip and should be an amazing experience for them.

WBB Cards closing in on...

The rumors float and spin this time of year like pollen in the air when it comes to WBB. We're getting reputable intel from a couple different sources that JMU senior guard Kiki Jefferson will emerge from the transfer portal as a Louisville Cardinals addition. 

She averaged 18.3 ppg for the Dukes last season. The 6'1" guard would have one season with the Cards if the rumors we are getting turn out to be credible and true. 

Tall, athletic guards....wouldn't that be nice for the 2023-24 season? 

Kiki was also the Sunbelt Conference Player of the Year for the 2022-23 season.

For all the "Chicken littles" that were running around last week prophesizing the end of Cardinals WBB because of the departure of a talented Washington guard, raise your heads and look to the sky. It is not falling. In fact, the sun is shining brightly on our old Kentucky Home down on Floyd Street and Jeff Walz is out doing what Jeff Walz does... identifying, meeting with, evaluating, offering and bringing in talent. 

All is well. 


Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

Gee, has there been any news to talk about on the CCRHP this week?  Yeah, just a bit.  Of course, the crew talked about ongoing play by Softball, Lacrosse, and more.  We also took a few minutes towards the end of the show to share a bit about our thoughts from the Old National Bank shooting in Louisville last week.

Daryl, Jared, Paulie and myself made the call, check it out in any decent podcast directory or specifically at

-- JMcA


  1. I.M.E.O.B.

    Identifying .what you need...
    Meeting with qualified candidates
    Evaluating how these candidates will help you
    Offering them a chance to "come aboard"
    Bringing them into the fold.

    It mirrors the philosophy of the company I work for now, and it was the step-by-step process that brought me into their realm. And, I've never regretted it.

    "Some like good. I like better."

    Curtis "Bee Kind" Franklin

  2. Guess UofL softball got a clear vision of what a very good softball program looks like yesterday. Can UofL ever build and emulate what Okla has done in Softball?

    Nick O

  3. I think Walz follows the philosophy I learned a long time ago. To be successful at something, you don't have to be different -- just be what most people aren't -- consistent.

    Blue Lou


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