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Friday, August 31, 2012

Saturday Cardinal Couple -- Volleyball sweeps Duke


-Louisville sweeps Duke 3-0 in Volleyball

-Soccer shuts out SEMO 4-0

-Staff predictions on UofL vs. UK football game

The VolleyCards stayed on the winning path Friday night in the KFC YUM! Center...sweeping Duke in three games before a crowd of 2511. Led by Lola Arslanbekova's 19 kills, the Cards improved to 4-1 on the season with a 25-23, 25-12, 25-17 triumph over the A.C.C. powerhouse. 

The Cards jumped out to an early 2-1 lead in the first game on Lola's first kill of the evening and led 10-7 before Duke went on an 8-2 run and pushed ahead 15-12. The Cards rolled back, though...getting a service ace from Caitlin Welch to tie it up at 16-16 and Gwen Rucker's spike put the Cards ahead 20-18. Duke wold rally to tie the contest at 22-22 and 23-23 but Lola delivered a massive kill shot to give the Cards a one-point lead and Kaitlynn James expertly sent a tip past Duke defenders to give the Cards game one 25-23. 

(Not so Cameron Crazies in the KFC YUM Center)
Inspired by the win, Louisville took no prisoners in the second game. A 4-2 early Cardinal advantage ballooned to 15-7 after a Kaitlynn James kill at the net and the Cards...led by three Lola kills, out-pointed the Blue Devils 10-5 the rest of the way to win easily 25-12. 

After the halftime intermission, Duke offered a brief challenge..jumping out to a 4-1 lead to start the third game. Behind Lola and Brooke Mattingly, the Cards fought back and took the lead for good when a Lola block gave Louisville an 8-7 edge. The Cards steadily increased the lead the rest of the way...enjoying scores of 12-9, 16-12 and 24-15 before settling for the 25-17 final margin. Of particular note was the third game efforts of Mattingly...who recorded five kills in the final game and three straight during a stretch that saw Louisville go from a 17-14 lead to a 20-15 advantage. 

The Cards held Duke to just 17 kills in the final two games after allowing 15 in the first game. Louisville hit .333 for the contest and held Duke to .140. Welch and Lola led the Cards with 12 digs each. 

Two games today for the Cards...Marshall at 11 a.m. and Samford at 7:30 p.m. Samford defeated the Thundering Herd in earlier action on Friday.


(Opening remarks) 

" A huge win tonight. Duke is picked to contend for the ACC title and has a great tradition and winning we couldn't be happier about it. I thought our girls played really well and we're working hard to get them prepared. I think their level of execution is at the highest level of any team I've ever coached. And, that's fun...because their IQ for Volleyball is very high. As a coach, you can just let them go out there and execute. We've got a lot of experienced upperclassmen and our freshmen are learning really fast. Tonight was a fun situation because we just controlled the game. 

(On Brooke Mattingly's third game effort)

" The reason she didn't come on before the third game is because we weren't setting her. We just got to get her the ball. She is going to be the girl that everybody prays doesn't have a good match. Opponents are going to have to key on Lola, key on Gwen...and if they key on them, it's going to leave Brooke wide open. And, that's fun...because she's taking full advantage of it when they do. 

(On Marshall and Samford next)

"Marshall is scary. They've got some Louisville kids on their team and we're the bigger, more established, of course they want to come in here and show us up. I don't ever take anyone lightly. They struggled last year, we beat them last year but it's definitely not a game to mess around with. 

Samford...they go through their conference last year and don't drop a match. They'll probably do the same thing this year. They're a very dangerous team. They've got everyone back from last year. Their head coach actually worked for me at St. Louis. He does a really good job of firing them up and they have two senior leaders from Louisville..a player from Mercy Academy and one from Sacred Heart. We always like bringing opponents in with Louisville girls and giving them a chance to play."


Louisville soccer improved to 3-0 on the season with a 4-0 win over Southeastern Missouri Friday afternoon in Lexington at the UK Tropical Smoothie Invitational.

Four different Cards provided the goals, Erin Yenney getting the first in the 18th minute of play. That held for the first half...Andrea Distler made it 2-0 Cards in the 55th minute of the second half. Nicole Mitchell gave Louisville a 3-0 advantage a few minutes later and Lauren Nash closed out the Cards scoring.

Louisville outshot SEMO 19-5...Chloe Kiefer had three saves while notching her 12th career shutout. 


We promised you yesterday we'd have predictions from our columnists on the UofL vs. UK football game and the troops came through in fine form with their predictions. We even got a prediction from Anne Kordes!  Timmy the Intern has collated the results and totals and predicts Louisville will win. (He's brilliant that way...) Here we go...

Jenny: I'm predicting a 20-3 win by Louisville, That's right, gonna keep the Kitties on a tight leash and only allow a field goal. 

Sandy: Louisville 28-0 and it could be a larger spread. There is a reason the UK fans aren't able to make the long distance trip in from Lexington. It is their loss as the return of tickets from their allotment just made more seats available for the home team. Regardless of the prediction of rain, word has it that the Cat fans need to stay home to be close to their Kitty Litter boxes once the upset stomachs begin from the "deluge" of T.D's.

Sonya: UofL wins 35-10. UK's a basketball school, right? This isn't John Calipari or Rupp Arena. This is Joker Phillips taking his first loss of his final season in Lexington. Maybe he and Petrino can team up and open a car dealership or something. 

David: Give me Louisville 27-10. I do feel weather might be a factor in the contest, but I don't think UK or monsoon strength winds can slow down Teddy "Bilge" Water. Full steam ahead! 

Mark: First games are hard to predict. Louisville is the favorite and the last two games have been close. Could this one go into overtime like the one in 2000...where the Cards won 40-34? Not this time. I think the Cards offense will shine -- even if it is cloudy and rainy. Louisville 23- UK 10.

Paul: Given the weather forecast and first game adjustments...I'll take a 21-14 UofL win. If the rainy weather holds off, add 10 to the Louisville total. If my beer gets diluted...I'm leaving in the third quarter and headed to 80 Under 80 to change socks and play boccie ball.  

Jeff: In the rain, huh? Well, that doesn't affect bumping much, but it does make setting a lot tougher. What's that? Wrong sport? Jeff Walz hasn't even started preseason practices yet...Football? It's the UK Invitational but they're not actually going to play UK. Oh. That type of football, the American stuff. 
As I understand it, rain tends to keep scoring lower and since we're apparently going to be playing in the Monsoon Bowl, let's say 21-3...Cards winning of course.

Donny: I'm going to go ahead and predict a 31-14 victory for the Cards. I think the first half will be close with the Cards holding a slim 10-7 halftime lead, before they control the second half and win going away. 

Anne Kordes: 31-10 Louisville. Charlie Strong doesn't need any motivation from our win over UK Wednesday. He's very fired up for Sunday. 

Friday Cardinal Couple -- Busy weekend for UofL women's sports


-Volleyball hosts the Cardinal Classic

-Soccer heads to Lexington for UK Invitational

-Field Hockey faces Davidson & Ball State @ Trager

-Did someone say Football?

And you thought this weekend was just about the Louisville vs. Kentucky football game, Labor Day picnics and getting Monday off work. Although the annual clash on the gridiron is grabbing the majority of sports coverage...the Belknap Campus and KFC YUM! Center will be sites for women's sports from Friday to Monday. Pack your ponchos and grab your umbrellas...we're singing in the rain the next three days with Louie the Cardinal Bird. 


Anne's Kordes' VolleyCards get ready for three games over the next two days at the KFC YUM! Center when Duke, Samford and Marshall invade the downtown arena for the Cardinal Classic.

Louisville starts the weekend blitz against the Blue Devils Friday night at 7:30 p.m. The Dookies are 3-0 on the season...winning their own invitational tournament recently with wins over UW-Milwaukee, William & Mary and Fairfield. 

Will there be a slight letdown after the thrilling win over Kentucky on Wednesday?  We can't see that happening. Lola and company know that a strong showing could boost the Cards into a top 25 ranking and a win over an ACC opponent is always good for the RPI. 

Emilky Sklar one to watch for the Cameron Crazies...the 6'3" outside hitter is just a freshman but recorded 33 kills and hit for .333 last weekend in the Blue Devils' wins. 

Next for Louisville, on Saturday at 11 a.m. will be equally impressive Marshall, also 3-0 after winning the Thunder Invitational. They dispatched Wright State, IUPUI and Miami (OH). 

Picked to contend for the Conference USA title, the Thundering Herd has a top-notch setter in Sammie Bane and a tall front line capable of blocks and spikes.

Finally, the Cards will face Samford, who is 0-3 but faced tough competition in the Hurricane Classic in Miami (FL). Losses to Miami (FL), Rutgers and Ole Miss non-withstanding, the Bulldogs are still the pre-season favorite to win the Southern Conference. They return three starters in Elizabeth Neisler, Lauren Hutchinson and Katie Murphy who were All-Conference last season. 


Back from their participation in the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup for Canada in Japan, Christine Exeter and Rachel Melhado will need to shake off the jet lag pretty quickly for the two games in Lexington this weekend. 

Louisville faces Southeast Missouri Friday at 5 p.m. on the UK campus. SEMO (1-2-1) split last weekend at home...downing Drake but losing to UMKC. It will be the first time the two have met in soccer.

The Cards take the field again Sunday @ noon against UNC-Greensboro (2-1-0). No lightweight here, the Spartans traveled to Wake Forest last weekend and won 1-0 before returning home and downing UNC-Asheville 7-0. Due to the format of the UK Tropical Smoothie Tournament, the hosting UK Wildcats and Louisville won't meet over the weekend. 

Louisville (2-0-0) comes off an exciting double-overtime 4-3 win over Purdue at Cardinal Park last Friday night. The Cards moved up four spots in the Soccer America Top 25 poll and are now #14. 

Junior Angelika Uremovich was named to the BIG EAST Honor roll on Monday for her two goal scoring performance against the Boilermakers. She leads Louisville with three on the season.


Trager Stadium will be the place to be Saturday afternoon as the Louisville Field Hockey squad hosts Davidson (1-1) at 2 p.m. The #23 Cards (1-1) come off a 3-1 win against Miami (OH) after losing to #21 Northwestern.

Louisville is 1-7 lifetime against Wildcats, getting their lone win last year 5-3 on the Davidson campus.

Louisville will face Ball State (1-1) on Monday at 2 p.m. It's a Cardinal vs. Cardinal matchup...the Indiana  birds defeated Lehigh last time out after dropping their season opener to Lafayette. Ball State holds a 15-10 lifetime advantage over Louisville, UofL winning the last meeting in 2007 1-0. 

Haley Jurich leads the Louisville squad with two goals on the season and goalie Erin Conrad has produced six saves in the Cards' first two contests. 

Plenty of UofL women's sports to take in the next four days and CARDINAL COUPLE will have the highlights, results and coverage for you. 


We'll also break from the Louisville women's sports scene briefly Saturday and offer our columnist picks on the Sunday UofL vs. UK football game.

Feel free to join in the fun and leave your prediction in our comments section over the next couple of days. No prize or reward for closest to the final (Bread Boy has been sitting pretty tightly on PANERA Gift Cards these days) just the satisfaction of competition and the pride in your prognostication. 

These predictions should be Pulitzer Prize commentary. We thought of initializing the first annual Cardinal Couple Challenge and invited a UK website to travel to Louisville (more specifically...the Drunken Amish farm in Goshen) and play our staff in a game of touch football or volleyball...but they balked at the idea of our using the staff chimps and Bill the Goat. 

Whatever...we woulda (banana) creamed them in either...according to Jenny and Timmy the Intern.  

Thursday, August 30, 2012


( Our newest columnist Jeff McAdams files this commentary on last night's Cardinal Volleyball win over Kentucky. We pleased to have Jeff on board and reading today's article is like getting college course credit because of the information shared and learned. We may jut have to start calling him Professor Jeff....) 

There was a clinic put on last night the KFC Yum! Center on the topic of defense in volleyball.  The clinic was put on by the Kentucky Wildcats, and yet UofL picked up the win, which means there may be more to learn from the play of the VolleyCards than from the Wildcats.

Stephanie Klefot is a fantastic libero and kept plays alive that had the mostly red crowd cheering thinking the play was over.  Overall, this Kentucky team was digging balls that would've found the floor against most other teams.  If you want to learn how to dig and pass, you could do a lot worse than study UK game film.

So, how did Louisville get the W?  They did several things right in the last 3 sets to counter the frustrating UK defense.

First was good passing.  UK is not a particularly strong offensive team, so Caitlin Welch, and a committee of others, were able to get good, clean passes to our setters, Hannah Kvitle and Katie George.  Occasionally, or maybe not so occasionally, Hannah or Katie had to dig the ball (8 and 11 digs respectively), in which case, a role reversal occurs and Welch takes the set.  When a setter gets an accurate pass, it gives them lots of options of who to set.  When you have lots of options on who to set, the defense of the other team has a much tougher job to anticipate where the shot is going to be coming from and how to set up to receive it.  Traditionally, UofL has not had a strong digging and passing team, but Coach Kordes put a lot of emphasis on defense in practices and recruited several very good defenders for the team.  Also, Welch has taken her play to another level this season, chalking up 21 digs last night.

Secondly, with good passing, the setters can play a quicker game.  When setting a hitter, you can set the ball in a high arc that gives your hitters plenty of time to adjust to the path of the ball, but of course that also lets the other team's blocking and defense to adjust to the path of the ball.  Alternatively, you can set the ball in a flatter arc which gets the ball out to your hitters faster, giving the other team less time to anticipate and get set up.  Again...though, that cuts both ways, as your hitters have to be prepared to get the ball that quickly and be in the right position to be able to hit it with less ability to adjust in flight.  To play the offense more quickly, you have to have a team that's in sync and communicating well.  The Cards communicate well, but as we talked about after the Penn State match, this is a team that is still really putting all the pieces together and jelling.  You couldn't tell that last night, however, as Kvitle and George ran a smooth offense and were able to pick up the pace a bit, particularly in the second and third sets which rocked the UK defense back on their heels.  The ultimate expression of a quick offense would be a quick set to a middle hitter.  Gwen Rucker and Brooke Mattingly are our primary middle hitters and they both executed on the middle game quite well last night with 15 and 13 kills respectively.

Last, you can play better against a good defense by avoiding the need to play against it altogether.  Louisville has a long tradition of good blocking (who can forget Lecia Brown's blocking efforts, being among the best in the nation, and spending some time topping the charts as the best blocker in the country).  Gwen Rucker continues that tradition, Brooke Mattingly has shown that she is going to hold up her end of the bargain as well.  While we haven't seen her on the court, yet, I suspect freshmen Davionna Holmes will be part of the next round.  The stats from last night don't directly reflect a strong blocking effort, but the front line, anchored by Rucker and Mattingly, nearly always had a good block up.  UK, rather than trying to hit through a block (which, to their credit, is usually a bad idea) made an effort to hit over and around it.  Hitting around a block, of course, risks hitting the shot out.  Going over the block similarly risks hitting the shot long, or you have to take enough off of the shot that you give Caitlin Welch another good opportunity to add to her dig stats leading back to the first point of good passing and we come full circle.

Want to improve your digging?  Watch UK  Want to improve how you play against a good digging team?  Watch UofL.  Either way, there's a lot that volleyball players could learn from that match.

Another couple of quick points.  I don't think I have ever seen anyone on the court show more enthusiasm and energy than Katie George.  The joke has been that the challenge for Cardinal Volleyball fans this year is to keep track of which blonde ponytail belongs to which player.  Apparently the blurred one is Katie's, which reminds me of another blonde blur that has gotten attention here on Cardinal Couple in the past - Shelby Harper.

A crowd size of over 5,000 for a volleyball match?  That compares favorably with Nebraska's average attendance for 2011 (4,522, 2nd in the nation).  The women's basketball team showed that moving to a large facility (in their case Freedom hall at the time) can help lead to larger crowds to justify the larger facility.  Could we see the same sort of attendance growth for volleyball that we saw for women's basketball?  Let's hope so.  Way to go, CardNation.

