U of L field hockey ready for the NCAA Tournament Thursday, Nov 11 2021 

By Daniel Rankin —

On Friday, Nov. 12, The University of Louisville Field Hockey team will face Harvard University in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Cards recently fell short of winning the ACC Tournament after losing to Virginia in the semifinals. However, the season was still successful. Prior to the loss against the Virginia Cavaliers, U of L was able to take down Syracuse on senior day; allowing them to move on to the ACC Championship. Overall, the Cards finished the season 16-3, an impressive feat given they had one of the nation’s toughest schedules.

“To be the best, you have to play the best,” said ACC Coach of the Year Justine Sowry, “Our ACC and non-conference opponents have stepped up their game which sets us up nicely for the NCAA tournament.”

The season’s most impressive wins included ranked wins against Princeton, North Carolina, Syracuse, Ohio State, Boston College, and Virginia. Louisville will be looking to build off their successful 2020 run, making the final four for the first time in program history and returning nine out of eleven starting players.

“Having great experience over the past couple of years and more depth could be an advantage, but it isn’t automatic,” noted Sowry, “We still have to work hard together to advance.”

Junior Forward Mattie Tabor explained that early exit in the ACC Tournament has given them extra motivation. “It’s now one and done time, and we can’t take any games off,” she stated. “We’re motivated as a team to fight for those 50/50 balls and take the next step forward.”

Should Louisville advance to the quarterfinals, they’ll face the Michigan vs. Maine/Miami (Ohio) winner on Nov. 14. While the Cards have never met Havard before, they’re familiar with potential opponents Michigan, taking a hard-fought 2-1 loss and Miami (Ohio) dominating 4-1 earlier the season.

The semifinals will be on Nov. 19 and the championship match on Nov. 21, with the University of Michigan playing host.

Photo Courtesy of Adam Creech // U of L Athletics

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Louisville Football Loses By One Point Against UVA Sunday, Oct 10 2021 

By: Hannah Walker–

On Friday, October 9, Louisville football played against the Virginia Cavaliers. Louisville lost by one point when UVA scored a touchdown with 0:22 on the clock. The final score was 33-34.

At the start of the game, Louisville won the coin toss and made the decision to defer to the second half of the game. Virginia received and made a touchdown early on with 12:33 on the clock.

However, Louisville quickly caught up to UVA when redshirt junior quarterback Malik Cunningham made a complete pass for 92 yards to Tyler Harrell; scoring a touchdown for U of L.

UVA was able to break the tie with U of L in the first quarter when they made a field goal attempt from the 25 yard line. However, Louisville sophomore kicker James Turner made a field goal attempt of his own from the 28 yard line. This put both teams at a score of 10-10 going into the second quarter.

During the second quarter, both teams battled to score points. Nonetheless, UVA was the only team that was able to score. With 11:37 on the clock, Virginia made a field goal from the 22 yard line; putting them in the lead at 10-13.

During the third quarter, Louisville quickly caught back up to the Cavaliers when they scored two touchdowns and two field goals. UVA made several attempts to catch up, but were unable to by the end of the third quarter. Louisville went into the fourth quarter with a score of 30-13.

By the fourth quarter, Louisville’s defense had let up on the Cavaliers. Virginia was able to score two touchdowns early on in the quarter; putting Louisville at a score of 30-27. Louisville tried to score more towards the end of the game when Turner made a field goal from the 40 yard line, but it was too late. With only 0:22 on the clock, Virginia made another touchdown. Louisville lost with a final score of 33-34.

Louisville football will be back on Saturday, October 23 when they will play against Boston College at Cardinal Stadium.

Photo Courtesy of Jessica Abell//Louisville Cardinal

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U of L men’s tennis falls 4-1 to No. 5 Virginia on Senior Day Tuesday, Apr 20 2021 

By Riley Vance—

The Cards (9-11, 3-8 ACC) hosted No. 5 Virginia (18-2, 12-0 ACC) for their last match of the regular season before heading off to the ACC tournament. Louisville fell 4-1 to the Cavaliers at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center this Sunday afternoon.

