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Saturday, October 1, 2022

Volleyball and Field Hockey Split Results -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Slow Start Dooms Cards at UVA

Hurricane Ian made its way toward the eastern seaboard yesterday, and the brass in Charlottesville took notice. As such, the field hockey match scheduled for 3PM was moved up a couple of hours to attempt to beat the weather. It seems as though the Louisville squad may not have gotten that memo, as a "conservative, passive, and reactive" start (per Coach Sowry in the postgame) allowed Virginia to jump out to a two goal advantage in the first quarter. Louisville would ultimately stop the bleeding, but they were unable to heal the wound. Louisville fell on the road 2-0.

The troubles started extremely early for Louisville, as Virginia got a breakaway attack just two minutes into the game. The rush resulted in a goal at the 2:26 mark, and Louisville found themselves facing the reality of playing an entire road game from behind. The response was... muted. Louisville was able to get a shot on goal later in the quarter, but not before Virginia had three more attempts, two requiring Sasha Elliott saves. Shortly after Louisville's unsuccessful attempt to tie the game, Virginia tried once more to extend their lead. Elliott was up to the task to save the shot, but she was unable to recover to save the rebounded effort. Virginia led 2-0 with four to go in the first quarter.

The second saw much of the same from Louisville's offense. That is to say, they didn't do a whole lot. To the Cards' credit, their shotless quarter was matched by Virginia's. The teams went into the locker room with nothing having changed over the previous 15 minutes. Louisville's locker room speech appeared to give the offense a bit of a boost, but it was short lived. After a saved shot resulted in a penalty corner which beget another shot, the Cards went cold once more, failing to register an attempt for the remainder of the third quarter. The defense, on the other hand, got busy again. Elliott was forced into a save on a shot from open play, and a later penalty corner saw Louisville face three straight attempts. Elliott saved two of three, with a third being blocked by a defender before it could make its way toward goal.

Louisville came out of the final break with a bit of desperation. That could be expected, as the score remained unchanged and time was running down. The Cards would put up six shots in the frame, with three coming on four corners and one coming on a penalty stroke, but they were unable to find the back of the cage. In the end, Louisville was outshot 12-9, and Virginia found the frame eight times compared to just four for Louisville.

Sasha Elliott continues to deserve praise. Although she comes away with two goals given up in this one, she also chalked up six saves. One of the two goals was on a rebound shot, which is always going to be tough. We talked about it on the show last week, but Louisville would be in one heck of a tough position if they hadn't landed Elliott as a graduate transfer. 

The loss drops Louisville to 0-2 in the ACC. While one match was against the second ranked Tar Heels and Virginia was ranked just two spots behind the Cards as of yesterday, the ACC is brutal. Louisville can now finish just 4-2 in conference. More alarming is the fact that Louisville has been outscored 5-0 in those two games. The Cards have outscored nonconference opponents 20-5. With the small format, Louisville is unlikely to find their way to a championship in the NCAA tournament without facing an ACC team. They'll need to show more against the league if they've got plans to go far in the NCAA tourney.

Louisville stays in the next commonwealth over for the remainder of the weekend as they'll take on VCU on Sunday. No ACC host means no ACC Network Extra, so this one will be on ESPN+. The whistle will blow at 12:30 PM.

Volleyball Sweeps Clemson with Rotated Side

With Anna DeBeer still out, Louisville would obviously be forced to make up the difference in another way, but the big surprise last night came in the form of a first start for Elle Glock in the setter position. Raquel Lazaro didn't play at all on Friday, so we'll have to see if Jeff has any more information about that. Louisville's site makes no mention of her absence, only that Glock did well in her first start for Louisville.

The Cards opened the match with a block, but Clemson responded with efficient play. As Daryl mentioned yesterday, the team was an NCAA leader in most offensive stats. That played itself out yesterday when Louisville had 18 kills and just one error while Clemson committed six errors but matched the Cards with 18 kills. The teams traded points early in the set before Clemson used a 5-0 run to take a 16-13 lead. Louisville was up for the challenge, though, calmly rattling off a 6-1 run of their own to regain the advantage. Short spurts continued for both sides before a Clemson service error halted any momentum they had and tied the set at 22. Louisville closed the door with three straight kills.

