We report on the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports here. Thanks for checking us out! Click the picture of Louie to hear the latest Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast!!

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Imani Lester -- Full Fall Capacity -- Quentin Hillsman -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

 As we've seen in the summer months so far, some days are "no news" days and others end up being bulging at the seams with stories and things to write about. We had three pretty big stories "break" yesterday in the world of women's athletics, so... we'll catch you up on those in today's CARDINAL COUPLE. 


The University of Louisville women's basketball squad landed a pretty big (literally and figuratively)  commitment yesterday morning when 6'3" Imani Lester said on Twitter that she was going to attend Louisville and be a part of the 2022 incoming class. .  

The 6'3" senior-to-be from Charlotte, NC is ranked as one of top prospects in the class and attend North Raleigh Christian Academy. She also plays "club" ball for the Carolina Flames. She was highly sought after by over a dozen schools, including ACC members UNC, Duke, Clemson, FSU, NC State and Wake Forest -- plus other major powers UConn, Mississippi St., Florida and East Carolina. 

She visited the Louisville campus last week and it sounds like she liked what she saw. Her announcement makes her the third student-athlete to verbal to the Cards for 2022, along with Alexia Mobley and Nyla Harris.


Imani plays primarily post but has played guard as well in her high school career, joining the varsity at North Raleigh in the seventh grade. 

" I thank my family and friends for their love and support in my journey. I thank all the coaches who recruited me and I truly appreciate the time and interest you invested in me over the past four years. I thank all the coaches I've gotten the chance to play for and Thank You for helping me grow into the person I am today, and your continuous support along the way. With that being said, I have committed to continue my athletic and academic career at the University of Louisville. L's Up Baby !" 

Her Dad and Coach, Avie Lester, played for Jim Valvano at N.C. State from 1986-89. 

Welcome to the Ville, Imani, from all off us at CARDINAL COUPLE.!!  


The University of Louisville announced yesterday that all fall sports would be open for 100% capacity. 

Here's Vince Tyra's thoughts on the news: 

"It'll be incredible to see our teams competing in front of live, full, loud home crowds here in The Ville". 

And, we can't argue that.  This also includes WBB and Volleyball, who kind of border on the Fall/Winter/Spring season, but it's an announcement that will not only be great for the fans but for the players as well. Many student-athletes came to Louisville to experience the large, supportive, enthused crowds that Cardinal Athletic events draw. 

I've missed the roar and atmosphere of a packed KFC YUM! Center as well, so I'm excited as well. 

The announcement comes after California announced yesterday that they are re-instating the mask mandate for indoor events for everyone -- regardless of vaccine status -- because of the Delta variant of COVID. 

Let's hope that the move to fully re-open is still with us as we roll into fall athletics. It'll be good to see crowds again at Louisville Women's Soccer and Field Hockey events -- and these are both FREE events (no tickets needed) for Cardinal Fans. Hopefully, that'll continue (for attendance capacities) when athletics move indoors. I'm pretty sure this town would go ballistic if WBB and Volleyball ever became "free". 


We also got the news yesterday that Syracuse head women's basketball coach Quentin Hillsman has been accused of bullying and inappropriate behavior by former members of the team. This maybe helps explain why 11 student-athletes transfer from the 2020--21 squad and he has had 20 transfers over the last three years. 

"Q" told the media back in April that "We're fine" when he was asked about the high number of  student-athletes leaving.. 

No, "Q" are not fine. 

Quentin Hillsman's erratic and often inappropriate behavior -- which allegedly includes verbal abuse, bullying and unwanted touching and kissing has been mentioned in conversations with nine former players and almost 20 other sources. 

Telling players in the locker room that you "don't give a f&%$" about them -- and with-holding water after strenuous practices isn't exactly the way to win hearts and minds or bolster confidence and trust. 

Players have also mentioned that they experienced thoughts of self-harm or suicide while playing for Hillsman and several have gone for therapy due to their experience in the program. Some players indicate that they tried to alert the school and the Athletic Director several times about the problems Hillsman was causing but they were constantly ignored. 

This is saddening, infuriating and unacceptable -- if the allegations are true,

Syracuse has hired an outside firm to investigate the numerous claims .

"Based on the nature of these allegations, Syracuse University is engaging an outside firm to conduct an independent review and will take appropriate action based on its outcome." said Sarah Scalese, the University's senior associate vice president for communications. "While no formal complaints have been madde to date from member of the women's basketball program, we take these allegations very seriously. We ask any individuals who have knowledge of or have experienced this kind of conduct to come forward."  

