We report on the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports here. Thanks for checking us out! Click the picture of Louie to hear the latest Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast!!

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Volleyball Travels To WKU For Mid-Week Match Up -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


In what looks to be Louisville's toughest test so far in the early 2022 season, the Cards will face WKU in the Battle of i-65, or clash of the undefeated, on Wednesday night. E.A. Diddle Arena, also home of WKU basketball on "the Hill" will serve as the match-up locale for the Toppers and UofL.  These two last met in 2019, when Louisville took a tough 3-2 match in Bowling Green. 

It's a intrastate and an interstate battle. (drum roll...thanks, I'll be here two weeks)

Four current Cardinals were on that Louisville squad that played WKU in 2019. Nena Mbonu, Alexa Hendricks, Aiko Jones and Amaya Tillman. My guess is you'll see plenty of those four in tonight's match, which will be shown on ESPN+ at 7 p.m. ET

Louisville holds an 18-0 advantage in the series between these two squads. 

The Cards began their season sweeping all three games in South Dakota, besting NKU, South Dakota and Missouri in straight sets. Louisville goes into the match as the #3 team in the nation, up one from last week. 

Here's a little on tonight's foe: 

WKU has also won their three games in straight sets this season, defeating Miami (OH), Bradley and Kansas City in the Bradley tournament in Peoria, IL. Paige Briggs and Lauren Matthews led WKU in kills with 32 each over the three gmes. Briggs is a 5'10" senior outside hitter out of Ortonville, MI, who played against Louisville back in 2019 and had 11 kills in the loss. Matthews is a 6'0" middle blocker out of Indianapolis who had 13 kills in the 2019 match against the Cards. 

The Toppers have two players out of the Louisville area. Cameron Mosely is a junior defensive specialist who attended Manual High School and Callahan Wiegandt is a freshman setter from Holy Cross. If the last name sounds familiar, "Callie's" dad John may be familiar to a few of you, he's the athletic director at Bellarmine. 

Another Callie, Callie Bauer is the setter for WKU, and she must be a pretty good one, she was named the C-USA Volleyball Player of the Week. She had 108 set assists in the three games at Bradley. She's a redshirt freshman out of Hudson, MI. 

WKU is coached by Travis Hudson, who is in his 28th season as WKU's head coach. 

One thing the Toppers do that I'd love to see Louisville start, is that they broadcast games on the radio. if you live in the Bowling Green area, you can pick up the call on ESPN Radio 102.7 I'm not sure how far that signal extends, but i might see if I can pick it up...I can sometimes pick up Louisville FM stations when I drive to Lexington. 

Louisville will most likely depend on the powerhouse hitters of Claire Chaussee, Aiko Jones, Anna DeBeer and Amaya Tillman that have gotten them to 3-0. Raquel Lazaro has been a pleasant surprise at setter and was named the MVP of the tournament in South Dakota. Elena Scott has played well at libero and the middle blocker spot has multiple contenders has and several Cards step in and do big things, Phekran Kong, Cara Cresse and Sydni Schetnan.and I've probably missed one or two... 

WKU tends to attend their clashes with Louisville on campus quite well, so there will be a lot of cheering for "Big Red's" squad in E.A. Diddle. Arena..$6 tickets are reported still available for the match and youth get in for $3. Bowling Green is about a 90 minute drive out of Louisville (if it isn't rush hour) down I-65 and the match action will probably be worth the time spent getting there (and coming back) if you decide to go. I'd probably go myself, but I have a previous thing scheduled today and can't back out of it. 

Coverage will be on ESPN +, as mentioned and if you are subscribed to the service, you can follow live stats at the website. Our Jeff McAdams will be in attendance for the match, you probably won't get a lot of tweeting out of him, but he's worth the follow. I'll look for him charging down the stairs to lead the C-A-R-D-S cheer when WKU calls timeouts. 

Jared will have a recap of the match in Thursday's Cardinal Couple. 


Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Zach Greenwell Replaces Kenny Klein -- Vball Moves up to #3 -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Zach Greenwell Replaces Kenny Klein

After months of speculating on who would replace Kenny Klein, who retired after 39 years with Louisville Athletics, his replacement has been named. Zach Greenwell has been named the new Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations and Strategic Communications.

The position becomes a hybrid as Louisville combines two departments- Media Relations and Creative/Digital Communications. Rocco Gasparro has been promoted to the Director of Media Relations and Carl Schmid has been promoted to the Director of Creative Communications. Greenwell will oversee both departments as well as be the primary media relations contact for Louisville men's basketball.

Prior to Louisville, Greenwell was a senior associate athletic director for communications, brand strategy, and men's basketball at Western Kentucky. He oversaw WKU Athletics Communications/Media Relations department, which included strategic communications, budgeting, creative content, digital programming, TV/radio/streaming agreements, publications, record keeping, and website maintenance.

The Athletic's "College Sports 40 Under 40" named Greenwell to their list last week.

