Sundays on Floyd
It's another fall Sunday with multiple UofL sporting events all on Floyd Street, or near enough as to not matter, anyway.
Let's jump right in, and let's do event order today...
The stick squad gets us started at noon. Virginia Commonwealth University will wrap up their visit to Louisville after playing Bellarmine at Trager Stadium on Friday. Same venue, but a bit stiffer competition for the Rams than they've faced through their regular season competition thus far.
The Rams - and let's show a bit of love for VCU for being sticklers by pointing out in their name that Virginia is a commonwealth, not a state, as us commonwealths have to stick together - are undefeated on the season so far, takings wins over Delaware, Kent State, Georgetown, and Bellarmine. They played an exhibition game against Duke, but results aren't reported for that one.
None of those opponents are exactly top of the rankings, but none of them are terrible, either. Bellarmine is just getting their legs under them in D1, and Georgetown is nothing to write home about (they're still looking for their first win), but we've played Delaware and Kent State and both are solid teams that have to be taken seriously.
VCU doesn't have their full up-to-date stats posted, but they do have stats covering the Delaware and Kent State games, which are the more interesting ones anyway. They've had four scorers on the season, Skyler Padgett leads with a pair, Mora Marrero, Marena Macera, and Carley Deaver each have one. Sheriden Messier (what is it with this team and "M" names?), accounts for all 120 minutes in goal for the two games. She has three goals against, compared with 11 saves, which is certainly respectable.
As mentioned, it's a noon start, and as typical, it's available (with the ongoing caveat for Spectrum customers) on ACC Network Extra.
Getting started before Field Hockey is even finished, Volleyball will be welcoming Penn State into LNFCU Arena.
Penn State is a name that has a long and storied history in volleyball, of course. But legendary coach Russ Rose retired two years ago, and the program has been helmed for the past couple of years by Katie Schumacher-Cawley, who was an assistant under Rose for two years prior, so there is continuity there.
Penn State is sports a 4-2 record, but it's emblematic of some of the early chaos that happened in the D1 volleyball world this season. They started out eighth in the pre-season rankings, but opening weekend took upset losses to then 11th ranked Florida, and 20th ranked Georgia Tech. In the intervening weeks, Florida is now ranked 3rd, (and receiving some first place votes), and Georgia Tech is 11th, both teams advancing on the strength of their wins over PSU and others. After the opening weekend, PSU dropped to 14th in the rankings, and have only slightly advanced since then as their schedule shifted to opponents that aren't quite of that calibre - WKU, Colgate, James Madison, and Temple. Fair credit should be given to WKU and JMU, who are both just outside of the rankings in the "Receiving Votes" section.
Jess Mruzik is the go-to hitter for the Nittany Lions, tallying 84 kills on the season, but because she's the go-to, her percentage is a not terrible, but not spectacular .251. A foursome have 30+ kills, Zoe Weatherington, Taylor Trammell, Camryn Hannah, Allie Holland. Mac Podraza will be in the setting role, a transfer from Ohio State who had an excellent season with the Buckeyes last year.
This match will be a significant challenge for UofL. Marketing is already hyping the Kentucky match Wednesday evening, but let's hope the team isn't overlooking this opponent. We've seen the coaching staff seemingly playing around with the line-up over the past few matches, including some flirtations with a 6-2 offense. Will that be the normal going forward, or is it time to settle down for a more consistent setup? The Cards have had a good rest with no match on Friday, they should be ready and sharp.
ESPN2 is carrying this one, with the first serve at 1pm. Expect LNFCU Arena to be packed and loud.
Wyoming has traveled east to tangle with the Cards at Lynn Stadium this evening. The Cowgirls (yes, that's what they're officially called by the University) are 3-1-2 on the season compared to UofL's 1-4-2.
Wins for Wyoming are over Weber State, University of Nebraska at Omaha, and University of Northern Colorado. Not expecting any Women's College Cup appearances from any of those. Draws are with South Dakota, and Colorado School of Mines, and the lone loss to Idaho State.
Leaders for Wyoming are Alyssa Glover with a trio of goals on the season, and Maddie Chance, and Jazi Barela with a pair each. Miyuki Schoyen has gotten the majority of minutes in goal, playing four of the six games there, with Haley Bartel playing the other two games at goal. Their jersey numbers are 00 and 0, respectively, because that's not at all confusing.
UofL will continue to look for some offensive production, which has been the challenge for the squad all year. There was a glimmer of hope started against CMU last week, but there was none against Indiana mid-week. If the Cards can get the offense, this should be a good win, the defensive chops of this squad are really not in much doubt.
ACC Network, the linear version, has this game, with first kick at 5:30pm. But it's expected to be a beautiful evening, so a trip out to Lynn Stadium would be a great way to spend a Sunday evening.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
All five of the writers here at Cardinal Couple were on the call yesterday for the CCRHP. It's always a great time when we are all able to be available for it.
We covered the Fall Trio, of course, with wins to report for all of the teams, as well as a bit of Basketball news here long before the basketball season is set to start. Good stuff all around.
Anchor.fm/Spotify is the home for the CCRHP, but you can find it at pretty much any podcast directory. As always, a direct link: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/cardinal-couple/episodes/Wins-Across-the-Board-e2943b8