Against Minnesota Oct. 29 and Nov. 1, the Wisconsin women's hockey team played its best hockey of the year, functioning well with strong goaltending and a high-powered offense that helped the Badgers to a pair of victories over their toughest competition of the year. It was a big difference from the same team that faced North Dakota, Bemidji State and Ohio State earlier in the season and split each of those series with first-game losses.
When the Michigan Wolverines take the field at Camp Randall Stadium Saturday, they won't be looking to shore up a resume for a BCS berth or gearing up for a dynamic rivalry game with Ohio State. No, on Saturday they will be fighting for their first FBS win since September and their best chance for bowl eligibility.
On UW-Superior's first possession, junior forward Jake Smith sent a high, inaccurate pass to junior forward Marcus Helland, who made the catch, hung in the air and banked it home to complete the alley-oop, sending oo's and ah's through the Kohl Center. But it was all downhill from there for the Yellowjackets, as Wisconsin cruised to an 80-47 preseason win.
Coming off its most complete team performance and most impressive win of the season a week ago against Purdue, the Wisconsin football team had to squeak out a victory against Indiana Saturday. Although the running attack for the Badgers was dominant throughout, Wisconsin had trouble at times on defense, especially containing big plays.
Wisconsin wraps up its exhibition schedule tonight against an in-state rival. Not Marquette, not UW-Milwaukee, not even UW-Green Bay. Instead, UW-Superior will travel from the northern tip of Wisconsin to Madison to face the Badgers.
Being a displaced sports fan creates many annoying situations. You hear a lot more about the hometown teams than you want to, you get a lot of biases about how good the local teams are and you're stuck watching Packers-Lions on Sunday afternoons instead of a good game.
With rival Minnesota in town for a weekend series, the Wisconsin men's hockey team played with a high level of energy on both Friday and Saturday night. However, energy does not always equal execution, and Wisconsin looked sloppy at times during the series split with its neighbor to the northwest.
The Wisconsin women's hockey team recorded its fourth split series of the season over the weekend, dropping game one of its series to the Robert Morris Colonials and coming back to win a thrilling game two in overtime on a goal from sophomore forward Brooke Ammerman.
The Wisconsin volleyball team was unable to win a set in either of its matches at the Field House over the weekend, as two-time defending NCAA champion Penn State handed the Badgers a loss Friday, and Ohio State picked up the victory Saturday.
As a self-proclaimed NBA fanatic, it's frustrating when year after year I'm unable to convince most people to follow the league's regular season. This is especially difficult with a packed NFL schedule and the World Series going on at the same time.
Coming off another inconsistent weekend in which the Badgers (6-6 Big Ten, 11-10 overall) split games, the Wisconsin volleyball team looks forward to facing two quality opponents at home in top-ranked Penn State and Ohio State this weekend.
After the dominating showcase the Wisconsin men's hockey team put on display last weekend, it would usually be difficult to imagine how the team could come out with the same intensity again this Friday and Saturday. But with the Border Battle against Minnesota this weekend, the energy level should be higher than ever when the Minnesota Golden Gophers come calling.