Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on September 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Chris: firstname.lastname@example.org | @chris_iseman Two wins this season have already matched Syracuse’s win total from a year ago, and all signs are pointing to an improved team. And if there’s anything pushing the Orange to surpass the limited success it had in 2010, it’s the realization for several players that this is their final chance to be part of a memorable season.Especially since the last couple of years have been anything but.‘I think the last couple years with Syracuse not being great, there’s a lot of guys who want to finish on a high,’ junior midfielder Ted Cribley said. ‘There’s a lot of juniors and seniors who feel that this is their last chance to do well.’ Still early in the season, there have been several highs mixed in with a few lows that unveiled the growing pains Syracuse (2-4, 0-0 Big East) is undergoing in its second year under head coach Ian McIntyre. While there are some upperclassmen looking to make their mark in their last chance at contending for a conference championship, the Orange’s identity is still a developing group of newcomers trying to exceed expectations. Whether they can do so over the long haul or not remains to be seen.With the start of the Big East schedule opening up at the end of the week, there is at least some hope that the Orange could be turning the page after two underwhelming years. In 2009 and 2010, SU went a total of just 5-25-5 overall.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNow in McIntyre’s second year at the helm, with his system already set in place, there has been a shift from a rocky upheaval to a cohesive group.‘I think we’re a little closer than we were last year,’ junior midfielder Mark Brode said. ‘There’s more of like a bond between everyone on the team. And I think there’s more quality on our team, so it’s been more fun to play.’Despite some of the flaws that have emerged for the Orange in several games, including mental errors or its occasional stagnant offense, the players have kept a positive outlook. It’s been a show of more hope than anxiety, where the concern that SU will return to the doormat of the conference hasn’t revealed itself.Some of that confidence could involve an emergence of unlikely players that have been major contributors thus far. Freshman defender Skylar Thomas is tied with senior midfielder Nick Roydhouse for a team-leading two goals.Behind them are Louis Clark, Federico Agreda and Jordan Murrell, who each have one score apiece.None of those three players had scored in a Syracuse uniform before this season, but now they’ve all become offensive threats.‘I think we have some more attacking options this year,’ McIntyre said. ‘I think as this team evolves we can have some exciting players.’McIntyre has spoken several times about instilling a winning attitude in his players. Even after his team’s first win of the season against Canisius, McIntyre was already focused on making sure his players were used to that feeling of walking off the field victorious.‘There’s a way of learning to win games,’ McIntyre said. ‘And winning becomes a little bit of a habit, and hopefully we can start doing that.’Syracuse hasn’t reached that point yet, but it’s still not out of the realm of possibility. And even in the Orange’s losses, it didn’t go down without giving its opponents fits.That held true this past weekend when the Orange held No. 16 New Mexico scoreless until the 81st minute. Syracuse fought back and scored just more than one minute later to tie it up, but eventually lost five-plus minutes into overtime. The Orange couldn’t beat the Lobos, but it put up enough of a fight to show that further success is possible.There’s still a long way until determining whether or not Syracuse is a legitimate Big East contender.For now, though, the players can feel the program is taking a step in the right direction.‘We’ve still got a lot to work on, you can’t change a program around in two years from being very mediocre to a brilliant program,’ Cribley said. ‘But Mac’s taking the right direction. The right players are here. And you’ve got to go one step at a time, so hopefully this is one of those stepping stones.’email@example.com
The University of Wisconsin volleyball team defeated No. 12 Purdue Friday night in five sets at the UW Fieldhouse — recovering from a 0–2 set deficit to start the match.But outside hitter Molly Haggerty and the rest of the team remained unfazed by the Boilermaker lead.“Doubt is not in this team’s vocabulary,” Haggerty said.After the Boilermakers recorded 10 total team blocks and 30 team digs through the first two sets, it looked as if their defense was impenetrable. Purdue outscored the Badgers in both opening sets 25–16 and 25–22, respectively.“We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. They weren’t going to lay down,” senior Tionna Williams said, reflecting after the Badgers found themselves down 0–2 against a top-15 Big Ten opponent.At that point, it would have been easy to accept defeat, but head coach Kelly Sheffield’s Badgers did no such thing. With their backs against the wall, Wisconsin came out in the third set firing on all cylinders. When the Badgers found themselves down 14–10 and Purdue still controlled the tempo of the match, Wisconsin knew they had to act.An eight to zero Badger run sparked by Grace Loberg took the Badgers from a four-point deficit to a four-point lead in the third set. Loberg recorded four kills in this run alone, setting the tone for a dramatic swing in momentum.Football: AJ Taylor’s unexpected season as No. 1 receiving optionSo far this season, University of Wisconsin receiver AJ Taylor has accumulated 406 yards and three touchdowns on 24 receptions Read…Sherridan Atkinson, the go-to hitter for the Boilermakers, battled her squad back into the set, but the Badger run proved to be the difference. With their backs against the wall, the Badgers won the third set 25–23.But one set was not enough for the Badgers. The team knew that in order to win this match, they would have to win their fourth five-set match of the season. Williams described the intensity of the moment.“Just looking each other in the eye, you could feel the strength from each one of us out there,” Williams said.The Badgers were in the contest for the long haul.The fourth set was all Wisconsin. Building off of the momentum they gained from the third set, the Badgers claimed the fourth set 24–15. They now prepared for a must-win fifth set to 15.Women’s hockey: Badgers defense dominates Minnesota StateThe Wisconsin Badgers (11-1-0, 5-1-0 WCHA) swept an away series this weekend against the Minnesota State Mavericks (4-5-1, 2-5-1 WCHA) Read…The Badgers got off to an early start and were able to hold the lead through the fifth set with a clutch performance from Williams. The senior recorded three kills and three blocks to propel the Badgers to a massive comeback win, as they took the fifth set 15–10.When asked to describe where this game ranked in her Wisconsin career, Williams, the lone senior on the team, said it was among the top.The Badger comeback would not have been possible without pivotal contributions from the back-row, led by libero Tiffany Clark.“We knew the only way we would win this game was defense,” Clark said, who finished the night with a game-high 25 digs.After starting off with a .441 hitting percentage, the Boilermaker offense could not overcome a resurgent Badger defense, as their percentage dipped to .040 in the fifth set.Men’s Basketball: Happ’s triple double paves way for 85–63 Badger victory in season openerUniversity of Wisconsin men’s basketball team took down the Coppin State Eagles without any trouble to open up the 2018-19 Read…Other key contributions came from Dana Rettke with 16 kills, Williams with six blocks and Sydney Hilley, who recorded 59 assists.“I thought the story of this match was our grit,” Sheffield said. “When your back is against the wall, those are the ones that feel so much better. All the credit in the world is to this group.”It marked the first time the Badger volleyball team has come back from a two-set deficit to win since 1996.