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Saturday, September 24, 2022

FH Extends Streak Over IU; Volleyball Atop ACC -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Field Hockey Defeats IU 2-0

Louisville brought in the Hoosiers of Indiana University yesterday for the Battle of the Border and came out victorious in the affair for the 9th straight time. The Cards and Hoosiers have played 24 times total, with Louisville holding a 17-7 advantage, and this was the 11th annual matchup. For anyone keeping track at home, that means that Indiana started the series with two straight wins to pull the all-time record to 8-7 before Louisville broke it wide open.

Friday's match wasn't quite as lopsided as the overall series, as neither team was able to score in the first half. The opening of the first quarter was very even, with neither team making an impression until Louisville earned a penalty corner with about six minutes to play in the quarter. The first shot attempt by Julie Kouijzer was saved by the IU goalie but went for another penalty corner. This one resulted in a Katie Schneider shot that had to be saved by a defender. IU escaped pressure for a few minutes before Louisville's offense worked back into position. Kelsey McCrudden forced a save and Mattie Tabor was there for the rebound, but her shot went wide. Louisville's best chance of the quarter came with under a minute and a half to go when they were awarded a penalty stroke. It was a golden opportunity to take a lead into the first break, but Aimee Plumb's shot was saved. 0-0 after one.

The second quarter saw Indiana finally get in the action. They opened with a green card and would earn another later in the quarter but they also put together their first real offensive threat. After an Aimee Plumb corner was dealt with before a shot, IU put on a counter attack and earned their own corner just 40 seconds later. The ensuing shot was saved by Sasha Elliott to keep the clean sheet intact and to keep the game tied. Louisville again got the last chance to score before the end of the quarter with a penalty corner, but Kouijzer's shot was saved once more.

The repeated denials didn't deter the Cards, as they showed when they came out of the locker room after halftime. Louisville's offense was back on display within the first minute of the second half. In the first five minutes, Louisville would see two corners and put together four shots but would remain unable to score. They finally broke the tie 38 minutes into the match when Jane Ramsay scored her first career goal in open play. The goal came on a centered ball from Aimee Plumb, who had drawn attention after bringing the ball near the cage. Three minutes later, it was Ramsay again, following her career first goal with a career second goal in the same corner. This time, Louisville finally converted a corner on their seventh attempt of the match. Ramsay was the one that played the corner in, and Mia Duchars took the shot. Duchars was ultimately credited with the assist, as Ramsay deftly tipped the shot for a deflected goal. 

Heading into the fourth quarter with all of the momentum, Louisville looked poised to break the game wide open. They had, after all, made the first offensive move in every quarter prior. Such was not the case in the fourth. Though the sequence lasted just two minutes, IU put together five straight corners which resulted in six shots, but Louisville's defense and Elliott were up to the task. Of the six shots, Elliott needed to make only two saves, as the other four attempts were blocked. Granted, those blocks led to additional corners, but the point stands. Indiana had five good chances to cut into the Louisville lead and the Cards said, "No." Emilia Kaczmarczyk and Izzy Bianco would get shots from open play and a corner, respectively, but the flurry of corners was all IU could do. Louisville held on to win 2-0.

Louisville's 1/8 effort on corners looks a little better next to IU's 0/6, but goodness it's still rough. The Cards have struggled with corner conversion for years, but it is at least encouraging that they have been forcing saves rather than missing or not getting shot attempts. Of the eight corners in yesterday's match, only one resulted in no shot and only one shot was off frame. Though you'd like to score on more than one of the other six attempts, rebounds can often come down to a bit of chance, so giving yourself opportunities by taking good shots is nice.

Louisville's offense has started to pick up after a sluggish start. The Cards have now had eight different players score on their way to 20 goals. Jane Ramsay became the fifth player of the season to record multiple goals. Defensively, Louisville has held up as well. The Cards are outscoring opponents 20-8 and have three shutouts in nine matches. Sasha Elliott has a 0.89 goals against average, which is tough to complain about. Her 0.852 save percentage leads the ACC.

Jared was able to to get Coach Justine Sowry and the player of the match Jane Ramsay to brave the rain after the match to give their thoughts. Louisville is back in action next Friday against Virginia as they open a four game road stretch.

Cards Sweep Canes in Coral Gables

So it's just the first match of conference play, but still: Louisville is atop the ACC standings. We hope to be saying that for the rest of this season, but you can't do that without winning the first match. Louisville didn't expect to have much trouble with Miami, as the Canes were just 7-4 entering the match, and Anna DeBeer was resting in this one after tweaking her leg last week. There were rumors that she would be able to play through the pain if necessary, but she sat nevertheless. 

From the jump, it looked like Louisville would cruise. The Cards forced Miami to take their first timeout at 5-1 and then stretched that lead to 9-1. Miami finally scored again on an Elena Scott service error that ended a 8-0 run for Louisville which consisted of two Scott aces and six errors by Miami (two blocks). The joy was short lived for Miami, as their two straight points were answered by another 8-0 run from the Cards, again forcing a timeout in the middle of the run when it was 16-3. This time, Louisville showed their offense, as the eight points came from an ace, two hitting errors (one block), a lift, and four kills by the Cards. A couple of service errors gave up free points, but Miami's offense seemed to spark a bit towards the end of the set as Louisville closed it out 25-12 with Miami on a 5-2 run. Louisville hit 0.526 in the first and Miami was -0.083. An 8-1 advantage in errors is hard to duplicate.

