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!!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Louisville women's basketball heads to IU -- Butler GBB wins opener -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


The University of Louisville women's basketball team returns to the court after six days off to face the Indiana Hoosiers in Thursday 8 p.m. action at Assembly Hall. 

IU is rolling out all the stops to fill the historic facility with $1 tickets and free IU knit beanies to the first 500 fans arriving. The Hoosiers will also need to roll out their best efforts from senior guard Tyra Buss...who was recently named to the Wade Trophy and Naismith watch lists...talented freshman guard Jaelynn Penn (from Louisville Butler) and senior forward Amanda Cahill...who has 34 career double-doubles

The Hoosiers (4-2) have had an up-and-down campaign so far...with season-starting wins over Arkansas State, Southern and Western Kentucky in Assembly Hall. IU lost on the home court to Chattanooga by three before taking off to the west coast for Thanksgiving and the Hilton Concord Classic in Moraga, CA. Indiana defeated UAB by seven before falling to host St. Mary's 88-82 

For the Cards, playing their second Big 10 of the season, the key is to continue to improve. Jeff Walz expressed that the team had a chance to work on their game, instead of preparing for opponents over the last several days and he's pleased with the progress they are making...while stressing that they'll need to get better and better as the season progresses if they want to return to Columbus, OH for the NCAA Women's Basketball Final Four. 


I'll look at five things the Cards will need to do well to secure the victory in Bloomington.

1) Win the guard play. The Hoosiers may have the one of the best guard combos that the Cards have faced so far in Buss and Penn. Both were named to the Hilton Classic All-Tournament team and are averaging 32.7 p.p.g. a game as a duo. Defense will be a priority for the Cards contingent of Durr, Carter, Jones, Evans and Zambrotta. 

2) Interior passing. Getting the ball inside for close-in and open looks definitely can improve your shooting percentage and with Hines-Allen, Fuehring, Shook and Dunham all performing well inside the interior presence will not only give the Cards points but also open up the mid-range and outside game for the Cards. Passing well, between the bigs, when inside is an area where Walz has seen improvement also. 

3) Doo-blay! A rare non-double-double from senior forward Myisha Hines-Allen in the Murray State win last Friday, but win just 14 minutes on the's understandable. Expect to see "Doo-blay" gather considerably more minutes on the wood tonight and a return to double-double form could be essential if the Cards hope to leave Bloomington with a "W". 

4) Durr-ability. Asia Durr saw just 20 minutes against the Racers and one would think she, also, will see more minutes against IU. A return to her three-point prowess and team play could be a key factor if the Cards are going to improve to 7-0 on the season. 

5) Handling the environment. It'll be a noisy, rowdy environment tonight in Assembly Hall...maybe not as crazy as it was in West Lafayette for the men's BB team Tuesday night, the packed arena last night when the Duke and IU men faced off in Assembly Hall, nor what the Cards WBB squad faced in Columbus against Ohio State...but still a home crowd that could catch on fire and spur IU to do great things. They did bring in 3000 for WKU and most expect double that in the seats for the Cards  A nice early season test for UofL in a hostile environment. Let's see how they handle it. 


It was announced Wednesday that Hines-Allen and Durr were named to the list of 50 women's college basketball players to watch for the Citizen National Naismith Player of the Year trophy. 

Another feather in the caps of the dynamic duo, who are also on the John Wooden Preseason To 30, espnW Top 25, WNIT All-Torunament Team and preseason All-ACC together. 

Hines-Allen is ninth all-time at Louisville in scoring with 1563 points. She is just 14 behind Sharon Bellamy for eighth. 

Durr has 115 points through six games this season and has hit 183 threes in her career which is good for seventh on Louisville's all time list.


The Louisville Butler Bearettes are considered one of the teams that will give defending Girls' State Champion Mercer County a run for the title this season in Kentucky Girls High School hoops. The Shively school got the 2017-18 campaign off to a good start on the road with a 56-34 win over E'Town's John Hardin squad. 

The Bearettes outscored the Lady Bulldogs 19-8 in the third quarter to break wide open a 2 point Butler lead at the half and went on to comfortably take the 22 point win. 

Louisville commit Molly Lockhart, hampered by an injured finger, had just four points for Butler. 

Of particular note, Bearette freshman guard Dynastee White began her high school career quite impressively, coming off the bench for three points, two steals, one block, one rebound and five assists. For a freshman, reports are she did a quite effective job running the point for Butler. Keep an eye on this girl as the season progresses. 

The Bearettes will be tough to beat in the Sixth Region this season and John Hardin is one of the favorites to win the Fifth these two could be seeing each other again down the road come Tournament time in March. 


This is the final day of November and our final day of Donation Month. Thank you for your support of CARDINAL COUPLE. Although we fell short of our goal, we had a record month for donations. We are very grateful and thank you for what we received. 

It is also the 3000th post we have made here at the site. It's been a long journey and a fun journey. Thanks for coming along on the ride as we discuss the joy and excitement of UofL Athletics and women's sports! 


