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Sunday, October 27, 2019

Big Match Sunday - Sunday Cardinal Couple

Biggest Match of the Year for Volleyball

Well, one of the two biggest, perhaps.

Pitt has only lost two matches this year, and that's only if you count pre-season scrimmages.  Before the season began, Dayton managed to beat Pitt, but it took all 5 sets and some extra points to do it.  It was a similar story with Penn State in late September.  After Pitt had dispatched the Nittany Lions in 3 in State College (a feat which no team has accomplished since 1986, I believe), the two teams traveled to Pittsburgh and Penn State was able to take the win in the Petersen Events Center, but took all 5 sets to do it.

Pitt has only lost 9 sets all season (putting aside the pre-season scrimmage against Dayton).  In conference, they have only lost 1 (against a quite good Florida State team).

All this is to say that Pitt is quite good, as if their #3 ranking in the country wasn't enough of an indication.  They have power and a bit of height at the net to cause problems with their blocking.  Their defense is a competent and keep them in system most of the time.

There are weaknesses in this Pitt team.  Their anticipated starting setter, Kylee Levers, went down with an ACL tear in her knee in pre-season practice, with the next player up in that position being Lexis Akeo.

The biggest offensive threats for Pitt are senior middle Layne van Buskirk (6'3"), and junior outside Kayla Lund (6'0").  Also keep an eye on junior middle/right side Chinaza Ndee (5'11") and senior outside Stephanie Williams (6'0").

A win today would be huge for Louisville.  A top 5 win, against an almost undefeated team with a
good strength of schedule would almost certainly return the Cards to the top 25 and go a long way toward cementing the Cards' place there.  It also, assuming no other crazy losses, would put the Cards in serious contention for hosting 1st and 2nd round NCAA tournament games....but let's not look too far ahead.

If you come to any volleyball match this year...come to this one.  L&N Arena can be a big competitive advantage when it's full of loud fans, let's make it that way today.

If you can't make it, this is one of the matches this season that is on the main ACC Network channel on linear TV.  Coverage begins at 3pm.

Soccer Goes South

Karen Ferguson Dayes' squad head south today, for a tilt with Miami in Coral Gables, FL.  The Hurricanes are sitting near the bottom of the conference standings with a 2-5-1 record.

The two wins in conference are over Syracuse and Clemson, though they did take 2 OTs to get the win over the Tigers.  The tie came at the hands of Pitt.  If you look at the conference standings in women's soccer, you'll notice that all three of these teams are in the bottom third of the standings.

Among their losses, a 4-0 drubbing against ACC basement dwelling Boston College certainly doesn't create an expectation of a strongly competitive game today.

Case did speak of some injuries that have UofL playing several players out of their normal positions and testing a little bit of their depth, so we'll see how they fair today.

This one is on ACC Network Extra, with a noon start for the streaming.

Field Hockey Wins a Big One

Volleyball has a big match for today, but Field Hockey came out victorious in a big one yesterday against Duke with former UofL coach Pam Bustin at the helm.

Junior Madison Walsh was able to get the lone goal in this one, but that was enough to lift the Cards
over 4th ranked Duke.  UofL, with their 5th place ranking, was expected to put up quite a contest against the Blue Devils, and sure enough it came to pass.

Duke is having an uncharacteristically tough year in conference with a current record of 1-4.  Assuming Louisville and Duke swap spots in the national rankings tomorrow, a 5th place ranking for an 11-5 team, with 4 of those losses in conference, does speak to the very high opinion NFHCA coaches have towards the ACC overall.

The Blue Devils got 2 shots on goal, with Hollyn Barr saving one, and the other credited to "TEAM".  On the other side, while UofL is credited in the stat sheet with 4 shots on goal (Madison Walsh, Mercedes Pastor, Bethany Russ, and Minna Tremonti), Duke is only stat'ed for 1 goal against, and 2 saves.  I'm not exactly sure how that happens, unless there is some sort of penalty called that eliminates the goal scored, even though it wasn't saved?

Walsh's score came on a shot that deflected off of a Duke defender's stick and into the goal in the 36th minute.  Soccer would call that an own goal, but Field Hockey has it's own way of doing things sometimes.  Duke would push the attack the rest of the game, looking for the equalizer, taking a 5-1 advantage in shots taken in the 4th quarter, but wouldn't get any past the Louisville defense.

The Cards will wrap up their regular season Saturday at Trager Stadium when 1-3, 10-5 Syracuse comes calling at 1 p.m.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

A solid trio were in studio yesterday for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour.  After missing the week before, Case, Paulie, and myself made the appearance.  We spent a good amount of time discussing the volleyball events of the past week, picking apart the major happenings in that sport with Mel McHenry going down with an ACL, and a, frankly embarrassing, loss at Virginia Tech, and finally the redeeming win over Virginia Friday.  We previewed a bit of this Pitt match today.

We also covered Soccer, Field Hockey, and started to get excited for the upcoming Women's Basketball season, as well as impending Media Day and Luncheon.

You can check out the fun with the Facebook Live replay at:



  1. What was cool yesterday:

    1) ol' Curtis got (3) different 'use my tickets" offers. I chose the one that had me on the east side of the stadium with PNC Club access.

    2) The concourse and club had the FH game vs. Duke showing on their televisions. I was able to stay dry, sip a beverage and watch the end of a very exciting UofL win for Justine's gals.

    3) I listened to the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour in my car while tailgating with the group that provided my ticket. Also, I turned a couple of people on to the show and website. Do I get a commission, Paulie?

    4) I didn't have to work yesterday and I am off today as well. Seems my wealth of overtime minutes last week got a bit of "frown/disapproval" from corporate management.

    5) I met a Cardinal Couple reader in the PNC Club. When I introduced myself to this VERY ATTRACTIVE woman, she goes "Are you the Curtis from Cardinal Couple?" Never in my life have I been prouder to be recognized. And -- BONUS -- she's single, has money and I got her phone number. Follow up pending and "name" protected, since her BF also reads the site and I don't want any conflict.

    Curtis "Stars were aligned for me yesterday" Franklin

    1. Only in Louisville...

      No commission Curtis, but...we'll let you monitor Jared for 24 hours in November and report back to us.

      Sweet deal for the PNC Club access for you. I. too, watched the end of the game from my concourse after watching most of it over at HOC.


  2. Hello Friends !

    Arthur here !

    Nice win for your football squad and congratulations also on the Field Hockey win as well.

    That Curtis. When he was down here last year, he was breaking girls' hearts all over the hallowed ground we tailgate on.

    Your friend
    #1 Clemson Fan
    Greer, SC

  3. Here I talked all about how Louisville had to score more than one goal to win and then they go on the road and beat duke 1-0. 🤦🏻‍♂️ my predictions fail again.

    1. 1-0 seems to be the rule of thumb this weekend, as UofL women's soccer gets a 1-0 win at Miami today A player short because of some very questionable "card awarding" from a referee who is probably a huge Canes Athletic Fund sponsor.

      What I don't understand is how a red card loses you a player, but it isn't necessarily the player who the card was awarded to. Arianna Ferraro got the questionable card but wASN'T tossed from the game.

      Soccer. I'll never fully understand this sport.



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