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Sunday, August 22, 2021

Field Hockey, Volleyball, and More - Sunday Cardinal Couple

Field Hockey

Field Hockey was the final of the three team sports that we follow heavily here at Cardinal Couple to get underway this fall.  Starting with their traditional Alumnae match, they hit the pitch yesterday at 1pm.

As is typical, the varsity squad beat the alumnae, but also as is typical, the former squad members played competitively and gave the squad some meaningful competition to play against.

A few quirks in this one as only one goal keeper
was used, with freshman Mila de Kuijer out of the Netherlands in goal initially for the varsity squad.  The other goal was "guarded" by a small net within the cage that the team had to shoot around.  In the second half, de Kuijer would stay in the same cage, but now playing on the alumnae squad.  Apparently no one has been able to convince Coach Sowry, herself an excellent goal keeper in her playing days, to strap the pads back on and take a turn in the cage, which makes sense as she's busy coaching the varsity squad.  Maybe some day we'll see coach doff the ball cap and put on the helmet and give it a go, but yesterday was not that day.

The varsity were able to get two shots past the net in the second quarter to take a 2-0 advantage into halftime.  Sophomores Embry Jane Imorde and Charlie van Oirschot were responsible for that pair.  After the break, van Oirschot resumed the scoring in the third quarter along with junior Emilia Kaczmarczyk.  Imorde also got another one on the board in the final minute of the game to take the varsity to the 5-0 final margin over the alumnae.

Field Hockey continues exhibition play with a match today at 1pm at Trager Stadium.  As always, for field hockey, admission is free.


The volleyball squad, and your correspondent, took a road trip yesterday up to Dayton, OH for an exhibition match against the Flyers.

The Cards emerge victorious in the five set match against a quite good, and very scrappy, Dayton team 22-25, 25-15, 25-19, 20-25, 15-10.

Dayton came out in the unair-conditioned Frerick's Center on a mission, but they were not able to sustain the intensity through the whole match.  The Flyers jumped out to an early lead in the first set, as much as 10-4 in the early goings, before the Cards got things into gear and started closing the gap.  UofL would lose the first set, but ended with some momentum to take into the second and third sets.

Coach Dani Busboom Kelly experimented with different line-ups throughout the match, with the most radical in the fourth set.  In the fourth, we saw what could be close to being called the second string of Louisville Volleyball play for most of the set.  We saw Phekran Kong and Cara Cresse in the middle blocker positions, Rachel DeMarcus came in and did some of the setting in the match, Emily Scott hit right side, with Nena Mbonu and the only expected starter, Anna DeBeer, hitting left side.

While the fourth set was a loss for the Cards, it's encouraging to see essentially a reserves squad be able to play quite competitively against a team in the "Receiving Votes" section of the pre-season rankings.  The set started off with a particularly fun moment with Cara Cresse getting an absolute monster of a block on the first play of the set, and her first play of inter-collegiate volleyball.

The fifth set returned to close to what we expect the starting lineup to be, but the Flyers never game up playing their best with the set being tied at 9-9 before Aiko Jones had enough and scored five of the last six Cards points to close it out.

This was a great warm-up match for the Cards, and I say that not just because it was about 85 degrees in the gym.  Dayton continues to build a solid program and is better every time I see them play.  Former Louisville Assistant Coach Alyssa D'errico is the Associate Head Coach under Tim Horsmon, and they have every reason to be proud of the progress of their team.

The Cards fans, nearly all family, were welcomed and hosted by Dayton with graciousness and respect, something I can't say of all of the opposing team gyms that I have visited in my time as a UofL Volleyball fan.

With pre-season camp wrapping up, the Cards will prepare this week as classes start for a trip to Tempe Arizona where they will open the regular season with a noon eastern time start against Cal Poly on Friday, followed by a 7pm eastern time start against Texas A&M Corpus Christi.  The biggest test of the weekend will be Saturday evening with a 6pm eastern time start against host Arizona State.

Racing Win the Women's Cup

While Racing Louisville FC is outside of what we consider our main coverage here at Cardinal Couple, a brief note on their win last night over FC Bayern Munich.  Bayern is a very well regarded German team, reaching at least the quarter finals of the UEFA Women's Champions League each of the past three years.

Racing Louisville was playing their third game in a week, which necessitated some line-up rotations, including UofL alumna Emina Ekic getting the start.

Bayern hit the scoreboard first, but Racing was able to equalize, and in the 85th minute, get a go-ahead goal.  Bayern was then able to equalize in the fifth minute of stoppage time pushing the game to PKs.

Oh, but the drama was only beginning.  Each team hit two of the five initial PKs, with reserve goal keeper Katie Lund, in her first professional appearance, coming up clutch for Racing.  The teams matched each other for the next five PKs with each team hitting four of the five.

Now let's do some math here and review soccer rules a second.  During PKs, the teams can't repeat a player taking PKs until after all other players active in the game at the end of timed play have kicked.  So, after 10 PKs, the only players active on the field at the end of timed play that hadn't yet taken a PK, were the goal keepers themselves.

Katie Lund buries hers in the right side of the net and then goes back and saves the shot from Bayern's GK for the game win, and the cup.  Michelle Betos, Racing's starting GK, and Katie Lund were named co-MVPs of the Cup and Racing Louisville FC goes down as the inaugural winners of the Women's Cup here in Louisville, Kentucky.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

Paulie, Jared, and myself held down the fort for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast.

Topics included Soccer and ducks, Jeff Walz's press conference, Volleyball, and Field Hockey.  Case is still out of town but anticipates getting the editing and uploading to podcast sources, hopefully later today, so watch for it there, or perhaps check it out below.

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