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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cardinal Couple - Thursday


( JEFF MCADAMS has returned to the land of the ice and snow and muses today on softball, basketball recruits and volleyball...)

I know what single digit temperatures make me think of, how about you?


OK, maybe not, but Softball season is rapidly approaching with the first pitch of the season only 9 days away.  Consequently, we've had a lot of Softball news hits in the past couple of days.

Pre-season Polls

The first poll to be released was the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (based right here in Louisville), where the Cardinals come in at 19th.  Other teams appearing in the poll that Louisville will face include Michigan at 5th, Kentucky at 12th, Missouri at 14th, UCLA at 16th, and conference-mate South Florida at 25th.

The next poll on the hit parade to announce a Louisville appearance was College Sports Madness.  They're revealing their pre-season picks one at a time, so we don't know their whole top 25 yet, but they did put UofL at #13.  They have Kentucky at #10, UCLA at 17th and Missouri at 20th.  They don't have a listing for Michigan, yet (presuming they will come in better than 10) or for USF.

The last major preseason poll is the USA Softball/ poll.  Completing the pre-season top-20 hat-trick, this poll has Louisville at 18th.  Other opponents showing up with Michigan at 4th, UCLA at 13th, Kentucky at 14th, Missouri at 17th, and USF at 23rd.

Individual Awards

Maryssa Becker

Freshman pitcher Maryssa Becker is a finalist for the Oregon Sports Awards Prep Softball Player of
the Year award.

This award is for the past year of play, which would've including Maryssa's senior year in high school.  Becker has already won this award once, last year, and another victory looks quite possible for the right handed pitcher after she led her team to the 6A state title.

Katie Keller

Senior second baseman Katie Keller was the leader of the Berm Bombing Brigade at Ulmer Stadium on Floyd Street last year, landing a team-high 12 softballs out on the berm, though perhaps one or two of those made it out to Brandeis Street.

Keller was named to the Top 50 "Watch List" for USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year honors.  The winner of the award will be announced May 27th prior to the start of the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City.  A player isn't required to be on the watch list to eventually win the award, but a Top 25 will be announced on April 9th.  The POY will be one of the players from the Top 25.

Moore. please!

Basketball McDonald's All-Americans Announced

Two Louisville signees were named to the McDonald's All-American East Team Roster.

Myisha Hines-Allen and Mariya Moore will both be playing for the East Team.  The Women's McDonald's All-American game will be April 2nd at 6pm and will be televised on ESPNU.

A Couple of Quick Volleyball Tidbits

Two players have joined the UofL Volleyball squad in the spring semester, both Libero's.

First up is Eleni Georgiafandis, from Knoxville, TN.  Eleni apparently graduated from high school early (as Javoni Faucette did last year) and enrolled as a freshman in the spring semester to join the team.

Also coming to UofL in the spring semester is Roxanne McVey, a transfer from Mississippi State.  Roxanne's hometown is Magnolia, TX which is just to the northwest of Houston.  Here's hoping we haven't already scared her off with single digit and negative temperatures!

Roxanne will be a Junior at Louisville and have two years of eligibility left to play.  I have not heard whether she has gotten a release from Mississippi State to be eligible to play immediately, or will have to sit out a year.  With it not being an in-conference transfer, I would expect that she has been released, but don't have any confirmation of that.

With the graduation of Libero-extraordinaire Caitlin Welch, and Haley Pouliezos choosing to not return, we were looking for an answer for the Libero position moving forward.  The additions of Eleni and Roxanne certainly fulfills that need.

-Jeff McAdams



  1. I am a volleyball season ticket holder and enjoy the team. My main frustration as a fan is the total lack of information when, as frequently happens, a player leaves the program. Why doesn't the university at mention to fans that a player has left? You show up for the first game knowing about the new recruits but the other changes in the roster are a complete mystery!

    1. Yeah, I understand the frustration. The answer as to why is probably multi-faceted and nuanced.

      This would probably fall under the role of the Sports Information Department. Nancy Worley, Associate Sports Information Director has responsibility for Volleyball. The trick is that she is also responsible for Swimming and Diving which is right in the middle of their really busy period for meets. All of the SID staff at UofL have responsibility for multiple sports (Lori Korte handles Field Hockey and Softball, for example), and like any employee of any organization, there is more than enough work to go around, so it comes down to prioritization.

      Should Nancy take time away from in-season swimming and diving to put out an announcement about Haley not returning? That's a hard argument to make, honestly. As much as it pains me to say, I can probably count on my fingers and toes the number of people that would be really interested in that tidbit. Add that they are very limited in what they could say about it, basically they can say that she is no longer on the team, and not much more, and its really hard to make the case for publishing something on the site.

      Stay tuned here at Cardinal Couple, though. I promise I'll keep my ear to the ground (and twitter) and do my best to keep you informed about the comings and goings on the volleyball team as well as the other teams.

    2. And I just went to check and realized that even I don't realize the extent of what the SIDs do. Nancy also has responsibility for Women's Tennis, and Lori also handles Men's Tennis.

      Kim Pemberton, the Assistant SID for Women's Basketball, also handles Women's Soccer and Women's Golf.

      These folks do great work, but there's just not enough hours in the day, particularly when you have teams achieving the levels of success that our athletics teams are recently. Every bit of post-season play extends the amount of work that these fine folks have to do, puts them on the road for more trips, and just generally stretches them across their job responsibilities even more.

    3. I get it. If I was a school SID and players left I wouldn't be blasting it all over the media. It happened last year with softball when that Smithson-Willett kid left and it's been happening since Walz got here. How many have left his roster? I can think of Howard, Rainey, Warren,Tay,Story, Raddie --who did return-- Harrington, Evans, Jasmine Smith, Rucker --for volleyball -- Burton, Johnson and Jackson. That is about two a year who left for reasons other than injuries ending their careers. A lot resurfaced at other schools.

      Why would a SID want announce all that hot mess?

      Curtis Franklin


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