We report on the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports here. Thanks for checking us out! Click the picture of Louie to hear the latest Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast!!

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Track and Field Honors; Walz Media Appearance -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Jayden Ulrich Earns Second ACC Award

The ACC announced its weekly awards for track and field performances and Louisville has moved into a rare category this season. The Cards locked out the ACC Field Performers of the Week award with Trey Allen and Jayden Ulrich both earning their second of those honors. They were joined by Cade DeWitt earning his second award of the year, twice being named ACC Male Freshman of the Week. 

Those give Louisville three weekly awards in the same week for the second time this year. Louisville, who is joined by Clemson as the only two schools to have met that mark, is the only school to have done it twice. Clemson very nearly locked out the entire slate in Week 2 of the indoor season, as the women's honors for track and field performer of the week were tied. The Tigers had both honors on the men's side and the Male and Female Freshman of the Week honors. 

Ulrich picked up the honor after setting a new meet record and a new facility record in her shot put win. The throw of 17.52m (57'-5.75") was her farthest of the season. Ulrich's personal best is another 14" beyond that distance, which is incredible to consider. She took bronze in the shot put at both the indoor and outdoor Big Ten Championships last season while with Indiana, and will look to best that performance at the ACC Championships throughout the year.

Walz Set to Preview Syracuse Game

Louisville announced that Coach Jeff Walz will have a media availability today over lunch to preview tomorrow's game against Syracuse. The Orange are ranked #21/22 in the latest poll and remain just 1/2 game behind the Cards in the ACC standings. Syracuse is locked in a three-way tie with Virginia Tech and UNC for second, sitting at 7-2, with NC State 1/2 game behind at 6-2. While we continue to say it's early in the season, tomorrow's games will put the entire conference at the halfway mark. Tomorrow's result in the Yum! Center could go a long way toward deciding the regular season winner when it's all said and done.

Unfortunately, we won't be able to make it out in person, but it will be interesting to get Walz's take on this game ahead of time. While this isn't an abnormal appearance in mid-week, it is becoming clear that people are no longer under the impression that Syracuse is just off to a flukey start. Hearing what Coach Walz has to say about the Orange, who are also just one regular win behind the Cards, will be key to seeing how Louisville will approach this one. The Cards didn't stand up to their previous test against UNC, so we'll look for a better performance in this big game at home. Jared will make sure you get the scoop in tomorrow's preview. 

Until next time, Go Cards!

Tuesday, January 30, 2024


Cards Retake First With Tough Slate Ahead

Another Louisville win plus a couple key losses throughout the conference on Sunday put Louisville women's basketball back on top in the ACC. The Cards are the only team with one loss, but the top six spots are separated by two games. Expand that to a three-game differential and you have eight teams vying for the top.

Louisville cruised past Pittsburgh thanks to strong first and third quarters. The Cards earned the series sweep over the Panthers. Virginia Tech went on the road to hand Syracuse their second conference loss. Meanwhile, Virginia defended their home court and upset North Carolina thanks to a dominant fourth quarter.

Louisville sits in first in the ACC at 7-1. Syracuse, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina are each 7-2 after having played an extra game. Louisville had an early bye week. NC State, who also had an early bye, is 6-2, the last of the teams with a pair of losses.

Notre Dame is the only team in the conference with exactly three losses and carry a 5-3 record. Florida State is 6-4 with Duke half a game back at 5-4.

The sub-.500 teams include Georgia Tech (4-5), Miami (3-5), Boston College (3-6), Virginia (2-7), Clemson (2-7), Pittsburgh (1-7), and Wake Forest (0-8).

Things get tougher over these next few games and Jeff Walz's squad will be tested both with their physical toughness and mental toughness. Louisville hosts #21 Syracuse on Thursday, visits #5 NC State on Monday, returns home to hosts #14 Notre Dame, and then visits Syracuse. While I don't see the Cards going 0-4 in that stretch, a 2-2 or 1-3 mark wouldn't be shocking due to the caliber of the conference this year. I think UofL ends up either 3-1 or 2-2 in this four-game stretch, which would not be concerning.

Daryl and I plan to be in attendance for Thursday's game against the Orange. Second year coach Felisha Legette-Jack has the Orange back in the rankings after a rough couple of years before that following the departure of former coach Quentin Hillsman.

This past Sunday, Louisville played in their annual Pink game for Breast Cancer Awareness. This is always one of my favorite games as the team welcomes survivors as special guests for player intros and hosts a parade at halftime for those wo are survivors, who are currently battling, and those we lost. Here are some of my favorite photos from the event.

Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!

Monday, January 29, 2024

WBB sweep series with Pitt 77-58 -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Hello readers, 

It's Daryl also closing out the weekend with you.   We're gonna recap the Cardinals vs Pittsburgh this afternoon as the squad closes out the January schedule with a tough February ahead.  
Sunday afternoon's match was a Pink out and the annual opportunity to honor Breast Cancer survivors and remember those who we have lost.   The team was introduced to the crowd with a couple honorees for the starting lineup.  

Photos: Jared Anderson


The Cardinals are soaring again as they close out the cold month of January and look ahead towards a warm spring!!  Louisville moves to 18-3, 7-1 in the ACC and are looking like they could be a team to fly under some national radars when it comes to the post season expectations. 

Jayda Curry paved the way for the Cards with a team-high 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field and 3-for-4 from beyond the arc. The junior has performed well in the month of January, scoring in double figures in four of her last five games.

End of 1Q   19-9  Cards

FG %
8-19 42.1% Cards
3-10 30%  Pitt
Reb.  10-8 Cards
3-pt %
0-3 0% Cards
3-5 60% Pitt

It took a couple minutes for the Cardinals to get the offense going but Nina Rickards scored first for the Cards. Pitt was able to get the first couple buckets of the game.

The Cards were able to tie with 6:30 on the clock when Syd Taylor hit a 3 with an assist from Kiki Jefferson and then UofL took its first lead with 5 min. on the clock when Kiki hit a three of her own... the score 8-5 Cardinals. 

The Panthers regained the lead with about 3:30 on the clock 9-8 after a couple free throws.

Cochran put Louisville ahead with just under 3 when she puts it up and in. Jada Curry hit the jumper to make it 12-9. It took some time for the Cards to start to turn up the pressure on Pitt. The turned up tempo allowed Louisville to find some separation and establish a 19-9 lead and finish the quarter on an 11-0 run.  

End of 2Q   20-17 Pitt 

FG %
5-11 45.5% Cards
8-16 50%  Pitt
Reb.  9-5 Pitt
3-pt %
2-5 40% Cards
3-5 60%  Pitt

As the stats show, Pitt won the second quarter in shooting percentage and rebounding but the Cards still managed to take the lead into the halftime break.  If fans remember when the two teams met at Pitt a few weeks back, the two squads were close before heading into the 4th quarter and Louisville pulled away.   Pitt took advantage of some weak moments by the Cards,  Kiki Jefferson went 1-4 in the quarter and Sydney Taylor turned it over twice.  

HALF   36-29  Cards

End of 3Q  26-19  Cards

FG %
11-17 64.7% Cards
6-15 40%  Pitt
Reb.  8 all 
3-pt %
2-5 40% Cards
2-5 40%  Pitt

Photos: Jared Anderson

End of 4Q  15-10  Cards 

FG %
6-15 40% Cards
3-14 21.4%   Pitt
Reb.  12-9 Cards
3-pt %
0-5 0% Cards
0-4 0%  Pitt

After giving up 39 to Pitt in the previous 2 quarters the Cards held Pitt to just 10 points in the 4th quarter.   The Cards forced 5 turnover and scored 6 points off of them while also holding Pitt scoreless from the field for the final 6:30 minutes of the game. 


Louisville vs Syracuse 
Thursday 7pm 
KFC Yum! Center 


FREE THROWS --  It was not a free throw heavy kind of a matchup for Louisville vs Pittsburgh.  The Cards went 10-13 for 77%while Pitt was 13-15.  Kiki Jefferson following up her big outing from Thursday to lead Louisville at the charity stripe 4-4.  Capital F

REBOUNDING --  The Cards just barely won the rebounding battle against Pitt with 35 over the Panthers 34.   Louisville spread out the boards with Nyla Harris pulling down the most with 6 but let the Panthers 2 leading scorers pull down a combined 25.   The Cards won so the closeness of category was not a difference maker.   lower case r

EFFORT/EXECUTION --  Walz complimented the squad's ability to find the player with the hot hand.   On Thursday it was Kiki, on Sunday it was Jada Curry.  The team had 18 assists on 30 made shots while shooting 35% from beyond the arc.   38 points came from the bench with Merissah Russell and Curry going 4-5 and 6-9 respectively for 9 and 15 points each.  Capital E

DEFENSE --  UofL had 12 steals in the game and was able to come up with the ball when they needed things to go their way.   Jump balls, pulling the ball out of Pitt's hands and forcing the Panthers to take bad shots.  Pitt averaged 64.5 ppg and the Cards held them to 58 points on 36% shooting.   Capital D


We are getting into the NITTY GRITTY of the basketball schedule y'all,  it is an  E X C I T I N G  time!!  It's going to be the best of conference matchups these next couple weeks..  It'll be tough and it'll fly by so lets hope the Cards are able to walk away with as many big wins as they can to get a great seed in the NCAA's and hopefully the chance to win an ACC title.  

Make it a great week!!!! 

As always

Go Cards!


Sunday, January 28, 2024

Cards Beat the Cats...Again, and WBB - Sunday Cardinal Couple

Cards Beat the Cats...Again

It hasn't been a total academic year sweep for the Cards over the Cats, Kentucky did get the wins in the two "biggest" sports, football and, unsurprisingly, Men's Basketball, but otherwise, the Cards are generally coming out on top of the Cats when they meet this year.

The two teams didn't compete in women's soccer this year, but the men did get the dub over the Cats.  Volleyball is the other traditional fall meeting, where DBK's squad swept UK all the way back down I-64.

The latest edition of the Cards' overall dominance over the Cats came yesterday in the Ralph Wright Natatorium, where both the men and women earned solid wins over UK.

Both of the Cards teams won by substantial overall margins, 210-90 for the women, and 209.5-88.5 for the men.

Highlights include the 200 medley relay where the Cards entered two teams, and they came in first and second.  The top finishing team included Karoline Bennett, Ella Welch, Christiana Regenauer, and Gabi Albiero and just barely missed making an A cut time.  The 200 individual freestyle also had two Cards in the top two spots, as Summer Cardwell touched first, just edging out teammate Fernanda Celidonio.

Paige Hetrick topped the podium in the 100 backstroke with a B cut qualifying time.  Teammate Ally Boynton took second.  Ella Welch won the breaststroke, but UK managed to get the second spot in this one.

Stop me if you've heard this before with UofL Women's Swimming...the 200 Butterfly.  Yes, following in the...footsteps?  splashlanes?...of Kelsey Dahlia (nee Worrell), and Mallory Comerford, the latest UofL fly great, which to be fair we've talking about for a few years now already, is Gabi Albiero, beating the rest of the field yesterday by three seconds.

A full sweep for UofL in the 50 freestyle, and wow if you've never seen one of these events in person, it's crazy intense being just a single lap up and back in the pool.  And since NCAA still works in yards for their events, it's even quicker than International 50's which are measured in meters, adding almost another 15 feet to the event.  Christina Regenauer topped the podium, joined by Julia Dennis and Karoline Barrett.

Lindsay Gizzi, fresh off her spring sports media day appearance won the three meter springboard in diving, part of an ongoing surge in the Cards' diving prowess.

Back to the long pool, UofL dominated even more in the 100 freestyle, filling the podium for points, and just to add insult to injury took 4th with an exhibition swimmer.  Christina Regenauer, Julia Dennis, and Lucy Mehreban scored points, with Ella Welch taking that 4th place spot as an exhibition swimmer.

Kim Herkle won the 200 breaststroke.  Summer Cardwell took the 500 free by an easy four seconds over teammate Maddie Luther.

Another full podium of Cards for the 100 butterfly, yup, Gabi Albiero on top, joined by Christina Regenauer and Karoline Barrett.  The swimmers in the 200 Individual Medley pulled a, "yeah, well how about this", filling the top four spots all with Cardinals.  Fernanda Celidonio, Kim Herkle, and Tristan Ulett kept Maddie Hall off the official podium, but all were no doubt celebrating together.

And, to cap it all off, the 400 freestyle relay was also taken 1-2 by the Cards A and B teams.  Gabi Albiero, Julia Dennis, Lucy Mehreban, and Ella Welch made up the winning A team, with Bianca Costea, Karoline Barrett, Fernanda Celidonio, Tristen Ulett comprising the 2nd place B team.

Really a great win for the Cards over the Cats to extend the UofL success in the rivalry for the year.  Baseball and Softball will be final meetings between the two schools.  Softball only plays the Cats once this year, here at Ulmer, but Baseball will play a home and home with one game each in Louisville and Lexington.

WBB Hosts Pitt

Pitt joins the Cardinals for a game at 2pm today at the KFC Yum! Center.  They'll be looking to build on their success Thursday where they beat Virginia.

Pitt didn't exactly schedule a barn burner of a non-conference schedule, but even as such, they finished just barely sub-.500 before diving into the harder ACC schedule where they lost six before getting the four point win over UVA.

You can never take a day off in the ACC, but hopefully today will be a day for the Cards to concentrate on some of the uneven parts of their game and improve.

The Cards did, of course, win the first matchup of the year against Pitt, and you would be forgiven, if you just looked at the final score and thought it was an easy win for UofL.  However most of the 30 point margin of victory came by outscoring Pitt 26-6 in the fourth quarter.

The main threat from the Panthers is Liatu King.  She's not an outside shooting threat, not having taken a single three point shot all year, but she does hit over 55% of the shots she takes from elsewhere on the floor.  She averages 19.5 points per game and maybe even more impressively, over 10 rebounds per game.  If the Cards can block her out from the boards, and mostly keep Pitt to single-shot possessions, that will go a long way towards securing the victory.

It is a 2pm start, as mentioned above.  If you can't make it to the KFC Yum! Center, coverage is on ACC Network Extra where you'll get Jeff Grier on play by play, and Jessica McDaniel (or as we mostly remember her, Jess Laemmle - Attack Yorkie).  As always, you have the option of hearing Nick Curran verbally paint the picture of the game on 93.9FM, with the non Attack Yorkie but still great Cardinal Alumna Cortnee Walton on color.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

Jared chose to go do photos for the Men's Basketball game against Virginia, so he wasn't on the CCRHP call yesterday.  Paulie is still out on the IR list, but continuing to recover with the help of our ongoing well wishes.  That left Case, Daryl, and myself on the call.

We gave quite a bit of time to WBB, as is typical this time of year, but we did get a nice recap from Case of the Spring Sports Media Day.

I do have a correction from my "Final Thoughts".  I claimed that no home team had won a match in the Pro Volleyball Federation league yet (there are only three matches in to the season, so it's not that crazy), but in fact the Thursday match between the Grand Rapid Rise, and the Columbus Fury was in Grand Rapid, rather than Columbus as I had thought.  GR did get the win in a sweep powered largely by Claire Chaussee's whopping 21 kills.  Were still looking for a four set win in the league, though, as we've had the above sweep, and a pair of five setters.

Check out the podcast at it's home at:


Saturday, January 27, 2024

Olympic Cards in Action -- SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Track and Field Host PNC Lenny Lyles Invitational

As has become a bit of a norm moving through the late winter sports season, Saturday is a look at Louisville's Olympic sports. The Cards are at home in the Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Center again this week, as I mentioned in last week's post, for the PNC Lenny Lyles Invitational. After an extremely strong showing last week, Louisville's women's side has been a bit more muted as far as ultimate results go, but a full day of events remains. 

Fellows in action (by Taris Smith, UofL)
Louisville posted five podiums yesterday collectively, but only one came on the women's side. Freshman Lucy Fellows finished second in the pentathlon, the first combined opportunity of the season. Fellows put up personal bests in the 60m hurdles and the shot put and led the field in shot put and long jump. 

Other strong performances came from Lydia Stuart, Zoe Yeast, and Maddie Seaby. Seaby, a freshman, was making her debut on track, where she took fifth place in the 3000m. Yeast also took fifth in the weight throw. Stuart put up a personal best in the seeded pole vault, clearing 4.03m to take fourth place.

Events continue today beginning at 10am.

Swimming & Diving Hosts UK

I talked a bit about Louisville's swimming and diving meet earlier this week in the media day writeup. Diving coach Ryan Rougeux and Lindsay Gizzi were excited to bring in the Wildcats this weekend because of the atmosphere Louisville fans create at the Ralph Wright Natatorium. If you'd like to be a part of that, head on down to Floyd Street early this afternoon. Despite a bit of confusion on the gocards site, the meet officially gets underway at 1PM. Louisville women are ranked 8th (men 15th) in the country, and the Cards are coming off a decent break, having last competed on January 5th. Louisville swept Mizzou at the Wright to open the year. 

UK last competed a week later, when they were narrowly defeated by Alabama on both sides (men: 175-144, women: 163-156). Based on the results so far this year, Louisville should have a significant advantage in this one, but just like any other sport, weird things can happen when you compete against your rival. It's a little unclear if Louisville will have Else Praasterink aiding the diving side today. Praasterink took gold in the 10m platform dive in Germany on January 19th, and she'll participate in the World Aquatics Championships in Doha, Qatar which take place from February 2nd through the 18th. With diving events happening in the front half of that schedule, I would not be surprised if Else was already getting settled at the location of that event.

At any rate, whichever athletes are in attendance for the Cards today, you can be certain they'll be giving it their all. There is a "different air" around the program in an Olympic year, and everyone's desire to show out is heightened. 

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

With another midday home game for the Louisville men's basketball team, we'll be without Jared for the show this week. However, we will have Daryl, Jeff, and myself on board to bring you the joy and excitement of Louisville women's athletics. We'll talk about the down and up week for Louisville women's basketball, touch on the media day proceedings, and hear a bit from Jeff on what's happening in the Pro Volleyball Federation. As always, you can check out the live stream of the show by going to the Cardinal Couple YouTube page and clicking on the live video. Jeff usually creates that about an hour before the show, which officially starts at 11 AM Eastern. If the live time doesn't work for you, 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!


Friday, January 26, 2024

Cardinals WBB bounce back vs BC 88-60 -- FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


Goooood Friday morning readers and welcome back to another basketball recap.

But first I gotta mention the weather like I always do... warmer temps, foggy streets and rainy days throughout the Derby City have made this week seem to draggggg by to me. Ill say it again T G I F !! I'm very much looking forward to some R&R this weekend.

Thomas and I had a great time courtside for date night watching the Cards WBB squad dominate Boston College last night.


Photos: Jared Anderson

Louisville got back to its winning ways Thursday night in front of 7,600 home fans. Three Cardinals finished in double digit scoring. Kiki Jefferson finished with a season high 27 points and 7 rebounds in the game along with 4 assists. Elif Instanbulluoglu had a season high 11 points on 5-8 shooting and pulled down 4 rebounds in almost 20 minutes on the floor.

Boston College stayed on par with 4 players scoring in double digits but it didn't matter much when only 16 points came from the remaining of the squad.

Lets see what happened in the game recap below..

End of 1Q 18-13 Cards

FG %
7-15 46.7% Cards
5-15 33.3% Eagles
Reb. 9 all
3-pt %
2-3 66.7% Cards
3-5 60% Eagles

Kiki Jefferson starts her scoring early for Louisville with a 3 but the Cards turn it over on the next possession to allow BC to go ahead but then are able to steal it on the next BC possession and Sydney Taylor drains another 3 for UofL.  The score is 10-7 Cards 4 minutes into the game.

The Cards were able to establish some distance between the two teams when it was 17-10 for a couple minutes but BC hit a 3 with about a minute left and made it 17-13 before the quarter ended. The Cards went scoreless from the field in the final 3:30 minutes but managed to keep the 18-13 lead.

End of 2Q 21-18 Cards

FG %
6-15 40% Cards
7-14 50% Eagles
Reb. 12-7 Cards
3-pt %
0-2 0% Cards
2-7 28.6% Eagles

To start the second quarter Elif found her way to the line and went 1-2 but Merissah Russell was able to secure the rebound and give the Cards another chance to score. Nina Rickards drove the lane for the layup to put the Cards up 21-17.  BCs Ivey hits the 3 to make it 23-22 Cards with about 6 min left in the half.

After some back and forth scoring, the Cards defense turns it up to push BC around and force a missed shot and in transition Rickards pushed it ahead to Olivia Cochran for the layup.  UofL held BC scoreless for about 3 minutes to secure a 9 point with under 2 minutes left time halftime.

HALF 39-31 Cards

End of 3Q 22-13  Cards

FG %
7-12 58.3% Cards
3-11 27.3% Eagles
Reb. 11-8 Cards
3-pt %
0-1 0% Cards
0-4 0% Eagles

Things started to get a little heated on the third quarter as frustrations rose for UofLs players on the court. Kiki vocalized the frustration and I caught Walz giving an earful to one of the refs while the other wasn't hearing anything. Two phantom fouls were called on Olivia within a minute of basketball play. At the media time out the score was 51-39 but it still felt like a 2 point difference between the two squads.  First BC player to get into double figures was Nene Ndiaye at the free throw line where she went 1-2 with about 3 minutes left in the quarter.  BC went 7-14 at the free throw line in the quarter after going 2-2 in the first half.  

End of 4Q 27-16 Cards

FG %
12-14 85.7% Cards
7-14 50% Eagles
Reb. 6-4 Eagles
3-pt %
2-2 100% Cards
1-1 100% Eagles

The Cards and Eagles went back and forth to open the fourth quarter with the Cards up 61-44. With about 5 minutes left in the game and the Cards with a sizable lead, Walz unloads the bench for some playing time for Hennie Van Schaik and Alexia Mobley. Olivia Cochran came out after going 5-10 for 10 points and 7 rebounds while Elif got a loud applause from the crowd for her career.    
The Cards had a 30 point lead when Jada Curry finally saw some shots fall to close out the game.  #30 put UofL up by 30 with under a minute.   The Cards let BC steal the ball on an inbounds pass to end the game and they hit a last second jumper to cut the final margin to 28.  


Louisville vs Pittsburgh

Sunday 1/28 at 2pm

ACC Network Extra


This week's Fred for the report is brought to you from the CC group chat

FREE THROWS -- The Cardinals went 20-27 at the charity stripe which is good for 74.1%.  It was a good night for the Cards when they got there.  It was a Kiki Jefferson kind of night as she found herself at the line often and went 9-11.  CAPITAL F

UofL outrebounded BC 38-28. Jefferson lead in the big 3 categories on the night with 7 rebounds and Nyla Harris was right behind her with 6 of her own. Walz gave alot of credit to them and Olivia for their performance in the post position and says it will be key to a post season run. Capital R

EFFORT/EXECUTION -- At the 5:35 mark of the first or second quarter there was a play where Olivia saved the ball behind the back and Syd Taylor received the pass while successfully dishing it in the paint for Nyla to put it up and in. In the post game, Walz says he gives KiKi a lot of credit for her performance and efforts to attack the Eagles defense.  CAPITAL E

DEFENSE --  It took a minute... i mean quarter. But the Cards were able to get their feet under them and wear the Eagles down to a dominant performance.  Nyla Harris had 3 steals and continues to improve different parts of her game.  Capital D


Lets continue to wish Paul a speedy recovery as I sure do miss his commentary on the sidelines!!   I'm sure he is yelling at the refs just as loudly at home!  

Also want to remember the 9 lives lost 4 years ago today on a helicopter crash in Calabasas California.  We remember you all <3 

They would've been going of to college by now... don't forget to hug your people today <3

As always
Go Cards!


Thursday, January 25, 2024


Louisville Hosts Boston College for Three Game Homestand

Photo courtesy of GoCards

After suffering their first conference loss of the season, Louisville women's basketball returns home to the friendly confines of the KFC Yum! Center to play Boston College. The Cards and Eagles will tip off at 7:00pm and will air on ACCNX.

Louisville is 16-3 on the year and bring a 5-1 conference record into the game. The Cards average 75.2 points per game while giving up 59.5 ppg. Free throw shooting has been done a bit this year, with UofL making 75% of their attempts.

Photo courtesy of GoCards

Boston College is 11-9 this season and boasts a 3-4 ACC record. The Eagles most recently fell to Georgia Tech but had beaten Wake Forest and Pittsburgh back-to-back prior to that. While BC was able to blow out Stonehill 101-37, they've struggled against ranked opponents with a 71-64 loss to Syracuse and 98-48 loss to Notre Dame.

One strong suit for Boston College is their forced turnovers. Their turnover margin is +6.8, top in the conference. Kaylah Ivey leads the conference with 121 assists. Andrea Daley (15.7 ppg) is one of four Eagles players scoring in double figures. Teya Sidberry (6.8 rebounds per game) and Dontavia Waggoner (6.0 rpg) are the top rebounders for Boston College.

Photo courtesy of GoCards

UofL owns the all-time series 14-1. Jeff Walz is 13-0 against Boston College. Last season, the Cards swept the series with a 62-52 win on the road and a 73-65 win at home.

Daryl and her fiance Thomas will be on media row for the game and I will be in my usual spot on the court taking pictures.

Happy Thursday and Go Cards!

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Word of the Day at Media Day is "Excitement" -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Optimistic Spring Sports Media Day

Despite the gloomy weather outside the Planet Fitness Kueber Center yesterday, everyone inside the media room was in high spirits for the Spring Sports Media Day. (No word from the WBB locker room a few doors down; the soundproofing is pretty good in the building.) As Jared mentioned yesterday, Louisville gave the microphone to men's and women's golf, softball, diving, and lacrosse. The general mood was one of anticipation. All of the coaches and most of the players talked about being excited for the spring to come. I'll let the pressers speak for themselves for the most part, and I'll pick out my highlights.

Women's Golf

Coach Whitney Young was joined by Carmen Griffiths and Hana Ryskova to kick the event off. Coach Young noted that the team was coming off of a successful fall campaign and was happy to have everyone back for the spring. She talked about having her most experienced team (from a resume perspective) in her time as coach and liked the team's chances to have more than just an individual representative at the NCAA tournament this season. She noted how difficult it is to be competitive when one of your top players is out for injury.

Griffiths was happy to have represented the team last year but would definitely like to have her teammates along with her in this year's NCAA tournament, and Ryskova was glad to be in the midst of what she hoped to be her first full season not hampered by other issues. Everyone got a kick out of Coach Young pointing out that it was all well and good to say that but that Ryskova was getting her wisdom teeth removed next week.


Like Coach Young, softball head coach Holly Aprile was excited to build on last season and try to repeat or top the NCAA regional appearance. Both players that were invited, seniors Gabby Holloway and Daisy Hess, acknowledged a feeling of unfinished business after last season. They weren't thrilled with the way the season ended in the regional, feeling that they could have done more in that event. That said, the feeling was still optimistic. The team has 11 newcomers (which I've discussed) and 11 returners. No one mentioned the departures too much, focused instead on the incoming players that will add to the team. 

Gabby Holloway talked about the team building more camaraderie and trust in the next player up to be capable of filling a gap and how that helps every player perform better. She mentioned that the team is focusing on what went well for them last season and how they can build on those things while working to rectify issues as well. Personally, she noted that she's trying not to make any moment too big and to "be where [her] feet are."

Daisy Hess talked about the experience of going to an NCAA tournament after transferring in and how the decision to exercise her fifth year was easy as she wanted to build on another full year in the Louisville program. She discussed how last season she was coming into a position that wasn't fully known at the time of her transfer: where she would fit in in the infield or on the team in general. Now that that is behind her, she's excited to build on that last season.

Coach Aprile talked about the transfers, specifically calling out Kylie Goff, Bailey Richardson, and Riley Frizzell. She confirmed that Goff will take over starting catching duties and that the team has been working hard to get familiar with her since the waiver process was resolved. Goff was unable to participate in the team's fall ball games.

As you might expect, Brooke Gray is a topic of discussion, and the team is very excited for what she brings from a talent, confidence, and local presence perspective. Their focus is making sure her transition to the collegiate level is smooth.


We noted that it wasn't clear why swimming and diving were broken up for this media day, but that was addressed right out of the gate. While diving is usually included with Arthur Albiero's press conference, the program felt there was a lot happening on the diving side that deserved an independent platform (no pun intended). Else Praasternik was a major topic of discussion, but she wasn't present as she is already at the World Championships in Doha, working to qualify for the Olympics. A fun anecdote that we learned yesterday was that Praasternik's recruitment was a total flyer for Coach Ryan Rougeux. He recruited her based on some old videos of her dives and two video calls. I'd say it has panned out so far.

Lindsay Gizzi was in attendance as well, and talked about how it was a dream for her to transfer to a Power 5 program, so making the NCAA Tournament was a cherry on top. One of the things that drives the team is that they're very "lovey" and support each other strongly. While swimming is very active, the diving competitions and practices leave a lot of time available to talk and build those deep connections. She also talked about how she loves competing against a rival (in response to the UK meet being brought up). She says everyone cracks under pressure but it takes one thing to put you over the edge in those environments and she feels she has that.

Speaking of the environment, it was interesting to hear Coach Rougeux talk about how unique it is for Louisville diving to be able to thrive in the chaotic environment of a dual meet. Most diving competitions are quiet and stuffy. You don't hear cheering until the diver is under water. For UofL, the crowd creates a raucous environment for swimming that the Cards' divers are prepared for while their competition is usually thrown for a loop.


After appearances from men's golf and a departure from the agenda that saw Ashton Gillotte and Quincy Riley discuss their decisions to stay and what they're looking for next season, Coach Scott Teeter was joined by Sara Addeche and Nicole Perroni to talk about the upcoming lacrosse season.

Like every other coach, Coach Teeter was excited about the season to come. Like I said, that was the word of the day. For a peek behind the curtain, the teams come in the room one at a time, so it's not as though they know what their counterparts said before them. Coach Teeter was encouraged by the team's performance against Denver, who went on to make the Final Four last season. He said that opening against Denver and Colorado each year is definitely a good measuring stick because the teams know each other so well. He's hoping for a better performance on the road this year as they have struggled with the weather and altitude in years past.

