Listen to our weekly show !!

Listen to our weekly show !!
CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO'S LATEST BROADCAST IS UP AND RUNNING IN THE ARCHIVED SOUNDCLOUD. WORLDWIDE AND PAULIE DISCUSS HOOPS, VOLLEYBALL, SOCCER, FIELD HOCKEY AND RECRUITING. WE HAVE AUDIO FROM JUSTINE SOWRY, CHILE GARCIA AND KAREN FERGUSON DAYES TOO!! CLICK THE CRESCENT HILL MICROPHONE TO HEAR OUR LATEST BROADCAST !!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Monday Cardinal Couple -- Happy Labor Day!



HAPPY LABOR DAY !!





- Field Hockey defeats New Hampshire 4-2

- Cardinal Football in the spotlight tonight


Sunday afternoon at Trager Stadium started out as almost a repeat of the Cards 11-2 win Friday over St. Louis. UofL scored three times in the first 15 minutes and necessitated a timeout from the Wildcat squad. That is where any type of common ground or similarities in the games stopped. New Hampshire vowed not to be Bird food. 

Ramping up the defensive pressure and adding a goal with 4 minutes left in the first half, New Hampshire shut the Cards out the remaining 20 minutes of the first half to trail 3-1.

The offense continued to be absent for the Cards in the second half...and a 30 minute defensive battle ensued before the Wildcats tacked on a second score with five minutes remaining in the contest. That tally had UofL head coach Justine Sowry asking for her own time out...to compose her squad and...by her own admission her and the coaching staff. The philosophy worked...the Cards shut down the N.H. offense the rest of the way and added a goal with no time remaining on a corner play that eventually got the ball to Alyssa Voelmle. She smacked home her second goal of the game to add a little icing on the Cards 4-2 victory cake. 

The Cards (2-0) embark on a four game road sweep next that will have them visiting Evanston, IL. to face Dartmouth and Northwestern and then to Virginia...where they'll face the Cavaliers and William and Mary. It is a  trek that will have them away from the friendly confines of Trager for 19 days before they return home to face ACC foe North Carolina.

Click below to hear Paulie's exclusive post-match interviews with head coach Justine Sowry and Alyssa Voelmle:

Coach Sowry breaks down the win


Alyssa Voelmle discusses the win with Paulie


1. 2:04 LOU  Alyssa Voelmle(1) (unassisted) off of a rebound from penalty corner shot 
2. 6:19 LOU  Elisa Garcia (2) (unassisted) dribbled into circle shot from right side of cage 
3. 14:35 LOU  Stephanie Byrne(1) (unassisted) dribbled in front of GK, shot from left of cage 
4. 30:56 UNH  Nerbonne, Lindsey Flatley, Meg; Joyce, Kellie penalty corner goal 
5. 64:27 UNH  Compagna, Emma Giese, Chandler shot from right side of circle into left side of cage 
6. 70:00 LOU  Alyssa Voelmle(2) Mallory MasonPaige Monsen penalty corner goal after time expired 




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Certainly not one of the women's sports at UofL but one
that a lot of women's sports fans and athletes will be attending tonight is the Cards nationally televised football clash against Miami. Questions remain for this UofL football team. How well will they perform without All-World wide receiver DeVante Parker (injury) ? Has Bobby Petrino still got that flair for offense that won him a bucketful of games his first go-around here? How badly will the Cards miss explosive running back Michael Dyer (injury) ?  Is Will Gardner ready to replace the terrific Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback? And...the most pressing query of all...

How much did they raise beer prices?

Should be a fun one in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. We'll keep our eyes open for any recruits being shown Louisville Tailgaiting first hand and we promise to do no labor today other than turn the Italian Sausages on the grill.

 Tailgaiting...another indicator that fall sports are here.


paulie
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Sunday, August 31, 2014



SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE


- Volleyball knocks off Minnesota


- Field Hockey today






Getting 15 kills from Laura Blab and 14 each from Maya McClendon and Tess Clark...the UofL Volleyball team knocked off #14 Minnesota last night in Minneapolis in four sets 25-21, 25-27, 27-25, 28-26.


Two serving aces by Katie George helped the Cards pull away from a 15-15 tie to win the first game by four.

In the second game, the Cards led 24-23 but a missed serve let the Gophers back in the contest and they evened the match..going on to defeat UofL by two.



Another close one in game three, Louisville seeing a 23-20 lead vanish but the Cards finally breaking a 25-25 tie with a ace serve and Blab kill.


The Cards closed out the match in another nail-biter...tied throughout and UofL trailing 25-24 before two middle kills from Tess Clark put the Cards ahead. A kill from Blab closed out the game and the match. 


A nice recovery for Louisville after losing in straight sets to Wisconsin Friday night. 

Blab...who played three years at NC State before transferring to Louisville and Clark...a freshman have bolstered the Cards this season along with newcomer Maggie DeJong. 



The three are part of eight new players for Anne Kordes. 

Louisville returns home to host the Active Ankle Challenge at Cardinal Arena starting Friday, Sept. 5th. They'll have two days of action...playing Tennessee State, Cincinnati and Appalachian State.


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Field Hockey takes to the Trager Stadium turf today at 1
p.m. to face New Hampshire. Louisville (1-0) dissembled St. Louis 11-2 Friday afternoon while N.H. fell to IU 3-2 in the game following the Cards win on Friday. 

Coach Justine Sowry will be looking for 70 solid minutes today after lamenting the fact the Cards got a little distracted after jumping out to a 11-0 lead Sunday.



It's understandable...you're beating your opponent every which way possible, it's over 100 degrees on the field and there are a plethora of subs on the field...but it didn't fit well in Coach "J"s wheel-house. 

Expect to see the Cards with no slack time today and taking care of business for the duration against the northeastern visitors.

Admission is free for UofL Field Hockey events. 

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Our archived broadcast from yesterday's CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO SHOW is available for listening. Check the link at the top of the page. Great stuff with our rapid-fire sports discussion and audio from Justine Sowry, Karen Ferguson Dayes and Chile Garcia.

We are the fan voice for UofL women's sports. 

paulie





Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday Cardinal Couple -- Friday brings three wins !!



SATURDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

- Field Hockey starts season in smashing fashion

- Despospo's goal leads women's soccer to 1-0 win

- Walz hosts talented 2015 hoopsters this weekend

- Radio today!


FIELD HOCKEY SCORES EASILY AND OFTEN VS. SAINT LOUIS




Getting three goals from Elisa "Chile" Garcia and two from Shannon Sloss...Louisville Field Hockey jumped out to a 5-0 halftime lead and rolled to a 11-2 victory over St. Louis Friday afternoon in Trager Stadium.

The Cards wasted no time in piling up the points...scoring just five minutes into the contest on Lotta Kalhert's unassisted goal. Scores from Stephanie Byrne, Shannon Sloss, Haley Netherton and Sloss again followed for Louisville...who took 17 first half shots on the overwhelmed Billiken defense and 14 shot on goal. 

Elisa Garcia got into the act early in the second half...scoring just 1:11 into play and the rout was on. The Cards ran the advantage to 11-0 with goals by Becca Maddock, Marigrace Ragsdale, Nicole Woods and two more from Garcia before SLU connected with 14:42 left in the game. Faith Macklin would get her second goal for St. Louis just two minutes later...but the Cardinal defense clamped down and held the opponents scoreless the rest of the way.



Louisville had 32 shots and 26 shots on goal for the game...St. Louis scored on the only two shots they attempted. 

NOTE: This was just the third time in program history that the Cardinals scored 11 goals in a match. The goals scored were also the most since Louisville set a school record with 13 goals against Saint Louis in 2009.

The Cards return to action Sunday against New Hampshire. Be sure to listen to Cardinal Couple today at 11 a.m. for post game comments from Coach Justine Sowry and "Chile" Garcia.

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DEPROSPO'S SCORE LEADS WOMEN'S SOCCER TO WIN




Further down Floyd Street...a defensive battle followed for women's soccer. Chatham Deprospo's score off an assist from Kari Weinland nine minutes into the second half proved to be all the Kickin' Cards needed to down visiting Ole Miss 1-0. 

A great opening ceremony for Lynn Stadium to thrill a record number of fans (7,037) attending a UofL Soccer game. A lot were there to see the men play also and they also took a 1-0 win...upsetting #2 ranked Maryland. 

A bit of controversy as well, the referees deciding that
coach Karen Ferguson Dayes' squad's uniforms too closely resembled those of Mississippi's and a change to black uniforms before the game for Louisville. 

We'll have comments from KFH, Chatham Deprospo and goalie Paige Brown on our radio show today.

Louisville outshot the Rebels 9-5 and had four shots on goal...one better than Ole Miss. Louisville (2-1-0) will return to action Friday night in Lynn Stadium for a 6 p.m. tussle against UK.

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A great weekend for recruits and Jeff Walz is hosting several. #1 2015 WBB prospect Asia Durr was at the soccer games and seemed to be enjoying the rowdy Cardinal fan base...as well as the game. Also on campus for a "look/see" are 2015 prospects Angela Salvadores, Erin DeGrate and Louisville verbals Brianna Jones and Ta'ja Cole. 

Asia Durr is on campus until Sunday morning. She's ranked as the No. 1 player in the country by three media outlets, including ProspectsNation.com. 
Spanish sensation Angela Salvadores, who was the MVP of the U17 World Championship last month despite her team losing to the USA, is also expected to be on campus this weekend. She's is likely to arrive on Sunday after visiting Duke. No. 35 prospect Erin DeGrate is a 6-foot-5 center from Texas who is also looking at Baylor, Kansas and Texas A&M. Rumors are the Cards are leading in her favoritism.   Cole, a guard from Virginia ranked No. 12 in the nation, and Jones, a guard from New York ranked as high as No. 14, are both also making their official visits.

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CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO broadcasts at 11 a.m. this morning and we'll review the Friday games, upcoming contests and much, much more. You can join in the fun at Crescent Hill Radio and also hear any of our archived broadcasts there. 

Link below:

FLOYD STREET IS IN GRIDLOCK !!! GO CARDS!!!!!



paulie
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Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Cardinal Couple -- A big UofL Sports day today!



FRIDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

- Field Hockey and Soccer with home openers today

SCORE UPDATES: Louisville Field Hockey demolished St. Louis 11-2, Women's Soccer downed Ole Miss 1-0 and men's soccer upset Maryland 1-0. WE'll have more in the Saturday edition of CARDINAL COUPLE and on our radio show Saturday morning at 11 a.m. on Crescent Hill Radio.


What a great day it is to be a University of Louisville sports fan. (Isn't every day?) Three Cardinal Athletic events on campus for Cardinal fans today.


The action gets started at 4 p.m. at Trager Stadium...where Justin Sowry's Field Hockey squad faces St. Louis in Louisville's regular season opener. The Cards last faced the Billikens in 2010 and took a 7-0 victory. St. Louis is under first year coach Hayley Rausch...after going 1-19 in 2013.

Louisville Field Hockey was 10-0 at Trager last year en
route to a 15-5 record. They shared the BIG EAST title in 2013 and return All-West Region and all-conference stars Alyssa Voelmle, Sydney King and Elisa Garcia...as well as 2013 BIG EAST rookie of the year Shannon Sloss. Starters Victoria Stratton and Mallory Mason return for the shut-em-down Cardinal defense.

Louisville's lone exhibition match garnered them a 3-2 advantage in regulation play against Iowa...eventually losing 4-3 after a sudden death shootout add-on.

Admission is free. 



The action moves southbound on Floyd Street to Lynn Stadium for the grand opening of the finest college soccer stadium in the land. Karen Ferguson Dayes' team will host Ole Miss in a 5:30pm start...followed by the men's soccer team facing #2 Maryland around 8 p.m. ESPN 3 will broadcast.

Louisville women's soccer went 1-1 in exhibition play...downing Wright State 2-1 but falling to Illinois 2-0.

Freshman Isabella Habula had the scores in the win and will
be a factor along with Kari Weinland and goalie Paige Brown.

Tickets (while they last) are available for $12 (chairback seats) and $9 for general admission berm and bleacher seats. Tickets are good for both soccer contest tonight.

See ya on campus!!! We'll have a full report on the action in the Saturday edition of Cardinal Couple and on our Saturday morning radio show at crescenthillradio.com 11 a.m.

paulie

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thursday Cardinal Couple -- Field Hockey in the ACC



THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

( ONE OF THE PERKS OF JOINING A CONFERENCE LIKE THE ACC IS NEAT UPDATES
THEY PROVIDE JOURNALISTIC HACKS LIKE ME. THANKS TO ACC MEDIA RELATIONS FOR BASICALLY WRITING THE THURSDAY CARDINAL COUPLE FOR ME...LOL)

- Field Hockey is upon us



Upcoming Schedule
Friday, August 29
         #5 Syracuse at Ohio State, 3:00 p.m.
         #13 Boston College at Quinnipiac, 3:00 p.m.
         #4 Duke at #16 Michigan State, 3:00 p.m.
         Saint Louis at #15 Louisville, 4:00 p.m.
         #6 Virginia at William & Mary, 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, August 30
         #17 Michigan at #2 North Carolina, 11:30 a.m.
         #13 Boston College vs. Lafayette (Hamden, Conn.), 2:00 p.m.
         #11 Wake Forest vs. #20 Iowa (Chapel Hill, N.C.), 2:00 p.m.
         #5 Syracuse vs. Miami (OH) (Columbus, Ohio), 4:00 p.m.

Sunday, August 31
         #20 Iowa at #2 North Carolina, 11:30 a.m.
         #6 Virginia at #8 Penn State, 12:00 p.m.
         New Hampshire at #15 Louisville, 1:00 p.m.
         #4 Duke vs. Central Michigan (East Lansing, Mich.), 1:00 p.m.
         #11 Wake Forest vs. #17 Michigan (Chapel Hill, N.C.), 2:00 p.m.

Monday, September 1
         #5 Syracuse at Ohio, 1:00 p.m.


NFHCA Poll
- All seven ACC field hockey teams are ranked to start the season, including four teams in the top six spots.

- It marks the 13th straight poll that every active ACC team has been ranked, dating back to October of 2012.

Preseason Favorites
- North Carolina was voted by the ACC coaches as the preseason favorite, narrowly edging out Duke and Syracuse by one and two points, respectively.

- The Tar Heels, Blue Devils, and Orange were three of the four seeds in last year’s NCAA Championship.

Louisville’s Debut
- Louisville’s game against Saint Louis on Friday afternoon will mark the first for the program as a member of the ACC.

ACC/Big Ten Challenge
- The ACC/Big Ten Challenge will be held this weekend, with North Carolina and Wake Forest facing both Michigan and Iowa in Chapel Hill.

2013 Recap
- Last year was another marquee year for the league. All seven ACC teams - a league record - earned a bid to the NCAA Championship, with all four host sites being awarded to league campuses.

-  ACC teams combined to go 83-13 against nonconference opponents, including 29-12 against ranked teams.

- The ACC held at least half of the NFHCA Top 10 every week of the 2013 season,

- Three squads  advanced to the national semifinals, marking the 14th straight year that at least two ACC teams have reached the semifinals.

- 2013 marked the 15th straight year with at least one ACC team in the national championship game.

( YES SIR, IT DOES LOOK LIKE FIELD HOCKEY IS BREATHING THE RAREFIED AIR...ladies and gents..)

paulie

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Thursday Cardinal Couple -- Rez Ball: Part III and "Dream rudely awakened"



WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

game update:

Yeah, we know the Dream blew a 16
point lead in the 4th quarter to lose to
the Chicago Sky Tuesday night in Atlanta.

We got nothing here. We watched it and
we're done with it.

