Afternoon State Sports Briefs: UW's Fenelus named Big Ten Player of the WeekWisconsin Sports
-- University of Wisconsin football corner Antonio Fenelus is the Big Ten’s co-defensive player-of-the-week.
MADISON - University of Wisconsin football corner Antonio Fenelus is the Big Ten’s co-defensive player-of-the-week.
The junior shares the honor with Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti. Fenelus returned an interception 36 games for the game-winning touchdown, and he recovered a fumble in last Saturday’s Badger victory at Purdue. He also had a career-high nine tackles. Fenelus is now second in the conference with three interceptions this season.
Also, Wisconsin junior defensive end J.J. Watt has been named one of 16 semi-finalists for the Bednarik Award. It’s given each year to the top defensive player in college football. And coach Bret Bielema is one of 15 semi-finalists for the inaugural Joe Paterno Coach-of-the-Year award. It’s based on success on the field, in the classroom, and in the community.
The Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks will both try to improve their shooting when they play each other tonight at the Bradley Center. The Knicks shot a season-low 40-percent in a 10-point loss to Philadelphia on Sunday. And Milwaukee has had shooting woes all season. They hit just 38-point-six percent last Saturday in a six-point home loss to New Orleans. And that put Milwaukee below 40-percent for the season – the second-lowest shooting percentage in the NBA. The addition of Amare Stoudemire is helping New York. He had 21 points and 15 rebounds against Philly, and he has averaged 23.5 points in his last six games against Milwaukee. The Bucks have won seven-of-their-last-eight against New York, while scoring an average of 104 points in those contests. But Milwaukee is only averaging in the 80’s this season, as they’ve struggled to a 2-5 start. The Knicks are 3-3.
Wisconsin players swept the weekly football honors in the Midwest Conference. Chris Casper of Carroll was named the league’s offensive player-of-the-week. The senior quarterback threw a school-record six touchdown passes in Carroll’s 40-7 rout of Grinnell. Dan Sjoquist of Saint Norbert won the defensive honors. The junior defensive back had an interception, a blocked punt, a pass break-up, and two tackles for losses in Saint Norbert’s 28-nothing shut-out of Lake Forest. And Jacob Gahart of Ripon won the special teams’ award. The sophomore kicker booted nine extra points in Ripon’s 63-0 rout at Lawrence. He also scored a touchdown on fake field goal attempt.
The University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team kept its number-one ranking this week, despite losing to No. 7 Minnesota on Friday night. The Badgers tied their two-game series at Minneapolis, and are now 9-1 overall. Second-ranked Cornell is 6-1. Minnesota-Duluth is third, and the top six teams in the U.S. College Hockey Online poll remain unchanged from a week ago. The Gophers moved up one spot with its victory over Wisconsin.
In the Division-One men’s poll, the Badgers moved up two places to 13th after beating and tying Minnesota last weekend. Boston College is the new number-one, moving up two spots from last week. Miami-of-Ohio dropped to fourth.
In Division-Three, Saint Norbert remains third in the men’s poll, with Norwich and Oswego still first-and-second. UW-Stevens Point made its debut in the poll at number-10. UW-River Falls dropped five places to 14th. Superior, Eau Claire, and Milwaukee Engineering also received votes.
In the D-III women’s poll, River Falls is still sixth. Amherst remains at number-one, and Stevens Point also received votes.
Three Wisconsin men’s soccer teams will open their NCAA Division-Three tournament runs on Friday. Oshkosh is hosting a four-team bracket. The host Titans will face Carroll of Waukesha, with the winner to play either North Park or Hope College of Michigan on Saturday. UW-Whitewater is the third team in the tournament. The Warhawks are also hosting a four-team bracket. Whitewater will open against Macalester on Friday, and the winner will face either Augsburg or Saint Scholastica of Duluth on Sunday. There are 60 schools in the men’s soccer tourney. The title game is set for December fourth in San Antonio.
Two Wisconsin schools are among 63 in the NCAA Division-Three women’s soccer tournament. Lawrence will play at Wheaton Illinois on Friday, and the winner will play either Carleton College or Augustana in the next round on Saturday. The other Wisconsin team in the tournament is UW-Stevens Point. They’ll play Macalester on Friday night in Saint Paul, and the winner will face either Concordia-Moorhead or Northwest-of-Minnesota on Saturday night. The championship game is set for December fourth in San Antonio.
Six volleyball teams from Wisconsin will play their first-round games on Friday in the NCAA Division-Three tournament. Carthage of Kenosha is hosting eight schools for the first two rounds. Carthage will host UW-Oshkosh, and the winner will face either Platteville or Dominican on Saturday. UW-Whitewater will take on Wartburg College in the other bracket at Carthage, and Beloit will play Washington of Saint Louis. Those winners will advance to the second round on Saturday. Also, UW-Eau Claire is in a group at Saint Paul. The Blugolds will face Nebraska-Wesleyan on Friday – and that winner will take on either Puget Sound or Saint Thomas on Saturday. Sixty-three teams are in the D-III volleyball tournament. The champion will be decided November 21st in Saint Louis.
Whitney Schott of UW-Green Bay and Morgan Potter of Milwaukee won the Horizon League’s weekly volleyball awards. Schott, a senior setter, took the honors on offense for having 87 assists in road victories over Butler and Wright State. She had a career-high 24 digs in a three-games-to-one upset of Butler last Friday. Potter, a junior libero, was named the top defensive player after getting 38 digs against Wright State and Butler. Potter helped UWM clinch the Horizon League regular season title.
