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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, May 27, 2022
Montee Ball

Badger athletics prepare for upcoming week

Football

It was a big weekend for the Wisconsin football team (3-1 Big Ten, 6-2 overall), beating rival Minnesota, but head coach Bret Bielema had a milestone weekend of his own.

Bielema moved into second place all-time in wins as coach at Wisconsin, moving him past Hall of Famer Phil King. He now has 66 wins in his career at Madison.  

With their sights set on a tough Michigan State defense coming to visit this homecoming weekend, Bielema communicated the importance of his team staying alert and on their toes.

Expecting plenty of blitzes from MSU, Bielema said he doesn’t doubt they’ll “bring the pressure.”

When senior running backMontee Ball was brought up ,Bielema mentioned that he believes Ball has gotten back on his game mentally, and his play with fellow running back James White is stronger than ever.

Their unselfishness and willingness to work together is what makes them a successful pair in Bielema’s eyes, and he has no question that if they continue to play the way they have been, the Spartans will be in for a tough challenge come Saturday.

As for sophomore defensive back Devin Gaulden who suffered a partially torn ACL, he will undergo surgery on Friday and will be redshirted.

Volleyball

The Badgers volleyball team is looking to improve in the second-half of their Big Ten schedule as they host No. 25 Illinois and Northwestern this weekend.  

The team closed out the first half of conference play in a tie for ninth place. Head coach Pete Waite was generous in his praise for sophomore Ellen Chapman, mentioning her recent offensive output in the last three matches, where she averaged 4.75 kills per set.

But Waite also made it clear that the entire team needs to be onboard offensively, as Chapman can’t be expected to carry the load on her own.

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Looking for continued consistency in every aspect of their game, Waite hopes these next two games will give the volleyball team a chance to improve their 1-4 recored at home within the Big Ten.

Women’s Cross Country

After what he called a “disasterous” showing at the Adidas invitational, Women’s cross country head coach Jim Stintzi is looking for his team to move forward heading into the Big Ten championships.

Stintzi said his runners are healthy, including sophomore distance runner Lavinia Jurkiewicz who did not compete in the Invitational but will be back for the conference championship.

Although Stintzi admitted that he was shocked by the performance of his runners, he does believe they will be able to bounce back this weekend in East Lansing, Mich., where the championship will take place.  

Stintzi will be looking to junior distance runner Ashley Beutler and freshman Gabrielle Anzalone to lead their team against a tough field of opponents including Michigan, Penn State and Minnesota.

Men’s Cross Country

The Badger men’s cross country team is also heading to East Lansing, Mich., this weekend for the Big Ten championships with senior and defending conference champion Mohammed Ahmed leading the way.

Head coach Mick Byrne is looking to bring home a 14th consecutive Big Ten title, and emphasized that his runners have worked hard and are prepared for the competition.  

Byrne said he has called on his “big guns” which include Ahmed, and seniors Reed Connor and Maverick Darling. Byrne also stated that he will look to the younger guys on his team to fill the supporting roles for his runners.

When asked about what it means to be a 13-time defending champion, Byrne simply answered that it puts a target on your back. But it’s that target that excites his runners.

He then added that if his athletes know they are going to be a Badger runner, that they should expect that target. And when one has a target on their back there is only one thing they should do: run.

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