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!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Welcome to Cardinal Arena -- Bionca Dunham...WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

"Sleeper" Dunham could wake up a lot of Cardinal opponents

( This is the second of a series of articles about the new players on the 2016-17 Louisville Basketball team. Today, we look at BIONCA DUNHAM.) 

Bionca Dunham comes to Louisville as a freshman after playing in Philadelphia, PA for Imhotep Institute Charter School. She is a 6'2"/ 6'3" front line player who was a three star recruit (by ESPN) who is relatively new to the game...playing for only four years and with very little club ball experience. 

Somehow, when you see her in pictures or in public, she seems taller that 6'3". Maybe it's the lean, athletic frame. It could be the long, long arms...perfectly designed for shot-swatting or grabbing rebounds and deflecting passes. 

Interestingly enough, the UofL player roster lists her at 6'2". ESPN says 6'3". I says...very tall, taller than me.

Her high school game was defined by many talented aspects. She moves well in and out of the paint and can sky for rebounds. Bionca has no trouble at all engaging in the up-and-down, transition game style that Jeff Walz prefers and can go to the boards to "gather garbage and put it back in the cylinder." 

All these skills are ones any college women's basketball coach desires in his incoming freshmen. The question presents will these translate into college Division I basketball and for the Cardinals? 

With the current number of players on the Louisville roster listed as forwards or centers (6 forwards, 1 center) and a roster list of Sam Fuehring, Myisha Hines-Allen, Cortnee Walton, Kylee Shook, Ciera Johnson, Mariya Moore and would appear that the quest for playing time is going to be a battle for Dunham. And, we have no insight on any time of starting roster yet for the Cards or how head coach Jeff Walz or his assistants are going to structure the lineup, playing time or substitution patterns. 

Will there be three guards, Moore (who we can probably pencil in at the wing or "3") and Hines-Allen out there? Will they "go big" with the front-liners? Maybe he'll mess with the fans and opponents and go with an "all-J" lineup....Jones and Jones, Johnson and Johnson and Jackson.

THE BACKWARDS "L" (no worries, you'll get it right in time.) 
The assumption from here is that Dunham will be one of the second wavers that hits the court for specialized situations or when the lead is large...and will not crack the starting (or finishing) lineup. We like to see some extended time for an all-freshman contingent on the court...since there are six of them, though, it'll be musical chairs on which five hit the court. 

With that said, things can always change. Coach Walz is bound and determined to play those that work hard 100% of the time. If Bionca proves to be one of the top five, 100% hard-workers...then she's earned the right to play. 








Tuesday, August 30, 2016

#12 Field Hockey wins at Miami (OH)...C.B. back in college coaching ranks...Evans down to three -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Freshman Minout Mink lifted Louisville out of a scoreless battle with Miami (OH) yesterday and Lotta Kahlert added an insurance goal with 13 minutes to play as the #12 Louisville Field Hockey team improved to 2-0 with a win on the road yesterday against the MAC foes. Miami drops to 1-2 on the season.

It was a tale of two halves, according to UofL head coach Justine Sowry

"Miami is a very good team and they dictated play in the first half. We were undisciplined in executing our game plan and became internal. Our second half was much different and we started to control the tempo by putting them under pressure and keeping better possession of the ball...the positive is that we finished the game well against a very good opponent." 

After a strong defensive first half by both squads, the Cards capitalized on a penalty corner just four minutes into second half action. Mink fired a shot past Miami goalkeeper Alyssa Xavier to break the drought...the UofL freshman from Haaksbergen, Netherlands getting her third goal on the season. 

Imagine that, a goalie named Xavier playing for Miami...

Louisville stayed with the international connection at the 57:18 mark when Kahlert, a senior from Hamburg, Germany received a feed from Nicole Woods (out of Beverly, MA) and got her first goal of the season. The Cards had nine shots in the final half, up from their five in the first 35 minutes. 

The Flock continued their strong defensive start to the season...they held I.U. to one goal earlier in the week in a 5-1 romp...Cardinal goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran, a sophomore from Larne, Northern Ireland. had one save in the contest and the Cards held the RedHawks to just four shots in 70 minutes.