Miami brought out a capacity crowd in the James L. Knight Sports Complex, and the Canes weren't looking to disappoint them. Despite Louisville's thumping first set, Miami came out ready in the second. The teams traded points for the first 20 points, reaching a 10-10 tie without either team gaining more than a two point advantage. Surprisingly, Louisville was the first to blink. After tying it at ten, Louisville gave up four straight points on a kill, a lift, and two attacking errors. They got two of those points back before Aiko Jones hit her second service error of the set and Miami responded with an ace to make the score 16-12. Coach Dani Busboom Kelly wanted to talk about it. Louisville came out of the timeout winning the next two points and then began trading serves with Miami once more. This time, though, Miami was holding onto a three point advantage. Louisville needed to close the gap or they'd lose the race to 25. 

Close the gap they did. At 16-19, Nena Mbonu (filling in for Anna DeBeer) came through with a kill to give the Cards the serve just as she was rotated out. Ayden Bartlett came in and took over the serve. She won the next four points, including an ace, and Louisville had flipped the advantage 21-19. The teams traded points a bit more before Miami tied it at 23. Unable to capitalize, the Canes erred on the serve to give Louisville set point. Louisville couldn't close it out on the first opportunity, but back to back kills at 24-all gave Louisville the 26-24 second set victory. 

If you expected Louisville to have taken Miami's best shot and survived, you wouldn't be quite right. The two teams came out after halftime and picked up right back where they left off. I'm sure the Cards would have loved for Miami to just roll over down 2-0 but that didn't happen. They opened with an off sequence kill and an ace, seeming to have everything going their way, but Miami shut it down after just two points won. Miami had the upper hand in the next few exchanges, trading two points for one twice in a row before an error gave Louisville a 6-5 lead. Unrattled, the Canes became the first team of the set to win three straight points to retake the lead and stretch it to 8-6. The entire set was back and forth, with Louisville winning three points in a row to take a 13-12 lead but neither team scoring three in a row for nearly the remainder of the set. As they traded punches, Louisville slowly extended their lead, finally seeing a Miami error give them a 23-20 lead. They got a bit ahead of themselves, though, as a Miami kill and two Louisville errors brought the set back to even. Louisville finally buckled down, and Claire Chausee's 14th kill of the match gave Louisville match point. Fittingly, Miami erred to give Louisville the win.

After a blazing start, Louisville's hitting cooled to a 0.329 for the match. That's still pretty good, as 14 total errors in the second and third sets still didn't see Louisville hit below 0.258 in either one. Miami recovered a bit from their negative first set, but they finished with just an 0.078 hitting percentage. Louisville was able to block decently, but they only finished with nine on the night. They did have a four point advantage on blocks, though, and they held a 5-2 advantage in the third set. Louisville was outblocked in the second set 3-1, which was the one Miami came closest to winning. Gee, I wonder if that says anything.

Claire Chaussee was fantastic again, and she picked up the slack with DeBeer out. Chausee finished with 14 kills and hit 0.292. She wasn't involved in any blocks and had an error in both serve and receive, but she did what she was out there to do. There wasn't much slack to pick up, either, as Nena Mbonu stepped in seamlessly. Mbonu hit 0.636 from the outside with eight kills and just one error on 11 attempts. She added two block assists for good measure. Amaya Tillman continued to play well in the middle, turning 12 attempts into seven kills and just one error. She had a solo block and five block assists to lead the team. Aiko Jones poured in eight kills as well, though her efficiency was a bit lower. She had three block assists (PK and Raquel Lazaro also had three apiece to finish Louisville's blocking number), but she really struggled from the serving line. Jones had one of Louisville's six aces but she also had four of their ten errors. Though the Cards would still have been negative from the line without her serves, that needs to be cleaned up.

Louisville will continue their Florida road trip on Sunday when they take on the Seminoles of Florida State. FSU is 6-0 at home and 9-3 overall. This match will be part of a volleyball double-header on ESPN, so be sure to tune in. The folks over at the House of Mouse must have liked what they saw from ratings last week when the Cards took on Kentucky, but let's hope that they aren't discouraged by a potential reduction in viewing when they are counterprogramming NFL Sunday. Louisville and FSU are set to get underway at 3PM.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

I'm finally back in the booth this week, and we'll have three on the call to cover the week that was. Daryl is rocking out with fellow Loudmouths over at the fairgrounds and Jared will be a few streets over at Cardinal Stadium for a noon kickoff. Paulie, Jeff, and I should have plenty to discuss, though, so be sure to tune in for a great show. 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. I'm hearing DeBeer is out 4-6 weeks. Bad info? She wasn't in uniform for Miami. I would say... she "wasn't dressed" for Miami... but that brings to the mind's eye a pretty interesting image.

    Nick O

    1. During the week, I heard a week to 10 days. The commentators said 2-4 weeks last night during the match. I haven't heard 4-6 weeks, but it sounds like there's a pretty big unknown factor to this.

      From what I understand of her injury, it's just a deep bruise, so 4-6 weeks seems...long.

    2. I think one of the announcers said 4 to 6 last night but I'm thinking he wasn't all that informed. He didn't even heed the - "They call her PK" - after the color person corrected him.

  2. Knees can be tricky... Believe me, I know. Seeing her walk last night without crutches is encouraging, though. Shout out to a Louisville sports site who identified DeBeer as a freshman. Only in our dreams, unfortunately.



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