Tuesday State Sports Briefs: Ryan looking for new frontcourt starters for UW hoopsWisconsin Sports
-- University of Wisconsin men’s basketball coach Bo Ryan is not sure who will replace the front-line starters who left after last spring’s NCAA Sweet-16 appearance.
MADISON - University of Wisconsin men’s basketball coach Bo Ryan is not sure who will replace the front-line starters who left after last spring’s NCAA Sweet-16 appearance.
But at the team’s Media Day yesterday, Ryan said freshman forward Jarrod Uthoff has emerged as a leading candidate. The coach said the 6-8 Uthoff, from Cedar Rapids Iowa, has performed better than expected at practice so far. Ryan compared Uthoff’s learning ability to that of sophomore guard Josh Gasser, who started 30 games in his first year in Madison and had the first triple-double in Badgers’ history. Junior forward Jared Berggren says he’s also ready to contribute. And junior forward Mike Bruesewitz hopes to continue his solid play from last March, when he averaged nine points and six rebounds in three NCAA Tournament games. Ryan says his players will have plenty of opportunities to earn spots held by the departed Jon Leuer, Keaton Nankivil, and Tim Jarmusz.
Wisconsin men’s basketball senior Rob Wilson says he wants to make a bigger contribution to the Badgers in his final year. But apparently, he’s not off to a good start. Coach Bo Ryan said Wilson missed some of the Badgers’ closed practices during the past week due to an injury. Ryan would not say what the injury was. Before the fall practices began 10 days ago, Wilson said he was so hungry he could see the playing time. But the 6-4 guard-and-forward has apparently not shown Ryan that he’s hungry for that playing time yet. Last year, Wilson fought a hamstring injury in the early part of the season. He later became a starter, but he returned to the bench during the second half of his junior year. Ryan said Wilson’s latest injury had nothing to do with the hamstring problem from a year ago. He averaged just over one-and-a-half points a game in his limited time, while shooting 33-percent from the floor. During the off-season, Wilson spent time in the weight room – and he said he committed to becoming better on defense.
The Texas Rangers are one game away from winning their first World Series. The Rangers topped Saint Louis 4-2 in Arlington last night, to take a three-games-to-two lead in the Fall Classic. Catcher Mike Napoli broke a 2-2 tie with a two-run double in the eighth inning. And Napoli snuffed out a Cardinals’ rally in the ninth when he threw out a potential base-stealer as Albert Pujols struck out. Former Brewers’ prospect Nelson Cruz went 1-for-3 with a single, a walk, and a strikeout. Game-Six is tomorrow night in Saint Louis.
Top NHL prospect Alex Galchenyuk from Milwaukee will have surgery this week, after he tore a knee ligament in a pre-season game in the Ontario Hockey League. The 17-year-old Galchenyuk is a center for the Sarnia Sting. He was hurt September 16th in a contest against Windsor. Galchenyuk played 68 games last season, and had 31 goals and 52 assists. His father, Alexander, played for the Milwaukee Admirals from 1992-to-’94.
The University of Wisconsin women’s hockey team remains atop the national poll released today by U.S. College Hockey Online. The Badgers are 7-1 after a sweep at Minnesota-Duluth this past weekend, 4-3 and 6-3. Wisconsin received all 15 first-place votes in the new poll. Minnesota-Duluth dropped one place to seventh. The two losses to the Badgers dropped UMD’s record to 3-and-3. Minnesota is second in the new poll with the identical record as Wisconsin at 7-1. Cornell is third, followed by Boston College.
In the USCHO men’s poll, Wisconsin moved to within one spot of the Top-20 after sweeping North Dakota at home this past weekend. Mike Eaves’ Badgers improved to 3-3 overall, and 2-2 in the WCHA, with their 5-3 and 5-4 victories. North Dakota dropped seven spots to 12th in the new men’s poll. Boston College and Denver each moved up spot to first-and-second. Last week’s leader, Michigan, dropped to fourth.
University of Wisconsin volleyball freshman Crystal Graff is expected to miss the rest of the fall season with a right knee injury suffered October 19th against Minnesota. Coach Pete Waite says the full extent of the injury won’t be known until she has surgery sometime in the next few weeks. Graff is expected to return for the spring season. Graff, an outside hitter, led the Badgers with just over two-point-six kills per set. She had played in all 20 of her matches before the injury and had double-figure kills in eight of them – including a career-high 15 against North Carolina State. Graff also averaged two-point-two-two digs and point-43 blocks per set. Junior Bailey Reshel started in Graff’s place against Indiana last Saturday. Coach Waite said the injury is unfortunate – and it will test the remainder of the team to quote, “step up to the challenge and become even tighter.”