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Jared Anderson Report -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

It's Quitting Time! 

After enjoying a much needed half day off at the bank yesterday, I could use another! Those shortened days are quite nice. It also gave me plenty of time to get a head start on today's article.

We'll have a lot coming up here at the site in the next few days. Paulie takes the reigns the next couple of days, getting us ready for WBB @ Indiana and also reporting on the outcome. He'll be live in Bloomington (you've been notified, Hoosiers).

He's also announced the lineup for THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR for Saturday. With me at the bank, Case occupied and WorldWide in Minnesota...he's brought in a stellar and prestigious crew for the broadcast. Paige Sherrard (Swish Appeal), Daryl Foust (Ky Women Talk Sports) and Julie JC Sullivan will enter the basement on the hill and join the broadcast. You won't want to miss this show!


Congratulations to Louisville Volleyball on winning the ACC and receiving an invitation to the Big Dance! It's pretty sad the poll-voters again have failed to get the VolleyCards into the Top 25 again. I suppose the Cards will just have to go out and show them in the NCAA Tournament that they are legit and deserving of a higher ranking than "also receiving votes." 

The Cards do have a solid first round matchup against Northern Iowa. If UofL can play with  the same intensity they closed the season with, we could see them in the Sweet Sixteen.

 They have a solid matchup against Northern Iowa in the first round. If they volleyCards can play with the same intensity they closed the season out with them we could see a Sweet 16 appearance. A potential second round rematch against Minnesota is interesting. The Golden Gophers took an early season win 3-1 so revenge could be on the way.

Field Hockey

Nicole Woods received high honors this week. The senior is Louisville field hockey’s first ever Region Player of the Year. Woods is also a member of the USA Field Hockey women’s national team.

Swimming and Diving

Relay races begin tonight and the rest of the meet continues over the following few days in the USA Winter Nationals. Mallory Comerford is a favorite in multiple races and should help lead our aquatic Cardinals to a hopeful victory. They remain ranked in the Top 10.

Men’s Soccer

Grab your tickets and join me at Lynn Stadium Friday night. The men’s kickin Cards battle it out with Akron in the Elite Eight. The winner earns a trip to Philly, not to see the Eagles or Phillies play, but to compete for a College Cup. When the men’s team made it to the College Cup a few years ago under Coach Lolla they fell to the Zips. It’s our turn to break hearts.

Men’s Basketball

Coach Padgett and the men’s basketball team took a trip to the Hoosier State and squared off against Purdue. The Boilermakers were a favorite and pulled out the victory 66-57.

Purdue had a couple tall guys... they almost hit their head on the roof of the arena. The mismatch didn’t do the Cards justice. Neither did the foul trouble. Mahmoud and Spalding had four each while King fouled out. Only seven players scored and the bench combined for a whopping five points.

Losses this season are expected. The team is adjusting to a new coaching staff and game plan. Padgett is a fan of giving the freshmen an opportunity to play so we will see mistakes made by them early season. This loss doesn’t hurt and should, in fact, provide as a solid learning opportunity for the team.


As to not end on a bad note I will once again thank everyone for their generosity with donations to Cardinal Couple. Also, thank you to WCHQ for continuing to host the weekly Cardinal Couple radio show. You can tune into 100.9 fm anytime for some fantastic music and shows. Today is the second-to- last day of November (Donation Month) but that doesn’t mean the donations have to stop. If you would like to give a charitable donation to a good cause here at Cardinal Couple feel free to connect with Paulie. Signing out I wish all the Cardinal teams playing as competing this week the best of luck and make us proud! Go Cards!


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Odds and Ends from the Oddness that is The Bird Lady -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

( JULIE SULLIVAN brings us the Tuesday edition of CARDINAL COUPLE. She touches on a variety of subjects. She's always a good read and listen..when she appears on THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR.) 


Black Friday proved to be Red and Black Friday beginning with the Cards women's basketball team racing to victory over Murray State 115-51 and a 6-0 start to the season. 115 points is a single-game record for both men and women's basketball at Louisville. 

Way to go WBB! 

While the basketballs dribbled by the Ohio River, Volleyball was busy in Syracuse squeezing the Orange in VolleyCards win the ACC title and automatic qualifier (having the tie-breaker over Pitt) and go to the NCAA Tournament. Dani's gals will face Northern Iowa in Minneapolis at 5:30 p.m. on Friday in their opener.

The team raced back to Louisville to be introduced at Friday evening's men's game and even with the stands depleted at the half-time break, they garnered the loudest and most engaged cheers of the night. The men's team extinguished the Red Flash from St. Francis 84-72. MBB is undefeated in the David Padgett era but faces a tough test tonight in West Lafayette against the Purdue Boilermakers. 