Next up, Brown comes to Louisville for a Saturday, 11 a.m. match. We hope they bring some other colors with them, as well...



Everybody remembers C.B., right? Part of the squad that took Louisville to their first-ever Final Four WBB appearance. "Mom" to the squad (while Angel was "the crazy aunt...). The force inside. 

She's back! After a year at Manual High School, her alma mater, where she helped lead the Crimsons to the 7th Region title and Sweet Sixteen berth...Candyce Bingham has been named as an women's basketball assistant coach at Bellarmine University.

Head coach Chancellor Dugan couldn't be more excited: 

" Candyce brings experience to us with playing in the national championship, coaching in the national championship, playing overseas and her Division I coaching experience. Her wealth of knowledge will be valuable for us." 

For Bingham, the yellow brick road stops on Newburg Road. 

" I think everybody at some point wants to get back home. Louisville is definitely home for me. It's exciting to have family and friends here who are able to come to the games and be supportive. Family means a lot to me." 

Dugan can relate to that. A Louisville Sacred Heart graduate, she spent four years at EKU as a player and eight years as a coach at USI (Southern Indiana). That parlayed into 13 years as the head coach at FAU (Florida Atlantic University). When the chance came to return to Louisville, though, Dugan jumped at the chance to take over the Knights program. 

Bingham is replacing Crystal Kelly, another Sacred Heart grad who had a fantastic college career at WKU and three WNBA years, who accepted an assistant coaching job at Tennessee Tech in May. 

Shannon Litton, who coached with Dugan at USI and attented Morehead St. remains on staff. Dugan has built a coaching staff that is well-qualified to take the Knights back for another GLVC title and berth in the NCAA Division II Tournament. 

With Bingham on the bench, Coach Dugan just might be tempted to call her name and send her into the fray. In any event, the wealth of coaching experience will be a boon to Bellarmine in the upcoming season. The Knights return a strong roster that includes nine players from the Louisville metro area. 



2017 WBB prospect Dana Evans is down to three in her college choices and Louisville has made the list!

Along with Purdue and Tennessee, the Cards are in the final process in her decision-making. Evans, out of West Side High School in Gary, IN. is the #2 ranked guard in the 2017 class...according to ESPN. 

She made her official visit to the Belknap Campus on Saturday and announced her final three via Twitter yesterday. 

Jeff Walz just keeps rolling them in...


Monday, August 29, 2016

WSOC gets third shutout in a row with 4-0 win over Toledo -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE



It was the rapid reply from Coach Karen Ferguson Dayes during our post-game interview when I asked her what the squad could gather out of this 4-0 win over Toldeo...and as they prepare for Kentucky on Friday night at Lynn Stadium. 


The attitude junior mid-fielder/attacker Alison Price exuded when she talked about the difference between this year's squad and the 2015 version. Confidence and comfortability in her teammates. 

Louisville women's field hockey gathered their third straight 4-0 victory of the season in front of a sweltering crowd at Lynn Stadium Sunday and wasted no time in taking the lead. I barely had time to sit down after the National Anthem (yes, I did remove my cap and mouth the words) when the Cards took the opening offensive sequence and got a score from freshman Sarah Feola off a nice cross set up by Brooklynn Rivers just 21 seconds into the contest. 

It is easy to be confident when your team is doing most of the scoring and the opponent struggles just to get off shots against you. All told, in four regular season matches and two exhibition contests...Louisville has allowed two goals. 

What is just as impressive and confidence-building is that the Cards have scored 13 goals in building their 3-0-1 record. In 16 games last year, they totaled 15 goals. 

Louisville pushed yesterday's match to a 3-0 halftime advantage...getting a score from Price 20 minutes in when she schooled the goalie on a one-on-one maneuver and a late score with 71 ticks left in the first half from senior Caroline Kimble on a "bloop" kick over Toledo goalkeeper
Katie Wilson's head following a deflection by Rivers. 

Heat, substitutions (the Cards played 11 non-starters throughout the second half) and maybe a bit of fatigue from playing their second game in less than 48 hours limited Louisville to one goal in the final 45 minutes. It was a beauty though...sophomore Jill Vetere getting loose on a cross and firing one off the left post that bounced in.

