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Sunday, March 25, 2018

Cards compete in Elite Eight -- Sunday Cardinal Couple

Game Day!

It's game day for Jeff Walz's Women's Basketball squad.  Back at Rupp Arena in Lexington for a noon tip-off against the Oregon State Beavers.

The Beavers advanced over Baylor in the early matchup Friday evening, while the Cardinals beat the unconventional Cardinal of Stanford.

We talked at length - Paulie, Daryl, and I - during the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour yesterday, and even got a minimally medicated Case on the phone to get his take.  Definitely go check it out at

You can make a day of it in Lexington with the Volleyball kicking of spring exhibition play at Memorial Coliseum at 4pm against Kentucky.  That should leave you plenty of time to watch the WBB team cut down the nets at Rupp, maybe grab a quick snack, and get over to Memorial in time to see the Volleyball squad first serve.  This will be your first chance to check out the play of Marijke van Dyke.  Marijke is a transfer from Illinois and will be starting her sophomore year with the fall season.  With Tess Clark having graduated, expect Piper Roe to step into middle hitting/blocking position, with Jasmine Bennett continuing to fill the other middle spot.  The spring roster is always a bit thinner with the graduating seniors not typically participating (they're allowed to by NCAA rule, but spring play is mostly about getting started on getting ready for the next fall, so they usually don't), and incoming freshmen mostly not having joined the team, yet.  Kentucky has a very fine volleyball team, though thankfully Kaz Brown is finally graduating, so she likely won't be in action today.  You should see some high level volleyball at the event.


Softball dropped the final game of the 3 game series with Duke, 1-0.  The weather altered the schedule, and during the radio show, with the rain actively falling, we were doubtful that the game would go off as planned yesterday, but the water drops stopped falling, and the field at Ulmer is absolutely fantastic at handling rain like that, so it was ready to go almost immediately once they took the tarp off.

The Dukies got on the board in the first inning on a triple and a wild pitch, and that would be it for the scoring for the game.

The Cardinals struggled, as they have much of the year, to string offensive successes together to result in runs.  They had opportunities, but with 6 left on base, that's a lot of misses on those opportunities.

Freshman Danielle Watson started in the circle for the Cards, but only pitched the single inning, with Megan Hensley taking the circle and holding the Blue Devils scoreless the rest of the way.

The denizens of the diamond head to Lipscomb for a 5pm game on Wednesday and then return back home for a 5pm start to their 3 game series with NC State back at Ulmer.


Lacrosse dropped a close one, 13-12 against Robert Morris in Moon Township, PA.  (Please tell me that Moon Unit Zappa decided to settle there.)

Caroline Blalock registered another hat trick, and more, tallying 5 in the match.  Tessa Chad, another pretty consistent hat tricker, got 4.  Emily Howell, Ally Hall, and Lexi Cheatham each put 1 in the back of the net.

This was a very back and forth game for most of the way, though Robert Morris did pull out to a 4 goal lead towards the end of the game.  The Cards closed it back down, but couldn't get the equalizer.

The Laxers are now 6-5, playing well, but with definite room to improve in this rebuilding season with a new coaching staff.


The Men's Swimming and Diving team finished off their NCAA championships participation with a 9th place finish in the overall competition.  Combined with the women's 5th place (and school best) finish, that puts UofL in the rarefied air of being one of only 3 schools with both Men's and Women's squads finishing the NCAA championships in the top 10.

I can't help but continue to be amazed at the meteoric rise of this squad, from the humble beginnings of the basement pool in Crawford Gym, when they went to their first ever NCAA Championship competition and came in dead last with a whopping total of 1 point.  To today, where both the Men's and Women's squads are among the top teams in the country, where it has become a regular occurrence for members of the squad to swim for their National squads in International competition.  Being a significantly International squad, that's representation across a number of nations over the past 5 years or so, including the USA, Brazil, Venezuela, The Netherlands, Russia, and more.

Subjectively, I've been impressed in the past year or so, and particularly this season, that the team has seemed to progress from being a team with one or two stand out swimmers, to being a team with, ok, still one or two stand out swimmers, but also considerable competitiveness across the board.  UofL has had particular success with their relays this year, events that put more of an emphasis on across-the-board competitiveness in a squad, as well as advancing to the finals in most (and in the case of one night of the Women's Championship, all) of the events, which also takes consistent competitiveness across the squad.

Arthur Albiero may very well be the most successful head coach in Louisville athletics right now.  I certainly would place him up there with Jeff Walz, Dan McDonnell, and Ken Lolla, all of which have dramatically advanced their programs to be competitive at top levels during their tenure.



  1. Columbus, here we come, again!!!

  2. Having now seen the game, it was a romp. I am in shock.

  3. We NOW look like UCONN.. Meaning EVERY PLAYER IS SCORING and EVERY PLAYER is contributing! But of course with that Louisville style! Just simply meaning as I have said in the past the only reason UCONN wins is because all the girls step up! Now all the cards are stepping up recognizing there roles! Good luck again!


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