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Saturday, October 9, 2021

Volleyball Continues Dominance - Podcast Today -- Saturday Cardinal Couple

Volleyball Flies High

Deep benches are useful in a few situations.  In this case, Cardinal Couple is going to the bench to accommodate a player on the road.  Case is travelling back from a well deserved vacation, so I'm moving up my usual Sunday write into the Saturday position.

UofL Volleyball also used some of their deep bench last night in a three set sweep of Boston College, 25-14, 25-12, 25-10.

Jamie "Tigger" Vasilou has hops!
Having a deep bench is helpful when a player goes down injured, but thankfully I don't have anything to report here.  More often a team will go to the bench either when they're struggling to find success in a game, or on the flip-side, when they're cruising to an easy victory. 

Jason Kennedy, of Boston College, was the coach looking for answers last night, while Coach Dani Busboom Kelly was going to the bench to achieve the multiple goals of spreading experience around to other players that don't get as much playing time, while also being respectful of a opponent.  Since volleyball plays to a set score, the idea of "running up the score" isn't exactly a thing in the traditional sense but the general notion still works.  If you're playing all of your starters with the game well in hand, it can be seen as a sign of disrespect to the other team.

Melanie McHenry helped out with the
C-A-R-D-S cheer on Alumni night
The thing with Louisville Volleyball is, putting in subs doesn't really change the equation all that much.  Towards the end of all three sets we saw subs from the Cards that clearly weren't necessary for performance, but gave a chance for some non-starters to get some playing time.  In set one, we saw Emily Scott enter in place of Amaya Tillman, set two saw Rachel DeMarcus come in and set in place of Tori Dilfer, and set three saw Brooke Smith enter instead of Aiko Jones towards the end, but also Nena Mbonu came out to start the set in place of Anna DeBeer.

Boston College is a team that, under Kennedy's tutelage, is better every year than they were the previous, but it's a testament to UofL's prowess this year that this match wasn't really competitive.  Sean Moth, on the play by play really summed it up when the ACC Network Extra was showing the basic stats from set one on the screen.  He pointed out that you could just look at the hitting percentages of either team and understand how the set went.  Put together and the result is obvious even without seeing the actual score.  BC had as many errors as they did kills in the first set, for a .000 percentage, while the Cards were hitting at a .480 clip in set one.

UofL cooled in the second set to a reasonable .250, but the Eagles went into the left side of the number line at -.091.  BC would get back on positive, and even into triple digits in the third at .103, but UofL put down 14 kills out of 20 attempts error free for an eye-popping .700 percentage.

Elena Scott laying out to save an errant pass.
Overall the Cards demonstrated why they are 15-0 for the season.  Excellent play all around with some really spectacular digs by Elena Scott, Tori Dilfer distributing the attack around to six significant offensive weapons, all with between five and seven kills in the match, and good serving, including a 9-0 run in the third set with serving specialist Cece Rush at the line.

In the final analysis, this was just a good old fashioned beat-em-down.  With all due respect to Boston College, again you can see their improvement every year, they're still not in the same caliber of play with UofL at the moment.  BC is solidly mid-pack in the ACC right now, a marked improvement of the near door-mat they were as recently as five years ago.  The Eagles have another challenge this weekend, visiting South Bend and the seemingly resurgent Notre Dame Irish.

Meanwhile, Syracuse will be coming to LNFCU Arena after getting their own shellacking up in South Bend (25-15, 25-13, 25-17).  That match will be Sunday at 1pm and should be on the ACC Network Extra.


Softball Fall Ball

No official results from Softball yesterday in their fall exhibition schedule, but our man-about-Floyd-Street Jared did make it over for a bit to snag a few pictures and give a basic report.

Multiple teams were in action in the afternoon and evening at Ulmer apparently, but UofL matched up against Bellarmine starting at 5pm, and the Cards were up 9-4, in the final inning, when our photographer Jared left to go take Volleyball pictures.  Holly Aprile kept the ump busy with liberal substitutions as well, rotating through much of the team getting many players some experience on the field in inter-squad competition.

Softball will wrap up their fall season Sunday with an intra-squad scrimmage starting at noon.  As this is exhibition play, no video coverage is expected, so you'll have to head out to Floyd Street to see it.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

We're expecting three in the virtual studio today.  Paulie, and I, should be joined by Daryl as Case is travelling as mentioned above, and Jared will be preparing for an afternoon at Football.  I'm sure we'll have plenty to talk about with Volleyball, Field Hockey, and Soccer.  Come join us at 11 a.m. ET!

You can catch the live stream at:



  1. This Volleyball squad is a final four squad -- I've said it before and I'll continue to say it. The ACC quakes in our wake.

    Nick O

    1. Agreed. I'm saying they're a legit national championship contender. One of three, I think, on campus this year along with Field Hockey and WBB.

      It's a bit early to be predicting for WBB, but the talent is there, I think, just a question of how they come together.


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