What was just as impressive was Vetere's post-score celebration...where she took down Price with a full leap/jump/sack that Cards' football defensive coordinator Todd Grantham would have been proud of. 

The Cards held a 22-7 shot advantage and 11-2 shots on goal edge. Taylor Bucklin had both the Louisville her first strenuous athletic efforts since she was asked to pass the fried chicken at the 4th of July picnic. Tory Gabor spent the final 22 minutes between the posts for the Cards...a goalie Coach KFD is very impressed with and the probable successor to Bucklin when she graduates. 

All told, the Cards had four different scorers from four different classes (freshman, sophomore, junior and senior). They are off to their best start since they opened 6-0 back in 2012. That team went 10-4-4 and had their win streak stopped by UK. Guess who is next on the 2016 schedule for the Kickin' Cards? Yup, the Big Blue.


It's a wonderful thing to establish early in a season with a roster that is so young (11 freshmen and 5 sophomores) but also blessed with three returning starters on defense and the incredible Bucklin between the pipes. 

"Whaddya mean you haven't got our UK versus UofL tickets yet?"
Yesterday, another home game, another shutout win and another four goals scored. Another confidence builder. Friday is when confidence will meet competition in a crucial contest concerning two camps that are colliding at a critical confluence in their seasons. 

The Cats are 0-2-2 to start the year. Yesterday's match in Lexington against Northwestern ended in a cancellation after 45 minutes of play due to rough weather. I heard reports of torrential rain. August weather. Always unpredictable once you get past the heat guarantee.

We hope Kentucky doesn't come to town and rain on Louisville women's soccer parade. The Cats might be a little confident...and rightfully so, since they've won the last five matchups against the Cards and have posted shutouts in the last four. 

Time to shine, Louisville. Celebrate this last one a bit longer and then get ready for the Battle of the Bluegrass. 


Catch my post-game interviews with Coach KFD and Alison Price at the two links below. I even snuck my head and cap into camera view at the start of these. even extends to the senile old guy doing the post-game chats.




Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sunday Cardinal Couple - Volleyball in Bowling Green

Bowling Green Ohio, not the one down south in Kentucky.  Although we did find out that there is a link.  BG OH was named for the one in Kentucky by a postal worker that had worked delivering mail in the Kentucky version of Bowling Green.

Anyway, on to the Volleyball.

Hampton Inn Invitational


(Photo by Bryan Eakin)
The Kordes Krewe played three matches over the weekend in the Hampton Inn Invitational hosted by Bowling Green State University.  The first match was a four setter vs Oakland (from outside Detroit, not the one east of San Fransisco).  The Oakland Grizzlies were playing with a few injuries.  One player was wearing sunglasses indoors, so I suspect a concussion there; while another was on crutches.  Meanwhile, one of their better Defensive Specialists, Alli Gutschow, was playing with a noticeable limp in her step.  Despite it all, The Grizzlies put up quite a fight and played with heart, and never gave up, as can be witnessed by the set scores: 25-17, 27-25, 29-31, 25-19.

On the Cardinal side of the net, all I can say is, "Give a warm welcome to Ms. Melanie McHenry."  Get used to that name, you're going to be hearing it a lot in the next four years of volleyball.  Melanie is one of our freshman, hailing from Speedway IN (the Speedway HS Sparkplugs...that needs to be mentioned just on the basis of mascot cleverness) and is a 6'2" outside hitter with multiple skills.  She plays full rotation and does well with digging and passing.  She also fires a pretty aggressive serve, an anecdote on that later.  McHenry tallied 24 points, with nine miscues for a .300 average.

The other double-digit offense went to Janelle Jenkins with 15 and a .333 average.  Tess Clark came just short of adding the extra digit with nine but did it with an efficient .412.  Coline Coessens put up an 8 on 22 swings for .273, and Jasmine Bennett picked up three and Kali Eaken snuck one in as the setter.

On the defensive side, double-doubles for McHenry and Jenkins with 11 and 10 digs respectively.  Molly Sauer had a typical (well, typical for her) 19.  Ashley Pettibone, mostly playing as a serving specialist got three,  Eaken got 10 as Oakland tried to target her to take her out of her setting game, and Gabbie Wiley picked up six.