The match started off with a tribute to senior Clement Filho, who has been with the team for five years. 

In doubles, Virginia took over courts two and three. 

Junior Alex Wesbrooks and freshman Kyle Tang fell 6-0 to Virginia’s Ryan Goetz and Gianni Ross. 

Louisville evened the score as No. 63 junior Fabien Salle and sophomore Matthew Fung defeated Jeffrey von der Schulenburg and Inaki Montes (UV) 6-2. 

Virginia clinched the doubles point on court two as No. 89 junior Sergio Hernandez and senior Tin Chen fell short (7-5) against William Woodall and Matthew Lord (UV). 

In singles, Virginia secured wins on courts one, three, and four.

Junior Josh Howard-Tripp fell 6-2, 6-3 to No. 96 Goetz (UV).

Bringing the overall score to 3-0, Hernandez suffered a 7-6, 6-1 loss to Montes (UV). 

Louisville fought back on court two as No. 57 Salle prevailed over Virginia’s Rodesch in a third set (4-6, 6-3 and 6-4). 

The match was clinched on court one as Chen fell 7-6, 7-5 in a close matchup with No. 24 Schulenburg (UV). 

Matches on courts five and six were left unfinished. 

Fung split sets with Ross (UV) and was tied 1-1 in the third (4-6, 7-6 and 1-1), and junior David Mizrahi split sets with Virginia’s Woodall (7-5, 6-7). 

Men’s tennis travels to Rome, Georgia on Wednesday, April 21 to compete in the ACC tournament. 

Final Scores:

Singles

  1. #24 Jeffrey von der Schulenburg (UV) def. Tin Chen (LOU) 7-6, 7-5
  2. #57 Fabien Salle (LOU) def. Chris Rodesch (UV) 4-6, 6-3 and 6-4
  3. #49 Inaki Montes (UV) def. Sergio Hernandez (LOU) 7-6, 6-1
  4. #96 Ryan Goetz (UV) def. Josh Howard-Tripp (LOU) 6-2, 6-3
  5. Matthew Fung (LOU) vs. Gianni Ross (UV) unfinished, 4-6, 7-6 and 1-1
  6. David Mizrahi (LOU) vs. William Woodall (UV) unfinished, 7-5, 6-7

Order of Finish: 4, 3, 2, 1

Doubles

  1. #63 Fabien Salle/Matthew Fung def. Jeffrey von der Schulenburg/Inaki Montes (UV) 6-2
  2. William Woodall/Matthew Lord (UV) def. #89 Tin Chen/Sergio Hernandez (LOU) 7-5
  3. Ryan Goetz/Gianni Ross (UV) def. Kyle Tang/Alex Wesbrooks (LOU) 6-0

Order of Finish: 3, 1 and 2

Photo Courtesy of Riley Vance 

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U of L walks away with a loss against the Virginia Cavaliers Saturday, Apr 17 2021 

By: Hannah Walker–

The No. 7 Louisville Cardinal’s baseball team lost (7-8) on April 16 when they played against the Virginia Cavaliers. The game was neck and neck up until the 10th inning when Virginia broke the tie and won the game.

During the first five innings, junior Michael Kirian was the starting pitcher for U of L. He was able to pitch a total of 97 pitches, make four strikeouts and have five ground outs throughout his time on the mound. Nonetheless, Virginia made 12 hits from Kirian’s pitches, which allowed Virginia to have an offensive advantage.

U of L was the first to score during the top of the first inning when sophomore catcher Henry Davis singled up the middle and sophomore infielder Cooper Bowman scored.

The Cardinal’s continued to lead during the beginning of the game when Davis advanced to second on a throwing error, and Bowman scored during the top of the third inning.

