No. 7 Louisville grinds out win against Syracuse in ACC match-up Sunday, Dec 29 2019 

By John McCarthy

Louisville women’s basketball won 62-58 against the Syracuse Orange Dec. 29 at the KFC Yum! Center. 

This victory for the Lady Cardinals is their first win in conference play. 

In their last game, the Cardinals (12-1, 1-0) won a nail-biter at UT Martin in double overtime. This win over the Orange settled Louisville back into a rhythm at home in a friendly atmosphere. 

The Cardinals allowed three early three-pointers from Syracuse (6-6, 0-1), who have only shot 29% from the three-point line on the season coming into this afternoon’s game.

The Lady Cardinals struggled to get going in the first half. Junior Kiara Lewis sank 14 points for the Orange in the first quarter. Freshman Teisha Hyman also contributed 12 points, bringing the Orange to a score of 20-19 after the first quarter. 

Syracuse led by as many as six points throughout the first half. 

Louisville dominated the second and third quarters. The Lady Cardinals outscored the Orange by eight points in the second and third quarters. 

Senior Jazmine Jones led the Cardinals in scoring, going to halftime with 18 points on seven of nine shooting from the field. The other Lady Cardinals struggled in the second quarter, shooting only five of 29 from the field combined. 

The fourth quarter was a must-see ending to this Sunday afternoon battle. Sophomore Elizabeth Balogun contributed 13 points for the Cardinals. Balogun made a clutch put-back layup with 31 seconds left in the game and put Louisville up three. 

Jones scored 24 points and was one point away from her career-high for a game. 

The Cardinals were able to force a held ball and a turnover which ultimately led to this afternoon’s home victory. 

Being 1-0 in ACC conference play is a necessity for the Lady Cardinals in the upcoming week and a half. Louisville will travel to Clemson Jan. 2, then will return home to play Duke on Jan. 5, and on Jan. 9, they will travel to south Florida to face No. 24 Miami.

File photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Key players to watch in men’s basketball Tuesday, Nov 12 2019 

By Luke Graham —

Last year, there were no expectations for the Cards. Head coach Chris Mack impressed during his first year and seems like he will get the best out of his players.

Mack has real talent now and players are expected to perform.

Forward Jordan Nwora is the most talked-about Card and will be the scoring leader. He shot 45 percent from the field last year and 38 percent from behind the arc.

In his first game against Miami, he picked up right where he left off with 23 points and 12 rebounds.

His biggest issue last year was his defensive abilities. If he can improve his defense and ball-handling abilities, he has first-round NBA potential.

Freshman and McDonalds All-American Samuell Williamson looks like he will play a big role as well. He has the ability to be an infamous one-and-done, but if that’s the case, Cards fans hope to remember that one year as spectacular.

It seems that after the first game, he will get every opportunity to play and be a big player in Mack’s second year. He has already shown flashes of good offensive talent with an eye for the court and good defensive abilities.

Junior Malik Williams and senior Steven Enoch look to protect the basket and cause damage to it on the other. If Williams can come back from a broken foot, and Enoch can stay healthy and out of foul trouble, then they could be the key to advancing deep in “The Big Dance” in March.

This can only happen if they both stay healthy and aggressive.  They are forces down low and can determine a game by their defensive presence and offensive capabilities to finish and score.

The Cards need the McDonalds All-American to live up to the hype, Nwora to be the leader of the team and the big men in the paint and Williams and Enoch to stay healthy and on the court.

If all goes well, Cardinal fans could be in for an exciting year. The country has already taken notice of a No. 5 national ranking.

With teams like Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky on the schedule, Louisville’s key players will have to step up and play like some of the best guys in the country.  North Carolina top recruit Cole Anthony versus Williamson will be fun to watch this year.

Freshmen Matthew Hunt and Vernon Casey from Duke will be show stoppers too. This is the game that Enoch and Williams must show their experience and lockdown both young freshmen and show the country why Louisville should be on high alert.

The Cards look to face off against Youngstown State in their next game on Nov. 10 at 2:00 p.m. at the Yum Center.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Expectations swell Mack’s second year Saturday, Nov 9 2019 

By Gabriel Wiest–

Opening his second season with the Cardinals, Chris Mack has already started to leave his mark with the Cardinals. Ranked No. 5 nationally, Louisville has already entered the national championship conversation just two years into the Mack era.

Attributing to Mack’s success is his most recent recruiting class earning a rank within the top 15.

Sophomore Dwayne Sutton made a good first impression against Miami scoring 16 against them this season. Freshman Samual Williamson came in with the heat as well scoring 13 points. Mack also scored graduate transfer Lamarr Kimble this year, who will leave his mark on the program too.

Junior Jordan Nwora will lead scoring this season for the Cardinals, starting the season off with 23 points against Miami. In an exhibition game against Bellarmine University Nwora scored a parasol record of 27. Nwora trained extensively for this season by attending an NBA training camp.

It is also important to note what Mack has accomplished given his circumstances. Mack inherited a team that was in shambles after Pitino, with restricted resources due to sanctions. While Louisville had a mediocre season last year, Mack suffered from past stigmas.

Louisville fans were also demoralized after the Pitino-era scandals. In order to turn the team around, Mack also had to reestablish trust with the fans. While people often think sports are mostly focused on the talent of athletes and coaching, it is a struggle when fans are apprehensive.

While it is too early to tell if the Cardinals will be in the running for a 2020 national title, it is impossible to keep this team out of the conversation.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Volleyball sweeps Virginia Cavaliers 3-0 Monday, Oct 28 2019 

By Gabriel Wiest–

Louisville swept Virginia 3-0 on Friday Oct. 25 with little resistance on the Cardinal’s home court.

The win against the Cavaliers comes as a conference win, expanding Louisville’s conference strength.

Leading the Cardinals on offense, Claire Chaussee had 10 kills. On defense junior Anna Stevenseon had eight blocks against Virginia.

In the first set, Virginia had the most energy they would have for the entire game. While this was their best moment in the game, it was still not enough to gain ground against the Cardinals. Louisville ended the set on top 25-18.

After losing the first set Virginia’s energy collapsed. Louisville took a win in the second set with ease, taking the set 25-13.

In the final set, Virginia still struggled against the Cardinals. UVA’s defense in particular, was simply overpowered by Louisville’s deep offense. Virginia fell again in the final set, solidifying Louisvilles victory 25-13.

The Cav’s struggled with errors over the throughout game, raking up 27 for the game compared to 12 from Louisville.

Louisville’s offense was impressive for the Cardinals, with seven kills from freshmen Amber Stivirnis, who also added three blocks showing versatility. Shannon Shields had 28 assists, helping put Louisville in scoring position for over a third of the scoring for the game.

Alex Hendricks played strong, with two aces up her sleeve against Virginia.

Louisville’s next home game will be against Syracuse Nov. 15 at 7 p.m.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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Soccer wraps up regular season against Wake Forest Friday, Oct 25 2019 

By Gabriel Wiest–

Louisville men’s soccer is set to play the final game of the regular season against Wake Forest Friday Nov. 1 at 6:00 p.m. at Lynn Stadium.

The Cardinals have a strong 6-2-1 home field advantage against Wake Forest. The Deacons (12-2-1), are highly competitive in the ACC with high profile wins against No. 4 Clemson and No. 20 NC State.

Compared to Wake Forest, Louisville’s (7-5-2) schedule has been more challenging. Louisville has faced off against six nationally ranked teams, while Wake Forest only played three. Louisville has also taken hard fought wins, defeating  No. 2 Georgetown 1-0 in double overtime.

While Louisville upset Georgetown, the Cardinals also took a hard 4-0 loss against Clemson. This makes Louisville a mixed bag. They have the abilities to beat ranked teams, but need to make sure offense and defense is cohesive.

