After a weeklong road trip to Las Vegas and California over Thanksgiving break, the UW women’s basketball team (6-1, 0-0 Big Ten) returns to the Kohl Center for a pair of games this weekend against Southern Mississippi and Kansas.Wisconsin experienced some great success in the Rebel Shootout at Vegas, defeating Kansas State and UNLV on their way to a tournament victory.”Obviously it went well for us,” junior guard Jolene Anderson said. “We didn’t play the greatest the first game, but we bounced back. We just did the things that needed to get done to win the tournament.””I thought that the weekend was a great learning experience, especially for our young players,” UW assistant coach Donna Freitag said. “I thought we achieved a lot of things on the court as well as off the court. I believe that what we learned and what we gained from that weekend is tremendous.”We didn’t shoot all that well against Kansas State,” Freitag continued. “We shot a little better against UNLV, but we found ways to win.”Freitag also felt the young Badger team proved something to the nation with the win over Kansas State.”We had a close game and put a team away that is a very good-quality Big Twelve team,” Freitag said. “It was a really big win for us. It was a game where we could make a statement to our conference and to other teams in the country that the Badgers are for real.”Tuesday’s game against UC-Riverside, however, yielded different results.An exhausted Badger team failed to score in the last three minutes of the game and could not close out the Highlanders, resulting in UW’s first loss of the season.”We just went against some things that worked [for us] every other game,” freshman guard Teah Gant said. “That happens, and you just have to work past that and focus on the next game.”We have a lot of games left in the season, so we just have to focus on what’s next.”Furthermore, a handful of the Badgers suffered from flu-like symptoms during the game against UC-Riverside, which led to a decrease in minutes for many players and perhaps a lack of focus among the team.”I don’t know whether it was because of a long trip, but our focus wasn’t there,” Anderson said. “It started off in the shootaround. We weren’t really focused like we should have been. We know we’ve got to put [the loss] behind us. We can’t make the same mistakes that we did on Tuesday.”Wisconsin will take on a strong Southern Miss team (3-4, 0-0 C-USA) Friday and will face Kansas (4-1, 0-0 Big 12) Sunday.”Obviously they’re both going to be athletic,” Anderson said. “They’re both Division-I teams, and they’re going to come here ready to battle. We’ve just got to give our best effort that we can and hopefully we’ll come out on the winning side.”With the two games in a three-day span, the Badgers will look to take things one game at a time and not overlook Friday’s game.”[Southern Miss] is gonna be tough,” Freitag said. “They’re a very quality Conference USA team. They’ve got a great starting five, a couple of three-point shooters, and athletic, strong post players inside.”Their point guard [Kristin Chaney] is solid, and she handles the ball well,” Freitag continued. “She’s 5-foot-4, so she’ll match up well with [5-foot-3 Wisconsin point guard] Rae Lin D’Alie. It’ll be another good challenge for us in preparing us for the rest of the season.”Sunday’s contest will be a rematch of last year’s double-overtime game in Lawerence, Kan., in which Kansas prevailed by three over the Badgers.It will also be battle of one-loss teams and should provide the Badgers with one of their toughest tests yet.”We’ve got Kansas on our mind, and the fact that they beat us in double-overtime last year,” Freitag said. “But first things first. We really want to focus on Southern Miss first and then take that next challenge when it comes.”Junior forward Danielle Ward also says the team is not looking past Friday’s matchup.”[We] are focused on this game coming up,” Ward said. “If someone asks me, ‘Who do you play the next day?’ or ‘Who do you play Sunday?’ I’m like, I don’t know. I try to look at it one game at a time.”With two wins at the Kohl Center this weekend, Wisconsin can remain undefeated at home this season and improve its overall record to 8-1.”We don’t want to allow anyone to come in here and beat us on our home court,” Freitag said. “We’ve learned from last game, and now we move forward and continue to strive for success.”
After receiving a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament, the University of Wisconsin volleyball team had to defend home territory two more times to stay alive in the big dance. The Badgers did so by taking down UW-Green Bay and Pepperdine over the weekend to advance to the Sweet 16.Their first battle came against in-state rival Green Bay Friday night. The Badgers got off to a quick start, jumping to a 10–5 lead before Green Bay called a timeout to think of a way to shut down Dana Rettke and company in the front row. But whatever Green Bay tried to do to disrupt a near-perfect Badger offense didn’t work. The Badgers rolled to a 25–9 opening set win without a hitting error through the set.The Badgers started out the second set cold, dropping the first five points to Green Bay. After a rally, the Badgers reclaimed the lead 7–6. The score would stay close throughout the whole set, but it took a couple extra points for the Badgers to win by two. After both defenses caused some long volleys, the second set ended in the Badgers’ favor 27–25.Volleyball: Wisconsin to take on UW-Green Bay in first round of NCAA TournamentThe No. 6 University of Wisconsin women’s volleyball team (22-6, 15-5 Big Ten) is preparing to take on UW-Green Bay Read…“I liked how our mentality was just kind of staying with it,” head coach Kelly Sheffield said when asked about the team’s response to the second set.The third set went more as Wisconsin had planned as they got off to another great start leading 9–2. Molly Haggerty tacked on three more kills to put her at a match-high 10 kills on the night. With the help of both Haggerty’s offense and defense, Wisconsin opened the tournament with a clean sweep, earning a 25–15 third set victory.Haggerty led the Badgers in both kills, with 10, and digs, with 15. Tiffany Clark also had 15 digs in a defensive battle of liberos. Rettke and Tionna Williams both stuffed five blocks, and Sydney Hilley had 36 assists.The next Badger opponent came Saturday as the Pepperdine Waves, who beat the Northern Iowa Panthers in a four-set battle Friday night, visited Madison.A Clark ace and back-to-back Haggerty kills established an early lead for Wisconsin in the first set. The rally continued for the Badgers with Grace Loberg getting a kill on four of the next six Wisconsin points for a 25–16 set win.The next set was all Badgers and then some. Williams, stepping up in her last home game as a Badger, recorded back-to-back kills to put Wisconsin up 7–4. Thanks to another impressive night from Haggerty, the Badgers cruised to a 25–15 second set win.Volleyball: Wisconsin closes out regular season with critical road victories against Rutgers, Penn StateThe No. 8 University of Wisconsin women’s volleyball team (22-6, 15-5 Big Ten) wrapped up their regular season with an Read…With their backs against the wall and their season on the line, Pepperdine dug deep and fought with everything they had left. The amazing serving team found their niche as Blossom Sato and Hannah Frohling served an 11–1 rally, helping force a fourth set with a 25–15 third set win.But the Badgers were looking to bounce back on their path to yet another Sweet 16. The team quickly put set three behind them and came back out to dominate in set four. With more great hitting from Loberg and Haggerty, the Badgers packed their bags for the next round with a 25–12 match-winning set.Leading the way for the Badgers was Williams with 14 kills. She received a standing ovation from the Badger crowd as she exited the UW Field House for the last time.“It was just incredible, the amount of support I have had over the four years being here. Going to the Sweet 16 with my teammates again is just incredible,” Williams said.Sydney Hilley had a big night leading in both assists and digs, recording 48 and 19 respectively, and recording six blocks alongside Rettke.The Badgers advance to the Sweet 16 for the sixth year in a row. They will take on the University of San Diego in Illinois Friday at 1:30 p.m. The game will stream online through ESPN3 with live stats at UWBadgers.com.
The Organizing Committee of the Orange Africa Cup of Nations has approved dates for the AFCON Morocco 2015 at its meeting at CAF Headquarters in Cairo, Egypt. The Orange Africa Cup of Nations Morocco 2015 will be played from 17th January through 8th February 2015.The distribution of groups between the host cities of the tournament was also formalized. Group A will be based in Marrakech, the city that will host the opening match. Group B will be based in Agadir. Group C will be in Rabat which will also host the final match of the tournament while Group D will be Tangier.The final draw for the 30th edition of AFCON will be held in Rabat on 26 November 2014.The adjustment in dates has been necessitated by the decision of the Organizing Committee to play the semi-finals on separate dates. Previously, the semi-finals have been played on one date. At Orange AFCON Morocco 2015, the semi-finals will be played on 4th February and 5th February 2015. Further, Day One which will have the Opening Ceremony in Marrakech will only have one fixture – the Opening Match of Group A. The second fixture of Group A will be played on 18th January which will also have two matches of Group B.