Women’s tennis: Lexi Keberle named to All Big Ten

first_imgAfter dominating all throughout her freshman year, Lexi Kerberle was honored as a member of the All Big Ten Team representing the University of Wisconsin women’s tennis program. The team is decided based on a vote from the Big Ten coaches.Keberle immediately took the No. 1 singles slot this season and did not disappoint in that position. The freshman earned the most wins of anyone on her team with a 25–10 record including tour matches with a 13–5 record from the first slot in dual play.In a challenging Big Ten conference, Keberle more than held her own in singles, going 5–3 in these games despite dropping her final two completed matches against fellow All Big Ten members Erin Larner of Northwestern and Anna Sanford of Ohio State Univerisity.Nigel Hayes discusses student athlete compensation, player boycottsNigel Hayes spoke at the “Future of College Sports: Reimagining Athlete Pay” panel The Aspen Institute hosted in Washington D.C. Tuesday. Here, Read…Since she is a stronger singles player, Keberle has also had the opportunity to grow this season under doubles partner and departing senior Kelsey Grambeau. The duo finished the season above .500 with a 7–6 overall record.But perhaps what is most impressive about Keberle’s performance this year is her youth and potential to improve. Coming in as one of UW’s best women’s tennis recruits ever, ranked No. 23 nationally, Keberle has kept par not only with other freshmen, but with other elite players in Division I tennis.Keberle was frequently found on ITA’s singles player rankings, even breaking the top 100 earlier in the season climbing to No. 98.On the All Big Ten Team, Keberle was one of only three freshmen that received the honor with Maryland’s Eva Alexandrova and the Freshman of the Year Shiori Fukuda from OSU. Keberle is also the first Badger to win the award since 1996.Softball: Jenkins named Big Ten Player of WeekThe University of Wisconsin softball team (25-19 overall, 9-8 Big Ten) has had a great three-game run. They beat the Read…Another Badger receiving an award from the Big Ten was Melissa Pick, who earned the Sportsmanship Award. Pick was more than just a class act, though as the junior finished the year 21–14.Since no Badger women made it to the NCAA Tournament, we will have to wait until the fall to see the development of Keberle and others.last_img read more

Forward Madison FC: Flamingos gear up for final stretch as they hope to make playoffs in inaugural season

first_imgWhen Forward Madison FC began to play this past spring, they officially became Madison’s first-ever professional soccer club. Playing their home games at Breese Stevens Field, they have drawn hordes of fans for just about every game, leading the league in average attendance per game.Considering Forward Madison’s high attendance rates, it is clear that the team means a lot to the local community and soccer culture in the area.The team’s fan club — the Flock — turns out in large groups to every home game and even some road games. They also host watch parties at local Madison bars for every road game and major announcements during the offseason.Forward Madison FC: Flamingos mount comeback victory against Orlando City, look ahead to home openerThe Forward Madison FC Flamingos (1-2-0) mounted an impressive comeback victory against Orlando City B (0-3-1) Friday night in the Read…The team’s promotions are also perhaps the most unique of any American professional sports team, including games with special ticket deals involving watermelons, bowling, and even Naturdays — the unofficial drink of broke college students.They also recently hosted a game themed around “The Office” television show, where they managed to get Leslie David Baker (who played the character “Stanley”) to make a special appearance and sold soft pretzels and crossword puzzles as a promotion.Along with their regular-season USL-League One schedule, Forward Madison made appearances in several scrimmage games and even a tournament this season. Included in these scrimmage match-ups are two games against the University of Wisconsin men’s soccer team.In an early-season match back in April, the Flamingos defeated the Badgers by a score of 2–0 on one of the first warm days of 2019. That was also the first game played at Breese Stevens Field this year, and it included Wisconsin alumni Carl Schneider on the field for Forward Madison.“I’ve been playing at Breese my whole life and I’ve never seen it so rowdy,” Schneider said. “The Flock was amazing. The songs they were singing, I had them stuck in my head at halftime.”Forward Madison FC: UW alumnus looks to be hometown favorite as new inducteeUniversity of Wisconsin soccer alumnus Carl Schneider is the newest signee of Forward Madison FC, Madison’s first ever professional soccer Read…Throughout the season, several star players have emerged, starting with forward Don Smart. Smart earned the mid-season USL League One MVP award while scoring seven goals to go along with four assists to this point, both of which are good enough for top-10 in the league.Smart’s signing was the first for Forward Madison late last year, making him an obvious choice as a leader for the squad. Smart is undersized for a forward but uses his speed to create scoring opportunities for both himself and his teammates.Smart is obviously a fan-favorite player for the Flamingos, but what separates Smart from the rest is that he reciprocates that feeling for the fans and the city of Madison.“I love this weather and I love the fans,” Smart said after a game early in the season. “You can’t get any better.”Along with Smart, forwards Paulo Júnior and Josiel Nùñez have contributed in a big way to the sixth-place Forward Madison club. They’ve combined for seven goals and eight assists, while also being tied for third in the league in chances created with 38 opportunities each.Forward Madison FC Head Coach Daryl Shore offers insight, optimism on inaugural seasonDaryl Shore, the head coach of Forward Madison FC, the new professional soccer team that calls Madison its home, is Read…Altogether, these players have contributed to a surging Forward Madison team, who went from ninth place in the standings up to a fourth-place spot, putting them right on the cusp of making the playoffs.In a league with just ten teams, only the top four make the playoffs, and the Flamingos are right there knocking on the door. Thanks to a recent streak where the team won three straight, they are tied for fourth-place with only a few games left in the season.“Yeah definitely, we just gotta keep the momentum, you know keep grinding with the team and you know, just keep the same spirit and just keep going and we play like this, you know, day in and day out, you know, I guarantee a win every single day,” Smart said of the streak.With only a handful of games left, Forward Madison must prove their strength as the season comes to an end. Nearly all these games are against teams currently in playoff position, meaning the Flamingos control their own destiny as they attempt to earn a playoff spot in their inaugural season.If you haven’t gone to a Forward Madison FC game yet, you should definitely check it out if you can! Even when the team doesn’t win, the atmosphere of the games makes it worth the trip, even warranting some attention from the players. Head over to Breese Stevens Field or forwardmadisonfc.com to buy tickets today!last_img read more

Harrell’s Air Raid allows quarterbacks to thrive

first_imgTo move the chains and create manageable second and third downs, the traditional Air Raid elects to throw short, often to the running back, rather than run the ball. Compared to sophomore quarterback JT Daniels’ numerous end zone heaves that seemed to be the focus of USC’s offense last season, Trojan quarterbacks have been more surgical this year, completing short passes at an incredible 72.3% clip between Daniels, freshman Kedon Slovis and redshirt junior Matt Fink. Though Harrell has elected to not completely cut out the run, giving redshirt junior tailback Vavae Malepeai around 15 carries per game, the offense looks primarily to move the ball by passing rather than running.  USC’s offensive coordinator Graham Harrell threw for 15,793 yards and 134 touchdowns during his time at Texas Tech University — the fourth and third most in NCAA history, respectively.  While USC head coach Clay Helton rejects the notion that USC uses a true Air Raid, the offense has looked like one through its first five games. Even though their top two quarterbacks on the depth chart are injured, the Trojans are not calling the season — primarily because of their faith in the scheme.  The Air Raid offense, as the name suggests, maintains a commitment to the air attack by passing the ball frequently. Mike Leach’s WSU offense has been known to pass the ball around 50 times per game. While USC is only averaging about 35 pass attempts per game, many of the core concepts remain the same.  Texas Tech has employed the spread offense to great offensive success. When last year’s NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes played at TTU, he had over 5,000 yards in a season and an outrageous 734 yards passing in one game.  While Art Briles has had a career mired with scandal, his scheme turned a Baylor team that consistently finished at the bottom of the Big 12 standings into a perennial contender. Briles’ Air Raid was so effective that in 2015, after two quarterbacks went down with injuries, a third-stringer led the Bears through four games to a bowl win against No. 10 UNC.  In summation, the Air Raid works very, very well. Harrell previously worked under Mike Leach, his college coach, as the outside receivers’ coach at Washington State, where Leach’s spread offense has often boasted the leading passer in the nation despite underwhelming recruiting. Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew II, who has taken the NFL by storm with his famous mustache and atypical background after being a three-star product out of high school, threw 4,779 yards and 38 touchdowns for the Cougars in his final college season. Redshirt senior Anthony Gordon, WSU’s current starting quarterback, is averaging over 400 yards passing per game — further proof of the scheme’s effectiveness.  “You’re not going to sit there and try to out-scheme people,” he said. “It’s an identity. It gives you an identity and says, ‘This is who we are, and we’re going to be good at what we do.’”  Now, he hopes to impart the spread scheme that helped him achieve video game numbers onto a Trojan offense that was devoid of life last year. The X’s and O’s of the Air Raid offense are simple: pass a lot, play fast, identify good matchups and execute. The spread offense has been keeping the Trojans competitive with a third string quarterback, and with Harrell calling the shots, the ceiling is high for USC’s offense. The offensive scheme is intentionally simple; there aren’t many plays, and it’s designed to let players play loose. In his introductory press conference, Harrell said just that about his offense.  Pre-snap, the quarterback reads the defense and determines which matchups are favorable given the formations. Then he snaps the ball and pulls the trigger. It’s that simple. Offensive coordinator Graham Harrell, in his first season at USC, has reshaped the Trojans’ offense, and the early results are promising. (Tal Volk | Daily Trojan) The Air Raid offense maintains a fast tempo and stresses getting in and out of the huddle quickly. The Trojans have been consistent with this tenet, churning through plays quickly and keeping defenses tired. last_img read more

LOOKING UP: Digna Strautmane’s indecisiveness prevents her from becoming the player SU thinks she can be

first_img Published on November 2, 2018 at 11:24 am Contact Nick: nialvare@syr.edu | @nick_a_alvarez,Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment. Quentin Hillsman and Adeniyi Amadou spent the summer of 2017 scouting the FIBA U20 European Championship, waiting. The pair tuned in to further evaluate five-star Latvian-forward Digna Strautmane, the gem of Syracuse’s 2017 recruiting class. Hillsman and Amadou saw games trickle into the fourth quarter with the score tight, expecting Strautmane to rise above feeble competition. She was usually the best player on the court. ESPN’s HoopGurlz ranked her the fifth best forward in the 2017 class. Yet, in crunch time, Strautmane passed instead of shot. She involved her teammates, forgoing one-on-one matchups. She finished the tournament averaging 18.7 points, 7.4 boards and 2.1 assists. She performed well, Amadou remembers, but she never took over. Without knowing it, Strautmane confirmed the suspicions of her soon-to-be coaches: She’s selfless, maybe to a fault.“I understand what they want,” Strautmane said, “but when the game comes it’s some misunderstanding.” AdvertisementThis is placeholder textStrautmane, one of SU’s five returning starters, is the representation of the “balance” that Hillsman will strive to create in his 3-point shooting, post presence offense. With the exception of center Amaya Finklea-Guity, each member of the frontcourt will be expected to attack the paint and shoot 3s, both areas in which Strautmane’s indecisiveness plagued her last season. The dichotomy of her game reveals itself whenever she holds the ball: her help-everyone mindset distinguishes her as a leader off the court, but an inefficient scorer on it. Realizing her potential could lead Syracuse to a deep NCAA tournament run. Her coaches think the 2018-19 campaign could be Strautmane’s time, but it remains uncertain. “We’ve known that all along that it would be her (decision-making) she has to work and develop,” Amadou, SU’s assistant and frontcourt coach, said. “It might be a three-year process, we don’t know.”,Strautmane developed in an environment where her selflessness was rewarded. In her hometown of Riga, Latvia, Strautmane’s sister, Paula, called her an “artsy kid.” Strautmane sung and danced before she stepped on the basketball court. She only gave up when her dance teacher told her she was too uncoordinated. Anda Pauliņa, her neighbor, dragged an eight-year-old Strautmane to a basketball practice months later.One game, players rotated in based on their placement on the bench. Whoever exited the game took a seat at the end of the bench. Everyone else slid over one seat. When Strautmane reached the seat next to Inita Eglite, her coach, Eglite stared at her youngest, least-talented athlete and picked someone else. The next time a player came off the floor, Strautmane dropped to her knees and begged for minutes. Lanky and two years younger than her teammates, Strautmane couldn’t find the court. When she did, Strautmane executed the right passes and kept the ball moving, fearful she’d return to the bench if she made a mistake.By the end of her ninth-grade season, Strautmane’s ability caught up with her frame, and coaches in the United States called. BlueStar Europe, a third-party recruiting service for international athletes and American high schools, invited Strautmane to a showcase in Denmark. Dan Bowmaker, the head of BSE, sold Strautmane on the dream of top-end athletic gear and competitive basketball. A few years earlier, not able to afford new basketball shoes, Strautmane attended 100-straight basketball practices to get a free pair of Reeboks. Strautmane saw a future in the US, like her sister did when she committed to Quinnipiac two years prior.Ainārs Čukste, Strautmane’s coach at the time, threatened to fight Bowmaker if he came to a practice to actively recruit Strautmane. She stayed in Latvia and committed to SU three years later. “There, you will play at the same level as all the other girls,” Strautmane recalled Čukste saying. “(In Latvia), you can improve better.”Her early days laid the foundation for the pass-first mentality the Orange spent last season eradicating. The Orange, down in the fourth quarter en route to its first home loss of the year against Virginia Tech on Feb. 1, ran the offense through Strautmane. She finished with a team-high 20 points, but it wasn’t good enough. In the fourth, Strautmane caught the ball on the right block and pivoted her feet. Her eyes swung around the court, searching for a white jersey. Hillsman nearly charged the court as Strautmane passed up a one-on-one opportunity. She wants her teammates to impact the game, sometimes at her, and SU’s, expense. Her worst performances coincided with the team’s worst losses. In Miami on Jan.18, SU lost by five with Strautmane scoring three points on 1-for-11 shooting. Versus Oklahoma State in the NCAA Tournament, she tied a season-low in minutes, knocking down one shot in the 84-57 season-ending blowout. “She’s so unselfish, she always wants to make the right basketball play,” Amadou said, “but there are times where the right basketball play requires you to be selfish. It’s hard to get her to understand the message sometimes because she has to step outside of her comfort zone as a human-being, almost.” Strautmane’s passiveness clashed with the defining principles of Hillsman’s offense: running the floor and shooting 3s. Syracuse called plays to generate open shots for its swing-four and watched her pass the ball immediately. Last season, Hillsman simply “guessed” what the then-freshman would do when open with the ball.Amadou recognized her footwork from behind-the-arc. She rarely caught the ball with the intention to shoot. Strautmane always looked for the open pass, neglecting her own free space. When she realized she had a shot, she rushed her footwork and the ball clanked off the rim time and again. Five Orange shooters totaled more than 100 3-point attempts. Of them, Strautmane posted the worst shooting percentage (21.3 percent on 29-for-136 tries). Coaches said Strautmane put in extra work, entering the gym at 5:30 a.m., but come tip-off she reverts back. “When she was decisive,” Hillsman said, “she was consistent. It’s about being more decisive in what she’s doing. She catches it, she’s open, she needs to shoot it.”Her international teammates warned her that the game speed in the U.S would be an adjustment. During SU’s first non-conditioning practice last season, Strautmane said she was overwhelmed. Mistakes piled up, and she turned to Amadou for one-on-one assistance. The training helped, allowing Strautmane to have a 67-point three-game stretch in conference play. When she rejoined her national team last September, she felt faster and stronger. Every summer, each player leaves with a list of things they can improve upon, Hillsman said. Shooting was at the top of Strautmane’s list. “She’s been great since she came back for her national team,” Hillsman said. “She’s been a different player. She’s shooting the ball well. She’s not hesitating when the ball hits her hands.”Strautmane was a rotation piece on Latvia’s FIBA World Cup team. She averaged 10 minutes in the squad’s three games and ceded shots to older, more-established shooters. On Sept. 22 against China, Latvia’s first game, Strautmane whipped the ball inside. The defense collapsed as she shifted to the left wing. She caught the ball with her feet squared toward the basket, eyes locked on the rim and swished it. For that one shot, she was the player Syracuse thinks she can be. Cover photo by Josh Shub-Seltzer | Staff Photographer Commentslast_img read more

