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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

UofL WBB selected third in ACC pre-season -- Thursday Cardinal Couple


So, in the "who cares what they think?"
category...we bring you the ACC WBB Media Day report. Thanks to Ira Green for doing the leg-work: 

Louisville Women’s Basketball Picked to Finish Third in Both ACC Preseason Polls

Sara and "the Debster" appear to
be fascinated by the light
The Cardinals received a pair of first-place votes in the Blue Ribbon Panel’s ACC Preseason Poll.

The University of Louisville women’s basketball team, which returns two starters and boasts a top-10 incoming class, is picked to finish third in the Atlantic Coast Conference in separate polls of the league’s Blue Ribbon Panel and its 15 head coaches, it was announced Wednesday.

The Cardinals, who have eight letterwinners coming back from last season’s NCAA Elite Eight run, received 724 points – including two first-place votes – from the Blue Ribbon Panel voters. Louisville was narrowly picked to finish behind Duke (733 points, one first-place vote), while Notre Dame is the favorite to win the league title with 38 first-place votes.

Hammond discusses UofL WBB
One of five seniors, Sara Hammond was selected to both the coaches’ and the Blue Ribbon Panel’s all-ACC Teams. A WBCA honorable mention All-American and first team all-American Athletic Conference selection, Hammond averaged 10.4 points and 5.9 rebounds a season ago. She reached double-digit points 24 times in 2013-14, while connecting on 51 percent of her shots.

Louisville’s freshmen and McDonald’s All-Americans Myisha Hines-Allen and Mariya Moore also received preseason recognition.

Hines-Allen, named to the ACC coaches’ Newcomer Watch List, finished her prep career as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,803 points in addition to totaling 1,035 rebounds, and 170 blocks. Moore, one of on the ACC Blue Ribbon Panel’s Newcomer Watch List, produced 2,396 points, 1,110 rebounds, and 878 assists during her prep career.

Louisville is one of just three schools – others are Duke and Notre Dame – with at least one student-athlete on each of the four lists (ACC coaches’ and Blue Ribbon preseason all-ACC teams and coaches’ and Newcomer Watch Lists).

Syracuse players try to channel the
radiating force coming from "Q" 's
bald head. 
Under head coach Jeff Walz, the winningest coach in program history, Louisville went 33-5 last year, with a 16-2 mark in AAC play. It was the Cardinals’ second-highest overall win total in school history, and the group set the Louisville record for most home victories at 18-2. After finishing runner-up in the conference tournament, the Cardinals advanced to at least the NCAA Sweet 16 for the fifth time in school history, culminating with an Elite Eight appearance.

Louisville opens its season along with 12 other schools on Nov. 14, with the Cardinals traveling to IUPUI in Indianapolis, Ind. Louisville returns home for five-consecutive games in the KFC Yum! Center, beginning with UT Martin on Nov. 16 at 2 p.m.

Reserved season tickets, which provide fans with lower level seats for all home games at the KFC Yum! Center, are available. Season-ticket holders enjoy exclusive benefits including savings of more than 40 percent off single-game pricing, convenience, access to special events, and purchase priority. Ticket packages begin at just $4 per game. For tickets and information, call (502) GO-CARDS or visit

Blue Ribbon Panel ACC Preseason Poll
1. Notre Dame (835 points, 38 first place votes)
2. Duke (733, 1 first place vote)
3. Louisville (724, 2 first place votes)
4. North Carolina (707)
5. Florida State (545)
6. Syracuse (536)
7. Georgia Tech (508)
8. Miami (421)
9. NC State (407)
10. Virginia (334)
11. Wake Forest (295)
12. Virginia Tech (184)
13. Boston College (178)
14. Clemson (169)
15. Pittsburgh (144)

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason All-ACC Team
Elizabeth Williams, Sr., C/F, Duke
Kaela Davis, So., G, Georgia Tech
Sara Hammond, Sr., F, Louisville
Allisha Gray, So., G, North Carolina
Stephanie Mavunga, So, F, North Carolina
Xylina McDaniel, Jr., F, North Carolina
Lindsay Allen, So., G, Notre Dame
Jewell Loyd, Jr., G, Notre Dame
Brittney Sykes, Jr., G, Syracuse
Dearica Hamby, Sr., F, Wake Forest

Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason ACC Player of the Year
Jewell Loyd, Jr., G, Notre Dame

Blue Ribbon Panel ACC Newcomer Watch List
Sierra Calhoun, Fr., G/F, Duke
Rebecca Greenwell, R-Fr., G, Duke
Shakayla Thomas, Fr., F, Florida State
Mariya Moore, Fr., G, Louisville
Brianna Turner, Fr., G, Notre Dame

ACC Head Coaches Preseason Poll
1. Notre Dame (223 points, 14 first place votes)
2. Duke (196, 1 first place vote)
3. Louisville (194)
4. North Carolina (193)
5. Florida State (152)
6. Syracuse (149)
7. Georgia Tech (136)
8. Miami (117)
9. Virginia (98)
10. NC State (87)
11. Wake Forest (82)
12. Virginia Tech (54)
13. Clemson (44)
14. Pittsburgh (43)
15. Boston College (32)

Coaches’ Preseason All-ACC Team
Nikki Dixon, Sr., G, Clemson
Elizabeth Williams, Sr., C/F, Duke
Kaela Davis, So., G, Georgia Tech
Sara Hammond, Sr., F, Louisville
Allisha Gray, So., G, North Carolina
Stephanie Mavunga, So, F, North Carolina
Lindsay Allen, So., G, Notre Dame
Jewell Loyd, Jr., G, Notre Dame
Brittney Sykes, G, Syracuse
Dearica Hamby, Sr., F, Wake Forest

Coaches’ Preseason ACC Player of the Year
Jewell Loyd, Jr., G, Notre Dame

Coaches ACC Newcomer Watch List
Sierra Calhoun, Fr., G/F, Duke
Rebecca Greenwell, R-Fr., G, Duke
Shakayla Thomas, Fr., F, Florida State
Myisha Hines-Allen, Fr., F, Louisville
Brianna Turner, Fr., G, Notre Dame

So...what does it all mean? 

I can't argue with the Irish getting the nod as the preseason
I'm not sure if I like this logo
fav. They're returning a ton of talent and look great on paper. Jewel Loyd is as "good as advertised" and she'll create a lot of problems for whoever she faces. 

Sara Hammond deserves the pre-season All-ACC Team Selection. She is the spotlight of this 2014-15 UofL WBB team and will be a force (provided she can stay out of foul trouble). I would have added Bria...she'll baffle a lot of ACC opponents and is twice the guard Kaela Davis is. I guess it's all about parity..

The problem I have is in the Coaches ACC Newcomer Watch list. All five UofL freshmen should be on there and try and convince me differently. 

New league, new games to play with "the established"...I suppose. I'd also be surprised if Rebecca Greenwell survives an entire season. Those knees aren't exactly 100% good-to-go and her playing time (I surmise) will decrease as the season progresses. 

The bottom line is...does it really matter what the ACC thinks of UofL? Coach Walz could care less where he's placed in pre-season rankings....his objective is post-season, NCAA Tournament results.

Jeff Walz sees it this way:

The ACC probably had better interviewing areas
than the Galt House did. Ira Green does look stylish
in his suit, though...
"When you have had the luxury of having such a veteran group the last two or three years, you are normally breaking in two or three freshmen, and this past year it was one," Walz said. "You've got 13 or 14 players that know how it is done and know what you want. Now we are looking at five freshmen. 

"Our seniors have done a great job. We are fortunate to have Sara Hammond, Bria Smith and Jude Schimmel who were a part of last year's team on the floor, but then we also add Shawnta Dyer back and Sheronne Vails. So now we have five players who understand what is expected of them and understand the work ethic you have to have. They have done a great job of teaching our freshmen what they need to expect and what they need to do."

Louisville's team this year is an interesting mix, with five seniors, five freshmen and just two juniors and one sophomore. 

How many of these ACC Coaches can you name?

