Jan. 21, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The University of Louisville softball team is No. 19 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Preseason Top 25 Poll released on Jan. 21, 2014.
Louisville finished the 2013 season at No. 19 in the final USA Today/NFCA Coaches' poll after posting a 47-13 record and earning its tenth-straight NCAA tournament bid and the No. 15 overall seed in the tournament for the second consecutive season.
Last season, the Cards debuted at No. 18 and went on to tie their program high at No. 8 on April 23. The Cards' spent three weeks in the top 10 and five weeks at No. 11 in 2013. This marks the 33rd straight time Louisville has appeared in the NFCA top 25 rankings dating back to the beginning of the 2012 season.
UofL's 2014 roster includes eight letter winners from last year's team, including 2013 All-America selection Katie Keller, All-BIG EAST team members: Whitney Arion, Caralisa Connell, Hannah Kiyohara, Rachel LeCoq and Maggie Ruckenbrod; and 2012 All-American selection Taner Fowler. The Cardinals also welcome 10 newcomers to this season's squad. Louisville will open the 2014 season in Boca Raton, Fla., at the FAU "Kickoff" Classic Feb. 7-9.
About the 2014 USA Today/NFCA Division I Preseason Top 25 Poll:
The USA Today/NFCA Division I poll is voted on by 32 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference. Last season's national runner-up will start the 2014 campaign at No. 1 as the Tennessee Lady Vols (52-12) received seven first-place votes and totaled 729 points to hold down the top spot. Defending national champion Oklahoma (57-4) received 17 of 32 possible first-place votes, but trails Tennessee by nine points in this year's initial ranking. National semifinalist Washington (45-17) stands in at No. 3, while fellow Women's College World Series participants Florida (58-9) and Michigan (51-13) are ranked Nos. four and five, respectively.
Fellow American Athletic Conference member South Florida stands in at No. 25 and is one of four currently ranked opponents on Louisville's schedule. The Cards will also face No. 5 Michigan, No. 12 Kentucky and No. 16 UCLA. Additionally seven teams on Louisville's schedule are receiving votes including: Tulsa, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Houston, Oregon State, North Carolina and Western Kentucky.
For the latest information on Louisville softball, log on to GoCards.com, or, for up-to-the-minute updates, follow the team's Twitter account at www.twitter.com/UofLSoftball or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LouisvilleSoftball.