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Sunday, September 9, 2018

Rain Rain Go Away - Sunday Cardinal Couple


Volleyball lost an epic match in Purdue's Holloway Gym to the 19th ranked, Boilermakers (25-23, 17-25, 28-26, 13-25, 15-10).

I wasn't able to be there for this one in person, but I did catch most of the Purdue Sports Network broadcast of it, and it was a barn-burner.  Both teams considered this one an important match, with Louisville looking for a big early season signature win over a ranked team, and Purdue facing their first team that's really vying for national attention.  The Boilermakers did come into this one also looking to defend their undefeated record.

I do want to draw some attention to a bit of a pattern in the set scores.  The sets that Purdue won were very close, 25-23, 28-26, and 15-10 being the biggest margin; while the Cards victorious sets were by solid margins, 25-17, 25-13.  A couple of other numbers to look at, hitting percentages with the Cards outhitting Purdue .199 to .152 (neither are numbers to write home about, but more on that below). 63 kills for the Cards to 50 for Purdue, 77 digs for UofL to 61 for the train builders.  All of these stats point to a team that, in the overall, outplayed Purdue.  It's really quite difficult, in the stats sheet, to figure out why and how Purdue won the match.  If I had to give an answer, it would be a question of defense for both teams.  Purdue outblocked the Cards 15-8, which is not a category that UofL typically finds themselves on the short end.  You could probably point to defense beyond the block, even with UofL winning the dig stat, for some credit to Purdue here, though that's much harder to judge from just audio coverage of the game vs seeing it in person.

Stop me if you've heard this one before, the kills leader for UofL was Melanie McHenry, who planted 17, but for efficiency, Megan Sloan was tops out of the hitters with 14 kills for .321.  Wilma Rivera took the absolute top spot in hitting percentage with .500.  I usually don't include her in this discussion because she typically doesn't have enough attempts to be statistically significant, but she swung on 10 last night, landing 6, so we'll give her due credit in this one.  Jasmine Bennett also reached double digits in hitting with 10, for .261.  On the defensive side of things, Molly Sauer dug 30, Melanie McHenry next with 18, which makes a double-double for her.  In blocking defense, the freshman Emily Scott continues to establish her presence in the middle with a solo and 4 shares.  Megan Sloan got in on 4, Jasmine Bennett had a hand in 3, McHenry 2, and Rivera got in on 1 as well.

Louisville really wanted this one, and winning it would've gone a long way towards moving them up into the Top 25 rankings.  It is still a possibility, with many ranked teams taking upset losses this weekend, but don't hold your breath.

Louisville will wrap up non-conference play for the season next weekend.  The schedule starts Friday with the biggest non-conference matchup of the year, and not just because rivalry.  Kentucky is currently ranked 16th in the country with updated rankings to come out tomorrow and while I expect this ranking update to have a lot of movement, I don't expect UK to change their position too much.  They lost this weekend to #6 Texas and beat an unranked Texas State team.  This match and the conference matchup with Pitt will likely be the last chances this team has to get really signature wins against ranked teams for the season.

The atmosphere in Cardinal Arena should be raucous for the Friday night (7 p.m.) match.  The Cards did beat UK in spring play, so the teams should be well matched, if you come to any Volleyball matches this year, you should try to be there for this one.

Football and Rain

3.84.  That was the number of inches of rain that fell on Louisville yesterday according to the official records...with most of that falling during the evening hours.  The official measuring point for the National Weather Service in Louisville is at Louisville International Airport, a stone's throw away from Cardinal Stadium where Louisville was playing Indiana State in a football game that was so long they could've almost played the game twice except for the weather delays.  Some rain gauges in the Louisville area registered over 6 and a half inches of rain for the day.  The game suffered over 2 and a half hours of lightning delay, meaning the first quarter of the game didn't end until almost 3 hours after it began.  Fans that (understandably) left the game early had to walk or drive through approximately 6 inches water on Floyd Street to get away from the stadium.

Louisville would eventually go on to win this one 31-7 after a 7-7 halftime score after a QB switch and plenty of other weeping and gnashing of teeth from fans.  You can find plenty of analysis (that frankly would be far more insightful than anything I could come up with) on plenty of other sites, so I'll leave that to them.

EDITOR NOTE: Sonya and I endured the 5 plus hours of the game, plus over three hours of "wet-gating" before the contest. We left after the Cards scored their final touchdown. There were maybe 12 people left in our section. I've attended some pretty wet and nasty football game in my 46 years of attending Cardinal football. The Florida State and Kentucky games come to mind, but this one, I think, has them beat water-wise. We waded back to our car thoroughly soaked. I think I hit the sack around 1:30 AM. How was your Saturday? 

(Rain photo of Paulie and Sonya courtesy of Jared Anderson. Check his work out at JDA Photography!) 

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

Jared couldn't be with us yesterday, but Case, Paulie, and I graced the airways with our weekly broadcast originating from the magnificent media mansion on Mellwood.  You can check out the FB live stream of the broadcast at:



  1. My camera stayed pretty dry for the most part but I had to call it quits mid-3rd quarter to protect the equipment. We were starting to pull away at the time though. Time to push that film to the side because there’s not too much to learn from it and prepare for Western Kentucky.

  2. Paulie you and Sonya are true fans. Congrats on sticking it out without the benefit of a suite or cover. No way I could of based on what I heard and saw.

    Curtis "Melts in rain" Franklin


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