The Saturday after Thanksgiving is designated as Shop Local Saturday. Lamar and the football squad decided to visit Kroger (Field) in Lexington and walked out with a door-busting win over UK 44-17. Reggie Bonnafon kept it local....flashing the "502" after his second score and Jackson did his best impersonation of a shopper battling for a store item when he squared off with a Wildcat after getting knocked out of bounds at the 2 on a carry and being shoved afterward. Attention K-Mart shoppers, these Cards are 8-4 and waiting to go Bowling! 

Men's Soccer, unwilling to end their season and NCAA Tournament run gritted their teeth against Colgate and then flashed those pearly whites in a 2-0 victory over Colgate. Smiles, everyone, smiles! (Sorry Mr. Roarke of Fantasy Island...)  


It has been said by some, Worldwide Jeff McAdams for one, that no one with "interim" in their title should get the permanent job at UofL. With the possible exception of David Padgett, I tend to agree with that statement. I am starting to warm up to the Vince Tyra era. Many don't want him solely because he is a UK grad, but he has been a UofL fan since birth, he wanted to play baseball in college at Louisville...but they didn't offer. UK did. I have never doubted is Cardinal loyalty. My original thoughts were to let the interim's do the dirty work and then bring in new faces to build the future. 

Tyra has impressed me as Interim Athletic Director. He has been visible but not obtrusive. He seems to have the right attitude and is saying the right things. Voicing support of coaches and making smart hires. Asking coaches what they need and how can he help them get that rather than trying to tell them how to do their jobs. He is a presence at UofL WBB contest (even sitting next to Paulie --poor Vince -- at a game). He also shows up at non-revenue sports -- not sequestered in a luxury box . I got a chance to talk to him before a football game and found him engaging and sincere. 

Here's to hoping he continues to prove he's the next permanent AD we need. 


Beth Burns was added to the UofL WBB staff just before the season began. She has a long and distinguished coaching history, including successful head coaching stints at San Diego State, Ohio State and back to SDSU. With a full coaching staff, the Cards designate her as a Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach/Special Adviser to the Head Coach. That's a mouthful! I was paranoid that someone might be leaving or that her addition might ruffle a few feathers among the current staff. So far, those fears seem unfounded. Myisha Hines-Allen has commented that Burns is great and she's disappointed that as a senior she'll have just one year with her. 

As a fill-in and guest on Coach Walz's radio show, Burns displayed great rapport with Associate Coach Stephanie Norman and also with Walz. She's known Norman for years and Beth has been quick to buy-in to the program, the university, the city and the fans. Her love of this team and those that surround it is obvious in every conversation I've listened to. Is she the piece of the puzzle that has been missing? Is she the icing on an already delicious cake? I don't fully know, but her being here seems to be adding to the "plus" column on reasons to believe in this squad. I have been using the hashtag #ThisTeamIsSpecial since I visited a practice in October and her knowledge and positivism just adds to my feeling. 

Welcome to "Possibility City" Coach Burns. I'm glad you are here. 


Scott Teeter was recently named as the new head coach for Louisville Lacrosse. He comes with 16 years of head coaching experience and building a quality program at Canisius. A change needed for LouisvilleLAX. I support this team and new Coach Scott. 

Still I have to wonder if any female coaches were considered. It is great that Louisville has been at the forefront of Title IX compliance, but to truly accent equality, women need to be in leadership roles. Since women's are rarely considered for men's sports head coaching roles, why are men often favored over equally qualified women for coaching positions? 

Yes, the Cards have women's head coaches in Karen Ferguson Dayes, Justine Sowry, Dani Busboom Kelly, Sandy Pearsall and Courtney Trimble, I realize that.

At the risk of angering Paulie, I would be hypocritical if I didn't call out CARDINAL COUPLE for having four males as part of their "A-Team" on THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR. I like and respect Paul, Jeff, Case and Jared. This is not a "knock" on them. They are each talented and dedicated and I enjoy reading their articles. I just happen to think there are some great female voices out there that should be heard. Be it Paige Sherrard, Daryl Foust, former athletes or other qualified women, female voices need to be heard! 

Julie Sullivan


November is donation month at Cardinal Couple. Please consider donating to this independent, non-profit site that covers the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports and Cardinal Athletics. Cardinal Couple is unique and daily. Your consideration is great appreciated. Use the PayPal link at the top of the site or send your checks or money orders to Cardinal Couple at: 

c/o Paul Sykes
PO BOX 91521

Thank you. 

(The opinions expressed in today's article are from Julie Sullivan and do not necessarily express the viewpoints of CARDINAL COUPLE nor the staff and organization.)


Monday, November 27, 2017


Tournament Time

Two tournament updates this morning.  Men's Soccer and Volleyball are both in tournament season.

Men's Soccer

The Men's Soccer team advanced over Colgate by a score of 2-0 last night at Lynn Stadium.  Goal's by Tate Schmitt and Walker Andriot in the first half made the tally for the Cardinals, while the defense was able to largely shut down the Colgate attack.  The Cards led in nearly every statistical category with 11 shots to 5, 5 of those were on goal for the Cards compared to only a single on goal for Colgate.  Louisville had 4 corner kicks in the first half, while Colgate only had 2 in the 2nd half.