Volleyball next hosts the Cardinal Classic, again in the KFC Yum! Center, with Duke, Marshall, and Samford coming to town Friday, and two matches Saturday.  And, of course, UofL gets the next opportunity to hand UK another loss with Football on Sunday.


You decide? Save or not? See the pic below. From the action last night. Refs called it a UK point, not a UofL pancake save. Sure looked like Haley Pouliezos got all ball...

(Great report from out newest columnist Jeff McAdams! Be sure to also check today's earlier article about the game...directly below this post.) 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Thursday Cardinal Couple -- Volleyball downs UK 3-1


-Cards overcome slow start, defeat Cats 3-1

-New CARDINAL COUPLE banner header

Behind the spiking trio of Lola Arslanbekova, Brooke Mattingly and Gwen Rucker...and getting key play from freshman Katie George, junior Caitlin Welch and senior Kaitlynn James...Louisville defeated UK 3-1 in front of a record crowd for Louisville Volleyball with 5,007 fans in attendance Wednesday night in the KFC YUM! Center.

The Cards started slowly, losing the first set to the Cats 25-21 but swept the final three 25-23, 25-15 and 30-28. 

Louisville managed to hang close to the Cats in game one, leading 6-5 after two straight Lola spikes...but the Cats responded with a 12-6 run, causing UofL head coach Anne Kordes to call a time out with UK leading 17-12. The Cards rallied to climb within three after a Emily Juhl spike made it 21-18 and following a Gwen Rucker spike and Kaitlynn James block...Louisville trailed by only two at 23-21. UK got the final two points of the game, though...a game ending serve by UK sophomore Lauren O'Conner that skimmed the net and caught the Cards out of position. 

Louisville erased any doubt that they were intimidated by #10 UK, though by roaring out to a 9-4 lead in game two after a Lola block. She delivered a massive spike to increase the Cardinal advantage to 11-6, but the Cats dug in and took a 15-14 lead, which led to another Cardinal timeout. The game stayed close for the rest of the way...Louisville regaining the lead for good after two straight points from Lola gave Louisville a 23-21 margin. She contributed the next point as well and Brooke Mattingly's block gave the Cards the second game 25-23. 

After the halftime break, the Cards came out for game three ready for action. Katie George's tip created a 4-1 Cardinal lead. A Mattingly spike increased it to 10-6. After a Lola spike the Cards were up 13-8 and UK needed a timeout. Despite the strategy session, it was the closest UK would get in game three...the Cards leading 16-10, 19-11, 22-11 and coasting in with a 25-15 third game romp. 

The final game turned out to be a nail biter. 

Louisville jumped out to an early 4-0 advantage following a James spike, but the Cats came back and closed it to 4-3. Back and forth the two rivals went, UK actually gaining a 10-9 lead. Spikes by James and Rucker gave the Cards a 16-15 breather, but UK retaliated with two straight to take the lead. 

It was nip and tuck the rest of the way, the crowd (mixed with significant blue jerseys) standing on each possession. A Lola service ace put the Cards up 21-20. The Cats tied it. Rucker scores. So does UK. Lola spiking her heart out...the Cats managing to tie it after each one. 

Gwen Rucker came through with the final two Cardinal points for the win. At 28-28, her tip after a ferocious exchange between the two squads made it 29-28. A smack to deep left court during the next volley gave Louisville the two point victory and the Cards bench rushed the court to celebrate with the jubilant players on the floor. Cards win, CARDS WIN !!

Gwen, we're glad you decided to play volleyball at Louisville. Lexington may not be...

Lola led the Cards with 20 kills, Gwen Rucker had 15, Brooke Mattingly recorded 13 and Kaitlynn James finished with 10. Caitlin Welch provided 21 digs.  


POST GAME: Anne Kordes

"This is huge. Huge. You know I forgot the simple fact they they (UK) were ranked tenth in the country. It just hadn't been an issue because it was UofL vs. UK. And, it's such a huge RPI boost for us. We talked in the beginning of the year, we've got five teams ranked in the top 25. We've got to get two out of those five. We got this one. That was a gusty game. It was all about guts at the end. You saw how tight it was. I'll go back to our strength coaches and how hard they worked them this summer. This came down to who was going to push harder in the end. Gwen Rucker was unbelievable. And I'll tell you what Caitlin Welch might go for another 1,000 digs before she graduates. 
Katie George, what a spark she gave us. She's a hometown hero and you can see why. She's got a lot of guts. Tonight...this was one of the most fun coaching environments and wins that I've ever been in." 

