Badgers looking to captain for guidance in team’s early struggles

first_imgRAY PFEIFFER/Herald photoOne night after dropping its 2006 National Championship banner, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team played its worst period of hockey in four years. After losing the series opener in overtime, the Badgers were on the verge of being swept by North Dakota in their home opening series. Tied 0-0 after two periods, senior captain Andrew Joudrey took it upon himself to motivate his spiritless squad.”It was one of those moments, it wasn’t planned, and after last year and the years we have had in the past, you come to expect a certain level of play and we know our potential. When that’s not happening because of a lack of effort and intensity, then something has to be done,” Joudrey said of his intermission speech. “I didn’t quote Shakespeare or anything like that, but we needed to make a change and it has to come now and it worked out.”The rousing speech was clearly effective as the Badgers went on to score the game’s only goal to defeat the Fighting Sioux 1-0. The win was of course satisfying, but perhaps more important for the Badgers was the leadership qualities Joudrey demonstrated. The Bedford, Nova Scotia native has always led by example, but unlike last year’s team captain, Adam Burish, Joudrey has relied on his assistant captains to help with the vocal leadership.”Everybody leads in different ways. [Burish] was a hard worker, and he was really vocal in the locker room … Andrew is kind of the same way but he does it a little differently in terms of being a little more reliant on me and Jake (Dowell),” senior defenseman Jeff Likens said. “Getting the guys going as far as emotionally was a big part of Adam’s job but Andrew is not doing a bad job … he’s doing a great job.”Since arriving in Madison, Joudrey has always had a knack for coming through in the clutch, helping his team to victory in desperate situations.As an assistant captain for the Badgers’ national championship team, Joudrey collected three game-winning goals, including winners against North Dakota, Ohio State at the Frozen Tundra Classic and Minnesota at the WCHA Final Five.”I haven’t scored like some of the other guys have, like Robbie (Earl) or Joe (Pavelski), but I try to make them count,” Joudrey said of his timely goals. “I am not going to score the highlight ones, but I just try to keeping working hard and give myself the best opportunity to be in the right place at the right time.”Although Joudrey’s statistics at Wisconsin are not jaw dropping by any means, he remains one of the team’s most versatile players. During his tenure with the Badgers, Joudrey has played center, winger and defenseman in addition to being a consistent contributor on the power play.Although Joudrey has always been a pass-first player, the coaching staff is looking to expand his offensive role.”I always grew up a pass-first guy, but [the coaches] have been working on it for four years, and I finally realized I need to shoot the puck more,” Joudrey said. “Hopefully I’m moving toward being even not just a pass-first kind of guy.”As captain it is Joudrey and the rest of the seniors’ responsibility to unite the team and establish camaraderie similar to last year’s championship team. The Badgers’ lineup currently features a number of freshmen who have been asked to take bigger roles due in large part to injuries suffered by Kyle Klubertanz, Jack Skille and Ross Carlson. Despite their inexperience, the freshmen have responded quite well and, according to freshman forward Mike Davies, the team’s captain has contributed greatly to their success.”[Joudrey] just leads by example … everything he says in the locker room, he goes out on the ice and demonstrates it. He’s a great leader, not just on the ice or in the locker room, but away from the rink, too,” Davies said. “Every time we hang out, it’s as a team and nothing else. He is always trying to include everybody and gel everyone together and that has really helped [the freshmen].”Joudrey’s leadership is imperative now more than ever as the Badgers are in a state of turmoil after being swept at home this past weekend against Boston College.Nevertheless, Joudrey, the levelheaded leader, is confident in his team’s ability to right the ship and return to its winning ways.”There is always pressure especially after you lose two games in a row at home,” he said. “The biggest thing right now is we need to get back on the wining track and, like they say, there is no time like the present.”last_img read more

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Seniors instrumental in USC volleyball revival