Schmitt's goal game at 34:47 off of a corner set piece inbounded by assister extraordinaire Tim Kubel, who put the shot right on Schmitt's forehead to put it home.  Andriot's goal came at 40:21, with the assist to Ziyad Fekri.  Initially it looked like Schmitt had gotten a touch on this one as well, but it was later ruled that he hadn't, so the goal goes to Andriot.

The Cards continue their march to the College Cup with a 7pm matchup with the Akron Zips.  Akron advanced in a 3-2 win over Wisconsin, and also defeated Louisville in 2010 in the finals of the College Cup in Santa Barbara, CA.  If the Cards win this game, they advance to this year's College Cup in St. Louis.


The NCAA Selection Show for the Volleyball field of 64 was last night at 9pm.  Media, including yours truly, were invited down to the Cardinal Volleyball film room where the team watched the unveiling of the brackets.

The Cardinals were guaranteed a berth, but speculation was all over the place as to where they would be placed in the bracket.

The Cards will be traveling to Minneapolis, MN to Maturi Pavilion for the sub-regional hosted by Minnesota.  The 1st round opponent for UofL will be the University of Northern Iowa.  UNI sports as 26-8 overall record with some notable wins in the mix including victories over USC (Southern California, who is the 10 seed in the NCAA tourney), and Nebraska (NCAA tourney 5 seed).  They are definitely not a team to take likely.

Assuming UofL advances over UNI, then host Minnesota will likely be the opponent as I don't expect too much difficulty for the 7 seed to defeat North Dakota in the nightcap match on Friday night.  Advancing beyond that and the road will likely go through Gainesville, FL, where 2 seed Florida will be the favored team to advance over the likes of Alabama State, Miami, Cal Poly, and UCLA.  Assuming chalk on our side of the regional matchup, we would first play Southern California in the 3rd round presumably in Gainesville.

Coach Busboom Kelly wasn't particularly pleased with the selection as she was looking for a bit more respect from the selection committee with a matchup with a double-digit seed.  Overall, there are certainly a lot harder quadrants of the brackets to advance through...particularly the bottom left quadrant which contains the likes of Kentucky, Notre Dame, WKU (all in the Lexington sub-regional...WKU/ND is a 1st round matchup!), Oregon, BYU, Baylor (with former Card Aniah Philo),  Colorado (former UofL Asst Lee Maes), Florida State, and Nebraska.  I'm quite glad not to be in that mix.

The 1st round match will be at 5:30 eastern (4:30 central) in Minneapolis.  TV/streaming isn't yet listed, but it will almost assuredly be on ESPN streaming.

Your humble correspondent is working on plans to make the trip.


The days are winding down in the 11th month and so is the Donation drive at Cardinal Couple.

We go to great lengths to report on the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports and Cardinal athletics. We'll be on the road this week, with Paulie in Bloomington, IN for UofL women's basketball and Worldwide most likely headed to Minnesota to cover Volleyball's first two games in the NCAA Tournament.

And, chances are, we're likely to be the only Louisville based media at each event. Even if Worldwide is in the seats...he'll be observing the action and sharing with us what he sees.

Help us continue to report to you. Four days left in the month. Help us finish strong.

PAY PAL link at the top and checks are welcome at:

Cardinal Couple
c/o Paul Sykes
PO Box 91521
Louisville, KY   40291

Thank you!


Sunday, November 26, 2017

2 Types of Football and Volleyball Selection - SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

We have two types of football to talk about today.  We'll start with the more popular one, first.

Sweet Sixteen

The Men's Soccer team (playing the most popular sport in the world) takes to the pitch tonight against
Colgate.  Louisville advanced over San Francisco 3-2 last week in 2nd round action.  UofL, as the 4 seed in the tournament, received a bye in the first round.  Colgate advanced in the NCAA tournament with a bit of surprise over Michigan on Blue's home field in a stunning 3-2 comeback win.  Before that, they advanced in the first round with a 2-0 win over UMass.  Colgate was the automatic qualifier from the Patriot league.

If the Cards win this one, they'll play Akron after they defeated Wisconsin 3-2 in the 92nd minute in Overtime.  Akron was the team that defeated UofL in the College Cup Finals in 2010, so the Cards could be looking for some revenge, there.

The match gets started at 5pm at Lynn Stadium on Floyd Street.  If you can't make it out, you can catch it on ESPN3 streaming.

Governor's Cup

In other football, The Cards have come home from a chippy game in Lexington with the Governor's Cup.  The 44-17 over Kentucky was marred by a significant fight next to the UK sideline.  Offsetting penalties were issued, so, essentially no repercussions were felt to either team.  Regardless of which side of this one you're on, no matter which teams/players you think may have instigated this, to have essentially no repercussions for the extra-curricular activity is repugnant.

To take the UofL side of this just a bit, the vibe, at least amongst UK fans that I know, is that the
Kentucky players were disrespectful towards UofL players, and to the game in general.  I sense a real disappointment, even embarrassment, among a fan-base that is already losing faith in their football team.  I've gone on the record numerous times, saying that I want UK Football to be good, because I want this rivalry to mean something.  I am also, perhaps, a bit naive, in thinking that a great rivalry can be pursued by the teams and fan-bases in a respectful and fun manner, while still be serious about wanting "your" team to win.  I look to an example that has gotten some media play in the past few days with Myisha Hines-Allen, and her brother Josh Allen.  Josh, who wears number 41 for the Cats, comes to some of Myisha's basketball games, and when he does, he wears red to support his sister.  When Myisha goes to Lexington for UK Football games, she wears blue to support her brother.  That's respect and compassion.

 I also look no further than the comments section here on Cardinal Couple, where the likes of "Matthew Mitchell For Governor" and our Clemson friend, Arthur, graces the entries.  These are real rivalry fans, but they come with respect. (OK, MMFG comments pretty heavily tongue-in-cheek at times, but that's where the fun, while being respectful, comes into play).  In my mind, if your rivalry fandom crosses over into wishing actual malice onto the other fan base or teams, it's time for you to take a step back, a step away from sports, and regain some perspective.  (A brief aside on Josh Allen...he can apparently be seen during the scuffle, but to his credit, his actions were to restrain his own teammate and de-escalate the fight.  Apparently they raise them right in the (Hines-)Allen household.)

To circle back around to a sideline fight in football, we have to remember that it takes two to tango.  I
wasn't watching the game closely, so I don't have strong opinions about how the fight came about, who instigated it, who was more at fault, and ultimately, I don't really care.  I presume there were probably transgressions on both sides, so I don't want to blame this completely on Kentucky Football players, and ultimately the coaching staff, but I do believe there is a problem, there, and it needs to be addressed beyond just some anemic post-game-interview comments.

Rant about needing more respect for sport aside, this game just wasn't all that entertaining to watch, in my opinion.  Lamar did his usual Lamar-as-an-EA-Sports-cheatcode things, but the Cards had this game well in hand from the opening drive.  The Governor's Cup comes back to Louisville, where it has spent most of the past decade, and we the conversation moves, on both sides, to basketball, where it looks likely that Kentucky will again have the upper hand on the men's side, and UofL is likely favored on the women's side.  It will make for an interesting winter, and I look forward to respectful rivalry'ing.  If you can't be respectful, though?  Don't expect me to engage with you on the matter.

Volleyball Selection

Tonight also brings the Volleyball Selection Show at 9pm on ESPNU.  UofL is guaranteed a bid as the automatic qualifier for the ACC Conference.  The Cards did end up being co-champions of the league with Pitt's defeat of UVA yesterday evening.  With the head-to-head win over Pitt, UofL gets the AQ.

As is my wont, I'll take a moment to engage in a brief bit of bracketology.

Volleyball uses non-pre-determined sites for all but the Final Four, which will be in Kansas City, this year.  16 teams will host 1st and 2nd rounds, and 4 teams will host Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight rounds.  Looking at rankings, both coach's poll and RPI, it looks like UofL will be a very long shot to host any rounds.  We're currently sitting 21st in the RPI, and "Receiving Votes" in the coach's poll.  There will be a new coach's poll tomorrow, but that will be after the tourney selection, of course.  Presumably the selection committee will have up-to-date RPI results which we won't get to see until tomorrow afternoon.

The general wisdom is that the selection committee heavily leans on RPI for their decisions, and atop
the RPI are our friends down in Lexington.  Beyond host teams, volleyball selection is very regional.  This means that there is a pretty good chance that Louisville will just be going down the road for 1st and 2nd round games to Memorial Coliseum.  Otherwise, looking in coach's poll and RPI, there's a small chance of Purdue (where UofL has played numerous tournament matches in the past), and then beyond to...Michigan State, perhaps Kansas, or Minnesota?

Wherever they may end up going, I'll be moving heaven and earth to try to make the trip as I haven't missed a UofL NCAA tournament match since prior to 2009.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

Two of the four "A" team knuckleheads (Paulie and Jeff) stumbled into the basement of WCHQ to provide you with our weekly look at the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports and Cardinal Athletics. Julie Sullivan joined us at the table and we called River City Cards main man Mike Gilpatrick with a live pre-game look-in from Kroger Field in Lexington.

There were brownies, a clip from Bionca Dunham and Kylee Shook and we went over WBB, Volleyball, Punkin and Monk in the control room and we had a fun hour of discussion and predictions.

Louisville 44 - Kentucky 17. Here's how we did in our guesses. All picked UofL to win

Touchdown Squirrel    21-7
Jeff                              38-28
Paulie                          42-21
Monk                           42-38
Julie                             42-31
Mike Gilpatrick           42-35

We declare Paulie the winner but what a bunch of stinking geniuses, right?