The Cards are showing a great serving game early this season.  Jenkins got three aces, Eaken and Pettibone picked up two each, while Wiley and McHenry each got one.


(Photo by Bryan Eakin) 
The Cards swept VCU in the evening session, 25-22, 25-23, 25-23.

Former Cardinal, and Cardinal
Couple All-Sid/Syd/Szyd Team member, Sydney Cooper now plays for VCU, but seemed to be out with a knee injury.  The Rams played tough, but were overpowered by The Cards.

McHenry again had a great match tallying another double-double with 11 kills and 10 digs.  Her hitting percentage wasn't all that high, though, with a .167, but she did pick up a service ace.  Other offense came from about the same stable of hitters that we saw in Oakland.  Tess Clark chalked up eight kills, Janelle Jenkins got nine, and Coline Coessens got four.  The butterfly emerging from the cocoon in this match was Jasmine Bennett, though.  She connected with setters Lyndsay Palmer and Morgan Miller a number of times on a slide out to the right side for 10 kills that were devastating to the opposing defense.

On the defensive side of things, Sauer continues to make it hard to write about her.  How many different ways can you say that she played excellently and chalked up dig numbers well into double digits, 15 in this case.  In addition to McHenry's 10, Coessens dug 10, Jenkins just behind with 9.

Single aces for McHenry (getting used to this name yet?), Jenkins, Bennett, and Sauer.

Eaken didn't play this match.  After taking a bit of a hit in the match against Oakland, the coaches decided to hold her aside as a precaution for concussions.  Kali suffered a pretty severe concussion during pre-season, didn't play at the Red & Black scrimmage, and largely hadn't practiced in almost two weeks.  So the coaching staff decided to take a little extra precaution here.


The last match of the Hampton Inn Invitational matched up the Cards vs the host BGSU.  After a couple of bonus volleyball sets in the Oakland match, and three close sets against VCU, the Cardinal faithful were ready for a nice easy match to get on the road.  It wasn't to be.

A five set affair, 15-25, 25-18, 25-22, 17-25, 15-11.  BGSU showed that they should rise above their 7-22 record from last year.  Although they're not off to as great of a start on that as they would've liked, now at 1-2 (they also lost to Oakland), they are a tough team that will start tallying some victories quickly.

Double-doubles in this one?  Yup, there's that McHenry name again, joined by Jenkins again.  15 kills and 12 digs for Melanie, and double 11s for Jenkins.  Tess Clark almost got into double digits once again with nine, but an impressive .444 average.  It turns out this Jasmine Bennett upstart can play pretty well, too.  Give her 11 kills and a stellar .529 average.  Morgan Miller came in off the bench in a hitting role in this match with Kali back at setter.  She barely played in the first set, but still tallied 13 kills in the match with a solid seven digs as well.

On defense, in addition to the 12 and 11 for McHenry and Jenkins, Molly Sauer had a bit of an off match as she "only" tied for the team lead with 12 digs.  She did also pick up two service aces, to help the cause.

Speaking of aces, though, let's go back to McHenry once again.  Four service aces for the freshman and I have to describe one because it was particularly awesome.  Late in the 5th set, the score was about 13-10.  McHenry backs up to serve, right in front of the healthily populated BGSU student section (props to the BGSU students for showing up to support their team).  The students start chanting "FRESHMAN" at McHenry.  In response, she fires a hard serve that clears the net by only about an inch, targeted directly at BGSU's libero.  A shank pass that went out of bounds and the student section was no longer a factor.

Active Ankle Challenge

The Cards are in action against this weekend for the Active Ankle Challenge.  There is a venue
change for this event as it is moving down the KFC Yum! Center downtown thanks to a cancellation of an event at the downtown arena.

If you are a ticket holder, you should have received an email concerning how tickets will be handled for this, but if not, here's the summary.

If you have season tickets for the matches at the KFC Yum! Center, you will be sent tickets for these matches at no extra cost, and they will be your usual season ticket seat locations.  If you have season tickets for the matches at Cardinal Arena, which was to include the Active Ankle Challenge, you will be refunded for the cost of those tickets AND be sent tickets for the matches in the KFC Yum! Center at no cost.  Obviously, if you have season tickets to both, they will be your normal seats as mentioned above, otherwise, they will be the best available seats.