Volleyball Moves Up to #3

After a perfect start (3-0 record, 9-0 in sets) to the season, Louisville volleyball has moved up from #4 to #3 in the AVCA Coaches poll.

Texas retained the top overall spot with Nebraska close behind. Minnesota moved up a spot to #4 and Georgia Tech leapt up several spots to #5. Pitt is the only other ACC school in the Top 25 at #10.

Louisville visits #22 Western Kentucky on Wednesday before coming home to open up the home season against #15 San Diego. #8 Ohio State will be right after. To keep the ranked streak going, the fourth match from now will see the Cards visiting #11 Purdue.

The toughest part of the schedule begins now.

Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!

Monday, August 29, 2022

Field Hockey Downs Penn State -- WSOC beats NKU -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Louisville Field Hockey improved to 2-0 on the season with a come-from-behind win over Penn State at Penn State Sunday afternoon. The Cards got goals from Katie Schneider and Aimee Plumb to tie and pass the Nittany Lions, after Louisville found themselves trailing at halftime 1-0 

Head coach Justine Sowry was deservedly proud of her Field Hockey flock: 

"I am so proud of this young team. We took some lessons from Friday's game and we were able to connect on some great attacking plays.  The winner of the day was our gritty defense all over the field against a quality opponent." 

The #9 Cards have gathered four 2-1 wins so far this season, two in exhibition games and two in the regular season... 2-1 wins over Bucknell and, now, #11 Penn State. The Cards were probably pretty lucky to be trailing by just a 1-0 margin after the first half. Penn State had a 8-2 advantage in shots on goal and a 3-2 edge in penalty corner attempts.  A tip of the cap to UofL goalkeeper Sasha Elliott, who had seven first half saves.

Whatever strategy Justine and the coaches discussed with the Louisville squad to rev up the offense during halftime worked.

The home-standing squad wasn't getting nearly as many shots or shot opportunities in the third quarter. Try zero, as a matter of fact, for PSU. And, with 27 seconds left in the third quarter, Katie Schneider worked her way open for a shot-on-goal and sent it into the net to tie the match at 1-1. 

The squads combined for eight shots UofL 5 - PSU 3) in a frenetic final quarter. Louisville drew a penalty corner with 4:20 to play and Aimee Plumb scored to put the Cards ahead 2-1. 

Louisville survived a couple of Penn State penalty corners in the final 30 seconds of play. Elliott got a block on the first attempt and a Cards defender made sure the second attempt failed also. 

Penn State's head coach Charlene Morrett-Curtis saw the loss this way:

"I thought it was our game to win. We have to either find a teammate, get the ball on corner or get a corner. It was hard for us to get corners or players in front of the goal. We made great runs to the goal and we got the ball into the circle but people weren't there. That can't happen." 

The Cards return to action Friday when they continue the run of playing schools from Pennsylvania...this next one against Penn at UNC. 



Louisville women's soccer made the trip up I-71 to Highland Heights, KY and defeated Horizon league member Northern Kentucky 1-0 Sunday evening. 

The Cards got the only score of the night when they earned a free kick with 14:44 gone in the contest. Maisie Whitsett's shot was deflected, but Karsyn Cherry was there for the header to give the Cards a goal. 

Louisville dominated this one in offense stats numbers. The Cards had a 18-1 shot advantage and held a 7-1 corner attempt edge.  

Louisville dominated this one offensively. The ball spent a lot of time in the NKU half of the turf. I know the Cards had a huge shot advantage at one time, the major problem is that the shots were wide or high. Shots on goal were 4-1 in UofL's favor. 

Cardinals goalkeeper Erryn Floyd had a pretty quiet evening. A great defensive effort by all the Cards, but Sarah Hernandez, Anouk Denton and Cherry made sure the Norse weren't getting a good look at anything except Louisville maneuvering with the ball in the NKU portion of the pitch.  

Louisville did have a huge opportunity to score with 16:21 let in the first half when a shot went off the crossbar and landed in front of Morgan Bentley. Her put-back sailed just left of the goal, though.   

And, was a win that the Cards needed after losing to Xavier on Thursday.  A win that had to reinforce in Karen Ferguson Dayes' thoughts that this squad can definitely play some very good defense. Something that will be needed when ACC play rolls around. 

A road trip for the Cards (2-1) to James Madison University next --  to play JMU and Memphis next week -- will give the Cards a chance to try and develop a few more offensive weapons. We know Maisie Whitsett can be a scorer, the question is who will join her in burying balls in the back of the net. Pam Ward, Ravin Alexander and Savina Zamborini seem to be the logical candidates and we can't help think that Corinne Dente could add a lot to the attack also. Morgan Bentley and Brooke Dardano have shown they can move and distribute the ball quite effectively and I'll wager neither is shy about shot attempts. 

When the defense keeps giving you the ball possession, you need to convert with goals.   

Still, we'll take a 1-0 win a dozen more times or so the remainder of the season. The old adage is that offense puts people in the seats but defense wins games. In Louisville's case, defense is leading the way right now and offense needs to catch up. 



