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Sunday, August 20, 2023

Lights Up on Volleyball, Soccer and Field Hockey Today - Sunday Cardinal Couple

Red & Black Scrimmage

Volleyball held their traditional intra-squad scrimmage yesterday afternoon with the 3-1 victory going to the Red Team...for whatever that result is worth.

Kamden Schrand took advantage of the chance to
wear the Libero jersey to shine.
There wasn't wholesale switching of team members between the two teams during the scrimmage but there were some switches that occurred, and honestly, the emphasis was not on who wins or loses, but getting to evaluate the players in a competitive game setting.

There really were no weak spots in evidence for the team yesterday.  If the biggest weak spot last year was in the DS spot, the incoming freshman trio of DS/Liberos has solidified that nicely.  With the split squad format of the scrimmage, Kamden Schrand wore one of the Libero jersey's, which returner Ayden Bartlett wore the other.  What about Elena Scott, you ask?  She was on the sideline in the a boot thanks to a sprained ankle during practice.  She is expected to be back and flying all over the court for this coming weekend for the Washington State match, if not for Troy.  Jessica Drapp and Molly Urban also played well as DSes in the scrimmage.

Jessica Drapp serving
The other two incoming freshmen also acquitted themselves quite nicely.  Reese Robins, who played middle in high school and club, is being shifted to a right side hitter behind Aiko Jones in a notional depth chart.  So we may not see much of her on the court this season (unless, maybe, we play a 6-2 offense?) teams should be on the lookout of the 6'5" powerhouse on the right side next year.  Both Reese, and Alanna Bankston on the left side demonstrated some great swings and plenty of power.  Redshirt freshman Nina Moorer will also likely be a left side resource as she finishes healing up from a spring leg stress fracture.

I wouldn't expect to see Bankston in the starting lineup on the left, however, as I expect incoming UCLA transfer Charitie Luper will be asked to step into the Claire Chaussee shaped vacancy.  At just 5'9", she's definitely undersized as a left side hitter, but, and this is with a previous knee injury and wearing a protective brace, she can absolutely jump out of the gym.  Her hand height on blocking appeared to match or exceed that of 6'6" Cara Cresse when they were blocking together.

Brigitta Petrenko celebrates with Cara Cresse
The last of the new additions to the team is Hungarian grad student setter Brigitta Petrenko.  It's tempting to expect the grad student to get the starting spot given the experience Brigitta bring to the court, but it doesn't seem that's a given in this case, with Elle Glock stepping up her game (and, noticeably, her tone and fitness) from last year.  This is a position that could go either way.  My assessment leans slightly towards Glock, but I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised to see Petrenko to step out for the starting line-up Friday.  If the unthinkable happens and both are unavailable for some reason, redshirt freshman Alexis Finnvold showed that she would be quite capable of holding down the position without a significant loss of capability.

Elle Glock tries to get one past Hannah Sherman
Beyond the newcomers, the returners performed pretty much as expected, Anna DeBeer showed no signs of impairment from her knee injury even while she acknowledges that it may not being quite at 100%.  It's near enough, anyway.  Aiko Jones was bombing away mostly on the right side as typical.  She expressed a bit of frustration on not getting as much blocking as she wanted, but she did get one or two big roofs in.

Cara Crese, Phekran "PK" Kong, and Hannah Sherman continue the middle blocker position battle from last year.  I expect to see PK predominantly take one of the positions with Crese and Sherman battling for the other, but even with that I wouldn't call PK's position "safe"

What does Charitie Luper have in common with
beer?  Lots of hops!
Cece Rush and Ayden Bartlett have improved their DS game some, though they may both be surpassed by this trio of freshmen highlighted earlier.  Even if they're in less in defense, they both have demonstrated their danger to opponents from the service line, so you can expect to see them enter when clutch serving is needed.

The last addition is the lighting in L&N FCU Arena.  Upgraded over the summer, the new lighting system is all LED based with full RGB capability, and more targeted lighting on the court.  Cardinal Couple photog and writer Jared gushed about the new lighting, putting the light where it needs to be, on the players and court, rather than up into the stands, and with much better coloring, making his post-event editing efforts a bit easier as well (white balancing the previous lighting was...challenging).  Being LED based, the lights can also be turned off and on with immediate affect, unlike the previous mercury vapor lamps, meaning the lights can be dropped completely for the intro video which has UofL's videographer, Asaad Ali, super excited for its intro prior to Friday's match.

(All photos, plus more below, by Jared Anderson)

Today's Action

Field Hockey

Field Hockey has another scrimmage, this one again The University of Ohio Bobcats in Athens, Ohio.  No video is available, but let's hope the squad, good though it is, continues to work on converting corners which still seems to be a weak spot for this team.  The game gets underway at noon.


KFD's squad heads up I-71 to line up against the Xavier Musketeers.  TV is available for this one on FloFC, but it's not exactly a cheap offering for what it is.  Kickoff is at 7:30.

Offense, of any sort, is the key need for UofL's squad to develop.  A scoreless tie against Indiana State doesn't bode well for the season, but putting some offense up on the scoreboard today against Xavier will calm some nerves around the women's soccer program.

It could be a bit of a tall order, though, as Xavier was in the "Receiving Votes" section of the pre-season coach's poll in soccer.  Their season opener was a 2-0 win over Northeastern Thursday evening.  The two scorers for Xavier thus far have been Samantha Wiehe, and Kennedy Clark, with Clark also getting an assist on the Wiehe goal.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

Case, Jared, Paulie, and myself were on the call yesterday for the CCRHP.  We recapped the action in soccer and field hockey, and previewed a bit of the Red & Black Scrimmage.  We're all really excited the Fall season has arrived and there's action to cover.

Check out the podcast at it's, now Spotify, home:

-- JMcA

Cece Rush keeping the play alive

Anna Debeer doing DeBeer things

Ayden Bartlett serving

Cara Crese celebrating, with Kamden Schrand and
Anna Debeer

Molly Urban with a good pass.

1 comment:

  1. Saw some Reese Robins clips earlier today, can see why Texas fans are mad👍


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