Fire Michael Cooper. A six year old could 
have coached that one better. Sure, the guy
had tongue cancer. I've never seen a tongue
win a WNBA Championship though.

Yo...defensive genius. Put someone tall on
a 6'5" slasher ( see: Elena Della Donne) who
can hit from outside. It boggles the mind...

( WE ARE PLEASED TO PRESENT THE FINAL PART OF GARY
WITHERSPOON THREE-PART INSTALLMENT ON "REZ BALL"
WE THANK GARY FOR THIS IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THE 
TRADITION, HERITAGE AND SUCCESS OF ACTIVITY !! in case
you missed any of these reports, they are in the Cardinal
Couple archives. We recommend you read them all...)

REZ BALL:  An Awareness and History



A few months ago I read a comment from Russell Begaye on the Facebook page run by
fans of Shoni and Jude Schimmel. Russell Begaye is a member of the Navajo Nation
Council and is currently campaigning as a candidate for Navajo Nation President.
Begaye wrote, “I never thought I would hear national TV broadcasters talk about and
use the term rez ball.” His comment was noting with both surprise and pride how the
Schimmels had brought a unique and little known aspect of contemporary Native
American culture to a level of national awareness that few if any Native Americans
anticipated.


Despite the national awareness of “rez ball,” there is still not a very clear or very
adequate understanding of what Native Americans call rez ball. From the style of play
they see in Shoni Schimmel, non-Native American fans and commentators believe rez
ball is a creative and fancy style of play that involves a lot of no look passes, fancy
dribbling and creative shots. While artistic passes, fancy dribbling and creative shots
commonly occur in rez ball, these patterns do not fully convey the essence of rez ball.
Rez ball is not easy to define. Shoni Schimmel has often been asked to define it and
she tries to provide some idea of it, but it is a cultural feature that does not lend itself to
easy description or translation for someone who has not seen it or played it. As a
retired professor of cultural anthropology and a professor of American Indian Studies, I
am used to discussing and defining cultural patterns not familiar to outsiders of a
culture. That background and training does not mean I can do this cultural translation
fully or adequately, but I will give it a try.


My other credentials for being able to define rez ball is that I have been exposed to it for
more than five decades, I played rez ball for about two decades and I coached boys
basketball at the Navajo Academy (a college prep school in New Mexico) for five years.
My exposure to rez ball is primarily with the rez ball played on the Navajo reservation.
However, at Navajo Academy we played Native American teams from many other
reservations, so I have some broader exposure to how basketball and rez ball are
played on other reservations as well.


Rez ball has developed on many reservations and probably has various aspects that
are distinct to different reservations in different areas. Nevertheless, today there are
many tournaments that are open to and participated in by players from many different
reservations and areas, so most of the players today are exposed to how the game is
played on many different reservations. But the rez ball I see in Shoniʼs game in the
Northwest is very similar to, if not exactly the same, as the rez ball I saw all over the
Southwest going back 5 decades. It definitely seems to me that rez ball is still pretty
uniform across decades of time and in a wide variety of places.Before I can attempt
 to define or describe rez ball, I need to discuss how, where and
when basketball is played on reservations. Basketball is a very popular phenomenon
on most reservations and among urban Native Americans as well. My description of the
phenomenon of basketball in general and rez ball in particular is focused primarily on
my experience on the Navajo reservation and to a lesser extent to my exposure to rez
ball in the general Southwest and Northwest.


I distinguish basketball and rez ball from each other. Rez ball is that played in pick up
games and in open independent, non-school basketball leagues and tournaments.
School teams are often coached by coaches with training in traditional basketball, and
they often insist to one degree or another on their players and teams playing a more
traditional non-Native style of basketball. However, rez ball still heavily infiltrates and
affects the way more “traditional” basketball is played in school competition. This is
because about half the coaches today are Native Americans, and they typically
embrace and support more rez ball features in the way their teams play than is the case
with non-Native coaches. The other factor is that no matter how hard some coaches try
to get their teams to play a more traditional, non-Native style of basketball, their players
frequently revert to the rez ball styles they know and like. These players are also often
more effective in winning games when they infuse the game with a lot of rez ball
patterns.


One thing that is common across time and place is the popularity of basketball
tournaments. To generate significant cash, all various community groups need to do is
sponsor a basketball tournament. These sponsors charge each team an entry fee. It
might be $150 and each player will pay $15. The sponsor gets the gym, the referees
and the trophies. The sponsors charge an admission of $3-$10 and sell concessions.
Back when I started playing at these tournaments, the teams were all menʼs teams, and
most tournaments had at least 18-24 teams. The teams are usually guaranteed two or
three games. Sometimes the the tournament brackets were split between teams who
had players who were 35 and older and those who who were under 35. Today most
tournaments usually also have at least two brackets, one for men and one for women.
There are often more womenʼs teams entered than menʼs teams.


Native American women took to basketball very quickly and became good very fast. In
reservation areas today, girls high school basketball generally attracts as big or bigger
crowds than boys high school basketball. Over the past three decades, teams from the
reservation areas have won most of the state tournaments in the 3A classifications in
which most play in both New Mexico and Arizona. There has often been two teams
from the reservation who have played in the state tournament championship game.
One year three of the four teams in the state girls semifinals were reservation teams.
Navajo fans will drive 150-250 miles to fill up the 20,000 seat arena in Glendale where
the championships are played. Boys teams from the reservation have also done pretty
well, but not as well overall as the girls teams have done.


One somewhat unique development in the independent (non-school) reservation
tournaments discussed above are coed brackets. These generally require at least two
 players of each gender be on the court at all times. The teams are usually made up of
five females and five males - sometimes 4 and 6. The difference in level of play
between the men and women is not as great as one might imagine, and these coed
tournaments are a lot of fun for both the players and the fans.


Reservation high school games are usually packed for both the girls and the boys. In
many areas the girls games outdraw the boys games, but both are very popular and
gyms are filled. Lines start forming hours before the game in many places. About 15
years ago, Ganado High School on the Navajo reservation in Arizona built a state of the
art 5500 seat basketball arena that had individual chairs with backs for every seat in a
360 degree circle around the court. It is a better facility than many colleges play in.
This facility was and is used for the sponsored tournaments of independent teams as
well as for school games.


Not to be out done, Chinle, a town 50 miles to the north, built a 7500 seat arena The
Chinle facility has often been used for regional state tournament playoff games, as well
as for regular high school games, independent menʼs and womenʼs winter leagues, and
for sponsored independent tournaments that usually occur in the late spring and
summer. The facilities can also be used for large gatherings. Now Window Rock High
School is building a 10,000+ seat arena. Games at these facilities are generally full.
The people love basketball. The only sport that can generate anything close to the
amount of interest there is in basketball is rodeo. While interest remains high in rodeo
and most communities sponsor a rodeo each summer, the interest in and participation
in basketball easily exceeds the interest in, attendance at, and participation in rodeo.
In order to understand rez ball, one must understand the popularity of the game in
Native America. Basketball is not just a winter sport. It is played and watched 9-10
months a year. It is usually only left dormant during the months of September and
October, which are filled with cross country and football as well as with rodeo and
other athletic events.

gw


WE WELCOME YOUR FEEDBACK, COMMENTS AND INPUT ON
GARY'S TRILOGY. WE APPRECIATE THE TIME, EFFORT AND 
DEDICATION THAT HE PUT INTO THIS SERIES AND LOOK FORWARD
TO ANY FUTURE CONTRIBUTIONS THAT HE WILL GRACE THE
CARDINAL COUPLE PAGES WITH...)

PAULIE

GW

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Tuesday Cardinal Couple - Volleyball Preview...Angel Invited


TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

*******SCORE UPDATE*******

Incredible. Atlanta Dream blows a 16 point lead going into the 4th quarter at home and falls to the Chicago Sky 81-80.

Dream interrupted.

 Elena Della Donne schooling Angel McCoughtry time after time. Angel's potential game winner bouncing, bouncing around the rim.

Nope.

Kudos to Shoni for hitting her only basket of the game to give Atlanta the lead late. 

We will speak no more of this. 


( JEFF MCADAMS BRINGS THE TUESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE REPORT AND VOLLEYBALL IS ON HIS MIND. THE UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE YEAR...)


Big 10/ACC Challenge


This Friday is the season opener for UofL Volleyball, so I wanted to take a minute to preview the action.  The team will be participating in the Big 10/ACC Challenge, which is being held this year in Minneapolis, MN.  In past years, UofL has participated in several of these challenges, including a Big East/Big 10 Challenge that occurred over the course of several years involving Louisville, Cincinnati, Purdue, and Illinois.  This year, Louisville and Notre Dame return as conference-mates and team up against Big 10 stalwarts Minnesota and Wisconsin.  Because its not yet conference competition time, the conference-mates will not play each other, despite being in the same venue, but each team will play both teams from the other conference.

The ACC has a serious challenge on its hands, here.  In the preseason coaches poll, Wisconsin comes in at 6th place, and collected 8 first-place votes in doing so.  Minnesota follows along at 12th.  The difference may be in experience, with Wisconsin having 10 of their 15 roster spots being Juniors or Seniors, while Minnesota has 10 of their 13 being Freshmen and Sophomores.  Neither UofL nor Notre Dame make an appearance in the preseason top 25.

The Big 10, like the Big 12, is known for size and power in Volleyball, and these teams are no exception.  I have spoken on The Cardinal Couple Radio Show at times about how its nice to have tall setters, and Wisconsin's likely starting setting, Lauren Carlini, is a whopping 6'2".  The extra height for blocking in having a tall setter can make a big difference.  The likely starting setter for Minnesota, Katie Schau, is less of a blocking concern, only measuring in at 5'8", though they do have a setter on the roster coming in at 6'1".  Wisconsin has the overall size advantage, with two players coming in at 6'4", and four at 6'3".  Minnesota matches up with Louisville better, with two 6'3" players and numerous in the 6'2" and 6'1" range.  For Louisville, Tara Gowan, Laura Blab, and Tess Clark all measure up at 6'3", but the drop off beyond that is pretty steep, with Brooke Betts and the redshirting Javonni Faucette reaching 6'1", Maggie DeJong gets to 6'0" and Janelle Jenkins gets close at 5'11".  Height isn't everything, though, as Maya McClendon aptly demonstrates by only measuring in at 5'9".

Midwestern schools tend to play more powerful, but slower, offenses, though Wisconsin is looking to speed up their offense a bit this year.  I would expect Minnesota to work for a faster pace as well, but this could be great for an overall smaller UofL team that has been playing more up-tempo offenses every year of Anne Kordes' tenure.  A faster offense tends to mean less power, which can help out UofL as well; as defense, particularly digging and passing, has been a point of emphasis for Kordes and assistant coach Lee Maes in Louisville practices.  It does make blocking more difficult...the point of a faster offense is to try to get your shots out to your hitters before the other team has a chance to move their blockers in position, but blocking hasn't been as big of an aspect of Louisville's game since the Leonid Yellin years.

Overall, I would expect overall fast paced and exciting games that should keep you on the edge of your seats.  The first match is at 5:30pm ET on Friday vs Wisconsin, with the match against the home team, Minnesota, coming at 8pm on Saturday.  The Minnesota match will be televised on the Big 10 Network (BTN).

Angel Going for more Gold

Angel McCoughtry has been invited to participate in the USA Women's World Championship TeamTraining Camp.  27 players are on the roster for the Training Camp, and a final roster of 12 will be selected from the Training Camp to compete at the 2014 FIBA World Championships in Ankara and Istanbul (not Constantinople) Turkey in late September and early October.

OBLIGATORY THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS LINK. CLICK HERE

The coaching staff for the World Championship Team consists of head coach Geno Auriemma of Connecticut, and assistants Doug Bruno (DePaul), Cheryl Reeve (Minnesota Lynx), and Dawn Staley (South Carolina)

-jmca