Sunday, August 28, 2022

Volleyball Sweeps the Weekend - Sunday Cardinal Couple

Volleyball vs Missouri

Dani Busboom Kelly's volleyball squad was the only UofL team in action yesterday wrapping up their visit to South Dakota with a late afternoon match against Missouri.  The Cards kept their brooms out, sweeping the Tigers 3-0; 25-12, 25-22, 25-18.

As you might guess from the set scores, the Cards came out hot, Elena Scott started at the service line and reeled off seven straight to open the game, giving UofL a comfortable margin out of the gate.  The lead bloomed to 11-2, and 13-3 before Missouri would get a point that wasn't the result of a UofL error.  Missouri did finally recover from their shell shock and start to claw back some points.  They would get the score to 16-8 before UofL put on a five point run to 21-8.  The set finally settled down to some fairly typical back and forth volleyball, but Missouri would never recover from the early lead, losing 25-12.

After .444 hitting in the first set, the UofL hitting cooled significantly in the second to .125.  The Cards weren't playing nearly as sharp in the second set, letting Missouri have the lead as late as 9-8 before UofL put a trio of points together to take the lead for good.  It was never a huge lead, however, never growing beyond a five point margin with no team going for more than a three point run in the whole set.

The hitting got mostly back on track in the third set, climbing to .360, but still UofL had trouble really putting away the Tigers.  Missouri never had the lead in this set, but they did mostly hang around.  The largest lead for the Cards was at 20-11, but they wouldn't be able to close it down much as the Cards cruised to the 25-18 win, capped off, fittingly, by a monster block by one of the South Dakotans on the team, Phekran Kong.

A great first set for UofL, obviously, but after that it felt like the Cards were just taking things a little bit too casually.  Claire Chaussee and Anna DeBeer were still swinging with power, but everything felt like it was about a half-step slower than UofL typically plays.

It is, of course, hard to maintain a top level of intensity playing against a team that is just clearly overmatched, but the Cards need to learn to maintain at least some of that intensity to make sure that games don't get out of hand.  It didn't happen here, but there were moments of play when Missouri threatened to take a set, and it wasn't clear that UofL was going to step up and stop them.

UofL finished with an ok, but not stellar .298 hitting for the match.  Much of the difference in scores came from blocking, which the Cards, as is typical, lead 11-7, and service aces, 5-2.  Hitting was lead by Anna DeBeer with 10 kills, followed up by Claire Chaussee with seven, and the tandem of Aiko Jones and Amaya Tillman with six each.

Chaussee and DeBeer are playing all six rotations and joined libero Elena Scott at the top of the digs leaderboard.  DeBeer and Scott dug nine, with Chaussee being responsible for eight.

Five service aces for the Cards on the day, with DeBeer showing her all-around skills claiming two of those, but eight service errors puts a bit of a blemish on that stat.

The nearly home-towners (Vermillion is about an hour's drive from Sioux Falls) PK Kong and Sydni Schetnan both made appearances in one set.  PK chalked up a trio of kills, a solo block, and a shared block.  Schetnan put down a kill as well.

Overall, a good visit for the Sioux Falls contingent, and the Cards as a whole to South Dakota.  Three matches, nine sets, played, all wins gets the Volleyball squad underway on a solid footing.  Things get tougher going forward, however with a trio of top 25 teams to play in the coming week.  The Cards will get back home and make a fairly quick turnaround with a bus trip down I-65 to 21st ranked WKU on Wednesday.  The home opener will be Friday against currently 25th ranked, though likely to climb after beating 6th ranked Pitt on Friday, San Diego.  Follow that up with currently 7th, though likely to drop a little after a pair of losses to 2nd ranked Texas, Ohio State on Sunday.

Field Hockey

Justine Sowry's field hockey crew start today's action off with a noon pass back against 11th ranked Penn State.  Both teams are coming off of a one point win into this one.  UofL beat Bucknell 2-1, and Penn State knocked off Virginia 3-2, both on Friday.

Louisville has to be happy to see Julie Kouijzer back on the turf and in good form, but they sure could use some other offensive assets stepping up to spread the attack a bit more.

It was good to see both of Louisville's scores in the Bucknell game come from penalty corners.  Corners are generally considered good scoring opportunities for a team, but they've been a real bugaboo for UofL the past few seasons with the Cards really struggling to convert.  Perhaps they have, if you'll pardon me, turned the corner on corner execution?  Let's hope so.

You'll need Big10+ to catch this one online.

Women's Soccer

Soccer has a bus trip today, heading to Highland Heights to play Northern Kentucky.  A late start for a Sunday game with a 7pm start, the Cards will be looking for a win to come out with a winning record vs the triumvirate of Cincinnati metro area teams.  They got the exhibition win over Cincinnati, but lost Thursday evening to Xavier.

The Norse will be having a dedication ceremony before the game for the new naming rights to the field, Scudamore Field, as it will now be known.  This is thanks to an estate gift from Joyce "Brenda" Hoskins (née Scudamore).

This will be an opportunity for this fairly young front line, to learn and grow a bit more.  Led by Maisie Whitsett with support from Corinne Dente, the front line hosts a slew of freshmen.  They'll have support from the more senior mid-field and defensive lines helping to protect the Cardinal goal from miscues, but UofL needs these freshmen forwards to learn and mature in a hurry.

ESPN+ is the streaming location for today's match up I-71.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

It was an almost full show yesterday, with four out of our five writers (Case, Jared, Paulie, and myself) on the podcast and having several sports events to recap and plenty more to preview. Daryl was absent and will have to run laps... It's the fall trifecta coverage for the CCRHP, with Soccer, Field Hockey, and Volleyball getting the recap treatment.

Available, as is typical, at it's source, and all of your favorite podcast directories, you can check it out in your browser at:

- JMcA

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Field Hockey Opens with Win and Volleyball Sweeps (Twice) -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Kouijzer Plays Hero Against Bucknell

It wasn't the prettiest start for the Cardinal Field Hockey team as they traveled to College Station for the weekend and opened their season with a game against Bucknell. The unranked Bison squad gave the Cards everything they wanted in the Louisville 2-1 victory. It was Louisville's 9th straight season opening win. 

While you usually have to be careful ascribing expectations to teams in field hockey because the power dynamic is a bit shifted, thoughts about Bucknell would probably be on track. The Bison were 8-10 last season and were 0-5 against ranked teams. Thrice they played the 24th ranked team, which was different in each matchup. Bucknell lost those games by a combined 16-5 score, but they never lost a game by more than three goals. They were bounced from the Patriot League semis after losing to Lafayette in overtime for the second time in a week. 

All that is to say that Louisville shouldn't have struggled much with this team. They could be scrappy, but it should have been relatively straightforward. However, Louisville is also working to recover this season as they reassess their attack and the goalie position. Though we've talked about expecting Louisville to spread the wealth a little bit more this season, both goals for the Cards came from one player yesterday: Julie Kouijzer. The senior scored the first goal just over three minutes into the game when the Cards converted the first corner of the match. After the corner performances in their exhibition games, that was a relief. Kouijzer was assisted by Aimee Plumb, who took the corner, and Mia Duchars, who played the first touch.

The remainder of the first quarter was mostly in favor of the Cards. Two minutes later, Caroline Pusey forced a pair of saves from the Bucknell goalie and Katie Schneider forced one with five minutes left in the quarter. Bucknell got their first opportunity shortly after when they earned a corner. The corner resulted in a shot, but Sasha Elliott was on the scene for the save, and a second opportunity was shot wide. Louisville led 1-0 after the first quarter.

The Cards came out of the break firing once more, with Izzy Bianco forcing a save just two minutes into the quarter, but they got a bit on the back foot after that. Bucknell controlled the offense for much of the remainder of the half, with Louisville earning just one more corner with two minutes remaining that was saved. In that time, the Bison earned three corners and took six shots, all of which had to be saved or blocked. Sasha Elliott finished the first half with five saves, four coming in that second quarter, and the Cards clung onto their lead.

The third quarter started in much the same way. Again Louisville earned an early corner and again a shot forced a Clara McCormick save. This time, though, Bucknell didn't yield in their efforts. Two minutes after the Louisville corner (a lot of things happened two minutes relative to something else in this game), Bucknell equalized in open play on an unassisted goal by Lily Neilson. It was Neilson's fifth and final shot of the night, and it was her fourth on goal as just one previously had been blocked. Neilson was an offensive terror in her 36 minutes and Louisville can be glad to have stopped her from scoring a hat trick.

If you were hoping the goal would spark something in the Cards to see more of a beatdown, I have disappointing news. Louisville didn't earn a shot in the third quarter following the goal, and they gave up another corner opportunity that required an Elliott save. For the first time all game, Bucknell led the offense to open the fourth quarter and got a shot off four minutes in that was blocked. Halfway through the quarter, Louisville earned a corner that played very similarly to the first. It was Kelsey McCrudden taking the first touch this time, but the corner from Plumb resulted in a go-ahead goal by Kouijzer. Bucknell wouldn't get another shot for the final seven minutes and Louisville tried late to pad their advantage with shots by Jane Ramsay and Mattie Tabor. Both of Tabor's final shots required intervention from the Bison, but they were unable to find the back of the cage.

Louisville got out with a 2-1 win, which they'll certainly take in the opener, but there were plenty of reasons for concern. I'm trying to be more optimistic, though, so I'll look at the positives. The Cards converted two corners on just four attempts. We would have liked to have seen more offensive opportunities, but converting your chances is key. On the flip side, they gave up more to Bucknell but were able to kill all five chances. Sasha Elliott was pretty fantastic in goal, finishing with six saves. She had at least one save on all of Bucknell's corner chances, and an open play goal is tough to handle in a one-on-one situation. Credit goes to Clara McCormick on the other end, as well, as she finished with seven saves. 

