The best moments of Fall athletics, according to our Sports Editor Monday, Jan 23 2023 

By Spencer Laws

The 2022 fall sports season officially ended, capped off in part with the volleyball team’s magical run to the National Championship last month. I thought I would go back through and review the prime moments from this semester. 

Volleyball’s magical run 

Starting out with the most apparent moment of the semester — the volleyball team’s run to the NCAA National Championship.

The Cards have produced back-to-back final-four appearances. This year, they advanced to the National Championship by beating ACC foe Pittsburgh in a five set dogfight. Along this journey, the team also collected a shared ACC Championship with a total record of 31-1, dropping only one conference game. This was the first time in not only Louisville history, but ACC history that a program from the conference has reached the championship match. 

The best third quarter ever? 

During the spookiest weekend of the year, the Louisville Football team had one of the most dominant single-quarter performances in the history of the game.

In the third quarter, the Card’s defense forced six Demon Deacon turnovers, bringing the total for the whole game to eight. The Cards came into the second half one point down to Wake Forest, 13-14, and finished the quarter leading 41-14. The final score of this thrashing finished with a 48-21 Cards win, which led to the latest edition of football faithfuls storming Cardinal Stadium. This will likely be looked at as one of the more notable Scott Satterfield wins during his time leading the Cards. 

Field hockey braves a tough schedule

The field hockey team had a very tough task throughout the entire season; they ended up facing 12 Top 25 nationally ranked opponents over a 20-game schedule.

In those 20 games, the team was able to knock off many ranked opponents including beating No. 11 Penn State 2-1 at the end of August, No. 4 ranked Michigan 2-1 at home this past September, and lastly downing No. 24 Duke in a shoutout to win 2-1 at home in mid-October. With their impressive performance weathering the tough schedule, the squad was able to clinch an NCAA tournament birth. Unfortunately for the Cards, it was all Penn State in the first round.

Brohm’s Home, Satterfield’s Out 

The U of L football program is set to have some new management for the 2023 season in what became one of the weirder coaching turnovers in recent history.

Former head coach Scott Satterfield found himself a new program to run the ball with during a 2nd and 14th situation in the Cincinnati Bearcats. Athletic Director Josh Heird stepped up to the plate and hired Louisville football’s proverbial son, Jeff Brohm.

Brohm is coming off a very impressive stint at the University of Purdue, revitalizing the culture up in West Lafayette. In nine seasons as a head coach, Brohm has accumulated a 66-44 record, won five of six bowl games, and lastly won the division or conference three times while at Purdue and WKU. Brohm played for legendary U of L coach Howard Schellenberger from the years 1989-1993.

(Another rather interesting fact: Brohm was also a very good baseball player while in high school; he was drafted to the MLB twice while in high school and college.)

The Fall as a whole

There were a lot of great moments that came out of the Fall Semester that will hopefully forge the path for this new era the University is heading into as new leadership continues to manage the University we attend and love.

Photo Courtesy //  Taris Smith, Annabelle Merz, Rachel Klotz, Louisville Athletics //

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Women’s volleyball downs Pittsburgh in 5 set bout, National Championship match set Friday, Dec 16 2022 

By Spencer Laws

Thursday, December 15th marked a pretty important day in NCAA DI women’s volleyball, not only for the University of Louisville. 

The Makings of History 

As the Louisville volleyball team (31-2)  knocked off Pittsburgh in five sets, the Cards become the first-ever ACC team to advance to the title game. On top of this, it’s the first time the team has gone to the championship in program history.

In overcoming this milestone and reaching this level, head coach Dani Busboom Kelly said “It’s something you hope you have the opportunity to do as a coach – we want to make a difference in young women’s lives and we want to compete to win. And you hope that you’re at this stage, able to capitalize on the opportunity and to be able to take advantage of the moment is just incredibly special.”

This achievement did not come easily; a very talented Pittsburgh squad put the Cardinals in many tough spots again and again. 

Set One 

Louisville started the first set by jumping out to a big 6-0 lead, forcing Pittsburgh to take a timeout very early. The Panthers rallied back to eventually tie the set at nine, but from there on out it was all Cardinals, rallying to pull ahead 19-12. The team ultimately iced the set with a final score of 25-18.

Cards 1-0.

Set Two 

Set two was a very different story than we saw in set one; neither team was initially able to jump out to a comfortable lead. 

The Cards started early, leading 4-1 — the only lead of the set for Busboom and company. 

Pitt battled back to overcome the deficit and take the lead for the rest of the set. Although they were never able to gain a lead of more than four. Leaving an opportunity for the Cards to capitalize on any mistakes. 

Louisville battled back being down 21-17 to get Pittsburgh within their sights only to be within a point, 21-22. In spite of the rally, Pitt was able to control the momentum and close out the set and tie the match. 

1-1 Tie.

Set Three

Pitt managed everything Louisville threw at them within the middle portion of the set, ending up with a lead of 20-18 heading into the all-important final few points. This is when the Cards closed out on the Panthers, grabbing the four final points to win 25-22. 

Cards 2-1.

Set Four

Louisville was controlling everything until the score was 21-22. This match showed viewers a great example of how much fight and heart teams like Pittsburgh possess. Desperation is when teams like this perform the best.  

The Panthers scored the final five points to close out the set and extend the match to a fifth, winning 25-22. 

2-2 tie.

Fifth and final set

The fifth set was an all-around dominant performance from the Cardinals, both offensively and defensively. Phekran “PK” Kong, was a significant difference-maker, recording 11 blocks to help the team jump out to a big 8-0 lead. This set displayed U of L’s stellar defensive ability, only allowing 2 total points and winning 15-2. 

3-2 Louisville advance!

All Around Ability

This team is crafted in a way to dominate and control all aspects of the game, and its balance is something you don’t see often. Almost every player has the innate ability to come up big when the team needs it the most to punish their opponents. 

You can see this in the different runs throughout this match, especially with outside hitters Claire Chaussee and Anna Debeer.

Chaussee had a game-high 25 kills, along with Debeer who recorded 15 kills. Combine this with setter Raquel Lazaro’s ability to put those players in position, and you end up with a dangerous combination. Lazaro finished the match with 49 assists. 

Their defensive prowess negated a lot of the different advantages Pitt may have had. Libero Elena Scott had a career-high 28 digs, pairing very nicely with Amaya Tillman’s seven and Aiko Jones’s six blocks. 

Lastly, the depth provided allows room for Busboom to add in different players, something that can propel this team to capture the title. We saw players like Ceci Rush, Alexa Hendricks, and Ayden Barlett ready in major moments in helping the Cards advance. 

The Last Dance 

The desire left from last year’s final-four heartbreak to eventual champions Wisconsin plays a huge role in this year’s run. 

Outside hitter and Louisville native Anna Debeer commented on last year’s loss and what it means to the team, saying “We’ve been there before last year. We know that feeling. We know how hard it is to get there and how much it hurts after that loss. So I think this whole year that’s been our goal. And the team has been on the same page since the very beginning and made it known that we want to win a national championship.”

This team has the ability with all the aforementioned skills and talent to potentially etch their names into greatness. 

No. 2 seed Louisville will take on No. 1 Texas this Saturday, December 17th at 8 PM E.T. on ESPN 2.

Photo Courtesy // Adam Creech, Louisville Athletics //  

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Recapping a busy week for U of L athletics Wednesday, Dec 14 2022 

By Spencer Laws

Besides finals week, this round-up of athletics news has been nothing short of hectic for students, athletes, and fans alike. 

#BroughtBrohmHome

On Dec. 8th, the athletic association announced that Jeff Brohm would be the next head coach of the University of Louisville football team. 

Brohm was among every die-hard fan’s pick to take over the reins at Cardinal Stadium. 

His work in West Lafayette as Purdue University’s head coach was enough to catch athletic director Josh Heird’s eye, the deal was done shortly after the meeting between the two. Brohm came in right away and jumped on the recruiting trail. 

