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Volleyball outlasts BYU in thriller at Field House

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald file photoWisconsin’s volleyball team energized the crowd this weekend as they returned home in the InnTowner Invitational.The No.14 Badgers (8-1) defeated Brigham Young University, IUPUI and Central Michigan to win their home tournament.IUPUI and Central Michigan were overwhelmed by UW, but No. 23 BYU nearly upset the Badgers in a thrilling five-set match. After UW won the first set 27-25, BYU won the second and third sets 25-20 and 25-22 with their blocking and defense.“For us, we even offensively changed,” UW head coach Pete Waite said. “We went from a 5-1 to a 6-2, to a 5-1 and 6-2, back and forth just to find our rhythm. We just had a few people that were off, and I couldn’t pinpoint one or two; we were just off and out of sync.”The Cougars frustrated the Badger hitters throughout the entire match, finishing with 73 digs and 16.5 blocks. Leading the defense for BYU was Ashton Hosford, who finished the match with nine blocks.UW seemed out of sorts and was trailing 10-3 in the fourth set when suddenly they found their groove. Behind sophomore libero Kim Kuzma and junior outside hitter Brittney Dolgner, the Badgers stormed back to win the fourth set 25-22 and force a deciding fifth set.“I’m extremely proud of this group,” Waite said. “BYU is a great team; they played very well tonight. We were out of sync, out of sorts at times tonight and giving away a lot of points for that. We’re really happy that the team, after some adjustments, made the comeback in the fifth (set) and really played their best ball in the last set. If you look at the stat sheet, it doesn’t look like a pretty match, but it was a battle and that’s the thing.”“Kuzma had some great defense tonight,” Waite said. “25 digs, that is fantastic. She kept us in the match at times with some monster digs.”UW dominated the fifth set from the beginning. The Badgers were up 9-3 at one point and won the set 15-10. Sophomore setter Nikki Klingsporn paced the Badgers by serving for five straight points, including three service aces.“I was just trying not to be tentative,” Klingsporn said. “We kept saying in the huddles to keep being aggressive, so every time I stepped back there I was trying for the ace.”“Nikki did a great job with her serves; she got some points with that and that was fantastic,” Waite added. “I’m just really proud of all of them. We were here trying to find ourselves as a team, and we dug down deep and showed a lot of character tonight.”The Badgers defeated IUPUI in the morning Saturday, winning 25-15, 25-8 and 25-8.“It was a great match to loosen up with,” Waite said. “I know IUPUI is just a little overmatched size-wise in this one, and they’re normally a great ball-handling team, but I think just the difference in our size of the block at the net and the attack made it tough. I’m sure they’ll do well in their conference and this season.”Friday, the Badgers opened the home stand by defeating Central Michigan 25-14, 25-16 and 25-19.It was a milestone victory, giving Waite 500 career wins.“The 500th victory to me means that now we go for 501,” Waite said. “We need to keep plugging away every time we step onto the court. I’ve been doing it for a while, and I’m having fun continuing to improve upon our wins and losses.”His team was more excited about the milestone than he was.“It is great, and I am so proud to be out there as a Badger,” senior Audra Jeffers said. “It is really fun to be a part of that, and I am so excited for Coach Waite.”last_img read more

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Gabby Cooper grows into her role ahead late in the season

first_img Published on March 7, 2017 at 12:10 am Contact Matt: mjfel100@syr.edu Gabby Cooper spoke with Brittney Sykes and Alexis Peterson the night before the biggest game of her life. The team was out for dinner and the next day it was set to match up with then-No. 7 Notre Dame in a game that would eventually shatter the attendance record.The discussion wasn’t about Cooper’s 10-percent shooting performance from 3 against North Carolina six days prior. It wasn’t about whether the freshman had the confidence to perform against a Top 10 team. Those were conversations of the past.Instead, the three discussed the antics that they would be pulling when they hit shots and run the score up on the Fighting Irish. Peterson and Sykes — the top two scorers in the Atlantic Coast Conference and the leaders of this year’s teams — told the freshman shooter that they needed her.“I felt like I had to step it up even more,” Cooper said, clapping her hands together as she recounted the interaction between the three teammates. “I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to come out here tomorrow and shoot all the 3s and make them.’ We were hype.”Some nights, Cooper thrives. Other nights, she doesn’t. Her role as 3-point specialist for No. 21 Syracuse (21-10, 11-5 Atlantic Coast) hasn’t changed — she’s started in every game she’s played in — but her performances have. She’s learned through 30 games that to succeed beyond the arc, she has to put bad performances behind her. It’s led to four of her five best scoring performances coming since the start of February.