POST GAME: Lola Arslanbekova

"I've seen crowds like this for basketball, but not for our games. We fed off the energy. We had a great crowd. We were enjoying it! Gwen was so excited to beat them. She was like 'I'm so ready for this, it's been one year and I am ready for tonight'. Katie George...she's a great player and she brings a lot of energy. Our players are feeding from that." 


You may have noticed the new CARDINAL COUPLE banner header at the top of the site. A special thanks to Adam Lucas of Adam Lucas Design who created it. Check out his outstanding work at the link below:

Adam Lucas Design


USA U17 wins the gold!


(Columnist Jenny O'Bryan reviews the USA Women's U17 capturing of the Gold in other women's basketball news and a huge early season match for volleyball tonight.)

USA Women’s U17 women’s squad won the gold in Amsterdam on Sunday with a 75-62 win over Spain.  The squad went 8-0 on the road to the gold.  The 12 member squad was made up of 11 seniors in high school and one junior. 

The starting 5 remained the same for each game.  Diamond DeShields (UNC verbal), Rebecca Greenwell (former Uof L target, Owensboro, KY native), Taya Reimer (Indiana native and Notre Dame verbal), Mercedes Russell (top Uof L recruit) and Lindsay Allen (also a ND verbal).  While the starting 5 is a stud of a line-up, the remaining players on the team are all elite players and all played in every game, excepting Jessica Washington who was nursing a tweaked muscle of some sort.    The remaining roster consisted of Kaela Davis, Brianna Turner (lone junior on the squad), Linnae Harper, Oderah Chidom, Erica McCall and Kai James.  The team was so good and so deep that any combination of a starting five, I believe, could have brought home the gold. 

The team defeated South Korea, Canada, Italy, Belgium, Mali, Australia, Canada and Spain en route to the gold.  The smallest margin of victory was in the championship against Spain when USA won by a mere 13 points. 

While I had been following on line and twitter the success of these young women, I actually got to watch most of the championship game (when my computer was not stuck in a loop showing the same thing over and over again) on line at 

As a women’s basketball fan in general, the run to the gold was interesting in and of itself to me.  Of particular interest to Cardinal Couple readers, though, is the play of top U of L recruit Mercedes Russell and Rebecca Greenwell as a KY native  (and former highly sought after U of L recruit). 

Let’s start with Becca Greenwell.  Greenwell averaged 25 mpg, averaged .388 shooting percentage and .286 from beyond the arc.  She led the team in free throw percentage at .944 and also led the team in rebounds for the tournament at 58.  Greenwell's knee seemed to hold up well during this past summer season and her during her USA play.  That's great news for both her and which ever school she chooses to spend her collegiate career at.  Her final two consists of Duke and Notre Dame.  Greenwell tweeted something to the effect of she was heading home from Europe and completely healthy this time. (It was during overseas play last year that Greenwell tore her ACL which led to her junior season spent rehabbing while on the bench).  

Mercedes Russell led all players on the team with a shooting percentage of .640, was second behind Greenwell in rebounds with 55, and also led the team with total blocks with 13 for the tournament.   Russell also set a record in the first game vs. South Korea in a perfect shooting percentage of 8-8.  Finally, she led the entire tournament in the field goal percentage category with .640. 

In the championship game that I got to see most of, Russell did not get a whole lot of touches on the ball offensively, or so it seemed.  She was playing the high post and there was little to no offense running through her.  She did have a particularly good game defensively though, with 3 blocked shots and 2 steals in 24 minutes of play.   I was disappointed to see so little offense, but with an all-star team of the best in the class, there was plenty of offensive power on the team. 