Looking to preserve some of the commits from previous head coach Scott Satterfield’s ‘23 class, Brohm went out to California to check up with four-star dual-threat QB Pierce Clarkson, and four-star wide receiver Deandre Moore at St. John’s Bosco. 

Deion Branch is still set to lead the Cards in the Battle for the Keg of Nails in the Wasabi Fenway bowl this Saturday, December 17th. He will step in for former head coach Scott Satterfield.

Volleyball is Back in the Final Four 

In an intense match on Dec. 10th, the volleyball team once again secured their spot in the NCAA Tournament Final Four, making it back-to-back years. 

Dani Busboom Kelly and the team were taken to five sets to settle their matchup with the Oregon Ducks, picking up the first in a close 23-25 battle. Oregon came back and picked up the second set in another tight contest, 23-25. 

Starting off the third set with an impressive 8-0 run, Oregon came out in a dominant and controlled, winning 25-13. With their back against the wall, the pulled out a 27-25 result to force the fifth set. 

The fifth set was all Cards as they sent the Ducks packing with a 15-6 victory to move on. 

Louisville players Aiko Jones and Claire Chaussee were named to the All-Region team. Louisville outside hitter Anna Debeer was named Regional MVP. 

The team will face off with fellow ACC member Pittsburgh this Thursday, December 15th at 9:30 E.T. Their previous matches with the Panthers this season are split 1-1 — a 2-3 loss at the end of October, and a mid-November 3-0 sweep. 

Make it 6 Straight for Women’s Basketball

In addition to all the fun and madness that the University has been experiencing, women’s basketball head coach Jeff Walz and company went down to Lexington and proved they own the state. 

The Cards controlled the Wildcats in another Battle of the Bluegrass, beating the Wildcats 86-72, to pick up their sixth straight win over UK.

Hailey Van Lith had a game-high 21 points. Liz Dixon added 16 of her own for the Cards, and Morgan Jones had 12 points to round out the double-digit scorers. 

Walz and the team have faced some adversity over the last couple of weeks, dropping some uncharacteristic games. In the “Battle for Atlantis” over Thanksgiving break, the team lost an overtime battle with Gonzaga in the opening matchup. After their win over a very good Texas team, they closed the tourney with another loss, this time to the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State. 

The Cards then dropped another tough battle in the ACC/BIG Ten Challenge against No. 5 ranked Ohio State with a 77-96 loss, and a loss to Middle Tennessee in Murfreesboro, 49-67. 

Jeff Walz and the team didn’t panic in the longtime rivalry though. Nor did they against innercity rival Bellarmine, who they trounced 73-43. The team lead by 31 at the beginning of the second half, and the eight points were given up tied the program record for the fewest points allowed in a half. 

Louisville will travel to Pittsburgh to open the conference slate on Sunday, December 18. The Cardinals and Panthers are set to square off at the Peterson Event Center at 2 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on ACC Network.

Photo Courtesy // GoCards.com //

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Women’s Volleyball continues to impress, set to face Baylor in the Sweet Sixteen Thursday, Dec 8 2022 

By Jason Krell

The Cards began NCAA tournament play on Friday, December 2nd where they squared off against Samford and walked out of L&N Federal Credit Union Arena with a 3-0 sweep. Senior Aiko Jones led all Cardinals with 11 kills and hitting an impressive .558.

Head coach Dani Busboom Kelly added after the match, “When you play in the NCAA Tournament, there can be nerves and a lot of distractions. But we were really focused and played very clean from point one.” Louisville controlled the match from the beginning not letting Samford lead once. They won each set 25-9, 25-13, 25-12.

Just 23 hours later, The Cards were back in action against a very solid Purdue team who was 21-11 on the year. Louisville’s Claire Chaussee led the way with 12 kills and fellow teammate Amaya Tillman was right behind registering 11. Graduate transfer Raquel Lazaro finished with a match-high 39 assists as well.

The Cards were faced with a more competitive opponent but did not phase them as they recorded their 20th sweep of the season over #19 Purdue. A box score of 25-19, 25-21, and 25-23 was enough to secure them a spot in the Sweet Sixteen.