Yes...we've had fun talking about "Q" crazy sideline antics, snappy dressing and his resemblance to CeeLo Green over the years here at CARDINAL COUPLE. This is an entirely new side of Hillsman that we never saw, did not know about and -- quite frankly -- is disgusting and tawdry side of the man and raises our indignation level . 

There will, no doubt, be much more to come in this saga of alleged abuse. I hope we have the stomach for it. Right now, it sounds like "the Q" is in need of some pretty significant psychological/psychiatric assistance and counseling and needs to be removed from his duties if the findings coincide with the allegations.  I hope he gets the help he appears to need, if these things are verified and true. 

This is a whole different side of the coach I've had some good conversations with over the years, and it saddens and disturbs me.  We wondered if we'd ever get the "real" story on why so many were leaving Syracuse WBB. Now, it looks like we may have it, but, it isn't something I want.  


Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Allison Daley Joins Lax -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

 Allison Daley Joins Lacrosse Staff

One of these days we'll finish recapping these seasons from last year. Our women's basketball recap keeps getting pushed back as other news falls right onto our lap. It's like the cliff hanger that drags on annoyingly long, but I promise we'll recap their season one of these days. Paulie gave us a nice preview of what 2021-22 Louisville women's hoops will look like yesterday. 

Today, we take a look at a spring sport that calls Floyd Street home. Louisville Lacrosse welcomed a new assistant coach to the crew yesterday. Allison Daley will join Coach Scott Teeter's staff. Although Daley holds no relation to Larry Daley and his nighttime magic at the American Museum of Natural History (did you know that movie is 15 years old?!), we expect her to bring her own magic to a talented Cards roster. 

The Cards LAX program had Cortnee Daley, an All-Big East selection, who played at Louisville from 2013-16, but she and Allison are not related. Cortnee did register a goal and assist against Canisius, though, with Allison on the Golden Griffs sidelines, back when the Cards played Canisius in Buffalo back in 2016, Louisville winning 15-7.

Allison Daley and Teeter go way back. The former was both a player and an assistant coach under the latter. Daley also served as associate head coach for the Canadian U-19 national team at the 2019 FIL U-19 Women's Field Lacrosse World Championships.

When Teeter left Canisius for Louisville, Daley was promoted to the head coaching role at Canisius, where she has spent the last four seasons. Daley replaces Renee Poullett at Louisville, who left the Cards midseason and took a job as an academic advisor at Cornell University. She's up there hanging out with Andy Bernard. Another I feel old moment: that show's first season premiered 16 years ago.

"We are very excited to add Allison to our staff as an assistant coach," said Teeter. "We have a long history together, as she played for me and has been a member of my staff, so she understands our systems and is familiar with our culture. As a former standout goalkeeper and head coach, she brings extensive knowledge, especially on the defensive side, and will be a tremendous asset for our program."

Teeter now has both Daley and Kay Morissette on his coaching staff, both of whom have coached with him in the past. Things tend to run smoother when you're surrounded by a staff you're familiar with and can trust. Daley's defensive expertise can help Louisville shut down opposing offenses. Many of the losses last season can be credited to opposing teams going on a run at some point in the match. Rachel Florek should continue to command goal and having a beefed up defense around her will make her job that much easier.

We will see if Paulie can set up an interview with Scott Teeter and Allison Daley later this summer and get a feel for her personality and the team's goals for the upcoming season. He has made the preliminary request and gotten a positive answer from Teeter. 

Before the spring sports season ended lacrosse was a sport that had been approved for a new video board and revamped sound system. The video board had ongoing issues throughout the season as it had reached the end of its tenure so a new and improved video board will increase the experience at the Louisville Lacrosse Stadium.


There were no games last night but we see a pair of WNBA games on the calendar today. Jazmine Jones, Kylee Shook, and the New York Liberty face a struggling Atlanta Dream team at 7:00 on ESPN3. Although MHA is out, her Washington Mystics team hosts a tough Connecticut Sun team at 7:00 on ESPN2.

Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!


Monday, June 28, 2021

2021-22 Louisville women's basketball squad has depth, talent -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


I was recently engaged in conversation with a friend about Louisville Athletics and the subject turned to Cardinals Women's Basketball. This friend asked me what I thought about the returning team for Jeff Walz and his staff for the 2021-22 season and how I thought that they would do  in conference and overall. 

I smiled and told my friend words to the effect of: "There is strength in numbers and there is confidence in the talent level from my viewpoint when I look at this squad." So, let's take a early look at who will be hooping in up for the Red and Black later on this year. 

