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!