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Sunday, August 25, 2019

Cardinals Sweep Saturday - Sunday Cardinal Couple

Exhibition Saturday Success

An afternoon of exhibition competitions led to an afternoon of victories for the Cardinal women teams.  Field Hockey and Volleyball were both in action, and both saw good successes against their respective opponents.

Field Hockey

The afternoon got underway with a 1pm pass back at Trager Stadium with the Field Hockey taking the field against their traditional first exhibition opponents, The Cardinal Alumnae.

The Alumnae would get on the scoreboard first with a first quarter goal by Class of 2013 graduate, and current Assistant Coach Erin Schneidtmiller, but that would be the only goal success the Alumnae would get.  The current squad evened it up midway through the second quarter (yes, they're playing 15 minute quarters, now) to take the tie into halftime. Sacred Heart (Louisville) freshman Mattie Tabor got the current student-athletes on the board. 

The current squad would go on to score several more times in the last two quarters to hand a resounding defeat to the alumnae.  Because this was an exhibition match, we don't have stats sheets to dive into significant depth.

Ultimately, the is a warmup for the season, it's the first chance for the current squad to field a team on the field against an external opponent in a line-up that could be used in official game play.  It's a good time for everyone, and good competitive play to prepare for the season ahead.

A bonus dose of joy and excitement as Sherrill Brakmeier, the Grand Dame of UofL Field Hockey was in attendance and celebrated her birthday with the team and alumnae.

The squad will be back in action today at 2pm against Miami of Ohio, also in exhibition play, and will open their official season against Indiana on Friday with a 3pm start.

Below, Paulie post-game interviews with Coach Sowry, Hannah Boyle and the "three amigos"




Thanks to Jared for the video work here. They were dealing with wind issues and the P.A. system, so we've included Paulie audio below as well.





After their intra-squad scrimmage last weekend, the Volleyball team also welcomed Miami of OH to the River City for their inter-squad scrimmage and exhibition.  

Claire Chaussee guards the net.
The Cards swept this one 4-0.


I'll wait a moment for that to sink in.

The match was, as mentioned, an exhibition match, so there's nothing really official about it, but "officially", in it's exhibition unofficialness, the Cards won in 3 straight sets.  A quick exchange at the scorers table near the end of the 3rd set, however, and both coaches agreed to go ahead and play a 4th set to give them teams that little extra bit of pre-season experience.

Tori Dilfer serving up some heat.
Position battles have been the point of interest in volleyball and, well, there are no straightforward answers here quite yet.  The "official" (see above re: exhibition) starting lineup included Emily Scott and Anna Stevenson as the middles and Tori Dilfer as setter.  The rest of the line-up was unsurprising, with Melanie McHenry, Aiko Jones, and Claire Chaussee as the hitters, and Alexis Hamilton donning the libero jersey.

Later in the match we would see Piper Roe get some significant time in the middle, Amaya Tillman did make an appearance as a right side hitter, but her time on the court was limited, prompting some speculation that she still may not be 100% on her ankle after she rolled it in the Red & Black Scrimmage.

Jaz Jones of the WBB team being Jaz Jones.
Probably the most interesting development came several rotations into the first set, as Tori Dilfer was set to rotate into the front row, a double-substitution came to the sub-line.  Dilfer headed to the sideline being replaced by a committee throughout the match of Amaya Tillman, Amber Stivrins, and Nena Mbonu.  Also at the sub-line was freshman Shannon Shields coming in to serve, with Aiko Jones heading to the sideline.  Yes, Cardinal volleyball fans, the 6-2 offense is a thing that we will probably see some this season.*

Again, we're in exhibition-land, so we don't have a full stat sheet to work with (and even if we did, it would only cover the first 3 sets).  In those 3, however, McHenry, Jones, and Chaussee each tallied 8 kills.  I also noted, at the end of the 3rd set, that Aiko Jones had 9 blocks listed on the scoreboard.  Anna Stevenson, and Piper Roe contributed some excellent blocking as well, and I'd say this team will do well in blocking stats for the year.

The VolleyCards will get their official season underway Friday against a national powerhouse, 10th ranked, Florida.  That match should start at about 7pm, but there is an earlier match in the session with Dayton competing against Texas A&M.  These matches kick off the official seasons for these teams, as well as the Cardinal Classic Tournament at L&N Federal Credit Union Arena.  The Cards will play Texas A&M Saturday at 7pm, and Dayton on Sunday at 1pm.  A quite note on Dayton...they were eliminated by the Cards in the first round of NCAA play in Illinois last fall, so they will be looking for revenge.  Also, don't estimate this flyer team as they were able to knock off 12th ranked Pittsburgh in 5 sets (25-21, 25-21, 22-25, 23-25, 19-17, a real barn burner of a match) in exhibition play.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour. Paulie, Case and I were in the studio yesterday bringing you the weekly edition.  As you would likely expect, you can catch recap and previews of women's soccer, a recap of the volleyball Red & Black Scrimmate and a preview of the Miami of Ohio exhibition, and a preview of Field Hockey action against the Alumnae and also Miami of Ohio.

Floyd now has his own logo associated with the station and you can follow him on Twitter at @squirrelfloyd 

How long will it be before we see him campus riding one of those pay-per-ride scooters?

Join the fun at:


* Some explanation, if you're not well versed in how volleyball lineups can work as a 6-2 offense is a fairly rare occurrence at the college level.  The crux of this is that Dilfer will act as setter as she rotates across the back row.  When she's set to rotate up to the front row, her rotation location will be taken by a hitter (one of that committee), who will rotate across the front row.

As that hitter is set to rotate into the backrow, they will sub out and Dilfer will return.  In the meantime, halfway around the rotation, Aiko Jones plays her way across the front-line (blocking about every 3rd hit, it seemed) and when she is set to rotate into the backrow, at the same time that Dilfer is about to move to the front, Shannon Shield enters to serve and set from the backrow.  The result of all of this is that the active setter on the floor for the Cards is always in the back row, leaving two pin hitters and middle always in the front row, supercharging the offense and blocking defense for the Cards.

There are trade-offs, however.  This substitution pattern consumes 4 substitutions for each full rotation around the court, and as the number of substitutions in a set of volleyball is limited, this can become an issue.  It also means that the team will have fewer Defensive Specialists on the court throughout a match as the rotational slot that will have a DS sub in across the back-row remains constantly consumed by a setter, rather than only for half the rotation.

So you need hitters that can play defense well, and the Cards do have several in McHenry, Chaussee, and Stivrins.  You need a libero that can cover a lot of court, Alexis Hamilton was almost physically stopped by Director of Ops Sarah Petkovik from chasing one into and through the bench seating.  And lastly, you should have a middle that can serve reasonably well and not be a major liability on defense for that half of a rotation, Piper Roe (despite my jinx of her in the Red & Black) does well in these areas.  This last one is to conserve the number of substitutions that need to be taken.

The 6-2 is a tricky offense to run well, but when you have a team and lineup that can, it can be super effective.


Jared wasn't able to test the water cannon's strength since EMS wasn't present

Both goalkeepers looked good today! 


  1. I want to see Jared vs. Water Cannon and I'll put up money to make this happen. $2 at least, maybe $5,

    It looks like the alumnae really enjoyed the interviews! Thanks for including them in todays article

    Curtis "Water cannon, water cannon" Franklin

    1. Four great women and it was great to interview them wonderful alumnae. Sadly, I didn't get an invite for any "post-game" beer and food but I'd "hoist a few" with any of the four anytime.



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