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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thursday Cardinal Couple



Thursday Cardinal Couple - The "Spring Sports? Its Snowing!" Edition

Another Lacrosse Win

Coming off their first loss of the season in Denver, Kellie Young's young Lacrosse team came out Wednesday afternoon ready to make a statement.  While not ideal weather for a field sport, the cold, with a bit of snow on the ground, didn't chill the first half attack of the Cardinals.

Louisville Lacrosse team got out to a strong lead in the first half of the game against Vanderbilt with scoring by committee.  Seven different sources of scoring for Louisville led to the 9-4 halftime lead. Nikki Boltja found the back of the net twice, as did Katie Oliverio.  Also scoring for Louisville in the first half were Colleen O'Malley, Erika Eipp, Kaylin Morissette, Jamie Redding, and...uhm...Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt made a statement in the second half, but it wasn't enough to completely close the gap.  Carly Linthicum scored 4 of her 5 goals in the second half, including 3 in under 8 minutes, helping to narrow the 5 point halftime margin to 3, but Cardinals Nikki Boltja and Kaylin Morissette both scored twice to hold on to the win for a final score of 13-10.

Another win, over another quality opponent.  If you didn't get a chance to get out to the Lacrosse Stadium, you're going to have to wait a while.  The Cardinals don't return to play a game on Floyd St. until early April, though hopefully that means the weather will be nicer.  In the meantime, they have road games against Presbyterian (in Georgia), Detroit, and Drexel.  The road trip continues with the beginning of conference play against Loyola Maryland...yes, that is a Big East team in Lacrosse...and Georgetown, before finally returning home for a April 5th game against Notre Dame with a 5pm first draw.

National Honors

Several National honors were bestowed on Cardinal Womens Athletes this week, both athletic and academic.


Katie Keller (2B) picked up the Louisville Slugger/NFCA (National Fast-pitch Coaches Association) Player of the Week spot.  The Cards have had two players pick up this award previously Tori Collins (4/17/2012) and Chelsea Bemis (4/27/2010).

Katie breaks new ground by being named the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week, an honor never before bestowed on a Cardinal.

The softball team will be back in action on Floyd street in beautiful Ulmer Stadium this weekend.  First pitch for UofL will be against a frequent opponent, Michigan, on Friday at 4pm.  Miami (Ohio) and Austin Peay will be the Saturday matchups with 2:30pm and 5pm starts, with a 3pm Sunday start against Illinois State.  The weather looks to be fantastic, particularly as the weekend progresses, for a trip out to Ulmer to cheer on the 13th ranked Softball team.

Congratulations to Katie, and good luck to the whole team this weekend.

Field Hockey

UofL Field Hockey was named to the 2012 Gladiator by SGI/National Field Hockey Coaches Association Nation Academic Team Award list...boy that's a mouthful.  This list is for teams that achieve a team GPA of 3.0 or above.

Contributing to that, were the seven players named to the NFHCA National Academic squad.  This squad is players that have earned a 3.30 or higher GPA through the first semester of the 2012-13 school year.  The seven are: Elisa Garcia, Natasha Leickly, Becca Maddock, Mallory Mason, Paige Monsen, Kelsey Rosenmeier, and Kendall Weedling.

Congratulations to the Field Hockey team for representing the University and community so well, even in the off season.

The Signing News Continues

This is a marathon, not a sprint; but I'm going to throw you a bit of a curve-ball by starting with...


Alex Wilharm has joined the Volleyball coaching staff as an assistant coach to Anne Kordes.  If you've been to a volleyball match in the past couple of years, you've seen Alex; he's the (very) red-headed guy who looks like he's about 17, but in reality is in his mid-20's.  Alex has been serving as the volunteer assistant coach for the past two years, but now joins the coaching staff officially.  He joins Lee Maes and replaces Melissa Stark Bean.  Melissa has been up front about only filling the assistant coaches position temporarily (due to the late departure of Dani Busboom to become an assistant coach at her alma mater Nebraska) until Kordes could find a longer term replacement.

Kordes has, in the past, spoken about wanting to hire an older more established coach to help bring a bit of a different perspective to the staff, but apparently decided that it was worth hiring Alex, and lowering the age of an already youthful staff, in order to retain his immense talent and drive.

