We report on the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports here. Thanks for checking us out! Click the picture of Louie to hear the latest Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast!!

Friday, October 31, 2014

HAPPY HALLOWEEN !! -- Friday Cardinal Couple

HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO ALL CARDINAL COUPLE READERS! Whether you are tricking or treating, have a great day and remember that UofL Volleyball plays tonight against Syracuse at the KFC YUM! Center. 

Paulie's Friday Breeders Cup picks for Friday are at the link below and we'll get the Saturday Selections up tomorrow.



Here's the AP WBB Preseason poll. Cards are #12 and "you know who"...80 miles east is over-ranked @ #11. 

1Connecticut (35)875
2South Carolina824
3Notre Dame798
5Texas A&M702
13North Carolina504
14Michigan State433
17West Virginia306
20Oregon State183
21Oklahoma State158


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cardinal Tricks and Treats and Paulie's Friday Breeders Cup Picks -- Thursday Cardinal Couple


With Halloween rapidly approaching, we decided to look at some of the Cardinal women's sports treats that we've enjoyed and look forward to in the near future. We're not much on tricking anymore...our days of smashing pumpkins and soaping windows pretty much disappeared with the demise of Flock Of Seagulls ...although we'd love to see the Louisville Field Hockey team turn their sticks loose on a few jack o' lanterns or the Louisville Women's Soccer team try to kick a few carved pumpkins past Paige Brown in goal.

What the heck...let's go with the vegetable destruction scenario. I wonder if Katie Petrino could tee up a small pumpkin and knock it 200 yds. down the fairway or how many times the Louisville women's tennis and Volleyball squads could deliver serving aces on a ripe orange pumpkin. Could Sara Hammond dunk a pumpkin? Could Jude knock a couple of pumpkins through the net from trifecta range? 

OK, enough.

Cue up the Smashing Pumpkins and read on...


1) We've certainly enjoyed watching Louisville Field Hockey build a 14-4 record against possibly the toughest schedule in history. The Cards hope to collect more candy in their final regular-season game at Michigan State this weekend and progress deep into the ACC Tournament next week.

And, we'll be glad to place rocks in the trick or treat bags of the poll voters who assigned the Stick Cards 9th place in the latest rankings. Making Paulie look bad in predictions is a bad idea...

2) Hats off and extra Snickers bars to the Louisville women's golf team for a great fall schedule performance. The "putt and chip" Cards will take a few months off of competition and come out swinging in the spring in heightened ACC competition.  We're confident they'll receive a lot of belated "treats" in their upcoming matches. 

3) Louisville Volleyball has had a bag full of mixed results in their inaugural ACC season...but they'll be in action Halloween eve down at the KFC YUM! Center hoping to prank visiting Syracuse. Tess Clark has been a pleasant "treat" for the Cards in the middle this season and favorites Janelle Jenkins, Maya McClendon and Katie George haven't disappointed. 

4) Louisville women's Soccer is undergoing a youth movement that makes us wonder if the majority of the squad isn't that far from dressing up and going door-to-door on Halloween Eve...but the promise of how these youngsters could finish the season and excel in future years promises to be an event bigger treat than a bag full of Twix, Candied Apples and Milky Ways. sweet tooth is taking over. Enjoy your upcoming Halloween and let's hope our Football Cards can "trick" Florida State into a loss tonight in PJCS and give all Cardinal fans a great pre-Halloween treat! 

(And if you have any left-over Kit Kat or Three Musketeers bars after the visiting hordes are gone...remember your ol' pal Paulie...)  






Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Just How Important is Jude Schimmel to UofL WBB? -- Wednesday Cardinal Couple

"THE" SCHIMMEL on campus could be an impact player

For three years, Jude Schimmel has run as an use horseplayers' terminology. She and Shoni were grouped into one entity that thrilled the women's college basketball world, had the love and admiration...rock star status of the Native American community and were the darlings of social and journalistic media. 

Their ascent into the world of Division I basketball has been highly documented and they've been covered more than any other women's basketball players in the history of UofL WBB. stands as the Schimmel on campus and the question begs...will Jude continue to be a contributing and impact player in her senior year now that "big sis" is out in the real world dazzling the WNBA and being a chief proponent for the Native American youth and way of life? 

We're going to say "Yes!" here...and here's the reasons why. 

1) Skills don't change just because the landscape has. Jude and Shoni had a remarkable chemistry of finding each other on the court, creating unbelievable plays and working as a tandem. Let's not forget...though...that Jude has had three years on that same court with Bria Smith, Sara Hammond, Shawnta Dyer and Sherrone Vails. There is a familiarity present and dazzling assists, steals and turnovers don't cease to exist or pose as a questionable possibility just because people graduate. 

2) She's a shooter, she's a maker. Jeff Walz is fond of saying that he has girls tell him all the time that they are shooters. He tells them that that is fine...but he needs makers.  Jude shot .323 from the three-point arc last season in an offense that had Shoni, Nita and Tia designated as the main trifecta choices. We've got a feeling her attempts will skyrocket in 2014-15 and the percentage will climb as well. In an probable offensive scheme that will stress inside play, we see Jude as that zone-buster that defenses will have to respect and keep a close watch on. 

3) She's a passer, she's a thief.  Walz will also tell you that he needs players to do specific things on a team to contribute to the success of the squad. Jude was second in total assists last season and second in total steals. And, let's not forget that she missed five games with a bum ankle. We think she'll be the paint players' best friend this season and a nightmare for opposing guards. 

4) Is there leadership there?  Last year, you knew whose team is was. Shoni was the on-court general. Yet, look at video from last year. Jude and Shoni conferred quite a bit during stopped possessions. She had to pick up something from sis. Although she's not the brash, outspoken and vocal person Shoni is...Jude is a highly intelligent, knowledgable student of the game. Those are pretty good leadership qualities as well...and we feel that you'll see her take over that 'on the court general' role with Sara and Bria. 

This 2014-15 team will be a fun but challenging squad for Jeff Walz to coach this season. So much talent but nearly 1/3rd of it is so young. One thing Walz won't have to adjust to and tinker with is the steady, dependable court presence of Jude. To coin an old card-players' term...the players may have changed but the game remains the same. We see Jude at the table with a full house and lots of chips in front of her...

Hear Jude talk about "the future" at the link below:




The enigma of NCAA College Field Hockey. The recent NCAA coaches poll was released yesterday. I also went to campus and did a great interview with head coach Justine Sowry before the rankings were release. I boldly predicted that the Cards would move up from seventh to fifth in the rankings...due to winning both games and Penn St. and Duke taking losses.

The Cards were placed ninth. 

Dropping two spots? Seriously? Forget bringing in Dr. Phil to hold an intervention for the Poll voters....bring in a few stand-up comics...because this is nothing but a big joke. Class shows, though and there's still a few games left for Louisville to continue the win and shutout streak. 

They'll probably be rewarded by being dropped out of the top 10 next Tuesday...


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Post Season Possibilities? - Tuesday Cardinal Couple

As the fall sports seasons start to wind down, its natural to start looking towards the possibilities of post-season play.  I thought we'd take a look at the prospects for our fall teams for post-season play.


As much as it pains me as an ardent Volleyball fan, the post-season prospect for this team look pretty bleak at this point.

About the closest you could come to saying they have a signature win is the very early season victory over Minnesota, but with seven losses, they've dropped to 48th in the RPI at this point.  There's still a fair bit of volleyball to be played in the season, so there's a chance for some redeeming wins.  The rest of the volleyball season for the Cards is all ACC conference matchups, with bouts with Virginia, Miami, Duke, North Carolina, and Pitt still on the schedule.

The Cards showed that they could play with Pitt quite well if you pay no attention to the first two sets of Sunday's game behind the curtain.  This holds out hope for a victory in Cardinal Arena when Pitt makes the return trip to Louisville.  I think its also very feasible to UofL to get the victory over Virginia and maybe Miami, while wins over Duke and North Carolina are tall orders.

The ACC does not have a conference tournament in volleyball, and with prospects for an at-large NCAA bid being a real long-shot, it looks like our Volleyball team is probably going to be done in time for Thanksgiving.

