Tennis Sweeps Double Header
Louisville women's tennis opened their season hot as they have over the past few years. The issue for the Cards has typically come in conference play, but each season brings renewed optimism that the team can finally break through the ceiling. The 2013-14 season was the last time that Louisville failed to win at least the first two matches of their season. In all but one of those years, Louisville won at least four matches to open the year. Ironically, 13-14 is also the last season Louisville finished with a winning record in a full season (the Cards were 8-6 when the remainder of the 2020 season was canceled due to Covid).
If that 2013-14 season stands out to you in time for any reason, it's because that was the last season before Louisville joined the ACC. The Cards, despite having some extremely talented players, have not been able to keep up with ACC competition across all of the available matches in a competition. Though the final scores don't stand out as world beating, Louisville continued their trend when they beat NIU and Bellarmine in their season-opening double header yesterday. Louisville took two of the three doubles matches against NIU to carry a 1-0 lead into singles play. After straight set victories for Andrea DiPalma and Jamilah Snells gave Louisville a 3-0 lead, NIU won a three-setter in the five slot. Transfer Maria Campos, who played with DiPalma to win the decisive third doubles match, won a comeback of her own to give Louisville the insurmountable 4-1 lead and the match victory. NIU won the other two singles positions to give the final 4-3 score.
The second match against Bellarmine saw Louisville's doubles pairings all reverse their fortunes, with Bellarmine taking the doubles point 2-1. The Cards were undeterred, though, as they promptly won four singles matches in straight sets to end the meet. After being the first two to finish against NIU, Andrea DiPalma and Jamilah Snells were the two Louisville players to not finish their matches against Bellarmine. Louisville won with a final score of 4-1, with DiPalma leading 1-0 (4-4 in the second) and Snells trailing 0-1 (5-5 in the second).
The Cards will have the week off before hosting another double header next Saturday. They'll bring perennial opponent Ball State and local foe EKU in at noon and 5PM respectively. The Cards have nine non-conference matches before they host Clemson on February 24th to open ACC play.
Louisville Swim and Dive at UK
The Cards and Cats are already underway in the Battle of the Bluegrass (Bluewater?). The platform diving portion of this weekend's meet took place yesterday at 4PM. As the split days are considered one big event, results for the day are not available, but the remainder of the meet is scheduled to begin at 1PM in Lexington. The Cards are ranked 7th and 17th in the country, the women's team being the higher of the two. Kentucky is ranked 20th and unranked, with the teams in the same order. Louisville has had particular success in the relays, with the Cards having four relay teams ranked in the top 7. Two are ranked 4th. Gabi Albiero (familiar name of course) is ranked in the top 13 in three events while Christina Regenauer holds two top-13 positions. Liberty Williams, Louisville's distance swimmer to look out for, is ranked in the top 25 in three events.
The Cats have not had a meet in a month, with their last event coming on December 19th. Back before Christmas, the Kentucky women's team defeated Georgia in a head-to-head for the first time in program history. If you're looking to watch some top talent hit the pool, head over to the Lancaster Aquatic Center when the doors open around 11:30.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
As always (except for the times we don't do it), join us today for the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast. After almost a month away, I'm back in the chair to rejoin the show this week. The rest of the crew will be on board as well and we'll talk all of the happenings of the week in UofL Women's Athletics. 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. 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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Apple Podcasts: Link
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Overcast (free account required): Link
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Until next time, Go Cards!