Thursday State Sports Briefs: Three new champs to be crowned in state volleyballWisconsin Sports
-- There will be at least three new champions crowned at the girls' state high school volleyball tournament which began late this afternoon in Green Bay.
GREEN BAY - There will be at least three new champions crowned at the girls' state high school volleyball tournament which began late this afternoon in Green Bay.
Division-One champion Kaukauna failed to make it back-to-state -- and the same is true for Racine Saint Catherine's in Division 3 and Highland in D-4. Waukesha Catholic Memorial is the only returning champ. They'll defend the title in Division-Two. Quarter-finals in Division 1 will be played this evening. Eau Claire North will open against Burlington. De Pere faces Watertown. Undefeated Verona plays Milwaukee Divine Savior Holy Angels. And Fond du Lac takes on Muskego. Tonight's winners will advance to the Division-One semi-finals tomorrow night. The three smaller divisions will open tomorrow with their semi-finals. Title matches in all four divisions are set for Saturday at Green Bay's Resch Center.
UW-Stevens Point is the pre-season favorite to repeat as the WIAC women's basketball champion. The Pointers are ranked 11th nationally in the pre-season poll from D3hoops.com, and they return a pair of senior starters in Ashley Averkamp and Cassie Bandow. Last year, Stevens Point became the first team since 2003 to go 16-0 in conference games during the regular season. 21st-ranked Whitewater is projected to take second in the league this year. River Falls is picked to take third.
The WIAC has named an all-time women's volleyball team, in conjunction with the league's upcoming 100th anniversary celebration. Kris Russell, who coached UW-Whitewater from 1981-to-2004, is the coach for the all-time squad. The players date back to 1985. Whitewater has five players on the 12-member team -- Allison and Melinda Erickson, Denise Cobb, Pam Kane, and Lynn Olsen. Oshkosh also has five representatives -- Amy Ward, Christina Cahoon, Amy Camemberg, Christina Southward, and Leah Rosenbaum. Also making the all-time team are Brianne Stankus of La Crosse and Kristi Griggs of Eau Claire.
It's been three years since reliever Salomon Torres helped the Brewers to their first playoff berth since 1982. And Torres is still helping the team. Today, GM Doug Melvin announced the creation of a baseball academy in the Dominican Republic in a facility that used to be affiliated with the Texas Rangers. The Brewers are teaming up with Torres and his company -- the Towers Corporation -- to run a first-class training facility to develop new players from Latin America. The academy includes two baseball fields and related facilities like clubhouses. It also has 13 housing units and a classroom where players will attend English classes to help ease their future transition to playing pro baseball in the U.S. Torres says it will help Brewers take their Latin American players to a new level, and put them in a position to make the big leagues someday.
Green Bay was passed over today as the site of the U.S. Olympic curling team trials for the 2014 Games in Russia. The Curling Association chose Fargo, North Dakota over Green Bay and three other finalists -- Bemidji and Willmar in Minnesota, and Sioux City, Iowa. The curling group chose the five-thousand seat Scheels Arena in Fargo as the place where Team USA will be picked in mid-November of next year. The arena had hosted the national men's and women's curling championships in February.
Pewaukee native Mark Wilson is tied for 30th among 78 players in the HSBC Champions' tournament in Shanghai China. Wilson shot a one-under-par 71 early today in his first round at the World Golf Championships' event. He's six strokes behind the leader, Keegan Bradley.
The PGA senior Champions' Tour is wrapping up its season with the Charles Schwab Cup championship. The 72-hole tournament begins today in San Francisco. The Top-30 players in the Schwab season point standings are competing for the Tour's season title. Rhinelander native Dan Forsman did not make the cut. He's 56th in the standings, with one Top-10 finish this year. Tom Lehman was the points leader going into the tournament.
University of Wisconsin cross country runner Gabrielle Anzalone has been named the Big Ten's co-freshman of the year. She took 20th place at the recent conference meet and was the first true freshman to cross the finish line, with a time of 20-minutes and 51-seconds over six kilometers. Anzalone shared the league honor with Taylor Pogue of Michigan. Caitlin Laine of Penn State was named the athlete-of-the-year, after winning the league meet with a time of 19:58. Walt Drenth of Michigan State is the coach-of-the-year, after leading his Spartans to back-to-back team championships.
The University of Wisconsin women's soccer team ended its season last night with a 2-0 loss to Minnesota in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament in Evanston, Illinois. Taylor Uhl and Marissa Price scored in the first 11 minutes, and the Golden Gophers hung on from there. The Badgers did not have a shot-on-goal until the 84th minute, when Laurie Nosbusch had a chance to score. Wisconsin ended its season with a 10-8-3 overall record.
Marian of Fond du Lac will play at top-seeded Aurora on Saturday in the title game of the Northern Athletics Conference women's soccer tournament. Both teams won their semi-final matches yesterday. Second-seeded Marian eliminated Edgewood College of Madison 1-0 in overtime. Taylor Hozeska won it in the 100th minute on a free kick from 25-feet out. Aurora won the other semi-final, 3-2 over the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Samantha Dykema scored the eventual game-winner. Aurora will go for its third straight championship on Saturday.