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Saturday, January 22, 2022

Track, Tennis, and Swimming Roundup -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Leon Sets School Record

With Louisville WBB on a typical Thursday-Sunday schedule, they've stayed out of the bounds of my columns recently. Fortunately, with some of the other winter and spring sports getting underway, I'm able to be kept busy. One of those sports is indoor track and field. After last week's successes in Birmingham, Louisville traveled to Blacksburg for the Hokie invitational.

Competition at the Virginia Tech meet is tough. There are still plenty of events today in the second and final day of the meet, but Louisville sits without a victory so far. Louisville saw most of its success in the pole vault, where Gabriela Leon and Auriane Viola both put in personal best jumps. Leon broke her own school record, but their jumps were good for only 3rd and 4th. No other Cardinal stepped on the podium yesterday, but Brooke Weimar (2), Synclair Savage, Rachel Darden, Morgan Bentley, and Zoe Yeast all earned personal bests in various events.

Day 2 of the event began at 9:00 AM so be sure to follow the Track and Field twitter account for live updates.

Tennis Wins Opening Double-Header

The Louisville women's tennis team opened their season with a pair of matches against Cincinnati and Marshall in the Bass-Rudd Tennis Complex. Louisville has typically seen success in their opening matches, performing very well before the rigors of conference play get the best of them. Yesterday, they opened the 2022 season 2-0 in non-conference play once more. We can only hope that this season is the year that they turn it around and carry their non-conference performance into the ACC season and make some noise with the talent on the roster.

The match against UC was decided early. Louisville won the doubles point and then went on to win the top-3 seeded singles matches in relatively quick fashion (6-2/6-1, 6-1/7-5, 6-1/6-2), giving them the four points required to win the match. UC won the 4- and 5-line matches with Louisville going to a tiebreaker in the final match to win it 3-6, 7-5, 10-8. With another match to play in the afternoon, I'm a bit surprised that the final match wasn't abandoned, given that the overall result was decided, but I can also understand wanting players to get their full first match in. Louisville won 5-2.

The match against Marshall was a bit more dicey, but Louisville managed to claim the 4-3 win. Despite the closer final score, Louisville secure the victory in the same number of matches: five. The Cards again won the doubles match, then won the 5, 2, and 6 slotted singles matches to earn their four points. Marshall's Emma Vanderheyden defeated Rhea Di Palma to make the score 3-1 before Louisville completed the victory, and the Herd won the two remaining matches. Though both the 3 and 4 spots were in tiebreakers, it appears that Louisville's Chelsea Sawyer was ready to be done with the long day, as her loss was marked as a retirement in the middle of the tiebreaker after the score had already been decided. 

The Cards will be back in action tomorrow when they take on Miami (OH) starting at 11.

Louisville Swimming and Diving Hosts Kentucky

After their big win over Indiana last week, there's no resting on their laurels for the Cards. Though the men's team is unranked, the 15th-ranked Louisville women will have their hands full with the 13th-ranked Wildcats. Both teams are coming off of victories, with Louisville upsetting Indiana and Kentucky taking care of business against Marshall. Kentucky's meet was just Wednesday, so they are on much less rest than Louisville.

Louisville will be led by Gabi Albiero, who has stood out as one who could be the next Cardinal great in the pool. Albiero was named the ACC Swimmer of the Week after her performance against Indiana. To remind you, she took two individual victories and was on two winning relay teams. Albiero's mark in total wins was matched by Riley Gaines, a Kentucky senior, on Wednesday when she won three individual events and a relay. 

Today's meet should be an exciting one, and Jared expects to be on site to cover it. The swimming events are set to begin at 1PM with diving going first at noon.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

It's a return to the good ol' days today with a two-man show. Paulie and Jeff will bring you all the news and notes, while recapping the ugly win over BC in a trap game and the even uglier collapse in Raleigh. The rest of us are out for various reasons as my basement floor undergoes a remodel, Jared rehearses to play some tunes, and Daryl has an appointment that cropped up right in the recording window. The show must go on, though, and Paulie and Jeff are well-accustomed to the setup. 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!

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Until next time, Go Cards!


  1. Good morning Cards Nation, Question does Liz Dixon have one more year ( covid) eligibility.

    1. She had one year at GT and is in her third year here, so "normally" this would be her final season of eligibility. With the "COVID" rule, she technically would have an extra season, and, it'll be interesting to see if she uses it. She'd also be eligible for the transfer portal. Time wil tell, I suppose.


  2. Thanks you Paulie.


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