Thompson sticks out as UW’s unconventional middle blocker

first_imgDominique 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.last_img read more

Arsene Wenger to leave Arsenal at end of season

first_img“This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport. One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsene has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched.”Arsenal added that a successor to Wenger will be found “as soon as possible”. London, United Kingdom | AFP | Arsene Wenger will bring his 22-year stay in charge of Arsenal to a close at the end of the season, the Frenchman announced on Friday.“After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season,” Wenger said in a statement posted on the club’s website.“I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years.” Wenger, 68, won three Premier League titles, leading the only side to go a full league season unbeaten in 2003-04, and lifted seven FA Cups during his tenure.However, he has been under increasing pressure to step down from the club’s fans for several seasons as Arsenal haven’t won the Premier League for 14 years and risk missing out on Champions League qualification for the second consecutive season.Arsenal’s only realistic chance of making the Champions League next season is by winning the Europa League where the Gunners face Spanish giants Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals.“I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high,” added Wenger.“To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club. My love and support for ever.”Arsenal’s majority shareholder Stan Kroenke paid tribute to a man of “unparallelled class”.“Arsene has unparallelled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude,” said Kroenke, who took a controlling stake in the club in 2011. After 21 years in charge of @Arsenal, manager Arsene Wenger will step down at the end of the 2017/18 seasonFull story:— Premier League (@premierleague) April 20, 2018 Wenger: “I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years.”— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) April 20, 2018Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Fair Haven Mayor Upset About Cyclists’ Lanes

first_imgFREEHOLD – Fair Haven Mayor Benjamin Lucarelli is frustrated over his attempts to get a designated bike path throughout most of the Two River area.Lucarelli has been in discussions with the county Board of Chosen Freeholders—the most recent being on April 22—for his proposal to establish designated bike lanes along county-owned and maintained roadways throughout much of the Two River area. But he says he’s getting mixed messages from county government and is frustrated by the lack of progress in the nearly year’s time since he’s first floated this proposal.“I’m totally at wit’s end,” he said dealing with county officials—especially the county engineering department, which Lucarelli said appears resistant to the idea of installing the lanes, causing Lucarelli and supporters to attend the freeholders workshop meeting last Thursday afternoon to reiterate their belief that this is will be a benefit to the area if it comes to pass.He’s gotten the support of just about all of the members of the Two River Council of Mayors—a coalition of area elected officials who meet regularly to discuss issues of common interest—and for those municipalities to pass supporting resolutions, which the freeholders had asked for, according Lucarelli.Monmouth County Engineer Joseph Ettore sees it differently. “We want to make sure any bike lanes installed are installed after they’ve been properly designed,” Ettore countered, “to make sure they’re safe and to make sure we comply with current design standards before they’re implemented in the field. That is our concern.”Lucarelli, along with Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl met on Wednesday, April 22, with Freeholders Thomas Arnone and Serena DiMaso to discuss the proposal.DiMaso and Arnone had previously seemed supportive of the plan “and when we reconvene it’s no, no, no,” was Lucarelli’s description. “There’s always a new issue,” with county officials expressing concern over cost and liability issues, according to the mayor.DiMaso, on the other hand, maintained “We had a good meeting,” and the freeholders would take the information back to the full freeholder board to eventually formulate a comprehensive plan and go from there. The freeholders and engineering department are using the Ocean County plan as a potential template, DiMaso added.“It’s not just somebody saying make the lanes 11 feet wide, draw some white paint on the ground,” DiMaso said. “That’s really where our concerns come from.”Arnone said last week that the issue is more involved than just painting lanes because it involves on-street parking, trash pick up and leaves and brush pick up as well.Lucarelli last spring first floated an idea of establishing a connected network of bike lanes largely along county roads, running east from Red Bank, through Fair Haven and Rumson, into Sea Bright, along Ocean Avenue to Monmouth Beach and Oceanport, bordering Long Branch, making its way back to Red Bank.Lucarelli and other proponents believe that designated lanes offer additional protection to cyclists and pedestrians. One of the events that spurred this effort was a vehicle had struck and killed Fair Haven Borough Councilman Jerome Koch last fall as he was out riding his bike. The area has had an increase in bicycling, for recreation and transportation and this may encourage more, getting people out of their cars—offering a healthy and environmental benefit, Lucarelli and others have argued.“The safety factor goes up dramatically when you separate bicycles from car traffic,” said Cyndi Steiner, executive director of the New Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition, a statewide advocacy organization. Studies have shown that simply by having designated bike lanes, vehicular traffic slows down, making the roadways inherently safer, this week said Steiner, who accompanied Lucarelli to the freeholder workshop last week to voice her support for lanes.“At the end of the day what it does,” Lucarelli said of the bike lanes, “is it makes it more comfortable for the moms and kids to ride on the side of the road.”The county is currently finishing up its repaving and milling work on Rumson Road, but will only put the center stripe at this time, holding of f on other striping until a plan can be drafted and discussions continue. Work on Ridge Road, another county thoroughfare, will be put off until the fall, to give local and county officials a chance to formulate a plan, according to Ettore and DiMaso.The cost to install the designated bike path is approximately $15,000 per mile, based upon county engineering estimates, according to DiMaso.Lucarelli disputed that cost, saying, “The people I’ve spoken to upfront have said that’s a totally false number.“All you’re really doing is moving a white stripe over and maybe adding an extra sign,” he countered.The final cost, whatever the price, would likely have to fall to the municipalities,DiMaso acknowledged. “At this point in time it wouldn’t be the county,” she said. “We don’t have that in our budget.”Lucarelli plans to continue to advocate for the proposal, hoping to win the support of the freeholders and work on finding sources to help pay for it, he said.last_img read more

