We report on the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports here. Thanks for checking us out! Click the picture of Louie to hear the latest Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast!!

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Cards Face Pitt in Rubber Match... Again -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Volleyball Sees Pitt as Obstacle to Final Four

It's like deja vu all over again for the Louisville volleyball team, as they look across the net to see Pitt as their opponent in the NCAA tournament to decide the best two out of three between the two teams for the second year in a row. Last season, the Cards fell at Pitt in five sets in the first match between the two teams before sweeping the Panthers in the return match at home in the second to last match of the season. The two teams were put on a collision course for the final four if Pitt could pull off an upset over Wisconsin, which they did. Louisville won the Final Four matchup in five sets. This season, Louisville swept Pitt at home before going on the road and dropping the return match in five sets in the second to last match of the season. 

The big difference in this year's iteration of the rubber match is that it's not on a neutral floor. The Cards took down Pitt to advance to their first National Championship game in Omaha, Nebraska. This time, they need to beat the Panthers to advance to the neutral site, Tampa, Florida in this case. Pitt is 16-1 at home this season, including the 3-2 win over Louisville just three weeks ago. Their only home loss was a five-setter against Oregon all the way back in September.

Louisville is sure to have their work cut out for them in the match. The Cards have looked a bit up and down in the tournament so far; sometimes dominating the opponent while others looking as if they'll get unceremoniously bounced from the bracket. Coach Dani Busboom Kelly is sure to get the team up for today's match as they'll be very familiar with what they need to do to win. The same is true on the other end of the floor, though, so it will take Louisville's best to advance to a third straight Final Four.

Today's match is available on ESPNU and will get underway at 4PM. If you leave now (time of writing 10:03 AM) and speed, you might just make it. Getting a ticket into the match would probably be more difficult. Jeff is on site and will have the first-hand account in tomorrow's writeup. Tune in to root on the Cards as we hope for another exciting run with Louisville chasing their first title. The winner of this evening's match will take on either Nebraska or Arkansas on Thursday. 

Louisville Hosts College Cup

This is men's soccer and doesn't involve the University of Louisville, but it's neat for the city and we've discussed the impact of bringing the professional soccer teams to Louisville at length. The latest boon for Louisville is that Lynn Family Stadium is hosting the Men's College Cup this year. The semifinals were last night, and the final will be an all-ACC affair. Clemson will take on Notre Dame at 6PM in Louisville.

Clemson, the 9-seed in the tournament, took down 5th-seeded West Virginia 1-0. That was a bit of payback for the 1-0 loss Louisville suffered at the hands of the Mountaineers in the second round. That side of the bracket was a world of upsets, with top-ranked Marshall losing to the 16th-seeded Stanford Cardinal (only the top-16 teams are seeded so this was a 1/4 upset). Clemson had to take care of a minor upset over New Hampshire to face the Trees. If the higher-seeded team winning in a tournament is chalk, then West Virginia's region was an eraser. Of the four seeded teams in the region who received a bye, only WVU won (the aforementioned victory over Louisville). UCF, UCLA, and Georgetown (the 4-seed) all fell. That paved a pretty easy path for the Mountaineers until they ran into the Tigers last night. 

Notre Dame has yet to face a seeded team in their tournament run, but they haven't had it easy. After dispatching Kentucky 2-0, the Irish needed PKs to beat Western Michigan after a scoreless 110 minutes. WMU had beaten the 15-seeded Duke Blue Devils. After moving on, ND faced a red-hot Indiana team. The Hoosiers knocked off no. 10 Wake Forest before take care of no. 7 Virginia. In the second round in that bracket, all but the ND/UK game needed double-overtime to be decided. Just like they did in their second game, Notre Dame needed PKs to advance past IU. With Oregon State completing the dream run to the final four as an unseeded team that IU narrowly missed, Notre Dame was spared the challenge of 3rd-ranked UNC. For what it's worth, Oregon State beat the 6-seed, SMU, 7-1 in the Sweet Sixteen. ND beat the Beavs 1-0.

No Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

Unfortunately, with Jeff in Pittsburgh and a late scheduling change for me, we won't be able to have the show this week. We'd have had exciting things to discuss for sure, but they'll have to wait a week. Hopefully, by this time next week, we'll be talking about a win over Kentucky for WBB and a potential national championship matchup for this Louisville volleyball team. Be sure to check us out next week!

Until next time, Go Cards!

1 comment:

  1. Sad ending to a season that had so much promise do you get swept being up two sets...but it happened to Volleybll three seperate times...that's coachng, not player performance.

    Nick O.


Please leave your comments here. We ask you be respectful of other posts, no matter how ridiculous they may seem to you. After all, it is CARDINAL COUPLE.

Any attempts to advertise a product or other website here in the comments section without the prior consent of CARDINAL COUPLE will result in a bill rendered for advertising services and possible legal action. We're serious. No more bots.

Now, have your take...