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No. 8 Louisville Cardinals ready to take flight against Cal

The Louisville Cardinals open up the season at home today at 2 PM. The Cardinals look to soar to new heights in 2015-2016.

Ira Green - University of Louisville Sports Information Office

Louisville, KY --  Fans will get their first glimpse of the 2015-2016 University of Louisville Women's Basketball team in action as the Cardinals face the California Golden Bears on Sunday at the KFC Yum! Center.

The Cardinals, ranked eighth in both the Associated Press Preseason poll and USA Today, have compiled a 7-1 record in the first game, winning the last four consecutive openers.

This year's group of Cardinals is led by three juniors including, Cortnee Walton and two transfers, Briahanna Jackson and Dakota Weatherford. The Louisville women return two key starters, All-Americans Myisha Hines-Allen and Mariya Moore.

During the 2014-2015 season, Hines-Allen averaged 11.8 points and 4.9 rebounds while connecting 55.8 percent of her shots. Moore was one of the primary sources of offense for the Cardinals last season averaging 13.4 points a game, while dishing out at least 100 assists.

Despite only returning four letter winners from last year's Sweet Sixteen team, the Cardinals have an abundance of talent, but Coach Jeff Walz says there's still room for improvement.

"We're working hard," he said at his press conference on Wednesday. "We're a work in progress; there's no question about it. We're extremely talented. Now it's a matter of getting that talent to play together."

California, coming off at 24-10 season that included a second-round NCAA Tournament exit, has a similar team makeup. The Golden Bears return five letter winners, including two starters, Mikayla Cowling and Gabby Green, and welcome five freshmen. With great talent and height, the Golden Bears are not a team the Cardinals can overlook.

The Bears have two women under six foot. The remaining seven range from 6-foot-2 to 6-foot-7.

"Their size is going to cause us some issues, but hopefully we'll keep them off the glass." Coach Walz told the media, "Hopefully, we'll work hard defensively and hopefully be able to get out in transition and get some easy baskets."