Louisville has 13 players listed on the 2021-22 roster. Changes from last year? Let's look at departures first. The first one would have to include Dana Evans, who graduated and is now playing for the WNBA's Chicago Sky.  she was a guiding force and top scorer for the Cards and will be missed, but, you can't keep them forever. Also gone are Elizabeth Balogun and Nyah Green, both have landed at Duke University and should have interesting careers for relatively new head coach Kara Lawson in Durham. We also saw Malea Williams enter the transfer portal but I honestly have no idea where she landed. 

Lose four, gain four would be one way to look at the changes in the squad. The Cards picked up do-it-all forward Emily Engstler from Syracuse. The junior will be a welcome addition to Louisville's front line and was the leading rebounder and fourth leading scorer last year for "Q". Also new on the roster is guard Chelsie Hall, by way of Vanderbilt The graduate transfer played in a shortened season for the Commodores because of the pandemic, but led the team in assists and was the second leading scorer.  She looks to be a welcome addition to the guard contingent.

Incoming freshman Payton Verhulst had an amazing career at Bishop Miege HS in Kansas and has already been on the court with several Cards in FIBA 3X3 hoops. She's also on the USA U 19 squad. Certainly a bright and promising future ahead for this freshman guard.  The multi-talented Sydni Schetnan also joins the Cards and the 6'5" forward will boost the Cards front line and provide strong rebounding and scoring skills. She'll also spend time with Louisville's Volleyball squad. These two are excellent "gets" for Walz and staff and have meshed well with the returning Cards. 

When you look at who is back from last year's 26-4 Great Eight squad, there are plenty of reasons to smile. Cards guards Hailey Van Lith, Kianna Smith and Mykasa Robinson combined for 67 starts last season. Their defensive skills, scoring prowess and assist-making were a key to last year's UofL successes and the trio should easily accomplish more of the same in the upcoming season. Sturdy and dependable backups Norika Konno and Ahlana Smith ensure that the Cards lose nothing in skill and talent wise when they enter the game and Merissah Russell had some highlight moments last season and has gained valuable experience playing for the Canadian FIBA Americup squad. In short, the backcourt for UofL looks very strong, talented and should pose a variety of problems and headaches for opponents.

Returnees on the front line are also a reason to be very optimistic about UofL's chances. Cardinal fans saw great efforts and outstanding play from Olivia Cochran and Liz Dixon and the duo should return with even more skills and abilities. Ramani Parker also came on strong for the Cards at the end of the year and provides a very viable option on the rebounding and scoring needs for Louisville. 

Overall, in a preseason prediction, the Cards easily fit into a "Top 10" squad classification and with the additional of the talented transfers and freshmen I consider them  "Top Five" in the nation. Along with NC State, they're the "ones to beat" in the ACC and Louisville should provide many exciting moments in a couple of months for the Cardinal Faithful. 

I know, from chats and conversations with some of you, that you are very excited to see the 2021-22 Louisville women's basketball team in action. I know many of you are excited to be able to  return to a full capacity KFC YUM! Center and cheer on this squad. I can assure you, the players feel your same excitement and emotions and we'll keep you updated on the progress and the season slowly begins to approach and emerge for us 

You can rest assured that the players are dutifully and energetically working on their games and are looking eagerly forward to what lies ahead for them. 

I do hope you've enjoyed this late June, pre-emptive look at the possibilities and scenarios for Cards WBB in 2021-22.  

Is it November yet? 


Sunday, June 27, 2021

Sunday Cardinal Couple


Sundays are "Cards in the Pros" days it seems in the summer.  Today is no different.  The big crazy news stories like changes to NIL rules always happen during the week, but summer weekends means Pro play and we want to keep you up to date with what our former Cards are doing.

We start with the WNBA.  The New York Liberty put it to the Atlanta Dream yesterday.  A close first half, but the Liberty drew out to a good lead in the second.  101-78 was the final.  You might think the team was bolstered by the attendance of Asia Durr, who was in the stands for this one.  Durr is out for the second consecutive season dealing with the lingering effects of Covid.  After the win, pretty much the whole Liberty squad came over to embrace Durr and catch up, showing how much they miss her presence on the squad.

Kylee Shook continues in the starting lineup with the Liberty.  She played about 27 and a half minutes yesterday, got six field goals, and did a great job cleaning the boards on the defensive side, getting 11.  Also chalk her up for a blocked shot and an assist.

Jazmine Jones makes the most of her bench time, entertaining the WNBA crowds and the camera crews, but she is also getting some decent playing time as well.  We all know some of Jaz's contributions don't show up on the stat sheet, but she put some numbers in a few columns yesterday.  In almost 18 minutes of playes, she did get a field goal, a free throw, a couple of rebounds and a couple of assists.

The Dream will be looking for revenge when these teams meet again Tuesday again in Hotlanta at 7pm.  You can catch this one streaming on ESPN3.

Dana Evans is in Connecticut with the Chicago Sky team.  They'll be playing the Suns at 2pm today.  No easy viewing options for this one, unfortunately.


The hometown Racing Louisville FC club were on the road yesterday, playing the Chicago Red Stars.  Chicago may be The Windy City, but it was rain that delayed the start of the game yesterday.

Emina Ekic played 26 minutes in this one, but it was after all the scoring was finished for the game.  Racing won this one by a convincing 3-0 score.  Ebony Salmon justifying her late arrival to the squad got it started in the 38th minute.  Yuki Nagasato got her first goal in lavender in the 56th, and Savannah McCaskill finished the trio of goals in the 62nd.

By the way, if you're a fan of Jazmine Jones in part because of her antics on and off the court, you should check out Yuki Nagasato.  She's got all the spirit and playfulness of Jones and has contributed tremendously to the success of this Racing team.

Gaby Vincent is the other Card in the Pros with the NWSL, playing for Kansas City.  The stats are incomplete for this game, and I didn't get to watch it live, but Gaby did see the field. We don't have info on how long she played as the minutes played column of the stat sheet is blank.  Vincent did get a shot, but it wasn't on-frame.

Kansas City will play again on Friday at 7pm, and Racing Louisville FC will take the field Saturday at 7:30pm.  Both will be streamed on Paramount+.


Speaking of professionals.  The Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast is definitely not.  Jared, Paulie, and I were on the call this week.  Daryl and Case missed out on a fun mascot quiz, but the recent developments in Name, Image, and Likeness rules, regulations, and yes... even court cases, dominated most of the discussion in this one.

Check it out below.


Saturday, June 26, 2021


Women's Soccer Welcomes New Assistant Coach

A new face will join Karen Ferguson-Dayes's staff on the sidelines next season as the University announced the hiring of Nick Stirrett. Stirrett comes to UofL from Oregon State, where he spent two seasons. The announcement credits Stirrett with helping increase OSU's scoring output from 6 goals to 31 goals in his first season. That will be a boon to the Cards as they look to replace their losses at the front. However, that may have just been coincidence as he appears to focus primarily on goalkeepers and defense. He was a big help there, as well, as the Beavers' sophomore goalkeeper had the fourth-best season in program history in 2019 with six clean sheets and a 0.980 goals against average.

Prior to Oregon State, Stirrett worked with goalkeepers and coordinated recruiting at the University of Illinois for three years. He was with Penn State for one year in 2015 and arrived there after a two year stint as the head men's coach at the University of Mount Union. Stirrett seems to have brought success along with him wherever he goes. Because his stints are so short, it's hard to tell whether there is correlation there or whether it is just coincidence. As Gabby Kouzelos enters her final season as a Cardinal, though, I'm sure she'd love to have an outstanding statistical season to improve her stock among the NWSL teams watching. The women's soccer season should get underway in a little over a month, so we'll see how the team looks with Stirrett alongside KFD for the remainder of the summer.

UofL Announces NIL Initiatives

The University has been busy in the background, it seems. Though Governor Andy Beshear did not announce his NIL Executive Order until Thursday afternoon (as Jared wrote about yesterday), UofL has already announced a number of items pertaining to NIL that have already been ongoing or are set for the months ahead and fall semester. From the University's release, the following items are in effect or will be in effect going forward:
  • Throughout the month of June, student-athletes have been offered educational sessions to help aid them in understanding potential opportunities. Now that the EO is official, the sessions will soon include education on the University's rules and disclosure processes. 
  • A pilot NIL law clinic this fall available to all UofL students including athletes needing guidance on their NIL opportunities.
  • A sport administration elective class entitled "NIL in College Sports" offered for the 2021 UofL Fall semester.
  • NIL, social media, and brand management education modules through UofL's "eLevate" partnership with OpenDorse, plus custom athlete assessments based on a student-athlete's current social media account and habits.  Information on that program announced earlier can be found at this link.
  • Life skills programming (speakers, resources) through Athletics' Beyond the Buzzer and Cardinal Select programs.
  • One-on-one consultations & continuing NIL education outreach provided to UofL student-athletes and their parents and guardians.
  • A plan to partner with The College Licensing Company (CLC) & Game Plan for their "Compass" resources---which include online life skills education modules (including NIL related topics), NIL disclosure and reporting platform, and student-athlete career services.
  • Creating a UofL NIL Advisory Board which includes several athletics staff, university staff and faculty members with subject matter expertise on media, marketing, branding, contracts, intellectual property, international student visas and employment, compliance and other areas to serve as an outlet for guidance in the rapidly evolving NIL landscape.
  • UofL athletics administration continues to meet with individual teams and student-athletes to learn about their questions, proposed plans, and help them navigate through NIL opportunities

