The Wisconsin volleyball team played two very different matches over the weekend, but both of them ended with the same result.The Badgers were swept by Indiana and No. 1 Penn State at the Field House, dropping their record in the Big Ten to 4-6 at the halfway point of the season.The Hoosiers didn’t play the prettiest match Sunday, but a slew of UW errors allowed them to leave with the win.“I think it starts with ball control all the time, and attitude,” head coach Pete Waite said. “I don’t think we had either tonight. It was just unacceptable the way they approached the match, and the way they approached every point. They have to find some fire within them as a group. Occasionally, we have individuals here or there that have it, but it is so spotty that it is hard to get momentum.”The Badgers appeared in control after the first set, downing IU 25-22, despite only hitting .065 for the set. The Hoosiers seized momentum for the rest of the match, however, and finished off the Badgers 25-21, 25-23 and 25-20.“In this sport, half the time the ball is on your side of the net and the other team can’t bother you at all,” Waite said. “You just need to play ball. So, if you handle the ball well, and control the ball well, you have great chances to score all the time. But we are creating so many unforced errors on our side — we are just handing points over.”Senior captain Audra Jeffers provided the only consistent threat for the Badgers, finishing the match with 10 kills and a .296 hitting percentage.“I am just kind of disappointed on the way things went,” Jeffers said. “I am just extra-motivated to get in there and try and find some way to fire the team up. It is like Coach said, it is just about attitude. We are trying to bring that out, but it just can’t be a few people, it has to be everyone.”The Badgers went to their bench several times in the second set, and Waite substituted often throughout the match, trying to find a winning combination. Most notably, Waite took out sophomore hitter Allison Wack for junior Caty DuPont.“If someone is struggling, we have to search for someone that is going to come in and help,” Waite said. “We were trying to shore things up a bit. I thought Allison [Wack] was struggling a bit early; we made the change, and I think it did some OK things, but that also forces us into some situations that are not the same as we have done.”Wisconsin currently holds a four-match losing streak, but they are not making any excuses for their inconsistent play.“At times, we have had two freshman starters out there, but there are a lot of other upperclassmen that are there,” Waite said. “At this point in the season, I would expect us to be flowing better together and be more consistent with our play.”The Nittany Lions came to the Field House with a perfect 20-0 record Friday, and the Badgers fell to PSU in three straight sets. Despite the sweep, however, the Badgers felt they competed well against the nation’s top-ranked team.“That’s a very good team,” Waite said. “They only lost one starter from last year’s national championship team and they’re more athletic, more mature. They make [fewer] errors, and there’s such a small margin of error on our side of the net. You just cannot make an error because they’re not going to make any.”The Nittany Lions won the three sets 25-20, 25-16 and 25-21. PSU recorded nine total blocks to UW’s five, and out-hit the Badgers .340 to .133.“I thought we battled pretty well, but they’re hitting at such high angles — you can’t even train that, and you don’t even play most teams on your schedule with balls coming at you at that height over the top of your block,” Waite said. “Some of them have great reaches. They don’t just reach and hit it down where your block is — they hit it, reach high and hit deep in the court, which is a great shot and very tough to defend.”
Valeria Salazar ran to the corner of the baseline and hit a return that bounced off the net and back onto her side of the court. She put her head into her hands and let out a screech. Throughout the rest of the meet, similar sounds of despair came from Syracuse players.The reactions summarized what would be No. 62 Syracuse’s (7-1, 1-1 Atlantic Coast) first loss of the year, a 5-2 loss to No. 9 Virginia (5-3, 2-0). Gabriela Knutson and Salazar struck first, winning No. 1 doubles 6-1. But that would be the only taste of victory for the Orange in doubles, as SU’s other doubles teams both faltered after building up early leads.Singles followed a similar path for the Orange, as the team only prevailed in two matches. Knutson and Dina Hegab both won their matches, as they remain undefeated in all of the singles play this year. However, the most notable losses came from No. 1 singles in Anna Shkudun and No. 2 singles Salazar, ultimately erasing the Orange’s perfect season.“I thought I played a great first game, but then I was on-and-off. I try to have a short memory and brush it off,” Salazar said. “I felt pressured because my opponent was always attacking. That pressure to hit good shots made me miss balls I regularly don’t miss.”Shkudun struggled early in the match, as she took on the No. 2 singles player in the country Danielle Collins. Shkudun was running up and down the baseline, letting out grunts with each return. However, each return by Shkudun was met with an even better placed ball by Collins. While Shkudun did squeak out a game in both sets, she eventually fell to Collins 1-6, 1-6.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textUnlike the quick win by Virginia in No. 1 singles, Salazar battled back against No.15 ranked Julia Elbaba. Falling in the first set, Salazar made changes to her game to throw off her opponent.“(Valeria) started using the slice a little bit more and giving Elbaba a different look because she really liked to take control of the rallies and take the ball a little bit sooner,” head coach Younes Limam said. “Valeria did a good job of getting the ball out of her strike zone in the second set.”Salazar battled in the second set, using a mixture of forehands and backhands to make her opponent run more. However, Elbaba was there for each hit, and while Salazar did tie up the set 3-3, there were many times where her returns landed in the alley or off the net. After losing the game and falling behind 4-3, Salazar walked to the sideline to associate head coach Shelley George, who was there to calm her down.“I was just trying to get her to focus on the present,” George said. “She needs to play the point in front of her and not bring up a miss that she may have had.”While Salazar was unsuccessful at upsetting Elbaba, she did battle back. Her and Shkudun weren’t the only two that fell in singles play, as Libi Mesh and Maria Tritou fell in the team’s Nos. 4 and 5 singles.The loss of No. 1 and No. 2 singles proved to be crucial in Syracuse’s loss against two of the top 15 singles players in the country. It was a tall task, and one that put a hitch in what as been a near flawless start to the season.“I think we came with a purpose,” Limam said. “We took it to them in a way most of the match. The last couple points later in the match made the difference.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 21, 2016 at 5:51 pm Contact Charlie: firstname.lastname@example.org | @charliedisturco
Argentinean UN peacekeeper holds a baby download during distribution of water and food to victims of tropical storm Hanna The head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission (MINUSTAH) Sandra Honoré, says the mission will cease operations in Haiti within six months.Addressing the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, Honoré said that the progress achieved during the past 13 years in Haiti’s stabilization process is notable and it “is therefore timely to reshape the partnership among the international community, the United Nations and Haiti with a view to ensuring the sustainability of this progressIt is with this in mind, that the Secretary-General has recommended the closure of MINUSTAH in six months from now and the establishment of a smaller peacekeeping operation with concentrated focus on the rule of law and police development, with strong good offices and human rights monitoring roles.“With your support, the transition from MINUSTAH to a new and smaller Mission would be guided by a Joint Transition Plan that underpins the gradual transfer of tasks to the Government, international partners and the UN Country Team,” she added.The UN mission, established in June 2004 by a UN Security Council resolution, succeeded a Multinational Interim Force (MIF) after then President Bertrand Aristide departed Haiti for exile in the aftermath of an armed conflict which spread to several cities across the country.In January 2010, the Security Council, by resolution, endorsed the Secretary-General’s recommendation to increase the overall force levels of MINUSTAH to support the immediate recovery, reconstruction and stability efforts in the country.