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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Thursday Cardinal Couple -- Schimmel shines in gutsy win


( Staff Columnist Jenny O' Bryan with the recap of Louisville's clutch win over USF Tuesday Night in Tampa)

Cardinal Women’s Basketball headed to Florida to face a South Florida team that recently took Notre Dame to overtime before finally losing.  Hitting the Sunshine State with a team that continues to battle injuries, most recently to 5th year senior Monique Reid, the Cards faced a huge task to win on the road in the brutal Big East.  Our ladies gutted out a win for the ages last evening  (78-75) bringing home the "W" and starting the second half of conference play at 18-4, 6-2 this upcoming Saturday. 

The game started fast and furious with both teams choosing to run from the opening tip.  Atop Louisville’s list of keys to the game was to keep “the big 3” under control offensively.  The guard combination of Andrea Smith, Andrell Smith and Inga Orekhova was the defensive assignment for the night.  The Cardinals were to limit the dribble penetration and guard the 3 ball from the Bulls top performers.

The Cards started off to a slow start in guarding Orekhova who had 11 of the Bulls first 18 points and opened with back to back open 3’s.  With 6 minutes of play in the books and Orekhova already in double figures, the Cardinal defense went to work.  Orekhova was held to just 4 more points the entirety of the game. 

It was a trigger-happy first half with the game held close most of the half, until the Cardinals pulled away late in the half to an 8 point lead.  The Cardinals gave up most of the lead late, heading in to halftime with USF closing on a 7-0 run, Louisville led 42-41. 

Shoni Schimmel was hot from the start and single handedly kept the Cardinals in the game offensively from the start going in to halftime with 20 points, adding 2 assists and 2 steals to her stat line.  It was a Cardinal team effort though, running screens giving Shoni great open looks, and the hot hand kept draining them.  Jude Schimmel did a fabulous job of distributing the ball in the first half with all 6 of her assists coming in the first half.  The collective Cardinal effort kept the team in it outrebounding the Bulls 18-15, 11 assists on 15 made goals and picking the Bulls pocket 7 times.   It was halftime folks, and the Cards were up and looked like they just might be able to get the win!

The second half opened and once again the Cardinals got off to a slow start.  It was a back and forth effort to start, with the Cardinals offense drying up and the Bulls taking a game high 9 point lead with 13 minutes left to play.  The Cardinal defense could not get a stop and the team seemed on the edge of letting the game slip through their hands. 

With a time out called, a new rotation of players in, the Cardinals came out and played fantastic defense for the next 12 or so minutes.  The Cardinals were getting stops, and were on the cusp of starting to hit buckets again.  Shoni led the charge offensively with some late game heroic shooting from Antonita Slaughter who had not quite found her touch in the game until very late.  Good shooters keep shooting, and a 9-0 run by Shoni and a HUGE 3 from ‘Nita had the Cards surging back to take the lead by 6 with just more than a minute left in the game. 

There is no way I can do justice to the last minute of play in South Florida.  The Cardinals saw a 6 point lead with a little more than a minute left to play dwindle to one, 3 clock malfunctions (to the benefit of USF each time), and two 1-1 foul shots missed on the front end by the Cardinals.  Shoni and Bria both missed the front end of foul shots.  It was a nail biter, a few new grey hairs sprouted, but the Cardinals found a way to gut out this win.  The last six Cardinal points came from the charity stripe...Schimmel and Slaughter scored the last 12 points for Louisville. The final score was 78-75 with the Bulls taking a last second 3 point shot in an attempt to tie the game. 

How many times have we seen this team defending a last second 3 pointer to decide the game?  It has happened way too many times for this fan's liking.  I have liked to reserve the 'Cardiac Cards' title for the men, but our women are doing the name proud these last few games. 

What we liked:

Schimmel shines- Shoni had a fantastic game, scoring a career high 38 points, and tying a school record of 8 three-pointers in a game.   Shoni played 39 minutes of very good basketball, perhaps the most efficient I have seen her, going 12-20, 6-7 at the free throw line, 3 assists, 3 boards, 2 blocks and 1 steal.  In 39 minutes of play she had just 3 turnovers.  It was an outstanding performance and one the Cardinal fans know she is consistently capable of.  Excellent job Shoni, way to shine!

Defensive effort- while it waned at times in this game, there was very strong, strong defensive energy from a lot of the players.  All but 3 Cards got at least 1 steal and Bria led the way with 5.  The defensive effort of this team has been keeping them in the close games.  Keep it up ladies this kind of defensive effort wins games!

