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Monday, June 5, 2017

Super Weekend for Baseball, and Volleyball Plans -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Baseball Has a Super Weekend

"Super" Josh Stowers made his mark last night with 4 RBI's on 2 hits, one of which was a touch-em-all in a duel to the finish with a composed Xavier team.  The Cards take the win, and the Regional crown, on the 8-7 back and forth victory.

After dispatching Radford and Oklahoma to the extra challenge round Friday and Saturday, the Cards made it a full round-robin by meeting up with Xavier last night.  Xavier, who lost to Oklahoma on Friday, climbed back out of the elimination side of the bracket and sent Radford packing, then got revenge on Oklahoma and sent them home as well.

I made it back home from my weekend jaunt to Cleveland (and another activity or two) to catch the last 2 1/2 innings of the game.  Louisville finished out their scoring with 2 in the bottom of the seventh, and the closer Lincoln Henzman came in early, still in the 7th inning, and effectively shut down the Xavier offense.  With the 2 in the bottom of the 7th for the Cards, it was enough to close out the win.

With the win, the Cards advance to the Super Regional, which will also be here in Louisville at Jim
Patterson stadium.  With the seedings as they were, Louisville was guaranteed to host the Super Regional assuming they advanced.  Their opponent will be either Kentucky or NC State.  Either will be an interesting matching just based on the in-state rivalry, or conference affiliation aspects.  Kentucky is hosting the regional in Lexington, and in a bit of an upset surprise, is advancing through the elimination round.  NC State started off their regional by bouncing IU down to the bottom half.  IU bounced Ohio out of the tournament after Kentucky beat them on the first day.

NC State then surprised the Wildcats with a 5-4 victory on Saturday to set up the regional matchup between Kentucky and IU, with the loser heading home.  Kentucky prevailed (I caught a few minutes of this game at City BBQ in Columbus, OH while my car was getting some juice, and me some delicious baked beans).  In the evening matchup, UK did get a measure of revenge against NC State with the 8-6 win, setting up the "If Necessary" game for this evening.  The bonus baseball in Lexington is a positive for the Cards, who should have a nice fresh pitching staff after getting through the Regional in only 3 games, while Kentucky, if they advance, will have played 5, and NC State 4.  NC State has the shallower pitching roster, so it ends up being a bit of wash.

Tickets are on sale for this weekend best of 3 series at Patterson, but as you read this, you're already too late to get any chair-back seats in the main stands of the stadium as they've already all been snatched up.  Berm seating will still be available, but even those will likely get cut off at some point, although your correspondent doesn't know the specific capacity at which that decision will be made.

A guaranteed good time for all at Patterson. GO CARDS! 

Volleyball Making Plans

It's the time of the year when we start seeing the fall sports post their schedules, and Volleyball is no exception.. The season starts with the ACC/Big Ten (or as their logo shows it, B1G) Challenge  The Cards face Wisconsin on August 25th at 8:30pm EDT, and Minnesota on the 26th at 5 pm EDT.  The other ACC team at this event will be North Carolina, but the Cards will not square off against them until the conference season later in the year.

As is becoming common, the non-conference slate will hold plenty of challenges for the wide net Cards, and it starts off with a bang. This year, the Cards will be heading up to Madison Wisconsin to meet up with some quite familiar, and very challenging, foes in the Minnesota Golden Gophers and Wisconsin Badgers.  UMinn and Wisc are always powerhouse teams, but one note of encouragement is that Lauren Carlini, the phenom setter at Wisconsin that I feel like I've been watching for about 13 years has finally graduated. .We'll see if the Badgers can  reload in that position. 

The home opener is for the Cardinal Classic and features in-state rival Western Kentucky.  First serve on this one should be at 6:30pm Sept. 1.  The first game that evening will be between Kent State and Illinois.  The next day will be an all-day affair, with an early game between Illinois and WKU, and the Cards meeting up with the Kent State Golden Flashes at 12:30.  The evening session will see the Golden Flashes and the Hilltoppers square off, and the big battle for the tournament, another ACC/B1G matchup, with the Cards and Illinois (another very familiar foe) taking the court at 7:30pm.  One note for the weekend, Craig Bere is an assistant coach at WKU, and has Louisville in his coaching history as an assistant under Leonid Yelin.

Out west for the next weekend, to the UNLV Challenge, where the foes will be UC-Irvine, 9/8 at 3pm EDT; Weber State, 9/8 at 8pm EDT; and UNLV, 9/9 at 5pm EDT.

The yearly matchup against Kentucky will be in Lexington this year, with a 7pm start, presumably in Memorial Coliseum, on 9/15.  Returning home to finish out the non-conference slate, Kennesaw State comes to visit with a 3pm start on 9/17.

Conference play begins 9/22 at 7pm vs a continuing-to-rebuild-but-doing-so-quickly Notre Dame squad.  Some Saturday travel takes the Cards to Chapel Hill to play UNC on 9/24 at 1pm.  9/29 at 7pm sees FSU come calling to Cardinal Arena, and Miami follows on 10/1 at 1pm.

More split weekend action with a 6:30pm start on 10/6 in Blacksburg, VA against Virginia Tech, and back home for 10/8 at 1pm against UVA.  Clemson and Georgia Tech come to The Ville for a 7pm start on 10/13, and 2pm on 10/15 respectively.  Then back out on the road for Miami and Florida State.  Those are 10/20 at 7pm in Coral Gables, and 10/22 at 1pm in Tallahassee.  A rematch against Notre Dame on 10/25 at 7pm in South Bend this time, followed by Pitt coming in to Cardinal Arena on the 27th at 7pm (a fairly unusual Wed/Fri pairing).

Nov 3rd at 7pm will find UofL in Winston-Salem playing Wake Forest, then a short jaunt down the road for a 11/5 matchup vs Duke at 1pm.  Two weekends at home will be nice, with Virginia and Virginia Tech calling at Cardinal Arena on 11/10 at 7pm, and 11/12 at 2pm.  NC State and UNC come for the 2nd weekend on 11/17 at 7:30 for The Pack, and 11/19 at 1pm for The Tarheels.  The UNC game will almost certainly be Senior day, likely celebrating at least the UofL careers of Gabbie Wiley, Ashley Pettibone, Coline Coessens, Tess Clark, and Maggie DeJong...quite a class, there.  Finally, the Cards will close out the season in New England with Boston College hosting on 11/22 at 7:30pm, and Syracuse with former UofL coach Leonid Yelin at the helm, on 11/24 at 1pm.

There is no ACC tournament in volleyball, so at this point, the Cards will be awaiting the NCAA selection committee's view on post-season play.

More Volleyball Plans

If you haven't checked out the UofL Volleyball twitter account, you should definitely do so.

They are posting pictures and videos, usually every Tuesday, showing the progress of ongoing renovations at Cardinal Arena.  So far, they have highlighted the removal of the old seating structures (good riddance!), the installation of a new floor, and the destruction of a wall to accommodate more seating behind the end-zone.  I can't wait to see the final results.

-- JMcA


  1. So while your car was getting juiced your eating baked beans. It looks as if your car does not run on gas but maybe you do. :)

  2. Good one Charlie. Maybe he's missing something about that first whiff of gas in the morning at the pumps...OK, next?



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