I've had the opportunity to speak with Alex several times and he is a genuinely nice guy and very enjoyable to talk to.  He knows the game of volleyball very well...far better than his youth would suggest...and is clearly an immensely hard worker.  This is another great hire for the UofL Athletic Department and UofL Volleyball.

Field Hockey

Justine Sowry has clearly been spending a lot of time in the Camden, NJ area in the past couple of years.  Field Hockey has announced their 5th (of 6) signing of the year in Elina Pereira from Shawnee High School in Medford, NJ.  Previous announcements included 2 from Eastern Regional High School in Vorhees, NJ about 10 miles down the road.

Elina is a goalkeeper and is expected to compete for the starting position this fall.  Welcome, Elina.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

Jeff pleads his point on the CARDINAL
COUPLE Radio Hour
I had a lot of fun with Paulie and Jenny on Crescent Hill Radio on Saturday, and am really looking forward to doing it again this week.  No doubt we'll give some time to the Big East Women's Basketball tournament...we'll have the results of the first round in to talk about and analyze.  We'll also have the Michigan Softball game to talk about.  Be sure to tune in to Saturday at 11am ET.  Paulie's flights of fancy are worth the price of admission alone.

Paulie insists Rutgers is in
New Jersey on the show...

Editor's Note: And it was a great show...Jeff and Jenny providing the perfect Moe and Larry compliment to my Curly/Three Stooges ramblings. Despite a nagging back pain that has me less than my usual chipper self, I'm hoping to creep down to the Belknap Campus early this afternoon to also get some audio for the show from Coach Jeff Walz and a few players about the upcoming BIG EAST Tournament, random thoughts on the season, the aspect of nuclear war with North Korea and dental hygiene in the 21st. century.

I'd also like to remind you of the CARDINAL COUPLE BIG EAST WOMEN'S TOURNAMENT PICK 'EM going on currently. It's free to enter, a $25 Chili's Gift Card to the winner and great fun and fellowship as you try to pick the 14 games that await us beginning Friday. You can leave your picks in the comments section of this column, e-mail them to or call our customer service number and one of our talented chimps will write them down and post them on the "big board" for study, pie-throwing and ridicule.

Sonja smiles, knowing she will win the 'Pick Em'
WE promised staff picks to be presented and although the majority of the staff HAS NOT submitted their picks yet (notorious slackers and underachievers that they are...) Sonja has charged out of the defensive secondary, stole a wicket and charged toward the net with hers.

WE have had a very good response so far for the contest, with 32 entries as of 7:00 a.m. Thursday morning. Even the staff chimps at CARDINAL COUPLE have gotten together an entry and Timmy the Intern is trying to get his smuggled out of a Mexican jail to us. Bill the Goat also came up with an entry, but promptly ate it. Join us, won't you?

--Paulie "Where's the Aleve?" Sykes


ROUND 1 : Seton Hall, Marquette, Georgetown
ROUND 2 : St. John's, South Florida, DePaul, Villanova
ROUND 3 : Louisville, Notre Dame, Connecticut, Syracuse
ROUND 4 : Notre Dame, Connecticut
ROUND 5:  Notre Dame




  1. Jeff, Alex Wilharm seems awfully young. What does he bring to Louisville Volleyball?

    --Joe Hill--

    1. He is young...though not as young as he seems to most people.

      That said, he brings energy, a knowledge-of-the-game-beyond-his-years, and a great rapport with the players and recruits. Yes, our coaching staff has energy galore...just watch Anne Kordes work a room and be amazed...and they all have an amazing knowledge of the game, from mechanics of making plays on the ball, to tactics and strategy.

      Alex bolsters all of this, fits well and gets along with all the people involved. I think there's a bit of bird-in-the-hand with this hire. Kordes *knows* he's good and works well in the program. Bringing in someone from outside the program that may have their own ideas on how a program should be run risks more tension.


    Seton Hall, Marquette, Providence, St John's, Rutgers, DePaul, Villanova, Louisville, Notre Dame, UConn, Villanova, Notre Dame, UConn, UConn.

    Blue Lou


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