WISCONSIN SPORTS ROUNDUP: Kenseth now second in the Chase for the Sprint Cup
Wisconsin NASCAR driver Matt Kenseth lost his lead yesterday in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. The Cambridge native placed 20th at the Camping World R-V Sales-500 at Talladega, Alabama. That dropped Kenseth to second in the Chase standings with 22-hundred-50 points, four in back of Jimmie Johnson who moved into first. Kenseth held the lead for the entire first half of the 10-event Chase, as he tries to win the season championship for the first time since 2003. Kenseth led for 32 laps early in yesterday's race -- but he later experienced handling problems which he normally doesn't get on the Talladega track. Kenseth won last year's Chase event at Talladega, and then led for 142 laps there in a spring this spring. Yesterday, Kenseth finished third among the fourth Wisconsin drivers in the race. Paul Menard of Eau Claire placed fourth, and he moved up one place to 16th in the Sprint Cup standings with four races left. Travis Kvapil of Janesville placed 19th, and he remains 31st for the year. Beloit-born Danica Patrick was 31st in the race, and she's still 28th in the point standings.
The Wisconsin football team was not mentioned in the season's first B-C-S Standings released last night. The Badgers did move up three places to Number-22 in the Associated Press media poll, after crushing Illinois 56-32 on Saturday night at Champaign. Wisconsin also returned to the U-S-A Today coaches' poll at Number-24, after improving to 5-and-2 with their win over the Illini. Badgers' coach Gary Andersen said his team played hard, but it had too many mental breakdowns on defense. The Badgers gave up five plays of 20-or-more yards to Illinois, which had 319 passing yards. The previous week against Northwestern, the Badgers only gave up two plays of 20-yards or longer. Wisconsin will have two makes to fix their problems. They're off this coming Saturday before returning at Iowa on November second.
U-W Whitewater moved up three places to Number-Seven in the new national Division-Three poll from D-Three-Football-Dot-Com. The Warhawks crushed Eau Claire 42-to-nothing on Saturday. U-W Platteville dropped one place to eighth, despite winning at Stevens Point 24-23. Oshkosh also fell one spot to Number-nine, in spite of a convincing 41-13 win over River Falls. All three of Wisconsin's Top-10 teams are at 6-and-0. Stevens Point again received votes, but not enough to be in the Top-25. Mount Union of Ohio is still at Number-One.
The Milwaukee Bucks will play three N-B-A exhibition games this week, starting tonight in Chicago against the Bulls. New coach Larry Drew is still looking for a victory, after going 0-and-4 so far. The Bucks ended four straight days of practices yesterday. Veteran forward Caron Butler said the team and its 11 new players are getting closer, after long periods of scrimmages and film sessions. Starting power forward Ersan Ilyasova remains out with a sprained right ankle. It's not known if he'll be ready for Milwaukee's first regular season game a week from Wednesday night at New York.
In golf, Rhinelander native Dan Forsman tied for 61st at the Greater Hickory Kia Classic on the P-G-A senior Champions Tour. Forsman shot three identical rounds of one-over-par 71 at Rock Barn in Conover North Carolina. He ended up a three-over-213 -- sixteen strokes behind Michael Allen and Olin Browne. Allen won the tournament in a one-hole playoff.
The Wisconsin volleyball team upset fifth-ranked Michigan State three-sets-to-one yesterday in Madison. It was the Badgers' first win over a Top-five team since 2006. Annemarie Hickey had 27 digs for Wisconsin, which improved to 5-and-3 in the Big Ten and 16-and-4 overall. Michigan State committed 13 service errors to nine for the Badgers. The Spartans dropped to 6-and-2 in the conference and 17-and-3 overall.
The Wisconsin men's soccer team lost at Michigan yesterday, 2-to-1. Tyler Arnone scored the game-winner, as the Wolverines improved to 2-and-2 in the Big Ten and 6-4-and-3 overall. Wisconsin dropped to 1-and-2 in the conference and 9-3-and-1 overall.
The Marquette women's soccer team remains undefeated in the Big East, after a 1-nothing shutout at DePaul yesterday. Mary Luba scored the only goal of the match, helping the Golden Eagles improve to 7-and-0 in conference play and 14-and-3 overall.
The Wisconsin women edged Iowa, 2-to-1 in Madison yesterday. Freshman Rose Lavelle scored the deciding goal in the 80th minute, as the Badgers improved 4-3-and-1 in the Big Ten and 9-4-and-2 overall.