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!!

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Volleyball Roster Review - Sunday Cardinal Couple

 Volleyball Roster Review

What we here at Cardinal Couple call the summer slump is in full swing, and while it can be a little difficult to find topics to write about, it does give us the opportunity to review some information about the upcoming sports seasons and the teams.

Women's Basketball are being overachievers this year, with their full roster with pictures of each player, including the newcomers, already posted.

We have no such luck with Volleyball, but I'm pretty sure I can put together what the full roster will be.  So with the caveat that it's not officially official, lets take a look at what your 2024 VolleyCards will look like on the court.


First of all, let's look at who has departed.

Ceci Rush, who mostly played as a service specialist, graduated and decided not to use her Covid year.  Ceci is a native of the Louisville area, so I expect we'll still see her at LNFCU Stadium cheering on her teammates.

Ayden Barlett, also graduated and elected not to use her Covid year.  Seen on the court occasionally as a service specialist, but also in a full DS role.  AB has landed a assistant coaching gig at Louisianna Tech.  We wish her and the La Tech Bulldogs a great season.

Alexis Finnvold, has transfered to West Virginia and will be a setter on their squad.  I suspect this is a change to look for more playing time as Louisville has two good setters that will be on the squad this year including an incoming freshman, and it was unlikely that Finnvold would get much time on the court as a result.

Nina Moorer, has also departed, landing at Texas State University, which is a bit closer to home for her.  Primarily a left side hitter, and again, Louisville has a deep bench for left side hitting.  Combine that with having experienced a couple of,  really relatively minor injuries that nonetheless have kept her off the court, she decided her best prospects were elsewhere.

Aiko Jones, after six years of being on the Louisville squad, alas has no college eligibility left.  Now being married to an American citizen, she no longer is in the US on a student visa and can actually get gainful employment.  Consequently, she has put some of her photography skills to work with Churchill Downs during Derby, and is helping host various volleyball camps over the summer.  She is looking to claim a roster spot on one of the fledgling professional volleyball leagues here in the states.  She was spotted sitting on the baseline of a Columbus Fury match in the PVF, sitting with, I believe, the president of the Fury.  A spot on the Fury would be particularly great for her as her wife is working on a post-graduate degree at Ohio State.

Brigitta Petrenko, also has no eligibility left.  I don't have much about her current whereabouts or plans, but I'll be keeping an eye out at the Hungarian Women's National Team and suspect she'll pop up there.


UofL signed three freshman to National Letters of Intent in the fall, and at least two of them joined the team on campus in January.

Nayellis Cabello, a 6'0" setter from Florida arrived in Louisville in January, a sure sign of her commitment, to leave Florida weather to come to Louisville weather in January.  She and Elle Glock split time in the spring season at setting.  Both are excellent, and I expect this to be something of a position battle with training camp starts.

Ava Utterback, from the Indianapolis area, is a 6'0" left side hitter.  She also joined the squad in January, so we were able to see her play in spring play.  She's definitely got some hops, and a good pop in her swing.  With the long line of left side hitters on the Louisville squad right now, I wouldn't expect Utterback to get a huge amount of time on the court, but we might see her occasionally.

Payton Peterson comes to Louisville from Iowa.  This is the signee that I don't know if she is on campus yet.  Another left side hitter, and at only 5'10" you'd think she'd be at a disadvantage to get time in, again, the long line of left side hitters, but I saw her play in the Under Armour Next All-American event, and she's got the hops and the pop to hold her own.  She is also quite competent as an all-around six rotation player.

Sam Untiedt did not sign an NLI on signing day, suggesting she might be officially classified as a walk-on, but she's apparently impressive.  A 5'8" Libero/DS, she bolsters that already good crew.  I haven't had the opportunity to see her in actual action yet, but she has plenty of Minnesota state accolades along with a number of national All-American team nods from the likes of AAU and Breakdown.  She has joined the team on campus, I believe at the beginning of June.

Sofia Maldonado Diaz, will be a 5th year transfer to Louisville from Arizona.  She comes to UofL from Guadalajara, Mexico, and is a 6'0" primarily right side hitter, though it sounds like she can swing from just about anywhere on the front row, left, right, and center.  I haven't seen her play, yet, but I suspect this could be another position battle with her and Reese Robins.  Or, maybe we'll see both of them in a 6-2 offense.


On the left side, we get Anna DeBeer back for her Covid year.  Charitie Luper will also be a senior on the left side with no Covid option available for her.  And filling out this long line of left sides, Alanna Bankston will be a sophomore.

In the middle, it's a replay of last year with Phekran "PK" Kong and Cara Cresse likely being the starters, with Hannah Sherman ready to jump in when called on.

On the right, Reese Robins returns, and with Maldonado Diaz, I'll say it's nice to have options on the right.  Who gets the starting role?  Your guess is as good as mine.  How much has Robins developed and toned up in the off-season?  Maldonado Diaz is mostly a question mark for me.  So we'll see.

For setter, I think Elle Glock is going to find herself pressured to maintain the starting role, here.  I love hearing Jerome on the PA have fun with her hometown name of Wahoo, Nebraska, but Cabello may very well beat her out for the starting lineup intro.

Finally, for DS and Libero, it feels like we have a billion players in this role, but it's not that much of a logjam.  Elena Scott will be back and I think the only question about the Libero jersey is who gets it after Scott graduates this year.  Contenders are Kamden Schrand, Jessica Drapp, and Molly Urban.  If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on Schrand, but we don't have to worry about that until next summer.


Without the roster being officially official, I could be missing someone, but I think I have everyone that will be on the roster in the fall to give you a feel of what this team will look like.

As announced recently, Louisville will be part of kicking off the season in the AVCA First Serve Showcase when we play Wisconsin.  Nebraska and Kentucky will get the actual first serve in the earlier game of the evening.

And, of course, the Cards will really be shooting for a top four seed in the NCAA tournament at the end of the year which would ensure that all of their post-season play would be downtown at the KFC Yum! Center Arena since Louisville will be hosting the Volleyball Final Four this year.

There's quite a year ahead for this squad, and it has the potential to be really amazing.  The team has some great personnel and are gearing up for another deep run in the tournament.  I'm excited for the season to get started.

Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast

A good crew was on the CCRHP yesterday, with Case and Daryl both returning from some absences to join Paulie and me.  We understand, life overall gets busy in the summer.

Soccer released their schedule, so we had some discussion on that, which evolved into some exploration of coaching hot seats, and finally touched a bit on the Volleyball scheduling news with the AVCA First Serve Showcase.

Check out the fun at:


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave your comments here. We ask you be respectful of other posts, no matter how ridiculous they may seem to you. After all, it is CARDINAL COUPLE.

Any attempts to advertise a product or other website here in the comments section without the prior consent of CARDINAL COUPLE will result in a bill rendered for advertising services and possible legal action. We're serious. No more bots.

Now, have your take...