Elijah Hughes sparks Syracuse in 82-52 win over Arkansas State

first_imgBefore the season, Hughes was expected to provide something new, another scoring option on a team that didn’t seem to have enough last year. He’d watched Syracuse’s at-times stagnant offense from the sidelines a year ago due to transfer rules. He, and everyone on the team, knew he’d have a big role this time around.Hughes has brought that added scoring, finishing in double figures in all but two games. But that consistency has also made his contributions at times seem muted. He hasn’t had the scoring outbursts of Battle, or the big games on the glass like Oshae Brissett. He’s just kept filling it up, game after game.Saturday, Syracuse needed that. The Orange couldn’t find points at the rim, and so their most consistent bucket-getter had to do his thing again.First, Hughes cut backdoor for a righty slam on a Dolezaj bounce pass. Then he swished a 3 from the right corner and another from the top of the key. The second 3 came moments after the Red Wolves’ Ty Cockfield silenced the crowd with a 3 of his own. Whenever Arkansas State looked to pull away, Hughes answered, and his contributions put SU up two at the break.“Elijah saved us early with those two 3s when we were struggling,” Boeheim said.Gabriel Kotico | Contributing PhotographerIn the season’s first nine games, the Orange showed themselves to be a second-half team. That changed in the last two contests, both losses where Syracuse played better in the first half. But on Saturday, in need of a second-half lift it had found earlier this season, Boeheim wanted his team to “wake up,” Hughes said. “That’s what we did,” Hughes added.“We played with more sense of urgency,” Hughes said of the second half. “We just got after it more. We wanted it and we just wanted to get out to a big lead.”Early in the second 20 minutes, Brissett drove right and scooped it up with his right hand, through contact, for an and-1. He knocked down the bonus free throw. Then, Brissett found a slicing Hughes down the middle of the lane for a lefty finish and another three-point play. All of a sudden, SU found itself up nine.Minutes later, Hughes hit a 3 from the left corner. It put the Orange up 14, and even as Hughes’ face remained stoic like it does almost all game, every game, the Carrier Dome fans roared their approval. While things hadn’t been perfect for SU on Saturday, it was Hughes who always seemed to have the needed answer, with multiple clutch 3s in the first half and high-rising defense at the rim.He did it with steals, like the one to set up the alley-oop (although he wasn’t credited with that takeaway), and he did it with passes, like the one a few minutes later to a wide open Brissett for a pick-and-pop 3. He didn’t force shots, but made his open looks count.“When I’m open, I’m gonna shoot the ball, nothing crazy,” Hughes said. “My teammates do a good job of finding me, and I just try to make every shot I take.”There are tougher tests coming for Syracuse. A week from today, the Orange host a St. Bonaventure team that won in the Carrier Dome last year. A week after that, ACC play starts.Improvements will need to continue. There’s still a rocky start to the season to make up for. But as SU players prepare to celebrate Christmas, with some heading home to be with their families, they’ll get to do so off a win. For one day, Hughes was right: “we good”. Comments On Wednesday, the day after Syracuse lost its second-straight game, Elijah Hughes sent out a tweet.“Riding w my dawgs forever, we good” the tweet read. It hasn’t always been easy for SU this season, and that showed in losses against Old Dominion and Buffalo.But when Hughes stole the ball midway through the second half against Arkansas State, jump-starting a Frank Howard to Tyus Battle alley-oop at the other end, the East Carolina-transfer ensured that the Orange would be OK.“I’m out there to just be a player,” Hughes said. “Coach wants me to make plays on both sides of the floor, and that’s what I feel like I had to do.”Arkansas State (5-7) wasn’t good enough to do more than threaten Syracuse (8-4) in an eventual 82-52 Orange win at the Carrier Dome on Saturday. When it faced that threat, SU showed many of the same issues it has displayed all season inside the paint and on the offensive end. Hughes made sure that wouldn’t prove decisive, though, with a tied-for-team-high 17 points, along with three 3s and two blocks.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I think he’s getting better,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. “I think we forget that he sat out a year.” Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on December 22, 2018 at 4:06 pm Contact Billy: wmheyen@syr.edu | @Wheyen3last_img read more

