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Monday, November 10, 2014

Cardinals vs, Cardinal -- Louisville Field Hockey selected for NCAA Tournament...Volleyball falls to Notre Dame --MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Nervous moments last night in the selection pairing announcement of the 2014 NCAA Field Hockey Championships...but Justine Sowry's squad will make their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008. 

The Cards will face the Cardinal...#5 seeded Storrs, CT. on Saturday, November 15th. The winner will face the winner of the Connecticut vs. play-in winner game between Kent. St. and Delaware the next day. 

Louisville is one of six ACC schools to receive a bid...surprisingly Virginia, who was the #1 seed in the ACC Tournament and a team that defeated Louisville earlier in the season, was not selected as one of the nineteen teams to vie for the 2014 crown. Like Louisville, the Cavaliers were knocked off in the first round of the ACC Championships.

The league claimed five of the eight at-large spots in the tournament and two of the four host sites were awarded to ACC programs.

ACC Tournament winner WAKE FOREST will host Albany in the first round. NORTH CAROLINA, selected #1 seed by the NCAA will host the winner of the Richmond/Liberty play in game. Liberty comes in after defeating Stanford in the title game 1-0 of the NorPac championship game Saturday. DUKE will travel to Northwestern for their first game...BOSTON COLLEGE heads to Penn State and SYRACUSE stays home to play Boston U in the round of sixteen. 

Justine Sowry is grateful for the chance:

" I am so excited and proud of our women young right now. This is a well-deserved honor. A lot of great teams miss out on making the NCAA Tournament...I was hoping our resume would speak for itself. This is the result of the last four years of work and all of the student-athletes that were a part of our program. We are excited to be matched up with Stanford. We don't know a lot about them other than they are a great team, but we'll be watching a lot of video the next few days. There is certainly  a lot of work to be done this week." 

Stanford was #4 ranked in the latest National Field Hockey Coaches Association Poll and sports a 18-2 record. Besides both losing to Liberty, the Trees and UofL had five common opponents. New Hampshire, California, UC Davis, Northwestern and Michigan all lost to Stanford and UofL. 
Stanford's first loss of the season came to Albany..who is also 18-2 and in the tournament. 

The NCAA does not officially seed any of the teams in the Field Hockey Championships after the first four. looking at the brackets...we figure the Cards got a #11 seed and were probably one of the last teams to be selected as an at-large. 

 The first round pairings:

1 *North Carolina (17-3)
 Richmond (12-9)/**Liberty (13-7)

 Duke (12-6)
#Northwestern (16-6)

#Penn St. (15-5)
 Boston College (13-6)

 Boston U. (13-7)
4 *Syracuse (15-5)


3 *UConn (16-3)
 Kent St. (10-10)/**Delaware (13-8)

 Louisville (15-5)
#Stanford (18-2)

#Wake Forest (14-6)
 Albany (NY) (18-2)

 Princeton (7-10)/**Monmouth (13-7)
2 *Maryland (18-3)



Louisville Volleyball falls to Notre Dame yesterday in South Bend, IN in five sets. The Cards took the first two sets with apparent ease...25-16 and 25-17 before going on a skid and losing out 23-25, 22-25 and 13-15. 

A wrist injury to Katie George late in the second game could have contribute to the Cards dropping to 14-11 and 6-7 in conference play. Anne Kordes has her take on it: 

" A consistent theme for us is not having strong serve receive. I credit Notre Dame for changing their lineup and going after us. Katie George went down with an injury in the second set and she powered through the rest of the match in one of the guttiest performances of the year..playing three sets hurt. I am disappointed that we couldn't close it out after being up two sets. There was a moment in the third set when we had back-to-back service errors and then Notre Dame went on a run and we couldn't get the momentum back. We can't breathe life into the other team with unforced errors." 

The Cards continue the road trip woes with 7 p.m. matches at Clemson on Friday and Wake Forest Saturday. 

It's probably too early to speculate on this...but it looks like Kordes may have lost this team's motivation button for the season. The Cards have lost four out of their last five. Both Clemson (9th) and Wake Forest (13th) are lower than Louisville in the ACC standings...if the Cards can't get a couple of "feel good" wins next weekend on the road and get some momentum re-establsihed..the final three matches at home in Cardinal Arena against highly ranked UNC, Duke and Pitt might be a disappointing end to the season.

If the Cards can re-salvage the season with five wins...would a 19-11 record be enough to get them consideration for post-season play? And, will George's injury put her on the sidelines, creating a void in Louisville's inspirational leader and main setter for kills? 



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