The focus now has to be on skills development and working on developing the team for next year.


Soccer is similarly unlikely to be involved in post-season play.  Also a middle-of-the-pack ACC team, UofL
Women's Soccer only has one more regular season game to play, with Virginia Tech coming in to Lynn Stadium this Saturday evening.  The team has a reasonable chance to win this one, but I don't think its going to make much difference in the post-season opportunities.

The ACC does have a Women's Soccer tournament, but they only take four teams into it, and those four berths are already mathematically clenched by Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia and Notre Dame.

Similar to Volleyball, an at-large bid to the NCAA is a long-shot, particularly with any chance of resume' building being already in the rear-view mirror.

With one more game to play, the focus has to be on continuing to get this young team some experience under their belts.  There are definite bright spots on this team, but it need some refinement.

Cross Country

Cross Country will be competing in post-season this Friday at Panorama Farms in Virginia.  I believe the ACC has all of its teams competing in the Cross Country championship.

Louisville will also be hosting a Southeast Regional NCAA championship site on November 14th.

Field Hockey

Finally, the most positive news of the fall sports season.  Our Field Hockey would have to completely implode to not make the NCAA tournament at this point.  The Top 20 listings reads like almost a Who's Who list of teams that this Justine Sowry squad has beaten, starting at the very top with the #1 team in the country, North Carolina.  Add in #6 Duke, #9 NorthWestern, #11 Wake Forest, #12 Michigan, and #19 Indiana, and this team does not lack for signature wins, they've been scribbling their John Hancock all over the NCAA standings this year.

One game still to go on Saturday against a Michigan State team that has been just hanging around, in and out of the bottom of the Top 20 rankings all year (and currently #19 in RPI), Field Hockey could add a exclamation mark to an already excellent NCAA tournament resume'.

As for conference play, the ACC does take all seven Field Hockey playing schools for the conference tournament, and with all regular season conference games completed, UofL already knows it has the five seed in the tournament.  While a five seed in a conference tournament sounds little discouraging, keep a few things in mind.
  1. The five seed came out of a three-way tie for third place where UofL got the worst of the tie-breaking attributes.
  2. The records of the top ACC teams as the worst ACC teams are only separated by 2 games. Parity is the name of the game, here.
  3. All seven of the ACC Field Hockey teams are ranked in the top 15 of the NFHCA Coaches Poll.

Given the above, even a mediocre outcome in the ACC tournament should see the UofL Field Hockey team snagging an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.  Of course, the team has shown that they can play with absolutely any team in the nation, so we certainly consider the possibility that they could rise to the occasion and snag the automatic bid by winning the conference tourney.

Regardless, I think its still to start practicing drawing out a 19-team bracket...something that basically none of us have any experience you can figure out where UofL is going to be in it.  (hint: draw a 16-team bracket then just add a play-in game to three of the regions)

As another side note on Field Hockey: All of the ranking number above were taken from the past week's rankings.  Field Hockey ranking updates occur on Tuesday, so look for an update to these numbers later in the day.  With no losses this past week, look for UofL to go nowhere but up from its current #7 spot.  With #6 Duke and #4 Penn State having lost over the weekend, its certainly possible that we could see a two spot jump to #5.


Monday, October 27, 2014

CC Podcast episode 3 - Field Hockey vs Indiana

After a nice trip Sunday up to Bloomington Indiana to see Justine Sowry's Cardinal Field Hockey squad take on Indiana, Paulie reports in with Worldwide about the trip, the game, and some forward-looking discussion about post-season play.

Blanking 'em in Bloomington -- Field Hockey throws another shutout -- Monday Cardinal Couple


Halftime festivities with inflatable sticks and ball
The curse has been lifted. Paulie has finally attended a road trip this year where the Cardinals have won a game. Louisville Field Hockey capitalized early, midway through and late in their 3-0 win @ Indiana University yesterday. The blanking is #7 Louisville's fourth in a row. 

On a beautiful mid-70's afternoon at the IU Field Hockey complex, Louisville wasted little time taking the lead. Drawing a penalty corner, Chile Garcia provided the feed to senior Alyssa Voelmle to get the Cards on the board the first time just three minutes into the contest. 

WE sat with IU fans in the first half. They did not like us. 
Sonja, Amy and I had literally just sat down in the bleachers after arriving from the two hour trip from Louisville when we were back up again cheering the first score. The Stick Cards kept the defensive pressure tight and found their second opportunity to light up the score board with 10 minutes left in the first half. Another penalty corner...this time began by Mallory Mason, who got the feed to Paige Monson. Her stop gave Rachel McCarthy a great look at the net and the senior knocked home her second score of the year to make it 2-0. 

It took the spirit and life out of the 200 or so IU fans in attendance. The Cards took the 2-0 lead into halftime. The 40 or so Cards fans ramped up the volume even more. 

IU made several strong attempts to get on the board early in the second half but Cardinal goalie Sydney King was a deflection machine and the defense kept the Hoosiers side of the scoreboard blank. 

Shannon Sloss added the insurance score with a little over seven minutes left in the game . The Cards improve to 14-4 and will play their regular season finale in East Lansing, MI on Saturday against the Mich. St. Spartans. 

Post game Cards in front of the Cardinal section. 
A great Sunday afternoon....enjoying the beautiful fall leaf colors and occasional huge pumpkin patch in the fields of southern Indiana and also attending the dominating Cardinal win against IU. 

The field hockey field is nestled high on a hill in a sports complex on the IU campus that also includes the soccer field and several practice facilities. Plenty of parking...and handicap accessible walkways that lead to the fields. We enjoyed the trip ! 

(And my mother-in-law is now 2-0 in Field Hockey games attended.)


Louisville women's Soccer probably didn't enjoy their road trip too much...falling to #7 Notre Dame 1-0 in South Bend. A goal against Paige Brown in the eighth minute of play was all the Irish needed to send Louisville to 7-8-2 on the season and 3-4-2 in ACC play.

UND dominated the stats 22-5 in shots and 8-3 in shots on goal. Brown recorded a season high seven saves in the loss. 

The Cards close out the regular season on Saturday, Nov 1st when they bring the VT Hokies to Lynn Stadium. Game time is 8 p.m.


Volleyball was on the road also on this busy sports Sunday...playing in Pittsburgh. The Panthers prevailed, though, sending the Cards home with a 3-1 loss. After getting schooled by Pitt in the first two sets 25-15, 25-17...Louisville rallied after the break to take a 28-26 win...capitalizing on a Pitt service error and Janelle Jenkins serving ace to break a 26-26 tie. 

The Cards were in a position to force a fifth game...leading 19-14 and at set point 24-22...but couldn't seal the deal...seeing Pitt break a 27-27 tie due to a Cardinal error and Kate Yeazel kill. 

The Cards got 14 kills from Jenkins and a double-double from Tess Clark (10 kills, 11 blocks).

Louisville returns home to host Syracuse on Halloween night. Game time at the KFC YUM! Center is 7 p.m.



Sunday, October 26, 2014

Field Hockey draws #5 seed for ACC Tournament -- Sunday Cardinal Couple


Although the actual ACC Field Hockey Tournament is a couple of weeks away, the pairings have been made for the event in Durham, NC from Nov. 5-7. Once again, I am baffled by the way they do these things. Louisville is a #5 seed. they'll face Wake Forest, a #4 seed.

Louisville finished with a 3-3 record in ACC conference play. So did the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest. The two schools played in the regular season. Louisville defeated WF Winston-Salem.

So, tie-breaker goes to the Cards, right? Not in the wacky world of ACC Tournament seedings. Wake gets the #4... Louisville the #5. 

"Jim...the ACC Field Hockey Touramant is illogical!" 
Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard...please report to the commissioner's office. Bring Dr. Ted, Dr. Phil, Dr. Seuss, Dr. Feelgood and Dr. Spock also. It's time for a ACC Intervention. 

Other rankings are non-nonsensical as well. UNC finished conference play 4-2 and is #1 in the nation. makes sense they would be #2 seed, right? Virginia gets the #1 seed. Virginia also gets the first round bye...since seven teams are in ACC Field Hockey.

Boston College gets the #3 seed They beat Louisville and were 3-3 in conference. Duke is the #7 seed. They were 2-4 in ACC play. Syracuse is the #6 seed. They went 2-4 in conference also and got the #6 seed because their school name starts with an "S". 

Could Bassy play Field Hockey?
Clemson, Fla. St., Miami? Get some sticks and get up a squad. Notre Dame, VA. Tech? Time to construct a couple of nets and get into the swing of things... 

Championship Schedule

Thursday, Nov 6th.

#5 Louisville vs #4 Wake Forest   11 a.m.
#7 Duke vs. #2 UNC  1:30 p.m.
#6 Syracuse vs, #3 Boston College  4 p.m.on, IN

Friday, Nov 7th.

#1 Virginia vs. Game 1 winner  1 p.m.
Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner    3:30 p.m.

Sunday, Nov 9th.

Championship game 1 p.m.

The Cards travel to Bloomington, IN today to face the IU Hoosiers today at 1 p.m. It's a beautiful fall day. Hop in the car and make the 2 hour drive to Bloomington to cheer the Cards on. Non-conference wins are important to keep the Cards ranked at #7 in the nation. 


WorldWide rails about
The archived version of the Saturday CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO show should be up on the SoundCloud later today. It's a good show. Take the ACC Quiz with WorldWide. Listen to the neat sound effects Monk has for Halloween.

 Link below:



Saturday, October 25, 2014

CC Podcast episode 2 - Field Hockey victory over UC Davis

The second edition of the Cardinal Couple podcast. In this episode, we're covering the Field Hockey win over UC Davis.

I was hoping to do a podcast on the Women's Soccer loss against UVA, but technical difficulties made that impossible. Each time I learn how to work the process better so hopefully you'll be seeing more of these in the future.


Denied! --- Field Hockey gets third straight shut out 3-0 over UC Davis -- Saturday Cardinal Couple


Sydney King has the loneliest job in UofL women's sports. As the Louisville Field Hockey goalie, her teammates...with her help...have shut out the last three opponents they've faced. 

Friday Night @ Trager Stadium the Stick Cards improved to 13-4 with a 3-0 whitewash of UC Davis. The Louisville defense held their west coast opponent to two on goal while hammering away at the visitors with eighteen shots...eight of them on goal. 

The Cards got all three scores on penalty corners. Lotta Kahlert knocked in the first score at the 16:26 mark on a assist from Chile Garcia. Five minutes was Rachel McCarthy's turn an she increased the lead to 2-0 with assists from Mallory Mason and Paige Monson. 

That lead took the Cards into halftime. 13-1 advantage in shots after 35 minutes and the only question after that was how deep would head coach Justine Sowry go into the bench in the final half. 

Sowry substituted liberally in the second half and defender Vic Stratton (another victim of one of Paulie's interviews) scored her first goal of the season on a trick corner attempt late in the action. Chile Garcia notched her second assist.

The Cards travel to IU next for a Sunday game. 

Cardinal Couple's Worldwide Jeff McAdams was in attendance for the Senior Day win and caught some post game comments from Coach Sowry that we'll play on today's CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR @ 11 a.m. this morning. He also took pictures of early Saturday Paulie hadn't figured out how to get them included in the body of this article. 

          *                     *                   *                     *

Speaking of technology challenges...CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO is back on the air again this morning at 11 a.m. Worldwide and I will review action from Field Hockey, Soccer and Volleyball this week and we'll talk WBB hoops as well. 

It's a rollicking good time...this show of ours and we'd love you to tune in! Linkie below:



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Women Soccer wins 1-0 @ Pitt...Field Hockey tonight! -- Friday Cardinal Couple

KB's first goal of the year gives UofL 1-0 win

Inger Katrine Bjerke picked a great time to score her first goal as a Louisville Cardinal. The freshman defender from Baerum, Norway was there to tap in a blocked attempt from fellow freshman Chatham DeProspo's shot on goal with 7:04 on the clock in overtime to give Louisville Women's Soccer a 1-0 win in Pittsburgh.