1265 Lombardi Avenue is pretty much quiet, as the Green Bay Packers are on their bye week. The coaches are sticking around to look at what’s going right, and what needs improvement heading into the final seven weeks of the regular season. Coach Mike McCarthy gave the players Monday off, as a reward for their 45-7 home rout of Dallas which resulted in the firing of Cowboys’ coach Wade Phillips. Corner Charles Woodson says the bye comes at a perfect time, as the Packers have a lot of quote, “banged up guys.” He says some are staying in Green Bay for treatment, while others will relax in their home towns. They’re off for a full week before returning to get ready for their next contest at Minnesota on November 21st. The Packers are 6-3 with a half-game lead lead atop the NFC North. And they’ve done it with 10 players out for the year with injuries, and several other key players with nagging aches-and-pains. Defensive end Cullen Jenkins said many fans wrote the Packers off – and the way they’ve recovered says a lot about their team.
Almost 20-million Americans saw the Packers crush the Dallas Cowboys on NBC Sunday night. The network won the prime-time evening ratings for the ninth week in a row. The 45-7 Packer shellacking had a final national rating of 11.6. That’s up eight-percent from the previous Sunday night, when New Orleans hosted Pittsburgh. But the audience was nine-percent smaller than the same week a year ago, when the Cowboys played Philadelphia. Still, “Sunday Night Football” remains the most watched show in prime-time this fall, with an average of 21.3 million viewers. Among the big-city TV markets, Milwaukee led the way, as expected. It had a rating of 45.8, with 413,000 households watching. Dallas had the second-biggest rating for the game, followed by San Antonio, Las Vegas, and Austin, Texas.
Former Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu was considered as the Milwaukee Brewers’ new bench coach – until he accepted the same job at Toronto. The Tacoma News first reported the development, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel confirmed it today with Brewers’ GM Doug Melvin. Wakamatsu was one of eight candidates for the Brewers’ managing job that went to Ron Roenicke. Wakamatsu did not make the Final Four in Milwaukee – but Melvin said he was still a possibility as a bench coach candidate until recently. He’ll take the Toronto post if he doesn’t get the managing job with the New York Mets. He’s being interviewed for that spot. Wakamatsu was fired as the Seattle skipper midway through last season. Meanwhile, Melvin says he’d like to get the pitching coach firmed up this week if possible. Rick Peterson is under contract for one more year, but Roenicke has left open the possibility of bringing in somebody else as a pitching coach.
The Brewers will begin their 2011 exhibition season on February 28th in Arizona. They’ll split their squad that day. Half the Brew Crew will host the World Series champion San Francisco Giants at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix, and the other half will head to the Cubs’ complex in Mesa. All told, the Brewers will play 31 spring training games. Sixteen of them will be at Maryvale, where they’ll host the Cubs on March second and Cincinnati on March 20th. The final Brewer exhibition will take place on March 29th against San Diego. Tickets for Milwaukee’s home exhibitions will go on sale December sixth.
Torey DeLozier of Maranatha Baptist Bible College in Watertown has been named the volleyball player-of-the-year in the Northern Athletics Conference. DeLozier, a sophomore outside hitter, was also named to the all-conference first team. She led the league with a .377 hitting percentage this season – and she led the NCAA’s Division-Three with five-point-seven-seven kills per set. Two players from Concordia-Mequon also made the All-Conference first team – Stephanie Boehm and Lydia Meaden. Also honored were Rachel Johnson and Kayla Ridgeman of Wisconsin Lutheran, Mallory Palmer of Madison Edgewood, and Michielah Navis of Marian. Kelsey Lorenzen and Tasha Strey of Concordia-Mequon made the all-league second team, along with Kim Lueck of Edgewood, Erika Laete of Wisconsin Lutheran, and Allison Davis of Lakeland. Lutheran’s Ridgeman also made the all-freshman team, along with Jessica Martin of Edgewood and Lindsey Swansby of Edgewood. Jackie Rust of Benedictine was the defensive player-of-the-year. Claire Dezelski of Dominican was the top freshman. And Christine Paciero of Dominican is the coach-of-the-year.
Marquette University volleyball player, junior Ciara Jones, has been named to the weekly Honor Roll in the Big East Conference. Jones had a career-high 20 kills with a .475 hitting percentage in a victory over Seton Hall. Marquette has a winning streak of 13 matches, and they’ve reached the 20-victory plateau for only second time since joining the NCAA’s Division-One.
University of Wisconsin men’s soccer freshman Max Jentsch has been named the Big Ten’s defensive player-of-the-week. Jentsch, a goal-tender, had back-to-back shutouts against Illinois-Chicago and Penn State. He’ll help lead Wisconsin into the Big Ten Tournament. The seventh-seeded Badgers face number-two Ohio State on Thursday.
Laurie Nosbusch has been named the Big Ten women’s soccer player-of-the-week on offense. The junior co-captain had two goals and an assist in a 3-0 victory over Northwestern. She’ll lead the Badgers into the NCAA Division-One tournament. Wisconsin will play UW-Milwaukee on Friday in the first round at Marquette’s Valley Fields in Milwaukee.
UW-Stout is about to look for a new women’s soccer coach. Meagan Frank has called it quits, saying her daily commute from Minnesota’s Twin Cities to Menomonie has taken a big toll on her family. Frank said she missed too many soccer games that her three children played in this fall. Frank coached for five years as Stout, with an overall record of 29-58-5. She plans to resume a writing career, and she’s working on a book about marriage. Frank used to be a reporter for the Dunn County News in Menomonie.