The University also announced that the NIL initiatives will be headed up by associate athletic director Matt Banker. According to the release, UofL is doing all of these items as they have been deemed permissible by the NCAA. "...the NCAA has indicated the following activities have been permitted by institutions without triggering impermissible institutional involvement in a student-athlete's name, image and likeness activity: (1) Providing educational programming on NIL and associated regulations; (2) Assisting in evaluating opportunities; (3) Assistance with compliance and disclosure expectations; and (4) Assistance in the evaluation of professional service providers."

As the University continues to develop its rules, regulations, and processes regarding athletes' use of NIL, we will continue to increase our understanding of how they will affect sports at UofL and how they may impact our coverage of those sports. UofL announced a particular site,, that will be a landing spot for all of their news, educational resources, and updates for NIL related matters. We will be monitoring it closely. If you're interested in reading more about the initial steps the University is taking, you can find the full release here.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour

As Jared wrote yesterday, there will be more discussion on the NIL matters today on the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour. The crew will be a bit thinner this week, as Daryl and I drop off for various reasons again, but there's still plenty for the three remaining knuckleheads to discuss. They'll follow up all of their prognostications with another summer quiz, so you won't want to miss that. Tune in to the Cardinal Couple YouTube Channel at 11AM for the live show or check out the replay or podcast whenever you can. 

Until next time, Go Cards!

Friday, June 25, 2021


 Kentucky Approves NIL Compensation

Friday's With Daryl have been put on hold again as Daryl spent last evening commanding the video camera crew at Louisville Slugger Field. The Bats started their home series against Indianapolis, which, coincidentally, Louisville City FC hosts Indy 11 this weekend. I-65 is sure to be busy the next few days.

The Commonwealth of Kentucky created all kinds of commotion yesterday. What started off as a day to discuss the possible NIL bills floating around different states quickly turned into Governor Andy Beshear signing an executive order making Kentucky the first state to allow NIL compensation by an executive order decision. Six states have already approved NIL compensation through their respective legislation. This will take effect July 1.

Several University of Louisville coaches and notables in the Athletic Department took to social media to express their thoughts on the matter, all seeming to be in approval of the decision.

Vince Tyra: "On behalf of our student athletes at the University of Louisville and other Kentucky institutions, we are incredibly grateful for Governor Beshear's Executive Order allowing them to earn additional compensation on behalf of their Name, Image, and Likeliness. Bringing the state of Kentucky into competitive balance with other across the country, and more specifically, the Atlantic Coast Conference was critical. His leadership, in collaboration with our universities and legislators in Frankfort, was welcomed and needed in leveling the playing field for our institutions and, more important, for our student-athletes."

Jeff Walz: "We applaud Governor Beshear on this ground breaking decision. This is the right thing to do. This allows our student-athletes to enhance their profile in the profession of their choice. This is about opportunity, and we are all for it."

Scott Teeter: "We commend Governor Beshear and the state of Kentucky on this thoughtful decision regarding Name, Image, and Likeliness. The success of our student-athletes has always been our highest priority and this decision provides them with even more opportunities moving forward."

Karen Ferguson-Dayes: "I'm very happy to hear that Governor Beshear issued an executive order on Name, Image, and Likeliness for the state of Kentucky. I fully support our student-athletes having an opportunity to advance themselves forward and this is a very positive step."

Mark Beckham: "I'm happy  and excited for my athletes to have the opportunity. The things they can do are limitless, which is a good thing. This is a new day in college athletics though; they can legally make money. We will see how it works, hopefully it is for the best."

Derek Copeland: "It makes sense that people should benefit from their own Name, Image, and Likeliness. These student-athletes work very hard to build and maintain their personal brand and should be rewarded when they do it so well. I am glad that our governor has taken these steps to allow for this to happen."

Arthur Albiero: "Kudos to Governor Andy Beshear by recognizing the importance of NIL to all student-athletes in our state and for the urgency with which he is treating this matter. I support the changes related to NIL as a path for our student-athletes to maximize their opportunities. It also keeps our state on a level playing field with the rest of the country. I am grateful to Governor Beshear's leadership."

Many of the men's coaches, including Scott Satterfield and Chris Mack, provided statements on the matter, all in favor.

