After a four-set comeback victory on Friday and a heartbreaking five-set loss Sunday, the University of Wisconsin volleyball team solidified its reputation as one of the Big Ten’s most unpredictable teams.The erratic Badgers (16-9, 4-8 Big Ten) were just two points shy of mounting a stunning comeback win against the Northwestern Wildcats (15-8. 4-8) after they lost the first set by a whopping 14 points.Wisconsin beat Northwestern in late September in Evanston, marking the team’s first conference win of the season.Head coach Pete Waite said in the Big Ten, any team can win or lose on any given day depending on that team’s consistency.“It’s definitely disappointing to take that loss today,” Waite said. “We rode a roller coaster of level of play. We were really good at times and just off at other times.”While Wisconsin’s overall attack percentage was a respectable .191 for a tough league match, the team’s actual efficiency spanned the gamut throughout the match. UW put up a meager -.062 percentage in the first set with eight errors, a set in which Northwestern sustained distinct offensive runs of five, four and seven points.However, the Badgers returned the favor against Northwestern in a dominating third set, finishing with a .344 hitting percentage in a convincing 25-9 win.Waite said the players need to have a stronger sense of urgency for the duration of the match to sustain more consistent play.“It’s up to the players,” Waite said. “They know they’re very capable of playing really good ball. They’ve got to go after things with an eagerness and confidence of wanting to be great and hating to feel like this.”UW found itself in an eight-point hole early in the second set, self-imploding with unusual miscommunication errors and mishits on defense. The team created an 11-4 run midset and completed the comeback with senior middle blocker Alexis Mitchell powering three kills in the last five points of the set.After creating promising momentum in the fifth set, Wisconsin lost its grip on a two-point lead late in the set with Northwestern winning six of the final eight points of the match.Mitchell, who led the Badgers with 19 kills in the match, said nerves and little sense of resiliency factored into the team’s struggles late in the final set.“[In] the fifth set, things can change really quickly,” Mitchell said. “I think that we maybe got a little bit tense when we were at that point, and some bad things happened, but we just have to do a better job of bouncing back right away, because it does go really fast … the momentum swing can change with just one play.”Early struggles start with Fighting Illini Wisconsin had another rocky first set against the Illinois Fighting Illini (10-12, 4-8 Big Ten) Friday night. After taking a commanding 10-3 lead, UW collapsed as Illinois spurred a 14-4 run en route to a first set victory.The Badgers took the preceding three sets, with junior outside hitter Julie Mikaelsen racking up career-highs with 19 kills and eight blocks in the match.Mikaelsen praised sophomore setter Courtney Thomas for her accurate passing and helping her find critical gaps in the Illinois defense.“Courtney did a really good job setting me really fast balls,” Mikaelsen said. “The blockers on Illinois had problems getting out … so I had a big seam every single time.”Wisconsin managed strong starts in all four sets, which has not been the case for this team in recent matches. The Badgers jumped out to an 11-5 lead in the second set and a 9-5 advantage in the fourth.Waite said the team played well in the beginning of sets largely due to hurry-up drills in practice.“[During] the last couple of days, we ran a drill that was just more of a fast-paced time drill that I think they got something out of,” Waite said. “They realized you don’t have time to think, you don’t have time to walk around; you just have to hustle … I think it paid off.”Although Wisconsin committed its fair share of errors with 31, compared to Illinois’s 20, it did not surrender its lead in either the second or the fourth set.Waite said a goal of the team this season has been to let go of errors players have made in previous points.“That’s what we’ve been working on, is to come back, forget those errors and stabilize,” Waite said.
Published on March 15, 2018 at 10:11 pm Contact Tomer: email@example.com | @tomer_langer Fortnite was officially released on Sept. 26 for PC, XBOX and PlayStation. It’s a 100 Player vs. Player battle-royale style game that mimics the storyline of “The Hunger Games.” All 100 players get dropped into the same map with nothing but a pickaxe. They then search for weapons and building supplies, such as wood or bricks, all while a deadly storm shrinks the playable map and forces spread-out players to come closer together. The last player alive wins. There are three game modes: Solo, duos and squads, which allow teams of up to four.Bridget Slomian | Senior Design EditorThe casual sports fan might have just heard of Fortnite for the first time when late Wednesday night turned to early Thursday morning, right after the Orange beat Arizona State in a play-in game. Music stars Drake and Travis Scott, along with Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, teamed up to play the game with “Ninja,” a former eSport athlete who now streams himself playing video games on a platform called Twitch.The stream garnered over 600,000 concurrent viewers, smashing the Twitch record. The story of the unexpected team gained traction from major outlets, including ESPN and CNN, and was shared often on social media. Many of the players, including Washington and Syracuse forward Matt Moyer, watched parts of the stream when they heard about it.“It was cool to see that it’s not just us playing Fortnite,” Moyer said. “A lot of other people are.”Washington, sophomore Tyus Battle and walk-on forward Patrick Herlihy were the first to discover the game, each finding out about it through outside friends at some point in mid-October.Battle said he downloaded the game at first, but didn’t play it much. Then the game started gaining popularity and Syracuse players started spreading the word — Howard introduced Brissett, Battle showed Moyer — and it quickly became one of the team’s favorite activity.“That’s probably number one, honestly,” Battle said when asked where Fortnite ranks in the team’s off-court activities. “Because we’re usually too lazy to go out, bowling and whatever else. Everyone loves playing video games.”Herlihy said that he, Battle, Brissett, Moyer, Washington and Paschal Chukwu are the ones who regularly play the most. Generally, they’ll play together in four-person squads with whoever is available at the time. The players will sometimes post Instagram stories of themselves playing, including whenever they pull off the difficult feat of winning the game.The team had different answers when asked who the best player was. Washington chose himself, Battle and Brissett. Moyer said that it was Battle, and then added it that it could have been Herlihy. Brissett said that Battle and Washington are, but that he was a close third. Battle said outright that he was the best player on the team. That prompted junior guard Shaun Belbey, who was sitting next to Battle, to shake his head.Chukwu, who said he recently got into the game during the ACC Tournament, didn’t include himself in the list of best players. He said his main focus right now is to hone his building abilities.Bridget Slomian | Senior Design EditorFortnite released a new limited-time edition of the game that features five 20-person squads playing against each other. Chukwu said the goal is for the entire team to compete in that mode at some point when everyone is back on campus.Nearly every SU player who plays Fortnite agreed with Battle in saying that it’s the team’s number one off-the-court activity.“If it’s not basketball,” Brissett said, “we are definitely at home playing Fortnite.”CORRECTION: In a previous version of this post, Shaun Belbey was misnamed. The Daily Orange regrets this error. Comments UPDATED: March 15, 2018 at 10:52 p.m.DETROIT — Oshae Brissett had seen the video game a few times. Howard Washington, his roommate, kept playing it despite Brissett thinking it was boring.Then Washington brought his Playstation 4 down for the game at Miami in mid-February. Washington told Brissett that he just needed to try it again.“I started to get into it playing on his PS4,” Brissett said. “And then, once we got home I downloaded it and got hooked.”That video game is called Fortnite Battle Royale, and it’s not just Brissett who’s been hooked. Fortnite, a free download, was released in late September and by early-February, it set a record with 3.4 million concurrent players. Many of No. 11 Syracuse’s (21-13, 8-10 Atlantic Coast) players have been caught up in the Fortnite craze as well, as it’s become the most popular team activity off the court.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“It’s like a team-bonding kind of thing we do to have fun,” Washington said. “Come to practice and talk about it. We watch videos on our phones, like we’re watching film for basketball.”MORE COVERAGE: Syracuse men’s basketball opponent preview: What to know about No. 6 seed TCU10 fun facts you need to know about TCU3 things TCU head coach Jamie Dixon said at his pre-Round of 64 press conference Facebook Twitter Google+
In this April 15, 2013, file photo, Shalane Flanagan approaches the finish line to finish fourth in the women’s division of the Boston Marathon in Boston. Flanagan is more determined than ever to win the race for her battered hometown. The Marblehead, Mass., native would be the first American winner since 1985. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)BOSTON (AP) — Shalane Flanagan grew up in nearby Marblehead with a reverence for the Boston Marathon and dreamed, like many locals and foreign runners alike, that she would win the race someday.Her goal has changed now.But only a little.“If I could have one wish, it would be to win this specific race on this specific day,” she said this week. “It basically would be the highlight of my career, for sure. If I could win this specific Boston: It has the most power, the most meaning behind it, of all the Boston Marathons that would be run.”A year after two bombs at the finish line killed three and wounded 264 others, the 118th edition of the Boston Marathon has become a symbol of resilience for the running community, the city and a nation shocked by an attack on one of its beloved traditions. And Flanagan, a three-time Olympian who finished fourth in her Boston debut last year, is hoping an American victory in her hometown race will help heal the wounds caused by last year’s bombings.“I think something magical can happen for us,” she said. “It means so much to me, so much to my community and my family. I almost have to pretend that it’s just another race, when deep down I know it isn’t.”No American runner has won the Boston Marathon since Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach took the women’s title in 1985, two years after Greg Meyer’s victory that is the last American win in the men’s division. Since then, the top U.S. contender has trekked to Hopkinton each year hoping that an end to the slump will trigger a resurgence in American distance running.But a year after the bombing on Boylston Street provoked a national outpouring of sympathy for Boston and its signature sporting event, Americans are staking even more on a victory in 2014.“There are so many more eyes on the race this year,” said Desiree Linden, who finished second by 2 seconds in 2011 and was the last American runner to reach the Boston podium. “I think it would be really special to the people of Boston.”Linden, of Chula Vista, Calif., finished second when Flanagan won the 2012 Olympic trials on a different course here, but she dropped out of the race at the London Games with a stress fracture in her right leg that also prevented her from running Boston in 2013.Now she is back as part of one of the best U.S. women’s fields in decades. The men’s contenders include Ryan Hall, who finished fourth in 2011 in 2 hours, 4 minutes, 58 seconds — the fastest time ever run by an American marathoner — along with three-time Olympian and 2009 New York winner Meb Keflezighi.Although a victory would be great, of course, Hall thinks the added attention itself will give the sport a boost.“I’m happy to be a part of all the runners coming together — however that looks,” he said. “I don’t want to say it has to mean winning Boston or having a super-fast time. I want to be a part of such a historic race. I’m going to milk the excitement, the atmosphere. It’s going to come out of me on the race course. I know I’m going to get to the finish line faster than I otherwise would have.”East Africans have won the men’s race at the Boston Marathon every year since 1991, with Kenyans taking 14 straight titles and 20 of the last 23. On the women’s side, a pair of Russian wins is the only thing that interrupts a 17-year streak of Kenyan and Ethiopian dominance.But after a string of years in which no Americans even cracked the top 10, the hometown runners have had a resurgence. Last year, Flanagan and Colorado’s Jason Hartmann each finished fourth, Kara Goucher took sixth in the women’s race and there were as many U.S. men in the top 10 as Kenyans or Ethiopians.To break through to the top step on the podium this year, the U.S. runners will have to keep their emotions under control. Hundreds of thousands of fans are expected to line the 26.2-mile course from Hopkinton to Boston, a course that is littered with stories of runners who outran their pace and faltered.“If the emotion gets me too soon, it could absolutely ruin the race for me,” Flanagan said. “I sure we can use it to our advantage.”But Meyer, a Michigan native who moved to Massachusetts to get more familiar with the course, thinks having a passion for the race will give Flanagan an edge.“I don’t think it’s the energy of the crowd. I think it’s the energy in their own soul,” he said. “You have to believe that this is the most important thing you’re going to do in your racing career. I’ve seen that from Shalane.”And, if it’s Linden or Hall who gets the laurel wreath while listening to the “Star-Spangled Banner” play over Boylston Street, Flanagan will be OK with that, too.“It gives me chills just thinking about that,” she said. “If it’s not me, I pray that it is one of us: Meb, Desi, Ryan, Jason. I truly believe that we can pull it off. It would be so inspiring for all of us. I would just be so happy to a part of it.”___Follow Jimmy Golen on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/jgolen .