Singles play powers Wisconsin in Iowa victory

first_imgA familiar story for the Wisconsin men’s tennis team (12-11, 4-7), this season has been to dig out the all-important doubles point but fail to win enough singles matches to earn a team victory. In Friday’s contest with the Iowa Hawkeyes (1-20, 0-10), however, the Badgers were powered by junior captain Billy Bertha and sophomore Rod Carey to seize four of six singles matches to clinch a 5-2 win.After sealing the doubles point with partner sophomore Fredrik Ask, Bertha worked quickly to earn his seventh singles victory on the season, 6-1, 6-0. The captain dominated his match with a powerful first serve, dropping only a single game and finishing first.Bertha was relentless in his pursuit of a win, putting his team on top early.“The kid was missing a lot, so it was easy to get a rhythm, and once I hopped on him pretty quick, he went away,” Bertha said.Consistently playing at No. 4 and 5 throughout the season, Bertha has adopted the No. 6 position as a comfortable homebase since returning from a back injury. He has won three consecutive matches at the final singles spot.Bertha was winless in Big Ten singles play prior to the injury, but performing well lower in the lineup has helped him gain momentum in the final portion of the season.“It’s been good to get a little confidence,” Bertha said. “(I’m) playing better now, and hopefully I’ll keep improving and keep winning out the rest of the matches.”Carey has conversely been climbing higher in the singles lineup, winning 6-2, 7-5 at the No. 2 position. The Bahamas native has won his last two matches at that spot, after being catapulted up the lineup from his previous No. 5 station. Carey displayed striking mental toughness in the second set by rebounding from a difficult stretch where he surrendered four consecutive games after leading 4-1. Carey stopped the bleeding by holding his own serve and breaking his opponent’s, winning the final three games of the match.Although he demonstrated a subpar effort in his doubles loss, Carey was able to bounce back by jumping to an early lead in his singles contest.“I think I had a good start; I started off pretty confidently,” Carey said. “I think I did a good job of just getting it going early in the singles, and I think that helped a lot.”Head coach Greg Van Emburgh has been pleased with the way his lineup has evolved over the course of the season. He was forced to tinker with the lineup due to Bertha’s injury and has given other players opportunities to improve their standing in singles.One player who has taken advantage of his playing time is freshman Quinton Vega. Despite a tough three-set loss at No. 3, Vega has sustained significant improvement since making his move to the third singles spot, in which he owns an even 2-2 record. The Brooklyn, N.Y., native was not able to practice or train in the fall season because of lack of certification but lately has shown his ability as an upper-echelon singles player.“Q’s done a great job,” Van Emburgh said. “He’s really starting to play great tennis, he’s really composed, he’s getting mentally tough out there and every time that he’s out there you know he’s going to fight the fight.”Although the conference season has not been as successful as they would have hoped, the Badgers are looking to pounce on any potential opponent they may face in the Big Ten tournament. The recent conference wins could help boost the team’s confidence.Van Emburgh likes the potential of the current lineup from top to bottom in the upcoming conference tournament.“I think the lower part of the lineup right now is really solid for us,” Van Emburgh said. “We’ve got some high-level potential guys up top of the lineup that really could play with the top players in the conference.”last_img read more

Phonies flocking to L.A.