Historically Wake Forest has defeated Louisville eight times, with Louisville only winning against the Deacons three times. In last year’s match against the Deacons, Louisville won 2-1 putting a win in reach.

The Card’s also have five games that have gone into overtime, taking four wins from these games with one tie. This experience gives Louisville the upper hand if the game comes to the wire in overtime.

Senior Cherif Dieye will be leading the offense for Louisville with six goals and four assists. Junior Emil Elveroth will also bring the heat on offense, scoring three goals this season. Between the two they have a combined four game-winning goals.

Dieye specifically has had an excellent year, earning ACC Player of the Week with two game winning scores in one week.

After playing Wake Forest, Louisville will enter the ACC men’s Soccer Championship starting on Tuesday Nov. 5. Their opponent has not been decided.

Photo by Anna Claire Will / The Louisville Cardinal

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The pay-to-play tipping point in Kentucky Monday, Oct 14 2019 

By Gabriel Wiest–

After California passed their collegiate Fair Pay to Play Act, Kentucky State Senator Morgan McGarvey is looking to follow in their footsteps.

If passed, the law would ensure that Kentucky’s collegiate athletics remain competitive against California. With California’s universities like UCLA being able to pay players starting in 2023, this could have a negative effect on Kentucky recruiting efforts.

Dozens of states are attempting to mimic California’s ground breaking act, including Illinois and Pennsylvania. On the federal level, the House of Representatives has also been toying with the idea of national pay-to-play legislation.

The NCAA commented in response to the California legislation stating that it is an existential threat to collegiate sports. However, public support for pay-for-play is at an all-time high.

McGarvey said, “When you see a place like California and all of it’s universities doing something like this we want to make sure that Kentucky is also positioned on the forefront of being fair to its college athletes.”

The California legislation includes prohibiting the NCAA from penalizing athletes for receiving compensation and prohibiting colleges from rebuking scholarships. These two key elements are at the foundation of McGarvey’s law.

Both the University of Louisville and University of Kentucky earn in the top 20 national revenue for the NCAA, amassing over $134 million each.

In context to basketball, U of L and UK both are the most profitable teams taking the one and two spot in accordance to NCAA revenue rankings. Louisville averaged $30.4 million and Kentucky at $22.9 million in the last three years.

With these massive revenues for in-state teams, if Kentucky colleges had the ability to compensate players, this could ensure collegiate recruiting dominance.

McGarvey also explained how the compensation of players is critical to the treatment of college athletes.

“We want to make sure that those athletes are getting treated fairly and that we continue that for years to come,” said McGarvey.

The bill will be introduced in the next session of the Kentucky General Assembly at the beginning of next year.

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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No. 20 Women’s soccer takes steps in historic season Monday, Sep 23 2019 

By Jocelyn Kronoveter —

The Cardinals (7-1) broke their seven game winning streak by losing to No. 4 North Carolina 0-3. 

Last season the women’s soccer team lost their six game streak against Perdue in 2018, with a final score of 1-2. This year, the Cardinals will not be going up against the Boilmakers, however ACC competition will still be intense.

In her 20 seasons as head coach, Karen Ferguson-Hayes has brought up the team’s record nearly every year.

The women’s soccer team has now been to the NCAA tournament four times and finished near the top of the conference. 

In last year’s season, Louisville lost against No. 4 North Carolina, losing 1-5. 

Head coach Ferguson-Dayes commented on what the team will be looking for in terms of improvement, stating that energy in the second half was a weakness for the Cards, including not having as many substitutions for players as the opposing teams. Improving the teams stamina along with strategic play-by-plays is something to focus on moving forward in the season.

With Louisville facing off against Syracuse (2-4-2) next, soccer fans hold their breath in anticipation to see if they will win an ACC division game. Syracuse lost to Auburn, making them 0-1 in ACC play. 

The next match will be held Sept. 26 at Syracuse. 

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal

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