Post Season Accolades

Louisville racked up a handful of regional awards after their handling of Samford and Purdue. Claire Chaussee took home the AVCA East Region Player of the Year while head coach Dani Busboom Kelly was awarded the Region Coach of the Year. Additionally, the Cards earned five AVCA East All-Region honors and were awarded to Aiko Jones, Amaya Tillman, Claire Chaussee, Elena Scott, and Raquel Lazaro.

Looking Ahead

The Cards will face off against #17 Baylor on Thursday, December 8th at the KFC Yum! Center. This will be Louisville’s fourth consecutive Sweet Sixteen trip and its eighth in program history. Likewise, this will also be the Bears’ fourth consecutive Sweet Sixteen trip after they defeated in-state rivals Stephen F. Austin and Rice.

The winner of Thursday’s contest will take on the winner of #7 Nebraska and #9 Oregon on December 10th at 4 pm.

Photo Courtesy// Matthew Mueller, The Louisville Cardinal //

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U of L women’s volleyball continues to put together another historic season Wednesday, Oct 12 2022 

By Spencer Laws

After last year’s historic run in the NCAA tournament ending in a Final-Four appearance and collecting an ACC regular season title along the way, the Louisville Women’s Volleyball team has essentially picked up where they left off after last season. 

The Cards have already put up an impressive record halfway through this year’s schedule, jumping up as high as the second-ranked team nationally. Among their wins include six ranked opponents, all while only dropping one game. 

Other notable wins include a 3-2 win over rival Kentucky in a nationally televised on ESPN in Lexington. It was only the fourth regular season match to be televised on the network since 1997, and the most-watched regular season volleyball game ever, logging 302,000 viewers for that broadcast. 

Another impressive streak to note is the unbeaten ACC games that started during the 2020 season. The team has gone 34 ACC games without losing. Head coach Dani Busboom Kelly and the team have been on a tear recently, winning their last ten matches. 

With 12 games left in the ACC this season, the Cards are tied at the top of the standings with Pittsburgh, who also stand undefeated 6-0. The team is looking to build upon the experience they gained in the run they had last December in the NCAA tournament to capture the National Championship.

File Photo // GoCards.com // 

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September Fall Sports Overview Wednesday, Oct 5 2022 

By Spencer Laws

Volleyball 

Halfway through the regular season, the team is ranked #2 in the country. Coach Busboom Kelly and the team are very much favorites for the regular season title. The team picked up right where it let off following last year’s final four run.

In the month the girls put together a very impressive 8-1 record and produced 4 ranked wins in the process, including a nationally televised, gritty win in Lexington against #13 UK.

The ACC is very much in the hands of the Cardinals, who haven’t dropped a conference game yet.

Men’s Soccer

Louisville men’s soccer had a really good month, as they finished September with a record of 4-2-2, ranking as high as 10th ranked nationally. The team scored a very quality 2-1 win against #8 Pittsburgh at home on Sept. 23rd. The two losses of the month came from two very quality squads, #5 Kentucky and #7 Duke. 

They next take a trip to South Bend, Indiana to face off with ACC foe Notre Dame. Their schedule doesn’t get any easier from there as Syracuse and Clemson take a visit later in the month. They finish off their regular season schedule with ACC Atlantic rival Wake Forest, who holds the top spot in the division currently. 

The team is in a very good spot with a 2-1-1 conference record and third in the Atlantic division. If the team can put some conference results together they will have a shot at an ACC title. 

The men’s soccer team celebrates a win at home.

Women’s Soccer

Women’s soccer faced a very tough schedule in the latter half of September, facing back-to-back top ten ranked ACC opponents. However, at the beginning of the month, the girls pulled out a big result, taking a 3-2 win over #23 ranked Memphis on neutral ground. 

They followed up this result with back-to-back ties, 0-0 against James Madison and Indiana University. On Sept. 17th the team won their ACC opener against Miami at home, recording a shutout on the way to a 1-0 win. 