The Cards played a very rotated lineup, using eight substitutes in an effort to keep fresh legs on the field. July Kouijzer was the only field player to play 60 minutes for the Cards and only Emilia Kaczmarczyk and Minna Tremonti played more than 50. For Bucknell, four field players played the entire game and two more played over 50. If Louisville can keep a rotational advantage like that against other teams, they can have success with a fast pace of play. Other power teams are likely to be able to match, though, so we'll hope to see more offense come from the players in the front of the formation.

Louisville will take on Penn State in the second match of the season for both teams tomorrow at noon. The Nittany Lions are ranked number 11, two spots behind the Cards (for now). Penn State defeated Virginia 3-2 yesterday to open their season. If you've got a subscription, the match will be available on Big Ten Plus.

Volleyball Takes Wins Over NKU and SD

The Louisville wide-netters also took to the road to open their season as they headed to the Saford Coyote Sports Center in Vermillion, South Dakota for a weekend tourney. The Cards drew local foes NKU and the hosting South Dakota in their opening day and rewarded any traveling fans or web viewers with a pair of sweeps. The Cards will get a tad more competition today when they face Mizzou, but they'll look back on a pair of opening victories with a lot of positives.

The first match saw Louisville get off to an auspicious start when NKU was awarded the opening point due to a sanction against the Cardinal coaching staff. No other information is listed, but the Cards turned around and evened the score on a Raquel Lazaro ace. A pair of blocks gave the Cards a 3-1 lead, but an NKU kill, ace, and a Louisville error put the Norse back in front. NKU would not score consecutive points for the remainder of the set. In fact, NKU didn't score consecutive points again until back-to-back kills in their favor made the score 14-8 Louisville in the third set. But I'm jumping ahead...

Louisville went on a pair of 4-0 runs separated by an NKU kill to knock off the rust and stretch out to an 11-5 advantage. They took the first set 25-12 with a .500 - (.059) advantage in hitting percentage. The Cards finished with three errors in each of the next two sets after a single error in the first, and their seven total errors matched the number committed in each set by NKU. Louisville won the second pretty academically with a 25-11 final score and a rotated sub pattern gave Louisville a 25-16 win in the final set to complete the sweep. 

Anna DeBeer led the way offensively for Louisville in the first match, finishing with 11 kills and a .429 hitting percentage. Amaya Tillman was hot on her heels with 10 kills and a .643. The other outsides, Claire Chaussee and Aiko Jones, added 9 and 6 kills on .348 and .545 hitting, respectively. Defensively, Cara Cresse was tops at the net with the only solo block on the team and six block assists. Louisville finished with a 13-1 block advantage in the match, so there were plenty to go around. Jones and Tillman added five assists apiece and the rest were spread between Phekran "PK" Kong, Lazaro, DeBeer, and Chaussee. Elena Scott, unsurprisingly, led the team with 14 digs, and Lazaro and Ayden Bartlett had eight each. 

Lazaro saw the lion's share of the setting duties, finishing with 31 assists, with Elle Glock coming in during the final set and earning 3 assists. It was a fairly impressive all around performance and Dani Busboom Kelly was happy to get the chance to rotate the subs to keep players fresh for the second match of the day.

The opposing scores ticked up a few points in each set in the later match, and the attendance was about 20 times higher, but the final result was the same. Louisville once more forced a negative hitting percentage in the opening set and waltzed their way to a 3-0 victory against the hosting South Dakota Coyotes. 

Louisville stumbled a bit early in the first set, yielding a 7-3 lead and letting South Dakota stake their claim to a 10-8 advantage. It was short lived, though, as the Cards went on a 12-1 run to basically ice the first set at 20-11. The teams swapped points for a while resulting in a 25-14 victory. Louisville's three errors in the first set were their most in the match as they finished with just six for the evening, once again having a third of the opponent's as South Dakota finished with 21.

Louisville didn't give up the lead beyond the third points of either of the last two sets, resulting in a relatively straightforward win for the Cards. Aiko got more in the groove in the second match, finishing with 10 kills and two errors to match DeBeer. Jones gets the edge as the offensive leader, though, as she finished with a .444 hitting percentage ahead of DeBeer's .381. Jones also added four aces and the team finished with nine compared to just seven service errors.

Louisville's blocking was down a bit, but they still held a 9-4 advantage in that category. Jones led the way there as well, with a solo and five assists. Lazaro was the setter for the entirety of the match and she finished with five kills to go with her 25 assists and 10 digs. She appears to have locked down the setting position pretty well and has performed in the first two matches in a way that supports that decision. For the second match in a row, Sydni Schetnan was able to step onto the floor, but she didn't record a stat in this one.

