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Wednesday, September 11, 2019


Which Team is Hottest

No, we aren't judging physical appearance.  But we are looking on three teams that are on fire right now.  Volleyball, Soccer, and Field Hockey each have five wins apiece and they have a combined one loss.  So which team is hottest?


The 'VolleyCards' are the only team with a loss this season- a 3-0 loss against Florida to start the year.  They've since gone through the competition and have won 15 of their last 19 sets.

Dani Busboom Kelly has enough healthy and talented players that we continue to see shared playing time between much of the team.  With two strong setters on the squad the Cards have been able to play a 6-2 offense. A lot of team don't employ the 6-2, so it is a definite advantage.

Aiko Jones and Melanie McHenry are battling it out for most kills on the team but Claire Chaussee and Amaya Tillman have brought hops and power with them.  Tori Dilfer and Shannon Shields have been the dynamic duo and have a combined 207 assists. Alexis Hamilton has commanded the back row with her defense and has had a supporting cast around her.

Besides Florida, no other opponent has been ranked, although Dayton is flirting with the rankings.  Also, they have yet to play a match outside L&N Federal Credit Union Arena, and road wins do a lot more for the RPI than a home victory.

Volleyball has moved up to 22nd in the Coaches Poll.  Three of their next four opponents are ranked or in the receiving votes category.


Despite a 5-0 start to the season Soccer is the only women's fall sport not ranked.  They are sitting at
30th if you include the receiving votes category.

Defensively, the Cards have been nearly perfect, allowing their sole goal in their season opener at Ohio State.  They have yet to surrender at goal at Lynn Stadium.  Keeper Gabby Kouzelos hasn't seen a lot of action having only eight saves thanks to a talented back line that has featured Niamh Nelson, Sarah Hernandez, and Arianna Ferraro.

In the midfield, Callie McKinney and Nadege L'Esperance have been stingy with the ball against opponents and don't like to see the ball get behind them.

The Cards have been an offensive powerhouse with 12 goals in five matches.  Emina Ekic leads the charge with three goals while Brooklynn Rivers and Maisie Whitsett each have two.  Five other Cardinals have recorded a goal on the season.

Louisville's opponents have not been top of the pack challengers have a combined record of 7-17-1.  A few early wins are nice and help the win total at the end of the season, but the tournament committee will also look at quality of wins.  Louisville still has three home games left in this current home streak, but they get considerably tougher with Dayton, Vandy and UNC visiting Lynn..

Field Hockey

The highest ranked team of any fall UofL sports has started the season 5-0.  Field Hockey just climbed the rankings to 8th in the country.

Overall, they've outscored opponents 16-4.  Bethany Russ has dominated with six goals, including a hat trick recently.  Six other Cards have recorded at least one goal.

The goalkeeping battle early in the season and preseason has started to lean in favor of  Hollyn Barr, who has a 215-90 edge in minutes over Sam Minrath.  Barr has four saves on six attempts while Minrath has three saves on five attempts.

The Cards have three wins at home, one on the road, and one at a neutral site.  They took down a ranked Michigan State team in East Lansing by a whopping 4-1 score.

The next three opponents are ranked, all on the road, and two of them are Top 12.  A schedule loaded with ranked opponents will show what the Cards are truly made of. The "Flock's" next four are on the road, at Ohio State, UNC, Boston College and Providence. If they can get to 9-0 with this incredibly tough stretch in front of them, I don't see how they can be left out of the top five nationally.

The Verdict

So, who's hottest?

I have to go with Field Hockey.  They're the only team with a victory against a ranked opponent.  There's a reason they've jumped up to 8th in the country.

Coach Sowry's squad was snubbed from last year's NCAA Tournament despite finishing #12 in the nation and they're out for vengeance. Statistically, they have a 99-19 shot advantage against their foes. When you can take an average of almost 20 shots a game against your foes four per contest, it shows that your attackers are zeroed in on their mission and that the defense creates plenty of opportunities to get those shots for them.

All teams are within a couple weeks of beginning conference play and next thing you know we'll be discussing postseason.

On Thursday

Paulie is back on the Louisville women's basketball interviews now that he has completed his jury duty.

Today, he's sitting down with grad transfer Yacine Diop.

She's an incredible story oF determination and persistence. She left her home and parents in Senegal at the age of 16 to come to the USA and pursue her dream of playing collegiate basketball.

Don't miss the Thursday Cardinal Couple! 

Happy Wednesday and Go Cards!


1 comment:

  1. Diop is probably my favorite on the 2019-20 Louisville WBB squad. Her journey has been incredible just to get to where she is.

    I will agree with Jared for now on Field Hockey but I hope he comes back and does a story after 10 games. These next four for FH could easily have them at 5-4 when they finally get back to Louisville.

    Nick O.


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