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Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Volleyball Returners -- WBB Almost Ranked -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Who is Returning for Volleyball?

With the volleyball season having concluded, we see players heading every which direction. Jeff mentioned those graduating on Sunday and Paulie mentioned a transfer yesterday. We found out about another Cardinal hitting the transfer portal.

Paige Morningstar announced her decision to enter the transfer portal. Morningstar, a redshirt freshman setter saw a few sets this season coming in to serve, but presumably sat third on the depth chart behind Raquel Lazaro and Elle Glock. With Glock the likely favorite to take over the starting role next season, Morningstar is exploring her options.

(Tori Dilfer became a fan favorite when she transferred to  Louisville)

It is important to look at several things here. First, this new monster...the transfer portal gives and receives. Don't forget that Louisville has had recent success in the receiving part of the transfer portal before, bringing in Lazaro (2022), Tori Dilfer (graduated 2021), and Anna Stevenson (graduated 2021).

It's potentially possible down the road that some coach could build a powerhouse, based on "tranfers in". I think I saw Texas had 11 new players (or transfer in player) on their national championship squad. 

Also, NIL money could become a even more huge and determining factor as years go by.  Why play for free when "Bob's Grocery" chain is willing to make a player more money than the coach gets per year?  These are interesting times we live in.

So, who is leaving and who is returning for UofL Volleyball? 11 of the 18 current members are returning next season. As of right now, here is what we have:

#1 Ceci Rush (setter/DS)- returning

#2 Ayden Bartlett (DS)- returning

#3 Nena Mbonu (OH)- graduating, transferring to Houston

#4 Alexa Hendricks (DS)- graduating

#5 Elle Glock (server)- returning

#7 Alexis Finnvold (setter)- returning

#8 Nina Moorer (OH)- returning

#9 Claire Chaussee (OH)- graduating, signed to play professionally in Italy

#10 Phekran Kong (MB)- returning

#11 Hannah Sherman (MB)- returning

#13 Cara Cresse (MB)- returning

#14 Anna DeBeer (OH)- returning

#15 Aiko Jones (Opp)- returning

#16 Paige Morningstar (server/setter)- transferring

#19 Elena Scott (libero/DS)- returning

#21 Sydni Schetnan (OH)- transferring

#22 Raquel Lazaro (setter)- graduating

#25 Amaya Tillman (MB)- graduating

Those in the transfer portal do have the option to stay if the coaching staff approves. Louisville also has several freshmen coming in and the transfer portal can also bring in new faces

Women's Basketball Rankings

Currently riding a four-game win streak, Louisville women's basketball is starting to creep back up in the national spotlight. The most recent poll has the Cards in the receiving votes category and #28. The USA Today Coaches Poll has not updated their rankings, but Louisville was #25 last week and has won two games by a combined 54 points since then and *should* move up.

Now at 9-4, Louisville seems to be finding a few things working for them. Most importantly, Louisville's 'run and gun' offense has starting popping up at times. Jeff Walz has been known to get his team to push on offense in transition for a quick basket and we saw that several times against both Bellarmine and Pitt. On top of that, the three point shooting has improved (38.5% at Bellarmine; 58.3% at Pitt) drastically.

Still, what Louisville women's basketball has been known for is their suffocating defense. It's hard to say it's fully arrived but we've seen glimpses of it, especially in the first half of their last few games.

(Doug Bruno is fond of Jerry Garcia ties) 

The Cards make the trip to Chicago on Wednesday to face a 9-3 DePaul team. Doug Bruno's squad is riding a five-game win streak but has suffered a few interesting losses to Towson, Cleveland State, and Northern Illinois. Paulie will break down this game tomorrow. It is the final non-conference game of the season.

Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!



  1. NIL was probably long overdue and a compensation is rightly due the players. Who can blame a player for scouting around a bit to see what they can get paid. Are the days of playing for the hometown team a player grew up loving gone because the school two states over can put $50,000 a year in the player's pockets through endorsements, pictures, autographs and 'intellectual property' situations? It's just a matter of time before the NCAA student-athletics form a union as strong as the teamsters or longshoremen. Joining the three refs on the court will be union reps for the players.

    That being said, hope Dani Busboom Kelly can continue to get good talent to Louisville while she's here, but, unless the Cards cough up some serious moolah, she's probably gone when Jon Cook reties out at Nebraska (and he's 66, folks). Just a potential addition to the long lists of coaches leaving a good thing at Louisville to try more rapid waters. Quite frankly, I'm surprised Walz is still here. I would bet that he's been offered a wheelbarrow full of money to take the helm at another program.

    Blue Lou

  2. Hate to hear such speculation about Busboom-Kelly. You know what Jurich would have done. Built her a 7,000-8,000 seat Volleyball arena on campus and put it where they rent out the land for vehicle storage next to the soccer stadium. How stupid is that... except maybe for the money they make. Maybe. Volleyball deserves and has earned the right to have their own facility on campus, just like baseball, softball, field Hockey, lacrosse and others have on campus. And don't tell me that's what L&N FCU is for. Bring in the SAC, make it a student activity facility. Intramural or something. Not the home of a nation volleyball power. Otherwise, you lose Busboom-Kelly and you got no one to blame but yourselves. And, you better pray Meske stays.

    I like your site, by the way, I wish we had one dedicated to women's sports, but our women's sports program isn't as strong or popular as yours.

    Skip (Pittsburgh, PA)

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Thanks for the compliment. You are lucky up there to have "the Pete," and Fitzgerald on campus. Wish we had something around the Fitz's size for Volleyball.

      I agree with you. That area on Floyd Street could be put to so much better use than rental to park vehicles.


  3. I have a cousin near Louisville who keeps me up on Louisville sports and turned me on to your site. Keep up the good work. Hat that you eliminated us is Volleyball, but best team won. Women's basketball is another matter. Nothing happening, nothing on the horizon

    Skip (Pittsburgh, PA)

  4. I have to thank Pitt for a couple things. Yacine Diop and Holly Aprile.

    Curtis "bee kind" Franklin

  5. Hello friends!
    Arthur here!

    Interesting that Louisville really hasn't done much with Volleyball. I guess I never realized how tiny the L&N facility was until I saw Clemson play there awhile back on the ACC Network.

    I guess the University must be in a financial crisis or something to NJ it want to give them a larger venue? Or it is like most campuses, where men's sports is king?

    Your friend
    #1 Clemson Fan
    Greer, SC

  6. We have Memorial on our campus at UK, although women's hoops and volleyball would rather play at Rupp, I have heard.

  7. Wonder if Morningstar will be coming home to play here?

    (Pittsburgh, PA)

    1. I'd expect that's a question for our volleyball expert Jeff, but I think he's still in incommunicado after losing to Texas and the drive back.


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