Sunday, December 2, 2018
Illinois Eliminates VolleyCards from NCAA Tournament -- WBB facing Tenn. State today -- SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
ILLINOIS BLOCKS CARDS PATH IN NCAA SECOND ROUND
(Our regular Sunday columnist "Worldwide" Jeff McAdams is...you guessed it...travelling back from the game and will do the Volleyball season recap on Tuesday for CARDINAL COUPLE. Here's Paulie's take on the match.)
Despite 17 kills each from Melanie McHenry and Amanda Green, the University of Volleyball team fell in second round action to Illinois, in Champaign last night in four sets. The Cards won the second set, but were handled by the Big Ten school the rest of the way with a four set total of 25-22, 26-28, 25-17, 25-18.
They do support their wide-net action on the Illinois campus. 4400 showed up for the second round match and there wasn't much "red" shown by the BTN2GO network in the orange clad crowd.
One thing I will remember about this contest was Illinois' superior ability to block at the net. The home team used a 19 -5 advantage in stopping shots at the net to subdue the Cards and move on to the Sweet Sixteen.
First set action found the squads tied at 12 before "Abe Lincoln's other state" pulled away and held a 19-17 edge. Undaunted, the Cards roared back to capture a 20-19 lead before the Illini took control again and finished the set on a 6-2 run to win the set. a perilously close net ball fell the home team's way for the final point.
Louisville came out strong in set two and led 10-7 after a McHenry worm burner. Still up 15-12 at the media break, the Cards stumbled a bit later on and looked on as U of Ill erased a 17-14 Cardinal advantage and grabbed a 18-17 edge. The Cards were not through yet, though, and successfully held off set points at 24-22 to force extra action. Once again, McHenry "rose" to the occasion and her kill shot gave Louisville the 28-26 win.
After the break, it turned into an Illinois block party.
Louisville never held a lead in the third set. Falling behind 14-6 after the #3 ranked Illini sprinted off on a 8-0 run, the Cards would battle back to get within four...but the rally was successfully quelled and 20-12 eventually became 25-17 in favor of the Champaign-Urbana school.
(Sidebar. We assigned Worldwide the task, since he was there, to check out Urban Urbana after dark. We suggested he drink champagne in Champaign before doing so. Film at 11...if he managed to make it out of the lobby of the Hilton.)
The Cards did not recover from the third set drubbing. Confident and having fun, U of Ill continued to throw the "block party" and built a 10-4 lead on the Cards in set four. Although the school has not yet named a replacement for the recently forced retirement of mascot Chief Illiniwek, the Volleyball team had no trouble going on the warpath against the Cards and built that lead to 20-11. McHenry and Green kept swinging and narrowed that a bit, but the scalping party squad held the scared ground with a seven-point win for game, set and match.
This was a good season for UofL Volleyball.
Not quite the ACC Championship caliber of last year's...but the Cards did advance further in the NCAA tournament than last year and have quite a bit of talent returning in McHenry, Roe, VanDyke, Scott, Sloan and others.
They also lose a great deal of talent in Green, Sauer, Rivera and Bennett.
Louisville finished the season at 22-9.
WBB TAKES THE TIGERS BY THE TAIL TODAY
Meanwhile, back on the banks of the Ohio River, the University of Louisville women's basketball team prepares to put their season opening seven game win streak on the line when they try to cage the Tennessee State Tigers today at 2 p.m in the KFC YUM! Center.
OK...no need to cue up the Civil Defense sirens.
The Nashville school saunters in with an 0-8 record on the season. With four starters returning from a 6-21 team in 2017-18, one would speculate they might be a little better that "0 for season" but they have faced an arduous schedule that has included Vandy, Arkansas, Wisconsin and Pittsburgh.
Last time out, TSU took a 78-56 loss to South Alabama. These felines did face the Cards last year in the YUM! in December and fell 95-56.
For Louisville, a performance of the basics and solid, smart basketball should be enough to improve to a "snowman" record (8-0) on a day that promises to be sunny and in the 60's.
"TV Dee" won't be blowing the whistle today in the downtown arena but there will be an all-woman officiating crew with Paulani Spurlock, Felicia Young and Tommi Paris.
A chance, perhaps, for Coach Walz to give a little extended playing time to the "R & R" girls (Seygan Robins and Mykasa Robinson), plus Lindsey Duvall and everyone's favorite Attack Yorkie...Jess Laemmle, if the other seven on the Cardinal roster can take care of business sufficiently and rapidly. "Run, Forrest, run" is the Cards go-to and if they can successfully couple accuracy to go with the speed, they should have a great deal of success scampering up and down Denny Crum Court.
Hopefully, the Cards can quell their turnovers early, force a bunch of them by the Tigers and commit acts of theft. We'd like to see the Tennessee State bakery open and Louisville's closed on Sunday. Letting "threedom" reign from "Durr-able", Arica and others is another way the Cards can roll up the score and give the fans a chance to get loud.
In the all-time series, the Cards are 4-2 against Tennessee State. They went 2-2 in the 1985-86 and 1986-87 seasons, each team winning at home back in the Peggy Fieher days. The Cards recorded romps over the Tigers in 2012 and last year.
Can't be there? Shame on you, but, don't despair. ACCNE will bring the video feed with "Jumpin' Jim Kelch and the esteemed, former paint-prowler Cortnee Walton handling play-by-play and color analysis coverage. On the electric radio, may we suggest the excellent coverage of Nick Curran and Adrienne Johnson on CARDS RADIO 790 AM WKRD.
And now...today's song is a classic from the 1960's...the legendary Buck Owens performs with his Buckaroos band and tells you about "getting a Tiger By The Tail". Check out the excellent guitar work by the vastly under-rated Don Rich and those gaudy monkey suits at the link below.
A feel-good country song for what we hope will be a feel-good afternoon:
LINK: Tiger By The Tail