Louisville will wrap up their opening weekend with a match against Missouri this evening at 4:30. The match will be available via streaming on the South Dakota site, which can be found via the gocards website. The Cards will look to leave the weekend with an undefeated record before they head to Bowling Green for a midweek match against WKU.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

We're without Daryl once more but we have plenty of games to talk about as the fall season is officially in full swing. Four of us will bring you the show, and we'll look at the tough loss for Louisville soccer as well as the three wins from yesterday. We'll preview upcoming games as well and give our thoughts on our first impressions of the teams. 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
RadioPublic: Link
Spotify: Link

Until next time, Go Cards!


Friday, August 26, 2022

WSOC fall to Xavier 2-1 -- FH and VB open season on the road; FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Hello all and hello weekend.  I hope everyone has had a happy and healthy week. 
The Cardinal Calendar is starting to overlap so let's jump right into the coverage. 


The Musketeers came from behind to beat the Cards 2-1 at Lynn Stadium Thursday evening handing UofL its first loss of the season.  Maisie Whitsett lead the team with 4 shots on the evening scoring the lone goal for Louisville in the 24th minute of the match.  Erynn Floyd played all 90 minutes on goal for the Cards with 4 saves and 2 goals allowed.  The Cards out shot Xavier 12-9, however, the Musketeers found the back of the net in the 51st and 75th minute. 

Jared let us know that they decided not to do a post game interview with the team. This is common after a Louisville loss. 

NKU on the road Sunday at 7:00 P.M.
Coverage is on ESPN+


#9 Cardinals travel to University Park, Pa., to face Bucknell Friday at 7:30 p.m. 

Series Record: Bucknell leads 1-0
Last Meeting: September 2, 1989- Bucknell won 4-1 in Kent, Ohio
                                           Coverage on BIG10 + 

• The Bison's attack is led by sophomore Lily Neilson and senior Mackenzie Kile. Neilson led the Patriot League in goals scored (15) in 2021, she recently earned 2022 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and Preseason All-League. Kile was tied for first in the Patriot League with 12 assists during her career in 2021 and has been named to the 2022 Preseason All-League team.

• The Bison were selected to finish third in the 2022 Patriot League Field Hockey Preseason Poll.


The Cards will compete in a double-header on Friday, Aug. 26 playing Northern Kentucky at 11:00 a.m. ET before facing the host South Dakota at 8:00 p.m. ET. 
Viewing link is

Louisville and Northern Kentucky have met 18 times. They faced off in 2021 for the first time since 1984, with the Cards winning 3-0.

In her 12th season, head coach Liz Hart led the Norse to a Horizon League Conference Championship where they fell in a tough five-setter to UIC.
NKU returns two 2021 All-Horizon League First Team and All-Tournament Team honorees: Anna Brinkman 378 kills, 33 Aces and 333 digs and Reilly Briggs 331 kills.

Brinkman, the kills leader for the Norse, was also named 2021 ACVA All-Northeast Region Honorable Mention. NKU will also return senior libero Anna Burke 481 digs and 18 Aces.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast -- I will be out with work-related obligations (groan) but as far as I know, the rest of the gang will be on to cover the Cards loaded weekend.  With FH, VB AND WSOC all on the schedule, the guys will have plenty to cover with other miscellaneous topics as well. 

11 a.m. is start time. You can get more info, including listening links on the Cardinal Couple You Tube page.  Check it out ! 


As Always, 
Go Cards! 


Thursday, August 25, 2022

WSOC Hosts Xavier -- FH and VBall Set to Start Season -- THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Women's Soccer to Host Xavier in Louisville Soccer Double Header

Louisville women's soccer is teaming up with Louisville men's soccer for a Louisville soccer double header. The men will take on rival Saint Louis at 5:00 p.m. with the women set to take on Xavier immediately after, approximately 7:30 p.m.

In past years, the two programs have teamed up to help draw a larger crowd as well as to support each other. It's also a time when Louisville soccer has a special event in Noche de Familia y Amigos (Family and Friends Night) to honor and support the hispanic soccer community in the area.

For the Cards, this is their second match of the season. Win number one was a 3-0 victory against UIC last week that saw Karsyn Cherry, Maisie Whitsett, and Autumn Weeks find the back of the net.

Xavier is a much more developed program than last week's opponent and should prove to be a bit of a challenge for Louisville. The Musketeers went 16-3-1 in 2021 and their 9-1-0 conference record was good enough to win the Big East title.

Xavier started their season with a 1-0 win against Western Kentucky before drawing with Ohio 0-0 a few days later. Junior Simone Rivard-Roberts scored the lone goal on a straight shot from about 20 yards out.

Dating back to 1986, Xavier has owned the series against Louisville 13-3, but it was the Cards who took the 2-1 win in the most recent match-up in 2018. Current WSOC student-athlete Maisie Whitsett was on that Louisville team and scored the winning goal in the 100th minute off a pass from Allson Whitfield. 

Due to the double header and the big promotion, please plan accordingly for possible parking and crowd issues. Don't forget the Kentucky State Fair is still going on and may cause traffic backups in the area.

Field Hockey and Volleyball Prepare to Start Their Season

We are just one day away from Louisville field hockey and Louisville volleyball starting their respective regular seasons.

