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Saturday, November 19, 2022

Big Match Volleyball Sweep - Saturday Cardinal Couple

Volleyball Sweeps Pitt


(Jeff with you today as Case was traveling yesterday, from where I don't know.)

What a difference three weeks makes.  After a terrible start in the first two sets on October 23rd in Pittsburgh, the Cards were able to recover somewhat and push the match out to five sets.  Louisville knew they couldn't afford such a slow start again, and they made sure it wasn't an issue, taking the match in three sets, 25-15, 25-21, 25-18, in a night filled with upsets nationally.

Pitt Head Coach Dan Fisher, not sure what to
make of the situation.
Pitt coach Dan Fisher frequently had a look of bewilderment on his face as the Louisville attack and serving kept Pitt nearly perpetually out of system.  When the Panthers were able to return the ball, the Cards vaunted blocking was in play, stacking up 12 blocks in the three sets.  For reference, the leading blocking team in the nation, Maryland, blocks at a clip of 3.25 blocks per set, compared to the four per set for UofL last night.  Louisville holds the overall 3rd position in blocks per set in the country, averaging just under three per set.

A bit of a side tangent with the mention of Maryland, as they, unranked, were part of the biggest upset of the night last night, knocking off 5th ranked Ohio State.  Other upsets were 14 Penn State over 9 Minnesota, Colorado over 21 Washington, Brown over Princeton, Indiana over Northwestern, and Liberty (with setter Delaney Dilfer, Tori's younger sister) over Lipscomb.

But back to UofL and Pitt, the energy in L&N FCU Arena was high and the place was loud, and perhaps the team fed off of that, but the sense I got was, once the play started, that the outcome was never really in much doubt, which is not something you typically say when you're playing the number seven team in the country (5th by RPI).  Pitt is known for their digging and passing, and it just wasn't working for them last night.  Fisher was looking for solutions and even changed liberos after the second set, but nothing was working.

Meanwhile, UofL were pulling off plays like the one by DS Alexa Hendricks and L Elena Scott that the NCAA highlighted here:

UofL held Pitt to only .088 hitting for the match, and keeping them in negative numbers for the 3rd set at -.031.  Meanwhile, Louisville hit at .309 across the three sets with a high of .370 in the 2nd.


Individually, the Cards were led by Claire Chaussee, as we've come to expect in recent matches with 13 kills for .259 hitting.  She put three service aces down and also picked up a trio of digs along with a block.  Nena Mbonu had 9 kills on .150 hitting with a block.  Aiko Jones had eight kills but "cooled off" by the end of the match to hit "merely" .583.  She had a four blocks, three service aces, a trio of digs, and even got an assist in a do-it-all performance.  Amaya Tillman had six kills for .556 hitting, and got a solo block plus five others.  But the blocking performance for the evening goes to PK Kong, with three solos and three shares.  Raquel L├ízaro, of course, tallied 32 assists on the evening as she quarterbacked the team to victory.

Senior night honorees, (l-r) Claire Chaussee,
Amaya Tillman, Alexa Hendricks, Nena Mbonu,
Raquel Lázaro, and Paul Harvey
It was Senior Night for the Cards, and UofL honored five players who won't be returning to the team next year.  Fifth year super seniors Claire Chaussee and Raquel L├ízaro were of course honored, and we knew that Alexa Hendricks had made the decision make a change.  The surprises were from Nena Mbonu and Amaya Tillman.  I didn't have a chance to speak with Mbonu last night so I don't know what her plans are, but Tillman has decided to hang up the volleyball shoes to concentrate on her graduate studies.  All five players did have family and friends in attendance with them, including Jesus and Marta L├ízaro who were able to make the trip from M├ílaga Spain.  They team also honored Paul Harvey who has been a manager for the team for four years.

UofL will finish their regular season with a match against Notre Dame on Wednesday, Thanksgiving Eve.  That match will give the Cards a chance to clinch at least a share of the ACC Championship with Pitt.  Pitt has two matches left, hosting Georgia Tech on Wednesday and Boston College on Friday after Thanksgiving.  Pitt needs to win both to clinch a share of ACC Championship.  The NCAA tournament selection show is the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and barring a collapse of epic proportions in South Bend, the consensus is that UofL should get the overall two seed in the tournament.

The match at Notre Dame on Wednesday is at 6:30pm.  At present, no video links are listed on either UofL's or Notre Dame's sites.

Swimming and Diving


Swim and Dive wrapped up the Purdue Invitation in West Lafayette with the UofL women coming out on top in the 11 team competition.

Highlights were Liberty Williams winning the 1650 yard freestyle; capturing the whole podium in the 200 backstroke by Rye Ulett, Paige Hetrick, and Jordan Durocher; a 1-2-3-4 finish in the 100 freestyle by Gabi Albiero, Christiana Regenauer, Ella Welch, and Julia Dennis; Abby Hay winning the 200 breaststroke; Tristen Ulett winning the 200 butterfly; a team 1-2 finish in the 400 freestyle with the winning team of  Christiana Regenauer, Gabi Albiero, Julia Dennis, and Ella Welch; and the B-team 2nd place finishers of  Karoline Barrett, Tristen Ulett, Maddie Luther, and Paige Hetrick.

Basketball


Basketball has spent the last couple of days in the Bahamas...it's a tough life, playing collegiate basketball...and have their first game in the Battle for Atlantis this evening.

Gonzaga is the foe, and you can either pony up the dough for Flo hoops to watch this one, or tune in Nick Curran and Cortnee Walton on the radio on 93.9FM 970AM at 7:30pm.

A look at the Gonzaga results thus far, they clobbered Western Washington in exhibition play as well as Long Beach State and Southern Utah in their first two games.  The 3rd game was a tight one, however, against Wyoming.

Thus far on the season, Yvonne Ejim is the scoring leader for the Zags averaging over 21 points per game.  Beyond that, they have a quintet of players all scoring between eight and 13 points per game: Kayleigh Truong, Brynna Maxwell, Eliza Hollingsworth, Kaylynne Truong (yes, they're sisters), and McKayla Williams.

No Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast


The CCRHP will be on break this week.  Jared would only have been able to be there for a part of it, Case is recovering from travel lag, Daryl is checking out the new TopGolf location in town, and Paulie unfortunately is still fighting a mean illness.

We, of course, wish Paulie all the best, and we're doing our best to hold things together in his absense.

Get your rest, friend, we got this covered.

-- JMcA


(all photos by Jared Anderson)
The rest of the team trying to hold it together
during Senior honors

A big win deserves a big party.




2 comments:

  1. Go Cards. Big sports day!

    Hope Paulie is feeling better. I hate being sick also.

    Nick O

    ReplyDelete
  2. That was a dominating volleyball win and Louisville is clearly the best team in the ACC.

    Hope WBB can down Gonzaga tonight. Shame it is pay per view but radio is an OK option. Anxious to hear Cortnee.

    Get well Paulie. Miss you on site.

    Blue Lou

    ReplyDelete

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