Stronger competition awaits UW in Big Ten opener

first_imgAfter smooth sailing through the nonconference season, the Wisconsin volleyball team must prepare for a challenging Big Ten schedule starting with the undefeated Northwestern Wildcats Friday in Evanston.The Badgers (12-1) wrapped up the nonconference schedule by winning the Georgia Southern Eagle Invitational tournament last weekend. The team is currently riding an 11-match winning streak heading into Big Ten play.Despite dropping only a single match during nonconference play, Wisconsin’s competition is about to escalate considerably. In claiming the Georgia Southern Eagle Invitational last weekend, the Badgers defeated four teams with a combined 16-40 record. In the team’s opening Big Ten weekend, Wisconsin will face a perfect Northwestern squad (11-0) followed by the No. 20 Illinois Fighting Illini.Head coach Pete Waite, who earned his 300th victory as Badger coach last weekend, is well aware of the rising level of competition but remains confident in his returning starters to rally the team.“It’s always a step up [and] we know that,” Waite said. “Everybody’s bigger, stronger, faster, but I think our team is prepared for it. You just can’t give away easy points. You’ve got to take care of the ball well on every possession, just like football and basketball, and you’ve got a good shot at beating anybody.”Wisconsin’s toughest test will come Friday against Northwestern, when it attempts to defend two of the most explosive offensive players in the Big Ten.Junior outside hitter Stephanie Holthus is tied for second in the conference with 4.84 points per set and contributes 4.20 kills per set, good for fourth in the Big Ten. Her setter, senior Madalyn Shalter, leads the conference in assists per set and was named Big Ten Setter of the Week for the second straight week.Waite has been impressed with the Wildcats’ dynamic duo and said they will be a main emphasis of the Badger defense.“Holthus has a ton of shots,” Waite said. “She’s not a huge player, but she jumps really well. [She has a] fast arm, hits the ball in every spot on the court. You’ve got to serve tough to keep them out of their offense. … [Holthus and Shalter] are definitely the two focuses for us.”Waite even compared the play of Shalter to one of professional basketball’s all-time legends.“You know how it is with Michael Jordan,” Waite said. “You’re not going to stop him, but you can stop everyone else.”Wisconsin will need a steady defense in order to contain the Northwestern offensive attack. Wisconsin ranks third in the conference in opponent’s hitting percentage as well as blocks per set with 2.86.Senior outside hitter Mary Ording leads the defensive front for the Badgers with 1.29 blocks per set, placing her seventh in the Big Ten. She was crowned MVP of the Georgia Southern Eagle Invitational last weekend and earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week earlier in the month.Ording said blocking is an area that will prove important against tough conference opponents.“Blocking is something that I’ve always really enjoyed doing, and something that I am getting a lot better at,” Ording said. “I think, especially with bigger hitters, harder attackers, it’s harder to get the teams in bad situations, so the harder that I can work side-to-side on blocking, the better for the people standing behind me.”Senior middle hitter Alexis Mitchell is second in blocks for the Badgers with 1.07 per set while also posting a .408 hitting percentage on the offensive end. Along with sophomore outside hitter Deme Morales, Mitchell earned all-tournament honors at the Eagle Invitational.Mitchell’s philosophy on succeeding in conference play begins and ends with a full team effort.“I think that we’re just focusing on playing hard and being a team,” Mitchell said. “We’ve really had a theme of outworking other teams, and that’s how we’ve gotten a lot of wins, is just when we’re fighting and playing hard.”A recent trend of the Badgers has been to have solid nonconference seasons but to struggle in more difficult conference play. In 2010, Wisconsin went an undefeated 11-0 in nonconference play yet finished 10th in the Big Ten with a 5-15 record.Despite the downward spiral in Big Ten play for recent Badger squads, Mitchell had a positive outlook on the conference season.“We’re excited about it,” Mitchell said. “We’ve had a good preseason, we’ve learned a lot and we’ve just gotten better every match of the preseason. It gives us a lot of confidence going into this weekend.”last_img read more

Brian Royan, and Dan McCormick among leaders after first day of Fort St. John sporting clay shoot

first_imgThe event features three classes among male shooters, as well as a female and junior grouping.Brian Royan is in the A class for men’s shooters and tallied a first day score of 176 points. He’s followed by Wayne Carlson with 173 points, and in third is Mike Russell as his shoot was good enough for 167 points.In the B class standings, Mayor Rick is the leader with 147 points. In second spot is Robert Allen with 139 points, and there is a two way tie for third place as Ron Brautigam and Sam Kosolowsky both finished their day with 135 points.- Advertisement -Dan McCormick leads with 115 points over in class C. Boyd Wedge is close behind in second place with 114 points, and third spot is occupied by Robin Johnson with 108 points.There were two competitors in the female grouping with Kim Copley registering 131 points. Second spot is Lynette Kitt who finished with a total of 112.Cody Nadeau leads the juniors after day one. He finished with a score of 153 points, and is followed by Clayton McCormick with 143 points. In third is Mason MacDonald as his shoot garnered 137 points.Advertisement The second and final day of shooting at the Fort St. John sporting clay shoot goes today. After this weekend’s event, the next shoot for the North Peace Rod and Gun Club will be the Oilmen’s Trap Shoot on July 12 and 13.last_img read more

Host of Stars Confirmed for Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Pro-Am

first_imgStars from the worlds of sport, music, TV and film will align up to play in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation Pro Am on Wednesday July 4.This will be the eve of the fourth Rolex Series event of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai.Representing the sporting world is former Republic of Ireland, Manchester City and Newcastle United goalkeeper and RTE pundit Shay Given. While Donegal’s GAA Football Captain Michael Murphy will delight the home support just over a week after he leads the county out in the Ulster Football Championship Final. Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Media Day at Ballyliffin Golf Club, Co Donegal.Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press EyeHe is joined in the field by legendary jockey AP McCoy, whilst Kerry football star Kieran Donaghy and former Ireland international rugby players Keith Wood and Stephen Ferris will also be present.Completing the sporting representation is ex-snooker World Champion Dennis Taylor and Derry City Football Club players Paddy McCourt, Gerard Doherty and Rory Patterson.Also taking part in the Pro Am is former Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny, professional dancer on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing Anton du Beke and pop singers Brian McFadden and Keith Duffy. Completing the star-studded line up is well-known Northern Ireland actor James Nesbitt.James Nesbitt on the 14th during the Pro-Am of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Portstewart Golf Club Northern Ireland. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)“Ballyliffin is a great golf course,” said Rory McIlroy. “It’s always nice to be back home and play in front of the home crowd so I’m very much looking forward to playing the course and also having some fun at the Pro Am before the tournament kicks off.” Fans will also be treated to a festival of music as country star Nathan Carter headlines the ‘Glashedy Sessions’ on the Friday night (6th July) of the tournament. A host of exciting local bands will also entertain the crowds at the Glashedy Stage, including popular four-piece the Logues and regular favourites the Groove Robbers.Tickets for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation are on sale at and begin at €20 for Pro-Am Wednesday, with tickets for Thursday and Friday costing €32 and day tickets for the weekend costing €34 each. An adult season souvenir ticket, which covers five days of world class golf from Wednesday to Sunday, costs just €110.Host of Stars Confirmed for Dubai Duty Free Irish Open Pro-Am was last modified: June 21st, 2018 by Chris CannonShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BallyliffindonegalgolfIrish OpenPro-amlast_img read more