"This team is 50-50," Walz said. "We are experienced and we are not. Are we going to experience growing pains? We sure are, but at the same time we also have Jude, Bria and Sara who all played for a national championship a couple of years ago. And Megan Deines and Cortnee Walton and Sheronne Vails. So we have six players who played for a national championship. We also have some freshmen who I believe are going to have to play significant minutes.

So, thanks for the input...ACC. See you in the NCAA Tournament...when the real madness reigns....


Field Hockey downs Bobcats...Different players, different strategy for WBB -- Wednesday Cardinal Couple


A weekday road-trip to Athens, Ohio resulted in a 2-0 win for Louisville Field Hockey Tuesday afternoon. The win improved the Cards' record to 12-4 on the season...while dropping the Ohio Bobcats to 3-9. The victory came hours after Louisville received news they had maintained a #7 ranking in the NCAA Field Hockey Poll. 

Go figure the wacky world of Field Hockey rankings. UNC remains #1 and Duke is #4. The Cards defeated both this season. Virginia, Syracuse and Boston College...schools who have dealt the Stick Cards losses this season...are ranked behind the Cards. 

Louisville and the Bobcats battled to a scoreless tie in the
first half of yesterday's game. The Cards wasted no time getting on the board in the final half....though...scoring just 2:33 into the action when Alyssa Voelmle deflected a Chile Garcia shot into the goal on the first penalty corner of the half. 

That lead held until the Cards increased it with five minutes remaining in the match...similar circumstances...this time Nicole Woods deflecting another Chile Garcia shot into the net on a penalty corner. 

The Cards attempted eight shots in the game...five of them on goal. Ohio U. could only manage three shots in 70 minutes and just one on goal. 

Parity reigns in the ACC. In the nineteen games between league opponents...15 have been decided by one goal. 18 of the 19 have been decided by two or less goals. Eight of the contests have gone to overtime. All seven ACC Field Hockey schools are ranked in the top 14. 

          *                      *                     *                    * 

Different personnel? Different stategy...

We get a lot of comments here at Cardinal Couple about
women's basketball. Go figure. One of the hot button items that we've been seeing concerns the task of Jeff Walz replacing his three leading three-point shooters from last season. 

We don't think he has to. 

You play to your strengths and this year's squad is rock solid in the paint and features several guards adept at driving to the goal for scoring and rebounding. 

The key is having a couple of outside threats that will keep defenses honest and from packing the paint defensively. It appears Walz has a few that can "drain the trey" in Jude, Syd, Mariya, Megan and Arica. Or even Sara...

Very few coaches utilize their teams' talent and can design offenses to their players' strength better than the eighth-year coach out of Ft. Thomas Highlands. 

"Threedom" may not reign as frequently in the KFC YUM! Center as frequently as it has over the past few years...but what we think you will find is that "paint points" will fall like leaves from a maple tree in the fall. 

And the fast break, transition basketball sparked by defense that has been a signature of "Walz Ball" since he arrived? You know that isn't changing. It was evident when Walz helped coached the U17 team this summer and you can expect to see it from the 2014-15 Cardinals. 

Is that Sara preparing to go skydiving?'s her
and Coach Walz arriving in Greensboro, NC for ACC Media Day.
We see rebounding being the strongest for the "mad scientist" since he got off a flight from Baltimore and told Tom Jurich he'd like to set up a laboratory in Louisville.

Click the link below to hear senior Sara Hammond talkin' hoops:  



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday Cardinal Couple - Weekly updates for Volleyball and Field Hockey

Tuesday Cardinal Couple - Weekly updates

Tess Clark gets an ACC Honor

In the weekly update from The ACC, Tess Clark has collected another Freshman of the Week honor.  In two wins over the weekend, Tess his a combined .535 which lifts her to 16th in the nation in the category.

In the five set match against NC State, Clark maintained .538 hitting through 17 kills.  In the three set match against Syracuse, she contributed 10 kills for a .529 average.