If you have purchased single match tickets to the Active Ankle Challenge matches at Cardinal Arena, those cost of those tickets will be refunded AND you will be sent best available tickets to the KFC Yum! Center matches at no extra cost.

Tickets will be mailed to the address on record for your account.  If you have purchased a parking pass for the KFC Yum! Center matches, alas it will not be usable for this event.

Kudos to the UofL Athletic Department for the stepping up with the upgrade for the venue for this coming weekend, and the generous handling of the ticket upgrades for ticket holders.



In case you missed the live can catch the replay at the link below. Thanks to Case Hoskins for joining in, Worldwide via phone and LG&E for getting the power back on in time to do the show.


-- JMcA

Saturday, August 27, 2016


Women's Soccer Repeats Stellar Performance

On the back of sophomore Gabrielle Vincent's hat trick (Louisville's first since 2010), the women's soccer team kicked off Friday night's double header with a 4-0 victory over the UAB Blazers. The win pushes their record to 2-0-1.

The two teams take the field for introductions.
The 4-0 scoreline from Friday's game against UAB does not reflect the dominant performance put on by the Cardinals. Despite looking a bit shakier at times than in Sunday's game against Indiana State, Louisville put together a fantastic showing and controlled all facets of the game. Early on, UAB made it very challenging for the Cards. The Blazers didn't do much to threaten Louisville, but they locked down the Cardinal attacks and choked out most progressions in the midfield. As the game advanced, Louisville began to take more chances. Chances usually lead to goals, and the Cards broke through with Vincent's first goal in the 32' off of a cross from freshman Niamh Nelson. In the 40th minute, Allison Whitfield went down clutching her knee, and had to be helped off of the field. She was able to walk to the locker room at half time under her own power, but I didn't expect to see her again for the rest of the game.

For much of the second half, it appeared as though Vincent's goal would be the difference in this one. The Cards kept the pressure up, but everything seemed to stall or fall just short. While pushing an attack, Daryl Bell went down with an injury in the 56'. Fortunately, Coach expects her to be okay. It looked like Louisville might pick up it's second goal when Sarah Feola found an opening and rocketed a ball toward the upper 90. It wasn't meant to be, though, and the ball bounced away off of the post. However, with 20 minutes left in the game, the excitement picked up. Whitfield, back in the game with her knee completely wrapped, served in a good corner that Vincent put away for her second goal in the 72'. In the 79', Louisville was given a very questionable yellow card by a somewhat questionable referee (questionable officiating turned out to be a common theme for the night). Not to be outdone, UAB received a yellow card of their own in the 82'. I questioned the validity of that call as well. In the 84', following a flurry of shots, Gabrielle Vincent, the center defender, took control of the ball in the box and knocked in her third goal of the night. Louisville wasn't finished, though, and made it 4-0 in the 88' when Tina Marolt finished a cross from freshman Sanela Hodzic.

This game gave me more reasons to be excited about this team. First, you'll notice I say freshman a lot when I talk about goals. Gabrielle Vincent's third goal tonight was unassisted. That was the only Cardinal goal, out of nine this season, that was not scored or assisted by a freshman. Second, the Cardinals continue to own possession of the ball. The shot count was a whopping 32-0, with 15 of those 32 on target. Remember, chances usually result in goals. Finally, for the team to follow up Sunday's solid all around game with another doubtless victory is an extremely positive sign. UAB is another middle of the road team that may not turn many heads this year, but beating the teams you are supposed to beat is one of the key marks for a successful team, especially when you beat them by a bunch. If the ladies can bring another strong showing against Toledo on Sunday, they'll be off to a very good start. The Cards take on the Rockets at 3PM in Lynn on Sunday the 28th.

Paulie got the chance to speak with head coach, Karen Ferguson-Dayes, and the goal machine, Gabrielle Vincent, after the game and you can find links to those interviews below.