Justine Sowry's #9 ranked Cards travel to University Park, Pa., to take on Belmont. Louisville field hockey won their pair of preseason scrimmages 2-1 against Miami (OH) and Bellarmine.

Bucknell went 8-10 last season with a 4-2 record in the Patriot League. They went 0-5 against ranked opponents.

Louisville went 16-4 with a program-best 6-0 record in the ACC last season. Their four losses came against teams that appeared in the NCAA Tournament.

This match will be streamed on Big Ten Plus, so you'll have to dish out some money to see this one.

For Louisville volleyball, the #4 ranked Cards travel to the northern midwest to square off against Northern Kentucky (season opener), South Dakota, and Missouri all in the span of about 30 hours. This is the same group of four that competed in the Cardinal Classic in Louisville last year. Take a wild guess who came out on top in those.

The NKU match will be at 11:00 a.m. ET (10:00 a.m. local CT). The Norse went 20-8 last year and had a 15-2 mark in the Horizon League, but fell in the championship match of their conference tournament.

Louisville will then turn around and play host South Dakota at 8:00 p.m. ET (7:00 p.m. CT). The Coyotes boasted a 20-10 overall record and a 15-3 record in the Summit League last season. They won their conference tournament before falling in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Missouri is the final leg of the event for Louisville, set for Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET (3:30 p.m. CT). Mizzou had a rough 2021, going 5-26 and a 2-16 mark in the SEC. Two of their five wins came in the Cardinal Classic.

It appears all the matches can be viewed on South Dakota's website (, but we will provide updates if and when we hear any.

Happy Thursday and Go Cards!

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

#4 VolleyCards and #9 Field Hockey getting presesaon kudos -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


When you're coming off the kind of season that Louisville Volleyball had in 2021, and returning a lot of the student-athletes that made it possible, it should come as no surprise to anyone that the VolleyCards are atop the preseason ACC rankings and #4 in the nation. 

The league's 15 head coaches saw it this way: 10 of them picked Louisville as the top team, while 5 of them voted Pittsburgh as preseason #1 in the conference. Louisville, who returns all but two starters from the 2021 squad, received 191 total votes, while Pitt received 185 votes. 

The complete poll (by total votes received):

  • #1 Louisville               191
  • #2 Pittsburgh             185
  • #3 Georgia Tech        173
  • #4 Miami                    150
  • #5 Florida State         145
  • #6 North Carolina      134
  • #7 NC State               116
  • #8 Duke                     105
  • #9 Notre Dame            87
  • #10 Clemson               72
  • #11 Wake Forest         63
  • #12 Va. Tech                48
  • #13 Boston College     39
  • #14 Virginia                  36
  • #15 Syracuse                   31

The ACC also selected five Louisville volleyballers to the ALL-ACC team  Claire Chausee, Anna DeBeer, Aiko Jones, Elena Scott and Amaya Tillman.  

The ACC had Louisville at #4, Pitt at #6 and Georgia Tech at #9 crack the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) top 10. 

The regular season begins this Friday with all 15 ACC teams in action. The Cards head to South Dakota to face Northern Kentucky University,  (That's a long way go to for an NKU match...why didn't they just agree to meet halfway geographically and play in Carrollton, KY)?

The word we're getting is that the host school (South Dakota) will be showing all the matches at their sports website

Whether it's a pay--per-view or premium package sort of deal, we don't know yet. UofL will also play South Dakota and Missouri while in Vermillion. And, Sydni Schetnan is from South Dakota, so there should be a sizable Cards cheering contingent in the arena. 

The guys we had at the Red vs. Black scrimmage (Jeff and Jared) have rave reviews for this 2022 squad. The graduation of two starters (Dilfer and Stevenson) doesn't seem to be a "program wrecker" or something that puts UofL in a rebuilding mode  There are plenty of backups from last year and a few freshmen who are ready and capable of competing for those two spots. .

We look forward to a fun season with plenty of wins. 


The NFHCA has released their preseason rankings and Justine Sowry's Cards are ranked #9 in the poll. Louisville is one of two ACC schools in the top  10, the other is North Carolina, who landed in the #2 spot

The complete top 10: 

  • #1 Northwestern       1107
  • #2 North Carolina     1067
  • #3 Michigan                967
  • #4 Maryland               961
  • #5  Iowa                     930
  • #6 Liberty                   861
  • #7 Harvard                 837
  • #8 Rutgers                 768
  • #9 LOUISVILLE         764
  • #10 Syracuse             758

Penn State, who Louisville faces August 28th in University Park, PA , is #11 in the poll. 

The Cards are gaining a fair amount of respect nationwide,  but  the ACC Coaches aren't as convinced...putting Louisville fifth out of the seven schools that play Field Hockey. UNC gathered first place recognition, followed by Syracuse, Boston College and Virginia. Duke and Wake Forest round out the voting and list. All seven ACC schools are in the NFHCA Top 20. 

