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Women of Troy looking to make noise

first_imgAt this point in the season, it’s all about who has the hot hand.This unofficial law of March basketball bodes well for the Women of Troy. Currently riding a season-high six-game win streak, USC is liking its chances to make a deep run in this year’s Pac-12 tournament.“Everything is starting to click for us,” senior guard Briana Gilbreath said. “It’s all about putting it all together as one team, and hopefully we can keep that going.”Hitting their stride · Junior forward Christina Marinacci is averaging 8.8 points this season for (18-11) USC. The team has won six straight contests. – Chris Pham| Daily TrojanThough that sort of confidence is invaluable at any point in the season, it is almost a necessity during postseason play.One bad night and the Women of Troy know that their season could be over.“Our tournament started a few weeks ago,” Gilbreath said, alluding to the team’s mentality following a loss to Stanford that preceded its current win streak. “Right now, we’re trying to go win a championship, and we can’t afford to lose any games.”Thanks to its current streak, USC shot up the Pac-12 standings during the final month of the regular season. After the loss to Stanford dropped their conference record to 6-6, the Women of Troy caught fire thanks to contributions from numerous players, including junior forward Christina Marinacci, who is coming off a stellar performance this past weekend against the Washington schools. She was rewarded by being named Pac-12 Player of the Week.“You can really tell that [the team is playing well] by the way we practice,” Marinacci said. “Hopefully we’ll carry it into the next game, whether we get Oregon State or Washington State.”USC’s ascent to the top of the standings was rewarded with a first round bye, but the team hopes that the extra day’s rest does not affect its game.“For us, we need to just focus on what we’re doing,” Marinacci said. “I don’t think any other team can beat us, but we can definitely beat ourselves.”The key to USC’s success during its run has been defense. The Women of Troy have held opponents to under 60 points in four of the last five games.The Women of Troy will play Washington State, a team that finished 11th in the conference and won just five league games, entered the Pac-12 tournament having lost eight of its past nine games. The most recent of those losses was to USC on March 3.Tipoff for Thursday’s game is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. at the Galen Center.last_img read more


Volleyball: Badgers continue reign atop Big Ten standings after pair of wins over Illinois, Northwestern

first_imgFor the first time in Head Coach Kelly Sheffield’s seven years at the University of Wisconsin, the No. 6 UW volleyball team (12-4, 8-0 Big Ten) has won eight straight games. Ironically, the run comes after a 4-4 start to the season — his worst start to a season at Wisconsin. The Badgers took out the No. 17 Illinois Fighting Illini (9-8, 4-4 Big Ten) in a five-set thriller Friday night before sweeping Northwestern (9-11, 0-8 Big Ten) the following night. The Illini ended Wisconsin’s run in the NCAA Tournament last season in the Elite Eight. This time, the Badgers did enough to overcome the Illini in five sets. Wisconsin dominated the first set before dropping consecutive sets to Illinois. They ended the fourth set on a 9–5 run in a set filled with runs from both sides. That set up a final fifth set which the Badgers dominated from start to finish, 15–4. In that fifth set, UW notched nine kills on just 13 swings at a blazing clip of .692 while holding the Illini to a .000 hitting percentage. You read that right: a .000 hitting percentage.Volleyball: Badgers look to continue conference success against top hitters in Big TenThe Wisconsin volleyball team (10-4, 6-0 Big Ten) have ripped through their first six games of Big Ten play and Read…The Badger defense forced 31 hitting errors from the Illini — their highest total of the year. The following day, the Badgers swept Northwestern for the second time in this young Big Ten slate. This time, Wisconsin did so without their two-time All-American middle blocker Dana Rettke. Junior walk-on Nicole Shanahan started in Rettke’s stead and managed five kills, four blocks and an ace. Sheffield said there was no timetable for Rettke’s return.Volleyball: Badgers extend winning streak to six, sit alone atop Big TenFollowing back-to-back wins over top-five opponents, the University of Wisconsin volleyball team (10-4, 6-0 Big Ten) could have taken their Read…While the Badgers won in straight sets, the pesky Wildcats remained in sets late thanks to junior Alana Walker. Walker managed double-digit kills in consecutive games for the first time this season with an impressive .471 hitting percentage against the Badgers. Outside hitter Grace Loberg carried the Badger offense as the only player to have double-digit kills. The trio of Molly Haggerty, Madison Duello and Danielle Hart combined for just 19 kills at a .222 percentage as the Wildcat defense could feature a defensive plan without the fear of Rettke up the middle. The Badgers totaled eight aces against Northwestern — a constant theme in their run throughout the Big Ten so far. Volleyball: Badgers surge with pair of top-5 wins over Penn State, NebraskaIn a few of their early-season losses, the No. 7 University of Wisconsin Badgers volleyball team (8-4, 4-0 Big Ten) Read…Wisconsin leads the Big Ten with 1.89 aces/set in conference play as Izzy Ashburn, Lauren Barnes and Rettke all have double-digit ace totals. Their ability to serve efficiently has helped turn around their season and has improved dramatically from last season. Last year, the Badgers averaged only 1.3 aces/set with a .653 service aces/service errors ratio. This season, UW is averaging 1.75 aces/set with a .875 ratio.Wisconsin will look to extend their winning streak this weekend with matchups against Michigan State Friday and Michigan Sunday.last_img read more


Closing the Deal 3 Key Buttons to Push to Get Top Sales

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