Gabrielle Vincent Post-Game Interview

Coach K Post-Game Interview


Men's Soccer Battles to Scoreless Draw

When talking about the women's team, I twice said "chances usually result in goals". Any other time, I would be far more likely to say, definitively, that chances result in goals. However, the men's game gave me a reason to not speak so absolutely (because only Siths deal in the absolutes). Despite holding a 23-8 shot advantage over Butler, the Cards were unable to walk away with anything but a draw and a bit of a sour taste in their mouths following their season opener Friday night. 

Louisville looks for new life prior to extra time
After a game full of fouls (28 total), shots (31 total), and injuries (both teams needed more bananas), I can honestly say that I walked away last night having watched the most exciting scoreless draw I could possibly imagine. Because of college soccer's goofy rules, the teams were not content after 90 minutes of hard, exciting, oftentimes chippy, play. Following the conclusion of the 90 minutes of regular time, Louisville began the first period of sudden death over time like a bat out of hell. Within the first two minutes, I thought Louisville was going to end the game on a walk-off 4 or 5 times. Most notably when they caught a break and chipped the keeper, only to have the ball bounce dramatically off of the upright. Butler seemed perfectly content to play for the tie while the Cards fought tooth and nail for a goal. Just like the previous 90 minutes, they couldn't find one. The second half of extra time began much like the first. Louisville turned up the heat once again, using their depth and Butler's exhaustion to their advantage. The efforts culminated in a wide open shot from Tate Schmitt from about 22 yards out. The shot beat the keeper's outstretched hand and... banged off of the upright. Butler proved that they had some fire of their own as they nearly scored a heartbreaking goal with two minutes left in the game. Ultimately, neither team was able to come away with a goal, and the game ended in a draw. Almost 6 hours after I had arrived at Lynn, I headed out with the elation of another women's victory and a cautious excitement after the men's draw.

Despite the result, head coach Ken Lolla was pleased with his team's performance, and I was personally impressed as well. I had admittedly low expectations, given the buzz around the team so far, but I was excited by the play I saw last night. This season may not smooth sailing for the Cardinal XI, but I'm hoping that they can prove some people wrong and that they (along with the ladies) can keep Soccerville, USA alive and well. The men will return to Lynn on Monday to take on Quinnipiac at 7:30.


Field Hockey Opens Their Season Victorious

The stick-ball girls traveled to Bloomington last night and opened their season with a 5-1 win. If you ask me, I could get used to four goal victories for the Louisville women fall sports. The Cards have now beaten the Hoosiers four straight times in field hockey, but Friday's victory was by the largest margin in the series. Louisville started the game with a bang, with Marigrace Ragsdale opening the scoring just 1:48 into the game. Indiana pulled the equalizer just 6 minutes later. The Cardinals eventually stole the momentum and held onto it with goals by freshmen (hey, that's a familiar word), Minout Mink (2) and Whena Munn, and senior Lotta Kahlert. After two hours worth of weather delays, the Cards finally cooled off, and the final 13 minutes of the game were scoreless for both sides.

Louisville field hockey stays on the road for their next contest, taking on Miami (OH) on Monday at 2PM.


Last, but not least, I'm joining Paulie in the studio for THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR on WCHQ 100.9 FM and streaming live on the Internet at Crescent Hill Radio this morning at 11 AM. We'll be talking about the soccer games, field hockey, football, and probably a lot of other things I'm unprepared for. We'll even give WorldWide a call to discuss the weekend's volleyball tournament hosted by Bowling Green State. Give it a listen. It should be fun.

Until next time, Go Cards.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Let's play two...oops... five today! -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


A popular term for a double-header is "Let's play two, today!" Ernie Banks of the Chicago Cubs was well-known for his quote...

"It's a great day for a ballgame...let's play two!" 

If you're a UofL sports fan, take that...double it and add five matches take place for the Cards today in three different cities.

Our tour begins in Bowling Green, OH with Louisville Volleyball starting the Bowling Green Hampton Inn Tournament action at 10 a.m. Our roving reporter Jeff "Worldwide" McAdams is on site for the action. We're not sure if he's actually staying in the Hampton Inn or not...but he will be in the Stroh Center to watch the wide-net proceedings. The Cards face Oakland...out of the Horizon League and owner of a 18-13 record last season. No TV that we know of on this one...check the Twitter feeds for Louisville Volleyball and Card Couple Radio for updates! Sidearm Sports also runs a stat-tracker you can access through the Bowling Green Volleyball homepage. 

We jump from Ohio to Indiana next and land in Bloomington...where the Indiana University campus is located. Justine Sowry takes her flock of Field Hockey Cardinals to face I.U. in the first regular-season game for UofL. The Cards were winners there in 2014 and also defeated IU in Trager last season. It's the Battle of the Border and the #12 ranked Cards have built up a nice, little rivalry with those girls in Crimson over the years. 3 p.m. is the start time for this match on the pitch and it can be seen on the Big Ten Network Plus or at if you have access to it. This was a trip I made two years ago and was very tempted to go again this year. It's an absolutely beautiful drive from Louisville. 

Next we'll head back to Bowling Green where Louisville plays their second match of the day...this time against Virginia Commonwealth (VCU) at 4:30. The Rams participate in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) and were 14-17 in 2015. 

At 5:30, focus turns to Lynn Stadium in Louisville, KY where the women's soccer team looks to stay undefeated on the season when they go up against UAB. The Kickin' Cards down the Blazers 1-0 in the rain at Birmingham last year. This is where I'll be tonight, and after the women's game...the men's soccer team faces Butler around 7:30 or so. Our newest writer, Case Hoskins will be on hand and will have the write-up of the evenings activities in the Saturday edition of Cardinal Couple. He'll also discuss what he saw on THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR Saturday morning at 11 a.m. on Crescent Hill Radio.

Two games for the price of one and it's also BOGO night (buy one ticket, get one free). There's food and beverage specials and a new playground for the kids on the north side of the field. The weather is looking perfect for tonight...get out and cheer Ken Lolla and Karen Ferguson-Dayes' squads on to victory! 

It's just the start of a very busy week for UofL athletics. Volleyball goes again tomorrow and we'll talk to Worldwide via phone to recap and preview the action during our show. Sunday brings more women's soccer with the Cards hosting Toledo. Monday finds Field Hockey at Miami (OH) and men's soccer hosting Quinnipiac. Rest up Tuesday and Wednesday if you can...because Football starts the season Thursday night in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium against Charlotte. Friday features UK coming to Lynn to take on Cardinal women's soccer, Volleyball brings Santa Clara to the KFC YUM! Center and football heads to Syracuse. 

(Pausing to catch my breath and wipe my brow...) 

Oh, by the's also Labor Day weekend next weekend.

So...grab your shin guards, net, shoes, seat cushions, cooler, sticks and balls of every size and get ready for competitive college athletics Louisville style. Fall sports comin' at ya in waves and we'll be here to give you the news.  


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Alex Wilharm promoted to Associate Head Volleyball Coach -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


If you have ever attended a Louisville Volleyball game over the past four years, chances are you've seen Alex Wilharm. Towering over six feet, a shock of bright red hair and patrolling the sideline with the frequency and intensity of his head coach Anne Kordes...Alex isn't just another face in the crowd or body on the sidelines. 

He arrived at Louisville in 2011 as a volunteer assistant. Fresh from graduating from Clarke University in Iowa, he had been the Male Athlete of the Year and led the Crusaders to the NAIA national finals in Volleyball. The school is similar to Bellarmine here locally...a small liberal arts Catholic university with it's roots in Dubuque. The son of a high school Volleyball coach...he got his feet wet in the coaching pool while in college...working with club teams and even coaching the women's team his senior year at Clarke in the fall before playing for the men's team in the spring.  

He moved quickly through the UofL ranks...starting as a volunteer assistant coach and now as an associate head coach. Earlier this year he was named as one of The American Volleyball Coaches Association Thirty Under 30 award recipients. The honor recognizes up-and-coming coaching talent at all levels of the sport.  

Louisville will probably not be the last stop for Alex. Under the careful tutelage and learning experiences from Anne Kordes...there will be head coaching possibilities down the road. He's known as an excellent recruiter...being a part of bringing three Top 25 classes to Louisville. 

