Thursday, December 27, 2018
2018 Grades -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
PAULIE GRADES OUT 2018 SQUADS -- Part I
After a few days to enjoy the Holiday Season and Christmas, Professor Paulie has put the glasses back on, gone through the research and stats and has his final grades for six of the 2018 Louisville women's sports squads. 12 grades to administer and, in the cases where there are split seasons (basketball and others) to consider, I've used the "latest" season for evaluation. Today, we review Basketball, Cross Country, Field Hockey, Golf, Lacrosse and Rowing.
Let's get into it. The athletic listing is alphabetical.
BASKETBALL 12-0 is as good as you can get in terms of a record. Some close calls, yes, and a couple of quarters that didn't exactly stand out as excellent, but, with the entire body of work so far in the 2018-19 season...there is a lot to like. With Asia Durr, Sam Fuehring, Arica Carter, Jazmine Jones performing as expected, a bit of pleasant surprise from Bionca Dunham and Dana Evans and the timely contributions from Kylee Shook, Lindsey Duvall, Mykasa Robinson, Seygan Robins and Jess Laemmle
12-0 so far. Taking the Battle of the Bluegrass and achieving a #3 national ranking -- it's pretty easy to write an "A" at the top of this squad's body of work so far.
CROSS COUNTRY In the 2018 part of their schedule, the name to know has been Dorcas Wasike. She won six of the seven meets she participated in and finished in the top 15 in the NCAA Championships. The Card Runners, as a squad, did not fare quite as well, although they did win the dual meet at Tennessee to start the season. Freshman Ivine Chemutal, like Wasike from Kenya, was usually next in line behind Wasike in Cardinal runners. The bestowing of ACC Runner of the Year and All-American to Wasike is quite impressive. 14th out of 15 in the ACC Championships, though, indicates a deeper and more talented roster is needed. We'll give out a "C" overall, with a "A" to Dorcas.
FIELD HOCKEY When you have the best goalkeeper in the world on your roster, opponents tend to notice you. Participating in the ACC is no walk in the park. Ayeshia McFerran did what she could do to get the Cards back to the NCAA Tournament, but a 13-6 record and defeat to Wake Forest in the ACC Championships (that most likely turned the NCAA Committee's head negatively), kept the Cards out of the NCAA Tournament. Beside McFerran's defensive feats, Bethany Russ, Erica Cooper and Mercedes Pastor were the leading offense threats for Justine Sowry's flock. A 3-3 record in ACC competition ultimately marks the squad as "average" and that's the grade I'll assign them -- a "C".
GOLF In five events this fall, the Louisville women's golf squad competed with the best in the nation and won their final event of the fall. Out of the eight golfers on the squad who participated in events, Junior Lauren Hartlage scored the best for the Cards. Mairead Martin, a 5'2" freshman out of Ireland, had the second lowest average (5'2" -- can there be "Attack Yorkies" in golf)? The third place finish in the fall final home event...The Cardinal Cup was good, but UofL was 19 strokes behind the winner (Illinois). Hartlage and Mairead are good enough to play about anywhere, the Cards need to find another strong "threesome" out of Thibodeau, Shah, Cason, Nay, Trockel and Bechadergue. In head coach Courtney Trimble's final season, the Cards are representing. Based on the win in Georgia and third place finish at the Cardinal Club -- I've decided on a "B-" for the "chip and putt" Cards.
LACROSSE In Scott Teeter's first season, a rebuilt and patched together roster had early success with a 5-1 record before the trials and rigors of the ACC schedule contributed to a final 6-11 record, 0-8 in the ACC. We saw the promise of the future in the Blalock sisters (Caroline and Sarah) and strong efforts from Tessa Chad, Jillian Balog and Madison Hoover. The season, basically was a "mulligan" (to use a golf term) because of a shortened roster and lack of experience...but the Cards showed fight with hard-earned wins at Cincinnati and Mercer -- plus home victories against Marquette and Vandy. 2018 could have been a whole lot worse, given the situation Coach Teeter walked in to...so I'll assign a "C-" here after considering all this group had to go through.
ROWING Derek Copeland's rowers hit the water for three fall events, plus the Red and Black Regatta. They won the prestigious fall "Head Of the Hooch" in Chattanooga -- getting Championship "4" and "8" first places against traditional powerhouses Alabama, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Wisconsin. The Rivanna Romp saw the Cards finish second in both "4" and "8" competition...losing to the incredible Virginia squads in Virginia. We see a Louisville squad that competed well against the best the nation as to offer east of the Mississippi and can see our way clear to handing out a "B" to the women of the water.
We'll grade out women's soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, track and field and volleyball soon. I'll offer the grade assignments for these final six to either Jared, Case or Jeff.