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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday Cardinal Couple - Red & Black Volleyball Scrimmage

Red & Black Volleyball Scrimmage

The only event on the card yesterday for UofL women's athletics was the Volleyball Red & Black Preseason scrimmage.

This is always a great event.  Free admission always adds to that, but it's also the first real chance for most Volleyball fans to get to know the new players on the squad.  We, of course, have been talking about most of them here at Cardinal Couple for a while, but even we benefit from seeing them in action in a game-type of situation for the first time.

The format is three sets, regardless of which teams wins or lose them, which is good because players switch back and forth between the two sides of the court on a regular basis.  Eventually, it becomes clear that the score up on the scoreboard is merely a formality and that this is more of a chance to evaluate individual play and overall team cohesiveness.

This year, the event was more...eventful...than normal.  About halfway through the first set of play, the fire alarm at Cardinal Arena (and presumably all of the SAC building) started sounding.  As the crowd started turning to file out, Coach Anne Kordes made a snap decision, and quickly jumped on the PA (taking over from the ever-unflappable Sean Moth) and announced that they would just move the event down the street to The Yum! Center.  As always, clarification need to be made that this was what is commonly referred to as "Little Yum", and not the downtown arena.  A large, orderly stream of fans proceeded down the street and into The Yum! Center practice facility.  Many hands made light work of setting up the net, many chairs (there was no chance there would be enough for the whole crowd, but many were produced), and other accoutrements to enable play.  The crowd ringed the floor and play resumed.

Two players remained on the sidelines tonight.  Gabbie Wiley and Kali Eaken are both out with concussions.  A quick conversation with Coach Kordes before the play started suggests that Wiley will likely return quickly, but Eaken's concussion was considerably more severe..."scary", is the word Kordes we may have to wait a while before we see Eaken back on the court.  Fortunately this UofL squad is deep at setter, so Lyndsay Palmer and Morgan Miller filled those roles on either side of the net.

Notable Play

So what did we learn at this event?

With Maggie DeJong moving out to hit outside, Jasmine Bennett will likely see playing time as a middle blocker and hitter, and she is much improved over the previous year.  We still saw some mistimed jumps, which is such a critical part of play in the middle, but she is able to take a much more aggressive approach to play this year, compared to last.

Some of the stalwarts from last year will continue to be the mainstays of the team.  Tess Clark, Janelle Jenkins, and Molly Sauer are still playing excellent ball and create a great core to build the rest of the team around.

Melanie McHenry brings a lot of power with her.  Another trait we've talked about a little bit already, but we saw plenty of it last night.  She's able to bring it to bear fairly well, though some experience and wisdom with targeting will only make her better.  I expect to see significant contributions from her.

The Cardinal serving looks, overall, to be pretty impressive this year.  While we saw quite a few errors, the team is serving very aggressively.  I would expect a fair number of service aces, but more importantly, expect the opposing team to regularly have trouble cleanly playing a serve receive.

Season Opener

Volleyball opens their season Friday morning up in Bowling Green, OH at the Bowling Green Tournament.  The open play at the tournament at 10am Friday morning against Oakland.  They'll play against at 4:30 in the afternoon against Virginia Commonwealth, and then Saturday at 2pm against host Bowling Green.

Home Opener and Event Venue Change

The home opener for Volleyball is the next weekend, Sept 2nd and 3rd, for the annual Active Ankle Challenge.  This tournament location has been changed to The KFC Yum! Center downtown.  The website currently says it is at Cardinal Arena, season tickets say it's at Cardinal Arena, but it was announced that the location has been moved to the downtown arena.

The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

IF you missed the live broadcast of Saturday's THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR, we invite you to listen to the rebroadcast at the link below. We had a very special guest in Jenny O'Bryan and caught up with her on the WBB Cuba trip and the Cuban culture. That and all our other usual banter and coverage of Cardinal Women's Athletics. LINK BELOW:


-- JMcA


  1. I know it's about volleyball , but do the women's basketball team have red & white scrimmage .

  2. Also, UofL women's soccer today at 1 p.m. at Lynn Stadium. Sycamores from Indiana State invade! Roll out...



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