Wisconsin stuns powerhouse Penn State

first_imgSunday’s win over Penn State is the first 5-set victory Wisconsin experienced all season. It was also the Badgers’ first win over the Nittany Lions since 2006.[/media-credit]To be the best, you have to beat the best – and the Wisconsin women’s volleyball team did just that Sunday.The Badgers (14-12, 6-8) knocked off defending four-time national champion No. 6 Penn State (17-6, 11-3) at the Field House in five sets, 26-24, 25-19, 32-34, 14-25, 15-12.Sunday afternoon’s match resembled more of a boxing match than a volleyball contest, as Wisconsin and Penn State exchanged blow after blow on the court in one of the hardest fought and most exciting matches of the season, featuring 32 tied scores and 12 lead changes. Wisconsin beat Penn State for the first time since 2006 and won for the first time in five sets all season.“That was a great win for our program in a lot of ways,” head coach Pete Waite said. “We saw some very good ball on our side of the net Friday against Ohio State in the first set, but we didn’t sustain that. This time we sustained it.”Helping in large part to sustain that performance was junior Alexis Mitchell, who fought admirably against Penn State’s gigantic front line, as the middle blocker totaled 10 kills and seven blocks against one of the nation’s best squads.“I’m still in shock,” junior Alexis Mitchell said. “It’s just great to win like that, especially after letting them come back. We felt a little bit down, but we dug deep and pulled it out in the fifth set. It was a great game to play and be a part of.”Right off the bat, it was a tight one. In an opening set that had seven tied scores and two lead changes, the Badgers came back after trailing for a majority of the set. Down 17-14, Wisconsin used a combination of Penn State attack errors, blocks and several strong kills from the front line to down Penn State.In the opening set, the Badgers hit a lower percentage than the Nittany Lions, as Penn State outhit Wisconsin .250 to .182. However, the Badgers benefited nicely from five Nittany Lion service errors, as Penn State ultimately committed 13 on the day compared to Wisconsin’s three.“A big stat for me in the match was the service errors,” Waite said. “It should make the players feel good that [serve-receive] came together when it needed to.”However, after a Badger win in the second set it looked like the wheels might fall off, as the Nittany Lions took the third and fourth sets. The Badgers had numerous opportunities to complete the sweep in the third set, since the team had the Nittany Lions at match point five separate times in extra points. But momentum looked to be shifting to Penn State, especially after Wisconsin dropped the fourth set 14-25.But the Badgers finished what they started in the fifth and final set – thanks in large part to a key 7-2 run that helped break a 2-2 tie. The final point of the set and the match came on a kill by junior Bailey Reshel, bringing a thunderous roar from the home crowd and a jubilant team celebration onto the floor.“I think we knew after the fourth set we needed to make a change,” sophomore Annemarie Hickey said. “All of us wanted to win really bad; we’ve just been really sick of losing. We talked all week about playing for our team, and I think we really came together as a team that game.”It was an impressive victory for Wisconsin, considering the team was coming off arguably its most disappointing loss of the season. Friday night at home against No. 22 Ohio State was a completely different affair, as Wisconsin looked terrific in the first set but faded fast, falling in four sets, 20-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-21.Wisconsin hit its second-lowest hitting percentage of the season, as the Badgers posted a measly .098 ratio (44 kills, 30 errors, 143 attempts). After Friday, it looked like the Badgers might be losing grips on their NCAA tournament hopes, but the Badgers showed a giant burst of life by responding from a disappointing loss in the biggest way possible.“We really found a way as a team – everyone on the bench and the court – to pull through and get this game,” Mitchell said. “Five set games so far this season haven’t gone our way, so we really wanted to get back on track. This was a great win for us and a great confidence builder going into facing Michigan and Michigan State next weekend because we know what they’re capable of, but now we know what we’re capable of.”last_img read more

Men’s hockey gets glimpse of future against PSU

first_imgKelsey Fenton / The Badger HeraldThings are about to change for the Wisconsin men’s hockey team in a B1G way.After almost 43 years in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, the Badgers will leave the conference next fall to join the new Big Ten conference in its inaugural season.When the Badgers host the Penn State Nittany Lions this upcoming Sunday and Monday in their first meeting since PSU created a Division 1 program this fall, fans will get a glimpse of one of the Big Ten hockey conference’s new annual matchups.Over the years, the WCHA has proven itself to be one of the toughest conferences in the country. Since 1951, the conference has produced 37 national champions and at lease one team in the National Championship round of the NCAA playoffs in 56 of the last 60 seasons.For freshman forward Nic Kerdiles, the chance to play in the storied WCHA conference was a major factor in his decision to play hockey for Wisconsin.“I’m really impressed by [this conference] and it is one the reasons I decided to come here,” Kerdiles said. “It’s got a lot of history, and it is unfortunate it is going away, but this year it has been a lot of fun. If you look through the standings, there are a lot of teams with only one point, two points difference.”But beyond the current crop of players, the WCHA holds an important place in the history of hockey at UW.UW interim assistant coach Matt Walsh played in the WCHA for the Badgers from 1982 to 1986 – earning a National Championship with the team as a freshman in 1983. While teams have joined the conference since he graduated, he believes the level of talent and competition in the WCHA over the years is unrivaled.“You can’t take a night off,” Walsh said. “Maybe before some nights you could depending on who you played, but now … you can’t afford to take a night off.”Joining Wisconsin in the inaugural season of the Big Ten conference next year are five other teams – Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Minnesota.After years of consideration, the formation of the new conference was spurred on by the announcement this past offseason that Penn State would upgrade its club hockey team, the Penn State Icers, to a Division 1 program with a new name – the Nittany Lions.According to Big Ten rules, six teams are required to have a conference championship, and before PSU’s announcement, only five traditional Big ten teams existed.Now with six schools hosting Division 1 hockey programs, the Big Ten finally has the green light to start a hockey conference.The move to a new Big Ten conference – while exciting for fans and players – means some of the Badgers’ traditional rivalry games will no longer be conference games with WCHA points on the line.“It’s going to be different for sure,” Kerdiles said. “We are going to try to keep some of those rivalries. I talked to coach and I think they are already working on making sure we play North Dakota next year and keeping at least one rivalry going.”Still, with only 20 conferences games slated for each of the inaugural members, this leaves 14 games for each team to schedule games with other nonconference opponents, such as North Dakota.In addition to maintaining old rivals, Wisconsin will have its fair share of new rivalries to develop.While Penn State’s history in college hockey may still be in its infancy, both Michigan and Michigan State already have successful hockey programs established.In 2011, Michigan was the runner up to Minnesota-Duluth in the National Championship game while, just a few years earlier in 2007, Michigan State won it all.Add those finishes to two National Championships in back-to-back years for Minnesota in 2002 and 2003 with a National Championship for Wisconsin in 2006, it becomes clear the Big Ten conference has all the makings of a potential powerhouse conference in the years to come.Combine stronger nonconference matchups with a difficult conference slate and Walsh believes future schedules could have much more quality competition than in years past.But, potentially more important for each of the teams entering the Big Ten, regularly scheduled matchups against familiar opponents could help strengthen ties to the sport for Wisconsin fans who are used to the Badgers playing teams like Ohio State and Michigan in football and basketball.“Having Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State – all of those teams come in – to the average fan, they will recognize those teams,” junior defenseman Frankie Simonelli said. “When they hear Colorado College is coming to town or Denver, they might not be as familiar with it.”“I think it will bring a bigger variety of fan base to our team and could help make the sport more popular [here].”last_img read more

MTN FA Cup: Kotoko’s Akuffo poised to scale Bolga hurdle

first_imgReigning Ghana FA Cup champions Kotoko are poised to make the next round of the MTN FA Cup.The Kumasi side will travel to Bolga on Wednesday to play in the ongoing MTN FA Cup Round of 64 against Paga Crocodiles.The match was initially postponed because Kotoko had to travel to Algeria for a Caf Champions League encounter and have now got space on their calendar for this tie.”We are taking each game one at a time and hope our fans come and support us,” said Michael Akuffo ahead of Wednesday’s tie.Morale in camp will be increasing after Sunday’s 3-1 win against Bechem United in the league and with new coach David Duncan in the saddle, the Division 2 opposition is expected to wither against the Reds.–last_img read more

Lakers’ Larry Nance Jr. back on practice court after having cast removed

first_imgLOS ANGELES — The night Larry Nance Jr. broke his hand, he sat in front of his locker in Portland, imagining the worst.Little more than two weeks later, he appears to be on the cusp of a return to the court.“My spirits are much higher for sure,” said Nance, whose cast was removed on Nov. 14, 11 days after he underwent surgery to repair a fractured second metacarpal in his left hand.Related Articles The Lakers gave a four-to-six week timeline for Nance, which the power forward now says was “extremely overly-cautious.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersHe said he is back to doing everything with his injured hand except “holding heavy dumbbells” and “hanging from the rim.”“I didn’t think he’d be shooting and doing all this stuff already after breaking his hand,” Luke Walton said.The Lakers have not adjusted their timeline. The Lakers have games Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday before a four-day break over Thanksgiving.The question facing Walton is whether Nance resumes his role as a starter or if rookie Kyle Kuzma has won that spot in Nance’s absence. Before Friday, Kuzma was averaging 16.1 points and 9.1 rebounds as a starter.“Kyle’s played great and he’s the starter until Larry comes back,” Walton said, “and then we’ll re-evaluate and discuss what we should do.” Nance has maintained he is not concerned with whether he starts or comes off the bench.“If Kuz is who they think will give us best chance to win,” he said, “then Kuz it is.”OHMIJOSH!If you think Lonzo Ball has faced criticism as a rookie, imagine if the Lakers had drafted Josh Jackson instead.It could have happened, although how serious the Lakers ever were about drafting anyone other than Ball remains unknown, but the Lakers twice worked out Jackson, who ultimately went fourth to the Suns.“He’s a versatile player obviously,” Walton said. “And a hard-nosed defensive player. Everything we talked to him about and the coaches we spoke to all talked about how competitive of an athlete he was, no matter what you were doing.”His rookie season, however, has been a bit of a struggle. He entered Friday averaging 9.7 points and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 39 percent from the field. He caught the attention of both Walton and Suns’ interim head coach Jay Triano with his late effort against James Harden in a blowout loss to the Rockets on Thursday.“When we drafted him he was going to be a defensive guy,” Triano said. “I think that’s who he will be in the NBA. Not restricted to just that, but with his length and quickness we think he can be a good defender.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Heisler: Lakers dream of LeBron James, even a middle-aged one Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball gets a new haircut last_img read more

Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma is making an on-court case not to be traded

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error LOS ANGELES — The trade deadline is approaching, which in Lakerland means one thing: Kyle Kuzma rumors heat up.That’s been the nature of Kuzma’s career since he turned pro. Forever a trade chip in backroom, imaginary scenarios as amateur general managers construct the title team of their dreams.“Kobe used to always tell me, ‘If they’re not talking about you, then you should be worried,’” Kuzma said Tuesday night. “And I’m the talk of the town.”There’s one hitch in that thinking: What if Kuzma belongs on this one? Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed The Lakers’ most obvious chip is Kuzma, who is still relatively young though divisive among NBA observers. Is he a hoist-it-up scorer who thrives without structure? Or is he a helpful piece on a bonafide contender?The recent stretch has nudged him closer to the latter category, giving the Lakers something to think about if teams call to inquire after him.“I think Kuz is a guy who plays hard. You know what I mean?,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “That’s one of the things I noticed when I watched him on tape this summer. His motor. That’s one of the things I loved about him. Just how hard he plays, and it fits in with who we want to be. A team that plays harder than our opponent every night.”There’s evidence that Kuzma has a defined role: He’s a fixture on the Lakers’ four best five-man lineups that have played at least 40 minutes this season, each one with a net rating of better than plus-15.There’s at least one very tangible barrier to trading Kuzma: his salary. Making only $1.9 million this season, Kuzma’s contract would very likely need to be added to other contracts on the team to salary match within 75% of rumored trade targets such as New York’s Marcus Morris ($15 million) or Detroit’s Derrick Rose ($7.3 million). Sending out multiple players for one could create more holes in the Lakers’ roster than it plugs.Kuzma’s contract is also under team control for four more seasons after this one, assuming the Lakers make him an extension offer this summer or retain him in 2021 through restricted free agency. His is one of the few contracts (along with rookie Talen Horton-Tucker) the Lakers can hold onto long-term if they wish.There’s also a factor of powerful team chemistry, which has only been further solidified in the last week, as the team went through the mutual trauma of Bryant’s death, which they learned about on their cross-country flight from Philadelphia. In the week and a half since, they’ve found solidarity in one another’s company. While General Manager Rob Pelinka has many other factors to consider in his ambitions for making the Lakers title-worthy this June, one of them has to be maintaining the buoyancy of the locker room and wondering if an outsider can blend in with a group that has been through an experience as unique and searing as Bryant’s death.Again, this is not new ground for Kuzma, who admitted last year that trade talks got to him. He first encountered that sense of instability when Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson, teammates during his rookie year, were traded away midseason. The idea that anyone can go at any time has since been hammered into his psyche.“My first two years in the league it was kind of tough because you get drafted to a place and you think it’s going to be forever and you see people come and go,” he said. “You never really know where you’re going to be, and obviously the first two years were kind of tough because I was new to it, but I’m used to it now, I understand the business and that’s why I got to treat it like a business, too.”Related Articles How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years center_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersIt’s been, as all parties will admit, a rocky start to Kuzma’s third season. It hasn’t been as much about ability as fit. Kuzma’s minutes have dropped to just 25 per game, and his efficiency in those stints has mostly dipped from a breakout sophomore effort. Injuries have hampered his attempts to gain rhythm – he missed the entire preseason with a foot injury, then sat out five games recovering from an ankle sprain.But the last three games, in which Kuzma has played with as much energy as anyone on the floor, has earned the attention of everyone in the Lakers’ locker room. It sparked as strong an endorsement as any from Anthony Davis, who said: “Whatever he’s been doing the past couple games, we’re gonna need that for the rest of the year.”The shift, Kuzma said, has a lot to do with the death of Kobe Bryant, whom he idolized as a child and who became a mentor when he joined the Lakers.“Everybody talks about the ‘Mamba Mentality’ of being a vicious scorer and looking to score, but that’s not even what that is,” he said Tuesday night. “That mentality is to be tenacious, play with heart and be relentless at all times. Obviously, it’s a little tougher to navigate the scoring, but I can play hard every possession on defense and rebound and just try to play to win. And I think this past week has been good for me to just realize some things and see where my eggs are.”That’s a zen place for the 24-year-old to be on the eve of Thursday’s noon PT trade deadline, when the Lakers (38-11) either make a swing to improve their roster or stand pat. Last year, the Lakers made two trades around the fringes in hopes of adding shooting, but the moves did not ultimately propel them to the postseason. This year, they’re sitting pretty at the top of the Western Conference, albeit with some obvious holes, but with a lot less trade capital than they had last year. Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions The way Kuzma has handled it lately is “playing to exhaustion.” He’s realized his best role might be as an energy player off the bench rather than relying on his scoring to lift all boats. His attitude lately: “I get traded, I get traded. Don’t matter. I’m still going to play basketball. Still going to play the game I love. Still going to get paid.”But embedded within that is a desire to stay, to find his role in the one franchise he’s been part of so far. To compete for – maybe even win – a championship. And with his recent run, the case for that has been as convincing as ever.“Whether he shoots well or not, he’s making an impact,” veteran guard Danny Green said. “That’s all he can do, and regardless of what happened and the end of the day he’ll live with it. But he’s been playing great basketball for us, and he’s been a great lift energy-wise. I don’t think he has anything to worry about with the rumors.”last_img read more

