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Saturday, October 14, 2023


Volleyball vs Pitt Round 1

*Ding Ding* the bell rings, and it's a clash of the heavyweights underway last night at the KFC Yum! Center.  Louisville, thanks largely to the video editing prowess of Asaad Ali, has been playing on the Muhammad Ali imagery, and they did that again for this matchup, with a video analogizing the trio of matchups between Pitt and Louisville last season to the three boxing matches between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier.

Anna DeBeer getting ready to dent the floor
Pitt and Louisville, two of the top teams in the ACC, perennially, came together for their first match of this season at the KFC Yum! Center downtown in front of a crowd of 11,461.  No one making a serious assessment of this matchup expected an easy win for either team, and despite it being a 3-0 Louisville sweep, all of the sets were close, 25-21, 25-23, 25-22.

The crowd was in great form as the city of Louisville and UofL fans continue to learn just how much fun a great volleyball match can be.  And with a set break recognition of UofL volleyball alumnae, section 114 was about half filled with alumnae making for a real homecoming style atmosphere.

Aiko Jones demonstrating that she's a great 2nd
or 3rd option for setting.
The big question on many UofL fans' minds was which UofL squad would we see.  After suffering through a funk, as we talked about it on the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast, between the Stanford match and the UNC match, would UofL come out the crisp fighting machine that started to come back together late in the UNC match?

Well, sort of.  Pitt started out with a 5-0 run in the first set and Louisville looked pretty inept early.  But the Cards dug deep and started 
matching Pitt side outs, and even, slowly clawing back some points.  The Cards wouldn't get the score back to square until 18-18, but Pitt only got a couple of side outs beyond that and wasn't able to hold serve at all, leading Louisville to the 25-21 win.

Cara Cresse says "Nope."  Elle Glock with the
block assist (but Cresse made the contact)
The second set didn't have a lead for either team larger than three points until Louisville was able to eek out to 21-17 on a kill by Charitie Luper.  A pair of points by Pitt brought the lead back within the three point margin where it would remain the rest of the set.

The crowd began to sense that this could be a Louisville sweep, they jammed out to Joker and the Thief, and they got rowdy, and another back and forth set ensued.  Louisville gained a two or three point lead and was able to maintain that lead through the whole set.  Pitt wasn't about to just go away, but just couldn't close the gap either with Louisville eventually getting that sweep of close sets.

Alumni weekend brought many great Cardinals
Forever, including Gwen Rucker and Brooke
Anna DeBeer lead all scorers with 15 kills, with only a pair of errors on 29 attempts.  Credit Cara Cresse, Charitie Luper, and Aiko Jones with 10, 10, and 9 respectively.  Cresse only errored on one hit and with 14 attempts, hit a whopping .643, and hey, middle hitter assists and digs are always fun with Cresse getting one of each.

Overall, it appears that Cards are back and have flushed away funk.  They'll continue play Sunday vs Virginia at L&N FCU Arena.

Other Volleyball Tidbits

As for overall ACC standings, with Florida State taking their first defeat last night (in five sets) to Georgia Tech, the conference finds itself with a four way tie for for the top spot.  Pitt and Louisville are there, along with FSU and Georgia Tech.  The next set of teams all have three losses.

Congratulations to our Clemson friends with a big five set win over Miami last night.

UofL alumna Claire Chaussee is making a splash in pro play with Athletes Unlimited, playing in Arizona this year.  She's been picked near the top of the draft both weeks so far, and is currently sitting in 6th on the overall leaderboard of the league (after winning the MVP1 vote in last night's match).  She'll be joining the Grand Rapids Rise in the Pro Volleyball Federation when they start their inaugural season at the beginning of the year.

Field Hockey

Justine Sowry took the sticks, along with the players that use them, to Durham, NC for a matchup against number two ranked Duke.

Louisville got on the board first, but not until well into the third quarter.  Rylie Wollerton got a feed from Chloe Cuzzupe to score her second goal of the season.

Duke equalized in the last few minutes of the 3rd quarter and got the go-ahead in the fourth.

Louisville will come back home to the friendly confines of Trager Stadium for a game against 6th ranked Iowa on Sunday at noon.  A lose to 2nd ranked Duke probably won't hurt the Cards post season prospects much, but back to back loses, even to highly ranked teams, could start to raise some eyebrows, so it's important to Louisville to win this one.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

So we'll have a mixed bag of results to discuss on the CCRHP today.  Check it out on the livestream via Youtube starting at 11am on the Cardinal Couple Youtube channel:

-- JMcA


  1. Shout out to Asaad Ali not only for the video mentioned by Jeff but for the many outstanding ones over the past few years. He is a UofL treasure.

  2. Hello Friends!
    Arthur Here!

    Nice win last night by your Volleyball gals! You definitely look like the best ACC squad, and that Anna DeBeer. Wow! You're coming to see us in early November and, although we are improved, we are nowhere close to you talent and skill level.

    Your Friend
    #1 Clemson Fan
    Greer, SC


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