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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sunday Cardinal Couple -- South Florida arrives with warmer weather


               ***** GAME RESULT*****


Louisville went on a 13-0 run to end the first half and (4) second half threes by Tia Gibbs helped the Cards maintain the lead to defeat USF 79-59 Sunday afternoon. We'll have much more in the Monday edition of CARDINAL COUPLE

- Lacrosse pre-season banquet recap

- WBB faces Bulls today

-Volleyball post-season banquet review

Louisville Lacrosse held their pre-season Crease Club banquet Saturday Night in the PNC Plaza @ Papa John's Cardinal Stadium for an appreciative crowd of players, parents and fans of the program.

Seniors Hillary Bushway and Monica Negron were the Misresses of Ceremony for the dinner and greeted the capacity crowd along with assistant coaches Crysti Foote and Vicki Latino. The attendees got to see a Game Day video of the 2014 Lacrosse team and heard commentary from the coaches and seniors. After Amy Poteet's Invocation, a delicious meal was served while Coach Young gave her season preview of the squad.

Before Young spoke, she pulled a surprise on senior Nikki Boltja....showing the crowd her #9 jersey framed to hang in a place of honor in the lacrosse offices. Boltja seemed genuinely touched and very humbled by the honor.

Young had glowing comments for each of the thirty players on the squad and revealed "the word" for the season. Last year, it was "champions" and this year it is "finish".

Finish a drill, finish the day. Finish the job, finish the game.

Another video with highlights...and then the keynote address speaker Kelly Berger Rabil spoke to the crowd.

A former player under Young at James Madison University and member of the 2013 USA World Cup Championship team, Rabil recalled her beginnings in Lacrosse and the joys and heartaches that were part of her high school and college years. She recalled how Coach Young left before her senior year to take the job at Louisville and her sadness about Kellie leaving.

Rabil suffered from two ACL knee injuries, one in each year apart as she finished her college career. Many players would have abandoned the game at that point but Rabil persisted and eventually made the US National Team and the World Cup squad. Her dedication and drive are inspiring examples we all could follow in our life-situations.

After a touching poem tribute to their teammates, Bushway and Negron gave way to Foote and Latino...who ended the program.

Louisville Lacrosse. #ONAMISSION (twitter-wise). It's going to be a great year for Young's warriors.


                     *                  *                    *                

The Bulls of South Florida ride in to the YUM Center today in an effort to knock off the #5 team in the country, hoping to score a marquee win against a top team.  Meanwhile, the Cardinals are defending their home court, and protecting seeding in the post season. 

Just three weeks ago today, the Cardinals were in sunny Florida taking on the Bulls. 
The Cardinals won that affair, 62-54, but not before the Bulls gave the Cards all they could handle in a slow start. 

In Florida, Jude was not playing due to the ankle injury.  The Cardinals were led in scoring by Shoni Schimmel (25) and two others were in double digits for the day, Bria Smith (10) and Sara Hammond (14).   The Bulls were led in scoring by Courtney Williams who blistered the Cards in the first half of play.  Inga Orekhova, a long ball threat for the Bulls, was held to a single point on the day.   Alisia Jenkins was the only other double-digit scorer for the Bulls, who had all but one player score on the day. 

The Cardinals started the game slow, an all too familiar happening these days.  Courtney Williams scored 16 of her 19 points in the first half.  Half-time adjustments held Williams to just 3 second half points. 

The Cardinals had a good game with scoring 23 points off of 19 turnovers and beat the Bulls on the boards, also scoring 20 second chance points.  In an unusual Louisville stat, the Cardinals had a lone 2 points off the bench. 

The Bulls are no doubt looking for redemption and would love to avenge the recent loss on their home court.  The Cards will need to handle Orekhova again, she is a legitimate 3 point threat who can score in bunches.  Additionally, taming Courtney Williams on the day will go a long way in securing the Cardinal victory. 

As the team heads down the stretch of the season, each game holds added importance.  The Cardinals are currently in a battle when thinking about post season seeding.  We have been talking about it a lot, lately, and for good reason. 
A bad loss, at this point in the season, could remove any chance of a #1 seeding.  As it is, not only will the Cardinals need to take care of their business, they are going to need help from our future friends in the ACC. 

Current thinking has our team with a likely 2 seed in the tournament.  With Louisville, Notre Dame and Stanford all as regional hosts, they will all play on their home court.  Notre Dame and Stanford are projected as 1 seeds, so this leaves two #1 seeds either going to Louisville or Nebraska (the other host of regionals). 
The remaining # 1 seeds are projected to be Connecticut and Duke.   IF the committee follows it’s typical pattern, placing teams closest to their home geographically, Connecticut would come to Louisville.  It goes without saying, we do not want to see Connecticut in Louisville for the regionals. 

In my opinion Duke is the most vulnerable of the #1 seeds.  Here in lies the importance of winning out the season, excepting UConn.    If Louisville can win all games, except UConn, and if Duke could take a couple of losses, Louisville could sneak out a #1 seed.  This is an ideal scenario, thus eliminating facing UConn a potential 4th time on the season (before the championship game).   Duke has a pretty tough remaining schedule, Notre Dame twice, NC twice, Maryland (who seems to be in a free fall) and NC State (they are a rising program at the moment). 

If we get a #2 seed, I am not sure the selection committee would place UConn in Louisville.   The goal of having teams host regionals (this is the only year it is going to happen) is to increase fan attendance.  Pitting UConn against a team for a potential 4th time is not the way to increase butts in the seat.  I project UConn goes to Nebraska.  If Duke maintains it’s projected #1 seed, I think we see Duke in Louisville.  However, this is going against geographic placement, which the committee historically relies heavily on. 

I have digressed a bit here.  However, it all goes to the importance of winning.  Beating USF is one step closer to controlling our own fate. 

Lest you be caught unaware, after today’s game against USF, the Cardinals only have 4 regular season home games left.  Do you need me to spell it out for you?  That means after today, there are only 4 games left to see Shoni Schimmel, Tia Gibbs, Antonita Slaughter and Asia Taylor.  4 games. 

It is hard to imagine this program without Schimmel, Taylor, Gibbs and Slaughter.  The clock is ticking my friends.  You do not want to miss this dynamic group of players.  Get in your seats.  If you are not a season ticket holder, get downtown and buy yourself a seat in what has to be the greatest value around for 2 hours of quality entertainment.   I expect tickets to be going fast as this incredible class winds down their collegiate careers. 

Tick tock, tick tock.

Jenny o’bryan


Volleyball also held their banquet Saturday. Being a Fall sport instead of a Spring sport like
Lacrosse, this banquet was a celebration of the season completed and of the seniors that are graduating and moving on to new chapters of their life.

Emceed by the inimitable Sean Moth (Voice of The Cards), the program featured an opportunity for each senior to address the crowd and share their thanks to various people who have supported them on their journey.

Several awards were presented, including the Team GPA award, won by setter Katie George on the strength of her 4.0 GPA in the fall semester, as well as The Cardinal Award presented to Nicole Alderson who is the Academic Advisor for the Volleyball. Nicole is credited with supporting the team in achieving over a 3.5 GPA for the Fall semester.

Coach Anne Kordes was the featured speaker and she spoke very highly of the graduating seniors, along with some comments about some of the other players...apparently she thinks Maya McClendon needs to eat more. Maya made a show of eating more chocolate cake in response.

We also heard a bit about what each of the graduating seniors are planning for next steps in their lives. Carly Sahagian wants to do event planning. Randi Ewing will be finishing up her Masters in Communication and is currently interning with WLKY with hopes of landing a Sports Broadcasting position. Brooke Mattingly will be completing her Masters in Art and is planning on becoming an Art an aside, if you've ever seen any of her artwork, much of it in sculpture, you know that it is simply amazing. Emily Juhl will be starting Dental School here at UofL in July. And lastly, Caitlin Welch is doing some volleyball coaching at the club level and is hoping to coach for a high school as well...I suspect she is hoping to continue playing volleyball at higher levels as well and will be keeping my eyes peeled for her name in connection to US National Team Programs.

While focused on the past season, we also get a glimpse of the future. Liberos Eleni Georgiafandis and Roxanne McVey were both in attendance having enrolled in the spring semester.

Janelle Jenkins was unable to attend as she is in Texas with her family mourning the passing of her grandfather.




1 comment:

  1. Louisville will end up as a #2 seed somewhere. No way they get a #1 after losing to UConn three times. If they can get back to Louisville for the regional, they will most likely end iup playing UConn or Duke. Stanford will get the west coast regional and Notre Dame will stay home. Are 4 losses detrimental to get the best #2 bid and face the weakest top seed?


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