CARDS VOLLEYBALL VS FLORIDA
( A SPECIAL THANKS to Jared Anderson for filling in for me Wednesday! The aftermath of a Tuesday eye appointment had me temporarily vision altered as a WBB ref at a UofL women's game in ACC play. I'm much better this Thursday, though, and glad to return the favor and take today's column.)
First off, everybody take a deep breath. Stretch, get that second cup of coffee or English muffin and clear your brains. Forget the dramas and unknown going on at the UofL campus these days with the controversies surrounding Vince Tyra, Neeli Bendaputi, Scott Satterfied, Jeff Brohn, who's flying in and out of the Louisville airport and which "media expert" said what about who when and why. And, now reports that Vince may not take the FSU job and return to the private sector. Stop it! Stop it! Do you know what day it is???
It's game day!
Louisville Volleyball plays in the Sweet Sixteen this afternoon in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA Volleyball Tournament as the #1 seed, at Freedom Hall vs Florida. Stop for a second and let that sink in. we have the #1 NCAA Volleyball team in our fair city. They're on a roll, two matches down and four to go. 30-0 are those Cards. They've met every test and passed it. Kentucky, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Pitt, Ga.Tech? All have received "L's" at the hands of the Cards.
The Cards are tops in the ACC in aces. Tops in the ACC (and fourth in the nation) in blocks. A solid unit that has no weaknesses and no gaps in talent that an opponent can "pick on" or expose. Yes, Louisville has dropped a set or two this season. It's hard walking around all year with a target on your back. But, it's a target worn with a sense of pride, honor and commitment. It's been "next one up" for Louisville volleyball. Been there, done that, beat them, and what you got"?
Venue? No problem. You want us to go to a place in our city where we've never played before and compete on the highest level? Fine, no problem. Set up the net and let the fans in. Trust in the incredibly strong coaching skills of Dani, Dan and Todd.
|Gators in the Hall|
The Cards face a Florida squad today at 1 p.m. (on ESPNU) that comes to town after sweeping foes in their state in the first two rounds of the tournament. Demolishing Florida A&M, who was probably just happy to be in the dance. Knocking off a good Miami (FL) ACC squad that deserved to be there and probably been a top 16 seed. The Gators get production from kill artists Sofia Victoria and Thayer Hall. Elli McKissock a definite threat with her digging abilities. A Gator squad that lost to Kentucky twice during the SEC slate, but, remains as tthe only SEC squad in the tourney.
Yes, it is a Gator squad (22-8) that is peaking. Ready to continue a proud tradition of volleyball in Gainesville. Georgia Tech and Ohio State wait in the wings, ready to battle each other for the chance to face the Cards or Gators. A win would put FLA in their 18th regional championship match. They did, however, lose two straight to UK, who is now gone,.. before silencing the Rattlers and turning the Hurricanes into a tropical depression.
Throw the past meetings between these two out the window. FLA leads the series 8-0. That is irrelevant today.
The Gators ain't skeered, but maybe those "sun and fun" invaders should be. They probably shouldn't have book Friday lodging at one of our local hotels. Just pick up your parting gifts, proceed in an orderly fashion to the exit and leave quietly. We appreciate your visit and wish you the best of luck down the road. Thanks for adding to our win streak.
Neeli Bendaputi won't be there, she's on a plane to University Park, PA to accept the Penn State presidency gig.. Vince Tyra probably won't show -- earmarked for the FSU A.D job -- but 7000 plus will be at the place where Darrell Griffith used to dunk and Denny Crum sipped his Pepsi and pounded a rolled up program. Mostly fans dressed in Cardinals colors. Louisville believes, oh yes, they believe in this powerhouse unit.
We'll have full coverage and representation at Freedom Hall and watching, following from media devices.. Jeff in the stands, most likely leading C-A-R-D-S cheers from the aisle. Jared prowling the sidelines taking photos. Will be go in the right gate and find the media entrance with confusion, drama and controversy? And, me following from TV and tweeting out the results and happenings. Daryl monitoring from work for a Friday recap and write here and Case observing and filling up our group chat with comments. We're all in, how about you?
Catch that Cardinal spirit, city of Louisville! Your hometown gals are on a mission, and the next objective is trapping Gators after dousing Flames and and shooing off Northern Cardinals.
Go Cards! Beat Florida !