Ailing Badgers remain steady in rankings

first_img“And we would all go down together,” the gentle serenading chorus of Billy Joel’s “Goodnight Saigon,” has become a startling summation of the Wisconsin women’s tennis team’s health of late.With four starting players — literally half of the squad’s entire roster — either currently ill or on the sniffling rebound, the Badgers are struggling to fall into a spring rhythm as they battle a lineup that garners a new monkey wrench with every emerging flu-like symptom.”Certainly, I think … we’ve been facing some adversity, and ultimately, I think we’ll be better off for it,” head coach Patti Henderson said of the team’s health spat. “When we’re 100 percent healthy, which we will be at some point this season, it will give us some added confidence.”Thus far this season, the team’s top four players — Caitlin Burke, Nicole Beck, Kaylan Caiati and Chelsea Nusslock — have all spent at least one match on the sideline as a result of their various medical afflictions. And heading into this weekend’s home match against DePaul, it remains unclear which of those athletes will be able to compete at 100 percent, while the possibility looms that at least one won’t be able to take to the singles court at all.”I’d rather have it now than in the middle of the Big Ten season or the Big Ten tournament,” the team’s only senior, Lexi Goldin, said of coping with the depleted lineup.Still, key team members have enjoyed a certain level of success despite having to deal with coughing spats on the court. Most recently, after sitting out last Friday’s match against Brigham Young University due to illness, the team’s ace, Burke, managed a spectacular 6-4, 6-4 win over her highly ranked Notre Dame opponent Sunday. Rank and File: The new Division I collegiate tennis team rankings came out Tuesday, and the Badgers, despite a duo of losses over the weekend during which the squad claimed only one of 14 possible points, have stayed steady at the No. 51 spot in the country.”Outside of Western Michigan, every other loss we have — most of them are [top 20,]” Henderson said. “We have a tough strength of schedule; we have wins over teams that we’re supposed to beat.”Moreover, Henderson is quick to note that with the fierce schedule the Badgers have worked thus far, so much as a single victory could have catapulted the team into the 30s on the national poll. And while such may seem a fantastical wish based on some rather bleak box scores, numerous matches have been much closer this spring than the statistics tend to indicate.Various Badger defeats have come only after tandems of lengthy deuces and doubles points that easily could have fallen to Wisconsin’s advantage with a difference bounce of the ball.Still, the team has always been inclined to shrug off early season rankings and the current No. 51 spot is no exception.”It’s the Big Ten season that counts,” Goldin says of the squad’s forthcoming conference slate. “Qualifying for NCAAs is realistic.”And Goldin is also quick to point to the same weighty competition Henderson makes note of, pointing out that tough losses to a few highly-ranked opponents — especially with Wisconsin fighting a depleted roster — may turn to the team’s advantage by season’s end.”Both the teams we lost to [last weekend] … were good experiences,” Goldin said. “They’re not going to hurt you [in the rankings] if you lose, and they’re only going to make you better.”last_img read more

Ecobank, UL, Sign Tripartite Loan Agreement

first_imgDr. Weeks and Ecobank MD Mensah-Asante exchanged loan agreement after the signing ceremony. Pan-African banking group Ecobank Liberia Limited and the University of Liberia have signed a tripartite loan agreement to extend loan facilities to its faculty association who are full-time employees of the university. The loan package, according to Ecobank Managing Director, George Mensah-Asante, comes at a concessionary interest rate, with a one-month moratorium.“As a bank, we continuously find innovative ways to promote our business and to also grow our customer base. We are therefore extending our full array of financial services to the membership of the University of Liberia Faculty Association,” Mensah-Asante said at the signing ceremony on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Monrovia. “This includes loans, a variety of digital products and services as well as other traditional banking facilities to ULFA members.”Under this agreement, he said, loan applicants can apply for personal, vehicle loan, and mortgage depending on the individual’s debt-service ratio.Explaining the qualification aspect, the Bank Managing Director said applicants must first be full-time employees of the university and have no other loan obligations with any other bank.Also commenting at the signing ceremony, President of ULFA Cllr. Viama J. Blama thanked Ecobank for the timely intervention, which seeks to elevate the lives of the association members.He said the loan has a 12 percent interest rate and is only open to full-time employees of the institution.Cllr. Blama disclosed that his administration lobbied with reputable banks for ULFA members to obtain a loan that will enable them to buy a car or build their own homes. He said, his administration has been able to lobby with the University of Liberia (UL) administration in forming a cordial partnership to address issues affecting the warfare of the association.“So, we are happy today to sign this agreement. This loan is a tripartite agreement and the case of dismissal or death, ULFA takes the responsibility,” Cllr. Blama added.For her part, UL President, Prof. Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks, expressed gratitude to Ecobank for making available such financial services, especially the loan packages, to members of the Association.She pledged, on behalf of the members, that they will endeavor to fulfill all obligations, as customers of the bank and to repay all loans contracted timely.Meanwhile, the signing ceremony was attended by the management of Ecobank Liberia, management of UL as well as the leadership of ULFA.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more