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Monday, November 30, 2015

Louisville Volleyball to host NCAA first and second rounds...Women's basketball defeated by Dayton in Gulf Coast Showcase -- Monday Cardinal Couple


In a pleasant Sunday night surprise, the #15 Louisville Volleyball team was selected to host first round action in the NCAA Volleyball Tournament. The Cards will serve it up against Belmont on Friday night at 7 p.m. and, if successful, would face the winner of the Southern Illinois vs. Illinois game on Saturday at 7 p.m.

The contests will be played on campus at Cardinal Arena. Because of basketball scheduled for the KFC YUM! Center on Saturday (the men play Grand Canyon at noon and the women face Valparaiso at 4 p.m.) the site where the Cards played the vast majority of their home games this season is unavailable...primarily because of practice concerns for the two advancing teams. 

That also means tickets will be at a premium for the event. Cardinal Arena seats less than 900 and with three teams besides Louisville participating and media seating would be advised to get tickets without delay.

If you have a MY CARDINALS ACCOUNT, and are a Louisville Volleyball season ticket holder, you can go to the website and request up to six. Reserved seating tickets are $20 per day. You know the cards will be charged only if you are allocated tickets. If there are any remaining tickets, they will go on sale beginning at noon on Tuesday Dec. 1st. A limited number of standing room only tickets and any other reserved seats will be sold on game days.

Questions? Go to or call a call to the Ticket Office at 502GOCARDS.

A nice surprise, this hosting. Our resident Volleyball guru Worldwide expressed doubt on our Saturday radio show that the Cards would get a chance to host after the Syracuse loss to end the season. The Duke win over UNC kept the Cards in sole possession of the ACC Conference title, though...and that may have been of benefit to Louisvville and hosting.

We'll have more on this as we get closer to the Tournament matches...



Louisville women's basketball got off to a great start Sunday against Dayton Sunday afternoon in the third place game of the Gulf Coast Showcase but could not sustain the momentum late...losing by 13 to the Flyers.

Louisville, who started Erin De Grate, Mariya Moore, Cortnee Walton, Taja Cole and Arica Carter, came out gangbusters early....rolling to a 9-0 lead over Dayton in the first 3:30. Myisha Hines-Allen knocked down a jumper to make it 14-2 Cards with 3:20 left in the first period. Due to a burst bursa sack in her knee suffered against Purdue Saturday...Briahanna Jackson wasn't expected to play but did enter the contest with 2:05 left in the first period.

The Flyers eventually started hitting some shots, though...and climbed back to nine at the end of the quarter at 18-9. Louisville started the second period on a good note and led 24-12 after a Walton free throw three minutes in...but the Flyers responded with a 14-0 run to take the lead on a Amber Deane three with 2:23 left until halftime.

The Cards were able to climb back into a 28-28 tie at the end of 20 minutes...thanks to a couple of Moore free throws and a Hines-Allen jumper with 21 ticks left on the clock. 

Moore was impressive in the first half for the Cards with 16 points in 16 minutes...including 6-6 free throw shooting and two threes...but Louisville already had 15 turnovers and neither Carter or Cole were handling point-guard responsibilities very efficiently. 

Dayton would go up by as many as four in the third period...but the Cards would rally back to tie the contest at 38 all when Moore hit a jumper with 2:30 left. A missed Cole three as time expired gave the Flyers a 46-43 lead after 30 minutes. Hines-Allen kept the Cards in the fray with seven third quarter points.

The Cards climbed back to within one at 48-47 after two Walton free-throws with 8:16 to play...but a 13-4 run by Dayton over the next four minutes had the Cards down by 10 at 61-51 after a Kelly Austria three. Louisville would trail by as many as 16 late in the game. A three by Hines-Allen with 12 seconds remaining set the final tally at 76-63.

Louisville comes home for a few days and then goes to East Lansing for a Thursday night tilt against #21 Michigan State. The game will be televised on ESPN 2 as part of the ACC-Big 10 Challenge. 