Louisville controlled the pace in the second set a bit more, getting out to an 8-4 lead early. Though the Tigers were able to close the gap back down to 8-7, the Cards held them to just two more instances of back-to-back points for the remainder of the set. On the other hand, Louisville put together another 4-0 run to stretch their lead a bit before ultimately going on to win the set a more comfortable 25-19. As has been common for the Cards, after an extremely crisp first set, they faltered a bit in the second and third. Louisville committed six errors in the second set and hit 0.303. That's still a fantastic rate, but it doesn't hold much of a candle to 0.531. The slide continued in the third.

Louisville once more committed six errors, and their kill number fell set over set again. The Cards hit 0.216 in the final set, but Clemson was unable to capitalize, hitting just 0.139 themselves. Like the first two sets, the third was a back and forth affair, but Louisville twice built a lead to match their largest of the night at six points. The Cards actually had that six point lead on three scoring occasions, but I hardly count the third as it came after trading one point. Ultimately, that traded point made the score 24-18 and gave the Cards six chances at match point. It would have been an uphill battle for the Tigers, but their fight was short lived. Louisville took the third set 25-20.

Claire Chaussee continued to light it up in DeBeer's absence. Chaussee finished with 19 kills on 31 assists and had just two errors. The rest of her stat line isn't much to write home about, but she did add six digs. That'll do just fine. Aiko Jones joined Chaussee in the double-digit club, scoring 11 kills on 19 assists. Jones also committed just two errors. Nena Mbonu made the most of her opportunity again, scoring nine kills on 21 attempts and committing just three errors. It was a quiet night for the Cards as far as blocks went, as the team finished with just five. No player had a solo block. It was a day to forget from the service line for both teams, as they went even on the serve. Louisville had one more ace (3-2) but leveled the playing field with one more error (7-6). 

Elle Glock impressed in her first start, getting 34 of the team's 41 assists, with six of the other seven going to Elena Scott when Glock was forced into a first hit. She finished with two assisted blocks and five digs while hitting 0.000 with one kill and one error on three attempts. Elena Scott wanted to get in on the offensive fun in addition to her normal duties, as she went for two attempts and earned two kills.

Overall, Louisville has taken care of business in DeBeer's (and now Lazaro's, apparently) absence, and the win gave them their 32nd straight ACC victory. They'll have a big test next, though, as the Techsters come to town on Sunday. One of the two teams will walk out of the L&N Federal Credit Union Arena tied with Pitt atop the ACC standings at 4-0. Syracuse will take on Virginia Tech on Sunday to see if they can remain undefeated as well. Georgia Tech has something in common with Louisville this season, as they've both lost to Ohio State at home. The 11th ranked Yellowjackets dropped their next match as well, falling to 24th ranked (at the time) Arkansas. Those are their only two losses, though they may match that number by next week as they'll host Pitt on 10/9. 

Louisville and GT get things started at 1PM on ESPN, where they'll be the first match of the day. It's always better to be first in this situation, as we've noted repeatedly, due to the volatile length of volleyball matches. Either way, head down to campus or tune in for what should be an exciting one.

(Clemson vs Louisville Volleyball photos by Jared Anderson}

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

(Another throwback picture of "the original three" Case, Jeff and Paulie) 

We'll be without Jared and no Daryl this week. It'll be a busy show, as we've had plenty of ranked matchups throughout this week. It's not all sunshine and roses, but I promise to try to be less down on the soccer team. It's easier when Paulie only gives me a couple of minutes to express my misery. 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!

Cardinal Couple YouTube: Link
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Overcast (free account required): Link
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Until next time, Go Cards!



  1. That blue turf was a trip. Sowry's squad looked disinterested .I hope they get excited for their next one.

    Nick O.

  2. Can't wait for Lou vs GT Volleyball Sunday!


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