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Saturday, August 26, 2023

Volleyball Sweeps; Field Hockey Waits -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

FH Season Opener Postponed

After delaying their game from the original afternoon start time due to the heatwave, UofL Field Hockey found themselves at the mercy of another weather event. Right at around the time Friday Night Lights were coming on around Louisville, a massive storm rolled in. Lightning delays cleared high school football stadiums around the area, and the winds, rain, and sometimes hail kept on for a couple of hours. As a result, the news reported game after game was being rescheduled to today or Sunday or canceled outright. One of the postponements that slipped under the radar was the Louisville field hockey game. Louisville and Northeastern moved their game to this morning at 9:00 am. We'll keep you updated on the result and Jeff will give you more information in his write-up tomorrow. The big thing to watch for Louisville is that their road game against Northwestern tomorrow will now begin just about 24 hours after today's game ends. 

Volleyball Sweeps Troy in Chaotic Day 1

While the sky opened up with the air cooling off outside, the action heated up inside the L&N Federal Credit Union Arena. Louisville opened their season by hosting Troy in the first game of the Cardinal Classic. Louisville will get Washington State and Wright State later in the weekend. The Cards were one of the teams that took care of business yesterday on a day when many teams saw themselves on the wrong side of a result. Three results were of major note to Louisville fans, but there were plenty of other upsets. The biggest of all was #1 Texas, who lost 3-1 to unranked Long Beach State. Another major upset was Kentucky's 3-1 loss to Colorado State. Louisville's conference rival, Pittsburgh, fell to BYU 3-1. More results that fans might be interested in include two from WKU, as they upset 12th ranked Marquette 3-1 before being swept by the hosting Dayton Flyers later in the day. Big ranked matches saw #11 Florida beat #8 Penn State 3-1, #9 Oregon swept #13 San Diego, and #2 Wisconsin took down #15 Baylor. While it's not a major upset, Syracuse had a rough day, being swept by both Navy and UAlbany.

I think that's enough of the chaotic results, so let's take a look at Louisville's match. As expected, Elena Scott was back in action this weekend after missing last week for a minor knock. It was an inauspicious start for her, as she committed an attacking error to give Troy a 1-0 lead in the first set. After each team won another point, Troy saw their last lead of the match disappear when Louisville tied it 2-2 and then went up 3-2.  Troy would later be able to hold ties in the third set up to 6-6, but Louisville was pretty well in control from early in the first. Troy was able to string together three 3-point runs in the match, but all three were late in fairly decided sets. One of which came late in the first, but it served only to stave off set point from 24-15. After those points, a service error ended that game at 25-18.

After the men's basketball team (and women's basketball team to some extent) became known for "booming" their opponents in the early-to-mid 2010s, the volleyball team inherited that mantle a bit when Coach Dani Busboom Kelly came on board. Troy got a taste of that in the second. Louisville jumped to a 10-2 lead, traded about 6 points each, then won seven straight to go to 23-8. Brigitta Petrenko led the charge there with two aces, as Louisville played a 6-2 formation. A service error ended the run, and Troy won four of the next five points including that one. The brief run from Troy moved the score to just 24-12, as they again staved off three set points, but Cara Cresse sent the winning kill to the floor. 

The third was tight early, but Louisville used two separate five-point runs to stretch their wings a bit. Troy's short run came a bit earlier, as they weren't on match point during the run. Those three points moved the score to 21-15, but Louisville closed the door by winning four of the next six points. The final in the third was 25-17, giving Louisville a sweep with 25-18, 25-12, and 25-17 scores.

The big performer last night was Cara Cresse. She led the team with 11 kills, doing so on 12 attempts with no errors. Her .917 came alongside four block assists. The visitors definitely keyed on Louisville's pin hitters, opening the way for Cresse. Anna DeBeer was able to find the most space, finishing with 9 kills on 17 attempts with just two kills. Charitie Luper and Aiko Jones were on the back foot, combining for just five kills on 21 attempts. As a team, though, Louisville committed just eight errors to finish with a team hitting percentage of .403. 

Louisville was also positive in the serving game, scoring 11 aces (Petrenko and Elle Glock with three each) and only committing nine serving errors. Charitie Luper and Elena Scott had two aces each. Freshmen Hannah Sherman (redshirt) and Reese Robins both took advantage of their opportunities, as they combined for seven kills on 11 attempts. Defensively, Louisville swamped Troy, as they put up seven blocks to just one for Troy. Troy also managed just one ace to nine errors. They committed 17 hitting errors to finish with just a .138 hitting percentage as a team. 

Louisville is back in action tonight against Washington State at 7PM. The Cougars are ranked 21st and took care of business with a sweep of Wright State yesterday afternoon. The Cards will look to stay off the list of first weekend upsets.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

We're back this week with three in the studio. Jared is out as he covers the field hockey game, but Paulie, Jeff, and I will discuss all the results from the week. We'll have plenty to talk about to be sure, and we'll do our best to keep it positive as we bring the joy and excitement of Louisville 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. Jeff usually creates that about an hour before the show, which officially starts at 11 AM Eastern. 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!

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Until next time, Go Cards!


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