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Friday, September 1, 2017

Friday Cardinal Couple - Teams in Action...Coach Crum

Volleyball Preview

Just about all of the fall sports teams are in action this evening, with most on the road as Paulie covered yesterday.  Volleyball has a particularly busy weekend ahead, however, with three matches in two days.  A quick rundown on the opponents.

Western Kentucky University

When the ranking for the week in volleyball came out, WKU, who was in the "Receiving Votes" grouping in the preseason, had climbed into the top 25 ranking at 24.  This means that the first three matches of UofL's volleyball schedule this year will all be against top 25 teams.  Nothing like starting off with a bang.

In the opening weekend, The Hilltoppers traveled to the Miami (OH) Best Western Sycamore Inn Invitational...Longest. Tournament. Name. Evar...where they dominated the weekend.  Honestly, none of the other teams at the tournament were national powerhouses, with host Miami (OH), and other guests Northern Arizona, and Southern Illinois...though Southern Illinois does do well in the cool mascot championship, as the Salukis.  Only Miami (OH) was able to take a single set off of The HillToppers during the weekend.

WKU also had a mid-week game, on Tuesday for their home opener, this week, sweeping the Tennessee State Tigers...who do well in the nicest fans championship after a visit to Cardinal Arena in 2014.

The takeaway here is that WKU looks to have a good team, but they haven't really been tested, yet.

Kent State

Durango...the UNO mascot. A bull on ice...fascinating.
Saturday afternoon brings the Kent State Golden Flashes into the Arena.  They come into the
weekend with a 1-2 record.  The opening weekend in Iowa, they took two losses, first to the hosting Iowa State Cyclones, and then to the New Mexico many great mascots in this article, I love it...before finally winning one against the University of Nebraska Omaha Mavericks...ok, they can't all be great mascots.  All three of these matches were sweeps.

Take away here is that Kent State is an average team, they beat a let's-be-honest-they're-not-very-good Omaha team, but lost to a couple of decent, though not national powerhouse, teams in Iowa State and New Mexico.

Let's hope this match gives the Cards a chance to catch their breathe after such an intense start to the season, but they need to be sure not to overlook this team.


Illinois is not ranked, and not even receiving votes.  A little surprising, perhaps Illinois is in for a bit of an off season, at least for their standards.

Chief Illiniwek...the Illinois mascot. Great leg extension! 
Typically in top 25 rankings, or at least in the discussions for them, Illinois is a team to always watch out for.  They are coming into this weekend undefeated at 3-0 after a weekend in Bozeman Montana, but they, like WKU, haven't really been tested, yet.  Only host Montana State was able to take a set off of the Illini, while Gonzaga, and Air Force could not. I don't care what their mascot is (The Falcons), as a tech geek and a plane and flying buff, Air Force is always cool in my mind, in any context.

This weekend will be the first real chance for Illinois to see how they match up with those that aren't almost completely ignored in the national volleyball conversation.  They'll be trying to tune their play for the rip-roaring Big 10 conference season coming up later in the season.  You can never overlook Illinois, but The Cards will be looking for some revenge after Illinois ended their season, in Cardinal Arena, in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament.


Matches in The Cardinal Classic get started today at 4pm with Kent State and Illinois, the Cards should play around 6:30pm depending on the length of the first match.  Saturday, Illinois and WKU start us off at 10:30am, with UofL starting around 12:30.  The evening session on Saturday will start at 5:30 between Kent State and WKU, with the UofL match starting around 7:30.

Don't forget the new security theatre limitations on carrying bags into Cardinal Arena, because UofL cares about you feeling safe, even if their processes don't actually make you any safer.

-- JMcA



 Our thoughts and concerns go out for Denny Crum and his family. Coach, who recently turned 80, suffered a mild stroke while on a fishing trip in Alaska. Fortunately, he received very prompt medical care and treatment and there is a chance he could be released this weekend. Fortunately, he was on the fishing trip with a doctor. 

The guy who gave us several near heart-attacks and strokes during his coaching career was reported to be alert, in good spirits, having conversations with his wife Susan who is at bedside with him and hoping the Cards will win their football game tomorrow night against Purdue. 

From all of us at Cardinal Couple....hang in there Coach and we wish you a full, complete and speedy recovery. They referred to you as "former" coach in a few media releases....but you'll always be "The Coach" of the University of Louisville basketball program to me and one of the reasons that I love being a Cardinal fan. I'll carry a rolled up racing form to honor you the rest of today....just like you had the rolled up program on the sidelines with you for so many years.

Two National Championships and still one of the coolest guys around. You got this.

Do you know the warning signs of a stroke? Or what to do if you or someone you are with has one? I urge you to refresh your knowledge on this issue. Minutes save lives and serious damage. Being able to check the signs is vital. 



  1. Go Volleyball! Also, good luck soccer and field hockey on the road. It's gonna be nasty in Lexington for WSOC it appears, with all the weather you guys are getting up there.

    I do gotta ask this though. When Louisville marketed the We, the future brand, did they think of the hashtag configuration?


    -- The Real Joe Hill --

    1. *snerk*

      Clearly, they didn't think about it. You might even ask what they were thinking, or put more colloquially, "What the..."

      We're done here.


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