A player that caught my eye was Linnae Harper.  Harper is a small guard that can play the 1,2 or 3 spot, and she does all the things that makes a team successful.  She is tough as nails, a fearless defender and is said to be a great rebounder for her size.  She led the team in steals with 34!  The next closest player to her in steals was Greenwell with 16.  She was also 4th on the team in rebounding.  As the smallest player on the court, that is quite an accomplishment.  I have continued to hear Harper’s name as potentially interested in Louisville.  All of the internet chatter is that she is a KY lean with a former teammate already on the squad there, though her name does come up as interested in Louisville.    It would be pretty exciting if we landed an official visit from this young player.   I am not saying that it will happen, but I would not be surprised if it did.  Rest assured I would be very excited if it did.   Keep your ear to the ground on this one.  You will want to watch her play in college, wherever that may be. 

Diamond Deshields was named MVP of the tournament and she and Linnae Harper were both named to the all tournament team. 

The talent on the team was deep.  All of the kids deserve a big congratulations for representing USA.  My purpose today was to simply speak about the kids with some sort of local connection.  Lots of good information regarding all of the games and coverage on all of the players and stats are available at this website:


On another basketball note, Sydney Brackemyre was spotted at the UofL/Penn State Volleyball game on this past Saturday evening.  It was a great night to bring a recruit to YUM, as tweeted by Cortnee Walton, there were “more people at the volleyball game than attend some basketball games.”  Louisville loves its sports teams!   I am glad Ms. Brackemyre was able to witness the fans love of the VolleyCards. 

I also had the pleasure to meet Monny Niamke at the volleyball game this past weekend.  She was with teammates ‘Nita Slaughter and Sherronne Vails as we all found ourselves in the elevator after the game together.    I welcomed her to Louisville and told her I look forward to seeing her on the court next season. 


Speaking of volleyball, Football is not the only team playing Kentucky this week!  Start the battle off right by finding your way down to the YUM center to watch our VolleyCards take on Kentucky this evening at 7:00 p.m.  

( Great work as usual today from our Jenny. CARDINAL FANS...We hope to see YOU down at the YUM! tonight cheering on the VolleyCards. Set, spike, celebrate!)


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday Cardinal Couple -- Sandy's tasks of today include bleaching and spot washing


( Sandy Walker sorts out all things Cardinal today and  catches us up on events, recruiting, softball, Mercedes Russell, lacrosse, the National debt, Keynesian economic trends in a recession and forensic methods at a tampered crime scene.)  


Battle of the Bluegrass
Wednesday  8/29   Volleyball   vs UK  @ KFC YUM! Center            7:00 pm
Help break the YUM! Volleyball Attendance record and support our volleycards against UK.
The UK match is a Red Out!

                                   Volleyball  Cardinal Classic  Louisville Invitational 8/31  &  9/1
Friday             8/31   Duke       @  KFC YUM! Center    7:30  pm
Saturday        9/1     Marshall  @  KFC YUM! Center  11:00 am
Saturday        9/1     Samford  @  KFC YUM! Center    7:30 pm

December 13 and 15 are the dates for the semi-final and final NCAA
Volleyball NCAA
National Championship matches which is being held at the KFC Yum! Center.

Saturday        9/1    Cross Country vs Mid-America Opener @ Evansville, IN. 9:00 am
Saturday        9/1    Field Hockey vs Davidson @ Trager Stadium 2:00 pm

Sunday         9/2    Soccer vs UNC Greensboro @ Lexington, KY   12:00 pm
                                  Check out head coach Justine Sowry’s weekly show on Cards TV.
Rachel Melhado and Christine Exeter will rejoin the team this week.

Monday          9/3    Field Hockey vs Ball State @ Trager Stadium 2:00 pm

U of L Office Website U of L official schedule website is

There is no current word on last weekend’s planned “unofficial” campus visit of class of 2014 junior forward Sydney Brackemyre.  Anyone with specific news or sightings please contact with your information which will be shared, if the information passes Sonja’s approval.  Sydney is to be the first of several fall visitors to campus.  We will soon be seeing and hearing of the visits by Saniya Chong, Alexandria Harris, Emmonie Henderson, Mercedes Russell and Imani Wright (5'11" guard from Hooks, TX).  Fortunately there is plenty of room for each of them both for scholarships and floor position.