You can hear the rebroadcast HERE

Waning Days of November

WHO AM I? First correct
respondent in the comments
section gets entered for the
Panera Card drawing! 
We're honored to have a great community on this site, and are occasionally reminded of it by our
rivalry fan visitors such as MMFG and Clemson Arthur.  It's not uncommon for us to receive comments from people along the lines of, "I'm a fan of xxxx team, and we don't have any sites like this.  I wish we did."  It's comments like that which remind us that what we're doing is nigh on unique among sports media coverage.  It's encouraging to us that we're doing something a bit out-of-the-box and getting such great support doing it.  It's also, however, a bit daunting to look out there, and not be able to find any roadmaps on how to do this stuff.

We joke a lot about Paulie marching to the beat of his own drummer, and that is shown in...well, the think something like this could work, and the drive to make it happen, largely through sheer force of will.

I want to thank Paulie for giving me the opportunity to bore you with an overwhelming amounts of Volleyball talk, but I also want to thank you, our readers and listeners for supporting our work.  It truly is appreciated, and today is the last article write I will have to get a chance to say that in November donation month.

So.  Thank you.  So very much, thank you.


Saturday, November 25, 2017


Louisville Volleyball Scores Ticket to Big Dance

Louisville defeated Syracuse yesterday afternoon to clinch at least a share of the ACC regular season championship. ACC Volleyball does not have a conference tournament, so the winner of the regular season earns the ACC's automatic qualification to the NCAA tournament. As Louisville holds the tiebreaker over Pittsburgh, the Cards are guaranteed the AQ. Louisville could still win the conference outright, if Pitt falls to Virginia today, however that is rather unlikely.

While Louisville managed the win yesterday, finishing with a .900 winning percentage in the conference season, they didn't do so without earning the "Cardiac Cards" moniker. After holding off a reverse sweep effort by North Carolina on Sunday, it was Louisville that found themselves playing from behind after losing the first two sets to Syracuse yesterday. With Louisville a bit out of sorts, hitting only .211 and -.050 with 19 total errors in the first two sets, Syracuse managed to win 25-27 and 23-25. Louisville found themselves behind the eight ball and their NCAA hopes may have been on the line with yesterday's match.

Fortunately, Coach Dani Busboom-Kelly had a strong halftime message for the Cards, who came out
taking care of the ball much better. After 19 errors in the first two sets, Louisville had only 15 errors in the final three. In the third set, Louisville worked their way out to a 14-9 lead and maintained the lead, holding off a late Syracuse to push to win 25-21. In the fourth, the Cards took advantage of 0.000 hitting by the Orange to get a big win 25-15. Thus set up a decisive fifth set. After back and forth scoring for the majority of the set, Wilma Rivera took over the serve tied at 10. Rivera has a wicked serve and was able to put the Orange off balance enough that the Cards were able to win four straight points to force Syracuse to call time out at match point. Syracuse won two points out of the timeout, but a Jasmine Bennett kill secured the match for the Cards. 

Bennett had a great game, with 10 kills and 9 block assists. She had five errors but most of the team didn't hit well so we can let that pass. Also having a great game was Melanie McHenry, who finished with a double double. Her hitting percentage wasn't great (she had a triple double if you count her errors), but she got 20 kills and 12 digs, peppering in 4 block assists. Molly Sauer was solid, with 20 digs, 2 aces, and only one service error. Maggie DeJong also went to double digit kills with 14. Wilma Rivera may have had the best game of all, though, finishing with 49 assists, 3 kills, 5 block assists and 12 digs. She had one error and one service error. 

Louisville is playing great volleyball right now, and it's great that a team that finished so poorly last season and was picked to be inconsequential in conference this year has outperformed all expectations. The team is full of talent and Coach DBK is only scratching the surface of putting her mark on this program. The Cards will find out their fate with the NCAA selection show tomorrow night. All of the matches from here on out will be tough, so it may be best to hope for Louisville to get stuck in Kentucky's region, just so there are more opportunities to see them this season. Cardinal Couple will be on the lookout for the latest news affecting UofL Volleyball. 

WBB Sets New Scoring Record en route to Win

Murray State came into the Yum! Center yesterday afternoon to get an opportunity against a top-5 team. They were promptly dispatched, as Louisville set a new scoring record in the victory, winning 115-51. The Cards jumped on the Racers early, winning the first ten minutes 29-8. The halftime score was 57-22 and the beatdown was on. Murray State apparently received the halftime speech of all time, as they came out of the break with their best performance of the game, losing the third quarter only 26-23. Louisville responded with another dominant quarter in the final stanza, finishing 32-6. 

Murray State is not off to a great start in their first season under their new head coach, sitting at 1-4 after yesterday's game. The Racers were picked to finish fifth in the OVC with the preseason player of the year. Their one win came against Northern Kentucky, but they lost by only 1 point on Tuesday against Lipscomb and by only 8 earlier against Butler. Reports say they showed promise in yesterday's game, so they'll have plenty of opportunities to improve as the year goes on. 

Louisville played the way you would expect a top 5 team to play yesterday, but they put up a school record 115 in ways you might not expect. The Cards made only 7 of 21 three point shots and only 14-17 free throws. They shot only 1 free throw in the second half. It was two point efficiency that the Cards rode to victory, scoring 66 points in the paint and posting a 62.5% shooting efficiency on two point field goals. The Cards got 76 points from their bench, showing that they've got quality depth at all positions. 

Louisville had five double digit scorers and two double digit rebounders, with Bionca Dunham posting an amazing 19 and 16 in only 21 minutes. Early season Player of the Year candidate, Asia Durr, had a less than stellar outing with only 7 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal in 20 minutes. She shot only 20% from the floor. When Durr is shooting the ball well, she's unstoppable. When she has a cold shooting start, though, it is a bit tougher for her to get back on track. Walz and Durr will have to work together to develop strategies to keep her out of her own head when she isn't shooting well so that she can turn around cold starts. Myisha Hines-Allen put up 8 points and 12 rebounds in only 14 minutes and peppered in 2 assists and a block. Kylee Shook was the leading scorer in the game with 21 points in 19 minutes. She shot 3-4 from behind the arc and 8-10 overall. Dana Evans, Arica Carter, and Jessica Laemmle were great distributors, with totals of 18 assists and only 5 turnovers.

The C-A-S-E Report

I still haven't figured out quite how to best represent these statistics, so the CASE Report is still fluid, but let's see how the Cards fared in the blowout.

C-Care - The goal here is to determine how well the Cards took care of the ball. Sheer volume of
turnovers is an OK indicator, but as was pointed out in the comments, adjusting for the quality of the opponent's defense would help put the value in context. Louisville finished with 15 turnovers, which isn't great, but it's far less than Murray's 26. According to the old model, Louisville would earn a lowercase 'c'. Using the NCAA statistics site, we can see the opponents average turnovers forced, then compare UofL's performance to the average. Before yesterday's game, Murray State forced an average of 17.5 turnovers/game. Louisville had 85.7% of Murray's average. I'd like to see that number be below 66.7%, so we'll stick with the lowercase 'c'.

A-Assists - Louisville finished with 25 assists. I've decided to not track assists compared to the opponent. We'll look at assist ratio and assist/turnover ratio. An assist ratio of >50% will be worth half a letter and an ATO ratio of >2 worth the other half. Louisville had an assist ratio of 53.2% and an ATO of only 1.667. That's a lowercase 'a'.

S-Steals - Louisville had 15 steals and Murray State had 10. I like the comparison of this stat to the opponent because of the way it compares the two defenses' performances. More than the opponent is half a letter and they were well over the 5 steal benchmark for the other half. We may need to address that benchmark. Definitely an uppercase 'S'.

E-Efficiency - Efficiency is the mark of the offense. We'll work free throws in here instead of comparing it to the opponent.
o with 75% free throws for that half of the letter and stick with 45% from the floor for the other half. Louisville shot a whopping 55.3% from the floor and 82.4% from the stripe. That's enough for an uppercase 'E'.

That wraps up the CASE report with Louisville earning a c-a-S-E. As mentioned earlier, they played the way you expect them to against a very outmatched opponent. Let me know what you think about the revamped CASE report in the comments below. Louisville now gets a break before going on the road to Bloomington to take on the Hoosiers of Indiana on Thursday.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

Jared and I are out of the studio today, but that isn't stopping Paulie and Jeff from holding down the fort. They'll be joined in studio by Julie Sullivan and may have other guests in the works. They'll break down some Louisville wins, with Jeff surely to wax poetic about the huge volleyball news. They may even mention a specific football game today. Tune into WCHQ FM at 11AM for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour. You can listen at 100.9 FM or via the WCHQ app or

Donation Month

November is Donation Month at Cardinal Couple. Thank you for what has been received so far. It's a good start. More is needed though, per Paulie. Can you help? Pay-Pal, check, whatever you are comfortable with.

We enjoy coming to you daily. WE would like to continue to come to you daily. You can help us continue to do that.

 Mail to:

Cardinal Couple
c/o Paul Sykes
PO BOX 91521
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Thank you! 

Until next time, Go Cards! (Beat UK!)

Friday, November 24, 2017

Friday Food Coma Cardinal Couple-- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Now that we're all well overfed on various Thanksgiving meals, our attention turns back to sports.


We've got a bit of recap to cover here due to the Thanksgiving posting yesterday.

On Wednesday, the Wide netters travelled to Boston College for what should've been a pretty easy win over a team in the bottom quarter of the ACC standings.  The win was achieved, but not without some major bumps along the road.

The Cards maintained the lead for most of the first 2 sets, but The Eagles stuck around and made them much closer sets than I really thought they should've been.  At the set break, though, it was 2-0 UofL over BC.