Aimee Plumb is the only Cardinals players to get preseason All-ACC recognition...the junior from Canterbury, Kent ,England was named to the squad last year. too. 

Consecutive 2-1 preseason wins over MAC opponents may have not convinced the rest of the league that Louisville is a powerhouse, although it should be mentioned that Miami (OH) was ranked #24 in the poll and the Cards won up there.
We look forward to Field Hockey's pursuits this season and feel that this team has a adequate number of veterans returning and the freshmen will grow up fast as this very competitive schedule unfolds.  




Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Early Season Thoughts on Fall Teams -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

They're out of the gate

Through various exhibition match-ups and a regular season game for women's soccer, we've had a chance to see all of the Louisville women's fall teams in action already. It's not enough to be able to fully analyze each team, but it's been enough of a glimpse to help us generate some thoughts.

This weekend was an opportune moment to see women's soccer, volleyball, and women's soccer (and men's soccer, but that's not a sport we cover here) in action. Women's soccer also had a preseason outing the week prior.

Below is my personal "first impression" of the fall teams.


Volleyball by far looked the best to me. The Red and Black Scrimmage isn't always the best indicator of how good the VolleyCards being a more relaxed event... as teammates compete against each other, but wow, this team is good

Replacing Anna Stevenson and Tori Dilfer was a tall task for Coach  DBK. She seemed to go the Brad Pitt "Moneyball" route instead of directly replacing that duo. Cara Cresse and PK appear to be the pair that will compete for the most playing time at middle blocker, but freshman Hannah Sherman made her presence known. Raquel Lazaro stood out as the frontrunner for the setter position, and she's arguably the quickest and most agile player on the court, but Elle Glock and Paige Morningstar also both are in starting setter shape with Glock and Morningstar each having four years of eligibility remaining.

Louisville took the Anna DeBeer back row hitting and expanded it to feature Claire Chaussee and Aiko Jones. So, not only are opponents dealing with quick and powerful outside hitters, they also have to worry about the back row attack.

Defensively, having Elena Scott retain the libero position going into her second year and having experienced defensive specialists in Alexa Hendricks and Ayden Bartlett just makes the veteran crew ready to take on anything thrown, er hit, at them.

Women's Soccer

Women's soccer has given me more to see already and my attention immediately goes to the defensive line. Sarah Hernandez and Ravin Alexander have been around for quite some time now and have become lockdown defenders. Anouk Denton has moved into a defensive fullback position and has been brilliant as a sophomore. Freshman Karsyn Cherry has stepped into the centerback role alongside Hernandez smoothly and has already proven herself capable to step up and score.

Maisie Whitsett transitioned back to forward, a position she originally started her Louisville career as, and has already shown she can almost score at will. She has plenty of speed alongside her on the front lines spread amongst a few new faces.

The midfield mostly consists of returnees who have another year under their belts with passing and forward vision being noticeable improvements.

The goalkeeper position is still in question as Olivia Pratapas isn't 100% healthy yet. That leaves Alyssa Zalac and Erynn Floyd competing for the starting spot right now. By my count, neither have seen a shot on goal yet or have had much action, so I can't really put one ahead of the other at this time. This could be a position battle up through the start of conference play.

Field Hockey

Rain and lighting delays interfered with the Cards being able to build much momentum Sunday so I don't want to overanalyze what I saw. Sowry played 21 players, too. 

Bellarmine's goalkeeper put on a dazzling performance, which can skew how the offense truly looked in the preseason exhibition. The offense doesn't concern me with returners Katie Schneider, Aimee Plumb, and Mattie Tabor all back. Add in Emilia Kaczmarczyk, Minna Tremonti, and Mia Duchars to that mix and the offense has potential to be one of the top in the country. The second grouping of three are midfielders, but play more of an offensive midfielder role.

India Reed and Sofia Pendolino will be the veterans leading a defensive group that features plenty of new faces. Both returners have proven themselves to be strong one-on-one defenders. Back defender  Julie Kouijzer was present Sunday, but did not dress due to unspecified reasons. I'm assuming she's good to go for the season and she'll strengthen the defense more.

Not much is known about either goalkeeper. Sasha Elliott and Logan Jancerak are both new to Louisville and both saw playing time against Bellarmine. I'll need to see both in action more to get a better feel for the goalkeeper situation.

Being a team with so many new faces that are expected to make an immediate impact on the team can get tricky. This team hasn't had time to fully gel yet. Passing was off and communication wasn't there. Both of those should improve greatly the more the players spend on the field together.

Feel Old Yet?

Remember the the 1993 movie "Dazed and Confused"? There's a line "I get older, they stay the same age". In a less weird manner than the movie context, looking at the rosters for this fall might make you feel old.

After going through the rosters for the fall teams I found ONE player born prior to 2000. Thank you, Aiko Jones, for not making us 90s babies a thing of the past. The incoming freshmen class has players born as recent as 2004.

This is one of the first "I feel old" moments I've had besides hip and knee pain. I guess I can only get older from here... oy vey...

Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!