-- M&M crew back? Myisha (20) and Mariya (23) combined for 43 of the Cards points. The two leading scorers from last season were joined by Taja Cole's 11 points to put three Cards in double figures. 17 for 39 shooting between the three isn't bad...but the missed layups stood out like a sore thumb again for the Cards. 

-- Gotta hit the free ones. The Cards were 24-36 from the free throw line for 66%. Although it isn't the 70% we'd like to see...backing out Sam Fuehring's  2-6 performance makes it look a little better. 


-- Killer instinct. The Cards could have buried the Flyers early but disappeared instead for a prolonged stretch in the second period. They fought back to within one early in the fourth quarter and then allowed the Flyers to go on a game-closing 31-19 run. Turnovers, poor decision making and missing easy shots continue to plague this squad. The defense died in the final eight minutes. Correctable things, of course but fatal on Sunday to Walz's charges. 

-- To the point...Carter and Cole split point guard duties and had a combined nine turnovers and just six assists. That has to improve against Michigan State and Kentucky. 


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Louisville women's basketball stumbles late in 62-60 loss to Purdue -- Sunday Cardinal Couple


Ah...the complexities of a young team.

Louisville put on perhaps their best defensive effort of the young season but faltered late on the offensive front to take their third loss of the 2015-16 season to 5-0 Purdue 62-60 in the Gulf Coast Showcase in Estero, FL.

Louisville led for 35 minutes of the contest and after a three by Briahanna Jackson with 6:45 left in the final period (or quarter...WorldWide and I differ on what to call these 10 minutes stretches) and a second technical on Purdue's bench that led to two Mariya Moore free-throws...the Cards had a 53-47 lead with less than six minutes to play.

That lead was still five at 56-51 when Sam Fuehring hit two free throw with 3:01 to play but the Cards went into an offensive funk after that and the defense that had gotten them there suddenly went dormant.

Purdue took a 59-58 lead with 30 seconds to play when Bridget Perry drove the lane to get an uncontested layup. Louisville had missed three out of their four previous shots and Walz got a timeout. Hines-Allen hit inside to put the Cards back up 60-59 with 25 seconds to go...but a questionable foul by Hines-Allen put Perry on the line and she calmly sank both charity attempts with 21 seconds remaining.

The Cards had a chance to retake the lead but Jackson drove into a crowd of Boilermakers and lost control of the ball. Louisville quickly fouled to send Louisville Manual's April Wilson to the line and she sank 1 of 2 to set the score at 62-60 with 10 ticks left on the clock. A final attempt to tie the contest resulted in Arica Carter driving into the lane and turning the ball over to Wilson as the game clock expired.

The Cards used an early 9-0 run to take the lead in the first period and led 11-9 after the first ten...Erin DeGrate getting a layup inside as the clock ran down. The defense was cooking early...forcing Purdue into eight turnovers.

Louisville led 24-20 with eight seconds left before halftime when Purdue head coach Sharon Versyp went ballistic after a Purdue foul on Cortnee Walton in the paint. Versyp was whistled for a technical foul and the Cards hit four free-throws in a row...two by Moore and two by Walton to take a 28-20 lead into the locker room for the intermission. The Cards were shutting down Wilson and looking pretty good...except for the shooting.

A Taja Cole three gave the Cards a 33-26 lead three minutes into third period action but a 6-0 Boilermaker run cut it to 33-32 with 4:26 left before Walton connected from two at the stripe. A Jackson three pushed the Cards back out to a 42-36 advantage and UofL held a 42-38 edge after thirty minutes. 

Then, the fateful fourth quarter...

Louisville (1-3) has lost their three contests by a total of eight points. In this latest loss...the Cards simply failed on the execution end in their final two possessions and made an ill-advised foul with the lead late.

Louisville will play Dayton for third place in the tournament today at 5 p.m. You can can watch it on You Tube again (and we've been duly impressed with the camera work, coverage and commentary provided by the Cards broadcast team of Matt Andrews and Adrienne Johnson). Link below:


-- MHA came to play. Another strong game from Myshia Hines-Allen..who went 7-14 from the floor, grabbed eight rebounds and hit both free throws for Louisville. She had ten of Louisville's first 17 points. We have to question the late foul...but overall, she's rounding into the form she ended the season with.

-- Satisfaction with Action Jackson. Despite some early shooting woes...a couple of key threes from the diminutive fireball resurged the Cards and she continues to be the best defender on the court for UofL. She competes so hard that a few miscues are almost inevitable...and her desire to win is unmatched on this squad. 


-- There's a rim up there, I see it...Louisville shot 20-60 for the game...which is 33% and unacceptable. When you take out Mariya Moore's 1-13 futility and Arica Carter's 1-7 air-ball fest...18 for 40 doesn't look real bad...but these clinkers can't continue for players that are getting 30 minutes a game.

-- more from her? Asia Durr hasn't played in Florida. Word from the Cardinal camp is that the groin injury is still hampering her badly and they may go for the medical redshirt. (Someone said a 99% likelihood of it). There's a chance they'll try her at Michigan State and re-evaluate after that...but you won't see her against Dayton and probably for the rest of the season. To lose a shooter, playmaker like her is devastating. Injuries are a part of the game, though. You move on and hope for a full recovery. 

-- Late game lapses. The final 25 seconds were rough to watch. The team concept basically went flying out the window and the youthfulness of this bunch showed. Two ill-advised offensive flounderings and an a "what-was-that-for?" foul. Things will get better. There is a ton of talent on this team. The maturity will eventually come together. 

The only variable is time. 



Tonight at 9 p.m. on ESPN 3 the VolleyCards will find out there fate on the NCAA Selection Show. 

The Cards backed in to the sole possession of the ACC Title yesterday when Duke knocked off UNC in Durham yesterday 20-25, 25-15, 25-19, 25-16. 

Louisville probably won't be bestowed a chance to host the first and second rounds...we'll hold out a glimmer of hope for that, though...let's hope they get a short travel trip. Bowling Green, KY would be great...



The Saturday broadcast of THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR is now available for listening on the Crescent Hill Soundcloud links. 

Jeff and I were back in the studio together, at the same time, for the first time in four weeks. A great show at the link below:



Saturday, November 28, 2015

Saturday Cardinal Couple --Hoops win, Volleyball loss

Basketball Wins, Volleyball Loses

Basketball Defeats Marist

The first half looked like more of the same for the Women's Basketball squad against Marist. Competitive play overall, and close scores, but slowly slipping behind the opponent, punctuated by moments of, "What were you thinking?" Ultimately, though, the Cards would get it done by a score of 65-53.

26% shooting in the first half is not going to win any awards, but some consolation was to be found in 40% shooting from beyond the arc, and very good free throw shooting at 90%, 9 out of 10. Continuing another theme from earlier games, Marist had 10 turnovers, but UofL only scored 4 points off of those turnovers in the first half.

In the second half, things started to gel a little bit. Field Goal shooting was improved each quarter; 25%, 30%, 45%, and 65% in the 4th quarter. Point off of turnovers increased each quarter as well; 2, 2, 6, and 12 in the 4th quarter while the number of turnovers on Marist stayed roughly the same, 6, 4, 7, and 7.

Points leaders in the game for the Cards were Myisha Hines-Allen with 18, Briahanna Jackson with 14, and Mariya Moore with 11. Jackson and Moore both dished up some good assist numbers with 6 and 4 respectively. Also, proving once again that height isn't the only criteria for a basketball player, the rebound leader for the team was Briahanna Jackson, pulling down 8. On a side note, Cardinal Couple favorite Sydney Brackemyre got her first points as a Cardinal by sinking both of her free throws. We also saw Dakota Weatherford get her first minutes as a Cardinal, pulling down a rebound and yoinking a pair of steals off of Marist.

The victory over Marist and Purdue's victory over LSU means we get to pull out that classis UofL cheer tonight. Go! Cards! Beat! Purdue! The game will be at 7:30 and will also be streamed on Youtube at

Volleyball Drops the Season Finale

Volleyball closed out the regular season at Syracuse, and the Orange were flying high, quite literally. The 'Cuse beat the Cards 25-23, 25-22, 25-15 in a match that features some of the worst play by the Cards since they played Kentucky.

The story of the game can be summed up in just a few stats. The Cards committed 9 service errors, and Syracuse outblocked the Cards 12-6.

Against such impressive blocking (an attribute to be expected from any Leonid Yelin coached team), the Cards only hit .145 for the match, although Syracuse didn't set any record for great hitting either at only .229.

Defensively, the Cards did reasonably well, with Molly Sauer showing why she was Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the ACC by digging up 22 shots. Janelle Jenkins dug a respectable 13, and Aniah Philo continues to be strong on defense with 9 digs.

Offensively, there's not much joy and excitement here. Erin Fairs and Aniah Philo both had 10 kills, but Erin did so quite inefficiently with only a .050 hitting percentage, while Aniah tallied a respectable, if not spectacular .227. Janelle Jenkins did contribute offensively as well, with 8 kills for .219 hitting. The middle was fairly quiet with 5 kills for Tess Clark for .250, and 6 for Maggie DeJong for .200.

The Cards now wait to see where they get placed in the NCAA tournament. The goal for the season had been to host first and second rounds matches at the KFC Yum! Center, and that goal is not likely to come to pass at this point with the loss to Syracuse. The Cards were already expecting to be on the bubble for hosting even if they won out the season. A bid to the tournament is almost assured. There's even still a chance of getting the ACC's automatic qualifier bid. The way this works out is that we are now tied in the ACC standings with UNC at 2 losses. If I understand the tie-breaker rules in the ACC correctly, UNC would get the AQ because they have the victory over us. However, UNC still has a match to play, this afternoon, against a middle-of-the-ACC-pack Duke team. This match is at Duke, so this is a very dangerous match for UNC. The match is on ESPN3 at 1pm.

-- JMcA

Friday, November 27, 2015

Volleyball, Basketball play today...Volleyball sweeps awards...-- Friday Cardinal Couple


While some of you are busily scooping up Black Friday deals at retail outlets today, the Louisville WBB and Volleyball programs are hoping to scoop up wins on this day after Thanksgiving. 

Both Louisville women's basketball and volleyball are on the road today for games. The Wide Net Cards are at Syracuse, Walz's charges are in Estero, FL. getting ready for the Gulf Coast Showcase 


In their final game of the regular season, the Louisville Volleyball team faces Syracuse with huge implications on the line.

A win gives Louisville outright possession of the ACC Championship. Beating the 'Cuse would keep the Cards alive in the RPI for a possible 1st and 2nd round hosting for the NCAA Tournament.

The Cards nearly blew both opportunities Wednesday when they ran into a fired-up, nothing-to-lose Boston College team that took them to four sets 27-29, 25-23, 25-17, 26-24
in Chestnut Hill.

Against the Orangewomen, Louisville will face a 22-8, 13-6 squad that will be celebrating Senior Day and also trying to stay alive for NCAA Tournament considerations. The two schools met earlier in the ACC schedule at the KFC YUM! Center...the Cards taking a four set win. Erin Fairs had 16 kills in the win.

Game time is 1 p.m. No TV planned as far as I can tell.



Photo by Sandy Walker
Louisville women's basketball looks for their first win of the season against (0-4) Marist later today in the first round of the Gulf Coast Showcase. The Cards may present viewers a shuffled lineup...due to defensive concerns by Jeff Walz. 

The teams (all eight of them) engaged in a Thanksgiving Banquet last night that Cardinal Couple correspondent Sandy Walker attended. We'll sample some of the audio she captured from it on our Saturday radio show THE CARDINAL COUPLE RADIO HOUR.

If the Cards somehow manage to lose this one today, it wouldn't be a first. Marist defeated them back in 2010 in Las Vegas 74-68. It would, however, be a surprise...

This one is supposed to be live on You Tube at 5 p.m. today. Matt Andrews and Adrienne Johnson will have the radio call on WKRD 790.