Syracuse drops to No. 10 in Inside Lacrosse rankings

first_img Published on April 29, 2019 at 11:07 am Contact Michael: mmcclear@syr.edu | @MikeJMcCleary Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse fell three spots to No. 10 in Monday’s Inside Lacrosse Division-I media poll.The Orange were bounced in the play-in game of the ACC tournament after a late surge lifted North Carolina to an 11-10 win over SU.With six minutes remaining in the game, SU led the Tar Heels 10-7 and was primed for a win that would advance the Orange to a matchup with No. 1-seed Virginia. But UNC scored four unanswered goals to push ahead and send the Orange home in their first game of the conference tournament for the second-straight year.Syracuse will have to wait until the Selection Show next Sunday, May 5, for its NCAA Tournament fate. Comments AdvertisementThis is placeholder textlast_img read more

Munster take on Connacht with eye on Pro 12 top spot

first_imgStanding in their way of a place at the summit is Connacht. Both sides’ international contingents have returned for the game at the Sportsgrounds that’s underway at 5. Today’s other Pro 12 clash is the Welsh derby meeting of the Dragons and Cardiff Blues at Rodney Parade where kick off is at 2.05.last_img

Coursing postponed due to frost

first_imgTipperary trainer Michael O’Donovan has the clear favourite Timber House and second favourite Portane All In.He also has 3/1 joint favourite Manntan Maple going into the final day of the Oaks, while the Pat Curtin trained Windfarm Ivy is seen as the other main contender. Officials have made the decision to hold off on the final rounds of the Derby and the Oaks at this the 90th year of the event.It’s been re-fixed for next Sunday with a start time of 11.30 leaving a lot of coursing enthusiasts disheartened. They are down to the quarter-finals of the Derby with €35,000 on offer for the winner.last_img read more

Liverpool still chasing Champions League spot

first_imgRepublic of Ireland midfielder James McCarthy was on the scoresheet for Everton in a 3-nil win at home to ten-man Newcastle.While Chelsea are six points clear of Manchester City at the top after a 1-all draw with Southampton at Stamford Bridge. Liverpool will look to close the gap to Manchester United in the race for the Champions League tonight.Brendan Rodgers brings his Reds to his former side Swansea, with kick-off at the Liberty Stadium at 8 o’clock.Manchester United hold a five-point advantage over Liverpool following yesterday’s comfortable 3-nil defeat of Tottenham.last_img read more

Kloopp says his side deserve to be in last 8 of Europa league

first_imgThey progressed to the quarter-finals with a 3-1 aggregate victory after drawing the second leg of their last sixteen tie 1-1 at Manchester United.Klopp says they did make it hard for themselves at times – something they can learn from.Tottenham are out thanks to a 5-1 overall defeat to Borussia Dortmund. Spurs were beaten 2-1 by the German giants at White Hart Lane.The draw for the last eight takes place this afternoon.last_img