Gabbie Wiley, Melanie McHenry, Jasmine Bennett, and Molly Sauer celebrate after scoirng against Pittsburgh. Photo by Jared Anderson
Cardinals see no love from polls and voters
Winning nine of their last 10 matches and sitting at first place in the ACC hasn't been enough to impress the voters in the Coaches Poll. Louisville volleyball (16-6, 10-2 ACC) has been riding a hot streak lately and is currently listed as 22nd in the RPI.
Despite their success and tough schedule Louisville still has not broken the Top 25 this season. In fact, no ACC team is currently ranked, nor have any received votes this week. Pittsburgh and NC State, both are tied for first in the ACC with the Cards, are the other teams with the best chance to break into the rankings.
Louisville has six losses on the year. Three losses are to Big Ten opponents- two are ranked Top 10 and the other is the receiving votes category. One loss came to Kentucky who is currently ranked 6th. The final two losses came in conference play with one being a 3-2 loss at North Carolina and the other a 3-1 loss at Miami. Only three of the losses were sweeps with two being 3-1 losses and the other being when the Cards fell in the fifth set to the Tar Heels.
Louisville has some impressive wins. They downed a ranked Western Kentucky opponent, swept Florida State twice with the first win coming when the Seminoles were ranked, and won at home against Miami, knocking out their undefeated season. Also on the plus side Louisville has swept nine opponents today.
There could be a few reasons why Louisville is seeing no love. Finishing 12-18 last year creates a lack of confidence in the voters for the following season. With Anne Kordes resigning and Dani Busboom Kelly coming in it can be difficult to predict how a new coach will handle a team in their first year. The Cards started the season 0-2, 2-3, and 5-4, which dropped them down substantially early in the season.
It is surprising to see no ACC teams ranked with the conference being part of the Power Five conferences. The volleyball world has been dominated by Big Ten and Big 12 schools recently, but have had some success in PAC-12 teams like Oregon and SEC teams like Florida and Kentucky.
With eight matches remaining there is still hope to see the Cards push their way into the Top 25. Winning out will almost definitely get them there. More importantly, winning out will put Louisville at least one game ahead of NC State and gives Louisville the tiebreaker over Pittsburgh to win the conference. With no conference tournament the regular season conference winner receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Cards have four home games remaining in the regular season. Tickets are as cheap as $5 for single games, but are free for UofL students with valid ID.