Monday, October 28, 2019
Split Sunday -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE
WSOC WINS IN MIAMI, VOLLEYBALL LOSES TO PITT
A mixed result day for Louisville women's sports on Sunday.
LOUISVILLE 1 - MIAMI 0
Starting the Sunday action off was the women's soccer squad with a visit to Miami for a noon kick. Louisville took the battle to the Canes early and Emina Ekic put UofL on the board after six minutes of action with a unassisted drive into the box where she beat the Miami goalkeeper one-on-one with the game's lone goal. It was Ekic' s team-leading eighth goal of the year.
A major blow to the Cardinal lineup with 27:33 left in the fist half when a Miami player got loose on a breakaway with UofL senor center back Niahm Nelson in pursuit. The Canes player appeared to lose her balance and fall down just outside of the box but the referee whistled Nelson for a foul, after a brief review,which drew her a red card and immediate ejection from the contest...since he decided she was in the box.
I've watched the replay several times and, in this writer's opinion, the intent was not deliberate from Nelson -- it actually appeared the Miami player had started to lose her balance before Nelson lightly touched her on the back.
And, of course, she played it up to the hilt -- laying on the ground, writhing in "pain" like she'd just faced Mike Tyson in a one-round knockout bout. The referee bought the act and, suddenly, Louisville was down a player for the final 72 minutes of the contest.
I've seen a lot worse infractions draw just yellow, or sometimes no card at all and witnessed better actors in 3rd grade Thanksgiving plays.
The Cards adjusted, though, and preserved. Miami did not get a shot off the rest of the contest -- despite the one-player advantage -- and the end result culminated in Gabby Kouzelos' notching her eighth shutout of the season.
Louisville, now 12-2-2 on the regular season and 5-2-2 in the ACC, comes back to Lynn Stadium for the final match of the regular season to face NC State on Halloween (Thursday) evening. A 5 p.m. start that will be shown on Fox Sports.
After yesterday's ACC action across the league, Louisville remains in fourth place with 17 points and has a great chance to host a home game in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals. The top seven teams all won yesterday in conference. Duke is in fifth place with 15 points and would appear to have the best chance of facing the Cards on Nov. 3rd, unless they lose at Florida State on Thursday. In sixth place is NC State, with 13 points.
The scenario for Louisville hosting an ACC Tournament match is simple. Win and you are hosting.
A tie or loss against the Wolfpack, coupled with a win by Duke at FSU would vault the Blue Devils to fourth and they would host Louisville. A Cardinal tie, plus Duke win ties the two schools with 18 point. Since they tied during the regular season, Louisville and Duke would wait for the ACC to decide which school would host in the quarters. An NC State win over Louisville, coupled with a Duke loss would vault the Wolfpack into fifth place and a trip to Louisville for the quarter-finals.
The top eight in the ACC after Sunday action:
North Carolina 25 points
Florida State 21 points
Virginia 21 points
LOUISVILLE 17 points
Duke 15 points
NC State 13 points
Clemson 12 points
Virginia Tech 11 points
PITTSBURGH 3 - LOUISVILLE 0
A showdown between the top two teams in ACC Volleyball took place in the L&N FCU Arena yesterday and it was the visitors from Three Rivers City getting the win in straight sets -- 25-21, 25-22, 25-20.
Close but no cigar for the Cards (15-5, 8-2) who stayed competitive in all three games but take their second ACC loss.
#3 in the nation Pitt (21-1, 10-0) managed to win all three matches but none of them came easy. In the first set, the Panthers scored the final two points to win by four. In set two, the contest was tied at 21-21, but Pittsburgh out-scored the Cards 4-1 to finish the game. In the third set, Pitt took control late, pushing a 21-19 lead to another 4-1 end-of- game run to win the game and complete the sweep of the match.
The Cards hit .146 for the match but did have 13 blocks. Pitt finished with a .255 hitting average and their 47-32 kill advantage was the key factor in the Panthers win.
Amber Stirvins led the Cards with 10 kills and Anna Stevenson came up with eight blocks to lead the Cards in those two categories.
A full house yesterday for this one in the Floyd Street facility, highlighted by the Louisville men's swimming and diving squad doing a progressive "strip-tease" during the match -- eventually ending up in just their swim-suits.
Dani Busboom Kelly's squad hits the highway for four straight next. They'll visit Boston College, Syracuse, Miami and Florida State over the next two weeks before returning to the LNFCU to face Syracuse again on November 15th.
A Cardinal squad that is going through some adjustments without Melanie McHenry. Losers of two of their last three, the Cards need more consistency and a bit better hitting to close out the season and gain an NCAA bid. The good news is that the Cards won't face anyone as tough as Pitt until they actually face Pitt at Pitt to close out the regular season....although Boston College and Florida State have 7-3 conference records and could be tough matches for the travelling Cards.
(Volleyball photos courtesy of Jared Anderson)
Have a marvelous Monday !