(Rumors on Lotta Poundavitch continue to swirl)
The 3rd set is where things got weird.  There was no streaming for this one, so I was relegated to watching stats trackers while I was out and about with friends in a pre-Thanksgiving gathering.  When I pulled the stats tracker back up for what I thought would be about the beginning of the third set, I did a double-take.  BC was leading 9-1 on the way to 11-1.  A little bit of back-and-forth scoring went on, still in the favor of BC, but not in big runs, until the score reached 8-20.  At that point, the Cards triggered their run.  Led by Molly Sauer's serving, the Cards came roaring back to tie it at 20.  That's a 12-0 run.  Earlier in the season we saw a 10-0 run with Wilma Rivera at the service line, and those two runs may be the biggest "something to zero" runs I've ever seen in a volleyball match.  Back to mostly trading points, but BC was able to pick up the 3rd set 25-23.  Given how much of a lead the Eagles had in that set, I'd say, despite winning the set, most of the momentum was in the Cards favor at that point.

The 4th set was still closer than I would've liked with BC as an opponent, but some separation was finally achieved towards the end of the match and UofL won the set 25-20, and the match 3-1.

Give Melanie McHenry a double-double with 16 kills and 12 digs, Wilma Rivera as well with her
typical 13 digs and 37 assists.  No one else scored in double digits, though the usual scoring committee for the Cards did well overall, the middles, Maggie DeJong and Jasmine Bennett each had 7 kills, and the other outsides, Tess Clark and Amanda Green, had 9 each.

That win, with an unexpected NC State loss to Duke, well and truly eliminates NC State from ACC championship contention.  In fact, that drops them to a tie with Miami in 3rd.  (If a tie-breaker mattered for anything in 3rd place, Miami holds the tie-break over NC State with the one head-to-head victory)

Technically the Cards are, at this point, back in the sole lead of the ACC at this point because Pitt didn't play Wednesday.  So the Cards have half a game on them, but Pitt has a game in hand, so effectively we're still talking a tie with UofL holding the tie-breaker.

That means that, with UofL's match at 1pm today, available on ACC Network Extra, at Syracuse, they are playing to guarantee a share of the ACC championship.  To win the championship outright, we'll need Pitt to take a loss at either Virginia Tech today, or at Virginia tomorrow.  Neither of those outcomes are particularly likely with UVA and VT also being bottom quarter dwellers in the conference.

So, on to Syracuse...I say this about that team every year, but they block well.  If you're a fan of good blocking in Volleyball, as I am, this should be a great game to watch.  In their last outing, a 5-set affair against Notre Dame in the Carrier Dome, SU chalked up 22 blocks.  Amber Witherspoon had a hand in 16 of them.  Syracuse sits in sole possession of 5th place in the ACC currently, with only that last game separating them and Notre Dame.  They'll be looking to make a case for an NCAA tourney berth, a slim possibility for them at this point, but they'll be doing everything they can to make it happen.  And UofL, of course, will be entering this one with the mentality (probably completely correct) that the ACC Championship, and automatic NCAA qualifier, is on the line.


We've got a double-header in basketball today.  The women host in-state foe Murray State.  My
brother and niece will be joining us for this one, and unless I miss my guess, he, as an alum of MSU, will be wearing Blue and Gold for this one.  There will be no recriminations from the rest of us in red and black, pretty much everything thinks the W will go to the Cards today.

This will likely be the first in-state loss for the Racers, having previously knocked off Georgetown, and NKU.  They haven't been fairing too well against border states, however, with losses to Butler and Evansville in Indiana, as well as Lipscomb in Tennessee.

The evening match has the men hosting St. Francis.  Don't count on a nail biter for this one, either.

All three events today are on the ACC Network Extra if you're not in Louisville or Syracuse.  Personally, I'll be in my usual WBB seat in section 115, row CC, but I will have my phone, with an external battery pack with me and doing my best to get the ACC Network Extra stream of volleyball since they both get underway at 1pm.


I had a wonderful low-key Thanksgiving yesterday, I hope you did, too.  We have said it numerous times over the course of this month, but we are truly thankful for our readers, listeners and supporters in various forms that make doing Cardinal Couple meaningful.  Your support, both financially, and non, makes it worth getting up and getting going on Friday and Sunday mornings to write my articles, it makes it worth getting up every Saturday morning to drive over to the WCHQ studios to talk about sports on a locally-focused radio station and network stream.

Thank you for your support.


Speaking of WCHQ, we will be back on the airways again this week.  Paulie and I will be in studio but I believe Jared will be making change and making it up in volume at the bank and Case is off.  I have heard Julie Sullivan will be in and we may have a special phone guest. We don't really have any drop-off when the subs come onto the court.

We'll have a lot to cover. WBB and Volleyball results. Maybe we'll even talk about an event in Lexington at Kroger's -- or something like that. I hear the Petrino pigskin bunch might be herding Cats. 

We'll be on the air, as typical, at 11am, on WCHQ 100.9 FM and streaming live via the WCHQ app and