first_imgThe No. 1 USC men’s volleyball team has fought through this season with vigor and focus borne from years of being close, but not quite there.Leading the way · Senior setter Riley McKibben, who has more than 1,000 assists this season, was the first recruit to commit to USC in 2008. – Tim Tran | Daily Trojan In 2008, the Trojans dropped a hard-fought NCAA tournament play-in game. In 2009, they fell hard in a five-set heartbreaker to UC Irvine in the national championship game. And in 2010, after starting the season as the No. 1 team in the country, the Trojans were unceremoniously eliminated from the NCAA tournament in the first round.But in 2011, the Trojans have won the close matches and dominated others with skill and poise spearheaded by the team’s eight senior leaders.During the last four seasons, these seniors have amassed 72 victories, notched two preseason No. 1 rankings, won both the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation regular season and tournament crowns and earned a trip to the NCAA championship match.Frankly, they have revived USC volleyball.“We wouldn’t be here without them,” said USC coach Bill Ferguson. “They embody what USC is supposed to be and helped put USC volleyball back on the map.”When Ferguson was hired in 2007, he took over a team stuck in a slump that included four-straight 11th place finishes in the 12-team Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.The year of Ferguson’s arrival spelled the beginning of a revival for USC volleyball, however, as USC racked up the most victories since 2001 (12) and made an appearance in the MPSF playoffs.“We weren’t good athletically or academically [when I first arrived],” Ferguson said.Although he lacked collegiate head coaching experience, the young coach was confident he could help put USC volleyball back on the map.“I knew how to recruit, put a team together and get things going,” Ferguson said. “I always said that if there were a school that could revive themselves, it would be USC.”Ferguson had an ambitious goal: He wanted not only the best athletes, but also top students and leaders who could be successful in all aspects.After a successful first season, Ferguson brought the top-ranked recruiting class to USC in 2008, setting the stage for success.“It is with no exaggeration when I say that they took over the team and changed the face of the program once they arrived on campus,” Ferguson said. “All of them have been great leaders in their own way.”Setter Riley McKibbin, who has been the Trojans’ co-captain for three consecutive years, was the first to commit to Ferguson’s plan for USC volleyball and then helped the coach pull in the talent he needed.“Right away, [McKibbin] asked for [senior middle blocker Austin] Zahn and [senior opposite Murphy] Troy’s phone numbers and promised me that he would get them to come to USC too,” Ferguson said.Now, four years later, that recruiting class has carried USC, already atop the polls for most of the season, nearing an NCAA title.Troy, who has led USC in kills in each of the last three seasons, has been the Trojans’ co-captain for two years, and last week, received MPSF Player of the Year honors.Others, such as Zahn and outside hitter Tri Bourne, have proved to be steady, reliable contributors, fixtures in USC’s starting lineup.“There’s plenty of great volleyball players out there, but not a lot of great USC players,” Ferguson said. “All of these guys have and will be successful, and not just in volleyball.”With their first MPSF tournament victory against No. 8 UCLA last Saturday, these seniors are primed to make one final run at a national title with a simple mentality: Winning one day, one match, one practice and one play at a time.“They’ve done everything we’ve asked as well as I could’ve hoped,” Ferguson said. “Every time someone has taken a shot at them, they’ve responded. They’ve done great to this point, but we have much more to do.”last_img read more

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ZENITH BANK/DELTA PRINCIPALS’ CUP: Q’finalists Emerge, Battle for Semis Ticket…

first_imgAfter five days of intense battle in the zonal elimination series with 26 qualifiers competing for honours in eight zones and 10 centres, the quarterfinalists for the 2019 Delta State Principals’ Cup emerged at the weekend.The Principals’ Cup football competition is a developmental tournament sponsored by Zenith Bank after the partnership agreement with the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa administration. The partnership revived the event only two years ago after being in limbo for over 27 years.The quarterfinalists schools include; Comprehensive Secondary School, Owa Model Secondary School, Boys Secondary School, Orhuwhorun Secondary School, Obule Integrated Secondary School, Sapele , Solid Rock Foundation School, Uwheru Government School and  Ekpan Secondary School. The quarterfinals will be decided today in four different centres and according to the pairing released by the organizing team, Comprehensive Secondary School and Owa Model Secondary School will clash at the Kwale Township Stadium while Boys Secondary School will tango with Orhuwhorun Secondary School at the Oleh Township Stadium.At the Warri Township Stadium, Obule Integrated School and Solid Rock Secondary School will compete for honours just as Otujeremi Township Stadium will host the last pairings between Uwheru Government School and Ekpan Secondary School.Head of the organizing team, Tony Pemu, said all matches would start simultaneously at 2pm at the four centres.Pemu said: “We are all set for the quarterfinals and we are excited that the standard is getting higher everyday. The dates and venues for the semis and final games will be determined soon after the meeting of the Main Organising Committee for the competition.“The joy we derive so far is the way the event has been growing with every edition. Delta State Government and the sponsors, Zenith Bank, have been wonderful.”The Group Managing Director of Zenith Bank, Peter Amangbo, has stressed that the outfit was proud of the competition.“We are happy that this competition is an avenue for some youths to emerge and start their career to be good professionals for themselves and the country in future,” Amangbo said.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Ifeanyi Okowalast_img read more

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