Everybody Wins on Friday
This weekend started off about as perfect as possible for Louisville Athletics. Field hockey took a 1-0 win against James Madison in their home opener. Volleyball down #9 Purdue in straight sets. And the surprise of the night was a 20-14 football victory at UCF.
Field Hockey Takes Home Opener Against JMU
A chilly morning proved to be quite ironic as the turf temperature at Louisville field hockey appeared to break into the 90's. The #5 Cards got to showcase their new turf for the first time this season in their home opener against James Madison.
A second half goal by EJ Imorde proved to be enough for the Cards to down the Dukes, 1-0.
Louisville had the advantage the entire first half, maintaining possession a majority of the time and holding a 4-1 shot advantage going into the break. They couldn't seem to find the cage on those shots. Passing was a bit off point, which one could argue that the new turf factored into that. Louisville installed a new turf in the offseason. After having a chance to walk and sit on it, the new turf is fluffier and has a sponge-like feel when walking compared to the older, harder turf. A change such as that can lead to passes not traveling as far or with as much velocity as expected.
The halftime adjustments proved fruitful as Louisville came out swinging in the second half. Within seconds, the Cards were pressuring inside the inner circle and earned themselves multiple corners. The two teams found themselves in close quarters in the inner circle midway through the third quarter when EJ Imorde found the ball by her stick and enough of an opening to knock her shot into the back of the cage. The goal was the first of the season for her.
James Madison had a couple good looks like in the second half but the Cardinal defense stayed true and posted their first shutout of the season.
Louisville improved to 5-0 this season with the win and Coach Justine Sowry had plenty of positive words following the victory. We also had the chance to chat with Imorde about her goal and her thoughts on the game.
You can click on the two links below to watch the post game interviews.
Louisville stays home at the friendly confines of Trager Stadium to host #4 Michigan on Sunday at noon.
Volleyball Bounces Back with Sweep Against Purdue
After suffering a loss to Ohio State last weekend, #4 Louisville volleyball bounced back by taking down a different Big Ten opponent. The Cards swept #9 Purdue 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 27-25).
Set One: Louisville 25, Purdue 18
Louisville rushed out of the gate with three straight points before Purdue responded by tying the score at 4-4. A 5-0 run helped the Cards pull ahead by a small margin. The Boilermakers clawed their way back into the set, cuttings Louisville's lead to 16-14. Bending but never breaking, Louisville went on a 6-0 run highlighted by a pair of aces to pull ahead comfortably and never relinquish their lead.
Set Two: Louisville 25, Purdue 20
The second set proved to be a bit more of a challenge as Louisville a majority of the set playing catch up. Purdue would go up two-to-three points and the Cards would also find a way to even the score. Tired of playing catch up, the Cards took their first lead since the beginning of the set with an 18-17. Despite their best efforts, Purdue could not find a way to even the score so Louisville claimed the set and went into halftime up 2-0.
Set Three: Louisville 27, Purdue 25
Thrilling, exciting, nerve-wracking... all terms you could describe the final set. The two teams would ping-pong the score for the opening portion of the set, including a 13-13 tie about midway through. Purdue was eager to take a set and found themselves with a slight edge. They continued to push further and found themselves up 24-18. Cue Hollywood script. Highlighted by a few key blocks and several attack errors by the Boilermakers, the Cards would go on a 6-0 run to even the score. With the crowd back into it, Louisville would not let themselves falter after Purdue grinded out a point for a 25-24 lead. Louisville would take the final three points to claim the set and match.
The final point had plenty of controversy. Purdue was called for being in the net, awarding the point to Louisville. Purdue challenged the point and the officials spent several minutes reviewing the play. Fans became impatient and voiced their frustrations as they awaited the call. Ultimately, the net call was overturned but the officials discovered a touch on Purdue, awarding the Cards the final point.
Back row passing was the struggle of the match for the Cards. Louisville found themselves in an unusually high amount of out of system rallies. Nonetheless, the veteran Louisville squad handled it well en route to the sweep.
Serving was much improved from last week. The Cards limited their service errors while dishing out five aces and forcing Purdue into plenty of hectic return situations.
Amaya Tillman and Anna DeBeer led the cards with 10 kills apiece. The always reliable Elena Scott logged 19 digs while Raquel Lazaro had 34 assists.
The Cards improved to 6-1 with the Top-10 victory. They host Lipscomb at 7:00 tonight. Xavier and Purdue will play the first match at 4:00.
(PHOTOS BY JARED ANDERSON)
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
We're down to three this week for the podcast, but, what a powerful three.
The world famous Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast is good to go for our regularly scheduled 11:00 start today. Daryl is out taking care of some bats or watching some Louisville Bats and will not be able to join us. Case has some ongoing events this weekend and will not be with us. Paulie, Jeff, and I will gladly talk about our fall sports for an hour, though.
Cardinal Couple You Tube Link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3Lb0KWORvn2eARnCZfjxww
Happy Saturday and Go Cards!