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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sunday Cardinal Couple -- Lady Cards 74- 60 over Hoyas


-Cards sour Sugar... Improve to 7-2 in BIG EAST

-Volleyball Banquet at PNC Plaza

30 minutes can be a very long time sometimes. In basketball minutes, it can be an eternity. The University of Louisville women's basketball team held BIG EAST leading scorer Sugar Rodgers scoreless for 30 minutes yesterday afternoon in a 74-60 win over the Georgetown Hoyas in the KFC YUM! Center in front of 10549 fans.

No Sugar tonight in my coffee, no Sugar tonight in my borrow a phrase from The Guess Who

Going 0-7 in the first half and 0-4 in the second half before she connected on a jumper with 10:51 left in the game and Louisville leading 55-40...Rodgers was held to six points on 2-17 shooting by the guard trio of Bria Smith, Jude Schimmel and Shelby Harper.

Pass the Splenda, there wasn't any Sugar in the KFC YUM! Center Saturday afternoon.

Coach Walz's pregame instructions and practices sessions had a very simple theme leading up to this game. Don't allow her to get the ball and guard her more closely than the Army guards the gold in Fort Knox if she does.

It worked. Georgetown shot 33.8% for the game. Sugar 12%.

This one was won for the Cards in the first four minutes of the second half. Leading 33-29 at the break, the Cards sprinted off to a 13-3 run to start second half play and led 46-32 when Sara Hammond scored in the paint with 16:02 left. A Shoni three 30 seconds later made it 49-34 Cards and Georgetown would get no closer than nine the rest of the way.

Keying the run was Shoni, who drilled two threes and had nine points in a two minute stretch.   

Nita Slaughter with a huge effort tonight, 22 points on 6-13 shooting (five of those threes) and a perfect 5-5 from the free throw line. The Cards shot 77.3% from the charity stripe...toss out Cortnee Walton's 3-6 performance and Louisville goes an amazing 14 for 16.

That's the kind of stat that takes you deep into success in tournaments.

Shoni Schimmel with a slow start hitting just one of ten attempts from the field in the first half...but shooters are going to shoot and the junior ended up with 15 points and a team high seven assists. She was nonchalant about it in the post game:  

"My shots weren't falling early so I just started finding people open whose shots were falling. It was a team effort."

With Sugar salted away, sophomore forward Brittany Horne picked up the scoring yoke for the Hoyas in the first half with nine points. When Sugar still wasn't melting in the final half, freshman guard Katie McCormick grabbed the orb and produced 18 second half points for Keith Brown's 13-9 squad. McCormick, returning from a knee injury that had her on the bench for the first 11 games this year, led the Hoyas with 21 for the game. She had scored just 18 points all season. 

 6'6" center Sydney Wilson was the other Georgetown player to hit double digits with 11. She must have missed at least 10 shots from two feet or closer in, though. Does anyone use the box behind the rim on the backboard anymore?

Sara Hammond was the third double digit performer with a double-double...10 points and 11 grabs. Megan Deines added nine, Jude Schimmel seven, Bria Smith four, Cortnee Walton three and Sherrone Vails and Shelby Harper two each.

Louisville outrebounded the Hoyas 48-43. The Cards forced 16 G.U. turnovers while committing 16 of their own. Louisville won the points in the paint battle 28-24.

It wasn't pretty in the early going...Lousville and Georgetown both missing easy shots and only 26 total points had been scored in the first ten minutes. Georgetown actually led the Cards 16-10 with 9:11 left in the first stanza before UofL went on a 9-2 run to take the lead at 19-18 when Slaughter hit her second three of the half with 7:17 showing on the clock.

The Cards never trailed again.

On a afternoon where the roads had been salted several hours earlier because of an overnight snow...the Sugar remained in the cupboard and Louisville gets a sweet win....thanks to some sticky defense and Slaughter and Shoni shooting.

With Howie Lindsey and Jody Demling in attendance, the "Ho and Jo Show" was back and they asked 90% of the post game media questions for Coach Walz. Would hate to get in front of those two boys at a buffet...LINK BELOW.



A crowd of over 250 packed the PNC Plaza Saturday night for the 2013 Louisville Volleyball banquet. Sean Moth served as emcee for the event that gave a few a scare when the fire alarms went off shortly after dinner was served.

Fortunately, it was a false alarm and the crowd was later entertained by the affable Anne Kordes' season in review speech and a hilarious video that featured Kordes playing freshman Katie George and George portraying Kordes.

The G.P.A. Award went to Emily Juhl and Cardinal Award was presented to UofL FCA chaplain Chris Morgan. Alumnae of the year went to Kelly Gillooly.

