Swim and Dive
Swim and Dive is kind of in post-season? The ACC Championships finished up yesterday, but UofL will still host another "regular season" meet next week, the wonderfully named "Louisville Last Chance".
In any case, it was a pretty good showing for the Cards in Atlanta, the women's team finished the Championships in third place, and the men finished in second.
The best result on the day for the Louisville women was Liberty Williams' win in the oddly specific distance of 1650 yards. Her finishing time was 15:43.21, an almost 20 second margin of victory.
As mentioned, the Louisville Last Chance meet will be next week, which is, as the name suggests, the last chance for swimmers to put up NCAA qualifying times for the NCAA championship. The Diving Zones, essentially Diving's equivalent to a Regional section of a championship, starts March 7th. Louisville will compete in the Zones in Ann Arbor, MI. The NCAA Women's Championship will start March 16th, with the men kicking off on March 23rd. The Championship events are also being hosted in Atlanta by Georgia Tech, so the recent experience in the pool for the ACC Championships will hopefully be an advantage for ACC teams.
Women's Tennis finished up their non-conference slate...well, mostly...yesterday with two dominant wins over Austin Peay, and a cross-town matchup against Bellarmine.
The Governors were able to pick up a point against the Cards, but UofL cruised to an easy 6-1 win.
Bellarmine still had a slim opportunity to pick up a point on the last court in action, but even that was unlikely. Rhea Verma had won the first set on the court 6-2 and was leading in the second 3-1 when they bagged it as the overall meet was already decided. The Louisville win will go into the record books as a 6-0 win.
Tennis will start their conference schedule this coming Friday with 4pm match against Duke with UNC on Sunday at noon. They do have one more non-conference match just randomly in the middle of the conference play when Xavier comes to visit March 18th.
And finally for the recaps. Softball had a rough day against a couple of ranked teams in Gainesville in the T-Mobile Tournament.
After a good Friday knocking off Villanova and run ruling Florida A&M, the Cards took it on the chin in a 9-1 loss to 4th ranked Florida to start the day yesterday. The Cards run was scored by Jenna Servi. Servi singled out to center field, then after a fly out, Easton Lotus came to the plate and took advantage of a Florida fielding error to reach. Carmyn Greenwood, definitely the big stick for the Cards this year, doubled out to left field to score Servi and get Lotus to third. Alas that would be the only player to cross the plate for the Cards.
UofL would have a better showing, but still a loss, against 14th ranked Duke in the nightcap that started at 7pm. The Blue Devils won this one 6-3.
Carmyn Greenwood gets the first run scored in the 4th inning after a throwing error by the Duke pitcher gets her on base, and advanced to 2nd. Taylor Roby would get her home on a single to center field.
UofL would score their other two in the next inning. Rebecca Chung pinch hit for Maddi Grant and doubled to left field. The quicker Dylann Cravens came in to pinch run for Chung and then scored on Ally Alexander's double to left center. Alexander saw a wild pitch and took third. The catcher tried the throw to try to get her out at third, but that didn't work so well for them and Alexander was able to make it home on the throwing error.
That would be it for the Cards, and Duke would take the win 6-3.
UofL will wrap up their participation in the T-Mobile Tournament with an early game this morning. A 9am start against Villanova again. No video for any of the games that we've been able to find this weekend, but the live stats can be found at: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=402512
A bit of an overloaded day today with Senior Day celebrations, as well as the rescheduled "Pink Game" when Virginia Tech comes calling in the KFC Yum! Center at 2pm.
The Cardinals wore their pink uniforms in the last game in North Carolina on Thursday, which many of us didn't get to see live because: RSN. But breast cancer survivors will be honored today instead of when the original plan, which would've been the Virginia game that got cancelled because UVA couldn't get a plane lined up to get here.
UofL will also be honoring three players for Senior Day pre-game. This year was Chelsie Hall's extra Covid year of eligibility, while Emily Engstler and Kianna Smith have apparently chosen not to take advantage of their extra year of eligibility. It's a reasonable choice for the two of them as they both have the potential to enter the WNBA and begin their pro careers.
The other three seniors on the squad, Mykasa Robinson, Ahlana Smith, and Liz Dixon all announced this week that they will be using their Covid year and returning to play another year next season.
Virginia Tech is the opponent. 8-3 for their non-conference matchups, 12-3 in conference, the Hokies are lingering in the bottom of the rankings at either 23 or 24, depending on which ranking you look at.
Non-conference losses were to Missouri State, Tennessee, and Liberty. There's no shame in the loss to Tennessee, though they've dropped a few recently, the Volunteers are still a good squad and certainly were playing well in the early season when VT faced them. I wouldn't rate any of their non-conference as being signature wins.
In conference losses were to the red-hot early Tarheels, a potential Final Four contender NC State, and a can-be-good-it-depends-on-the-day Notre Dame. No need to hang their head over any of those. VT has a number of good in-conference wins. FSU could arguably be considered one, but a win over Georgia Tech is clearly a good win. They won both against a decent but not spectacular Duke team, and they got revenge against UNC later in the conference slate which is also unquestionably a good win.
The big threat from VT is a name you're probably familiar with, Elizabeth Kitley. She's no threat from distance, but she is a beast in the paint, probably not much of a surprise with her 6'6" frame. Aisha Sheppard, Georgia Amoore, and Kayana Traylor,round out the double-digit scorers. Sheppard and Amoore are distance threats, while Trayler has hit a few, but isn't a major threat from range. Cayla King doesn't average double-digit scoring, but I will point her out as another 3-point threat.
Virginia Tech does have margins over their competitors on average in all of the "right side" stat columns, so no big weaknesses are exposed there. It's really not surprising that the team sitting in 3rd in the current ACC standings is pretty well put together with no major weaknesses.
If the Cards can stop Kitley, that likely wins the game for them. Alternatively, if Kitley gets her typical 17 pts/game, it will be critical for the Cards to shut down the rest of the team. UofL usually tries to generate offense from defense in transition, but if it doesn't happen, VT's defense isn't particularly known for interrupting passing lanes, so the Cards should have the opportunity to set up offenses pretty well.
2pm is the tip for this one. It's available on The ACC Network, and of course is also available through ACC Network Extra streaming setup. Pam Ward and Dan Hughes will be on the call with The ACC Network, and of course, you can always pick up the ever-excellent radio call with Nick Curran and AJ.
Finally, on the schedule today, Lacrosse hopes to continue their winning ways at home in the Louisville Lacrosse Stadium. Central Michigan will be the opponent today.
Louisville has the win over Central Michigan the only time they played previously, in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.
This will only be the 2nd game of the season for CMU, the previous being against fellow ACC squad Notre Dame, who beat CMU 24-5.
CMU is a relatively young program, having played their first games in 2016. They now play conference play in the MAC which is only in it's second year of Lacrosse play. Central Michigan went 7-2 in conference last year, finishing second in the standings, but finishing a less shiny 9-6 overall.
Hopefully this will be another good win for the Cards, as they continue to refine their play and get a feel for success on the field.
11am is the start for this one and it is available on The ACC Network Extra streaming as we expect all home Lacrosse games will be for the Cards this year. Two of those games will be available on the linear ACC Network, but of course all ACC Network linear content is available via streaming as well.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
Four were in attendance for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast yesterday. Daryl was off being "the cool aunt" again...hey, I can't blame her...while Case, Jared, Paulie, and myself held down the fort.
The show reflected the busy sports schedule of this time of year with discussions about basketball, lacrosse, and softball, among others.
There were a few minor hiccups with the streaming, so I'll point you at the anchor.fm home for the podcast postings to catch this one in replay.