The team has some work to do after dropping three ACC games in a row. On Oct. 6th Clemson travels to town; both teams need a crucial win to get back on track in ACC play. 

Games left in their schedule include Boston College and Notre Dame at home, and then two road matchups in North Carolina against Duke and NC State. UNC comes to Louisville to close out the regular season.  

The women’s soccer team gets ready for their match.

Field Hockey 

Throwing up an overall record of 9-2 (6-2 record during the month of September), the field hockey team is another team that is putting up a very impressive national campaign. The 2 losses include both of their ACC games, giving them a big hill to climb with the end of the regular season quickly approaching. 

Nevertheless, the squad pulled out great wins against #4th Michigan and #13th Princeton. The team travels next to Winston-Salem to try and get their conference play record back on track with a win.

Other games in their schedule include Liberty University, Duke, and Ball State, followed up with a trip to New York to face off with Syracuse and Cornell. They close out their regular season with Boston College at home. 

The field hockey huddles together before a game.

Cross Country 

The Cross Country team has competed in two meets during the month of September, including the Covered Bridge Open in Boone North Carolina, where the men’s team finished 3rd, and the women’s team finished 6th. 

On September 17th the teams traveled up to Terre Haute, Indiana to run. The men finished 5th and the women finished 8th. 

The teams hosted a meet this past Saturday, October 1st at E.P. Tom Sawyer Park. This is where the NCAA Regional will take place at the end of the month. On October 14th the team will travel to Peoria, Illinois to compete in the Bradley Pink Classic, prepping before the ACC championship on October 28th in Charlottesville.

The men’s Cross Country team prepares for a meet.

Photo Courtesy // GoCards.com //

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U of L Volleyball finish regular season undefeated, enters tournament as no. 1 seed Monday, Dec 6 2021 

By Daniel Rankin —

The University of Louisville Volleyball team finished off the regular season just as they started: beating Notre Dame and finishing with a perfect record. En route, the Cards picked up their second straight ACC Title.

Though they dominated their opponents in most cases, Louisville faced challenging ACC opponents in the University of Pittsburgh, a top 5 team, as well as 18th ranked Georgia Tech. The out-of- conference schedule was even better when they defeated the 2020 National Champion Kentucky Wildcats and top 10 teams like Purdue and Nebraska.

“We look back on those experiences and matches and reflect on what we did well,” said ACC Coach of the Year Dani Busboom Kelly. “Those gave us the life that we earned this spot have the pieces to get it done.”

Even with the demanding schedule, Louisville was clearly the best team in the nation all season, in many cases sweeping their opponents.

Being undefeated is an incredible accomplishment, and yet head coach Dani Busboom Kelly and her team remain focused on their primary goal and what lies ahead.

“Obviously, we’re very excited about getting the No. 1,” said Kelly. “Every draw is tough this year, and it feels like 20-25 teams can reach the final four. It’ll definitely not be easy to reach Freedom Hall.”

Freedom Hall is a reference to the Cards hosting the NCAA Regional Finals (Sweet 16 – Elite 8), thanks to their partnership with Bellarmine University. The U of L Volleyball team is scheduled to take on #16 Florida in the Sweet 16 at Freedom Hall this Thursday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m.

Should the Cards advance, they will play the winner of the Ohio State and Georgia Tech match in the Elite 8.

Photo Courtesy of Adam Creech // U of L Athletics

 

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No. 2 Women’s Volleyball Take Down No. 4 Pittsburgh Monday, Oct 25 2021 

By Daniel Rankin —
This weekend, the No. 2 Louisville Cardinal’s volleyball team faced the No. 4 Pittsburgh Panthers. Louisville won with a final score of 3-2.

Pitt started the match well, winning set 1 with a score of 25-19.  Louisville attempted to take the lead throughout the first set, but the Panthers were able to take the lead before the Cardinals had a chance to catch back up.

