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Monday, June 20, 2016

Up and Coming - Monday Cardinal Couple

Is Swimming & Diving the Most Up and Coming Program?

The last decade has seen the emergence of a number of UofL athletics programs onto the national scenes of their sport.

Women's basketball has been on the rise under Jeff Walz's tenure on campus. It wasn't in all that bad shape before Walz...Tom Collen was getting to the NCAA Tournament, but was stepped on the accelerator and WBB took off. 

Lacrosse didn't exist as a competing team a decade ago, and already this team is achieving national rankings, appearances in the NCAA tournament, and signature victories over top national powers. 

Field Hockey has a much longer history at UofL, but has been on a similar trajectory of late. Pam Bustin left the program in good shape for Justine Sowry and our recent USA citizen has grown it into a top ten contender each year. 

But is everyone chasing the taillights of Swimming & Diving right now?  I believe so.  

The big story (on the women's side, at least) has been Kelsi Worrell, but she's not been alone in visibility on the big stages of swimming and diving.  We mentioned Alina Kendzior, a rising sophomore, during The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour this weekend, for setting two national records for Estonia in the 100m and 50m backstroke events.

Mallory Comerford, also entering her sophomore year, has been making waves in the butterfly, looking to follow in Worrell's footsteps to become Louisville's Fly specialist.

Andrea Kneppers just graduated, but also took great strides in achieving success for The Cards and is still swimming well for The Netherlands while, across the North and Baltic Seas, Tanja Kylliainnen looks to be making an Olympics appearance for Finland.

Other names to keep an eye on for the future of UofL swimming are Sophie Cattermole, Andrea Cottrell, Paige Ezell, and Abigail Houck..

Let's not forget that the sport includes Diving as well, and Andrea Acquista made the NCAA championship event this past year.  With the hiring, a couple of years ago, of KZ Li as Head Diving Coach, the Diving side of this team looks to take some major steps forward as well.

Is Swimming and Diving the most up and coming program at UofL?  I think so, some programs are more advanced at this point, but the upward rise of the Swimming and Diving squad appears to be more rapid, at this point, than any of the others.  Arthur Albiero has already built a strong (and very international!) program, and is looking for more success in the future.  Cardinal Couple will be watching and providing the best coverage we can.


In case you missed the Saturday broadcast of The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour on WCHQ 100.9 and streaming live on the Internet at, the rebroadcast is available on SoundCloud. 



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