WBB TIP-OFF LUNCHEON
The Louisville women's basketball program held their 2022 Tip-Off Luncheon Tuesday at the Galt House East and a grand time was had by all. This pre-season fan event just seems to get better year after year and the fans/attendees I spoke with unanimously agreed it was a good gathering and great presentation.
Fans entering the ballroom were greeted by the Cardinal Pep Band, Ladybirds dancing on stage and Louie the Cardinal Bird. It was good to see a lot of friends there and I was able to catch up with a few before we sat down to eat -- including Cardinal Great Valerie Owens Combs and her daughter Gia (pictured above).
Nick Curran served as the emcee of the event and after his introductory remarks, fans were treated to a video of Louisville's accomplishments last season. The players were introduced after that and they all seemed pretty excited to be there. Mykasa Robinson delivered the invocation and fans began dining on the luncheon. A mixed green salad with rolls, followed by roast beef, mashed potatoes and green beans and tiramisu for dessert was the menu for the afternoon and everything was excellent (Sonya enjoying the tiramisu dessert the most).
As people finished the lunch, Nick thanked the sponsors and brought up Louisville athletic director Josh Heird to talk to the attendees. Josh kept his remarks positive, short and sweet and the next segment was a Q and A session with Hailey Van Lith, Mykasa Robinson and Olivia Cochran. Unlike in previous years, where a microphone was passed amongst the crowd, this year Curran handled the question-asking and the players did a fine job responding to the questions.
Jeff Walz closed out the luncheon with remarks and comments. I took a chance and recorded his remarks (and some things before them) and they are at the link below.
All in all, a fine couple of hours with Cardinal Fans who were excited to be there, to see the team and celebrate the accomplishments of last year and the start of the season.
FIELD HOCKEY FALLS IN ACC TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINALS TO VIRGINIA 1-0.
A tough loss for the Field Hockey squad Tuesday evening to Virginia in the ACC Tournament.
Virginia scored the lone goal of the contest with 4:30 left in the first quarter and the defenses reigned after that. A cursory look at the game's stat sheet (before seeing the score) might lead one to think Louisville might have won this match. The Cards had 13 shots, six on goal...compared to Virginia's four shots, two on goal.
Credit UVA goalie Jet Trimborn with a wonderful job out keeping UofL attempts out of the net.
I don't normally go into a lot of detail on Cardinals lossesand I won't here. Let;s just say that they got outscored and leave it at that.
The loss just may have negatively sealed the fate of Louisville's chances of getting into the NCAA Field Hockey Tournament. The Cards went 4-6 in their last 10 games and plummeted from their #4 ranking back on Oct 21st. Losing your last four games doesn't impress selection committee members, especially when the Tournament has only 19 teams in it. 10 conferences get automatic conference qualifiers for their conference champs and that eats up a lot of the spots, leaving nine at-large teams. A "best guess" scenarios indicate the ACC will probably get four teams "in" -- North Carolina, Syracuse, Wake Forest and Virginia.
The end of the season failure by Field Hockey is disappointing, puzzling and a bit depressing. I do truly hope that the Cards can get in -- maybe strength of schedule and high rankings early in the season can get them there...but, the odds are unlikely.
Coach Sowry on the game and NCAA Tournament:
“Tough game, tough loss. I think the first half was pretty competitive between both teams, back-and-forth with momentum changes, but in the second half, we were lights out, dominant. I’m just so proud of the way we played with the ball, playing Louisville field hockey and defending as a unit. We had our chances to win, unfortunately we were unable to put one in the back of the net. Now we wait. Our resume is still strong. We’ll be watching closely. I think we still have a chance and with the hockey that we’re playing, a potential opponent in the NCAA tournament would not want to face the Louisville field hockey team.”
We'll know Sunday night around 10 p.m. when the selection show is shown on NCAA.com.