The Cards got the free kick opportunity when another freshman Isabella Habuda was fouled in the box in front of the Pitt goal just three minutes into the overtime period.

"KB" was also the subject of one of Paulie's infamous player
interviews several weeks ago. Her smile after last night's score was just as wide as it was during her chat with Cardinal Couple. We're guessing that game-winner was almost as fun as driving around the Belknap Campus in a van full of chimps and bananas...

Cardinal defense dominated in this one early and the majority of the second half featured numerous Louisville drives to the Pitt goal that seemed to just come up short or wide. Louisville took 17 shots in the game...nine on goal...while limiting the Panthers to six shots and just two on goal.

At 7-7-2, the Kickin' Cards stay on the road and head to Notre Dame for their next one. A Sunday 1 p.m. affair that will be on ESPN3. 

I wonder how you say GGGGOOOAAAALLLL !!!! in Norwegian?

                  *                   *                 *             *

It's hard to believe that this is the final home game of the regular season today for Louisville Field Hockey. 

The seventh-ranked University of Louisville field hockey team will play host to UC Davis in its home finale on Friday at 6 p.m. UofL will also honor seniors Hannah Boyle, Becca Maddock, Mallory Mason, Rachel McCarthy, Paige Monsen and Alyssa Voelmle in their final regular season home game. Admission is free.

Following Friday’s match Louisville will hit the road to face No. 19 Indiana Sunday at 1 p.m.

SHOE DRIVE FRIDAY: As part of the campus wide sustainability week initiative, Student-Athletes Taking Action (SATA) will be hosting a WaterStep Shoe Drive collection at Friday’s Field Hockey game vs. UC Davis at 6 p.m. Bring in any new, used, or old shoes at the provided bins as part of athletics’ efforts to support the cause.  Donated shoes will support water projects in underdeveloped communities around the world, providing safe drinking water to someone that needs it. It is estimated that 3.4 million people die every year from waterborne illnesses and UofL is looking to collect 34,000 shoes by November 19.

Cardinal Quick Hits
• The Cardinals (12-4) have completed their inaugural ACC season with a 3-3 mark in league play which currently places them fourth in the standings.
• Louisville enters the weekend ranked No. 7 in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll released on Oct. 21. This marks the second straight week at No. 7 and the third week in the top 10 after reaching the highest ranking of the season at No. 5 on Oct. 7.
• Senior Alyssa Voelmle leads the team with 21 points and nine goals. Fellow senior Mallory Mason has 19 points with six goals and seven assists while junior Elisa Garcia also has 19 points (5G, 9A). Junior Sydney King carries a 1.40 goals-against average with four shutouts.

Cards against the field
UC Davis
Friday, Oct. 24, Louisville, Ky. – 6:00 p.m.
Series Record: Louisville leads 1-0
Last Meeting: Sept. 13, 2013- UofL won 5-0 in a neutral site matchup at Michigan.
Promotions: Senior Day. Koozies will be given to the first 100 fans and jumpies will be located adjacent to the stadium for children in attendance.
Scouting the Aggies: UC Davis comes into the weekend with a 4-10 overall record after a 3-2 overtime loss to Pacific last Saturday.  Sophomores Agustina Singh and Kayla Wigney each scored a goal in the loss.
• Offensively, the Aggies have a balanced attack as six players have scored at least three goals. Junior Stephie Sabraw leads the squad with five goals. Singh leads the team with 15 points while Wigney adds 14 points on the season.

(Thanks to Lori Korte - UofL Field Hockey SID for the feed.) 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

UofL WBB selected third in ACC pre-season -- Thursday Cardinal Couple


So, in the "who cares what they think?"
category...we bring you the ACC WBB Media Day report. Thanks to Ira Green for doing the leg-work: 

Louisville Women’s Basketball Picked to Finish Third in Both ACC Preseason Polls

Sara and "the Debster" appear to
be fascinated by the light
The Cardinals received a pair of first-place votes in the Blue Ribbon Panel’s ACC Preseason Poll.

The University of Louisville women’s basketball team, which returns two starters and boasts a top-10 incoming class, is picked to finish third in the Atlantic Coast Conference in separate polls of the league’s Blue Ribbon Panel and its 15 head coaches, it was announced Wednesday.

The Cardinals, who have eight letterwinners coming back from last season’s NCAA Elite Eight run, received 724 points – including two first-place votes – from the Blue Ribbon Panel voters. Louisville was narrowly picked to finish behind Duke (733 points, one first-place vote), while Notre Dame is the favorite to win the league title with 38 first-place votes.

Hammond discusses UofL WBB
One of five seniors, Sara Hammond was selected to both the coaches’ and the Blue Ribbon Panel’s all-ACC Teams. A WBCA honorable mention All-American and first team all-American Athletic Conference selection, Hammond averaged 10.4 points and 5.9 rebounds a season ago. She reached double-digit points 24 times in 2013-14, while connecting on 51 percent of her shots.

Louisville’s freshmen and McDonald’s All-Americans Myisha Hines-Allen and Mariya Moore also received preseason recognition.

Hines-Allen, named to the ACC coaches’ Newcomer Watch List, finished her prep career as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,803 points in addition to totaling 1,035 rebounds, and 170 blocks. Moore, one of on the ACC Blue Ribbon Panel’s Newcomer Watch List, produced 2,396 points, 1,110 rebounds, and 878 assists during her prep career.

Louisville is one of just three schools – others are Duke and Notre Dame – with at least one student-athlete on each of the four lists (ACC coaches’ and Blue Ribbon preseason all-ACC teams and coaches’ and Newcomer Watch Lists).

Syracuse players try to channel the
radiating force coming from "Q" 's
bald head. 
Under head coach Jeff Walz, the winningest coach in program history, Louisville went 33-5 last year, with a 16-2 mark in AAC play. It was the Cardinals’ second-highest overall win total in school history, and the group set the Louisville record for most home victories at 18-2. After finishing runner-up in the conference tournament, the Cardinals advanced to at least the NCAA Sweet 16 for the fifth time in school history, culminating with an Elite Eight appearance.

Louisville opens its season along with 12 other schools on Nov. 14, with the Cardinals traveling to IUPUI in Indianapolis, Ind. Louisville returns home for five-consecutive games in the KFC Yum! Center, beginning with UT Martin on Nov. 16 at 2 p.m.

Reserved season tickets, which provide fans with lower level seats for all home games at the KFC Yum! Center, are available. Season-ticket holders enjoy exclusive benefits including savings of more than 40 percent off single-game pricing, convenience, access to special events, and purchase priority. Ticket packages begin at just $4 per game. For tickets and information, call (502) GO-CARDS or visit

Blue Ribbon Panel ACC Preseason Poll
1. Notre Dame (835 points, 38 first place votes)
2. Duke (733, 1 first place vote)
3. Louisville (724, 2 first place votes)
4. North Carolina (707)
5. Florida State (545)
6. Syracuse (536)
7. Georgia Tech (508)
8. Miami (421)
9. NC State (407)
10. Virginia (334)
11. Wake Forest (295)
12. Virginia Tech (184)
13. Boston College (178)
14. Clemson (169)
15. Pittsburgh (144)

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason All-ACC Team
Elizabeth Williams, Sr., C/F, Duke
Kaela Davis, So., G, Georgia Tech
Sara Hammond, Sr., F, Louisville
Allisha Gray, So., G, North Carolina
Stephanie Mavunga, So, F, North Carolina
Xylina McDaniel, Jr., F, North Carolina
Lindsay Allen, So., G, Notre Dame
Jewell Loyd, Jr., G, Notre Dame
Brittney Sykes, Jr., G, Syracuse
Dearica Hamby, Sr., F, Wake Forest

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason ACC Player of the Year
Jewell Loyd, Jr., G, Notre Dame

Blue Ribbon Panel ACC Newcomer Watch List
Sierra Calhoun, Fr., G/F, Duke
Rebecca Greenwell, R-Fr., G, Duke
Shakayla Thomas, Fr., F, Florida State
Mariya Moore, Fr., G, Louisville
Brianna Turner, Fr., G, Notre Dame

