Jeff Walz is taking his squad up north. Or perhaps you prefer "Norse".
The Norse are, of course Northern Kentucky University, a member of the Horizon League, and alma mater for Jeff Walz. NKU is a relatively new school to Division I athletics, having made the transition from Division II in 2012. Originally joining the Atlantic Sun Conference (in 2008), they changed to the Horizon League as they completed their transition period to Division I.
The Norse are 4-4 to this point in the season, and perhaps a little amusingly, they started their season with four straight loses, followed by four straight wins. They dropped decisions against the Samantha Williams led Eastern Kentucky, Saint Louis, and, in a visit to Nashville, both Lipscomb and Belmont. Wins came against The University of Nebraska at Omaha, Central Arkansas, Jacksonville State, and Florida International.
Based on that competition, I don't expect NKU to put up too much competition for the Cards today. Who should the Cards keep an eye on amongst the Norse, though?
Molly Glick is a 5'11" guard and the scoring leader, including from beyond the arc with almost 40% success. The supporting cast is Ivy Turner, and then a committee of Carissa Garcia, Emmy Souder, and Ally Niece. Souder will be the biggest presence in the middle, a 6'2" forward/center.
The game is at 2pm, and is only available for streaming on ESPN+. You might prefer to just tune in Nick and AJ on the radio, where they should be on the call, as always.
Volleyball Tournament Update
Thanks to Case for the excellent recap of UofL's win over WKU Friday night. You can check his article yesterday for analysis and breakdown of that. He hit on pretty much all of the points and takeaways that I had from watching the match in person.
Let's take a moment and look around at the rest of the tournament.
As of last night, all of the first and second round matches are complete and the sweet 16 is set. The Cards are, of course, in and will be hoisting another black banner in the L&N Federal Credit Union Arena in the fall. Back to the present, however, their opponent will be 2-seed Texas, who had a surprisingly difficult time getting past UC Santa Barbara on Texas' home floor in Gregory Gymnasium. Being the highest seed to advance to the Regional level, they will be hosted the matches this weekend including with Louisville on Friday. The other half of the Regional bracket includes Minnesota and Florida. Minn had a serious challenge last night against Creighton, taking five sets to get the win. Creighton is a very fine team, and was ranked in the top 25 for much of the season. Florida dispatched UCF is three relatively easy sets.
In other matches of potential interest to UofL fans, Kentucky swept Michigan with relative ease in Memorial Colliseum. They'll play Washington in the Sweet 16 in Waco with the Regional being hosted by 1-seed Baylor.
Cincinnati, led by US National Teamer Jordan Thompson, who put up 41 kills on the Cards earlier in the season, advanced over UofL conference-mates and 6-seed Pittsburgh. This was a battle royale, with extra points in sets and a 5th set nail biter that Cincinnati finally won 15-13. The Bearcats will play 11-seed Penn State. They'll be hosted by 3-seed Stanford.
How has the ACC done in the tournament so far? Well, with four teams entering, and only one team advancing to the Sweet 16, I'd say it hasn't been spectacular. As mentioned, Pitt lost in the upset to Cincy last night, while Notre Dame and FSU both were eliminated in the first round. ND lost to UCLA, and FSU lost in what could be argued is an upset to UCF, though since neither were seeded or ranked, that's subjective.
So that's where things stand overall. The Cards will be playing Friday against Texas in Austin, as mentioned previously, though game times will not be set until the TV gods weigh in...probably some time today.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour
Case and I were able to put together a decent show yesterday, discussing the roller-coaster week that was for the Basketball squad, as well as the successes of volleyball thus far in the tournament.
Speaking of successes, playing Paulie's walk-up music for Case won't be counted among my own, but we had fun with it.
Check out the stream, if you didn't listen live, at: