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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Volleyball's Wild Night -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Louisville Volleyball Has Wild Night

If you went to or followed Louisville volleyball last night you'd know it was a crazy evening.  Besides having to change venues last minute the Cards had to rally from a two set deficit to win in five against rival Notre Dame..

A campus-wide power outage sent students and faculty home around lunchtime yesterday.  All events on campus were cancelled because, well, there was no electricity.  The Student Activities Center, where Cardinal Arena is housed, joined the rest of the campus in a blackout.

Sacred Heart Academy was generous enough to open up their gymnasium to host the Louisville vs Notre Dame volleyball match.  Granted, a high school gym is not equipped to host several hundred fans, but UofL athletics and the ticket office managed to make things work.

The first set stayed back-and-forth until the Cards pulled ahead 15-11.  The Irish had called a timeout a point previous to that and it seemed to calm their nerves as they went on a run to tie the score at 23 apiece and then go ahead by one.  The Cards had two set point opportunities but failed to capitalize, falling 29-27.

Louisville hopped on the Irish early in the second set when the went up 6-2.  Notre Dame tied the score at 7 all and the teams traded points for a while.  When Notre Dame went up by five in the final stretch of the set Dani Busboom Kelly called a timeout.  The timeout didn't seem to do much as the Cards fell 25-20.

Halftime adjustments seemed to worked well because the Cards came out with fire in their eyes.  Louisville went on a 5-0 run to start the second half.  Emily Scott played a major role in the next run where the Cards found themselves up 14-4.  Louisville hit cruise control the rest of the set, winning 25-17.

The first part of the fourth set remained close with the Irish holding a slight advantage.  Louisville tied the score at 13-13 before pulling ahead and holding off a late surge by Notre Dame.  The 25-20 victory sent the match into a fifth set (what a surprise for these two teams).

Louisville kicked off the fifth set 7-4 and then 9-6 before Notre Dame called a timeout.  The Irish roared back to trail by one 12-11 before the Cards took a timeout to gather themselves and focus on pulling off the victory.  They did just that, scoring three of the final points to claim the set and the match 15-12.

Louisville finished the match hitting .247.  The first two sets were .103 and .158, respectively, with the final three sets all hitting .300 or greater.  Melanie McHenry (19), Megan Sloan (17), and Emily Scott (15) all had big nights on the front line in kills.

Wilma Rivera had one of her busier nights with 63 assists, as expected when you play more sets.  Her and Molly Sauer were critical in helping keep the Cards settled and focused.  Sauer also led the team with 28 digs.  She had help from McHenry's 19 and Amanda Green's 13.

Piper Roe had a big night after hitting .500 and ending with no errors.  Scott and Sloan also limited their errors to four each.

The 11 service errors were a little too much (Louisville had 20 in a five-set match at Georgia Tech recently), but that number was matched by Notre Dame.

The match showed a few things for Louisville.  This team can adjust to change such as the last minute change in location.  This team can push through a challenge and keep fighting to find ways to win.  They have the will to win.  The coaching talents of Dani Busboom Kelly, Dan Meske, and so on have put Louisville on another level and played a critical part of the win last night.

Coach was complimentary of Notre Dame in how they force opponents to work for their points.  She was proud of how her team handled the things and being able to grind through for the victory.

Louisville improves to 14-4 on the season and a 7-0 mark in conference  play.  With power restored to campus they will return to Cardinal Arena this Friday against Virginia Tech.

Worldwide is out of town for work and missed it, but Paulie found his way over to Sacred Heart.  He seemed to enjoy the free water and his guess of 1000 spectators was about double what the box score had listed.

In typical Paulie fashion, his phone and tablet ran out of juice before the end of the match, but he, along with Matt Bradshaw (from The Cardinal student newspaper) did get post-game remarks from Coach "Dani B".

I'll look for his comments on more description of last night.


Thank you to Paulie for switching days with me as I will be boarding a plane at Standiford Field by the time this article is published (thank goodness for the scheduled publishing feature).  Assuming my flights from here to Tallahassee with a layover in Atlanta go well I shall be checking up on Katy down in Florida State by midday and ready to celebrate her birthday tomorrow.  I will also get a first-person perspective on how powerful and damaging hurricanes can be.  Please keep everyone affected by this disaster in your thoughts and prayers.

On another note I highly recommend you make your way to Floyd Street on Friday to catch men's soccer, field hockey (free admission on this one), or volleyball.  If you stick around long enough you can even catch softball (free admission) take on Kentucky and Western Kentucky as soon as the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour concludes.

Happy Thursday and Go Cards!

