Volleyball Clinches Share of ACC with Another Sweep
The 519 point difference was far and away the best margin for Louisville this year, beating the previous high of 450, set against Boston College on October 8th. Louisville has now hit for at least 0.400 seven times this season and have held opponents to 0.050 or lower nine times. While last night was their best hitting performance of the night, the Cards have held opponents to a lower percentage three times before, with the season best coming when they held Miami (the team now in third in the ACC after GT lost to Pitt) to 0.000 on the night.
Another place where Louisville had a big advantage once more was in the service game. The Cards had nine service errors, but still finished positive with 12 aces. As Jeff pointed out in our group chat, Duke struggled with the serve receive, at one point putting five players back to receive and still getting aced. Duke, to their credit, finished with six aces of their own, but had eight errors to stay in the negative. Louisville was led by Anna DeBeer, who had four aces, with Stevenson following closely behind with three. Ayden Bartlett had two aces with Dilfer, Jones, and Mia Stander adding one apiece.
Stevenson, unsurprisingly, also topped the charts in the kills column, as she has done frequently recently. Stevenson led both teams with 10 kills, followed by Chaussee with seven, DeBeer with six, Tillman with five, and Jones with four. Every player hit better than .250, which is to be expected with the overall hitting percentage. Jones's .286 was lowest on the team, made that way by just two errors. The team finished with just five total.
As for the match itself, it was as straightforward as the stats make it out to be. Louisville used both big runs and consistent play to coast to a 25-12, 25-16, 25-15 victory. The closest Duke could come after the 10-point mark came in the second set when they closed the gap to 14-16. The Cards promptly rattled off six of the next seven points to close the door. In the third, Louisville trailed 4-3 before taking eight straight points and 16 of the next 19 to seal the set and the match.
Louisville will head to Pittsburgh for the Panthers' Senior Night on Wednesday. There is an extremely outside shot that Louisville could win the league outright before that match if Clemson can somehow upset Pitt when they host them tomorrow. Whether the Panthers win or lose, it will benefit the Cards for Pittsburgh to be playing their third match in six days. There's no video listed yet, but this seems like a prime candidate for a ACCN nod. The first serve is scheduled to get the match underway at 5PM on Wednesday.
Basketball Hits the Road
Louisville and Washington have never played each other, but there's a first time for everything. The Huskies are also led by a Ha(i)ley Van, with Haley Van Dyke returning after being named honorable mention for both the All-Pac12 and the All-Pac12 Defensive Teams last season. She is currently leading the team in points and rebounds, averaging a double-double through two games. The Huskies also return Alexis Griggsby, who shot 38% from three last season while starting 18 games.
Newcomers to the team include head coach Tina Langley, who takes over a team that went 7-14 (3-13) last year. Langley comes from Rice, where she went 126-61 in six years and won the WNIT in her final season. Langley brought along the top two scorers from Rice's 2020-2021 team in (not a misprint) 6'9" center Nancy Mulkey and Lauren Schwartz. Mulkey is preseason All-Pac 12 and on the Lisa Leslie Award Watch List.
Today's game tips off at 5 PM Eastern and will be carried on the Pac12 Network Plus. Pac12 Network does not have a direct connection with a main distributor like the ACC or SEC has with ESPN or the B1G has with FOX, but there is some availability to watch this one. A fair number of cable providers will give you access to watching this one, but YouTube TV isn't one of them. You can check for yourself if your provider has access at this link.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
After taking last week off, the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast is back live this week and we'll have an exciting show. With a pair of basketball wins and plenty of volleyball still to talk about, we're handling the transition from fall to winter as gracefully as we can. As always, you can check out the live stream of the show by going to the Cardinal Couple YouTube page and clicking on the live video. Jeff usually creates that about an hour before the show, which officially starts at 11 AM Eastern. If the live time doesn't work for you, there are plenty of playback options, so be sure to check out whichever is best for you!
Cardinal Couple YouTube: Link
Anchor (podcast host): Link
Apple Podcasts: Link
Google Podcasts: Link
Overcast (free account required): Link
Pocket Casts (free account and app required): Link
Until next time, Go Cards!