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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Volleyball takes on Texas -- ACC WBB Update -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Jeff (center right) on block watch 
In their first Sweet Sixteen appearance since 2005, the Louisville Cardinals are the lone ACC team still alive in the NCAA Tournament. 

The Cards took care of business in Bowling Green last week, knocking off Samford and WKU to advance to the next round. A tough test, indeed awaits them Friday the 13th in Austin, TX against perpetual powerhouse Texas. #2 in the nation and a squad with many weapons and skills.

This is a Texas squad that may be the most athletic and tallest team Louisville has faced this season. A venue where the Longhorn faithful get loud, crazy and become the seventh player on the court. Louisville will need to be adept at the basics of Volleyball. Clean and accurate passing. Limiting the self-inflicted turnovers. Playing together and contesting each and every point. Getting AVCA East Region Aiko Jones plenty of kill chances and strong efforts from the rest of the "A-Team" -- Anna Stevenson, Amber Stivrins and Amaya Tillman. Maybe the biggest key is how well Claire Chaussee flies against the taller 'Horns.

Why, yes, we ARE still dancing. 
Accomplishing these things won't be easy against a squad that is 23-3 and went 15-1 in the powerful Big 12 conference. The Big 12, Pac 12 and the Big 10 dominate the Sweet Sixteen field with 11 of the 16 teams still playing. Five Big 10 schools: Purdue, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Minnesota and Penn St are still dancing. From the Big 12, Texas, Baylor and Texas A&M are in the field. The rest of the field includes, from the PAC 12, Washington, Utah and Stanford and SEC schools Kentucky and Florida. Out of C-USA, strong Cincinnati is there, and they knocked off ACC powerhouse Pitt to advance. Hawaii and the Cards fill out the 16 schools involved. 

Louisville has faced five of the sixteen squads that have advanced this season and has gone 2-3 against them. Cards wins were against Texas A&M (3-2) and Cincinnati (3-2). The losses came against Florida 0-3, Kentucky 0-3 and Purdue 1-3.

"Whatcha think about UofL Volleyball this year, Dee?"
"Not enough whistles and technicals, in my opinion."
A surprising but well-earned advance to "the dance" and accomplished without senior Melanie McHenry, who was considered the Cardinals biggest strength at the start of the season. The adjustment period post-Mel was a tough and struggling one early on, but Louisville has relied on team play and the ability to stretch out opponents to five sets and finish big.  

We'll have more on the match between the Cards and Longhorns as it gets closer here at Cardinal Couple.

Yesterday's presser with Dani Busboom Kelly, Tori Dilfer and Aiko Jones is linked up below: 



Ms. WUF has stuff to dance about this season
With roughly 1/3rd of the women's basketball schedule completed, let's take a look at some ACC WBB news. Here's a six-pack of stats for you: 

-- Four teams ranked in AP Top 25. Besides the Cards, who fell to #7 in the rankings, Florida State climbs to #8, NC State checks in at #9 and Miami squeaks in at #25. 

-- Then there were three. After Louisville's Thursday loss to Ohio State, three ACC teams remain undefeated. FSU, NC State and surprising UNC. The three are 26-0 overall. 

--  Thou shall not score. It is Georgia Tech leading the ACC (and the nation) in least points allowed this season. The Yellow Jackets are giving up just 42 points a game. Cortnee Walton, a staunch defender in her Louisville days, is an assistant coach on Nell Fortner's squad. FSU and NC State are tied for #20, allowing a mere 53.8 a contest. 

-- That's my ball. Wake Forest leads the ACC (and the nation) with a rebounding advantage of +16.5 a night. Louisville checks in at #23 with a +11.3 "grabs" edge per game. Eight ACC schools are in the top 50.

 -- I'll make that shot, Coach. The ACC has three scorers who have tallied 31 points per game this season. Freshman Kylie Kornegay-Lucas from Virginia. Jocelyn Willoughby, also from the Cavs and Bea Mompreimer (Miami) are the high scorers. Kornegay-Lucas also is the highest points-per-single-game scorer of all the freshmen in the NCAA with her 31. 

-- Works in progress. Four ACC schools are below .500 in win/loss records so far. Notre Dame is 5-6, Virginia 4-5, Pitt 3-6 and Clemson 3-7. 

With only a couple of actual ACC match-ups in the books so far, it's way-too-early to make bold predictions about how things will spin out in the conference. Maybe Jared Anderson will offer a few of his "yeah, that's probably not going to happen" predictions and prognostications in tomorrow's article. A lot of hoops still to be played, folks.  

Today's question is this:

Evaluate how you think these Cards true sophomores in the picture are doing for WBB so far

Have a wonderful Wednesday !



  1. Nice write today! I hope UofL VB is primed for a upset !

    I'll take on the question of the day, Paulie. There is still so much unknown about Molly and Seygan because of injuries and lack of playing tine. Just when it looked like Seygan was going to get notable playing time early this season, the foot injury stops her.

    I guess Kasa has performed the best of the three. She seems to be going through a "sophomore slump" so far this year. She needs to shake that. Defensively, she'll be needed against the Cats strong guards crew.

    Seeing Molly get minutes is great. Another banger inside to rebound and play "D".

    Curtis "C'mon Sunday!" Franklin

  2. Yep, not enough playing time yet to make a good assessment on Molly and Seygan. Will say both have potential, though.
    Kasa does need to work on being more of a threat on offense, but, she does have a major impact when she is in the game, for the most part. Love her energy.
    And early season games are NOT very indicative as far as stats go. We'll see just how good Georgia Tech's defense is against ACC competition, think they won't be leading the conference in fewest points allowed. And so on for the rest of the leaders in the different categories.

    1. All good points about the early ACC stats.

      In my humble opinion, and get mad at me if you want, those three scholarships (Lockhart, Robins and Robinson) were wasted. Plenty of true sophomores on other teams making huge impact on their programs. Nothing against any of the three, it's just that the performance hasn't matched the hype.

      Maybe it will down the road.

      Nick O

    2. It's always hard to tell just how a class is going to pan out. Players compete, and some prosper. The thing I've noticed about Walz's teams over the years is that they can accomplish great things if they carry out the coaches game plan.

      Seygan, Kasa and Molly have their roles on this squad and I think you'll see those more defined as the season goes on.

      Kentucky WBB (10-0) scares the living bee-jesus out of me, right now. They had a girl (Jaida Roper) go for 30 last night.
      I've heard their almost giving away tickets to fill Rupp against us Sunday.

      The Real Joe Hill

  3. IMHO Seygan & Molly are hard workers the little I shaw from Seygan she plays hard ,Molly looks stronger and got tons of experience in practice, so I'm not worried. I think they will pan out. GO CARDS PS Notre Dame would love to have them.


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