Vails in the paint- Sherrone had a big night for the team with 7 huge boards, 5 offensively, and 3 blocked shots.  There were a couple grabs late in the game that saved their goose!  It’s nice to see that kind of work from the big girl and we hope to see more of it. 

Collective effort- While the scoring was not very balanced, there was a strong collective effort from the team as a whole.  Cortnee Walton grabbed 2 big boards and went 2-3 from the line.  Jude dished out 6 assists, Hammond had 8 points, 2 assists and 1 steal in 23 minutes.  Slaughter having a difficult shooting night hit BIG shots when the Cardinals needed them and sank several free throws down the stretch.  It was just a great collective effort from the team!

Things to work on:

Finishing games- The Cardinals are finding ways to win, but they are giving up leads late and making the wins much harder than they need to be.  This team has to figure out how to close games.  Coach Walz talks about it being the mental part of their game.  Whatever it is, your devoted fans would appreciate you, even more, with less last-second wins.

Free throws- While the Cards finished at 73% for the game, there were big free throws missed in the last minute of play.  It did not cost the Cards the win tonight, but it easily could have. 

It is really hard to nit-pick on such a HUGE road win.  I am so proud of this team for battling through adversity with injuries and winning close, last second games.  Last years team would have folded under many of these very close games.  It was a great effort and a “monumental win”, and this Cardinal Faithful could not be more proud. 

Cards Radio color analyst Adrienne Johnson said in her closing remarks that this team “grew up tonight on the road”.  Congratulations ladies on a hard fought, team-effort win!


The team next hits the court on Saturday, Feb. 2 at home against Georgetown for a 2:00 p.m. tip.  If you listened to last night's win on the radio, you know this team deserves a welcome home party Saturday.  Coach Walz is challenging the Cardinal Faithful to come out and support these ladies.  They deserve it!  It was a gutsy, gutsy win with only a portion of the lineup that was expected this year.  These ladies are playing tough basketball and growing every game out.  Be a part of this remaining season, it all starts on Saturday.

If you stick around after Saturday's game, you'll also get the chance to see an WBB Alumnae game, too!

The Cardinals are currently ranked 3rd in attendance, behind Connecticut and Tennessee.   The goal was to take the top in attendance this year.  It is not out of reach!  With 5 home games remaining in February and a package deal of $25 for the remaining 5 games, you just can’t beat the family entertainment.   Call Louisville Athletic Ticketing office at 852-5151 to get “on the train” and support Louisville Women’s Basketball.  

( WE fully agree with whatever it takes to get out Saturday to see the Lady Cards in action against Georgetown and the league's leading scorer in Sugar Rodgers. Coach Walz and the team would love to see 13,000 in attendance. Let's give them a great surprise and put 15,000 in the KFC YUM! Center. The Hoyas came into our house two years ago and embarrassed the Cards 76-52. Time to serve a little payback...)

Wednesday Cardinal Couple -- Boogie with Bulls



Louisville breaks a 66-66 tie with back-to-back threes from Shoni Schimmel and Nita Slaughter and hangs on to win 78-75. Shoni with a career high 38 in the game and career high eight three-pointers. Jenny will have more on this "Cardiac" win later...

-Boogie With the Bulls tonight

(Quentin Voigt provides the scout on the University of Louisville women's basketball team's next opponent...a visit to Tampa and game against the South Florida Bulls.)

Wednesday, January 30th. 7 p.m. brings the next test for Jeff Walz's Lady Cards...a showdown in the Sun Dome in Tampa against Jose Fernandez's USF Bulls.

These Bulls are 14-5 on the season and 3-3 in BIG EAST play. Conference losses have come against Notre Dame in Tampa, a four point win by UND in overtime. USF has also fallen on the road to DePaul by 16 and at Villanova by three.

USF's Andrell Smith
Players to watch for USF included the Smith sisters Andrea and Andrell. Andrea averages 17.7 ppg and Andrell contributes 15.9 ppg. Inga Orekhova is good for 11.6 for the team and all three are deadly from long range. The front line features Caitlin Rowe and Akita MacDonald, both 6'4" and they and freshman Alisha Jenkins are the major rebounders for Fernandez's squad.

The Smiths and Rowe came from Gulf Coast Community College, where they won the National Junior Community College title in the 2009-10 season.

Last time out, USF handled Marquette 58-48 in the SunDome on Saturday. Freshman guard Courtney Williams had 10 points in the win and Jenkins grabbed 11 rebounds.

The Russian Rocket - Inga Orekhova
Like Louisville, when USF gets on a run, they're hard to handle. I look at this one as a very close contest and predict the Cards win by three.

-Quentin Voigt


USF is a dangerous, dangerous team. The Russian rocket Orekhova can bury you from deep. The Smith's are hard-nosed, aggressive ballers that can score from anywhere. Louisville trailed USF last year at halftime and was fortunate to go on a late run in the YUM! to win 63-57. Sheronne Vails and Cierra Warren combined for 24 points last year against them. Warren, of gone. There's still an APB out on Vails, according to some, too.

UofL's Andrell Smith
Louisville is headed into an arena that holds 10,000 but has only managed to get an average of 1100 in for games. Wouldn't surprise us if that isn't doubled tonight...Louisville does have a sizable fan base in the area and opponents do love to come  out and cheer against the Cards when they come to town.

Just in case any football fans have wandered over here and are confused...the Andrell Smith USF guard and Andrell Smith UofL wide receiver aren't related. They're both excellent at their respective sports, though

How does Louisville pull off the win in hostile territory? Honestly, I don't think they do tonight. The Bulls came darn close to knocking off Notre Dame in the Sun Dome.

But, if they do win on the road, they'll need super efforts out of Bria and Shoni, along with a return of the Vails from last year and a strong Sara effort. We know we can count on Nita for a big game. I do hope it's a big enough effort to get the Cards a win. Really, I do.

I hate to say it, hope I'm dead wrong...but I'm calling "Bull" on this one. USF by 6. Prove me wrong, please.

You might be able to watch this one on BullsVision for a fee. It's unclear whether the video or just the audio is being offered over there. Sign up at the official USF sports site. We'll probably just give AJ and Matt a listen on WKJK 1080 or

I may switch over and give USF Bulls women's basketball play-by-play guy Alex Perlman a listen. He's one of the best young announcers in the business. Even if he attended Syracuse and looks like attorney Cary Agos on "The Good Wife". (Which has Sonja enamored with him...)

Coach Walz talks about stealing wins on the road in the BIG EAST. If the Cards can pull this heist off, the team's picture should be posted in all the post offices...because it will be the theft of the century. Let's hope Al Capone, John Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson are sitting on the Cardinal bench. "Theft in Tampa". Let's hope so.

Jenny will be by to do the recap later tonight or tomorrow.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013


( Staff columnist Sandy Walker opens her weekly can of mixed nuts for us to sample with a look at softball, basketball, volleyball, fiscal cliff solutions, the extinction of dinosaurs, Chef Boyardee selections and the entire catalouge from Harry and David. Put the callers on hold and lock the office door...Sandy reveals all...)

Lots of laundry this week with games, matches and banquets to attend.

The league’s 13 head coaches have picked Louisville in a preseason poll to finish third in BIG EAST Softball. USF was the preseason favorite with Notre Dame edging the Cards for second place.  As reported last week, the National Fastpitch Coaches Division I Preseason Poll have ranked our ladies at number 18 in the nation.  It is soon time to show them wrong, starting in Las Vegas with a win against UCF then UNLV on February 8 in the Sportco Kick-Off Classic.  The tournament continues the next day against Minnesota then Texas Tech with Depaul on the 10th.  It will be a busy 3 days for the Softball Cards but also a great way to begin the season with a 5-0 sweep.
At the YUM center Sunday I found myself wondering and wishing to see replays of exciting plays on a regular basis.   This weekend against St. Johns I believe there were 2-3 replays which found me wishing for more.  The Sugar Bowl was exceptionally great to attend as every play was shown again on the big board – maybe we can soon see replays shown more regularly during basketball as it adds a lot to the in person experience.



This Wednesday finds our women at South Florida in what should be a particularly tough game.  More info on that tomorrow from Quentin as he scouts the game for us. At the moment all I have found for video of the game is the Bulls all access streaming video broadcast and local radio with Matt and AJ who are suffering on our behalf through the Florida weather.   The site will publish additional means of broadcast as we learn of them.  

( Editor's note. We considered tying a string between two cans and stretching it from Louisville to Tampa. Cletus volunteered to travel to Tampa and give us a verbal account of the action. That's a whole lotta string. We recanted. Listen to A.J. and Matt instead. And sing along each time the Fischer's commercial comes on.)   


