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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


  1. I'm glad to see Volleyball is continuing to be a top 5 squad and always enjoy reading the coverage of them here at Cardinal Couple!

    Blue Lou

    1. Thank you! It's certainly fun covering them.

      I'm not sure they really looked like a top 5 team yesterday, maybe top 15, but I think we'll see them in top form quickly.


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