It's been awhile! After a couple of weeks off for wedding festivities, I'm back in the Cardinal Couple saddle and ready to bring the joy and excitement of Louisville women's athletics to these pages. Unfortunately, my reintroduction to the studio will have to wait a week as the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour this week has been cancelled due to scheduling conflicts, but I'll be back on Mellwood soon enough. The bachelor party and wedding week were tons of fun, and now it's on to the real adult things like house hunting. Thanks to everyone for the well-wishes! Now, let's get into the real reason we're here!
Volleyball Takes Down Boston College 3-1
In a bit of a hangover from the loss against Pitt last week, Louisville's win over Boston College in Cardinal Arena last night was a very sloppy one. Louisville erred 6 times in the first game and finished the match with 22, yet still managed to hit a reasonable .284 in the match. The Cards dropped that first game 18-25, and it looked like there may be trouble afoot against the Eagles. BC came into the match at 13-9 (3-7), so a loss would have been quite the surprise. Fortunately, Louisville found their footing and swept the next three games to take the match pretty handily at 3-1.
Despite the talent gap, Louisville did not truly dominate BC in the match. The Eagles blocked well, tallying seven, and the Cards' largest win was 25-17 in game 3. BC was close at 25-20 and 25-23 in the remaining two games. If it was a matter of loss hangover, hopefully the Cards have put that behind them with this win and can carry a bit more confidence into their next game against Syracuse. If it was more than that, Louisville may be in some trouble.
Statistically, Louisville didn't play a terrible match. Every hitter with at least ten attempts hit at least .214 despite the 22 errors. The Cards did have more service errors than service aces (5-4), but it wasn't like a couple of games ago when they couldn't serve the ball without giving up a point. The Cards chipped in 14 block assists to go with their one solo block for a total of 8. Jasmine Bennett and Marijke Van Dyke jumped off of the page the most to me with 8 kills (.571) and 10 kills (.444) respectively. Amanda Green led the team with 16 kills but chipped in 6 of the 22 errors which tarnishes it a bit. Melanie McHenry played her typical game (which is crazy to say that this is typical), adding in 13 kills. McHenry was also honored for recording 1000 kills in her career. She is only a junior.
The Cards will look to put this win behind them, but may need to take a lesson two from it as their next match is against the Orange of Syracuse tomorrow at 1PM in Cardinal Arena. The Orange are 12-7 (8-3) on the season but are coming off of a tough 3-0 loss to a struggling Notre Dame team. In that loss, Syracuse tallied 15 blocks. If blocks were part of Louisville's struggles against Boston College, that issue is not going to be relieved against Syracuse. Here's hoping that Coach Dani Busboom Kelly can prepare the team effectively for high pressure at the net, and that the Cards can have an accurate swinging game to find their way around the blocks while staying in bounds.
Dorcas Wasike Becomes ACC Champion
While the Louisville women's cross country team struggled on the whole in the ACC Championship race yesterday (placing 14th out of 15 overall), there was one bright spot for the Cards in the event. And it was very bright. Dorcas Wasike claimed the women's championship trophy with a first place finish, coasting to the finish line after six kilometers a full 8 seconds ahead of second place. It was redemption for Wasike, who last year finished the race in second place. This victory was something she eyed all season, and she was determined to hold off those that she called very good runners in the final stretch. Wasike should qualify for the Southeast Regional meet with this victory, which will take place at Winthrop on November 9th. As Louisville will not be advancing to the NCAA championships as a team, Wasike can still make the NCAA championships as an individual. She'll have to finish in the top 25 of the regional meet and be one of the top 4 runners that has not already qualified with their team. Barring this method, she could still be selected as one of the two at large runners, but it would be best to get in the easy way. Best of luck to Dorcas as she continues her pursuit of a national championship to add to her trophy case.
Women's Basketball Tip-Off Luncheon
This was supposed to be the time when Paulie wrapped up the article with his takeaways from yesterday's tip-off luncheon. Unfortunately, I woke up a bit later than expected, pushing my timing for finishing the article back, and Paulie was unable to add in his thoughts before having to leave to tailgate for today's football game. See? Noon games aren't just frustrating because they're early. They have actual consequences. Anyway, I'm not even going to pretend that I have insight as to what went on yesterday other than what I saw on Twitter. Paulie, on the other hand, has plenty to say. You'll have to wait until Monday's article to hear about it, but with women's soccer and volleyball tomorrow, Monday is sure to be a column that you don't want to miss!!
Until next time, Go Cards!
Additional pictures from last night's volleyball match below. As always, be sure to check out Jared's site for great photos of UofL athletic events.