Set 2 saw the Cards putting immediate pressure on Pittsburgh with a 13-3 lead. During her team’s 10 point run, junior blocker Amaya Tillman had a strong performance with three straight kills and a block, and Tillman finished a match-high of 8 blocks. Pitt continued to battle back, but they eventually fell short. Louisville won the second set with a score of 25-20.

Set 3 was tightly contested when both teams were tied with a score of 25-25. However, the Cards were able to pull away and win the match 27-25, capped off by a kill from senior hitter Claire Chaussee.

Down to a must-win set, Pittsburgh was able to force a winner-take-all set after winning the 4th set with a tight score of 25-22.

In the fifth and final set, only needing 15 points to win, the Cards found themselves in a hole 8-6. However, this was Pitt’s last lead of the night after Louisville went on a 4-0 run. Tied at 13-13, the Cardinals finished the match with two points and a final block from graduate blocker Anna Stevenson.

Next up, the undefeated Cardinals embark on a three-game road trip facing the Duke Devils on Halloween night. The next home game will take place at L&N Federal Credit Union Arena on November 12 at 7 pm.

Photo Courtesy of Adam Creech // U of L Athletics

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Louisville Volleyball Sweeps Clemson 3-0 Sunday, Oct 3 2021 

By Daniel Rankin —

The No. 3 Louisville Cardinals continued their season dominance in Clemson, South Carolina, sweeping the Tigers in three sets.

With their first conference road win, the Cards will continue with an undefeated 13-0 overall record and a 3-0 record in the ACC.

Set 1 started with the two teams trading points back and forth until a 9-0 run allowed the Cards to take a 15-9 lead. Clemson struggled to stay ahead as Louisville finished off the set, winning 25-16.

In Set 2, Louisville continued to build momentum with a 15-7 start. Freshman libero Elena Scott had a strong performance with two of her match-high four aces in this set. The Cards didn’t let up and won the the set with a score of 25-11.

In set 3, Louisville looked to respond to the still-fighting Clemson team. Lead by Scott and junior opposite Aiko Jones, the Cards were able to put together a 7-0 run. Set 3 was the closest set of the night, but Louisville prevailed and won 25-19; finishing the night with a match overall of 3-0.

Finally, the Cardinals finished the night with a hit average of .366 with eight aces, seven blocks, and 44 kills; 11 that came from sophomore outside hitter Anna Debeer.

Before returning home the Cards will travel to Atlanta, Georgia to face No. 18 ranked Georgia Tech Oct. 3 at 1:00 p.m.

Photo Courtesy of Taris Smith// U of L Athletics 

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Women’s Volleyball Took Down Kentucky This Week In Top Ranked Matchup Saturday, Sep 18 2021 

By: Daniel Rankin —

The No. 5 Louisville Volleyball team faced in-state rival No. 8 Kentucky on September 15th; winning in a dramatic fifth and final set (3-2).

With a loud atmosphere and national television cameras at the sold-out L&N Federal Credit Union Arena, undefeated Louisville was enthusiastic to face the defending National Champion Wildcats. However, Kentucky was ready as well, and took the first set 17-25.

The second set was much tighter, with both teams trading the lead five times accompanied by twelve ties. Finally, a good run led to the Cards winning the set 25-20.

Building off that good momentum, Louisville started the third set strong, pulling out a dominant 13-5 lead. Holding off a massive surge from Kentucky, Louisville finished to win set 3 25-22; one set away from winning the match.

Kentucky was able to bounce back in set 4 after a 20-25 win, and the match went into a winner takes all set. Similar to most sets, the two highly ranked teams traded points back and forth; keeping the set very close. Down 9-7, Louisville broke through and finished the match with 8 points in a row; winning the final set 15-9 and the overall match 3-2.

Senior outside hitter Claire Chaussee finished with 18 kills, and opposite redshirt junior Aiko Jones had three aces leading Louisville in each category. 2020 ACC Defensive Player of the Year Amaya Tillman led both teams with 11 blocks, just two short of her career-high.

Now 9-0 on the season, the Cards travel to the University of Nebraska to face another top 10 opponent in the Cornhuskers today at 8:00 p.m.

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