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Saturday, November 18, 2023

Big One for Volleyball; Swimming & Lacrosse -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Cards Face Pittsburgh in Top-10 Battle

Louisville volleyball (with Jeff in tow) headed up to Pittsburgh yesterday for a battle of top-ten teams this afternoon. Although the standings don't show it (because of one less match played for Pitt), the two teams are two of three tied atop the ACC. With FSU through their toughest remaining test (Miami), Louisville and Pittsburgh can only hope for an upset from UNC or Notre Dame to earn more than a share of the conference title this season. Given the schedule remaining for both, it wouldn't be particularly far-fetched for FSU to claim an outright ACC title. If Louisville beats Pitt today and loses to GT to end the season Wednesday, that'd be it. 

As a result, today's match is, like the second Louisville/Pitt match in recent years, a de facto ACC championship match. The loser of today's match can do nothing but hope that both FSU and the winner lose to give them a chance at a shared title. Louisville has a revenge game against GT left, so Pitt may think a Louisville loss is at least possible while Pitt will host Miami before playing Syracuse. Doesn't look like another loss is on their schedule.

These two teams last played a little over a month ago. The Cards hosted the Panthers in the KFC Yum! Center and swept them on ESPNU. Despite the final match score, Louisville had far from an easy time, as the wins were 25-21, -23, -22. With the crowd back on their side and everything to play for, you had better believe Pitt will be ready to exact revenge on Louisville.

In the last match, Anna Debeer led all hitters with 15 kills, while Cara Cresse and Charitie Luper tied Pitt's Torrey Stafford for second with 10. Phekran Kong led the way with four blocks and DeBeer picked up a double-double with 10 digs. Luper also narrowly missed a double-double with nine digs. The Cards will need strong performances from these players and more again, and they may need to match their 0.388 hitting percentage for the match if they want to win on the road.

Today's match is at 1PM and, because it's on a Saturday afternoon, will stream on ACC Network Extra.

Swimming Fighting to Improve on Third at Ohio State

Louisville men's and women's swimming teams are at Ohio State this weekend and both sit in third after two days of action behind Ohio State and Indiana (on the men's side Indiana leads). The Louisville women's team is ranked third in the country, and will look to put Ohio State and Indiana behind them along with Notre Dame and Cincinnati. It may be an uphill battle for the Cards, as they trail the Buckeyes by 409 and the Hoosiers by 272.5. 

Over the first two days, Louisville took second in the 200 Medley Relay and Gabi Albiero won the 100 Fly with Christiana Regenauer coming home third. Abby Hay won the 400 IM, but the Cards haven't been able to stand on the podium outside of those four. Fortunately, Albiero's big events take place today, so Louisville could move up. Prelims are ongoing with finals getting underway at 6PM.

Hanna John Earns National Accolade

Earlier this week, Inside Lacrosse named their Power 100 Incoming Freshmen, and Louisville's incoming goalkeeper Hannah John made the list. John was two-time High School Goalie of the Year and was named to the All-Conference, All-Region, and All-State teams twice. Her high school team won the NACVI Conference Championship in 2022. In the full list, John landed outside the top-50, which means she was officially unranked (51-100 are listed alphabetically). Regardless, of all the rising freshman lacrosse players across the country, landing a top-100 recognition is impressive.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

We'll have a pared down lineup with just myself, Paulie, and Jared on the call today. Jeff headed north to Pittsburgh, as I mentioned, and will likely be in the arena already by the time we get started today. That means we won't be live on YouTube with this week's show, but the podcast will go on as normal. We'll talk big wins for basketball, the big match for volleyball, and more Cardinal news from the week that was. As always, there are plenty of playback options, so be sure to check out whichever is best for you!

Cardinal Couple YouTube: Link
Anchor (podcast host): Link
Apple Podcasts: Link
Google Podcasts: Link
Overcast (free account required): Link
Pocket Casts (free account and app required): Link
RadioPublic: Link
Spotify: Link

Until next time, Go Cards!


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