Women’s volleyball coasts into second round of NCAA tourney

first_imgThe Wisconsin volleyball team is moving on to the second round of the NCAA tournament after soundly defeating the Milwaukee Panthers in straight sets (25-11, 25-14, 25-15) Friday night at the UW Field House.The 12th-seeded Badgers posted its best hitting percentage of the year by almost .100 percentage points with a .461 attack clip in the team’s second win against the Panthers this season.Even though Wisconsin hasn’t seen post-season action in six seasons, head coach Kelly Sheffield said a grueling conference season in the Big Ten will prepare a team for almost anything.“We just got through a heck of a gauntlet called the Big Ten conference,” Sheffield said. “You come out the other side and it should strengthen you – it should give you confidence. We played like a team that’s been in a lot of big matches.”Wisconsin began the game with a tough test in the first part of game one with the score at 9-8. However, the Badgers rattled off a beastly 8-0 streak and finished the game on a 16-3 run.The Badgers were led offensively by junior outside hitters Ellen Chapman and Deme Morales who contributed 12 and 11 kills, respectively. Freshly-minted Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Lauren Carlini, had 39 assists on the night and had three kills of her own.Sheffield said the hitters were able to play smart while staying aggressive at the net – Wisconsin  committed just four errors in the entire match, and no Badger hit for less than a .300 hitting percentage.Senior libero Annemarie Hickey said the team was so amped up earlier in the day that Sheffield had to remind the players that their match wasn’t in the middle of the afternoon.“Our energy level was actually really high,” Hickey said. “You could just tell that everyone was really excited and just feeding off each other’s energy.”Defensively, the Badgers put up 11 blocks to Milwaukee’s two, and both Hickey and sophomore defensive specialist Taylor Morey scrambled for 10 digs apiece.Milwaukee head coach Susie Johnson said Milwaukee had to play a near perfect match to overthrow Wisconsin, but the Badgers were so in system that her team was unable to find any sort of rhythm.“They’re pretty hot right now,” Johnson said. “And if they play like that, they’ll keep winning. They were very difficult to defend … they were a lot better than they were Sept. 14 when we played them.”Wisconsin will advance to a second round matchup with California tomorrow night after Cal stomped No. 15 North Carolina 3-0 in round one Friday night.Sheffield said Cal was potentially underrated coming into the tournament because of significant injuries that plagued the team later in the season. Cal had lost five straight matches coming into the tournament, but Sheffield said he is concerned about Cal’s physical presence that not even the biggest Big Ten teams could match up with.However, Sheffield said that while most people think of 2013 as a successful year for Wisconsin already, the players are determined to prove they are deserving of a longer life in the NCAA tournament.“They feel like there’s more to accomplish,” Sheffield said. “There’s hunger – [they’re] not satisfied.”last_img read more

Comtrade’s Steven Valentine: A case for objective bonusing terms

first_imgShare Submit Share StumbleUpon Steven ValentineRegulatory attentiveness in 2017 held monumental bonusing based consequences for gaming operators in the UK, writes Steven Valentine, Director of Interactive at Comtrade Gaming.Whether it’s in the form of player acquisition, retention or re-engagement, it seems that the subjective nature of bonusing terms is no longer up to interpretation. According to the UKGC, trust in the gambling sector is significantly declining, prompting operators to shift their attention to transparent player marketing to build their business strategy.While some operators will have to act as public examples with regulatory fines, prioritising fair marketing campaigns will serve as an additional responsibility that both operators and technology providers will have to tackle. In closer collaboration with platform providers, operators can ensure that players will engage better with fairer bonusing structures by having the technology at hand to support regulatory changes.Outside of the gaming industry, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is also on the receiving end of numerous complaints about “free bets”. What is of particular concern to industry watchdogs are the subjective, unclear and opaque conditions around deposits and wagers to qualify for the promotional bets and the questionable descriptions surrounding their ‘risk-free’ nature.Bonusing in its updated (and impartial) form can provide considerable benefits to players, especially as platforms improve their functionality along regulatory preferences to optimise the online gaming experience. According to a recent study by Label Insight, up to 94 percent of consumers surveyed indicated that they were more likely to be loyal to a brand that offers transparency, while 73 percent said they were willing to pay more for a product that offers complete transparency.These statistics show that brand loyalty and high player life-time value begin with the simplest and basic business practices. The Gambling Commission’s emphasis on ensuring licensees act accordingly with bonusing terms also extends to platform providers and suggest numerous conditions around bonusing offers.In terms of the Do’s and Don’ts of bonus requirements, half of the responsibility also falls on platform providers who must develop the framework to quickly and effectively communicate bonus eligibility, differentiate between playing and bonusing funds in e-wallets and allow players to exit promotions with remaining deposits and winnings.Nonetheless, not all gaming platforms are created equally, and this can create a significant effect on bonus campaigns and the operator’s ability to follow strict regulation to optimise their business.The advantage of online bonuses are the immediate configuration possibilities based on legislative requirements, opportunities to influence player life-time value and adjustments to individual acquisition responses. Operators looking to be aligned with the Gambling Commission’s priorities should turn to platforms that are as technologically advanced as the regulatory system is active – such as is Comtrade Gaming’s iCore – The Enterprise Gaming Platform.Bonusing modules within online platforms serve as a single point for bonus management across multiple brands, suppliers and products and work as the control center for both legal, business and marketing strategies.The UK’s regulatory regime is both liberal and responsible. Due to the high level of online product penetration, the UK plays a key role in shaping the global gaming market and we can expect for other markets to follow suit.Whether it is UKGC’s CEO Sarah Harrison stern warning that, ‘We will intervene’, or the Competition and Market’s Authority (CMA) declaration that ‘making the withdrawal of deposit winnings conditional on meeting wagering requirements is a significant restriction on the consumer’s right to withdraw’, operators will have to turn to their platform providers for highly effective platform functionality, bonusing features and legal compliance.The operators who pride their business on longevity and high player loyalty avoid ambiguous marketing campaigns as it affects all levels of their online operations and ultimately leads to million-dollar penalties and losses.Industry-leading gaming sites make sure to substantiate bonusing campaigns with clear terms and conditions, but accountability and consent also falls on the player to inform themselves about what they are agreeing to participate in by reading the requirements and limitations.Bonusing, accompanied with gamification, is shaping to be one of the defining benefits to the multi-channel experience and a point of differentiation among operators. When we consider the facts, it’s hard to ignore that legal bonusing can provide brand transparency, attract players and increase player life-time value.last_img read more