Another point of optimism was the large veteran presence on this year's team with the addition of some key newcomers. In the past, it has been opposing ACC teams with six or seven 5th-year players and this time it's Louisville's turn. That segued well for Nicole Perroni to talk about how she knew was going to exercise her fifth-year option pretty much as soon as it became a possibility when she was a freshman. Her goal is to help prepare the rising upperclassmen for their leadership roles when players like her depart. 

Teeter also praised the benefit of having a veteran in goal this season and how important it is for that position to be locked down. Sara Addeche talked about how one of her points of emphasis has been continuing to develop her relationships with the defenders. After the presser was over, I let her know that she wasn't the only one that became a goalie to avoid running. I was in the same boat when I played soccer. 

Thanks to Jared, I had a great question teed up about the upcoming rule changes that will be implemented this season. All three attendees will feel those rule changes differently, so I was happy to get their candid responses. The NCAA brought on these changes without much input from the coaches or players and you can tell from their answers how Louisville's team feels about them. I imagine that feeling is common across the league, but everyone will have to deal with it nonetheless. Coach Teeter talked about how the team has been working to expand the playbook and practice with unique player number situations in anticipation of the season to come.

Until next time, Go Cards!

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Louisville Hosts Spring Sports Media Day 2 -- TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

 Spring Sports Media Day #2

Not too far removed from the first spring sports media day, which featured Louisville baseball, swimming, and men's and women's track and field, Louisville hosts the second spring sports media day today. Softball, lacrosse, diving, women's golf, and men's golf will be featured.


In 2023, the Cards went 36-20 last season and finished fourth in the ACC. They qualified for the NCAA Tournament and went to the regional in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Key losses: Taylor Roby (pitcher, designated player), Hannah File (first base), Korbe Otis (center field), Sarah Gordon (catcher)

Key returners: Daisy Hess (shortstop), Alyssa Zabala (pitcher), Ally Alexander (infield), Easton Lotus (second base)


In 2023, the Cards went 5-12 and finished eighth (out of 10) in the ACC. 

Key losses: Hannah Morris (attacker), Maggie Foster (defender), Rachel Lifson (midfielder)

Key returners: Nicole Perroni (midfielder/attacker), Sara Addeche (goalkeeper), Kokoro Nakazawa (attacker), Allegra Catalano (attacker), Negai Nakazawa (midfielder)


Photo courtesy of GoCards

In 2023, the women's swimming and diving team (NCAA groups them together) finished second in the ACC and fourth in the NCAA Championships. Else Praasterink finished eighth overall in the platform diving. 

Key returners: Else Praasterink, Lindsay Gizzi

We hope to have our very own Case in attendance for this one so we'll see what he might ask the coaches and players.

Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!


Monday, January 22, 2024

Louisville Falls to North Carolina -- MONDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Cards Suffer First Conference Loss

Photo courtesy of GoCards

Whether you want to blame the missed free throws, the poor rebounding, or the uncharacteristic hand check fouls throughout the game, there are plenty of ways to find reasons why Louisville suffered its first conference loss of the season. The Cards fell at North Carolina 79-68.

Nyla Harris scored 16 points while Olivia Cochran and Jayda Curry each scored 14 in the loss. The Tar Heels had four players in double digit scoring with Deja Kelly leading the way with 23 points, a majority of those coming at the free throw line. The Cards and Tar Heels combined for a whopping 47 fouls. The two teams combined for 54 made baskets for a comparison.

Photo courtesy of GoCards

Both teams traded baskets early in the game before North Carolina went on an 8-0 run over the final couple minutes to hold a sizable first half lead. Louisville wouldn't go away quietly as they would even the score before the second quarter media timeout. Neither team could score in the final minute of the first half and they went into the break tied at 36 apiece.

The third quarter proved to be the difference maker. After Louisville scored the first four points to open up the second half, North Carolina would win the remainder of that quarter 24-9. The Cards tried to muster up a rally, cutting the deficit to five at one point, but between foul trouble and late game panicking, they fell at the end. 

FRED Report

Fred Flintstone unimpressed with Louisville's performance

Free Throws: 11 missed free throws. An 11-point loss. You can easily argue that the Cards lost this game at the charity stripe. They shot 12-23 for a slight average above .500. North Carolina also attempted 23 free throws but made 17 so there isn't an argument that the Tar Heels got home cooking calls. No letter. A TV game with TV Dee Kanter caalling, You just knew she'd be puffing on her pea twirler

Rebounding: Louisville was outrebounded 42-28, by far their worst margin of the season. It's hard to win a ball game when you get dominated on the boards and give up 13 offensive rebounds to your opponent. Once again, no letter.

Photo courtesy of GoCards

Effort/Efficiency: Effort can be pretty subjective, but I thought the effort was there most of the game. There were more than a few questionable shot choices but Louisville never sat down and gave up and tried to play through foul trouble. The Cards also only committed 11 turnovers, a mark we would regularly be happy to see. Efficiency was not as great. Louisville shot 4-15 from three-point range. Key players spent more time on the bench in foul trouble than they did on the court. Lowercase "e".

