Wisconsin drops regular season finale at home

first_imgThe Wisconsin women’s tennis team went into the weekend with the chance to match, if not exceed, its 3-9 conference record from a year ago, but matches against two top-50 teams proved to be the end of that goal.Riding a five-game losing streak going into the weekend, Wisconsin (7-12, 2-9 Big Ten) fell to No. 12 Northwestern (16-6, 10-1) and No. 43 Illinois (13-9, 6-5) to finish its regular season on a 7-game skid.Sunday marked the Badgers’ regular season finale at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison where UW looked to avenge a 5-2 loss to the Illini last season. Wisconsin has not beaten Illinois since 2011.Illinois struck first, taking the doubles point in two close matches by a combined 3 games. The No. 3 doubles pairing of Becca Bailey and Sydney Rider fell 8-7. The No. 1 pairing of Lauren Chypyha and Lauren Burich followed with an 8-6 loss leaving the No. 2 doubles match unfinished as the Fighting Illini clinched the point.Illinois jumped to a 2-0 lead when Jerricka Boone beat Bailey 6-3, 6-0 in the No. 6 singles matchup.Wisconsin picked up its first point of the match when Chypyha took down Allison Falkin 6-0, 6-4 in the No. 1 singles match, bringing the Badgers within one point of the Illini. With the win, Chyphyha improves to 25-9 overall in singles matches.Illinois and Wisconsin would trade points as the Illini would take the No. 4 singles point and the Badgers would pick up the No. 2 singles point bringing the match to 3-2 mark.The No. 3 singles match proved to be the decisive one as Melissa Kopinski would take down Burich 6-3, 6-1 to give Illinois a 4-2 lead and secure the win over Wisconsin.The Illini would take the No. 4 singles point to bring the final to 5-2, handing the Badgers their seventh-straight loss.In its first match of the weekend, Wisconsin faced a No. 12 Northwestern team that it has taken only two points from in regular season matches since 2004.The Wildcats came to Madison with the No. 34, Veronica Corning, and No. 40, Belinda Niu, ranked singles players and No. 29th –ranked doubles team.Northwestern quickly took the doubles point with 8-3 and 8-2 wins in the No. 1 and No. 3 matchups respectively to take an early 1-0 lead.The Wildcats took the No. 6 singles point first as Nida Hamilton took care of Bailey 6-1, 6-2.Northwestern took the No. 4 singles point next and followed up with a win in the No. 3 matchup to clinch the victory for the away squad.In the No. 1 singles match, Wisconsin’s Chypyha put an early scare into No. 34-ranked Corning taking the first set 4-6. Corning would respond, though, taking the next two sets both by a score of 6-3.Wisconsin would fail to take a match from Northwestern, giving the Wildcats a 7-0 win over the Badgers for the second year in a row.With the regular season slate over, Wisconsin will travel to Evanston, Ill., for the Big Ten Tournament where it will take on No. 6 Minnesota. The Golden Gophers lost a three-way tiebreaker with Illinois and Indiana to take the sixth seed.In the only meeting between the two teams, Minnesota came away with a 4-3 win on its home court.  The Golden Gophers come into the conference tournament on a two-game losing skid.Wisconsin will face off with Minnesota Thursday at 2 p.m. The winner will take on No. 3 seed Ohio State. The Badgers fell to the Buckeyes 6-1 in the regular season.last_img read more

Sunday’s special: A big helping of Pot Roast

first_imgDenver Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton talks with reporters during a news conference Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. (AP Photo)JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — When defensive end Jeremy Mincey signed with Denver last month, he couldn’t believe defensive tackle Terrance Knighton had tried to ditch his nickname “Pot Roast.”“I’m like, ‘Dude, that’s a great name. Like, it makes you seem colossal,” Mincey recounted.The 6-foot-3 330-pound Knighton has sure come up huge for the Broncos in the playoffs.Knighton, who was teammates with Mincey in Jacksonville from 2009-12, helped hold New England’s bruising running back LeGarrette Blount to 6 yards on five carries in the AFC Championship a week after his four-TD game against Indianapolis.Knighton also dumped Tom Brady for a sack on a crucial fourth down, then busted out some smooth dance moves.“He had an outstanding game,” Mincey said. “He’s a good player, man. Listen, he’s always been like that. It didn’t surprise me. It might have surprised a lot of people, but it didn’t surprise me.”The Broncos could use an encore performance out of Knighton against Seattle Seahawks running back Marshall Lynch and elusive quarterback Russell Wilson in the Super Bowl so that Peyton Manning and his record-shattering offense can get on the field to do their thing.Mincey said he expects a gargantuan game out of his buddy, big enough, he said, to make “Pot Roast” as much a part of Super Bowl lore as William “The Refrigerator” Perry.“Dude, dude, there’s no limits to this kid, man. He’s phenomenally athletic. He can run for his size. He’s very intelligent. I mean, he’s basically built for this game,” Mincey said. “I don’t know what other way to put it, he’s built for this game.”As for his nickname, Knighton, a fifth-year pro out of Temple, said he was so ready to start anew after so many losing seasons in Jacksonville that when he signed his two-year, $4.5 million deal in Denver, he even wanted a new moniker.At his introductory news conference, he asked for suggestions on Twitter. Nobody came up with anything better, but some of his teammates in Denver did start calling him T-Knight — until Mincey arrived in mid-December after his release from the Jaguars.“I didn’t know he was re-establishing himself or trying to get away from that name,” Mincey said. “I think they got back to it when I first got here and I’m like, ‘Yeah, it’s an honor playing with my boy Pot Roast again.”Mincey told him to embrace it.“I said, ‘Dude, you get a nickname in the NFL, man, take it and run with it.”And so he has — even though he’s not really a huge fan of the dish. He said he’s only had it twice, once during his rookie season in Jacksonville in 2009 and again earlier this month when he took Denver’s entire defensive line out to dinner.Like any good nickname, Knighton didn’t get to choose it himself. It was bestowed upon him by former Jaguars linebacker Clint Ingram on a flight home from Seattle his rookie year.“It was a six-hour flight, guys are tired, plane is dark and the lady is walking down the aisle saying, ‘Pot roast? Pot roast? And I’m like, ‘Right here. My teammate behind me was like, ‘You’re saying that like that’s your name. I’m going to call you ‘Pot Roast.’ And then it stuck with me,” Knighton recounted.“It was either that or shrimp alfredo. So, I’m glad I got that.”___AP NFL website:  www.pro32.ap.org___Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapletonlast_img read more