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Friday, September 16, 2022

FH Hosts UNC in ACC Opener -- Thoughts on Trip to UK -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

We are nearly back to the weekend! After an exciting and eventful week thanks to Louisville volleyball, we get to look forward to an even more exciting and eventful weekend. We see a top-five field hockey match-up on campus, a top-10 volleyball match-up at Stanford, and an ACC opener for women's soccer highlighted by dogs welcome at the stadium. If you follow football, you can add a home opener tonight to that list.

If this weekend provides the level of intensity as we saw when the VolleyCards visited Kentucky, then I'll be recovering for a full week.

Field Hockey Hosts North Carolina in ACC Opener

After a hot 6-0 start to the season, #4 Louisville looks forward to conference play with #2 North Carolina this afternoon at 3:00 p.m. This one is slate to be aired on ACC Network Extra. Admission is free at Trager Stadium.

Considered one of the top field hockey programs in the country for the last several years, North Carolina continues that tradition with a 6-0 start this year. Those wins include ranked opponents such as Michigan, Iowa, and Princeton.

The Tar Heels have arguably the most dominant offense in the country. They have scored 29 goals in six games for a 4.83 goals per game average. Erin Matson leads the charge with seven goals. Ashley Sessa and Ryleigh Heck accompany her with five goals apiece.

Goalkeeping has been a committee affair for UNC up to this point. Abigail Taylor and Kylie Walbert have split playing time evenly up to this point. The former has recorded three saves in five attempts while the latter has seven saves on 11 attempts..

Paulie will be out at Trager Stadium for this afternoon match-up. Sadly, I'll miss this one.

My Thoughts on the Trip to UK

It's not uncommon for me to find myself traveling to Lexington for a UofL vs UK game. In fact, in my time as a sports photographer, I've seen six different Louisville teams play at least once in Lexington.

Prior to Wednesday night, my most recent trip to UK was a Louisville vs Kentucky women's basketball game Dec. 15, 2019. This top-15 match-up was played in front of 11,000 people at Rupp Arena. The Cards survived with a 67-66 win.

Volleyball decided that sending their fans into cardiac arrest as well was a good idea. Until the final point was on the scoreboard breathing was near impossible.

I met up with Paulie and Cindy Rice Shelton (photographer for Louisville Sports Report) near Blankenbaker Parkway and we piled into my car to make the trip to I-64. We made good time and arrived at Memorial Coliseum around 5:30.

The UK media staff was kind enough to have catered Panera Bread. After a quick snack we went to the court to explore the area and get a feel for the set up. Lo behold, there's Kate George at the end of the press row setting up for the ESPN stream. We got a chance to talk with her for a while and congratulate her on her recent marriage.

Fans began pouring into the arena shortly after and it was clear that it was going to be one heck of a volleyball fan showing. The attendance was announced as 3756 and every one of them made their voices heard in the roar of the crowd. I like the idea of having the student section close to the court for the feeling of being right on top of the players, but was not a fan of students being able to step foot on the exterior parts of the volleyball floor laid out, especially when media couldn't touch it.

Like L&N FCU Arena, Memorial Coliseum is not kind during warm weather. The four "Big Ass Fan Brand" ceiling fans were not nearly enough to help counter the heat. I'm sure we all shed a few pounds from sweating.

We all know the final result of the match, but emotions were tense and nerves were high for the full three hours. The home crowd helped keep Kentucky in the match longer than I thought it would last. Credit to the Louisville crowd that showed up because they helped lift the Cards up.

I was fortunate to snag a seat directly behind the main official that gave me a good view of both sides of the court without having to change my position. It was perfect view to get plenty of celebration pics as well as action shots.

The drive home is always easier after a win... and with good company, both of which were in my favor. Paulie, Cindy, and I had plenty to talk about as we reflected on the match.

I still prefer the friendly confines of UofL's campus, but the road trips are always fun and something to talk about down the road.


There will be no Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast Saturday, as we have three people unavailable due to travel, work, and other events. We hope to be back on next week.

 Paulie note on the podcast cancellation:

It does bother me in the fact that we can't bring you the weekly podcast this Saturday. I have a good group of writers here, but they are involved in other events this Saturday. It makes me wonder why I continue to work as hard as I do to keep things together at the site, when I'm considerably older than them and in failing health. I guess it's a generational thing.  I'll also be writing articles here for the next three days, starting tomorrow and attending two UofL women's matches. But, it's my baby, I created it and I guess the buck stops here. Dedication is hard to find these days. 

Happy Friday and Go Cards!


  1. Paulie doesn't normally go to Volleyball. What's up with that?

    Nick O

  2. Rivalry game and Katie George are always two good draws.


  3. It's a shame you have to work so hard at an age where you should be enjoying the golden years. I know you've done it before (been following this site since 2010) but maybe you need to clean house again and find some committed writers.

    Blue Lou

  4. Well, I think that it is outstanding that contributors to Cardinal Couple go, at their own expense, to attend out of town events that involved UofL athletes. They get to know the other venues, the UofL athletes and their families gathering some insight into what it means to play a sport at the University of Louisville.


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