My week in the Gatlinburg area with Katy has come to an end. The next time I see her will be in two months when she is moving to Louisville. It was an enjoyable week and the weather cooperated for most of it. As Case and Jeff mentioned earlier in the week, we did meet up with Paulie and Sonya at the Old Mill Restaurant for a nice dinner.
Now it's time to get back in the flow of things.
Although the fall sports season remains uncertain we continue to prepare for the season to happen- we're staying positive!
Most student-athletes have arrived back on campus or will be arriving shortly and the rosters have been out for quite some time, although UofL recently hid the 2020-2021 rosters.
Today I will predict the team captains for various women's sports.
Mercedes "Mechi" Pastor is a pretty safe guess. With Bethany Russ graduated, Mechi is the leader on the pitch and will command the offense.
The second team captain spot remains uncertain. Hollyn Barr graduated, leaving Sam Minrath as the current starting goalkeeper. Coach Justine Sowry puts a lot of emphasis on goalkeeping so Minrath will most likely find herself in a team captain position.
If there were to be a third team captain, which we have seen in the past with field hockey, I am going with Madison Walsh. The rising senior was high on the list in several offensive categories and Coach Sowry often went with Walsh in overtime situations.
Gabby Kouzelos seems to be a shoo-in for a team captain. She was one last year and should carry that into this season.
Emina Ekic would be a safe bet, as she has been one of the best players to play at Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium. She isn't one to boast about her own accolades but the team trusts and relies on Ekic during late game situations.
Sarah Hernandez is a good candidate as a third team captain, if they choose to go with three. Hernandez stepped up as the defensive leader last season and has been a strong centerback and extremely vocal on the pitch.
A setter usually ends up being a team captain due to their involvement with all aspects of the game. That would put Tori Dilfer in prime position to be a team captain.
We typically don't see a freshman named a team captain but Aiko Jones made that happen last season. My money is on her to retain that spot.
Volleyball rarely has three team captains, but if they go with a third one I'm guessing it would be the soft-spoken Alexis Hamilton. Hamilton is a fantastic libero and defensive specialist when healthy, and she is more than a year removed from her ACL injury at this point.
(Editor's note: Jared prognosticated these guesses with no knowledge that Kianna Smith and Dana Evans would be selected as the team captains...)
Dana Evans is reigning ACC Player of the Year and has stepped up majorly each year she has worn the UofL jersey. Coach Jeff Walz has full trust in the guard from Gary, Ind., and the rest of the team will too.
Mykasa Robinson is too tall to fit Paulie's Yorkie requirements, but Robinson is fun to watch on defense and chasing down rebounds. Her offensive game is still in the works but she has shown she can step up when needed.
Elizabeth Balogun has only been a Cardinal for one season, but she showed what she can do on the court and how much she is needed when she isn't dressed. She proved to be a leader at times and will be the third team captain next year.
Rachel Florek was on pace to set program records and even possibly take the NCAA goalkeeper title last year before COVID-19 took over. The team is built around her and there is no doubt she will be a team captain.
Ally Hall was a team captain last year and she was the scoring leader. Returning for her senior year, Hall will remain a team captain.
There's a few candidates for the third team captain spot but I am going with Caroline Blalock. She has filled any and every position Coach Scott Teeter has asked of her and has earned team captain honors.
Celene Funke is returning for a fifth year. There is 100% chance she will be a team captain.
Maddy Newman was a team captain last season and can almost match Funke's energy. She'll keep her spot as team captain too.
Softball rarely has a third team captain, but if they choose to add a third one next year Carmyn Greenwood stands a strong chance at taking the spot. Although new to the team, she is best friends with Funke and showed her leadership on the diamond and in the dugout last year.
With some potential roster changes uncertain and one-third of the team having graduated we will have to wait for the final roster to be announced before predicting the team captains.
If all of the players from last year return I'm going with Rhea Verma Andrea Di Palma.
Cardinal Couple Podcast Hour
It's Saturday so that means it's time for another rendition of the Cardinal Couple Podcast Hour.
As far as I know all four of us should be ready to go for this week with Paulie and I both back in Louisville.
Will Paulie have had time to prepare a quiz for us this week or will we have to babble on for the back half of the show?
Tune in to find out!
Happy Saturday and Go Cards!