As we frequently do, we'll suggest that you consider volleyball hitting percentages along the lines of baseball hitting percentages for a general idea of what's considered good.  The difference being that there is a greater spread in Volleyball hitting numbers and some variance in what's considered good for different positions.  Middles, like Tess, tend to get some higher numbers in general, but even so, above .500 is considered excellent hitting, even in the middle.

As the award would suggest, Tess is just a freshman on the Louisville Volleyball squad, so we get to look forward to seeing her dominate the middle for another 3 seasons beyond this one.

Field Hockey Ranking Update

Tuesday brings us the updates in the NCAA RPI and NFHCA coach's poll for Field Hockey.  Last week,
Sowry's squad dropped from fifth to seventh in the coach's poll thanks to a 3-1 loss at Syracuse.  I would expect a bit more of a drop this week after dropping the 2-1 overtime decision against Boston College.

UofL has finished its conference play in Field Hockey with a 3-3 record.  As discussed Saturday on The Cardinal Couple Radio Show, there is a conference tournament in Field Hockey, and since then I have confirmed that they do take all seven teams in the conference tournament.  No word, yet, on the format of the NCAA tournament.  Last year it was a very odd 19 teams.

Road Trip!

Sowry's Field Hockey squad will be on the lookout for the ranking updates while they prepare for their game against Ohio University in Athens Ohio tomorrow afternoon at 3pm.

Field Hockey is in the closing stretch of their season, with only four games left including today's at Ohio.  They will return home Friday for a 6pm game at Trager against UC Davis and will try to start a new home winning streak after having the last one broken by the loss to Boston College.  The team already returned to their winning ways by dispatching the Cal Bears in style Sunday afternoon, but you can't really call it a streak until the 2nd least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

After taking on UC Davis, the season will be finished out on the road with visits to IU in Bloomington, and Michigan State in Lansing.

The conference tournament is November 6th, 7th and 9th at Duke.  While the NCAA tournament starts on the 12th, with the championship on the 23rd.

Walz on media day

Hear Coach Walz's comments here:



Monday, October 20, 2014

Volleyball downs NC State...Soccer falls to VA -- Monday Cardinal Couple


Talking to Tess Clark in person makes you feel short. The 6'3" freshman from Phoenix, AZ seems taller...and to see her with the young, aspiring Volleyball fans a foot shorter than her...seeking her autograph or just wanting to say "Hi" can be almost comical at times. 

Tess Clark on the court is no joke, however, and her 17 kills and six blocks helped lead Louisville to a five-set win in Raleigh, NC yesterday against the Wolfpack of N.C. State.

The Cards got a slow start in this one, falling behind 7-2 early in the
first game. Enter Lyndsay Palmer for UofL and five straight serving points to tie it. It was still tied at 15-15 before N.C. State went on a 7-1 run to distance themselves from the Cards and go on to win 15-18. 

Louisville regrouped in the second game and hit a phenomenal .591 from the floor...gaining a 21-12 lead and finishing up with a convincing 25-16 victory.

After the break, the third game stayed close until the Wolfpack broke open a 16-14 lead with a 4-1 run...the Cards tried a comeback with two Clark kills and got with two at 20-18 but eventually fell 25-20.

Faced with a do-or-die...Louisville went to Lyndsey Palmer again and seven straight service points gave Louisville a 14-8 edge. The Cards kept the momentum going and even the match up with a 25-14 beatdown. 

The fifth and deciding set remained close early with Louisville was aided by two Courtney Robison aces late and a net call to win going away 15-9. 

The Cards (13-7, 5-3) will take a little time off before returning to play on Sunday, Oct 26th. at Pitt.


The Louisville women's soccer team fell 2-1 to third ranked Virginia on Sunday afternoon at Dr. Mark
and Cindy Lynn Stadium. The Cardinals struck first but the Cavaliers countered with two goals in the first period to take the 2-1 lead at the half. Louisville played a man down the majority of the second period and still held the Cavaliers scoreless.

"Overall, I'm happy with our progress," head coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes said. "Of course we want to win, we always want to win every game we play. But to go down a player against one of the top five teams in the country and you do as well as we did, I think that has to be something that we continue to look at and have a belief in moving forward."

Louisville (6-7-2, 2-3-2 ACC) took a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute of play when freshman Alison Price received the ball on the edge of the box from sophomore Kari Weinland and sent the ball into the upper 90 over the Virginia keeper's head for her third goal of the season.

Virginia (14-1-0, 6-1-0 ACC) picked up the offensive pressure and tied the game at 1-1 just five minutes later. Makenzy Doe shot the ball off of the inside of the left post after receiving a pass from Morgan Reuther for the equalizer. The Cavaliers then took a 2-1 lead in the 43rd minute when Tina Iordanou buried the rebound from Louisville keeper Paige Brown's initial stop. Reuther was credited with her second assist of the game.


The University of Louisville WBB squad got some time in at the KFC YUM Center yesterday...scrimmaging against their men's practice squad during halftime of the men's Red/White scrimmage. 

We,unfortunately, missed it here at Cardinal Couple...but we've got some feelers out to see how it went. We'll update when we have more and if any of our readers got the chance to see it, we'd appreciate your comments on how they looked. 


Saturday, October 18, 2014

CC Podcast - Field Hockey vs Cal -- Sunday Cardinal Couple

We're going to try a new thing here on Cardinal Couple...a podcast format of update.  This won't take the place of the daily articles posted, but hopefully will be relatively quick and short audio updates.  You should see an embedded audio player just above this message if you are reading it on the website that you can use to play this podcast directly in your browser.

Don't expect a podcast entry for every UofL Women's sporting event, of course as these take a bit more work to put together and post, but I hope to be able to do them fairly frequently and bring a new dimension of reporting on our favorite topics here at Cardinal Couple.

This is an update about the Field Hockey game this afternoon against the Cal Bears.

Let me know in the comments what you think of this sort of update.  Thanks!





As mentioned in the podcast the Stick Cards roared back after a disappointing loss in field hockey on Friday to shut out the Cal squad 4-0.  Louisville got the only goal they would actually need with nine minutes gone in the game when Mallory Mason connected on a penalty corner.

She's done that more times this season than I've been to Arby's and the 1-0 lead held to halftime.

The Cards burst out with a rush in the second half...getting a Alyssa Voelmle score in the first two minutes and Lotta Kahlert connecting less than a minute later.

The Bears never did come out of hibernation ( maybe they needed Ditka) and freshman Stephanie Byrne got her third goal of the year with about a minute to go to make it 4-0.

The 11-4 Cards will head to Athens, OH on Tuesday for a match against Ohio University.


Women's golf got a big boost from the "Katie's" yesterday and climbed to the top of the ladder in the
Katie Petrino and Katie Mitchell both fired one under par 71's yesterday and Louisville lead the tournament by 4 strokes over Kent State. Emily Haas continued her good golf with a 72, Molly Spanik finished with a 73 and Laura Restrepo carded a 75.

The tournament ends today with a final 18 holes. Go get 'em Chip and Putt Cards!


Friday, October 17, 2014

Field Hockey has home streak broken -- Saturday Cardinal Couple

Heartbreak at Trager on Friday afternoon.

The seventh-ranked University of Louisville field hockey team fell 2-1 in overtime to No. 17 Boston College on Friday afternoon at Trager Stadium. The Cardinals fall to 10-4 (3-3 ACC), while the Eagles improve to 10-5 (2-3).

"You can't come out flat against a quality team like Boston College," said UofL head coach Justine Sowry. "I thought we played much better in the second half, but in the end, they capitalized on their chances."

The Eagles opened up travelled to Syracusethe scoring in the eighth minute of play to take the 1-0 lead when Eryn McCoy scored near the stroke mark off of an AshLeigh Sebia assist. Boston College controlled possession in the first half of play and took the lead into halftime after outshooting the Cardinals 3-2 and holding a 1-0 edge in penalty corners.

Louisville picked up the offensive pressure in the second half and broke through with a goal in the 58th minute of play. Freshman Nicole Woods sent a pass from the left side of the cage to junior Elisa Garcia who connected on her fifth goal of the season to even the score at 1-1.