Bright skies ahead for the Iowa native as Louisville prepares to get the 2016 season underway with a trip to Bowling Green, OH to participate in the Hampton Inn Bowling Green Tournament. The Cards will get in three games in two days on the Falcon campus in the Stroh Center starting tomorrow. 

Louisville will face Oakland at 10 a.m. Friday to kickoff the action. As my co-host on THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR pointed out to be Saturday, this is not the Al Davis, John Madden, Fred Bilitnekoff band of Raiders from the Bay's the Horizon League Golden Grizzlies from Rochester, MI. Worldwide is attending the events and will have reports on our Saturday morning show about the games vs. Oakland and the Friday 4:30 p.m. match-up against Virginia Commonwealth. The Wide Net Cards will also take on host Bowling Green on Saturday.

Oakland went 18-13 last year and is expected to contend for the Horizon League title this season with five starters returning. Bowling Green struggled through a 7-22 year in 2015 and is a part of the MAC Conference. VCU ended last year with a 14-17 record and plays in the CAA. 

Not top notch, stellar competition for the Louisville Wide Netters...but a great chance to test a young team's skills on the road early in the season. We'd be surprised if the Cards lose a set in any of the three matches...but all three opponents could add a significant feather to their cap by knocking off the #23 squad in the nation early on. 

Fall sports. They're here and coming rapid fire at us now. 

Besides Volleyball..we have Field Hockey (at IU) and women's soccer (vs. UAB) on tap Friday also. Plenty of chances to get out and cheer on the Red and Black! Next week gets even crazier...but don't fret...your Cardinal Couple tour guides are here to navigate you through it all. 

Seats upright, tray's locked...prepare for takeoff, fans! 


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Going the Distance -- UofL women's Cross Country adds talented freshmen -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


From all intents and purposes, Louisville cross country head coach Dale Cowper is taking the 2016 women's Cross Country season very seriously. The sport is one that we haven't given a whole lot of coverage to here at CARDINAL COUPLE over the years...they only run in four meets in a 45 day span before the Pre-Nationals, ACC Championship, NCAA Southeast Regional and NCAA Championship and only one of those is in Louisville. They were not a part of the Fall women's sports Media Day we recently attended. 

Nevertheless, they are one of the 2016 Fall Sports on campus and have also added an assistant coach in Jenna Wrieden. Jenna comes to the 'Ville after serving as head coach for High Point's Cross Country squad. She finished 14th in the NCAA Championships in her college days at Arizona State. 

Cowper notes: 

"Jenna is a proven recruiter with a strong sports science background. She has been mentored by some of the top distance in the NCAA and her presence will have a huge impact upon our program." 

She'll work with 17 runners...nine of which are freshmen. Five of the freshmen are from Kentucky and the roster features two freshmen from Louisville in Meghan Carrico (Assumption)...who finished 36th. in the State Meet and Labreea Hill (Manual). 

Claire Noser, a senior from Highlands Ranch, CO. is the most experienced runner returning for the Cards. She won the Evansville meet last season, finished 30th. in the Pre-Nationals and 55th. in the ACC Championships.

The Cards were 13th. (out of 15) in the ACC Cowper, Wrieden and the runners have some work cut out for them this fall in get among the ACC elite. The Cards start it off on Sept. 3rd in the Dayton Flyer 5K and will run two weeks later in Vanderbilt's Commodore Classic. The lone home meet will take place at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park on Oct 1st. with the Greater Louisville Classic. They'll travel to Wisconsin on Oct 14th. for the Wisconsin Invitational and the Pre-Nationals are the next day in Terre Haute, IN. 

Louisville was home of the 2015 NCAA Championships and got a lot of favorable press and comments for hosting the event. The New Mexico team came in and won the championship. Four ACC schools (Virginia, NC State, Notre Dame and Syracuse) were ranked in the top 20 for 2015 Cross Country. 

Here's hoping the Cards are on their way to making some national noise on the collegiate cross country scene. A nationally known running course is in place and the NCAA Championships will return to Louisville in 2017.The coaching appears to be solid. There is depth on the roster...although only two of the student-athletes are from out-of-country and none from the running hot-bed that is Kenya...

It's time for the Cards to break out of the pack and be a front-runner.