UG unions welcome former Vice Chancellor’s contract withdrawal

first_img…presses for management and financial auditsThe University of Guyana Senior Staff Association (UGSSA) and the University of Guyana Workers’ Union (UGWU) welcomed the decision made by former Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Griffith to withdraw his request to renew his contract. His contract officially ended on June 13, 2019.Former Vice Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw GriffithThe Unions, in a joint release to the media, stated that Professor Griffith’s decision will spare the educational facility “from enduring further months of instability and turmoil”.This, the Union noted, will enable the institution to embark on a period of healing and rebuilding which will be for the benefit of all, especially for the staff and students.However, while applauding the decision, the representing bodies pressed for not only a management audit, which is expected to be carried out for on the University of Guyana, but also called for a financial audit.“While the UG Unions support the Council’s decision to have a management audit, we also insist on a financial audit. There are extremely important questions that need to be answered as the University moves to do essential institutional strengthening. We believe that both audits are the best ways to answer these questions” the Unions wrote.Further, the Unions are making calls for the staff of the facility to be regularly evaluated in order to upkeep the standard of the institution while also insisting on the reapplication of transparent hiring procedures that were reportedly violated over the past three years and the reapplication of salary and remuneration in conformity with UG’s Act and Statutes.“All staff except those appointed by the University Council must fall within UG’s salary bands. The practice of selected and favoured individuals being offered super salaried packages must cease” the Union heads demanded.On Friday last, Professor Griffith withdrew his request for the renewal of his contract following pressure from the Unions. It was reported that the University of Guyana Council convened to make a determination on the matter of the renewal or non-renewal of Griffith’s contract but during the correspondence, it was indicated that he no longer wanted his contract to be renewed.As such, a Transitional Management Team was installed by the University’s Council, to take control of the management of the University with effect from June 14, 2019, until such time that a new Vice-Chancellor is appointed.In early May, Presidents of the University’s Unions, Bruce Haynes and Dr Jewel Thomas, had not only called for Professor Griffith’s removal but also for the resignation of the institution’s Pro-Chancellor, Joe Singh, contending that both had produced dismal performances.Both Griffith and Singh were being accused of major malpractices which have reportedly severely affected the University.The Unions’ Presidents had noted that the University of Guyana cannot afford the Vice-Chancellor, who had been demanding hefty sums to finance his “expensive habits”. He reportedly had the backing of the Pro-Chancellor.According to UGWU, under the leadership of the VC and Pro-Chancellor, the University of Guyana has deteriorated significantly. However, the Unions are now hopeful for betterment in the coming new semester.“We look forward to fruitful and rewarding engagement and partnership with the Transitional Management Team to improve the conditions across the University in time for the new academic year”.last_img read more