ACC Head Coaches Preseason Poll
1. Notre Dame (223 points, 14 first place votes)
2. Duke (196, 1 first place vote)
3. Louisville (194)
4. North Carolina (193)
5. Florida State (152)
6. Syracuse (149)
7. Georgia Tech (136)
8. Miami (117)
9. Virginia (98)
10. NC State (87)
11. Wake Forest (82)
12. Virginia Tech (54)
13. Clemson (44)
14. Pittsburgh (43)
15. Boston College (32)

Coaches’ Preseason All-ACC Team
Nikki Dixon, Sr., G, Clemson
Elizabeth Williams, Sr., C/F, Duke
Kaela Davis, So., G, Georgia Tech
Sara Hammond, Sr., F, Louisville
Allisha Gray, So., G, North Carolina
Stephanie Mavunga, So, F, North Carolina
Lindsay Allen, So., G, Notre Dame
Jewell Loyd, Jr., G, Notre Dame
Brittney Sykes, G, Syracuse
Dearica Hamby, Sr., F, Wake Forest

Coaches’ Preseason ACC Player of the Year
Jewell Loyd, Jr., G, Notre Dame

Coaches ACC Newcomer Watch List
Sierra Calhoun, Fr., G/F, Duke
Rebecca Greenwell, R-Fr., G, Duke
Shakayla Thomas, Fr., F, Florida State
Myisha Hines-Allen, Fr., F, Louisville
Brianna Turner, Fr., G, Notre Dame

So...what does it all mean? 

I can't argue with the Irish getting the nod as the preseason
I'm not sure if I like this logo
fav. They're returning a ton of talent and look great on paper. Jewel Loyd is as "good as advertised" and she'll create a lot of problems for whoever she faces. 

Sara Hammond deserves the pre-season All-ACC Team Selection. She is the spotlight of this 2014-15 UofL WBB team and will be a force (provided she can stay out of foul trouble). I would have added Bria...she'll baffle a lot of ACC opponents and is twice the guard Kaela Davis is. I guess it's all about parity..

The problem I have is in the Coaches ACC Newcomer Watch list. All five UofL freshmen should be on there and try and convince me differently. 

New league, new games to play with "the established"...I suppose. I'd also be surprised if Rebecca Greenwell survives an entire season. Those knees aren't exactly 100% good-to-go and her playing time (I surmise) will decrease as the season progresses. 

The bottom line is...does it really matter what the ACC thinks of UofL? Coach Walz could care less where he's placed in pre-season rankings....his objective is post-season, NCAA Tournament results.

Jeff Walz sees it this way:

The ACC probably had better interviewing areas
than the Galt House did. Ira Green does look stylish
in his suit, though...
"When you have had the luxury of having such a veteran group the last two or three years, you are normally breaking in two or three freshmen, and this past year it was one," Walz said. "You've got 13 or 14 players that know how it is done and know what you want. Now we are looking at five freshmen. 

"Our seniors have done a great job. We are fortunate to have Sara Hammond, Bria Smith and Jude Schimmel who were a part of last year's team on the floor, but then we also add Shawnta Dyer back and Sheronne Vails. So now we have five players who understand what is expected of them and understand the work ethic you have to have. They have done a great job of teaching our freshmen what they need to expect and what they need to do."

Louisville's team this year is an interesting mix, with five seniors, five freshmen and just two juniors and one sophomore. 

How many of these ACC Coaches can you name?

"This team is 50-50," Walz said. "We are experienced and we are not. Are we going to experience growing pains? We sure are, but at the same time we also have Jude, Bria and Sara who all played for a national championship a couple of years ago. And Megan Deines and Cortnee Walton and Sheronne Vails. So we have six players who played for a national championship. We also have some freshmen who I believe are going to have to play significant minutes.

So, thanks for the input...ACC. See you in the NCAA Tournament...when the real madness reigns....


Also, be sure to catch UofL women's soccer tonight on ESPN3. Karen Ferguson Dayes' Kickin' Cards travel to Pittsburgh to face the Panthers at 7 p.m.