The match remained tied at the end of regulation and the teams entered a 15-minute sudden-victory overtime period with the field cut down to seven players per team.

BC opened the overtime period on the attack and the game was decided in the fourth minute of play. McCoy was able to capitalize once again on a fast break opportunity when she got past a Louisville defender in the midfield and dribbled into the circle to go against King. McCoy fired off a shot that slid under a diving King to give the Eagles the win.


Volleyball traveled to Syracuse last night and swept the Orange 25-17, 26-24 25-18 

Janelle Jenkins had 12 kills and to lead the University of Louisville volleyball team to a 25-17, 26-24, 25-18 in ACC volleyball action in Syracuse Friday night.

The Cards move to 4-3 in the league and 11-7 overall with the win. UofL hit .290 and had seven blocks. Syracuse drops to 8-12 and 0-7 in the ACC.

After dominating action in the first set, the Cards saw the Orange fire back and have Louisville at game point four games. The Cards would not surrender, though...and came back to win the second game...thanks to the heroics of Tess Clark. 

Louisville roared out to a 9-1 lead to start the final game and was never seriously challenged...leading 24-13 before settling for the seven point win. 

The  Cards head south next for Sunday action against NC State. 

The Saturday Cardinal Couple Radio Show promises to be a busy one with recaps on Field Hockey, Volleyball, the WBB Basketball TipOff Luncheon and Worldwide's report on the Lacrosse Awards Dinner. 

BE sure to tune in. We'll have exclusives from Coach Sam Purcell, Megan Deines, Arianna Freeman, Syd Brackemyre plus Walz's address and words from the seniors...


Busy UofL Women's Sports Day -- Friday Cardinal Couple

UofL Women's Sports involved in six activities today! 

If your a UofL women's sports fan...(and we figure you are since you are here at this website) is an action packed day for six of the programs.

Worldwide does a great job of detailing the week in Louisville women's sports on our Saturday radio show...but today is Friday and I don't see him anywhere around the massive Cardinal Couple Worldwide Enterprises I'm pinch-hitting...

Here locally, the UofL Field Hockey team will start it off against #17 Boston College at 3 p.m. at the Trager. The #7 ranked Cards are 10-3 and have a 16 game win streak on the line in Trager. This one will be available on ESPN 3 and Fox Sports South in case you can't make the action.

Lacrosse is having their Fall Banquet a couple of hours after the completion of the Field Hockey game in the PNC Plaza inside Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. The doors open at 6:30 p.m., the public is invited and tickets a mere $35 per person for wonderful food, a great atmosphere and recap of a truly magical 2014 season plus preview of the 2015 entry into the ACC. Be aware if you go...those Lax gals love to celebrate and you could very well get caught up in the fun.

Down in Knoxville...two Cardinal squads will compete in tournaments.  Women's golf will be participating in the Mercedes Benz Championships and women's tennis attacks the net in ITA Ohio Valley Regional Championships. These are all-day events and if you live in the area...why not make the trip and support these squads?

Anne Kordes has her 'set and spike' squad in Syracuse and will net it up against the Orange at 7 p.m. The Cards (11-7) face former UofL head coach Leonid Yelin...his squad (7-11) is 4-4 at home. 

Finally, women's swimming splashes in at the SMU Classic in Dallas. Arthur Albiero has a strong squad this year and the Cardinal ladies should do well in the Lone Star state. 

If none of this suits you...mad scientist Jeff Walz probably wouldn't mind if you snuck a peek at his 2014-15 charges in Cardinal Arena. They practice today from 1 to 4 p.m. and a call to UofL WBB to confirm might not be a bad idea. Kate Matthews is the new DOO (Director of Operations) for WBB and she's a delightful lady to converse with. 

All these activities will give Worldwide and I plenty to talk about on our Saturday morning radio show on Crescent Hill Radio. We've also got great interviews with Coach Walz, Megan Deines, Coach Sam Purcell, Arianna Freeman and Syd Brackemyer from the Tuesday WBB tipoff luncheon that we'll air.