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textCooper said she wasn’t expecting as a big role as she ended up getting to start the year. Through her first seven games, she shot 72 3-pointers, notching 61 points, but she made just 23.6 percent of her shots from 3.SU head coach Quentin Hillsman said Cooper’s struggles were part of her growth process as a freshman. But then he gave her only 20 minutes of playing time in a Nov. 27 loss to DePaul, after Cooper had shot only 4-of-15 from 3 the night before. She rediscovered her stroke at the Florida Sunshine Classic, shooting 5-of-12 from 3 against Old Dominion for a season-high 19 points. But she remained largely inconsistent.The UNC game on Feb. 12 marked the second time in a month that she had shot 1-of-10 from downtown. After her already-shaky start to the season, Cooper’s role as 3-point specialist looked unstable.Then, “the game happened,” Cooper said. Cooper torched the Fighting Irish defense, scoring 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting, nearly leading the Orange to a momentous upset in front of a record 11,021 fans. When Cooper walked off the court, the UNC game was a blip in her distant memory. The debate regarding her ability to perform beyond the arc in a big game ended.The good games stick in your memory, and the bad games leave quickly, Cooper said.“When she’s struggling, she remains aggressive,” Hillsman said. “And that’s important for us. She adds a dimension to our game.”Last Friday against No. 13 Duke, the Blue Devils’ defense swallowed up Peterson and Sykes, holding the All-ACC duo to only 22 combined points. The ball thrust into Cooper’s hands most of the night and the freshman threw up 16 shots from 3, six of which fell for 18 points to pace the Orange. On her fourth 3-pointer of the game, Cooper became SU’s all-time freshman leader in 3-pointers made, with 68.It didn’t matter that Cooper had been on a two-game cold streak entering Friday. What mattered was Cooper found her stroke again.“It’s easy to be confident when you’re playing great, but how confident can you be when you’re struggling some?” Hillsman said. “I always thought she was confident no matter what, and that’s what we need her to do.”Cooper is now 878 minutes into her collegiate career. She said matter-of-factly she’s comfortable in her role and is used to being a mainstay on the court. She averages 29.3 minutes per game for SU and has taken 263 3-pointers on the season, averaging 8.8 points per game – the fourth-best mark on the team.Cooper didn’t expect to play nearly three-quarters of games and make more 3-pointers than any freshman in the ACC. But she’s not complaining, because the same freshman who once carried doubt is poised to help lead the Orange into the NCAA tournament.She’ll be stationed where she always is. Behind the thickly painted semi-circle that sits 20-feet-9-inches from the hoop. Behind the line that has been both make and break for Cooper dozens of times in her first season at SU. Behind the line that has been her best friend, and worst enemy, since November. It’s the one place Cooper has come to know best and the only place from which she sees herself fit.“That’s my spot,” Cooper said. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Dodgers hit four home runs in rout of Red Sox

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error PreviousLos Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor (3) scores behind Boston Red Sox’s Sandy Leon on a single by A.J. Pollock during the first inning of a baseball game in Boston, Saturday, July 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner runs on his RBI-double during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Boston, Saturday, July 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)Los Angeles Dodgers fans at Fenway Park celebrate the solo home run by Cody Bellinger during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Boston, Saturday, July 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Dodgers third base coach Dino Ebel (12) celebrates a solo home run by A.J. Pollock (11) during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Boston, Saturday, July 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger runs on his solo home run during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Boston, Saturday, July 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)Boston Red Sox’s Christian Vazquez, right, reacts beside Los Angeles Dodgers’ Austin Barnes after striking out swinging during to end the sixth inning of a baseball game in Boston, Saturday, July 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)Los Angeles Dodgers’ David Freese follows through on his two-run double during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Boston, Saturday, July 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, left, comes to the mound to relieve Chris Sale, center, during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Boston, Saturday, July 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)Boston Red Sox’s Chris Sale pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Boston, Saturday, July 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)Boston Red Sox’s Xander Bogaerts, right, celebrates his solo home run with J.D. Martinez (28) during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Boston, Saturday, July 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)Boston Red Sox’s Chris Sale stands on the field after giving up a solo home run to Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner, left, during the third inning of a baseball game in Boston, Saturday, July 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner runs on his solo home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Boston, Saturday, July 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor (3) scores behind Boston Red Sox’s Sandy Leon on a single by A.J. Pollock during the first inning of a baseball game in Boston, Saturday, July 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner runs on his RBI-double during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Boston, Saturday, July 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)NextShow Caption1 of 12Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner runs on his RBI-double during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Boston, Saturday, July 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)ExpandBOSTON — The Dodgers’ offense hadn’t been itself for awhile.Over seven games before Saturday, the Dodgers’ hitters had combined for a .205 average and walked just 17 times while striking out 61. They had failed to drive up the pitch counts of starting pitchers like they had so often during the first half and their collective efforts produced just 22 runs in those seven games.Well, that’s over.Justin Turner led an awakening Saturday night, hitting one of the Dodgers’ three home runs and adding two doubles as the Dodgers chased Chris Sale from the game in the fifth inning and bombed the Boston Red Sox 11-2. That snapped a four-game losing streak wrapped around the All-Star break for the Dodgers, one of only two skids longer than two games they have had this season.“That’s more like it,” bench coach Bob Geren said, walking to the coaches’ room as the media entered the post-game locker room.Indeed, it was a more familiar script. The Dodgers had 20 baserunners (14 hits, four walks and two hit batters), took 11 at-bats with runners in scoring position and had the opposing starting pitcher out of the game before the end of the fifth inning for the first time since July 2.“I thought the at-bats tonight were pretty good,” Turner said. “We made a really, really good pitcher work really hard. We got his pitch count up and were able to break through in that fifth inning. Quality at-bats, taking walks, putting good swings on balls with guys in scoring position — yeah, it was a matter of time.“I think you play a 162-game season, there’s probably going to be a few little lulls in there where you have a hard time getting things going. But that’s kind of uncharacteristic of this offense. One through nine is able to put together quality at-bats over and over again. Hopefully, we had that little lull and now we’re right back where we’re supposed to be.” “There’s constant tinkering going on, trying to get different feels in the box,” Turner said. “I messed with a few things earlier today with our hitting guys in the cage that felt pretty good. A lot of times you do stuff in the cage but it doesn’t always carry over into the game. Tonight, it carried over and felt pretty good.”That was the physical part. There might have been some mental fatigue at work for the entire lineup in the seven-game “lull” as well, Turner admitted.“Yeah, I think it was good for all of us,” he said. “The way this team goes about our business — mentally engaged for nine innings, trying to win every pitch — gets exhausting for all our guys. So that was a nice four-day break. I think a lot of guys needed it. Maybe a little bit of a hangover yesterday but got back to feeling ourselves tonight.”That was evident from the start. Chris Taylor led off the game with a walk. Cody Bellinger beat out an infield single on a dribbler in front of the mound, extending the inning long enough for A.J. Pollock to come through with a two-out RBI single — giving the Dodgers their first lead since the Fourth of July.Turner homered in the third inning and Sale had already thrown 71 pitches by the time he took the mound in the fifth.Kike’ Hernandez led off with a single (the first of four times he reached base in the game) and Sale hit Austin Barnes with a pitch. After Taylor lined out, back-to-back doubles by Turner and David Freese produced three runs. Sale was done not long after.The Dodgers would break the game open late. But the early offense was enough to make things moderately comfortable for starter Ross Stripling who turned in his best outing since rejoining the rotation last month.The Dodgers right-hander held the Red Sox to four hits — one a solo home run by Xander Bogaerts — while striking out seven in five innings.“Definitely had everything firing today,” Stripling said. “I felt like with the mix I was able to keep them off balance a little bit and sneak some heaters past them for some punch outs. Got some freeze takes for some strikeouts. Kind of had everything working tonight.”The Dodgers put it away with four runs in a seventh inning that featured back-to-back home runs by Bellinger and Pollock off reliever Steven Wright. For Bellinger, it was his 31st home run of the season (and came on his 24th birthday). For Pollock, it was his first in the majors since April 17.“Felt like Opening Day,” Pollock joked.Max Muncy stole a run on the shift in the same inning. Muncy went from first to third on a simple ground ball back to the pitcher. The Red Sox were shifted to the right side against Corey Seager and no one was covering third base. Muncy trotted home when first baseman Christian Vazquez tried to hit a moving target as Bogaerts tried to hustle over and cover third. The throw went into left field.Muncy took a more direct route in the ninth, hitting his 23rd homer.“We talked about it — it was a matter of time. We’re too good,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the breakout. Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season center_img Turner experienced his own little lull. In 15 games before Saturday, he was 10 for 51 (.196).Related Articles Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies last_img read more