MLB trade rumors: Dodgers, Braves showing ‘serious interest’ in Royals reliever Jake Diekman

first_img MLB trade rumors: Blue Jays ‘not being offered top tier prospects’ for Marcus Stroman The Royals (39-65) have already been active in the trade market, sending starter Homer Bailey to the Athletics and catcher Martín Maldonado to the Cubs. MLB trade rumors: Twins eye Jays’ Daniel Hudson as well as Marcus Stroman, Ken Giles According to the report, a source said the Royals “could be getting closer” to dealing Diekman, who will be a free agent after the season. Related Newscenter_img Diekman also has postseason experience, with the Rangers in 2015 and 2016. The Dodgers and Braves are both pursuing Royals reliever Jake Diekman, according to MLB.com.While he’s not a marquee relief target akin to Felipe Vazquez of the Pirates or the Giants’ Will Smith, Diekman could be useful down the stretch for a contender. The left-hander has a 4.75 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in 48 appearances this season. He’s striking out a career-high 13.6 batters per nine innings this season, which is good, but also walking 5.0 batters per nine, which is a scary number for a reliever.last_img read more

Wellington Police notes: Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013

first_imgWellington Police Notes for Tuesday, September 17, 2013:•4:01 a.m. Officers took a report of suspicious activity in the 300 block N. B, Wellington.•4:02 a.m. Officers investigated a theft of a vehicle in the 200 block N. Woodlawn, Wellington.•8:04 a.m. Jerry D. Muller Jr., 34, Augusta, was arrested, charged and confined with burglary, theft and criminal damage to property.•9:07 a.m. Officers investigated criminal damage to a vehicle by a known suspect in the 200 block S. Haslet, Wellington.•9:31 a.m. Officers investigated criminal damage to a door hinge by a known suspect in the 300 block S. Washington, Wellington.•9:43 a.m. Officers investigated a theft of money in the 500 block S. Jefferson, Wellington.•3:28 p.m. Elizabeth A. Dampier, 23, Mayfield, was issued a notice to appear charged with speeding 34 mph in a 20 mph zone.•3:45 p.m. Non-injury accident in the 600 block N. G, Wellington involving vehicles operated by James E. Sweeney, 47, Springfield, Colo, and Amber D. Sheppard, 31, Wellington.•3:50 p.m. James E. Sweeney, 47, Springfield, Colo., was issued a notice to appear charged with inattentive driving.•On August 30, 2013 at 5:12 p.m. juvenile female, 17, Caldwell, was issued a notice to appear charged with inattentive driving and no proof of insurance.•7:29 p.m. Kevin J. Webb, 32, Wellington was arrested and confined on a city of Wellington bench warrant for failure to appear.•10:54 p.m. Officers investigated probation violation of a known suspect in the 300 block N. B, Wellington.last_img read more

Florida Man Accused of Setting Person on Fire in Money Dispute

first_imgSheriff’s officials near Jacksonville say they have arrested a man who is accused of setting another person on fire during a money dispute.St. Johns County Sheriff’s officials arrested 35-year-old Brian Terrance Connor on charges of attempted first-degree murder, arson and burglary, for the Saturday night incident.Investigators explain that Connor entered an apartment and started an argument before dousing the victim with a flammable liquid.Photo courtesy: St. Johns County Sheriff’s OfficeThe person was able to run to another apartment in the complex while still on fire, and people there helped extinguish the flames, the Sheriff’s Office said.The victim remains in critical condition after being flown to the UF Health burn unit in Gainesville, the Sheriff’s Office said. They did not release the individual’s name, age or gender.Connor remains in jail on a $250,000 bond.last_img read more