Gold was won on Sunday by the USA, 2012 FIBA U17 World Championship for Women of which Mercedes Russell scored 8 points, 6 rebounds 3 blocks and 2 steals. The US team knocked off Spain by a score of 75-62 with the 13 point margin being the closest final any team has come to beating the USA team.   Rebecca Greenwell contributed 13 points and 12 rebounds. Complete tournament information can be found at


We seem to be seeing more and more issues where NCAA compliance infractions are at issue.  It was recently announced that a major scandal occurred when a  __________ fan called a recruit and asked him about his status.  The player has stated that he was used to receiving reporters calls and thought the caller was just another of the same but it turned out to be a fan who was trying to encourage him to stay with his school commitment.   The player stated "I didn't think nothing of it until somebody called me, an ESPN guy, who told me the guy put it on Twitter that he talked to me on the phone."  Later the “fan” began to boast on a popular website’s message board about reaching out to recruits.  NCAA rules state that the rules have been violated by the “assisting in recruiting a prospect over the telephone, via social media or in person.”  At this point both the recruit and the University are at risk.

At the U of L women’s basketball elite camp Cardinal Couple owners and staff observed U of L coaches spending the beginning of the clinic sessions attempting to explain many of the basic rules of recruiting and outside contact to the campers and although I learned much that day, I absolutely do not profess to even have a novice level of knowledge of the NCAA regulations.  If asked specific questions concerning recruit contact  – my answer would be, “I have no idea but avoiding individual contact would appear to be the safest action.   For those of you who just need to know more:

Check out for everything you every wanted to know (and more) about NCAA and UL student athlete regulations.
Louisville softball has announced its fall schedule for the new 2012-2013 season.   Games are to be held at Ulmer Stadium on Sept 29, 30 and October 6 with seven  returning starters.

Saturday, September 29
12:00 p.m. - Louisville vs. Bellarmine
2:30 p.m. - Louisville vs. Eastern Kentucky
5:00 p.m. - Bellarmine vs. Eastern Kentucky
Sunday, September 30
2:00 p.m. - Louisville vs. Murray State
4:30 p.m. - Bellarmine vs. Murray State
Saturday, October 6
12:00 p.m.- Louisville vs. Bellarmine
2:30 p.m. - Louisville vs. Tennessee State
5:00 p.m.- Bellarmine vs. Tennessee State

What is Angel McCoughtry’s middle name?  

No cheating by searching the internet or trying to bribe Timmy with bananas for the answer.  Hint:  One source indicates the name could possibly mean “God Is Gracious”.  Send in your answers to and Paul or Jenny will issue the answer in Wednesday Cardinal Couple.

( Editor note: A quick poll of the staff chimps came up with Jerry, Empire, Schwartz, Food Cake, and Meadors as possible answers. They are all incorrect.) 


Monday’s first day of individual workouts for the UL basketball team is complete.  Coaches Walz and Williams indicated that the day was going great with improvements from many of the players who apparently are already bonded close as a team.  Tweets of several players indicated that it was great to be back in the gym and that the players “was putting in work”.  Shawnta indicated that she jogged for 20 minutes today and had no pain which is great progress as her paint play is definitely needed.      

Word is that there will be a mid-night madness for the women this year.   You will know when we know.
The UL lacrosse team joined other IWLCA Division 1 Academic Squads as a team which maintained at least a 3.0 grade point average.  The team average was enhanced by Janaye Dzikewich’s 3.96 GPA in her exercise physiology master’s degree work and Katie Oliverio’s  3.77 grade-point average in sport administration. 

Janaye                                                   Katie       
 Each were also named to the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Association’s Academic
 Honor Roll. 


( Editor note: An opinion on the Angel McCoughtry vs. Marynell Meadows saga can be found @ Paul's personal website. Click the link below.

Is Angel the Devil here?  

Finally, get soon well wishes to CARDINAL DOMINANCE  owner Shannon Ruffra, who suffered a heart attack over the weekend.  Sonja and Paul wrote for CARDINAL DOMINANCE several years ago and hope that he recovers fully and in time for the football opener against UK..