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Sunday, January 7, 2024

All Quiet on the Cardinal Front - Sunday Cardinal Couple

All Quiet on the Cardinal Front

WBB is the main sport we follow this time of year, but the Walz bunch is in the midst of another big break between games.  They'll be back in action Thursday against Pitt.

Track opens their indoor season Friday here in the 'Ville with Rod McCravy Invitational at the Norton Healthcare Sport and Learning Center at 31st and Muhammad Ali Blvd.

But otherwise, the calendar is rather empty.  Not for too long, however, with spring sports such as Softball and Lacrosse in early February...the 9th, to be specific, for both sports.

In the meantime, however, news on the ground is a bit sparse.


I, unsurprisingly, turn to Volleyball, to pick up a couple of tidbits from the transfer portal.  The first window for the transfer portal recently closed, so activity has been declining from the early news right at the end of the volleyball season.  The window closing means that players can no longer enter their names into the portal, though other recruitment and signings via the portal can continue for players who entered their names earlier.


Louisville has only had one player enter their name in the portal in the opening windows.  Nina Moorer entered and fairly quickly signed with Texas State.  Of the typical motivations we think of for players to transfer schools, being closer to home, looking for more playing time, looking to join a better team to find more success, the first two likely apply to Moorer, here.  Texas State, in San Marcos TX (about midway between Austin and San Antonio), is considerably closer to Moorer's home in Missouri City, TX (basically a suburb of Houston).  With Anna DeBeer returning, Charitie Luper having another year, Alanna Bankston waiting in the wings, and Iowa's Gatorade Player of the Year, Payton Peterson arriving, all angling for swings on that left side, I think it's fair for Moorer to recognize that if she really wanted some playing time, it would probably need to be elsewhere.

Another player, Alexis Finnvold, has posted on Instagram that she will be transferring to West Virginia to continue her play.  This takes her no closer to home, but is likely a move that will see her get more playing time.  Elle Glock still has two years of eligibility, and the incoming freshman class has Nayelis Cabello, a setter that just played in the Under Armour Next All-American (opposite Payton Peterson, mentioned above) match in Orlando, effectively placing her in the elite top of high school players nationwide.  Finnvold, as best I can determine, did not enter her name in the transfer portal in this just-closed window...perhaps she decided too late to meet the deadline.  No matter, there's another window later in the spring, presumably, she'll enter her name then with the "Do Not Contact" flag since it appears her move to Morgantown is already arranged.


As for incoming players from the portal, so far Louisville has signed none.  Of course, as mentioned, players in the portal can still be recruited and signed, and there will be another window opened later in the spring if other players want to toss their name in the ring, so that's certainly not a final answer.  The nattering nabobs of negativity on the Volleytalk forums seem to largely have it in their heads that Louisville will be looking for a better setter, having decided that Glock just isn't good enough for this team to make another Final Four, or National Championship.  I don't think I buy in to that analysis.  And, again, with Cabello joining, it'll be interesting to see how well she adapts to this level of play.  Having watched the Under Armour match, my initial take is that she's going to do quite well, indeed.

Interesting non-Louisville transfers

Nebraska has had several players announce their transfers, none that are starters or necessarily critical to the team, but it does suggest maybe they won't be as deep of a team this coming season compared the this past year, though they did pick up Taylor Landfair from Minnesota to bolster their ranks some.

Technically a transfer from Nebraska, Whitney Lauenstein, a super-talented outside/opposite, completely set out from volleyball this past season, but will be returning for her remaining eligibility at, no surprise here, Texas.

I'm not sure I can even count the number of players going to Texas, again, from the portal.  Reagan Rutherford from Kentucky is one, in addition to Lauenstein, and Averi Carlson from Baylor.  Elise Goetzinger is also in the portal from Kentucky...that's quite a bit of offensive firepower that Craig Skinner is losing.

What about Pitt?  No one, in or out.  Georgia Tech picks up Luanna Emiliano from U Texas Rio Grande Valley, with Liz Patterson and Bella D'Amico departing, neither particularly high impact players.

Pro Volleyball Federation

The PVF, or "Real Pro Volleyball" as much of their marketing has described themselves (as a dig on Athlete's Unlimited), gets play started late this month.

The Atlanta Vibe, with Louisville All-American Tori Dilfer Stringer vying for the starting setter position, get underway on January 24th in Omaha playing the SuperNovas.  Their home opener is February 1st in Atlanta, hosting the San Diego Mojo.

Meanwhile the Grand Rapids Rise, featuring outside hitter, and also All-American, Claire Chaussee opens on January 25th at home, hosting the Columbus Fury.  A bit of a slower start to the season as their second match won't be under February 9th, when they travel to Atlanta, and we should be treated to a Dilfer/Chaussee selfie.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

Just Case and I were on the call yesterday.  Daryl was off being "the cool aunt", while Jared was being faithful shooting pictures at the Men's Basketball game.  Paulie continue to recuperate.

We spent most of our time chatting talking about Basketball, but we also went off on plenty of tangents.  Us two, both being unrepentant geeks, really need some moderation on our tendency to dive deep into various rabbit holes.  We did touch a bit on the roster updates and implications for upcoming play for Lacrosse, and Softball, and discussed the above Volleyball transfer news a bit as well.

Check it out!


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