Defense: Louisville gave up 79 points. They allowed UNC to shoot nearly 50% from the field and 43% from three-point range. Per the average women's basketball fan's scouting report, Deja Kelly and Alyssa Ustby should be some of the primary focuses on the court. The duo combined for 33 points, 14 rebounds, eight assists, seven blocks, and just six turnovers. Playing defense isn't just stopping your player from scoring. It's boxing them out on rebounds, closing off their passing lanes, and forcing them into a position they will make a mistake such as a turnover or a foul. Louisville's defense was as cold as the temperature was back home. No letter.

_-_-e-_ is a good recipe for a loss, especially when facing a ranked team on the road.

Photo courtesy of GoCards

The good news for Louisville is that they're still tied with Syracuse and North Carolina for first in the ACC with one loss each. The pressure of an undefeated conference season is also gone. And in terms of NCAA Tournament resume, the Cards lost to a team that could easily be hosting the opening weekend. It's one loss. Keep your heads up and move on. Time to shift your focus to Thursday.


Dear ACC, we don't need 47 fouls called in a game. It disrupts the rhythm of the game and puts way too many players in foul trouble. One of the three officials, Pualani Spurlock-Welsh was a part of the 2023 Championship crew that took a ton of heat for a higher than average number of fouls called in that game too. Basketball is a contact sport and hand checks and soft bodying up in the post shouldn't be called. Louisville was only called for one more foul than North Carolina, but there were a combined 10 players with three or more fouls.

Louisville (16-3, 5-1 ACC) returns home on Thursday to host Boston College at 7:00pm. The Eagles (11-9, 3-4) have been riding the struggle bus this year and got blown out by Georgia Tech yesterday.

We should have Daryl and her fiance Thomas on media row for this one with myself somewhere on the court taking pictures.

Happy Monday and Go Cards!


Sunday, January 21, 2024

Time to Tar the Heels - Sunday Cardinal Couple

Gameday in Chapel Hill

Louisville women's basketball wraps up its post holiday road swing, with a visit to the land of baby-blue, Chapel Hill North Carolina.

The Cardinals carry the #12 and 13 rankings this week, while UNC holds onto #23 and 24.  The disparity between the polls always reminds me of the old joke, "A man with one watch always knows what time it is.  A man with two watches can never be sure."  In any case, the Cards are favored coming into the game today.

The Tarheels are 13-5 overall, certainly a respectable record, and 5-1 so far in conference, managing to avoid much of the ACC chaos to this point.  Out of conference loses included an unfortunate draw of South Carolina in the SEC/ACC Challenge, plus a matchup against always competitive (regardless of their injury report) UConn.  More head scratching was their showing in the Gulf Coast Showcase.  After eeking out a three point win over Vermont, they lost by seven to Kansas State, and by a single point to Florida Gulf Coast.

Their only in-conference loss is a eight point shortfall against Florida State, with wins over Notre Dame, Syracuse, Clemson, Virginia, and Georgia Tech.  I feel like that probably all lines up to conclude that UNC is a good team, to be wary of (always the case in the ACC to be fair), but that aren't quite up to the top level standards of the conference this year.  Close, but just not quite there.

Deja Kelly is the main name to look forward on the UNC squad.  Scoring at over a 16 points per game pace, she has had several recent games where she has poured in more than 20, and she is a reasonable threat from just about anywhere, shooting 28+% from beyond the arc.  Alyssa Ustby is the next scoring threat, coming in just under 13 points per game, but is not a threat from range.  Lexi Denarski and Maria Gakdeng both score at about a 10 ppg clip.  They are also the long and the short of the three point threat.  Denarski hits them at about 36% and has the most on the team for the year, while Gakdeng hasn't even attempted a single shot beyond the arc.  I guess if you know what your weaknesses are...

UNC has been on a bit of a road trip, not having played at Carmichael Arena since January 4th against Syracuse.  They've got two wins under their belts since their loss to FSU, against Virginia and Georgia Tech.

Louisville has answered many of the questions that circled the team at the beginning of the season concerning having so many new faces, but they still have yet to put together a solid, complete 40 minute effort in a game.  UNC might be a good opponent to bring that out in the Cards, not so weak as to invite UofL to "lower their guard", but not so powerful that a single mistake is going to wipe out the chances of winning.

ACC Network, linear has the video for this one, with Jenn Hildreth and Kelly Gramlich on the call.  Hildreth and Gramlich are a pretty good team, but if you want the Louisville oriented call you can, as always, catch Nick Curran and program alumna Cortnee Walton on 93.9FM.  Tip is at 2pm.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

(our old banner)

We had what amounts to a full call (these days) for the CCRHP yesterday.  That is, of course, excusing Paulie's absence as he continues to recuperate.  He has made an appearance back on group text chat, which is certainly one measure of progress for him, I suppose.  Positive thoughts sent his way are certainly continued to be welcomed.

The subject matter was all basketball...well, other than our random diversions and the "Final Thoughts" we recapped a pair of Cardinal wins, and just generally had a grand ol' time.