Archive for April, 2013
The Youngstown State women’s tennis team forced UIC to a final winner-take-all deciding set in the Horizon League Championship match, but came up short falling 4-3 to the Flames on Sunday afternoon at the West Indy Racquet Club.
YSU fell behind 1-0 dropping the doubles point. The Flames earned wins at No. 1 and No. 3 to earn a key point.
In singles, the Penguins tried to mount a comeback and took two leads – 2-1, 3-2.
At No. 1 Paula de Man won for the 16th consecutive time beating Haley Craig 6-1, 6-4. de Man finished the year with a 23-1 mark, all matches at No. 1 singles.
Then at No. 3, Marta Burak defeated Natasha Kuvankina 6-3, 6-3 to put the Guins ahead 2-1. For Burak, it was her 15th straight win and she ended the season with a school-record 28 wins (28-5).
UIC (16-5) tied the match with a 6-3, 6-4 win over the Penguins’ Tijana Raicevic at No. 6.
YSU went back on top when Margarita Sadovnikova defeated Mariana Palacios, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 at No. 2. Sadovnikova won her final 11 matches and ended the year 23-11.
At No. 4, Lauren Hankle dropped a 6-3, 6-0 match to Jana Knoppe tying the dual at 3-all.
The lone remaining match saw Annina Brendel battle all the way until the end. After dropping her first set 6-1 to Kathryn Sharpels, she fended off two match points to win a second-set tiebreaker 9-7.
In the third set, Brendel trailed 4-1, but won the next three points and was on serve at 4-all. However, Sharpels broke her service and went on to serve out the final point for a 6-4 win.
It was the 17th consecutive conference championship win for UIC and the first time since 2008 it was pushed to a 4-3 decision.
The Penguins finished the year 15-10 while advancing to the Horizon League Championship match for just the second time in school history.
UIC 4, YSU 3
No. 1 – de Man (YSU) def. Haley Craig (UIC) – 6-1, 6-4
No. 2 – Sadovnikova (YSU) def. Mariana Palacios (UIC) – 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
No. 3 – Burak (YSU) def. Natasha Kuvakina (UIC) – 6-3, 6-3
No. 4 – Jana Knoppe (UIC) def. Hankle (YSU) – 6-3, 6-0
No. 5 – Kathryn Sharples (UIC) def. Brendel (YSU) – 6-1, 6-7 (7), 6-4
No. 6 – Keti Mebuke (UIC) def. Raicevic (YSU) – 6-3, 6-4
No. 1 – Craig/Palacios (UIC) def. Burak/Sadovnikova (YSU) – 8-6
No. 2 – Hankle/de Man (YSU) vs. Knoppe/Sharples (UIC) – Unfinished
No. 3 – Kuvakina/Sophie Hahn (UIC) def. Brendel/Raicevic (YSU) – 8-3
Carlos Quentin was suspended eight games for charging the mound when hit by a Zack Greinke pitch. Quentin was suspended for eight games, but why? The usual punishment when a player charges the mound is three games.
My observations of this incident were that Quentin may have had a reason to unleash an attack on Greinke. However, Sportscenter spent a minute of their broadcast the morning after on Don Mattingly pouting about how this ‘idiot’ charged his pitcher and should be banned from baseball for it.
It would have been easier to take if Greinke hadn’t said something, thrown his glove on the ground, and invited the confrontation, even charging forward. Who is the idiot Don? Probably your million dollar free agent pickup who is trying to mend his fractured clavicle from his plush recliner at home.
“There is some history there, you can ask Zack about that”, said Greinke.
I didn’t hear the question asked to Zack. All I got was Donnie Baseball belly aching about how Quentin doesn’t know the game of baseball and how a pitcher wouldn’t dare hit someone with a full count in a one-run game.
Because Greinke was injured, the punishment given to Quentin was extra severe, and I don’t buy it. If Greinke doesn’t break his collarbone, it is a three-game suspension. Had he backed off and given his catcher some time to slow Quentin down, it may have never happened. He is as guilty as Quentin for the melee and I hope that the powers that be have the stones to suspend him for eight games when he comes off of the DL.
On a November-like Friday night, Eric Wolford rolled out the early signs of what to expect in 2013, and it may not have been what people would have guessed. The Red got the best of the White in the 41st Annual Spring Football Game, 17-10.
Defense has been echoed as the weakness since Wolford started at YSU. However, the effort of both defenses was the glaring improvement to give even the biggest pessimist in the barn a pitchfork to help find that buried needle.
“Our defense has been a work in progress and it is a compliment to our coaches that they came out and played the way they did today”, said Wolford. “Everyone knows that in any sport, you can’t win a championship without a good defense, and that is what we have been working toward.”
Coach Wolford was loose and joked with everyone before the game. I got to descend from the press box to the 1st floor with the coach on the elevator, and he was in great spirits and very optimistic about both, the game, and the 2013 season. During the scrimmage, he applauded the effort of seemingly everyone who played at some point.
As far as the game goes, the Red jumped out to a 10-3 lead at the half. Demond Hymes plunged in from two yards out to put the Red ahead, 7-0. The score was set up when Derek Rivers caught a tipped ball off of a Dante Nania attempt.
New kicker, Joey Cejudo, accounted for the rest of the first half scoring kicking a field goal for each team. Cejudo’s first attempt was good from 43 yards out and gave the Red team a 10-0 lead.
Cejudo then put the White team on the scoreboard with a 43-yard field goal. Could it be a year of field goals?
“I was trying to give him some advice about kicking field goals”, joked honorary coach, Dr. Chet Cooper. “The kickers did a good job tonight and I think I have him convinced to go for three instead of seven sometimes.”
In the second half, the Red team increased their lead to 17-3 when Aaron Edwards scooped up a fumble and raced 22 yards to the end zone. Tyler Hogan kicked the PAT for the Red team.
Dale Peterman made a big play at around midfield for the White defensive unit. Peterman drilled Hymes on a completion, knocking the ball loose. Jamarious Boatwright pounced on the pigskin and the White team was back in business.
The White team would capitalize on the turnover and cut the lead to 17-10 with 5:02 left to play. Nick Wargo capped the drive with a six-yard toss to Justin Getz.
With two minutes left, the YSU video board was switched to the news of the second terrorist of the Boston Marathon being alive and now in police custody. As I looked to the video board, I saw the flag flying at half mast, and realized that there are things beyond our control that change priorities.
The Red team used the continuous clock to their advantage as they were able to run the clock out and head to the locker room victorious.
“We have stressed competition” commented Wolford. “When they had bad days, we make changes and wake them up. As soon as a player starts to feel to good about himself, he will get complacent and take a step backwards. So we stress to do the extra things that can make a player special.”