Cards Fall in Exciting 3-2 Match
After defeating Kentucky in their opening spring match last week, Louisville brought in an all-start team from the Athletes Unlimited league. We've mentioned AU before on the show and on these pages, but the premise is that, instead of having set teams, the pool of players is drafted playground style each week by captains. While there's no box score available for this one, Louisville did mention the players with local ties that were representing the league in last night's match. Erin Fairs was the only former Cardinal on the team, but she was joined by former UofL volunteer coaches in Deja McClendon (Penn State, from Louisville) and Taylor Reid (Minnesota). A bit more of a stretch, there was also Morgan Hentz (Stanford) who is from Kentucky and Leah Edmond, who played for the Wildcats.
It was a good night for Louisville, despite the loss. In these spring games, you're looking more for players to be getting healthy and begin gelling with each other as new faces are introduced. The newest face for Louisville, Charitie Luper, dazzled with 17 kills. She did so on .394 hitting on the outside and added three digs. Faces newer to the starting lineup had success as well. Elle Glock, who has taken the setter role, put up 47 assists and had seven digs, while Phekran Kong had eight kills and three blocks. Returning to full strength, Anna DeBeer had a double-double with 18 kills and 10 digs, and Elena Scott was her normal shining self with 19 digs and two aces. I can tell you Aiko Jones had at least one kill, because the gocards writeup mentions it, but without a box score, I can't tell you much more.
After the match, Coach Dani Busboom Kelly tweeted, "We expect to win every match we enter, but tonight was fun until the end. Felt like every point was a battle! Thank you [Athletes Unlimited] for stopping at Louisville and giving us an awesome spring challenge!" Louisville will be back in action with a road trip to Columbus to take on Ohio State next Saturday before they return home to host Tennessee in their spring finale on April 15th.
With the storms that rolled through yesterday stretching from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes, softball was postponed in Syracuse. They'll play a double header today before wrapping the series as scheduled tomorrow. Game 1 is scheduled for 10:30AM with game 2 coming at the conclusion of the first.
WBB Joins MBB with No 1-Seeds in Championship
When Virginia Tech went cold from three, that spelled the end for them against LSU. Despite making nine 3-pointers, VT shot just 29% from range. They shot a whopping 54% from two, but, since they only made 14 2-point baskets, they couldn't keep up. LSU on the other hand, shot just 3-13 from range but made up for it by going 30-57 (53%) from two to keep ahead of the Hokies. The Tigers, a 70% free-throw shooting team, shot 10-16 from the line, compared to VT's 17-18, but LSU hit the shots they needed to, making all four free-throws in the final minute of the game. Angel Reese had 24 and 12 for the Tigers, while Alexis Morris added 27 points. Georgia Amoore had 17 on her on her way to scoring the most three pointers in an NCAA tournament (for now) and Kayana Traylor matched the scoring effort while adding nine rebounds. Elizabeth Kitley had 18 points and 12 boards, but all those efforts weren't enough as LSU won 79-72.
After SC closed a nine-point first quarter deficit to one at the half, it seemed like there might be a game after all. As they did against Louisville, Iowa quickly opened it back up, growing their lead to nine with six minutes to go. The Gamecocks kept their heads down and pulled it back to two-point game with a minute remaining in the third. They turned over Clark to get a chance to tie or take the lead, but followed it up with a turnover of their own. Czinano hit a jumper to make it 59-55 heading to the fourth. A minute into the fourth quarter, South Carolina took their first lead of the game at 60-59. It was short lived, as a Clark three and a Czinano layup swung it back to 64-60 Hawkeyes abruptly. The fourth quarter was tight, with the lead never exceeding those four points, but Staley's squad was unable to ever regain the lead. After a Johnson jumper made it 75-73 with nine seconds to go, Clark walked to the line and sunk two free throws to make it a two possession game once more. Boston missed a shot with six seconds left and time ran out. Hawkeyes advanced 77-73.
Everyone on the podcast made a bit of fun of me for picking Iowa to beat South Carolina in my bracket, but who is laughing now? Well, not me, because I still won't win. Last night's results make it so that only Thomas and I have a win remaining, as we both picked Iowa as our champs. He's a win ahead of me, though, so I can't overtake him. None of that really matters, though, as we're both out of touch with the leaders. Four entries have 46 wins, so they'll come down to the final score tiebreaker in the championship. Those entries are WahooCard, Joe Hill, Karen Johnson, and Jared. Jeff sits behind that pack with 45 wins and can be joined by Thomas, while I can only get to 44 to match Jason, Daryl, and Sonja.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
I'm out this week, and scheduling made things a bit messy. As such, I'm here to tell you that you've already missed the live recording of this week's show. Not to fear, though, as you can still check out the episode on YouTube or any major podcast platform. Tune in for the joy and excitement of UofL Women's sports.