Kordes' keynote address covered her appreciation and association with all the players, staff and backers that have made Cardinal Volleyball the unqualified smash hit it's turned into since she arrived three years ago. She's also quite the comedian...sending the crowd into gales of laughter when she shared personal stories with players, friends and staff.

We want to meet "the Betty's"...

She has a heartfelt and deep relationship with those who make Cardinal Volleyball what it is today and it's easy to see why Julie Herrmann went after her and brought her here from the head coaching job at St. Louis.

Good times. Player Courtney Robison from Sheperdsville, KY. sat at our table with us and the D.S. who transferred her from West Virgina after one season was a friendly and charming host. Later we found out about her lifelong friendship with Katie George. Robison is the team driver and pushing catalyst. She also has two personalities, according to I guess we actually had two players at the table with us.

Our thanks to Louisville Volleyball for allowing us to cover the event and it was a class evening and a lot of fun!



  1. Post game coach Walz said he was going out recruiting for 4 straight days. Wonder who we are targeting.

    1. I'm no expert, I just play on in the comments sections...and I didn't stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night...but if I were going to make a random, wild guess...I'd suspect that the Mitchell twins (Kelsey and Chelsea) out of Cincy, Jasmine Lumpkin, Victoria Vivian and Gabby Ortiz? These are some of the names being bandied around as being under the Cards radar.

      Then again, we could be looking at others. Jenny, our recruiting expert, probably could come up with a equally impressive list.


  2. Great Win! Shut down D on Rodgers made it happen. Perfect dry run for ND and Diggins. Need to take care of business with Pitt and then put together a full 40 minute effort in South Bend. Legit chance for three way tie at the top of the Big East now.

    Free throw improvement is stellar. Exactly what we need at exactly the right time. Kudos to Shelby Harper too. With our injuries everyone has a role and she filled her's perfectly.

  3. What? No report on the alumni game? Paulie, I'm disappointed. You need to step your game up.;)

    Blue Lou

    1. Post game media commitments caused us to miss about half of it. Hoping Jenny, Sandy and/or Jeff will mention it this week...


    2. Alas, as much as I wanted to see some of it, I had to boogie out before it started to be able to make it to the Volleyball Banquet on time.

      Did get to see some of the players out there warming up and I will say it was *very* heartwarming to see Dez Byrd out on the floor getting big hugs from so many people involved in the program directly and indirectly.

  4. Somebody disagree with me that between Bria, Jude, and Shelby they can't do to Skylar Diggins what they did to Sugar Rodgers, that is, frustrate the heck out of her! Somebody else tell me that G'town didn't have it in for Shelby for knocking Rodgers down! Tough little son-of-a-gun showed them what she is made of!!! Knocked her down, and she got right up and made free throw, knocked her down again, more free throws! That kind of defense, toughness, and effort is one big reason why I love this team so much.
    Slowly but surely the Cards are getting better and better, just a few more kinks to work out and they could regain top 6 status by the end of the regular season. For one, gotta STOP missing bunnies. One particular play I saw coming before it happened was the first fast break Shoni gave to a streaking wide open Vails. Screamed from my seat for Shoni to keep it, knowing it would end in a blown layup. Can't keep missing those kind, and maybe, just maybe, Shoni again finding Vails streaking and her actually making it this time is the needed break-thru
    All in all, one of the best games I have seen the ladies play this season, and I have a feeling that their best is yet to come.

    1. Good points, K-Man. I'd add Walton's free throws, Shoni's sporadic shooting and Sara's propensity for grabbing offensive players with her hands instead of just guarding them as three things Coach would like to see diminish.

      Yesterday proved again that this team is capable in many different ways. Shoni cold early? No problem, Nita and Sara step up. Gotta face the #2 scorer in the nation? Let's guard her like a bulldog does a hambone. Very impressed with what Coach is getting out of these nine. Maybe it's because they are finally listening and buying in to what the coaches are teaching and telling them.


    2. Defense wins championships. If you look back at Jude's intro video last year she saw defense as her primary responsibility. Shelby gets it now too. It's a beautiful thing. If they continue to grow and share the ball they'll get there.

    3. After a few minutes of Shelby being on Sugar...literally, as she was pretty much maintaining some degree of physical contact the whole time, as well as an arm and/or hand about 3 inches from Sugar's face...I really thought (and worried) that Sugar was about to throw a punch. I don't know much about Sugar's temperament as a player, but Gtown/Lville certainly has a history of getting a bit chippy, so I considered it a real possibility.

      Sugar was clearly a very frustrated player.

      Do that to Diggens and I think our chances of beating ND go way up.


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