EC Volleyball traveled to South Dearborn last night. All three teams won in straight sets to open conference play 1-0. Varsity won with the scores of 25-21, 25-8, & 25-15. EC at South Dearborn 8-23-19After a very slow start, the girls stepped it up from behind the service line and began executing. We have spent a lot of time on serving precisely in practice and once they started pushing with their serve, everything else fell into place. Junior Allison Huismann led the charge with 95% serving and a team, season, and career high, 8 aces. ‘I was impressed with the way they rebounded from a slow start. They could have went through the motions knowing they didn’t play well in the first set, but still managed to squeak by with a win. But they didn’t and instead pushed themselves and each other to be better.’ Trojans Coach Cassie Laker. Also, props to South Dearborn on major improvement in one season. They were a completely different team and are definitely on the right path. Coach Rose is doing a great job helping turn the program around and it showed last night. Varsity is now 1-1 on the season and 1-0 in the EIAC. Next up: Southport on Saturday. Thursday night, ECVB JV defeated South Dearborn 25-13 and 25-23. The victory over the Madi Knights has now made the Lady Trojans 2-0 on the season. ‘At the JV level, there are many adjustments teams must make due to some players being swing players to Varsity. As for Thursday night that was the case for ECVB JV. I was impressed by our play Thursday for majority of the girls are only freshmen and they made the needed adjustment to pull of a solid win. We were very aggressive behind the serving line and at the net and I feel that is what pulled us away at times. South Dearborn pushed the girls out of their comfort zone for when SD began to creep back in the girls had to keep battling to finish both sets. Still many areas for growth, but that comes with play and experience.’ Trojans Coach Josefa Andres.Next up, Southport tourney. ECVB Freshmen defeated South Dearborn in two sets with the scores of 25-15 and 25-16. This was the first match for this Freshmen group and they played very well together. All the girls had the opportunity to prove themselves for some of them played in both the Freshmen and JV matches. They are a very outgoing group of girls who push ahead of any competitor when they remember the importance of communication and how well they do when they focus on the little things.ECVB Freshmen are now 1-0.
Theo Walcott believes Arsenal’s ability to grind out a victory over Newcastle on Saturday proves they have title-winning credentials. Aleksandar Mitrovic and Georginio Wijnaldum came closest to scoring for the visitors, who came up against an inspired Petr Cech in the Arsenal goal. But it was Koscielny, scoring his third goal of the campaign, who ensured the points stayed in north London and Walcott feels Arsene Wenger’s side have now matured into one capable of winning ugly when required. “The three points are crucial at this moment in time, especially when teams slip up as well,” he said. “We’ve had a blip at times but it’s important that we get those hard-fought three points today. In previous seasons we would have lost that or drawn, so that’s a very good sign for 2016. “The title is anyone’s to be honest but there’s such a belief in this team that we can do it this year. It’s been a long time and everyone understands that, but you could just sense with that performance that we know what we need to do. “It’s up for grabs but we have the strength in depth in this squad and I believe that we can push on this season and hopefully be successful. “A lot of games have been like that this season. The Premier League is starting to open up a little bit and a lot of teams are ready for the battle this year. “The performance wasn’t there to be honest, but the work rate is always there and when you have work rate you always get the success that you need, want and deserve.” The Gunners opened up a two-point gap at the top of the Barclays Premier League as Laurent Koscielny scored the only goal in a scrappy 1-0 win. Newcastle actually created the better chances at a wet and windy Emirates Stadium but were made to pay for their continued wastefulness. Newcastle have now drawn a blank in their last three matches, losing all three by a tight 1-0 scoreline as they remain in the Premier League bottom three. Steve McClaren’s side have now taken one point from their last four outings after back-to-back victories over Liverpool and Tottenham gave them renewed hope of survival. Wijnaldum may have passed up one of the better chances of the game at Arsenal but insists the players will keep going as they look to end their goalscoring hoodoo. “I thought we were the better side,” he said. “We had good precision play and created chances but we didn’t take them, so it was going to be difficult. They had one set-piece and scored. “We had a lot of confidence that we could play football here, but in the end we have nothing and we’re sad – it’s really frustrating. You know they have the quality to score but if we had taken two chances we would have won. “You must keep faith that you are going to score goals, but every time you don’t you get frustrated and disappointed. But we have to keep our heads up and we must fight to get the points.” Press Association
Dominique Thompson is one of the shortest middle blockers in the conference, standing just 5-foot-11. So while sheer size doesn’t bring all the excitement of blocking spikes at the net, her passion and enthusiasm shine the second she steps on the court.Thompson came to Wisconsin as a 2010 AAU Junior National All-American, named the best blocker in the 18-Open Division at the 2001 National Junior classic. Her success carried over to Wisconsin as she played 57 matches through her first two seasons, starting 42 of them before redshirting 2012 with a foot injury.Thompson bounced back this year, starting all 20 matches and recording double figure kills in 10 of those matches.“She is a tremendous athlete,” head coach Kelly Sheffield said. “This is the hardest sport to be out a year, she’s still dealing with her injury. But that positive spirit in her, coming in ready to go every day has been her biggest quality.”Thompson’s athletic abilities come as no surprise. She comes from a family of athletes and volleyball runs in her blood. Her mother played at Iowa from 1986-1989 while her aunt Jenifer Thompson also played there from 1987-1991. Uncle George Thompson played volleyball at Pepperdine from 1987-1991. Her father Darrell Thompson also played football for the Green Bay Packers for five years in the 1990s.As an upperclassman, she is transitioning into a leadership role with the team, especially given that Wisconsin has only two seniors this season.“Her leadership is her enthusiasm and passion for the game of volleyball, her teammates and life,” Sheffield said.As a leader, Thompson feeds off the Wisconsin fans. She said the enthusiasm brings a whole new energy to the game and pushes her to perform at her absolute best.Freshman Haleigh Nelson, who also plays middle blocker, loves the energy Thompson brings.“She is always ready to play, she’s a go-getter,” Thompson said. “She is never satisfied; always looking to do better, try new things and work on new skills.”Nelson sees Thompson as an inspiration and someone who is always pushing the freshman as well as other teammates to achieve her best. Thompson is learning to accept this role as leader, but looks at it in a nontraditional way.“I’m the behind-the-scenes motivator to some people,” Thompson said. “But hey, I’m a goofball just joking around and lightening the mood.”Sheffield admires her work ethic and said it was obvious she enjoys what she does. Although she’s on the shorter side, Thompson shocks the volleyball world with her booming presence on the court. She still towers above most, but falls inches below the 6-foot-3 girls that dominate the spiking game.“She has less room for error than anybody else. She has really got to make the right lads and the right moves and she’s gotta win with speed rather than size. I think she is a handful for people,” Sheffield said with a smile.
German club Augsburg have completed the signing of Ghana international defender Daniel Opare on a 3-year-deal.Opare joins the Bundesliga side after terminating his contract with Portuguese giants FC Porto.The 24-year-old joined Julen Lopetegui’s side after leaving Beligian club Standard Liege a year ago but failed to impose his one-time impressive form at the club.The former Real Madrid youth product spent the second half of last season on loan with Turkish side Besiktas in a desperate bid to revive his career but after a bright start injury struck again limiting his impact on the field.Opare is now likely to fill the void left by fellow Ghana international Baba Rahman who is heading to English champions Chelsea.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySports