Morning State Sports Briefs: WIAC hockey schools to leave NCHAWisconsin Sports
-- Wisconsin's WIAC conference says five of its member schools will leave the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association in the spring of 2014.
Wisconsin's WIAC conference says five of its member schools will leave the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association in the spring of 2014.
UW-River Falls, Stevens Point, Superior, Eau Claire, and Stout currently compete in their own WIAC group as well as the larger NCHA. But starting in the fall of '14, they'll compete solely under the WIAC banner for both men's and women's hockey. And Saint Norbert, traditionally one of the powerhouses in the NCHA, says it will explore options that include joining the WIAC. In announcing the move, WIAC Commissioner Gary Karner cited budgetary concerns, as well as the NCHA's basic composition. He told D3hodckey.com that with five schools playing women only, it got to the point where the entire structure was "extremely unmanageable." Stout is the only WIAC school with only men's hockey. Karner also cited quote, "a confluence of a lot of differing philosophies." But he did not point fingers, saying his conference has played a key role in the NCHA since it was formed in 1980. NCHA Commissioner Bill Kronschnabel said the WIAC's withdrawal would quote, "definitely alter the landscape for Division-Three men's hockey, especially in the West. And he would expect the remaining schools to explore all its options, and do what's best for themselves and the sport at the Division III level.
The 11th-ranked UW-Green Bay women's basketball team will play at Cleveland State tonight. The Phoenix are 21-1 overall, and 11-1 in the Horizon League. The Vikings are 4-9 in the conference, and 9-15 overall. They're coming off a 22-point loss at Illinois-Chicago last Saturday. Green Bay ended a 40-game overall winning streak a week ago, but it still has a string of 17 consecutive Horizon League road victories. Green Bay is 50-5 all-time against Cleveland State, and 22-and-2 against the Vikings in Ohio. Phoenix coach Matt Bollant is not sure if junior forward Sarah Eichler will start tonight. But she's expected to play, as she recovers from a sprained ankle. Eichler came off off the bench in last Saturday's win over Wright State. Also in the Horizon League tonight, the UW Milwaukee women are at Youngstown State.
The top-ranked Wisconsin women's hockey team will close out its regular season tomorrow and Saturday afternoons by hosting Ohio State. And the Buckeyes will be without Ally Tarr for one of those games. She was suspended for illegal contact to an opponent's head against Minnesota last weekend. Tarr was given a five-minute major penalty and a 10 minutes for misconduct by the officials on the ice. The WCHA then reviewed the incident and added a one-game penalty. Ohio State appealed, but was denied. In other Badger hockey news, Hilary Knight was named the WCHA's Offensive Player-of-the-Week. The senior had two goals and five assists in a pair of wins over Saint Cloud last weekend.
In golf, Pewaukee native Mark Wilson was at one-over-par late this morning, as the PGA's Northern Trust Open got underway in Pacific Palisades, California. Wilson bogeyed his fourth hole, and was tied for 30th among the 39 players on the course at the time. Jonathan Byrd had the early lead at three-under. On the PGA Champions Tour, Rhinelander native Dan Forsman is part of the field for the ACE Group Classic that begins tomorrow. The 54-hole tournament will be played at the Twin Eagles Golf Club in Naples, Florida.
Aurora is the coaches' pre-season favorite to win the Northern Athletics Conference baseball title this spring. The Spartans took second in last year's regular season at 18-4, but they won the league tournament. Concordia-Chicago is projected to finish second. Edgewood is expected to do the best among the Wisconsin schools, with a fifth-place projection. The poll has Marian and Concordia-Mequon tying for sixth with Lakeland eighth, Wisconsin Lutheran ninth, Milwaukee School of Engineering 11th, and Maranatha Baptist 12th-and-last.
UW-La Crosse has 12 wrestlers on a 26-member All-Time team chosen as part of the WIAC's 100th anniversary celebration. The honorees date back to 1970. The La Crosse wrestlers are Ryan Allen, Josh Chelf, Paul Corner, Jake Larsen, Dan Laurent, Jason Lulloff, Mat Mauseth, Jeff O'Gara, Jason Ott, Brandon Penzkover, Mike Schmitz, and Bebeto Yewah. Whitewater has three members on the All-Time wrestling squad -- Tim Carmin, Rob Llorca, and Terry Schuller. River Falls also has three representatives -- Paul Frandsen, David Brandvold and Brian Keller of River Falls, Dale Evans and Corey McCauley of Stout, Derek Sikora and Davey Starks of Eau Claire, Perry Miller and Yan White of Stevens Point, Jerry Brusletten of Superior, and Rick Gruber of Oshkosh. Willie Myers of Whitewater was named the coach of the All-Time wrestling squad.
The University of Wisconsin is in first place after the opening night of the Big Ten women's swimming-and-diving meet in Iowa City. The Badgers scored a victory with the 200-medley relay team of Amie Osten, Ashley Wanland, Rebecka Palm, and Beckie Thompson. And the 800-freestyle relay team placed third. Wisconsin earned 72 points last night, four more than second-place Indiana. The women's conference meet continues through Saturday. The men's championships begin next Wednesday, also at the University of Iowa.
UW-Stevens Point will go for its 13th straight men’s title, and its third consecutive women’s crown at the WIAC swim meet that starts today in Brown Deer. It’s the 50th annual men’s competition, and the 41st gathering for the women. On the men’s side, there are 15 returning champions from a year ago – and they’re defending 31 individual and 32 relay titles. Phil Devine of Oshkosh will try to become the second diver in league history to win four gold medals in the one-meter event, and the third diver to win four straight crowns in the three-meters. Stevens Point senior Sam Davy is back after winning seven golds a year ago in individual and relay competitions. For the women, 15 WIAC swimmers will return to defend 20 individual and 23 relay titles. Eau Claire senior Nicole Dorvinen is a two-time defending champ in four events – the 500-yard freestyle, 200-butterfly, 400-individual medley, and the 800-freestyle relay. The conference meet runs through Saturday at the Schroeder Aquatic Center in Brown Deer.
In men's college basketball...
UW-Stout 67, UW-Stevens Point 64 in overtime
UW-Whitewater 76, UW-Oshkosh 64
UW-La Crosse 74, UW-River Falls 66
UW-Platteville 60, UW-Eau Claire 58
Carroll 67, Beloit 65
Lawrence 77, Ripon 69
In women's college basketball...
UW-Stevens Point 65, UW-Stout 44
UW-River Falls 69, UW-La Crosse 53
UW-Whitewater 85, UW-Oshkosh 50
UW-Eau Claire 74, UW-Platteville 48
Ripon 59, Lawrence 32
Carroll 69, Beloit 47
Lakeland 69, Madison Edgewood 62
Rockford 52, Milwaukee Engineering 44
Marian 86, Alverno 75
Carthage 72, Elmhurst 56