The University of Wisconsin rowing teams won three races during the weekend at the Head-of-the-Charles regatta in Boston. All three Badger squads competed on the Charles River for the first time since 2002 – and they had Top-10 finishes in all of the seven events they entered. The men’s four and the lightweight women’s eight were both victorious. And so was ex-Badger Kristin Hedstrom. The 2008 graduate and World Cup champion won her lightweight singles’ race by almost 40 seconds over Abelyn Broughton. Another ex-Badger, Claire Wallace, took 18th in that race.
For the second week in a row, Kerri Schuh of UW-Milwaukee is the Horizon League’s volleyball player-of-the-week on offense. The senior outside hitter hit .412 and averaged four-and-a-third kills per set last week, as the Panthers remained unbeaten in Horizon League play. Schuh had a double-double against Butler with 15 digs and 16 kills in a three-game sweep of the Bulldogs. Taylor Root of Valparaiso is the honored player on defense.
Austin Arts of Saint Norbert College is the defensive football player-of-the-week in the Midwest Conference. And Ripon College kicker Jacob Gahart is the honored player on special teams. Arts, a junior defensive back, returned an interception 43 yards for a touchdown. And he made a second game-saving pick with 34 seconds left to give Saint Norbert a 30-to-28 win at Grinnell. Gahart, a junior, made two field goals and three extra points in Ripon’s 34-33 loss to Illinois College. Gahart broke a Ripon single-season record with 10 field goals, and he broke the school’s career mark with 26 three-pointers. Lake Forest quarterback Pete Scaffidi is the Midwest offensive player-of-the-week. The league also recognized Adam Bruk and Jordan Wickman, both of Carroll, in men’s soccer, and Katie Vanden Avond of Saint Norbert in women’s soccer.
Austin Damaschke of Concordia-Mequon and Tony Faller of Lakeland College have been named the football players-of-the-week in the Northern Athletics Conference. Damaschke, a freshman quarterback, threw for 215 yards and three touchdowns in Concordia’s 20-7 victory over Aurora. Faller, a senior defensive back, had an interception, a fumble recovery, a pass break-up, a tackle for a loss, and two kick returns for 29 yards in Lakeland’s 21-7 loss to Concordia-Chicago. Punter Billy Dixon of Benedictine was the honored player on special teams. The NAC also recognized Ben Koepsell of Lakeland in men’s soccer – Laura Maly of Marian in women’s soccer – Allison Davis of Lakeland in volleyball – Marci Talavera of Alverno in women’s cross country.
Kaitlyn Strehlow of Wisconsin Lutheran has been named the women’s tennis player-of-the-year in the Northern Athletics Conference. She went 9-0 in her Number-One singles’ matches this fall, and she was 17-1 overall. And Strehlow won the individual title at the recent NAC tournament. Ben Oestreich of Edgewood College is the league’s coach-of-the-year. He led the Eagles to a share of their fourth straight regular season title. Kornelia Nowaczyk of Dominican is the freshman-of-the-year. Strehlow and her teammate Kathryn Hendee of Wisconsin Lutheran were named to the all-conference singles’ team. Also named were Jessi Ditzler, Laura Olsen, and Shae Beckwith of Edgewood – Meagan Harrington and Julie Spransy of Concordia-Mequon – and Carol Cayo of Milwaukee Engineering. Strehlow and Stephanie Gengler of Wisconsin Lutheran were named to the all-NAC doubles’ team, along with their teammates Hendee and Lindsay Gauger. Also named were Harrington and Spransy of Concordia-Mequon – Beckwith and Olsen of Edgewood – Kristen Boone and Taylor Storbakken of Edgewood – and Amy Goyke and Rebecca Heczko of Marian.
Carroll University of Waukesha has clinched the Midwest Conference men’s soccer title for the regular season. The Pioneers are 7-0 in league play with one weekend left – and they’re 8-6-1 overall. The title is Carroll’s third in its last four seasons. They’ll host the league tournament on November fourth-and-fifth.
Aaron Loferski of UW-Platteville was named today as the WIAC’s football player-of-the-week on offense. Loferski, a sophomore, caught six passes for 139 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown catch in Platteville’s 34-31 win at River Falls. The scoring catch was the longest by a Pioneer receiver since Joe Danielson had an 89-yard TD reception against Whitewater in 2006. Also today, Eric Kindler of Whitewater was named the league’s specialist-of-the-week. The sophomore kicked two field goals, including the game-winner in a 20-17 Warhawk victory over UW-Oshkosh. The WIAC’s Web site did not list a defensive player-of-the-week as of early afternoon. The conference also recognized Brian Shonat of La Crosse and Ann Tank of Platteville in cross country – Thomas Shuldheisz of Superior and Miguel Gamez of Finlandia in men’s soccer – and Christina Tooren and Jordan Meyers, both of Whitewater, in women’s soccer.