Jeff McAdams wanted to make sure that everyone is aware of this Saturday night's Volleyball Banquet.  Doors open at 5:45 for the 6:30 event which is being held at the PNC Club.  Attendance is $40 a person with a table costing $400.  The banquet is a celebration of the successful season which has resulted in Gwen, Lola and Kaitlynn now occupied with their pro teams.

Contact info for the event is:
Ms. Christy Waltrip
Special Events, Louisville Athletics
Louisville, KY 40292

( Editor's comment -- Thanks to Christy for extending two media passes to CARDINAL COUPLE for the banquet! It'll be either Sonja and Paul or Timmy the Intern and Mondo Vendo attending. Attempts to get Charlie Sheen to fly in were unsucessful)


Last weekend found Margret Harris taking first in the 60 meter semi finals and finals as well as 4th in the 200 meter.  She ran her personal best in the 60 with a time of 24.27.  The complete meet results can be found at
Link to to find a copy of the 2013 Women’s indoor performance chart.  In the meantime the team plans to add to these numbers by participating in the Meyo Invitational on the 1st and 2nd in South Bend, Indiana prior to the Big East Championships n Geneva, Ohio on the 16th and 17th of the month.

When Nell on Wheels visited during the UL v UK she decided to have a competition between the fans where the singing our school song was part of the competition.  Sadly, it was obvious that most of the UL crowd did not know their school song(s).  Just in case you are interested:

( Editor's note. Nell also delivered a stirring rendition of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" for the crowd...accompanied by Al Greener on guitar and Sean Moth on wind chimes and tuba.)
"All Hail U of L" - by Alan Greener
All hail to thee our U of L
As we stand up for her fame.
All hail to thee our U of L
As we fight to win this game.
Sing praises for a victory,
We wish our heroes well.
All hail the Cardinal Spirit.
All hail our U of L!
"Fight! U of L" - by R.B. Griffith
Fight now for victory and show them
How we sure will win this game
Fight on you Card'nals and prove to them ( Card'nals....really?)
That we deserve our fame.
Rah, Rah, Rah!
Roll up the score now and beat the foe
So we can give a yell
With a FIGHT! give them all you've got
For we are with you U of L.
"All Hail U of L" - by Alan Greener
All hail to thee our U of L
As we stand up for her fame.
All hail to thee our U of L
As we fight to win this game.
Sing praises for a victory,
We wish our heroes well.
All hail the Cardinal Spirit.
All hail our U of L!

The audio files can be found at

( Editor's note. Did you know NCAA referees have a spirit song as well? It's true, they do! Google the words to "Three Blind Mice" and sing along! )

Rules of the Week
Courtesy of US Lacrosse

Women's lacrosse is a non-contact game played by 12 players: a goalkeeper, five attackers and six defenders. The object of the game is to shoot the ball into the opponent's goal. The team scoring the most goals wins.
(If the game is non-contact ---- why is protective gear worn during the games?)

The collegiate game is 60 minutes long, each half being 30 minutes. The high school girl's game is 50 minutes long, each half being 25 minutes. In both collegiate and high school play, teams are allowed one timeout per half.


This year’s team was picked by the BIG EAST Coaches Preseason poll to finish 6th in the conference.    Our first chance to see them play this season is on Sunday February 10th against Canisius.  The match is played at U of L’s Lacrosse Stadium at 12:00.  Gear up for the weather but you are forewarned not to purchase foot warmers from Timmy the Intern as they are rumored to actually be freshly packaged “Bill the Goat” droppings.
Monday head coach Kellie Young announced the signing of seven student-athletes for the 2013 season.  “The 2013 class is comprised of Carolyn Dottino-Buenahora (Huntington, N.Y.), Hannah Koloski (Lakeville, Minn.), Anne L'Heureux (Winter Springs, Fla.), Steph McNamara (Melbourne, Australia), Ashley Peacock (Crofton, Md.), Kaelyn Sclavounos (Ashton, Md.), and Heidi Smith (Ashburn, Va.).

