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Sunday, April 3, 2022

Softball Evens the Series - Sunday Cardinal Couple

Softball Evens the Series against NC State

NC State got out in front in the weekend series, and in the game yesterday.  Let's hope the series outcome mirrors the Saturday game outcome as the Cards came back, mostly on the strength of a big fourth inning, to win the game 9-7.

Sam Booe started the game in the circle for the Cards, but a big second inning saw UofL make a couple of pitching switches, until they settled on the ace of the squad, Taylor Roby, to handle the rest of the game, but not before the Wolfpack put a 5 spot up on the scoreboard for the inning.

UofL would wait until the fourth inning before striking back, but they struck back in a big way.

The inning started with the Cards in the third spot in the batting order, Taylor Roby.  Ahead in the count, Roby got hit by a pitch.  Speedy base running not being Roby's strength, Mia Forsythe came in to pinch run.  Kendall Smith got behind in the count but made good contact for a single.  Also not a speedster base runner, but having had a pinch runner previously, Smith couldn't get a pinch runner now as she wouldn't be able to re-enter the game again.  No matter, Dylann Cravens got her second home-run in as many days, and the second of her career to clear the bases and get UofL up on the scoreboard.  An NC State pitching change didn't exactly have the greatest of starts, as Ally Alexander got on base after being hit by a pitch.  Vanessa Miller singled through the right side.  Hannah File, hitting in place of Maddi Grant, doubled, bringing Alexander home from second.  Once the Cards got back to the top of the order, well, of course it's Carmyn Greenwood to put a point on the exclamation and another yellow orb goes flying beyond the fence.  With a total of seven across, the Cards took the 7-5 lead.

NC State would score a pair in the bottom of the 5th to tie the game up again at seven, but the Cards weren't quite done either.

With extra inning looming, UofL got a couple of base runners in place with singles from Alexander and Miller.  NC State got a couple of outs on the Cards, but again, that would turn the line-up over.  Carmyn Greenwood got solid contact for a double, but both Alexander and Miller were able to complete their circuits on the play giving Louisville the final 9-7 score.  NC State was able to get a runner on base in the bottom of the 7th, but Louisville's defense shut down everything else to secure the win.

The decisive third game of the series will be today at noon.  You can find it, as always, on the ACC Network Extra streaming.


The only other official UofL women's sports action yesterday was Rowing in Sarasota, Florida and The Sunshine State Invite.  Of course, lots of Florida schools at this one, but plenty of others as well.

The highlight of the event for the Cards was a second place finish by the 2V8 boat, finishing in 6:36.70, less than two seconds behind UCF's first place finisher.

The Rowing crew will have a few weeks to continue working until their next official action in Raleigh, NC at the Lake Wheeler Invitational on April 22nd and 23rd.


Exhibition spring play for Volleyball continued yesterday with multiple "matches" at Diddle Arena on the campus of Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY.

Again, we're in spring exhibition play, so you get frequent diversions from normal volleyball competition.  In this case, each match consisted of two sets, and a win for a match is determined by set score if it went 2-0, or by score differential if the sets were split.  Of course, because it's all exhibition, the scoring doesn't really matter much in any case.

The Cards first played Murray State and split the sets in that one.  The caveat here is that UofL didn't play Anna DeBeer in the first set, or Amaya Tillman at all.  The emphasis in spring play is more on improving the team than necessarily winning, so this game had Nena Mbonu getting a chance to get some more reps, and both middle blockers competing for a fall starting spot. Phekran Kong and Cara Crese got more opportunities to get action.

The second match saw UofL taking on Tennessee Tech and UofL took this one relatively easily.  Again, we didn't see Amaya Tillman on the floor, getting more middle competition instead.  We did see Paige Morningstar get some time at setter.  She didn't play last week in Lexington after having suffered a cut on her foot during spring break.  We got something resembling a 6-2 offense between her at Elle Glock, which is always good fun to watch, when it works well.  Alexa Hendricks wore the Libero jersey in this one, while Elena Scott did so for the other two matches.  Brooke Smith played quite a bit in this one and is clearly developing well as a player.  I don't expect to see her in the fall on the court a lot, but don't be surprised to see her pop in occasionally to shake things up, and give a bit of a different look to the opponent.  She's a good player and it is great to have another solid option to be able to come in and play.

After a break for lunch, the highlight match of the day was UofL vs WKU.  UofL brought out the big guns, primarily Tillman added to the firepower, but we did see some more of the 6-2 offense, though not consistently.  The usual suspects around the rest of the court with Claire "the Bear" Chaussee along with Anna "hold my" DeBeer on the left side, Aiko Jones on the right swinging with confidence again.  PK mostly filled out the other middle spot.  Elena Scott is still flying around the court making amazing plays in defense.

All in all, Volleyball doesn't look like it's missing a beat.  More play this coming Saturday when the Kiva Collegiate Showcase gets back to it's traditional annual cadence after begin disrupted for the past two years with Covid.  And the last spring competition will be Friday April 15th at Morehead State University when the squad will get to play some beach volleyball against Morehead's Beach Volleyball squad.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

While I scooted down I-65 to Bowling Green, the rest of the crew; Case, Daryl, Jared, and Paulie convened as normal for the CCRHP.

I have not had the opportunity, yet, to listen to the show, but will be doing so today.  I will put on my Amazing Kreskin hat and predict that much of the show discussed the Women's Basketball lose to South Carolina.

Find it at its podcast home at

or at your favorite source for podcasts.


  1. I know this is a UofL women's sports site, but nothing on the NCAA WBB Finals tonight? And, too much coverage, in my opinion, on a sport that doesn't start until near the end of the year?

    I guess it's a case of denial or indifference, but a Louisville WBB commentary on the season would have been nice today

    Nick O

    1. Nick,

      First off, if you need an hour plus of discussion on Louisville WBB, I invite you to listen to yesterday's podcast. We spent the entire time talking UofL WBB.

      Secondly, as owner/operator of Cardinal Couple, I make no demands on the writers here. Jeff took the time to travel to Bowling Green and watch his favorite sport and it is a Louisville sport.

      I'll mirror what Jeff Walz said. There is too much negativity in sports reporting, but that's what gets "clicks". We represent the joy and excitement of UofL athletics and from what Jeff reported, there is much to look forward to in Louisville Volleyball and it sounds positive.

      I'll probably devote my Monday article to a look back at the wonderful accomplishments of Louisville WBB this season. But, the rest of the Louisville sports program go on, and, they, too, deserve coverage. Positive coverage.


    2. I thought about adding some commentar in the article about the game tonight, but didn't since UofL is not involved any longer.

      Of course, feel free to share your thoughts here in the comments. Shoot, I won't claim to have any better insights to South Carolina or UConn than you do.

      I will say, with the final two teams being what they are, it becomes really easy fore to throw out a "Go Gamecocks!"

      From an analysis perspective (again, armchair at best) I don't see UConn beating Boston and least not if they play like they played against us.

  2. So proud of UofL women's basketball an love reading about positives, not negatives. Glad Volleyball is looking good. Keep doing what you do, Cardinal Couple and Jeff Walz.

    Curtis "GO CARDS GO!" Frankln

  3. OFF TOPIC, but are any Cards WBB players in the transfer portal?

    Geno is smart. I think he figures out a way to beat South Carolina.

    The Real Joe Hill

  4. Walz has an interesting situation to deal with next season, with all but Hall, Emily and Kianna returning and five talented freshmen coming in. I expect transfers and redshirt ahead.

    And, that doesn't even take the portal into consideration as far as possible pickups for the squad.

    So, I'm ready to start following a few spring sports. Go Lax and Softball.


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