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Monday, November 6, 2017


NOVEMBER is donation month here at Cardinal Couple. Here is another reason why we could use your support. I'll be quite honest with you...I really like the group of writers and photographer I have here on the site right now. Three guys who work full time at other jobs, have lives outside of work and our website, friends and family and responsibilities. They take the time each week to express their thoughts and opinions about UofL women's sports...all UofL sports...on these pages. We are a non-profit. They do this for love of game. Here's the deal. I would like to be able to get them a little something besides the occasional gift card. Maybe a prepaid gas card now and them to help them with the expenses of going around and covering these events. Something to say "Thank You" for the hard work, dedication, Cardinal coverage and creativity that Jeff, Jared and Case bring to these pages. 

Please consider donating to Cardinal Couple. Check, Pay-Pal...heck, even walk up to me and hand me cash if you want.

Our mailing address is Cardinal Couple c/o Paul Sykes PO Box 91521, Louisville, KY  40291. Make your check payable to Cardinal Couple. Thank you. YOU are CARDINAL COUPLE and WE never forget that. 



As Duke and Louisville played Volleyball on Sunday afternoon in Durham, NC...they had two avid watchers on the ACC Network Extra. Worldwide Jeff and I were following the action while covering the Louisville Field Hockey game in the ACC Tournament Finals. I was also following it on Stat-tracker. Early on, it wasn't going so well for the Serve and Volley Cards. Down two sets and in a dog-fight in the third...the "Busboom Boomers" were in distress. 

Then, Field Hockey ended and I needed to wander down to get post-game chatter from Coach Sowry. Worldwide wasn't budging....choosing to remain in the press box and watch the action in Durham. I expected nothing less. 

Maybe it's good I left. While I unsuccessfully attempted to get post-game comments from Coach Sowry (she got those out of the way quite quickly before this old man could get down the steps and onto the pitch...talking to a media contingent that had been noticeably absent all season. Go figure) the Volleyball squad started to rally. While I trudged back to my car and headed home, the Cards had won the third and fourth sets and when I entered the house, I was able to catch the fifth and final set. 

Cards WIN! The Cards WIN! A back and forth, topsy-turvy exciting thriller on the Duke campus. 23-25, 22-25, 25-22, 25-16, 15-19. Melanie McHenry with 16 kills. Backs to the wall and on the ropes, the Serve and Volley Cards come back. 

It almost didn't happen. The Cards fell behind in game three 19-17 before going on a 8-1 run to stay alive and win the contest. Maggie DeJong had two kills during the final nine volleys of the third game.  

The Cards commanded action in the final set by jumping out to a 5-1 lead. The Blue Devils could not contain Tess Clark in the final chapter...she registered three kills late -- including the set and match point. She ended up with 12 kills on the day. 

The win puts the Cards in a three-way tie for first place in the ACC standings with Pittsburgh and NC State...all 12-2 in ACC play. Louisville comes back from their Tar Heel state jaunt to face Virginia (7 p.m.) on Friday night and Virginia Tech (2 p.m.) on Sunday in Cardinal Arena. 

Be there.



When you can't score, you aren't going to win and that's what happened to Louisville Field Hockey Sunday in the ACC Tournament Championship finals. Shooting predicates scoring and the Cards weren't doing much of that either against shot in 35 minutes of first half action and just three in the final half. The TarHeels got 13 shots off in a game that emphasized defense. 

UNC was the #5 seed in the tournament but actually had a better record (14-4) than the third seeded Cards (14-6) coming into the match. And, make no mistake about it...this is a very good North Carolina squad. Ashley Hoffman is the ACC defender of the year. They were more organized than Louisville and played a lock-down, stifling defense. 

The Cards had a shot at getting on the board with 13 minutes left in the game. Whena Munn got free on a jailbreak and dashed down the pitch to try UNC goalie Amanda Hendry but her shot was denied. The Cards also got a penalty corner attempt a couple of minutes later. Hendry covered that shot up as well. 

Although I didn't get to record this, losing coach Sowry did say: 

" It's so disappointing that we were unable to put one in the back of the net. We're young. Even right up to the last minutes we really didn't know how to handle those moments. I'll put it down to youth, but it's been one heck of a season so far. To win back-to-back against Syracuse and a formidable Duke squad , that's preparing for the NCAA Tournament and ultimately the Final Four here. I'm super proud." 

Freshman Alli Bitting and sophomores Ayeshia McFerran and Carter Ayars were named to the All-ACC Tournament team. 

And so, the Cards move on to the NCAA Tournament. Yes, they are of the 18 teams (and six ACC squads) who got invites. Louisville will open in Ann Arbor, MI against #9 Northwestern on Saturday (game time to be announced). If UofL wins, they would get either Michigan or Syracuse in Round Two. 

The Cards have played all three schools in the Michigan bracket this year. They fell to the Wildcats of the Big Ten 2-0 in the regular season and Michigan came to Louisville and knocked them around 5-0 in Trager. Louisville had two 3-2 wins over the in regular season play and one in the ACC Tournament.

Chances of Louisville getting through this gauntlet and back to Trager Stadium for the Final Four? Difficult but not impossible. Michigan had their number, obviously...and starting the tournament against Northwestern wasn't the best match the Cards could have hoped for. 

Chances of Paulie getting a final post game interview with Field Hockey players and Coach Sowry this year...also difficult but not impossible. It is regrettable and a bit disappointing that the guy who conducted the vast majority of the post-game home interviews this year got shut out twice in a row...but I'll end on a positive note here and say that it has been a joy to cover them this season and they have played some exciting hockey. 

Turn Minnie Mink loose. Jared needs the goals. She's a scorer (that's what she does). A big thanks to him for the wonderful photo work he has done this year and it is featured here again today. You can see all of his photography work from Sunday (and the season) on his Facebook page (Jared Daniel Anderson). 

We'll update you when we get specific game times and ways to watch. The chances are 100% that Cardinal Couple won't be there for live coverage. 


Louisville men's soccer went through 110 minutes of scoreless soccer Sunday against Virginia before losing in a shootout (Doc Holiday, Wyatt Earp, OK Corral!) The Cards are eliminated from the ACC Tournament with the loss at Lynn and will wait their fate in the NCAA Men's Soccer Selection Brackets that will be released on Saturday. The Cards were ranked 6th in the nation before the game and will hopefully get a chance to host opening action in the 64 team field. 



The weekly edition of The Cardinal Couple Radio finally got put up for rebroadcast at WCHQFM. Hear it here: 


We had big fun talking UofL women's sports, bashing each other, and went off on an interesting tangent about space launches. No, we're not sending Walz to the moon...nor Sowry to Saturn but it was revealing. 
Have a great Monday! 



  1. Tough break for Field Hockey and it looks like the NCAA didn't do them any favors either with the draw. Show 'em Cards!

    -- The Real Joe Hill --

  2. Hey Paulie, I think you'll have to buy Jeff an adult beverage as a gas card would be pretty much of a waster.

    1. The lad can eat. Seen it with these two failng eyes. Mebbe a gift card. Or...he could give the gas card to his doting, hard working mom.

      The hope is that we do well enough to have this option.


    2. update the donate drive. We have received $550 in donations so far. Another $100 promised and is on the way.

      This is good. Thank you. It is not where we need to be for 2018 but it's a start. We have two individuals who have pledged another $100 each if we can get over $800.

      Let's do it.

      Thank you to all who have donated, plan on donating or our thinking of donating.



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