Each recruits profiles can be found at


The Bass-Rudd Tennis Center was the location of Louisville’s sweep of visiting Miami of Ohio Saturday night.  The 4-0 Cardinals took the doubles point as well as all six singles positions.  Nancy Allison Worley, Associate Director, Sports Information produced the match results article with these results below:
Singles competition
1. Julia Fellerhoff (LOU) def. Nimisha Mohan (MIAMIOH) 6-3, 6-4
2. Rebecca Shine (LOU) def. Christinana Raymond (MIAMIOH) 6-0, 6-3
3. Manuela Velasquez (LOU) def. Alix Thurman (MIAMIOH) 6-2, 6-2
4. Stefanie Villajuan (LOU) def. Christine Guerrazzi (MIAMIOH) 5-7, 6-4, 10-6
5. Mandy Brown (LOU) def. Ramona Costea (MIAMIOH) 6-2, 7-5
6. Becky Bodine (LOU) def. Ana Rajkovic (MIAMIOH) 6-2, 6-3

Doubles competition
1. Julia Fellerhoff/Manuela Velasquez (LOU) def. Christine Guerrazzi/Nimisha Mohan (MIAMIOH) 9-7
2. Becky Bodine/Rebecca Shine (LOU) def. Christinana Raymond/Alix Thurman (MIAMIOH) 8-4
3. Mandy Brown/Stefanie Villajuan (LOU) def. Ana Rajkovic/Chloe Heerden (MIAMIOH) 8-2


Men's and Women's Swimming Both Beat Kentucky

The University of Louisville men's and women's swimming and diving team beat Kentucky Saturday afternoon at the Lancaster Aquatic Center. The men won 152-148 and the women prevailed 168-132.  Check it out at where all of the individual results are shown.



Next Friday is seniors night when our men and women meet Indiana in their final home meet.  First race begins at 5:00.  See you at the Ralph Wright Natatorium.


February 27 will find the team in Indianapolis at the Big East Championships.  They run through March 2 are in preparation for the Championship Qualifying Meets then the NCAA tournament.



The golf team continues to take one for the school by struggling through their preparation for matches in the Florida then Hawaiian weather.  As someone who is preparing for travel to St. Paul, Minnesota – I look forward to hearing of their results in the UCF Challenge beginning February 10 in Sorrento, FL.

( As you can tell from Sandy's report today, it's not just basketball that occupies the sports calender during the month of Feburary on the Belknap Campus. CARDINAL COUPLE also has interviews planned with Jeff Walz, Sandy Pearsall and...hopefully...Kelly Young from Lacrosse in the next couple of weeks. Some coaches and assistant sports information directors are easier to catch up with than others. We're pretty certain Ira Green is just an alias for someone else down at UofL...Ira never returns our e-mails and requests. We also heard that when it was made known to Coach Walz we wanted an interview with him, he specifically requested either Bill the Goat or Timmy the Intern conduct it. Sorry, Coach. They're booked...)

Another day in the life...More pizza, sir! 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Cards defeat St. John's 57-54



-Slaughter's 22 lead Louisville past Red Storm

-Volleyball banquet Saturday

St. Margaret Mary first-graders deliver the National Anthem.
Louisville WBB used a 8-0 run over a five minute stretch late in the second half to overcome a three point deficit and go up by five in defeating the St. John's Red Storm Sunday afternoon in the KFC YUM! Center before 11543 fans.

Down 52-49 after a Nadirah McKenith layup with 5:46 to go, the Cards held the Red Storm scoreless until Shenneika Smith hit two free throws after Sara Hammond's fifth foul with 42 seconds left to make it 57-54 Louisville. During the run, Sara Hammond connected on four free throws, Nita Slaughter two from the charity stripe and a Bria Smith layup made it 57-52 with 1:45 left on the clock. St. John's missed two three-point attempts in the final nine seconds and the Cards survive by three.

Guards McKenith, Smith and freshman guard Aliyyah  Handford combined for 50 of the 54 St. John's points.

Bonita Spence checks to see if she's holding a basketball or
leftover Halloween pumpkin
Coach Walz started the "S" troops again for Louisville, Bria Smith, Sara Hammond, Shoni Schimmel, Sherrone Vails and Nita Slaughter and the combination battled St. John's closely for the first eight minutes of the first half...the Cards leading 14-12 after two Slaughter free throws at the 12:25 mark. Jude Schimmel, Cortnee Walton and Megan Deines entered the game and the tight battle continued...neither team getting more than a two point edge until back-to-back buckets from Deines and Hammond gave Louisville a 22-17 edge with 6:33 on the clock.

SJU outscored the Cards 7-3 over the next five minutes, draw within one at 25-24 after McKenith hit a layup with 1:26 remaining. A Slaughter free throw with 41 seconds left was the final score of the half and Louisville clung to a perilous 28-26 advantage after twenty minutes.

Slaughter had seven points to lead the Cards in the half, followed by Hammond with six, Deines and Shoni with four each. Bria added three and Vails and Walton contributed two each. Shelby Harper and Jude played but did not score. Redshirt senior Monique Reid, on crutches on the sideline with an injured knee, did not play. 

Handford led the Red Storm with 15 points, mostly on easy drives past the Louisville defense. Only three St. John's players scored in the first twenty, McKenith adding seven and Smith four. The Cards shot 35.7% (10-28) but did make 8-10 free throws and forced seven SJU turnovers. Each team took four trifecta attempts, St. John getting one from McKenith to drop. Louisville was 0 for Shoni and Bria.

The Cards needed to find a way to keep the speedy Handford from scoring inside in the final twenty and they did a excellent job, limiting her to just one point...but Shenneika Smith picked up the slack and totaled 19 of the Red Storm's 28 second half points.

The Cards started the final half by getting buckets from Hammond and Slaughter, but Walz substituted Jude in for Shoni after just two minutes when Smith got back to back layups for SJU to make it 32-30 Cards. Louisville lost the lead when Amber Thompson hit her only jumper of the game a minute later. The teams went back and forth for the next eight minutes, neither able to gain more than a two point advantage...and when Shoni returned with 9:04 to go, it was 45-43 Red Storm.

The back and forth trend continued...Slaughter providing the Louisville offense and Smith doing the same for St. John's With 6:15 left, Slaughter cut the Red Storm lead to 50-49 with a layup...but McKenith returned the favor to set up the Cards frantic finish and win. SJU committed two unforced turnovers in the final 2:48 and hit only one of four shots. Had to groan a bit when Shoni took to the lane and tried a questionable running, off-balance layup that
SJU's Smith swatted away. Why not just hold the ball with a three point lead and 30 seconds left?'s a win, though, and the Cards go to 17-4 and 5-2 in the BIG EAST.

Slaughter led the Cards with 22 points and five rebounds, going 10 of11 from the free throw line. Hammond ended up with 14 and eight grabs. Bria Smith finished with seven, Deines six, Shoni four and Vails and Walton two each. Jude and Shelby did not score. For Slaughter, it was her second-highest point total since her arrival on campus...getting 23 against Gardner-Webb last year.

Referee Al Titus decides he wants in my picture. I cut his head off.
Shenneika Smith led the Red Storm with 23, Handford had 16, McKenith 11 and Brianna Brown and Thompson added two each.

Louisville shot 37.5% (18-48), St John's 44.9% (22-49). The Cards narrowly outrebounded SJU 32-31 and went 21-25 from the line. The Cards committed a low nine turnovers but scored only one point off them. In a closely contested affair, there were 13 lead changes and 11 ties. Only 19 threes in the 40 minutes, St. John hitting three of their twelve, the Cards 0-7.


1) How much sweeter could Nita have been? Consistency has been her name the last six or so games and she shone far above the rest today. With Mo out indefinitely, she's the co-force at the "four" with Hammond and no longer just a three point shooter.

Bonita comes over to see if I want to play catch during a
timeout. I passed on the offer. She'd probably call a "T" on me.
2) Inside denied. The SJU front line scored just two points all night. The Red Storm guards did pick up the slack with their slashing drives and barely outscored the Cards in the paint 26-24. Still, 66 minutes out of 200 possible played by the opponents' front line and 1-6 shooting? We'll take it.

3) Battling back. The 8-0 run late showed a lot of character. No turnovers, clutch free-throw shooting (which we also loved at 21-25) and defense.


1) Threes. 0-7. Can't remember the last time Louisville didn't hit a three in a game. Threes weren't the priority today, especially with SJU's quick guards bottling up the shooters, but an "0-fer" always looks bad, bad, bad.

2) Stopping the easy, inside score. It was almost like a looping reel. See a SJU guard drive, see Louisville fail to stop her, see SJU score. Granted...SJU has three great guards...but interior stoppage must occur.

3) Rebounding. Out-rebounding the worst rebounding team in the BIG EAST by just one on your home court isn't going to get you any trophies. The Cards front line grabbed 19 of the 32..but only six offensive ones.


We have to admit when we saw Bonita Spence on the court to referee the game, we almost turned and went for the East exit. But, despite a few obvious missed calls and an interesting end-of-first half exchange between her and Walz...the crew didn't stink as badly as feared. Only 30 fouls total in the game and 17 of them on the Red Storm. Hated to see Hammond foul out, especially when two of her five were "phantom" calls...but no other Card had more than two.

