Volleyball: Badgers travel to Waco for face-off against Bears

first_imgThe Wisconsin Women’s Volleyball Team made a big leap in the rankings all the way to No. 2 in the polls after knocking off the previously second-ranked Longhorns Saturday night. However, as sophomore setter Sydney Hilley explained, “rankings are just rankings,” which is the mindset the girls need to have for this upcoming road trip down to Waco.  Friday at 6 p.m. the Badgers will square off against No. 15 Baylor in Waco, Texas. Baylor is sporting a 4-2 record after dropping their last two games to ranked opponents. The Bears came out strong winning their first four games, including a big win over the now-25th-ranked Marquette. After the hot start to the season, Baylor lost in five sets to ninth-ranked UCLA before losing again the next day to No. 16 San Diego in the USD Invitational out in San Diego California. Although they are now 1-2 against ranked opponents, there is nothing to take lightly about this Baylor team, especially when playing in Waco, where the Bears are undefeated this season.   The Badgers will have to focus on containing the stealthy six-foot sophomore, Yossiana Pressley. Pressley has already made a significant impact for the Bears this season recording 116 kills through the first six games. Pressley also has her name on the 2018 Preseason All-Big 12 Watch List, which is not an unfamiliar sight for the Texas native.  Football: Safety Patrick Johnson leaves programPatrick Johnson, a safety for the University of Wisconsin football team, left the program Wednesday morning citing personal reasons. The Read…As a freshman, Pressley raked in the awards as she earned herself the 2017 Big 12 Freshman of The Year award, and she was a unanimous pick for the All-Big 12 First team and the Big 12 All-Freshman team. Pressley was also a five-time Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week and a four-time Big 12 Freshman of the week, leading to an eventual AVCA All-American honorable mention. Pressley will be looking to make the difference on Friday but she still must go through a red-hot Badger team. This game will be another great test for the Badgers as they look to build off their 4-0 start to the season and begin preparation for Big Ten play. Baylor will be a tournament team this year which means these two foes may even meet again come November. As for Friday, you can catch the game on Fox Sports Go or you can listen to the game on the Badger Sports Network, channel 100.9FM.last_img read more

Kobe Bryant’s pep talk boosted Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs

first_img“I think it’s a great starting point for him,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “It looked like he just picked up where he left off.”The Angels haven’t set a target date for Skaggs’ first regular season start. At least, he isn’t aware of one yet. For now the first innings are in the books, a huge check mark in a rehab process full of them. By coincidence, this one came 24 hours after Skaggs crossed a big item off his bucket list.“I grew up idolizing the Lakers,” he said. “I’m going to tell my kids that I met Kobe.”Ethier’s rehab beginsDodgers outfielder Andre Ethier returned to the clubhouse two days after he was diagnosed with a fractured right tibia. Ethier is still walking in crutches and probably will be for six weeks. That’s how long he was told not to put any pressure on his broken leg.“It never felt right,” he said. “Still isn’t.”The Dodgers are preparing to be without Ethier for 10 to 14 weeks from the time he fouled a ball off his leg Friday in a Cactus League game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. That projects to a return sometime between late May and late June.In the meantime Ethier will have the option of doing his rehab in Arizona, where he lives and where the Dodgers hold extended spring training. Manager Dave Roberts said that Ethier will join the team in San Diego on April 4 for Opening Day, then again the following week for the Dodgers’ home opener.“If he wants to do his rehab here until he starts doing baseball-related activities, there’s really no need for him to be with us,” Roberts said. “I’d rather him be comfortable and keep his mind right on as he’s rehabbing.”Ethier said his leg will be immobilized in a removable fitted brace, not a cast, and he’ll wear a small bone-stimulating device during the process.AlsoTests on the right forearm of Yasmani Grandal showed “no significant damage,” in Roberts’ words, but the Dodgers’ catcher will refrain from hitting or throwing until Sunday. Roberts couldn’t confirm that Grandal will have enough time to be ready by Opening Day. … The news was better for Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager, who got four at-bats in minor league games at Camelback Ranch. Seager, who’s recovering from a sprained left knee, has yet to run the bases in a competitive game. … Carlos Frias will start for the Dodgers against the San Francisco Giants on Friday night. The right-hander is vying for the fifth starter’s job along with Zach Lee.Angels 5, Chicago White Sox 4Angels starter Matt Shoemaker tossed six innings, allowing six hits and four runs — one a wind-aided solo homer by Jimmy Rollins and a longer two-run blast by Brett Lawrie. Mike Trout hit a three-run home run against Chicago left-hander Chris Sale, and Yunel Escobar had two hits for the Angels (12-8-4). “He just was explaining how it’s all about winning,” Skaggs said Thursday after his first appearance in a competitive game since July 2014. “You push your teammates to become better. You push yourself to become better. You can’t cut any corners in the rehab process. That’s exactly what he was saying to everybody.”Skaggs said he slept well Wednesday night, slept in Thursday morning, then got really nervous on the way in to Camelback Ranch to face the Chicago White Sox — something he hadn’t felt in one year, seven months and 25 days.It was the first time Skaggs had faced major league opponents since he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow on July 31, 2014. The 24-year-old missed the final two months of that season and all of 2015 rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.“A lot of days have felt (lousy) but you have to push through it,” Skaggs said. “Today I felt great. I feel very happy with myself that I put in the hard work, put in the time. I didn’t cut any corners.”The feeling in Skaggs’ left elbow matters more than his results. For the record, he struck out two batters, walked none, and scattered all his pitches among a rough total of 30. Skaggs allowed one hit, a line-drive single to right field, which scored an unearned run. GLENDALE, Ariz. >> You don’t have to look too far into the future to imagine Kobe Bryant as a motivational speaker, standing on an auditorium stage and speaking to rows of eager corporate folks wearing pressed khakis.For now, imagine this: Wednesday night in Phoenix, Bryant was on a trainer’s table getting treatment inside Talking Stick Arena in Phoenix. The Lakers had just lost to the Suns. Bryant’s audience was a small group of baseball players.“Me, (Mike) Trout, (Garrett) Richards, Weav (Jered Weaver), James Shields and Matt Kemp,” said Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs, a Los Angeles native and a diehard Lakers fan.Bryant, like any good motivational speaker, made Skaggs feel like he was speaking directly to him.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more