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsNationwide, $56.2 million in counterfeit bills were passed in 2005, with $14.6 million more seized before it entered circulation. “Nationwide, the levels of counterfeiting don’t constitute an eminent threat to our economy,” said Anthony Chapa, special agent in charge of the Secret Service’s Los Angeles field office. “But we want to keep it that way.” The owner of the Studio City club, who asked that neither he nor his club be identified for fear of reprisal, was savvy enough to pick up on the scam. He spoke to the hostess to figure out who used the bill, then talked to his bartender and waitresses to find out if the customer had passed any others. Sure enough, she paid a bartender with a $100 bill for a glass of wine and paid a waitress with another C-note for a second glass. The owner called 911, and police arrived just as the customer was getting ready to leave. In her car, police found $14,000 in fake hundreds, seven stolen Colombian passports and an unloaded gun. The customer, Solange Candelo, was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor counterfeiting and firearms charges. The U.S. Secret Service, which investigates all counterfeiting cases, believes Candelo is part of a counterfeiting ring responsible for bringing millions of dollars of funny money into Los Angeles from Colombia. Tracing it from Candelo to the printer could take years, but Secret Service agents in Los Angeles say the results are worth the effort. Just six months ago, a counterfeiting investigation that began in Los Angeles resulted in the dismantling of an operating in Guadalajara, Mexico, that produced millions of dollars of high-quality counterfeit money on an offset press. “We were on pins and needles when (Mexican authorities) were heading there, waiting to see if it was a success,” said Agent William Iseri, who heads the counterfeiting division of the Los Angeles field office. “Taking the head off the snake, we knew everything would fall apart.” Fake bills from the Mexican factory first surfaced in April 2002, Chapa said. Like the Candelo case, the big break came when a savvy business person – a stripper who received $400 for a lap dance – recognized the bills as forgeries and alerted the police. Although counterfeiting has no significant impact on the economy, experts say it is a nuisance for businesses, who get burned when they accept counterfeit money. Sometimes businesses will pass the expense on to the cashier who accepted the bills. “I was in Staples two days ago and saw them doing a pen test on all of their $50 and $100 bills, but they were doing it too late – they had these bills already in the drawers,” said Lones Smith, an economics professor at University of Michigan who has studied counterfeiting. “The businesses are pretty simple. Some have verification machines right there. Others, they’ll just say, `No $100 notes, period.’ “It’s completely too small to have any macroeconomic impact. You could pick a thousand things going on in the United States in a given year that have more of an effect on the economy.” Counterfeiting wasn’t always so insignificant. It was once a crime punishable by death, and the last woman ever executed by fire in Great Britain, in 1789, was convicted of counterfeiting coins. During the American Revolution, Continental dollars were easily counterfeited, undermining the economy of a young America. During the Civil War, counterfeit Confederate bills were often better quality than the real thing. A good counterfeiter is as much an artist as a criminal, and they are rarely violent. When Chapa sits down to interview printers, the villains are usually excited to talk about their craft with someone who appreciates their work. Smith was drawn to counterfeiting, despite its small economic impact, because it seemed like a game. A friend, another professor, received fake bills from an ATM machine in Mexico. Rather than report it, she decided to see how difficult it would be to pass the fake bills. Soon, she and Smith were co-authoring research papers about counterfeiting. “It’s an interesting exercise in finance,” Smith said. “It’s not just the criminals against the good guys. It induces mostly a game of good guys against good guys. Passed counterfeit means one good guy is getting stuck with money that he thought was good.” While the Secret Service investigates counterfeit rings, the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing tries to ensure the bills are difficult to duplicate by adding security measures like watermarks, color-shifting ink and security threads in the currency. The government plans to introduce new $20s, $50s and $100s every seven to 10 years. A team of chemists and scientists is always looking for new ways to thwart counterfeiters. “Let me tell you, it’s a whole lot of fun,” said Judith Diaz Myers, associate director of technology at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. “We wash notes, we crumple notes, we do all sorts of tests. “Before we roll out a new design, there’s a lot of research and development and production testing that goes on. We need to make sure that we’re creating something that’s not only aesthetically pleasing, but safe and secure and smarter.” In Los Angeles, the effect is a dollar bill that’s easier to test, so a club owner can sit in his office and figure out within 30 seconds whether a bill is real. “People don’t realize that to a small business, these counterfeiters do damage,” said the owner of the Studio City club. “That’s $300 in change that we’re out on, and she got free product. We get burned. Technically, we’re still burned now. It’s all evidence. The change, that’s evidence.” (818) 713-3669160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! In her first 25 minutes at a Studio City nightclub, the customer ordered two glasses of wine, making each purchase with a $100 bill. The club owner noticed right away that something wasn’t quite right with the bill his employee brought him. It had the magnetic strip, and Ben Franklin’s face looked good at first glance, but it lacked the normal grainy feel of real money. “When I looked closer, the face wasn’t as clear as it should be,” he recalled. “The harder I looked at it, the magnetic strip didn’t look embedded but printed. I had to stare at the thing a good 30 seconds before I knew it was fake.” Although most people don’t know it, Los Angeles is the counterfeit capital of the U.S. In 2005, more than $6 million in counterfeit money was successfully passed in the Los Angeles area, and the Secret Service seized an additional $2 million before it was ever used. last_img