There are still plenty of questions to be asked in regards to the NIL approval as well as how much different student-athletes will make. On the women's side, we expect to see Hailey Van Lith to be one of the players being able to do well with NIL based on her following. Women's basketball in general gets a lot more exposure than many other women's sports so those players have a good chance at doing well. Someone like Anna DeBeer, who has had an excellent career so far, could also benefit well. Mercedes (Mechi) Pastor is one of the most well-known collegiate field hockey players and has an international presence and may do well too.

What does that mean for places that cover UofL athletics, or collegiate athletics in general?

Well, first, we are one of those. The answer is plain and simple: we don't know. Cardinal Couple does not generate profit and does not make money by using different players' NIL. We do report the joy and excitement of UofL women's athletics. Will this even affect our normal operations here? Paulie is looking into this more and working with the terrific SIDs so we know how this will directly affect us.

Our Cardinal Couple Hour is back again tomorrow. We never know for sure who is going to pop in on the broadcast, but we can pretty much ensure Paulie, Jeff and Jared will be there.  We will dig into the Name, Image, and Likeliness more, but we will not have an answer to the question in the previous paragraph yet. However, the world famous CC Quiz will happen tomorrow. We always welcome you to join at home. Hint: study up your mascots.

Happy Friday, have a good weekend, and Go Cards!


Thursday, June 24, 2021


 McFerran to Compete in 2020 Olympics

Anyone familiar with the Louisville field hockey program from recent years will recognize the name Ayeisha McFerran. McFerran was the program's first four-time All-American. The goalkeeper  graduated from UofL ranking near the top in wins, shutouts, and goals against average.

McFerran was selected to be a part of the 16-person field hockey roster for Ireland.  The Louisville alum has been a member of the Irish National Team, but this is the first time the INT has qualified to compete in the Olympics.

McFerran is the first former UofL field hockey player to compete in the Olympics on a field hockey roster. Cardinal alum Jessica Javelet competed in the 2016 Olympics, but with the US Rugby Team.

As someone who loves sports and loves the Olympics, I wish I could take off work for those few weeks and watch the events around the clock. But work and sleep and life say otherwise, but I will certainly find time to tune into watch Ireland compete and cheer on Ayeisha McFerran.

Four Cards Participate in YMNC

Sticking to the topic of field hockey, we turn our attention to the USA Field Hockey 2021 Young Women's National Championship, which was held at Virginia Beach June 15-20.

Katie Schneider, Sofia Pendolino, Mia Duchars, and Carter Ayars all competed in the event on different teams.

Schneider's squad, the Courage, took the gold with a 3-0 record and winning the title game 3-1. Duchars was on the Freedom, who fell in the title game and took the silver.

Ayars' squad, the Spirit, finished fifth while Pendolino's team, the Patriots, placed 10th. A total of 10 teams consisting of 16 players each competed.

Only one person from the state of Kentucky was on any of the rosters. 16-year-old and rising junior Mia Schoenbeck from Christian Academy of Louisville played on the Patriots. Schoenbeck is currently uncommitted and MAX Field Hockey ranks her as one of the best in her class around the country. She is sure to be on Justine Sowry's radar.

On a Personal Note

Digging into my personal life some, Katy and I are back to wedding planning, which is mostly me saying "Sure, whatever you want." I learned that trick already. We're still a couple years out from our date range, but we are all ears if anyone has any tips for wedding planning, especially since we both live in Louisville and we are looking at venues in Fort Mill, South Carolina.

Happy Thursday and Go Cards!


Wednesday, June 23, 2021



(Tina Charles expressing pleasure that
Jared finally took her picture.) 

After Jared's comprehensive coverage Tuesday of what SCOTUS and the NCAA are doing and catching us up with several former and current Cardinals, I'll keep it rather simple for your Wednesday and bring you WNBA today.

First off, looking at last night's late match in Seattle, I surely wouldn't have picked the visiting Washington Mystics to win, much less stay close to the league-leading Seattle Storm.

Watching in street clothes for DC were Elena Della Donne, Natasha Cloud, Erica McCall, Kiara Leslie, Myisha Hines-Allen, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree. But, one force who did show up is the superstar I refer to as "the black hole of Washington" -- the offensive juggernaut that is Tina Charles.

I was asked why I put this tag on her recently. Here's the reason: 

A black hole is a region of space/time where gravity is so strong that nothing -- no particles or even electromagnetic radiation, such as light can escape from it.  That pretty much sums up what happens when Charles gets the ball. She's going to shoot, usually score or create and nothing can escape or prevent it. 