Louie's mascot friends help celebrate his birthday!
This game was won by Slaughter and Hammond late (they had 15 of Louisville's 29 second half points) and free throw excellence by the Cards today. A gut-check win over a team that has the best guard trio Louisville will face all season. It saddens us that Monique Reid is yet again could take injured Cards Shawnta Dyer, Tia Gibbs, Asia Taylor, Reid and add any other Card on the roster and have a heck of a starting lineup. A part of the game, though...and the (for now) nine remaining healthy players will need to bond together and carry on.

Coach's post-game comments below. This week, Bob Domine helped J.J. and I carry the question load. Once again, I baffle Jeff on the opening question. It's a tradition.



The University of Louisville Volleyball banquet will be held Saturday, Feb 2nd. at the PNC Plaza @ Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Doors open at 5:45 p.m. and the festivities are scheuled to kick-off at 6:30 p.m.

Unlike the spring sports banquets that preview the upcoming season, the Volleyball banquet is a celebration of the completed season.

Unfortunately, last we heard...seniors Gwen Rucker, Lola Arslanbeckova and Kaitlynn James will not be in attendance. They are out playing professionally and (according to CARDINAL COUPLE Volleyball guru Jeff McAdams) doing quite well.

The rest of the team and coaching staff will be there, it's a great time to mix and mingle with the stars of tomorrow and the Cardinal Volleyball fans.

Tickets are $40 and we know Jeff will be there. CARDINAL COUPLE Co-Owners Paul and Sonja have made contact about media reply yet, so we'll see if the response is a quick kill or a prolonged volley.

If you are interested in attending, here's the contact info:

Christy Waltrip
Special Events, Louisville Athletics

Louisville WBB plays Georgetown at 2 p.m. that day in the KFC YUM! why not make it a women's sports day and attend BOTH events?

Banquets are a great way to meet other UofL fans and also learn a lot about the programs. And, you usually get to sit at the table with one of the players, who are always eager to tell you about the squad and share stories with you. We'll never forget our first Softball banquet when we met this skinny, freshman California high school player who was brimming with confidence and hopes for her career at UofL.

That was Chelsea Bemis and she turned out to be one of the best to ever step to the plate at UofL.



Sunday Cardinal Couple -- Softball Dinner and Hoops


-Softball Dinner features Danielle Lawrie

- WBB faces St John's today

The 2013 University of Louisville Bullpen Softball dinner was held Saturday night at the Hyatt in downtown Louisville and featured Olympian and NCAA Championship pitcher Danielle Lawrie from the University of Washington. A capacity crowd packed into the Hyatt Ballroom to hear the evening's events that were emceed by Cardinal public address announcer and all-around good guy Sean Moth.

The evening began with a cocktail hour and silent auction that featured everything from Cardinal softball gear to bean bag boards and Charlie Strong Makers' Mark bottles.
Unfortunately, CARDINAL COUPLE's bid on a UofL Softball windbreaker and visor fell short of winning...but it was good to stand around and talk with the people in attendance...including Shoni Schimmel, Becky Burke and hundreds of Cardinal Softball fans.

Shortly before the crowd moved from the hospitality area to the ballroom tables, we caught up with freshman Jasmine Smithson-Willett and got a quick Q &A in.

She's thrilled to be at Louisville and really loves the city and her teammates. At first, she was a little overwhelmed by the speed and quickness of the college game but has adjusted nicely. She's willing to do anything for the team and mentioned that when Coach Pearsall was looking for left-handed hitters to do the slap hit and beat out throws to first, she jumped right and showed coach her ability to perform the maneuver. Her biggest smile came when we talked about the road trip coming up to Vegas and the chance for her family to come in from California and see her play.

Before we knew it, we were at our table and got to see several great videos about the team's preparation for the upcoming season and hear several players talk about their dedication and commitment to the team. Coach Carol Bruggerman then took over the podium and awards were presented to Tori (Collins) Heyman, Chelsea Leonard (who led the nation in saves) and Taner Fowler (All-American).

Next it was Coach Pearsall to the podium and she was effusive in her praise for her support staff, coaches and players. She recalled the great moments of last season and could hardly contain her enthusiasm when speaking about the current group of Softball Cards and the challenges they lay ahead for them.

"It's tough competition, but the girls that are back are a year older and that means quite a lot in softball" Pearsall informed the crowd.

At the end of her remarks, Coach was presented with an autographed bat from the players who helped her acheive her 500th. win last season.

