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Monday, October 1, 2012

Tuesday Cardinal Couple -- Volleyball week wrap-up


( Welcome to another Tuesday at CARDINAL COUPLE. We have a two-for-Tuesday special with Jeff's article catching us up on Louisville Volleyball today and Sandy's Laundry day!

You have a great chance to see Anne Kordes' exciting team three times beginning Saturday in two different venues. If you haven't caught a UofL Volleyball match this owe it to yourself to see these ladies in action. It'll be your first of many treks to see Lola, Gwen, Emily and the squad do battle! )

This week in Volleyball

Louisville played this weekend in volleyball at South Florida in Tampa, and at Pitt in Pittsburgh...what a road-trip that was...and I didn't make the trip, so I don't have much to offer in match recaps other than what Paul already posted, but I do think its worth it to do a week wrap-up as there is some other news to be shared.

-- UofL Team News

-- Top 25 upsets

-- New, or not so new, rankings

-- First RPI release

UofL Team News

As was mentioned in other articles, Gwen Rucker is back playing full bore, with no apparent lingering effects of her illness.  She had some great stats, particularly against Pitt.

Also racking up some great stats, as was mentioned, was Emily Juhl.  Its great to have so much depth and so many offensive weapons.  Emily seems to be recovering from her off-season surgery well and returning to form.  If you've never heard (yes, I said heard) her serve in Cardinal Arena, you should come to the match Saturday.  Its intimidating!  Its great to have her back and performing well as it gives us yet another great offensive weapon.  Lola may be the star, but with so many options, opponents really can't afford to key on her completely or they'll get beaten up by the likes of Gwen, Emily, and Brooke Mattingly, who continues to play great ball, and others.

Courtney Robison got her cast on her right arm removed this morning and has, apparently, been cleared to play by her doctor.  That gives her most of a week to get back in practice and back into form.  Its great that she didn't have to be in a cast for that long.

Lastly, as an amusing anecdote, on the return trip from Pittsburgh, flying through Chicago, the team was surprised to see, when they got to their gate to board the flight to Louisville, that the Field Hockey team was on the same flight.  I wonder if the ever-personable flight attendants on SouthWest led the passengers in a C-A-R-D-S cheer.


Top 25 Upsets

Pretty quiet on the upset front for top-25 ranked teams this week.  The only upsets within the Top 25 shows that #5 Washington had a really great weekend, with slight upsets over both #3 USC, and #4 UCLA.  When you're ranked in the single digits, it pretty much takes a team ahead of your losing, in order for you to move up.  Its pretty nice when you get the opportunity to make that happen, not once, but twice, in a single week.

The bigger upset is #11 BYU losing to unranked St. Mary's (Ca.).  St. Mary's (Ca.) also had a good week as they knocked off #18 Pepperdine. Pepperdine had a bad week as they also lost to unranked Santa Clara.

#19 Iowa State lost to unranked-but-getting-votes Kansas, and #25 Tennessee got swept by now-unranked Kentucky, which certainly will help our RPI.


New, or not so new, rankings

Well, there was some movement in the rankings, just not for us.  I thought that BYU loss might cause them to drop enough to land behind us, but not quite, as they ended up dropping 7 spots to land just in front of us at #16.  We retained our #17 ranking.  Washington's big weekend nets them a tie for 2nd with Oregon.  St. Mary's (Ca.) is now getting votes, but isn't ranked.  Tennessee, unsurprisingly, dropped out, but are, of course, still getting votes.

Western Kentucky is turning out to be quite a bit more of an RPI booster than I think any Louisville folks expected, they keep creeping up the list and have made it to #20 now.  Nothing but love for the Hilltoppers from me.

We play Texas in a week, and they're still hanging out at #9. They play #14 Kansas State on Saturday before coming in to Louisville Monday night.  Someone remind me to throw out some "Hook 'em"'s on Saturday night because I don't want us to have to play them coming off of a loss.

Illinois is at #21, Purdue at things seem to be settling down in the coaches' polls after some big early season movements.


First RPI release

The NCAA put out its first RPI (Ratings Percentage Index, in case you care to know what that acronym expands out to) for the Volleyball season.  The RPI tends to get a lot of scrutiny paid to it when it comes tournament selection time, which is why you'll see Anne Kordes pay a lot more attention to it rather than the coaches poll.

Good news!  UofL is ranked 4th in the RPI.  With wins over 6 Top 50 RPI teams...#10 Purdue, #17 Kentucky, #23 Miami (Fl.), #31 WKU, #37 Duke, and #43 Illinois...and only two losses...#1 Penn State, and #50 Notre Dame...we're looking pretty good.

Texas is #15 in the RPI, so a win over the Longhorns in a week would be a nice boost for us as well. The next highest Big East team is Marquette at #42, and then the aforementioned Notre Dame.  We play Marquette, in Milwaukee, on October 21st, and then back here at Cardinal Arena, on November 9th. We do not have another match against Notre Dame in the regular season.



This weekend, we welcome Seton Hall to Cardinal Arena (not The KFC Yum! Center for this one) for a noon first serve on Saturday.  Another noon start Sunday against Rutgers...this one is back downtown.  And while technically the volleyball world considers it next week, not this week, I'll go ahead and mention that Monday night brings #9(poll)/#15(RPI) Texas for a 7pm first serve.  This one, too, is downtown at the KFC Yum! Center.  Texas will be the last big RPI match we'll likely play for the season, so bring your friends and neighbors for this one.

( Just a quick reminder that the first round action in picking your favorite UofL women's athlete is underway on the left side of the board and our first match in the first round has become a nail-biter between Gwen Rucker and Nikki Boltja. You have through today to vote and determine who moves on to the "Elite Eight". We'll feature Rowing's Erin Bennett against Cross Country's Michelle Molodynia starting Wednesday...) 


  1. Is Louisville still the favorite to win the Big East with the loss to Notre Dame?

  2. I haven't heard any official chatter on that, but I suspect so, yes.

    Current standings have us tied for 3rd with Seton Hall and Notre Dame (ND lost to Marquette). St. Johns and Marquette are undefeated, so far.


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