The Stick Cards have an earlier than typical start this Sunday. The Cornell Big Red...which use a brown bear as their mascot...yeah, I don't get it either...set the starting time for Field Hockey at 11am in Ithaca. They just do things differently in the Ivy League.
In any case, the Cards are, obviously, stepping out of conference and will be looking for some revenge after a close, but ultimately doomed, battle at Syracuse on Friday. They also will be looking for wins to bolster their resume for the NCAA tournament.
Cornell is currently 8-6 overall, 3-2 in Ivy League play. Looking at their schedule, there just aren't any good wins to point to. They've lost to every top-25 team they've played so far which includes Penn State, Michigan, Syracuse, and Princeton.
The main offensive threat for Cornell comes from the pride of New Vernon, New Jersey, Caroline Ramsey with eight goals on the season. Next up would be Grace Leahy, out of Waterloo, Ontario who has tallied four goals this season.
In the cage for Cornell will likely be Aerin Park, from the other end of Canada - Surrey, British Columbia.
TV coverage of this game is only available on ESPN+.
While Louisville isn't, yet, mathematically eliminated from the ACC tournament, it's an extreme longshot at this point. A six team tournament, UVA is currently in 6th in the ACC standings with 14 points. Louisville has nine points at present, so wins today and Thursday, with UVA losing both of it's remaining games would get the Cards just barely into the tournament.
Unfortunately today's opponent is 10th ranked Duke and Thursday sees UofL playing currently 2nd ranked North Carolina.
The scoring for Duke is lead by a couple of younger players, Michelle Cooper, of Clarkston, MI leads the team, finding the back of the net nine times so far this season. Kat Rader, from Stuart, FL accounts for seven goals for the Blue Devils this year.
Ruthie Jones will likely be in goal for Duke with a goal against average of just a bit over one per game, she puts up a stout defense for sure.
ACC Network Extra is your source for this one at 1pm.
Finally, a big matchup in Volleyball with the Cards heading to The Fitz to play Pitt. Pitt does occasionally play volleyball at The Peterson Events Center, commonly called "The Pete", and will do Thanksgiving Eve when Georgia Tech comes calling. Our match will be in their normal home arena, The Fitzgerald Fieldhouse.
This is a biggie, with Pitt currently ranked 8th, and an RPI that puts them in 5th, hosting the 2nd ranked, and 2nd in RPI, Cardinals.
Pitt dispatched Notre Dame rather easily on Friday, so both teams are coming into this one with relatively easy wins over not terribly competitive teams. Both teams are also defending similar win streaks, 12 for Pitt since their loss to Towson, and 13 for Louisville since losing to Ohio State. Pitt also took a loss in the season opener to San Diego. Pitt doesn't quite have the same non-conference strength of schedule that Louisville does, but it's been no cakewalk, either. The aforementioned San Diego, Ohio State, and BYU, were all ranked matches.
Some new faces alongside some familiar ones on the Panthers squad. Their biggest offensive threat is Courtney Buzzerio, who transferred in from Iowa, followed closely a Valeria Vazquez Gomez, a redshirt junior with Pitt her whole collegiate career. Julianna Dalton is a sophomore transfer from Washington State, and Serena Gray is in her 2nd year with Pitt after arriving from Penn State.
Rachel Fairbanks will most likely run the show for Pitt, she's a sophomore that played her way into the starting role late in the season last season and hasn't let go. Helming a final four run will do quite a bit towards solidifying the position, to be fair.
Some interesting stakes on this game. With Texas having lost to Iowa State on Wednesday, the door is open for Louisville to move up to the number one ranking in the country, but that won't happen if they can't get the win today over Pitt. The Cards are likely to not have the services of Anna DeBeer, and even if she does play, it's unlikely she'll be at 100%. UofL has shown its depth with Nena Mbonu and, mostly, Ayden Bartlett jointly filling DeBeer's role, but that does have implications for other substitutions elsewhere in the rotation.
Needless to say, UofL will need to be at the top of their game to win this one against a very good Pitt squad.
If you want to watch this one along with Soccer, you'll need to be at the top of your multi-screening game as well. Also a 1pm start, you can catch this vert important Volleyball matck on linear TV on ESPNU and use your laptop or other device for Soccer. Paul Sunderland and Missy Whittemore have the call for Volleyball, pretty much the cream of the crop in the ESPN organization.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
Case, a sleep deprived Jared, Paulie, and myself made the call for the CCRHP yesterday. We covered the main trio of fall sports that we've been following, Field Hockey, Soccer, and Volleyball, but also spoke a bit about Basketball watch-list season, and the Louisville Live event. Oh, and there were shenanigans, we can't forget the shenanigans.
We had fun, and hope you will as well listening to it.
Check it out at its anchor.fm home, or at just about podcast directory: