Wisconsin tennis faces tough tests at Furman

first_imgThe Wisconsin women’s tennis team is out to prove something at the Furman Invitational this weekend. Though they’re not ranked yet this season, head coach Brian Fleishman believes that the tournament in Greenville, S.C., will show the voters something about the Badgers.The team is coming off a solid outing at the Milwaukee Tennis Classic, a three-day event in which it faced a talented field that included Alabama, Texas A&M and Marquette.”I was pleasantly surprised (with the team),” Fleishman said. “Overall, it was a good weekend.”Fleishman, a former coach at Wake Forest, is in his first year coaching at UW. He’s still settling into his role as the new coach of a team that he says is in “the big time.””We’re still in the honeymoon phase right now,” Fleishman said. “We’re still getting to know each other, and I’m trying to figure out how to coach each of them individually to make them perform better as a team.”With Fleishman still adjusting to the UW style of play, the Badgers won 10 of 21 singles matches at the Milwaukee tournament, taking five of seven from in-state rival Marquette. The winners of those five were junior Elizabeth Carpenter, sophomore Katya Mirnova, junior Erin Jobe, junior Elizabeth Dolan and freshman Jessica Seyferth.Seyferth already won two other singles matches and took home the tournament’s runner-up trophy.The team emphasis, though, is placed on doubles. The Badgers started slow last weekend, winning only one out of their first seven doubles matches against Texas A&M and Alabama during the first two days. Sunday, however, the combinations of seniors Chelsea Nusslock and Morgan Tuttle, Carpenter and Seyferth and Dolan and sophomore Kim Roberts railed against Marquette to take three of four matches. The team hopes to improve its doubles play for the Furman tournament and the rest of the season.”I think every time we go out and compete, we need to get better at doubles,” Fleishman said. “For not being together that long, [our doubles game is] going to get better.”Seyferth, a freshman out of Ann Arbor, Mich., has looked good so far for the Badgers. Ranked No. 1 in the Great Lakes region as a senior at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School, Seyferth has come to the UW women’s tennis team and immediately established herself as a force to be reckoned with after her 3-0 weekend.”It’s a lot different,” Seyferth said when asked about the jump between high school and college tennis. “High school tennis is not very strong. But I think I’m ready (for college play).”Coach Fleishman seemed to share the sentiment. When asked about Seyferth, he gave his first impression of her from the Milwaukee classic.”[Jessica is] an unbelievable competitor, a positive energy on the court,” he said. “She’s very talented. … Sometimes one player can change the look of a team.”Seyferth figures to be a driving force again for the UW team as it rolls into Greenville. But it will definitely be a team effort as it focuses overwhelmingly on doubles. UW will be facing several ranked teams, including Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Vanderbilt and host Furman. Seyferth, Carpenter, Nusslock and Tuttle will all have to play well for the weekend to be a success on the doubles front, and the five singles winners over Marquette last weekend will have to be on top of their games.The Furman Classic will give the team a chance to set the tone in Greenville and make its case for a national ranking. Facing tough competition this weekend will make that difficult, but the team is very confident of its chance to rise in the rankings.”Furman will give us a good indicator of whether we should be in the top 75 or not,” Fleishman said. “It will show us where we stand nationally.”last_img read more

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Leicester City’s title-winners primed for a big party with fans

first_imgLeicester’s players are getting ready for another big party – and this time the fans are invited.Images of the Leicester squad celebrating its unlikely Premier League title triumph in Jamie Vardy’s house on Monday night were posted on social media and went global. Wes Morgan, Leicester’s captain, was filmed being spun around the kitchen floor while jubilant teammates danced around him, savoring one of the greatest-ever sporting stories.On Saturday, Morgan will have the honor of lifting the Premier League trophy in front of more than 30,000 fans at Leicester’s atmospheric King Power Stadium. Add Morgan’s name to the likes of Manchester United’s Roy Keane, Arsenal’s Tony Adams and Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany, some of the other inspirational captains to have got their hands on English soccer’s biggest prize.The Leicester story is rich with feel-good tales, notably Vardy’s rise from playing non-league soccer to being English champion in the space of five years. Morgan’s back-story is also one to gladden the heart, too.The 32-year-old center back was released by Notts County as a youngster and also had to start again in the non-leagues. He got another chance in the professional ranks, this time with Nottingham Forest in 2001, but was overweight and was worked extra hard by the club’s fitness staff.He became a mainstay of Forest’s team for a decade before moving to Leicester in 2012, and only got his first taste of top-flight soccer at the age of 30. He was error-prone in the early stages of last season but is now a commanding presence in the defense alongside fellow center back Robert Huth.advertisementLeicester will be presented with the trophy after Saturday’s match against Everton, which will be as much a celebration as a game of football.”I’m just going to try and hold back the tears,” Morgan said. “I think it’s going to be very emotional. It’s the biggest moment of my life. I can’t wait to lift the trophy and get my hands on it.”There’s another treat for Leicester fans on Saturday: Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli will sing before the game, honouring a commitment he gave to Ranieri in a conversation six weeks ago if Leicester went on to win the Premier League.Leicester, a 5,000-1 longshot for the title at the start of the season, has achieved the unthinkable with two games still to play. For many other teams in the Premier League, there’s still plenty at stake.last_img read more

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