Congratulations to Molly Sauer, Katie George and Anne Kordes for capturing all the ACC Volleyball Awards.

Sauer was selected Freshman of the Year and Defensive player of the Year. George received Player of the Year and Setter of the Year honors. Kordes Coach of the Year. 

Along with Sauer, Aniah Philo was named to the Freshman First Team. Erin Fairs joined George on the All ACC First team. 


Thursday, November 26, 2015


                 HAPPY THANKSGIVING

From all of us at CARDINAL COUPLE, Happy Thanksgiving!

We'll return to the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports tomorrow. Be thankful for what you've got.


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Louisville Volleyball looks to clinch tie for title today...What are you thankful for? -- WEDNESDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

CARDS AT B.C. TODAY @ 1 p.m.

Louisville Volleyball looks to do what no other fall sports team on campus has done this season today in Chestnut Hill, MA against the Boston College Eagles. Securing a title in the ACC is within the Cards reach if they can knock off the Eagles in Power Gym. 

With a win, Louisville goes to 18-1 in conference play and would secure at the very least a tie for the top spot in ACC Volleyball. With a one game lead over UNC, the Cards can assume top spot all to themselves if they can also win at Syracuse on Friday.

Boston College shouldn't pose much of a threat to Anne Kordes' wide-netters. The Eagles are 3-15 in ACC play and have lost their last five matches. They are 6-6 on the season at home in all games...and did take UNC to five games earlier this year before losing...but the Cards did handle them in a three-game sweep earlier in the season at the KFC YUM! Center 25-12, 25-12, 25-17.

B.C. is led by outside hitter Katty Workman with 405 kills. In the match against Louisville on October 4th, she led the Eagles with eight kills. Mallory Moffit has 813 assists.

Louisville recently climbed to #15 in the polls and #14 in the RPI rankings. The Cards are enjoying a seven game win streak...last losing at UNC on Oct. 30th. in four sets.

Erin Fairs is the leading kill artist for the Cards with 399 and Katie George delivers the goods with 1228 assists. 

This one starts at 1 p.m. and can be viewed free over at the B.C. website. Link below:




As we draw closer to Thanksgiving Day...what are you thankful for? A job, place to live, food on the table, camaraderie and freedom? 

Besides those basics, let's take a look at some of the many things we can be thankful for when it comes to UofL women's sports this year. 

VOLLEYBALL. In only the second year of ACC competition, they have risen to the top of the conference. What other sport on campus can claim that? We are thankful for the wise guidance, always insightful interviews and spot-on coaching from Anne Kordes, the Katie George showmanship and skills we've been fortunate to be able to watch for the last four years and how this team has bonded into one unit.
We look forward to the rest of this year and the future.

BASKETBALL. We continue to be thankful and proud of the job Jeff Walz and his staff have done in bringing the best of the best to campus year-in and year-out. Also for the unlimited access he has given us to discuss, inquire about and cover the program. Despite the slow start, we're thankful for the attitude these women are showing that they will get better and we're confident they will. From Cortnee Walton's beautiful smile, to Briahanna Jackson's confident, cocky persona and the unlimited potential of the #1 freshman class in the nation...we're very sure that we'll be saying "Whose gonna beat these Cards?" very soon.

FIELD HOCKEY. Justine Sowry has installed a mission statement of hard work, humility, dedication and success in her five years at Louisville and the Cards have gone back-to-back in NCAA Tournament appearances for the first time in Louisville Field Hockey history. We're thankful for the time "Coach" has granted us to discuss and explore the program and her candid, in-depth and sometimes comical, tongue-in-cheek explanations of the sport she lives for. Sowry will tell you she has her dream job here at Louisville and we'll tell you we have our dream coach for Cards Field Hockey. 