Still, the Cavaliers started to catch up when they scored during the bottom of the third inning. This put Louisville at only a one-point lead going into the fourth inning.

At the top of the fourth inning, U of L scored again when freshman catcher/first baseman Dalton Rushing made a homerun to right center. This allowed both junior outfielder Trey Leonard and junior infielder/outfielder Lucas Dunn to score.

U of L continued to take the lead during the top of the fifth inning when sophomore infielder Alex Binelas made a homerun right center. This allowed Davis to score once again.

Virginia started to take back the lead during the bottom of the fifth inning when they scored five times. They continued to score during the bottom of the ninth and tenth inning as well. This is what ultimately led to U of L’s loss.

Louisville will face the Virginia Cavaliers again today at 4:00 p.m. at Davenport Field in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Photo Courtesy of Justin Krueger// U of L Athletics 

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U of L football loses to Virginia Tech 42-35 Monday, Nov 2 2020 

By John McCarthy–

The University of Louisville football team lost at home on Oct. 31 to ACC competitor Virginia Tech 42-35. This moves the Cardinals’ record to 2-5 on the season and puts them in 13th place in the ACC.

The news came out just before the game that a handful of Louisville’s defensive players would be unavailable for the game. Defensive linemen Micah Bland, Ja’Darien Boykin, Malik Clark, Yaya Diaby and Tabarius Peterson were all unavailable. Punter Ryan Harwell, safety Isaiah Hayes and linebacker Monty Montgomery were also unavailable. All of the players were showing symptoms of COVID-19.

The Cardinals dug themselves a hole early on going down 21-0 moving into the second quarter. It was no secret early on that the second string Cardinal defense was struggling.

Sophomore Marshon Ford put Louisville on the board first by completing a 14-yard pass from junior Malik Cunningham for a touchdown. Then, just before halftime, sophomore Javian Hawkins broke loose for a 90-yard touchdown run. U of L trailed the Hokies 21-14 going in the half.

After a scoreless third quarter, Senior Dez Fitzpatrick got the Cards back on track with an 82-yard touchdown pass from Cunningham. With six minutes left in the final quarter, senior Maurice Barkley ran it in for a 13-yard touchdown. Barkley’s touchdown tightened the score to 34-28. Six points were as close as the Cardinals would get to Hokies. Both teams tacked on an additional touchdown in the final four minutes, but Virginia Tech took home the victory 42-35.

Cunningham threw for 350 yards and three touchdowns but had three interceptions. Hawkins carried the ball for 129 yards on 17 carries with a touchdown. Fitzpatrick had a monster game with 158 yards on five catches, one of which was a touchdown. Junior Tutu Atwell had 8 catches for 78 yards.

U of L will attempt to rebound next week when they travel to Virginia to take on the Cavaliers. That game will be Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. on ACC Network.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Cardinals’ volleyball and field hockey off to historic starts Monday, Oct 12 2020 

By John McCarthy–

Volleyball and field hockey have started strong early in their seasons. Both sports are off to historic starts to their seasons for the fall 2020 semester.

University of Louisville field hockey has a sizzling 5-0 record and sit atop the ACC. Cardinals volleyball is headed on an upward trend as they improved their season record to 4-1.

U of L volleyball has won four straight games after losing the season opener against ACC rival Notre Dame.

Field Hockey:

Senior Mercedes Pastor has led the way for Cardinals field hockey so far this season. She leads the team in points and shots made. Pastor and fellow senior Meghan Schneider led the team in minutes played with 300.

As a team, the Cardinals have more than triple their opponent’s goal total. U of L has racked up 13 goals over their first five games while holding the opposing teams to only four goals collectively.

The Cardinals field hockey team will look to continue their hot streak when they head to Virginia to challenge the Cavaliers on Oct. 23. U of L seeks revenge over their loss from last year and try to keep their undefeated season record alive.

Volleyball:

U of L volleyball has come out just as fiery as they were last season. Freshman Ayden Bartlett has been a stand-out performer for the Cardinals so far this season. She has an impressive six assists through five matches and has a kill as well. Sophomore Aiko Jones continues to be a solid contributor to the Cardinals success. She leads the team in kills and aces.

The volleyball team will take on Pittsburgh on Oct.23. Cardinals volleyball has lost their last three matches against the Panthers. They look to snap their losing streak and keep their impressive season going.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Coal Towns Were Counting On Tourism For New Jobs. Then Coronavirus Hit. Monday, Jun 29 2020 

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On a recent sunny weekday, Bill Currey proudly walks among 30 neatly stacked, brightly colored plastic kayaks. Birds chirp merrily, and the soothing sounds of the meandering Coal River permeate the background — nature’s version of a white noise machine. 

For the tanned Currey, who also owns an industrial real estate company, being here, on the river, is as good as it gets. His goal is to share this slice of paradise with as many people as will listen. 


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Women’s soccer takes second loss to Virginia Monday, Oct 28 2019 

By Gabriel Wiest —

Louisville women’s soccer lost to No. 1 Virginia 3-0 at Klockner Soccer Stadium Oct. 24.

This comes as their second ACC loss, losing to University of North Carolina 3-0 earlier in the season.

Virginia (13-0-3) and Louisville (11-2-2) had tension in the first half. The ball bounced between both teams, as the offenses struggled to maintain possession.

The Cavaliers scored their first goal in the first half. Virginia led shots 7-2 to Louisville as the Cardinals struggled to get past the Virginia offense.

Louisville’s only shot on goal occurred in the first half. The Cardinals were not able to gain traction the rest of the game.

UVA scored another two goals in the second half, capitalizing off of a tired Louisville defense. Virginia ended the game with 17 shots compared to only two by Louisville.

The Cardinals had five saves on goal by redshirt junior Gabby Kouzelos for the game.

While this is a hard loss at the end of the season, Virginia is an undefeated team with conference dominance.

The Cardinals play North Carolina State next at Lynn Stadium Oct. 31 at 5:00 p.m.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Louisville field hockey taken down by No. 9 Virginia Monday, Oct 14 2019 

By Mariam Prieto-Perez —

No.5 Louisville field hockey loses to No.9 Virginia with a score of 2-1 on Friday Oct. 11. This game with mark the first loss since the Cardinals four-game winning streak and a second division loss.

The first quarter of the game saw 14 scoreless minutes. Finally, in the last 30, junior Mercedes Pastor broke through with assists from juniors Alli Biting and Meghan Schneider. This brought the first quarter score to 1-0.

In the second quarter the Cards (10-2, 2-2) had the opportunity to take a 2-0 lead with a penalty-corner goal. But the goal was disallowed due to an obstruction call against Louisville, with the call upheld after being challenged. The Cards held on to the lead, finishing the second quarter 1-0.

The third quarter saw Virginia (10-3, 2-2) gain momentum and playing an aggressive offense. The Cavaliers finished the quarter with 3 shots, compared to Louisville’s 2.

Virginia gained the upper hand in the last quarter when Virginia evened the score. With less than five mins left in the game, the Cavaliers scored again, ending regulation 2-1.

Louisville played a tough defense, ending with five saves versus Virginia’s three. Senior Bethany Russ led the defense alongside Pastor.

The Cardinal will be back in action against No. 16 Stanford on Tuesday Oct. 15 at Trager Stadium.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Meet The Coal Town Betting Big On Outdoor Recreation  Monday, Sep 30 2019 

Fred Ramey

Standing on the breezy outlook at Flag Rock Recreation Area, Norton City Manager Fred Ramey is taking in the panoramic view of downtown Norton, Virginia. The brick building-lined streets are framed by the verdant, rolling Appalachian mountains. Jagged, brown scars from mountaintop mining operations can be seen in the distance, reminders of the region’s history of coal production.

“It’s a great overlook of the city, and people really are surprised when they get up here at the view,” he says. “It’s truly beautiful, and it’s unique. It’s something that we have that not everyone else has.”

This view — and Norton’s abundance of nature and outdoor recreation opportunities — are what Ramey and others here are hoping will be the next chapter in the region’s history.

Fred RameyBrittany Patterson | Ohio Valley ReSource

Norton City Manager Fred Ramey poses at Flag Rock Recreation Area.

The first chapter was coal.

Norton was named in the 1890s after the president of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. The community of about 4,000 sits in Wise County, which borders eastern Kentucky. Coal has been mined in these mountains for more than 140 years.

But since 2008, coal production has fallen by about 50 percent in Virginia. The trends look similar across the Ohio Valley. Over the last decade, coal production decreased more than 65 percent in Kentucky and Ohio, and decreased roughly 40 percent in West Virginia.

Alexandra Kanik | Ohio Valley ReSource

“In a certain way, our community has found itself at another intersection due to the loss of coal,” Ramey said. “And that’s when we had to really start thinking differently.”

Norton, like many regional communities, began looking at how to diversify its coal-based economy. One resource it has in abundance is nature.

Recreation Opportunities

Alexandra Kanik | Ohio Valley ReSource

The city is located near Jefferson National Forest and Stone Mountain. Its peak, High Knob, is the wettest area in Virginia and the area is rich in biodiversity. For example, more than 20 species of salamander are known to live in the region.

In the 1970s, Norton began developing the Flag Rock Recreation Area, a 1,000-acre park a few miles from downtown. Norton ramped up those efforts more recently and the park is a central piece of the city’s plan to reorient its economy to outdoor recreation. New campgrounds and hiking trails have been built. A visitor’s center that will be easily accessible from downtown is in the works.

The city has also built eight miles of mountain bike trails, with more in development.

“When you have mountain bikers come to your to your town, they’re going to come out of the woods and come down and frequent your restaurants,” Shayne Fields said. He’s trail coordinator for Norton. “If we get enough trails here then they’re going to come and stay multiple days. So, you’ll have patronage at your restaurants, your hotels, any little shops you have in town.”

bike trailsBrittany Patterson | Ohio Valley ReSource

New bike and hiking trails at Flag Rock Recreation Area in Norton, Va.

Fields would know. An avid cyclist himself, he and his friends have traveled around the country in search of good mountain biking.

“Normally, when we go someplace, we come out of the woods hungry,” he said. “And the first thing you want to do is go find some really good fatty food and and a craft beer somewhere.”

Fields grew up in Norton. He can remember the heyday of coal and has seen the impact its decline has had on the region. Wise County is losing population. About 23 percent of its residents live under the poverty line and the region is often considered ground zero for the opioid epidemic.

Recreation isn’t a silver bullet, Fields said, but it could be a key part of the solution.

“If we want to get an industry here — something other than the coal industry, you know, since it’s probably not coming back — we’re going to have to provide some kind of environment here that’s going to make those young working people want to stay here,” he said. “If we’ve got a good recreational economy-based setup here, we’ll have venues for people to come and play.”

Transition Challenges

Researchers who study economic transitions in coal-dependent communities say diversification is not easy. Many of these communities are located in rural areas, isolated from cities and lacking their amenities. In some cases, political leaders cling to the idea of coal comeback, which stalls action.

“The biggest problem is the loss of employment, particularly of high wage jobs,” said Mark Haggerty, with the Bozeman, Montana-based nonprofit research group Headwaters Economics. “And just as important is the loss of revenue that supports schools and libraries and local services that keep these communities vibrant and attractive places.”

Haggerty has been studying coal community transitions for a decade and said several communities have had success making the transition from mining to outdoor recreation. He pointed to Gallup, New Mexico, a former hard rock mining community, which has now designated itself “The Adventure Capital of New Mexico.” Due to its proximity to the New River Gorge and world class river rafting, Fayetteville, West Virginia, has boomed in recent years.

get outside in NortonBrittany Patterson | Ohio Valley ReSource

Norton, Virginia has launched a “Get Outside” campaign showcasing its natural resources.

Recreation can be a tool, and a powerful one for coal-dependent communities seeking to diversify their economies, but shouldn’t be the end goal, Haggerty said.

“Recreation is really a means to an end,” he said. “So what a recreation strategy does for you is it makes your community more attractive, and it has to be set within a broader economic development strategy that includes making sure you have broadband connectivity, making sure you have good schools and healthcare in place and other kinds of cultural amenities.”

The cost of doing business in coal-dependent communities can also be higher due to the legacy costs left by the coal industry, said Chelsea Barnes, the new economy program manager for the environmental group, Appalachian Voices.

“There are safety hazards or health hazards, or they’re lands that are just not ready for a new business to come and build,” she said. “And we have to make sure that the land that people are visiting is safe, and the water they’re drinking is safe, before you invite large crowds of people to come and visit.”

Federal Role

Norton City Manager Ramey said the city is clear-eyed about the limitations of its budding outdoor recreation industry. In addition to questions about mine cleanup, some have expressed concerns over the wages of tourism-related jobs — selling hiking gear or serving beer often pays less than the mining jobs of the past.

“We’re not saying that tourism is going to be our answer, but we believe it can be part of the solution,” he said. “For a small community to have this kind of asset, you know, is a phenomenal opportunity for us, and it has to play into the discussion as we discuss our community’s future.”

On the other side of town, Norton is engaged in another economic diversification effort. With a federal Abandoned Mine Land Pilot Program grant, the city is converting a 200-acre, vacant surface coal mine into an industrial park. Ramey said they hope the space will attract manufacturing and technology companies. University of Virginia’s College at Wise is nearby, providing an educated workforce. Once completed, the project is expected to create 63 jobs.

Without federal investment, Ramey said, the city’s efforts to diversify would be greatly hampered.

“Without those types of opportunities, the hole we would be digging ourselves out of would become so much deeper,” he said. “It acts as a lifeline to a certain extent having resources, not just the financial resources, but the people resources that these agencies provide, to come in and help.”

The Woodbooger Effect

Norton has also held help from an unlikely source. In 2011, Animal Planet filmed an episode of its program “Finding Bigfoot” in southwest Virginia.

A local legend about a bigfoot-style creature, dubbed the “Woodbooger,” got national exposure.

“No one even knew they had been here,” Ramey said. Soon, tourists in search of the “Woodbooger” were flocking to the area. Norton leaned in. In 2014, the city declared Flag Rock Recreation Area a “Woodbooger Sanctuary.” Local businesses pitched in to buy a larger-than-life Woodbooger statue. The local hardware store downtown does a steady business selling t-shirts with the hairy creature’s likeness.

woodbooger statueBrittany Patterson | Ohio Valley ReSource

The Woodbooger statue in the Flag Rock Recreation Area in Norton, Va.

A Woodbooger Festival in October draws hundreds of visitors.

It’s hard to measure if the region’s nascent efforts to boost tourism are working yet. But Ramey points to lots of anecdotal evidence, including multiple trail races that have sprung up in recent years.

On a recent visit to top of the High Knob Observation Tower, Ramey turns in a slow circle pointing to Virginia’s neighbors. Four states are visible on a clear day from this perch, 4,200 feet in elevation.

“West Virginia would be that way,” he says. “Mount Rogers, the highest point in Virginia, is that way. Tennessee and North Carolina is that direction And of course Kentucky over there.”

Down in the parking lot, Ramey smiles.

“Interesting fact, at Flag Rock, we had two cars there from North Carolina, and at the tower, we have two vehicles here from Florida,” he says. “So, I would say that’s a sign that the tourism efforts are paying off.”

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