"I really wasn't that aware of it when number 500 happened, but shortly after the phone started exploding with texts congratualating me on the acheivement, mostly my players....they're a special group of ladies." Pearsall reflected.
Featured keynote speaker Danielle Lawrie has had an amazing journey in her young life and kept the crowd captive and hanging on each word as she recounted it. Chosen to play on the Canadian National Team at the age of eighteen...she was the pitcher that recorded Canada's first win ever over Team USA.

As she recalled her collegiate years at the University of Washington, Lawrie made note of the challenges she faced and her drive and desire to conquer them. From a extremely competitive family that includes a brother in Major League Baseball who plays for the Toronto Blue Jays, she recalled how her father would never keep (and toss in the trash) any second place trophy that someone in the family had been awarded and that her brother wouldn't talk to her for three months after she beat him in a game of bean bag toss.

Lawrie was a wonderfully entertaining and inspirational speaker as she took us through her collegiate years and Olympic experience. Her message to the crowd and players was clear...set your goals and stay dedicated to acheiving them. After fielding a few questions from Sean Moth, Lawrie's time on the stage and the evening was over. It hardly seemed that it had started...

A excellent time with a very special group of college athletes, coaches and Cardinal fans last night. We appreciate the opportunity provided to us to cover the event and can tell you that Cardinal Softball is rip-roaring ready to go this year and the players and staff would love to see you support them even more than last year (if that's possible) at Ulmer Stadium.

We'll be there. We hope you join us! You DON'T want to miss it...


( Quentin Voigt brings us the scout on Louisville WBB's next hardwood opponent today...the St John's Red Storm.)


St. John rolls into the KFC YUM! Center for a 1:30 p.m. match up against the Cards today. If you go, go early...because it's Louie the Cardinal Bird's birthday and free pizza, ice cream and cake will be provided pre-game for the fans. We think you should go. 

Joe Tartanella has been a coach at St John's for nine years but this is his first as the head coach. He took over for Kim Barnes Arico, who accepted the head coaching job at Michigan. She's currently 3-0 in the BIG TEN for the Wolverines. Tartanella is an excellent recruiter and has two players currently on the roster that he pulled away from ACC schools and will play next season. Danaejah Grant is a 5'9" guard who began her career at Clemson and will have three years remaining as a Red Storm. Selena Archer is a 6'4" post who originally signed with Miami and will have two years of eligibility for SJU.

St.John's averages 59.8 ppg and shoots 39% from the floor. They're 27.2% from beyond the arc. They hit 64.7% from the free throw line and average 40.8 rebounds a contest. The Johnnies dish out 11.5 assists a game, commit 14.1 turnovers and create 8.4 steals a game.

SJU is 9-8 on the year and 3-2 in the BIG EAST. Conference wins have come against Rutgers by four, Seton Hall by 28 and Pitt by 29. Losses occurred to Notre Dame by 24 and to Syracuse by three.

Shenneika Smith leads the SJU attack with 16.1 ppg . Nadriah McKenith adds 12.7, Amber Thompson is good for strong offensive and rebounding as well.

I don't see a lot of Red Storm rain dropping on Louie's birthday festivities today and the Lady Cards give him a 10-point birthday gift.

-Quentin Voigt

Smith and McKenith are better guards than any two Coach Walz can put out there and they proved it twice last year in sweeping the Cards. Does that mean they'll win again today? Not necessarily.

Tartanella is a good coach, but he doesn't have the ability that KBA had when she was there to get over 100% out of the Red Storm players.

Sho and Mo show has a command performance at the matinee today and the ever-steady "Need a" Slaughter?" (Of course, we need a Slaughter!) helps the Cards bring this one home in true Cardiac fashion. Louisville by 3 and it may take five extra minutes to do it in...

Quinnipiac beat you? Serioulsy?
Good guards will only get you so far. Rebounding, coaching and hitting free throws wins you games and I expect the Cards to do all three well least well enough to handle the BIG EAST'S 11th. best rebounding defense team, worst free throw shooting team and a rookie coach. They're 9-8. The talent level suggests they could be 14-3. Losses to Qunnipiac and Boston U are puzzling...and they come to the YUM! on a two-game losing streak.

Time to return the favor to a squad that beat UofL twice last year. Time to get out a little "southern in-hosptiality" as we face the Red Storm maybe for the last time. Think about it, do you really want to schedule a non-conference home and away with a school that struggles to get 500 to watch them when they're at home? Beat 'em and wave good-bye as your showing them the door.