Curtains! Burke wins third straight, but UW’s season ends

first_imgURBANA, Ill. — Shortly before 5 p.m. Friday, the Wisconsin women’s tennis team’s season came to an end. Sophomore Chelsea Nusslock returned a shot from Michigan’s Nina Yaftali long, and with that, the Wolverines clinched a 4-1 victory over the Badgers in the second round of the Big Ten tournament. The 11th-seeded Wisconsin squad had advanced to the quarterfinals Thursday with an upset 4-0 victory over the sixth-seeded Michigan State Spartans. But Michigan, holding the third rank in the tournament, simply proved too much for a Badger team it had handled 7-0 in Ann Arbor just a month before.”I didn’t wake up this morning excepting this was going to be the end of the year,” head coach Patti Henderson said. “We fought Michigan much, much better than when we played them at their place a month ago. We were close.”And in true form, Henderson didn’t anticipate the Wolverines marking the end of the road for the Badgers at the Big Ten tournament here in Illinois. In telling fashion, the team had to make one pit-stop before leaving town and heading back to Madison Friday night: The players and coaches had yet to check out of their hotel rooms.The Badgers’ lone point on the day came from team ace Caitlin Burke who made quick work of Kara Delicata with a 6-2, 6-0 victory that brought the top flight Wisconsin player to a perfect 3-0 record after returning from an injury that sidelined her for nearly two months. In all three matches since retaking the court, Burke has claimed a perfect second set score.”I’m slowly getting my confidence back each and every match I play,” Burke said. “I think I’m getting a lot more confidence, and I’m starting to feel as good as I did before I got injured.”And though the team’s season is now over, Burke looks to the official NCAA tournament singles selections this week, as she will likely be invited to compete in the national invitational as a solo player.”None of the wins she got [at the Big Ten tournament] really help her cause per se, but I think she’s done the work — she’s done the work in the fall, she did the work in the early [spring] semester in terms of getting the wins she needed to get into the tournament,” Henderson said. For Wisconsin, the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals started on a negative note as the Wolverines claimed the day’s doubles point with 8-6 victories on both the second and third courts, as the duo of Kaylan Caiati and Erin Jobe dropped to Lindsey Howard and Yaftali while Nusslock and Morgan Tuttle fell to Chisako Sugiyama and Allie Shaftner. Burke and Elizabeth Carpenter were knotted at 7-7 with Delicata and Debra Steifler when doubles play ended. “In terms of the outcome of today’s match, the doubles point was pretty crucial — just for the confidence, not so much that we couldn’t find a way to win four matches,” Henderson said. “We’ve been struggling all year long to find our confidence with every single person. Some people have had it one day and then not the next. It’s been hard for us to get everybody confident on the same page.”In singles play, Carpenter fell 6-3, 6-1 and Jobe dropped 6-1, 6-2 to Howard in the day’s other completed matches. Caiati’s meet with Elizabeth Exon was abandoned early in the second set, while Tuttle and Sugiyama also departed the court early as their second frame heated up with the Wolverine leading 5-4 after a 6-2 victory in the first set. As per Big Ten tournament rules, all play is suspended once the deciding point of the match has been determined. The Badgers now say goodbye to senior Lexi Goldin and look to three new athletes joining the squad in the fall. In wake of a spring 2006 season that was disappointing by most accounts, there is optimism heading into next year.”The biggest thing is that every single one of these ladies has to recognize — and I think they do recognize — the steps forward that they’ve made, the progress that they’ve made, the improvements that they’ve made while being aware of their liabilities and not running away from that shadow,” Henderson said. “If they’re willing to confront that aspect of themselves, knowing that they’ve improved in other aspects, then I think that this whole season — and the struggles we’ve had this season — will bear fruit, so to speak, for next year.”After two years of covering women’s tennis at Wisconsin, this marks Mac VerStandig’s final article on the beat. He’d like to thank the players, coaches, parents and athletic department officials who have helped him along the way.last_img read more

Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson Return to U.S. After COVID-19 Diagnosis

first_imgThe couple tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month while in Australia, where Hanks was doing pre-production work on a film about Elvis Presley. Hanks is set to play Presley’s manager, Colonel Tom Parker, in the film. However, production on the project has been suspended due to the pandemic.Hanks and Wilson had shared their experience in isolation, offered advice to those who are sheltering in place. Actor Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, are back in the United States, after going into self-quarantine in Australia.Hanks tweeted Saturday:last_img read more

GQ Series “Casualties of the Gridiron” Looks at Lives of Former NFL Players

first_imgRay Lucas (AP File Photo)by Rick FreemanAP Sports WriterAs a former NFL quarterback, Ray Lucas was used to having a plan and carrying it out.A few years ago, this was his plan: He would wait for a Sunday morning while his wife and daughters went to church, then drive to the George Washington Bridge, crank the wheel over and drive off the side.“Until very recently, I was making plans to end it,” Lucas says in the first episode of “Casualties of the Gridiron” an online documentary series from GQ that goes live Monday morning on and the Conde Nast Youtube page.That emotional gut punch is just one of many in the eight episodes of about 10 minutes each. New episodes will come out every Monday and Thursday before the series wraps on Dec. 18.“It’s very haunting. I think after you watch an episode, it really stays with you,” said Dawn Ostroff, the President of Conde Nast Entertainment. “My hope is that people will see it so they can feel compassion in their hearts for what these men were going through.”Isaac Solotaroff is the documentary’s director and executive producer, with co-director Jesse Handsher and executive producer Jennifer Smith. Among the difficult moments they captured is when former linebacker Terry Tautolo finds himself in an old 49ers team photo, pointing out Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott before he identifies himself. Then he explains how he found himself homeless.His former UCLA teammate from the 1970s, Brent Boyd, makes an appearance in archival footage testifying before Congress. Then he’s right there on camera, explaining how his life might have turned out different if he knew then what he knows now.“I graduated UCLA with honors and was accepted to law school,” Boyd said. “But my dream had always been to be an NFL player.”The next time we see him, he’s with a clinician, struggling to name more than a half-dozen or so words that begin with the letter B. Boyd then explains that he has moved in with his 24-year-old son.“We’ve kind of reversed roles,” Boyd says. “He’s taking care of Dad now.”The series shows plenty of moments of hope, too. Jen Smith is a constant presence as the do-it-all director of player programs for PAST, an organization that helps former players get treatment for physical and mental issues, manage pain and addiction, and generally improve their quality of life.She was the one Lucas reached out to when he was contemplating suicide.Smith said in an interview with The Associated Press that she picked up the phone one summer day and heard “My name is Ray Lucas. Somebody gave me your phone number, and I’m going to drive off the George Washington Bridge on Sunday.”Smith, who has been working with former NFL players for years, said that suicidal thoughts and tendencies are more common than not among former players. As is addiction, which frequently happens when players without insurance turn to pills to manage chronic pain issues.She got Lucas the help he needed, and now he’s working side by side with her at PAST, which stands for Pain Alternatives, Solutions and Treatments, where former players gather once a month or so to discuss their issues among each other.“Peer group kind of gives them an avenue of speaking the truth, speaking from the heart, and not worrying,” Lucas said. “Every time that I’ve had a peer group with these guys, I’ve taken something out of it for myself. You can call it the word ‘sharing’ so to speak. They’re not going to be judged.”Lucas often runs these sessions himself. He gets as much help out of it as anyone, and it seems apparent in the footage of him and Smith helping other players out with their problems.As encouraging as some of these moments can be, there’s always another reminder that there are more players out there in need of help.“I think what this show is designed to do is to provide a real-life glimpse into this,” Smith said. “While this is challenging and hard, there’s some hope and some positives that are in all this. I think it’s important for the public to see this.”___Online: read more

Top Rung Brewing Takes Gold Medal for My Dog Scout Stout…

first_imgSubmitted by Top Rung Brewing CompanyFirefighters Jason Stoltz (left) and Casey Sobel (right) opened Top Rung Brewing in Lacey.On June 20, Top Rung Brewing was awarded a Gold medal for our My Dog Scout Stout in the American Stout category of the Washington Beer Awards.  My Dog Scout Stout is one of the breweries three original brews that the brewery opened with in April of 2014. Top Rung Brewing is very honored and humbled to receive this award.This is the first medal that Top Rung has received and the first year to participate in the competition.  The My Dog Scout Stout is named after head brewer Jason Stoltz black lab, Scout.  This beer was designed and developed by Top Rung co-founders Jason Stoltz and Casey Sobol.Top Rung Brewing is a 10 barrel production brewery with tasting room at the brewery. Top Rung Brewing is a destination for craft beer drinkers to enjoy their beverage and view a production brewery facility.  Our tasting room is family friendly and while we will only offer snacks, we partner with local food vendors and food trucks as well as allow patrons to bring in their own food of their choice or have it delivered.  Top Rung Brewing: bringing quality craft beer to Lacey. Facebook0Tweet0Pin0last_img read more