- Jared -


  1. With the advent of rain, going across town to Sacred Heart and feeling somewhat lazy...I almost didn't attend last night's Volleyball match. What a shame that would have been. Figuring that ACC Network Extra wouldn't show (and, unfortunately, I was right about that)...I gathered up the gear and headed to the Catholic high school's campus gym. Brought back memories. I dated a girl from Sacred Heart years ago. Didn't see her there last night, though, but probably wouldn't have known one way or another -- that was about 40 years ago.

    Upon arrival, I had a nice chat with a Cardinal Arena facilities manager. I discovered that the Cards had tried to get Bellarmine as a replacement venue but the Knights wouldn't be out of Knights Gym until 8 p.m. That was too late for Notre Dame (they were on a bus), so UofL tried Sacred Heart and found success with the Valkyries.

    Media Row, well, wasn't.

    A plastic bleacher behind the official scoring table seved as my base for reporting. Right in there with the fan base. Understandable, there were about a 1000 crammed into the gym. Nancy must have forgotten about those sitting behind her and in the end zones when she made her guess of attendance.

    No power source, no stat sheet and the video screen behind me, so watching replays and such weren't possible.

    I endured a sore butt, a out-of-control little one behind me whopping me repeatedly with a pom-pom, kicking me in the back and another young missus falling in my lap after tripping over Matt's equipment.

    Welcome to the "not-so" big leagues.

    Still, it was an energetic, loud and spirited crowd that never disassociated them from the match...even with the Cards down two sets.

    And, it was fun and exciting volleyball! I thought I might be leaving after three sets, but the way the Cards dominated set three, we were discussing how great it would be if UofL could come back and grab set four as well and force a fifth set.

    We got what we wanted.

    I was really impressed with several things. First off, Notre Dame's blocking abilities at the net. The Irish stopped "Mel" (Melanie McHenry) quite frequently at the net when she attempted one of those sonic speed slams. Very impressed, as well, with Emily Scott. She's a gamer and shows great passion and skill for the sport. Also, Louisville's service from Wilma Rivera. She's gotta be breaking the speed of sound with those rockets she serves -- someone call NASA.

    All in all, a great comeback and exciting night of Volleyball. Got free water at the door, got to have an extended conversation with Bob Adelburg, who sang the National Anthem and subsequently left with my water and program. Saw great volleyball, a Cardinal win and lots of Cardinal fans I knew and recognized in the stands.

    I'd call that a pretty good Wednesday.


  2. Good accounts from both of you. No one recounts an event like you, Paulie. I can almost see the little one who was probably dressed by a doting mother in Cardinal Red gear wailing away at you with pom pom and feet.

    Good win Cards! Keep it up.

    Stay safe Jared on your rescue mission and visit to FSU. It don't look so good down there.

    Curtis "Free water? I'm in." Franklin

  3. Just got word that women’s soccer cancelled flying to Wake Forest via Louisville to Atlanta and bussing the remaining portion. They are now bussing Louisville straight to Wake Forest. There was a fear the flights might be cancelled. It’s funny because I might have been on the same flight had they not cancelled :(

    Let’s hope they get the road win tomorrow night to help keep them near the top of the ACC!

  4. Wow. What a contest, based on the article and comments for Louisville Volleyball! I was ready to watch on the ACC Network Extra, was disappointed it wasn't on but given the circumstances, I fully understand.

    We got rain today and it's supposed to rain all day before moving out Friday. Just what we need hear. Rain. A tropical storm warning but we don't have the cooler weather I understand that you are experiencing in Louisville.

    Good luck an Go Cards!

    Your friend
    #1 Clemson Fan
    Greer, SC

  5. Hey ho! Dave O here!

    We're still alive and well here. Some flooding and the Manatee River almost covered the Bradenton Riverwalk, not far from where we are, but not any extensive damage. It's 87 and sunny today here.

    Keep the panhandle residents in your thoughts and prayers. It is going to take a long time for them to recover from Michael.

    I was wondering about the ACC Coverage last night and where it was, but your descriptions and accounts made me feel like I was there.

    I enjoyed listening to the post game comments from Coach Busboom Kelly but no video? Where was Jared? Chasing another event or sport? And, be careful down at FSU Jared and stay safe!

    I think and I pray we are done with hurricane season down here.

    So, maybe we start getting some women's basketball news soon? Looking forward to a great season. I'm also hoping for the remaining regular season and post-season successes for Volleyball. womens Soccer and Field Hockey.

    Dave O

    1. Yeah, I'm not sure why UofL's Volleyball Sports Information Department didn't post the vid. They did capture it on a phone. Jared was over across town at a function and had to leave out early this morning so he couldn't get there for photos or post game.

      Going to hear Walz speak at a function tonight. Although I can't record or video it, I'll listen intently and maybe try to get some WBB hoops stuff up tomorrow, along with a Field Hockey interview I'm attending today.

  6. Anyone in for on-campus visits for UofL WBB this weekend?


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