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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Volleyball advances in NCAA Tournament over MTSU


-Volleyball defeats MTSU in straight sets.

-Know the foe: Scouting the Ky. Wildcats

-Soccer tonight!

-High School roundup for UofL WBB recruits

The University of Louisville Volleyball team swept Middle Tennessee State in three games Friday in West Lafayette, IN. to win their first game of the NCAA Tournament and advance to play Purdue on Saturday.

The Cards roll on with a 25-22, 25-21 25-17 defeat of the Blue Raiders. Lola Arslanbekova had 17 kills to lead Louisville. The Cards held MTSU's hitters to a .158 hitting percentage, much lower than their season average.

Arslanbeckova fired the Cardinal offensive attack in the first game, getting seven of her kills. The Cards jumped out to a 6-1 lead but had to weather a Blue Raider rally that tied the contest at 20-20. Louisville took five of the next seven points to end the match.

In game two, Louisville secured an early 9-3 lead but watched MTSU fight back and grab a 15-13 advantage. Louisville then ran off 10 of the next 12 points to lead 23-17. Gwen Rucker finished the Blue Raiders with a kill to give the Cards a four point win.

The third game was back and forth with Louisville clawing to a 15-14 advantage. After a timeout, the Cards blasted ten of the next twelve over the net successfully for the win...Rucker blocking a MTSU attempt for the final Cardinal point and game and match win.

Purdue at 7 p.m. Saturday night. The Boilermakers beat Kentucky yesterday to advance and holds a regular season win over Yelin's Cardinals early in the season. This Louisville team has improved leaps and bounds (sorry about the pun) since then and will give Purdue all they want in second round action tonight.

The Cards are due against Purdue. With Rucker and Simmons dominating net action and Arslanbeckova on a hitting streak of late, Louisville looks ready for the challenge and hopefully will down the Boilermakers.


The University of Kentucky women's basketball team will travel to the KFC YUM Center Sunday afternoon for a 2 p.m. game against Jeff Walz's Lady Cards. UK comes into the game 5-0, ranked 8th nationally and is fresh off two wins in the Lady Eagle Thanksgiving Classic in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. While there, they knocked off Murray State 91-59 and handled Southern Miss 79-60. The Cats, who have played three out of their first five on the road, also defeated BIG EAST school Notre Dame 81-76 in Memorial Coliseum in Lexington.

The Cats are led by senior front line star Victoria Dunlap and guard A'dia Mathies. Dunlap, a 6'1" senior is averaging 15 points and 9.8 rebounds so far this year. Mathies, a sophomore guard out of Louisville Iroquois, carried a 16 point average for the Cats. Guard Keyla Snowden, a deadly outside shooter, chips in at 11 points and game and freshman point guard Maegan Conwright has started four contests and is one of six new players for Matthew Mitchell.

Like UofL, the UK frosh have had an impact on the court this year. Besides Conwright...the diaper dandies are true freshmen Kastine Evans, Samantha Drake (Nelson County, KY.), Sarah Beth Barnette (Lexington Christian), Jennifer O'Neill and redshirt freshman Bernisha Pinkett.

The frosh are contributing 33 of the Cats 84 points per game and Conwright looks like the real deal at point guard.

Last year, UK obliterated UofL 101-67 in Lexington...a game where the Cats overwhelmed Louisville's guards with pressure defense and transition basketball. Mathies, Dunlap and senior guard Carly Morrow all had big games against the depleted Cardinals that afternoon.


For Louisville to have a chance against the Wildcats...they must accomplish five things:

1) Get the ball up the court after UK scores. Last year, the Cats withering defense and several unforced Lady Card turnovers put this one out of reach early. Louisville adds Shoni Schimmel, Tia Gibbs and Charmaine Tay this year as back court specialists and they should help improve the Lady Cards' attempts to cross the time line.

2) Hit the boards. UK dominated the Cards on the glass last year and most of it came from the hard working, blue collar Dunlap. Louisville must find a way to keep her bottled up and capitalizing on second chance baskets and defensive rebounds. Blocking out would be a good start. The Cards match up zone on defense should help, but preventing 'VD" from spreading is a must.

3) Outside effectiveness. Louisville will need to be "spot on" from behind the three point arc early to loosen up the paint. The Cards have proven long range bombers in Becky Burke (shooting 50% this year from three point range), Schimmel, Antonita Slaughter, Charmaine Tay and Gibbs...they'll need to display it against a UK defense that probably won't give them anything easy.

4) Create the transition, stop the transition. This may should a bit contradictory...but Louisville will need to rebound well when on the defensive glass to get the transition game rolling. The Cards are at their best when they can motor, create and let Schimmel perform her magic at the point. They must also get back when UK rebounds and prevent the free-wheeling Mathies and company from making it a layup fest.

5) Hit the free ones. This one has the possibility of seeing both teams proliferate at the free throw line. Louisville has had a mixed bag of success there this year...encouraging 14-16 against Mississippi Valley State...but off nights as well. Gotta get the points when no one is guarding you and if the Cards don't cripple themselves with errant charity stripe opportunities...they could benefit here.

Gates open at noon for the game. CARDINAL COUPLE will be there to watch the rivalry and give our readers a full report and post game comments after the contest. GO CARDS!


Saturday 7 p.m is a chance for the #1 nationally ranked UofL men's soccer team to advance to the NCAA Final Four in Santa Barbara. All they need to do is defeat the visiting UCLA Bruins in Cardinal Park. Weather conditions will be nasty for this one, about 2 inches of snow has already fallen here as WE write this column this morning and snow is forecast until later this afternoon. Not exactly the conditions you hope for in a soccer match. Think about it, many times has the UCLA, located in southern California, played in a mess like this? WE think...advantage Cardinals. (For the fans sake...would they move this one inside to the Trager...? LOL)


Sara Hammond popped in 20 of Rockcastle County's 54 points last night in a nine point win over Lincoln County. The UofL women's basketball signee has led "the Rockers" to a 2-0 start so far this year.

Louisville verbal Quaneisha McCurty led Dalton, GA. with 21 points in their win over Cartersville 71-61. Dalton is 4-0 on the season and 6'5" McCurty is proving to be very hard for opponents to stop.


  1. UK-vs-UofL(WBB)
    As I see the game tomorrow:
    1) The lady cards must Stay on the 3pt shooters Snowden, Conwright, Pinkett and Mathies (sometimes Morrow). Inwhich all 4 of these guards will probably start.
    2) BLOCK-OUT! Eventhough we outrebounded them last year overall, they got to many off-rebs(no Rainey & her 10 reb for us this year).
    3) Get those small forward in foul trouble down low(UK normally plays 4 gaurds & Dunlap)
    4) Be ready for the unknown...unknown player to get hot!

    For us.... Shoot & hit the 3's! Also, hit the free throws...they're FREE! Ooh, unlike LY stay out of foul trouble. Moreover, Remember that those small forwards will at times handle the ball out front...don't leave them!!!! Keep the TO's down and the Assists up and just have fun.... Make them play your style, You're at HOME!!!!
    Go Volleyball! Go Soccer! Go Lady Cards! Go Charmaine!...Go Charmaine??
    GO CARDS!!!

  2. Great comments! Fortunately UK went 3-18 from deep. UK did win the battle of the boards but the Cards shut down every one but Dunlap. A division of Marines would have a hard time stopping Dunlap...

    Charmaine Tay had a rebound, foul and turnover in four minutes. Valuable experience for the freshman.

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