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!!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Volleyball Falls in NCAA Tournament -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Magical Season Ends with Unceremonious Sweep by UNI

Louisville's head coach left the program at the end of last season after an extremely disappointing final stanza. No one faults Anne Kordes for doing what is best for herself and her family, at least I don't, but there was a lot of uncertainty about what was next for a program that had been building itself up to the status of "consistently decent". When Dani Busboom-Kelly was hired, I had no idea what to expect. I didn't know much about her, and I didn't know enough about the volleyball program at the time to know if the issues on last season's team stemmed from talent or coaching. Coach DBK promptly came in and showed what she could do with all of the talent on this Louisville Volleyball squad. Many of them will be back next year, but what they did in the first year of a new coach's tenure is impressive. You may be able to say that the ACC was in a bit of a down year, but this team still won 11 straight matches to end the season as the ACC regular season champions. They beat every team in the ACC and showed a lot of promise for next season.

Their impressive first year under DBK came to a close last night with a 21-25, 15-25, 25-27 sweep loss to the University of Northern Iowa. Louisville got a rough draw in the NCAA tournament as it was, being shipped up to a host region of a powerhouse Big Ten team, but there was hope for them to at least advance. I believe I actually made the prediction that they could win an NCAA tournament game earlier in the year. Nonetheless, despite the rough outing yesterday, Louisville still did amazing things this season, and their seniors will be missed.

As for yesterday's match, there is not a lot to say. Louisville was close in the first set, actually pushing out to an 18-15 lead after bouncing back and forth with the Panthers. The Cards yielded a 6-0 run, though, which gave UNI a 21-18 lead from which Louisville was unable to recover. The wheels fell off in the second set, as Louisville hit -.025 with 9 errors and only 8 kills. Louisville actually had the set tied at 11 before UNI won 14 of the next 18 points to defeat the Cards 15-25. There was not a lot to build on in the second set during halftime. From a mentality standpoint, I think it would have been much better for Louisville to have had the very rough set in the first, and show some fight in the second, rather than what happened. 

The Cards did show a spark of life in the third set, though. They led most of the third set by 3-4 points and actually had two set points at 24-22 and 24-23. They were unable to finish on either of those opportunities, unfortunately, and UNI came back to finish the match with a 25-27 third set victory. Louisville's offensive bright spots were few, as only Jasmine Bennett hit above .300 for the team. Melanie McHenry and Tess Clark both had rough days, hitting .075 and .074 respectively. Amanda Green led the team with 9 kills and added 2 aces, but tacked on 4 errors of her own, contributing to Louisville's total of 19 through the match. Molly Sauer did what she could defensively with 15 digs, and was joined by Wilma Rivera with 9 and McHenry with 8. 

After a lot of uncertainty before this season, and an unfortunate looking start to the season, Louisville has hope for the future. The team never found the top-25, which I found to be foolish given what the team accomplished, but one can be sure that this is not the last time that Coach Dani Busboom-Kelly finds her team in the NCAA tournament. A lot of the talent for the team returns next season, and Coach DBK will be able to add her own stamp on the recruiting of the team, which will help her implement her chosen style of play even more. I am sure Jeff will have plenty more to add about the team when he returns from Minnesota. 

Volleyball was not the only team who saw their season come to a close last night. Louisville's men's soccer team fell to Akron on extra penalties at Lynn Stadium, ending their hunt for a national title. I would be okay with Ken Lolla's team never having to face Akron ever again. Both losses leave Louisville football as the only major fall team sport that can end their season with a victory. The bowls will be announced after the College Football Playoff is determined, which will come after conference championship weekend concludes. Louisville is hoping to avoid a bowl conflict with their midday tilt against UK in the hardwood version of the Battle of the Bluegrass.

Soccer highlights:

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

Daryl Foust
Paulie is your only regular host this morning, but that is absolutely no excuse to miss today's edition of the CCRH. In fact, it may be even more incentive to tune in! Paul is joined by Paige Sherrard, Daryl Foust, and Julie Sullivan. All three are wonderful to have in the studio alone as guests, and I'm sure they'll be a treat all together. The CCRH comes on at 11AM on 100.9 WCHQ FM. It is also available on and the WCHQ app, both of which can be accessed from anywhere. Tune in for wonderful coverage about, with today's lineup, what I would expect a lot of women's basketball coverage. Daryl may need a shoulder to cry on after the soccer game last night as well.


That's all from me. Since I didn't have an article in the last week of November, allow me to sincerely thank everyone that donated over the last month. Your support--mentally, through page views, and financially--is extremely appreciated. I am happy to be a part of the Cardinal Couple team.

Until next time, Go Cards!


  1. On Volleyball,
    You get beat by better teams. UNI had their stuff together. The Cards had a good run after being picked to finish eighth in the ACC. They'll continue to improve under Dani.
    On Cardinal Couple Radio Hour,
    This sounds like it's going to be a great show. I'll be listening.

    The Deb Factor

  2. Tough loss for soccer last night. I agree with Case, Akron has UofL's number and I'd be fine if the Cards never played them again. One thing I learned while watching and listening to the game on-line is Valvano and Demling know nothing about soccer.

    -- The Real Joe Hill --

  3. Nice broadcast today Paulie! I wouldn't mind hearing that threesome again with you down the road. Poor Jeff, 11 hours up and back. He should have just headed over to Brookings, SD. Just another four hours. Case, I always enjoy your write-ups.

    David Watson

    1. Thanks Dave-O! IT was a fun show! They are great behind the microphone and deliver great rapport. I've actually made that drive from Louisville...actually to Mitchell, SD first...where my Mom is buried...then to Brookings to visit relatives on her side. Louisville to Mitchell was about 11 hours, if I remember right and another two hours to Brooking from there.


  4. Congrats to ULWVB! Impressive Season. Looking forward to next year.

    South Dakota is no joke. Rated #2 in mid-majors and we're playing them at home. Better bring our A Game.

  5. Busboom Kelly did a incredible job with this team. Wait until she gets her own recruits in here for Volleyball.


Please leave your comments here. We ask you be respectful of other posts, no matter how ridiculous they may seem to you. After all, it is CARDINAL COUPLE.

Any attempts to advertise a product or other website here in the comments section without the prior consent of CARDINAL COUPLE will result in a bill rendered for advertising services and possible legal action. We're serious. No more bots.

Now, have your take...