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Sunday, August 27, 2023

Volleyball Wins Top 25 Matchup, Field Hockey Wins --SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Two Wins Yesterday

(photos by Jared Anderson)

Field Hockey

Well, we weren't expecting to recap a Field Hockey game today.  The 9am start time yesterday was certainly unusual, but it was definitely making the best of a challenging scenario.  Originally scheduled for a 5pm start on Friday, with scorching temperatures expected, the teams decided to push back the game until 7pm to get out of the heat of the day and direct sunlight.  Alas, storms rolled into the area right at 7pm, postponing the game.  Eventually the teams decided to call it for the evening and play the next day (yesterday).  UofL had planned yesterday as a travel day to head to Northwestern for today's game, so the game had to be played early...before UofL hit the road.

With the scene now set, UofL took the stage and delivered a solid performance, beating Northeastern 3-1.  Converting penalty corners has been the biggest bugaboo for this team the past couple of years, but all 3 scores were off of penalty corners, or at least a rebound shot from one.  Let's not say the penalty corner conversion issue is completely solved, the team had 12 attempts and only converted the 3, but that is improvement.

The first came five minutes into the game, with Julie Kouijzer getting the goal.  Aimee Plumb provided the insert, and Minna Tremonti the stop, for Kouijzer to fire home the goal.

Northeastern answered in the 2nd quarter, and the teams would go into halftime tied 1-1.

With no scoring in the 3rd quarter, the Cards would get it going quickly in the 4th.  Mia Duchars was on the insert for this one, with Lara Niebler handling the stop.  Aimee Plumb took the shot and got the goal.

Four minutes later, Aimee's younger, but not smaller, sister Chloe Plumb would get her Cardinals score career underway by deflecting an Emilia Kaczmarczyk shot into the goal.

Jared was there for the game and got postgame comments from Aimee Plumb and Coach Sowry

The Cards are back in action today against the number two team in the country, Northwestern.  The game was originally scheduled for noon, but has been delayed slightly to a 3pm start.  I'm quite sure the harried UofL crew don't mind the delay.


The chaos train continued to roll through the Volleyball Top 25 in the opening weekend, but it didn't make a stop in Louisville as the #4 Cards were able to solidly beat the #21 Washington State Cougars in three last night.

Charitie Luper and PK blocking
Seven of the Top 25 lost Friday, with several more suffering that fate yesterday in what will likely result in rather drastic restructuring of the Top 25 rankings tomorrow.

In that context, the 4 vs 21 matchup took on major national significance, and nearly all eyes were on the ACC Network Extra to watch some of the best volleyball of the weekend.  The Cards took the win 25-19, 25-14, 25-23.

Steph Cantway, color commentator for the match on ACCNX last night, suggested that WSU is under ranked, and frankly, I agree.  The Cougars are a very good team, and likely to see a great deal of success in the fragmenting PAC-12.  I would predict a win, except they do need to get through Stanford to do that, and that will be a tall order.

Cara Cresse from the service line.
The Cards won every statistical category in the match, but most notably blocks at 5-1, and aces at 4-1.

Anna DeBeer led the team in kills with 17, with her fellow left side hitter Charitie Luper putting down 10.  Even more impressive is that DeBeer did that with only a single hitting error and on 29 attempts for a whopping .552 hitting percentage.  That's a high hitter percentage for a middle, PK hit .500 with six kills on 10 attempts with a single error, for comparison, but it is phenomenal for a left side.

Aiko Jones accounted for six kills on 20 attempts with but a single error for a very respectable .250.  Cara Cresse got the only solo block of the match, and joined in on a couple of others while PK, DeBeer, and Luper would all join in on a pair each.

Elena Scott tallied 16 digs in a performance that really should surprise no one that's been watching her play the past two years, but yet still manages to amaze.

Elena Scott one footed setting
If you go back and watch the replay of this one, and I heartily recommend that you do so, definitely check out the nearly minute long rally at 13-11 in the first set.  It starts with an Elena Scott serve, finishes with a Cara Cresse kill.  There's a good bit of awareness by Scott that I was particularly impressed with, though.  The first set for the Cards gets taken by Scott and she was standing just about on the 3 meter line.  As a libero, Scott is not allowed to overhand set from in front of the 3 meter line, so as the ball is arriving, you can see Scott lift her left foot off the floor, leaving her right in contact with the floor, and sets the ball with only one foot on the floor.  It's just an impressive bit of awareness and skill from Scott that is earning her chatter as being one of the, if not the, best libero's in the country.

DBK has, very uncharacteristically, lost all of her
coaches challenges so far this season.
Overall, from this match, as well as Friday night's, the balance of this team is impressive.  It's reflected in the stats sheet as well.  While we had definite go-tos last year, mostly DeBeer, and then Claire Chaussee later in the season, the depth and balance of the attack this year is noticeable.  That extends to setting and right side hitting.  When the coaching staff wants to have a quick chat with Glock in the setting role, they don't sub Brigitta Petrenko for her, instead they wait until she's about to rotate to the front row, and sub Reese Robins for her, and bring in Petrenko for Aiko Jones.  Essentially they shifted into a 6-2 offense briefly, keeping the 3-across attack across the front line, and then swapping back when they've had their chat with Glock and are ready to bring her back in.  That speaks to the depth at multiple positions to be able to do that.

UofL will be back in action this afternoon at 2pm against Wright State to wrap up The Cardinal Classic.  As is typical for UofL volleyball at home, it is a sell-out, and can be watched on ACC Network Extra.

Soccer In Action Today

Karen Ferguson-Dayes Soccer squad will continue to look for offensive production this evening at Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium, when Northern Kentucky University comes to play.  First kick is scheduled for 7:30pm and the forecast looks great for an evening out at Lynn stadium

This may not be a pushover game.  The NKU, in exhibition, tied UK 1-1, absolutely blitzed Shawnee State (Ohio) 8-0, and had a scoreless tie with Cincinnati.  They started the season with a 0-1 loss to Western Michigan, tied Bellarmine 3-3, and beat Miami (OH) 1-0.  The Norse aren't exactly set to go with the National Championship, but they are a respectful team, and given the offensive challenges we've seen from our squad, I could easily see this ending in a scoreless tie, or potentially worse.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

Jeff and Case...30 years from now...carrying on without Paulie  

Case, Paulie, and I had a great discussion yesterday, with coverage of Field Hockey, Soccer and Volleyball as you might expect.  But we also had a chat about bikes in Northern European countries, and cargo bikes, and their usage, in particular.

You can check out the fun at or any reasonable podcast directory:

-- JMcA


Elena Scott being everywhere, all at once

Elle Glock wins a joust

Kamden Schrand celebrates with Charitie Luper,
along with Elle Glock and Cara Cresse

Another on-target set from Elle Glock

Phekran "PK" Kong attempts to salvage a
misdirected set

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