A Two For Three Sunday
A busy day, indeed, for three UofL women's sports squads on Sunday. Volleyball defended the LNFCU with a straight set sweep of visiting UNC, WalzBall started the 2023-24 home season over a very talented DePaul squad. Field Hockey fell to to Northwestern to bring their season and NCAA run to an end.
Let's report and review, shall we?
VOLLEYBALL SHAKES THE TAR OFF THEIR HEELS IN 3
LOUISVILLE VOLLEYBALL had the usual packed LNFCU rowdy crowd Sunday hoping to see the Cards stay in a tie for first in the ACC and they got their wishes.
Louisville won the three set sweep 25-23, 25-16 and 25-10 to go to 23-2 overall and 14-2 in ACC play. It was a match where the Cards took everything UNC could throw at them in the first set...a battle that had UNC on top at 20-19, but got key play down the stretch from Anna DeBeer, Charitie Luper and Reese Robbins to eke out a 25-23 win. It was toe-curling, hold your breath action at the end, but the Cards werre going to make senior day for their four seniors one to remember and I think Ceci Rush, Ayden Bartlett, Aiko Jones and Brigetta Petrenko will have fond memries of this match for a long time.
The VolleyCards clutch first set win had the effect of popping a balloon that was the UNC squad. I even remarked to my wife, as we got in the car to head to women's basketball that our resolve and refusal to lose looked a lot like the squad that was the national runner up last year.
Although I didn't see it, set two was a close one in the beginning before the Cards slammed the door shut on the visitiors from Chapel Hill. A brief 11-10 UNC lead vanished when UofL went on a 6-1 run. Cara Cresse, Charitie Luper and Jones were determined to win the second set and went from a 20-16 lead to score the final five points and go to half-time clearly in control of the match. The crowd wasn't even missing Jeff McAdams, rumbling, startling, step charging C-A-R-D S cheers. Maybe he was already in Denver and going up and don the hotel stairways at the start of each UNC itimeout
UNC musted one last bit of resistance, tying set three at 7-7 before the Cards reminded them that resistance is futile. The 18-3 run was a thing of beauty and total domination, according to those I spoke with who stayed to watch it before heading downtown an catchng the end of basketball
The Cards hit .402 for the match and made only seven errors. The win was timely, and bodes well for UofL, as they face two tough ones to end the regular season...at Pitt , next Sunday ...November 19th and hosting Duke Thursday, Nov 22nd. to end the regular season.
WBB USES STRONG POINTS-IN-THE PAINT EFFORT TO DEFEAT DEPAUL 81-74
(A rare apperance of Paulie's "ugly" shoes on Sunday)
The 4 p.m. WBB contest against Doug Bruno's DePaul squad was not really unique, in the fact that when these two get together, the contests are usually legendary. What was interesting that the Cards alowed a 5'10" sophomore guard from Carmel, IN (Kate Clarke) to go off on them for 32 points and eight three-pointers. It wasn't quite "first one to 80 wins" and, early on -- you had to wonder if the Louisville team we saw beat Cincinatti was just a flash in he pan? .
Midway through the first quarter, the Blue Demons had jumped out to a 13- point lead. Anything they tosed up toward the rim went it, including five three pointers and 60% floor shooting. The Cards finally decided to playa little defense and Eylia Love liked to score and her ine points led the Cards comeback to make it 29-27 DePaul with 46 seconds left in the first quarter .Elif Istanbulluoglu's two free throws made it a tie, 29-all score after ten minutes.
From the onslaught of first quarter scoring (58 points) the game progressed into a defensive war of wills, with just 22 total points scored in the next 10 minutes. 13 of the belonged to Louisville, and, of those, Nyla Harris had five of the Cards points. Louisville pushed out to a 40-32 lead halfway through the quarter after two Harris free throws, but could only manage two more points the rest of the second quarter...two Clarke free throws and a Anaya People's jumper got DePaul back within four points to make it 42-38 Louisville at the half.
The scoring for both squads picked up in the third quarter, Louisville winning the quarter 21 to 20, and Eylia Love pickeed up seven points to rally the Cards, who lost the halftime lead at 53-52 after a Kaitlyn Gilbert jumper for DePaul. The Cards sank six free throws in the quarter and shot 50% from the floor to hold a 63-58 edge after 30 minutes.
UofL was the hotter of the two on the court to start the fourth and built the lead to 10 after 2-1/2 minutes in at 72-62 on a Cochran jumper. The Cards pushed it to 76-63 with 4:13 to go, Cochran had eight points in the quarter up to there and held on for the seven-point win, despite two Clarke threes for the Blue Demons in the final 90 seconds.
THE FRED REPORT
|"Is it true, Fred? We actually won another game without that blonde-haired girl? I guess the program isn't collapsing, after all.."|
FREE THROWS -- The Cards went 25-31 from the line, for 80.6%. Love sank all six of herr attempts, and Harris went 5-6. We'll gladly accept that average and award a CAPITAL "F".
REBOUNDS -- Louisville barely won the battle of the boards 41-39. Nyla Harris had 11 for the Cards and Nina Rickards grabbed seven (six defensive).. OK, but the Cards were a considerably taller yteam and should have had a more dominating effort here. I'll offer a small case "r".
EFFORT/EXECUTION -- 14 turnovers isn't so bad for the second game of the year and 23 points from opponent turnovers is a nice effort. The big numbers, to me, were the 46-28 points-in-paints Cardinals edge and 33 to 3 bench scoring edge. The late game break down simply can't happen as the season progresses, though, and I'l laward a small case "e"
DEFENSE -- Maybe 74 points allowed is a bit high, but DePaul has five very experienced starters and they'll probably do that a lot to their opponents this year. 11 made threes was a bit discouraging, the Blue demons seemed to score easily on the Cards driving across tthe lane, also. That kind of defensive effort could leave UofL a .500 squad in ACC play. No letter awarded for a defensive effort that was lacking at times.
FINAL FRED REPORT: F-r-e-_
Cochran and Love Post-Game presser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-tZqw1Vr54
Walz Post-Game presser: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kv9i6d1VAk
FIELD HOCKEY DOWNED BY NORTHWESTERN
Louisville Field Hockey's season ends Sunday with a 3-2 loss to Northwestern at Northwestern....in NCAA second round action.
The Wildcats scored the go-ahead goal with a little over a minute remaining in the contest off a penalty corner. It was their second goal of the fourth quarter and they advance to the Field Hockey Final Four.
Louisville took a 1-0 lead just ten minutes into the contest when Minna Tremonti tipped in a Izzy Bianco attempt on a penalty corner.
Northwestern tied it a couple of minutes later and the teams ended the first half in a 1-1 tie,
It looked as if the third quarter might be a scoreless one as well, but the Cards received and capitalized on a penalty corner with 10 seconds left in the quarter. Tyler Everslage sent a rebound past the Wlidcats goalkeeper to give UofL the 2-1 lead.
So, the season ends for the Cards, as Northwestern moves on to face Duke Friday in Final Four actiion. UNC and Virginia also advance, the Cavs defeating Maryland 4-0 Duke knocked off fellow ACC member Syracuse 2-1 to acheive their Final Four berth. UNC sent Harvard home 4-2.
Is there any doubt about the strongest DI conference in Field Hockey? The "Any Coast" Conference continues to reign supreme. The Cards are a contender against this powerhouse of schools, and ret6urn a strong squad for next year.