SOCCER. Karen Ferguson-Dayes has soccer headed in the right direction and is building a team that will compete for the top of the ACC standings very soon. We're thankful for that one shining moment, unparalleled in Louisville women's soccer history, when they faced and knocked off #1 UNC at Lynn Stadium. We're grateful to have seen the explosion of players on the field, the smiles, joyous celebration and the almost stunned post-game comments from KFD on the biggest win in program history. Anytime we ask, Coach will make time for us to discuss the team, the schedule and the philosophy of Louisville women's soccer. For that, we're very thankful and we can't wait for next season! Taylor Bucklin, Inger Katrine Bjerke and Alison Price are three of the funnest and informative interviews one can do...and we're thankful for that. 

SOFTBALL. We're thankful for the great atmosphere in Ulmer Stadium on game day and the coach with the most wins in Louisville women's sports history...Sandy Pearsall. An interview with coach is an event we always look forward to...the compete analysis of team, individuals and opponents...her philosophies and opinions...that wry, delightful sense of humor and acceptance. A 15 minute talk with Pearsall should be worth three credit hours on campus based on what we learn. Another smile that can light up a room....and a coaching philosophy that stresses improvement and dedication to the sport. 

LACROSSE. Kellie Young has had unparalleled success at the university and she built the program from scratch. A program that achieves not only successes on the field but in the classroom and in community involvement. Coach tells it how it is and doesn't sugar-coat it...which is refreshing, can be revealing and is never mundane or blase. The polished and professional way her players handle interviews and sheer exciting nature of the sport and the physicality is something we're very grateful and thankful to be witness to...and they've built a press box! We're really grateful for that.... 

These are but a few of the sports that consist of the Louisville women's athletics roster. Admittedly, they are the ones we cover most frequency...but there are others just as important and achieving

The continuing successes of Louisville Swimming, a rowing team that is competing and matching up with the best in the nation. Golfers who give Louisville a chance to win any tournament they are in. Runners, hurdlers, tennis racket swingers, throwers...all very good things.

We're thankful for the joy and excitement of UofL women's sports and the ability to be able to witness it and write about it.

Thank you, student-athletes, coaches, staff and fans. Just for being you.


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Louisville women's's time to get defensive -- Tuesday Cardinal Couple


As the Louisville women's basketball team practices in preparation for Friday night's game against Marist in Estero, FL in the Gulf Coast Showcase, Jeff Walz is looking for his five best defenders and those will be the five that take the floor against the 0-4 Red Foxes. 

(If it means anything, Sonja and I spotted a red fox in our backyard last night near dusk and it was running scared and quickly looking for shelter.)

Scoring isn't a concern for Walz, his squad is averaging 70 points a game...which could easily be 80 if they'd start making more wide open layups...but stopping the opponent is of prime concern for the Cards' head coach...who sees opponents averaging 73 points per game. Also, opponents are shooting 48% against Louisville. 

Starting lineup changes are likely for the #23 ranked, 0-2 Cardinals and Walz is using these three days of practice before departing to Florida to determine the players that will be his best defenders.  

OK. So who besides Briahanna Jackson will be on the floor for the tip against Marist? 

Walz isn't saying yet...we may not know until game time...but here's one intrepid columnist guess on the other four. 

Dakota Weatherford. The transfer guard from Evansville is all about the hustle and intensity. Two very good components for defense. If Walz wants to send a message to the squad that they need to hustle, what better way to get it across than by finally playing her?

Sydney Brackemyre. Syd's another one that is a competitor and goes until she hears the whistle. Fully capable of guard a paint player or wing...the 6'1" red-shirt freshman runs the court. The knee is the only potential drawback, not the heart or courage. 

Cortnee Walton. Shooting may not be her strong suit as of yet but she gets to the boards well and does not give up her ground in the paint willingly.

Mariya Moore. Maybe a little too aggressive at WKU with five fouls, the sophomore has a wealth of basketball knowledge and can be tenacious on traps and presses.

The word is out on the practice courts at Cardinal Arena and the KFC YUM! Center. Defense gets you playing time from here on out.  Who will stand up, lock-down and deny the distributions? 

( is well-known that my prediction rate is usually about 20% or less...ask any of the fall women's coaches...but it's 100% certain defense decides these upcoming days for WBB.)