Volleyball Dines on Bison
Saturday night in L&N FCU Arena had a fun vibe. For the final match of the Louisville Invitational, the Cardinals feasted on Bison. The Lipscomb Bison, to be clear, were the opponents and Volleyball cruised to a relatively easy victory, 25-14, 25-17, 26-24.
|We have meme material. What do you think Anna DeBeer is thinking?|
Give us your best answer in the comments.
Mine: "Lipscomb really thinks they're going to win a set?"
Don't let that last set score worry you too much, while the lineup was nearly back to the typical starting lineup by the end of the set, with only Elle Glock being on the floor in place of Raquel Lázaro, for much of the set I was wondering when the towel girl, who's in-point station is sitting on a stool next to the bench, was going to get subbed in.
If you're getting the sense that Lipscomb just wasn't all that competitive with Louisville, well, yeah, you're right. They should be given full respect for coming out and playing hard in a match that was rather heavily expected to be over in three with Lipscomb coming out on the losing side.
Matches like this can, however, play weird games with stats. Amaya Tillman, for example, had no kills on two attempts, only got in on a pair of blocks and got a dig. Let's be clear though that Tillman didn't have a really off night. She is, of course, a very good volleyball player and was playing just fine last night, but the salient column on the stat she is the "SP" column - sets played. Tillman exited the game during the first set, and cheered from the bench the rest of the evening. That does mean that she should have fresher legs for the Wildcats on Wednesday, so lets look for great things to come.
|Raquel Lázaro smiling and celebrating?|
Very on brand.
Tillman getting some extra rest time, however, does suggest that the position battle for the other middle blocker rotation is still very active. We got to see more than two full sets with Cara Cresse and Phekran "PK" Kong active and playing against the same team. So what do the stats say? Well, you'll perhaps be unsurprised to see that they are remarkably close. PK hit six for 11 for .455 with four block assists, while Cresse went five for 12 for .333 and four block assists. PK did play all of all three sets while we only saw Cresse for about two and a half, so advantage...Cresse? Maybe? If you add in Cresse's two consecutive service aces to get the Cards to set point in the first set, does that make it any clearer? No, I didn't think so, either.
Wait! Hold up! How have we gotten this far into the article without pointing out the real queen of the evening, though? Claire Chaussee popped off for an eye watering .722 percentage with 13 kills, error free, on 18 attempts. Season that with a block assist and a dig and, well, I think Coach DBK is quite happy to have Chaussee back for her Covid year.
|Elle Glock gets to captain the ship.|
Speaking of DBK, how about another shout out for her for once again being spot on with the green card play challenges. Stats on coach's challenges don't get recorded anywhere that I've been able to find, but DBK has to be one of the best in the country at it. She fired off a pair within a few points early in this match and set the tone by winning them both, easily.
Late in the third set did get a bit concerning, though. Of course, with so many non-starters playing through so much of this match, it's not terribly surprising that things were a slight bit off-kilter. We had a brief bit of 6-2 offense at the end of the second set with Elle Glock and Paige Morningstar each playing three rotations in the back row. Glock took the reigns for all of the third set, however. Glock ended the evening with 12 assists, compared to Lázaro's 18; a fine job for both.
|Probably not one of Claire Chausses 13 of 18|
kills, but you do what you gotta do.
This week will finish out non-conference play for UofL with two road trips. The first is just a quick evening jaunt down I-64 to that school in Lexington. The upside of this road match is that tickets might actually be a little easier to come by for Memorial Coliseum compared to LNFCU. Do be aware that there's a time change on this one, with it being bumped up to 7pm. If that makes it a bit trickier to get off work and make it to Lexington in time for the game, the alternative will be ESPNU. Maybe we'll get Katie George for color commentator on this one? I'm sure she would have fun with it. She and Eric Frede do make a good combo.
|Nena Mbonu flying high.|
And if these athletes aren't convinced that they're role models, just
check out the face on the girl in the red t-shirt.
The week, and the non-conference slate will finish up on Saturday with a 10pm Eastern match at Stanford. Both of these matches are currently top-15 matches with Kentucky at 14th and Stanford at 11th. We'll have to see what happens in the poll release tomorrow, Stanford won last night over 3rd ranked Minnesota, which also means we'll probably pop back up a spot into 3, but they lost on Friday night to 20th ranked Penn State. Kentucky lost on Friday to Wisconsin, but with the Badgers sitting in 6th, that probably won't hurt the Wildcats much at all. They also got an easy win last night over Indiana State, but that likely won't have much bearing on rankings.
Photo credits, of course, to our Cardinal Couple photog and all around good guy, Jared Anderson.
Field Hockey vs Michigan
Field Hockey hasn't exactly had a cake walk of a schedule, facing down 11th ranked Penn State and 13th ranked Princeton thus far in the season, but today takes it up another notch with fourth ranked Michigan coming calling at Trager Stadium. The Cards are ranked fifth in the current poll so by that measure Michigan is ever so slightly favored.
Michigan comes in with a win and a loss against top 20 teams, dropping a decision against second ranked UNC by a score of 5-1, and beating 20th ranked Wake Forest 3-1. Other games played are a 9-0 win over Central Michigan, and a gritty 1-0 win over Miami (OH).
Both teams will be looking to make a statement today, though UofL still has all of the super competitive conference matchups to help burnish their post-season resume, while Michigan's conference competition, while quite good, isn't quite gauntlet that the ACC is.
Louisville will take the field with current ACC co-offensive player of the week, Katie Schneider, and defensive player of the week, Julie Kouijzer.
For Michigan, watch out for Abby Tamer and Alana Richardson, both sophomores, leading the Michigan attack. Tamer has six goals in the 4 game old season, and Richardson has three. In goal? Your guess is as good as mine. The season stats for the Wolverines list three. Gillian Dumont has the least minutes on the season with 30, but they are a clean sheet for her. The rest of the season, at 105 minutes apiece, is split between Caylie McMahon, and Anna Spieker. McMahon is a sophomore, Dumont is a junior, and Spieker is a very well regarded super-senior.
The game gets underway at noon, and gets the linear ACC Network treatment today.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
Let's call it two and a half on the call yesterday for the CCRHP. Jared, Paulie, and I were available, though Jared had his Internet connection drop out on him right smack in the middle of his scheduling and twitter segment. I jumped in with a quick save, and Jared was able to get online with alternate connectivity, but Spectrum definitely did us no favors for the show yesterday.
In a lineup that will shock no one, Soccer, Field Hockey, and Soccer were the topics du jour. We had a mixed bag of results to cover, but it was a good, rapid fire show. Check it out at: https://anchor.fm/cardinal-couple/episodes/Three-Wins--a-Draw--and-a-Loss-e1nl4um