Last night, Charles -- who was a 2010 graduate from UConn and first round WNBA pick -- consumed the Seattle defense for 36 points and five assists. She also grabbed 16 rebounds.

The Storm's Mercedes Russell was powerless against "T.C." and so was the rest of the Seattle squad in the 87-83 Washington win.  Tina goes out night after night and proves she is the best center in the WNBA and increased Washington's win streak to four while halting Seattle's win streak at three. 

I'm pretty sure Charles could lead a team composed of me, Jared, Daryl, Case, Sonja and Jeff and her to a win. The only real question is why the Connecticut Sun and New York Liberty ever got rid of her. Their loss is the Mystics gain. And, let's not forget she sat out 2020., getting a medical exemption for a pre-existing asthma condition. 

Charles is also on the 2020 USA Olympic women's basketball squad. It'll be shades of Godzilla invading Tokyo when she arrives to wreak havoc on the 11 other teams headed to Japan. I can't wait to se a Charles vs. Liz Cambage (Australia) matchup. Liz Balogun (Nigeria) thought Elizabeth Cunane was rough going? She ain't seen nothin' yet. 

Washington goes to 7-6 with the "W", Seattle is at 12-3, which is still the best record in the league. 



We got the treat of three Louisville Cardinals great on the same court last night in Dana Evans for Chicago and Kylee Shook and Jazmine Jones for New York.  Evans didn't see a whole lot of action in the 20-point Chicago beat-down of the Libs ( 5 minutes, no points) but the Sky did get 23 points in 23 minutes from Candace Parker and were never seriously challenged in Brooklyn. 

Respectable outings for Kylee (8 pts., 3 boards, 2 assists in 25 minutes) and Jaz (11 pts., five boards in 25 minutes) but they couldn't not overcome a 48-32 halftime disadvantage. 

I was hoping Dana would see more time than she did against her former teammates, but when things are clicking for the other Sky guards -- Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley and Diamond DeShields (they combined for 35 points) -- eking out playing time can be tough.

I do think that with Chicago up 75-52 after three, though, it might have been a good time to get Dana on the court for extended minutes in the fourth period. I'm not Sky head skipper James Wade, though...and won't try to rationalize what he does with his squad.  He got the "W", the Sun are starting to get healthy and win a few, he just might have an idea what's he doing. 

Walt Hopkins, New York head coach, made the decision not to start Sabrina Ionescu last night and you have to wonder if it was a wise one or not. She did come off the bench for 6 points, 7 assists and 8 rebounds -- but the game was pretty much out of control by then.

The Libs are at 7-7 on the season, the Sky 8-7.  If you liked the Tuesday contest, grab your popcorn and come back Thursday -- these two squads face up again.


In other WNBA action last night, the Connecticut Sun melted the Wings Dana's previous team -- the Dallas Wings -- last night (to use an Icarus reference) 80-70. I watched this one for awhile, but switched over to watch the Libs and then one of my favorite movies of all time -- Hoosiers -- with Gene Hackman, Barbara Hershey and Dennis Hopper in the unforgettable role as "Shooter". (There is no truth to the rumor that Gene Hackman is being considered to replace "Q" at Syracuse...or that (the late) Hopper contemplated joining Jeff Walz's staff at Louisville when Michelle Clark-Heard departed for WKU.)

Hoosiers is one of my favorite basketball movies of all time, along with The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh. You should check them out if you've never seen either. 

Have a wonderful Wednesday !


Tuesday, June 22, 2021

SCOTUS Sides with Student-Athletes -- Other News -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

 Happy Tuesday, Cards fans! This week seems to have started off with plenty of news to talk about. The sports world had plenty to talk about yesterday and then a pair of former Cards had positive announcements.

SCOTUS Rules in Favor of Student-Athletes

It was a great day for student-athletes as the Supreme Court of the United States sided with them and against the NCAA yesterday. The Supreme Court unanimously voted in favor to uphold a district court judge's decision that the NCAA was violating antitrust laws by placing limits on the education-related benefits that schools can provide to athletes. Schools can now provide athletes unlimited compensation as long as it is connected to their education.

"The NCAA is not above the law," said Justice Brett Kavanaugh. "The NCAA couches its arguments for not paying student-athletes in innocuous labels. But the labels cannot disguise the reality: The NCAA's business model would be flatly illegal in almost any other industry in America."

Student-athletes still aren't at the point where they can profit off of endorsements and other benefits, but we continue to see things move in the right direction. Unlike your profitable sports, many of the non-profit teams don't get the luxuries of football and men's basketball. Even worse, walk-ons for different sports have an extra difficult time.

Although the NCAA technically allows student-athletes to make a profit from jobs not directly tied to their sport as well as be self-employed, the NCAA has consistently contradicted themselves over that. Former UCF kicker Donald De La Haye lost his eligibility in 2017 after amassing over 90,000 subscribers on YouTube and profiting off his videos. De La Haye chose to keep making videos and the profit from them. Was De La Haye on track for an NFL career? Most likely not. So he was making more off the videos than football would ever do for him.

There are all dozens of reasons you could lose your eligibility or have your name erased from the record books. On April 21, 2021, former UMass women's tennis player Brittany Collens wrote an article about how a minor scholarship error cost her her career even after she had graduated. Collens played at UMass from 2014-2017 and ran into a nightmare in 2020. She and her roommate had received an extra $252.00 in scholarship intended for a landline phone jack. The school self reported the error when they discovered it, but the NCAA decided the $504 gave UMass a competitive advantage. Collens and her teammates were stripped of their wins and UMass lost their 2017 A10 title.

I should make it clear that these cases are way different than point shaving or academic fraud, both of which are illegal and should be an immediate loss of eligibility and removal from office for those involved.

Student-athletes, especially those in the non-profits and those who walk onto their respective sport, don't have the extra benefits and often need more assistance so these athletes hopefully being able to make a profit off of their name would be beneficial to them.

The concern is still surrounding how it will change media and coverage. It's one thing for businesses and brands to market their products but you want to have your media out there promoting and highlighting the successes of someone's career.

We here at Cardinal Couple are aware of the compliance regulations and make sure we stay in compliance. This can range from buying someone food, to giving them a ride in the car, to giving them gifts, and so much more. Nearly all of our direct interaction with the student-athletes will come with the supervision or assistance from coaches or SIDs just as a cushion to make sure everything goes smooth, among other reasons such as providing resources such as stats and figures.

We will discuss the SCOTUS decision more on Saturday and see how this will lead to a domino effect with other laws.

Asia Durr Part of Jordan Brand Representation

On a much less confusing topic Asia Durr was one of 11 WNBA athletes to be signed with Jordan Brand. This is the largest ever roster of WNBA players for the brand as they want to give more women large contracts and give them a voice.

Durr is joined by Maya Moore, Kia Nurse, Aerial Powers, Satou Sabally, Dearica Hamby, Arella Guirantes, Chelsea Dungee, Crystal Dangerfield, Te'a Cooper, and Jordin Canada.

As a website that covers the Joy and Excitement of UofL WOMEN's Sports, we smile whenever the rest of the world acknowledges how great of athletes women are and they receive the recognition they deserve. Even better, this deal features one of our own!

Softball Alums

(Running with Wolfe -- a possible sequel for Kevin
Costner's Dancing With Wolves ? )  

Former UofL softball player Jordyn Wolfe announced she will pursue her MBA at Saint Leo University where she will also use her final year of eligibility. Wolfe spent four seasons with the Cards and saw action in the outfield and as a pinch runner, but was often seen dancing and cracking jokes in the dugout. We focus on the importance of academics fairly often here so we are glad to see Wolfe continuing her education. She's also playing in the FGCL summer league this year for the Saratoga Circus. 

Sticking with recent softball alums, we had a wedding this past weekend. Riley Schindler Bachman married Nathan Bachman up in Ohio. Riley was part of the Schindler twins at UofL (Paige), but sadly both had battled injuries during their careers. Nonetheless, we wish the newlyweds a congratulations!

USA Olympic Team Roster 

Sadly, neither Kelsi Worrell Dahlia nor Mallory Comerford made the final cut for the 2020 Olympics. Dahlia was an alternate in the 2016 Olympics and was part of a gold medal team. Both swimmers are on the current 2020-2021 Team USA roster, which is different than the roster for the Olympic team.

Louisville did have one person represented on the men's side: Zach Harting. Harting will compete in the 200 butterfly. We do wish our Cardinal the best of luck!

All eyes were on a Katie on the women's side, but not Katie Ledecky, who, to no surprise, made the final roster. It was 15-year-old Katie Grimes attracting all of the attention. Grimes touched second behind Ledecky in the qualifier. Ledecky, who also first qualified at the age of 15, told Grimes "You're the Now".

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics starts one month from yesterday with softball and football (American soccer) starting this Olympics off. The opening ceremonies doesn't actually happen until the third day with the closing ceremonies on August 8.

Now that we've gotten through all sorts of news - dang, it was a busy Tuesday write - you can get back to harassing Paulie for not hooking us up with free Bojangles yet.

Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!