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UW trying to keep pace in Big Ten title hunt

first_imgWith last weekend’s heartbreaking 3-2 loss to the Michigan Wolverines, the University of Wisconsin volleyball team may have coughed up its chances for a Big Ten title this season.The Badgers fell to 8-2 in conference play, but currently still manage to hold sole possession of second place, with Purdue, Ohio State and Minnesota nipping at their heels.Atop the conference is undefeated Penn State at 10-0 and the question remains: Can the Nittany Lions be caught by season’s end?Minnesota, currently in fifth place at 6-4, lost at Wisconsin and Purdue, but really lost ground in the conference race after dropping home matches to both Penn State and Ohio State this weekend.Ohio State could still be in second place if it hadn’t dropped an unsuspecting home match to Illinois earlier this season, but is a game behind the Badgers in third.Tied for third with the Buckeyes are the Purdue Boilermakers, who have lost to the usual suspects — Penn State and Ohio State — on the road, and to Wisconsin at home.Penn State, however, looks almost unbeatable as it has stomped over every conference foe — the only Big Ten match the Nittany Lions haven’t won in three games was against Purdue at home, in which they edged out the Boilermakers 3-2.Even Wisconsin head coach Pete Waite acknowledged that it will be a hard task for his team to claim first place in the Big Ten with the way Penn State has been playing.”It’s going to be tough (to catch Penn State),” Waite said. “We walk out there just trying to win every match and just trying to hang in there. Sometimes you have to deal with illnesses and injuries and that makes it a tough road trip. Penn State’s playing some great ball; they went into Minnesota and really gave them a good kicking. They seem to be on top of their game, so we’re going to have to be ready to go this weekend and try to get them on their home court.”A tough road trip would be an understatement in describing the Badgers’ past weekend. Waite’s club traveled to the Great Lakes State without senior co-captain Aubrey Meierotto, who sat out with pneumonia, and split a pair of matches. Wisconsin managed to beat Michigan State in five games last Friday night before succumbing to Michigan one day later.”We missed [Meierotto] a ton,” Waite said. “She’s our points leader overall from last year and that’s blocking, hitting, serving and attitude on the court, and that’s something that was tough to adjust to. We were still right in there in both of those matches — we won the first (versus Michigan State) and were at 14-14 in the fifth for the second (versus Michigan), but sometimes [Meierotto’s] our closer and maybe she could’ve gotten the job done for us there.”Meierotto is back at practice this week, but has yet to step on the court. Her status for this weekend is still uncertain, but if she’s unable to play, Waite knows he can turn to freshman Morgan Salow, who started in place of Meierotto this past weekend.”[Salow] did well, especially on Friday night,” Waite said. “She hadn’t played a full game all year and that’s a tough role to step into, but she battled and I thought everybody stepped up a lot. Now we’re just going to have to see for this weekend if Aubrey is ready to go and if not, then we’re a little more prepared than we were last week.”Salow led the Badgers with a .350 hitting percentage against Michigan State with eight kills on 20 attempts and only one error, plus one service ace. She added four kills and a career-best four blocks against Michigan.The 6-foot-4 outside hitter’s first start was definitely a confidence booster for the true freshman.”It was a lot of fun,” Salow said. “It was a really good experience for me. I was really nervous coming in and I just thought during the Michigan State game halfway through I was like, ‘You know, I’m just going to do my best and do as well as I can.'”But sitting out another two matches will be a hard thing for Meierotto to do if she cannot return to the lineup.”It’s really hard (to sit out),” Meierotto said. “Especially senior year, it’s something that just kills you. Sitting out even in practice and watching your team play is a really hard thing to do. It’s been a pretty tough two weeks for me.”And the biggest way to make up for her absence and the team’s performance last weekend would be to come back and beat Penn State and Ohio State on the road this Friday and Saturday.”Beating Penn State on the road would be a huge, huge accomplishment for our team,” Meierotto said. “They’re a really good team, so we know that’s going to be a really big battle so we’re going to have to go in there really aggressive.”last_img read more

QuASA plans for upcoming semester

first_imgOn Jan. 12, Queer and Ally Student Assembly hosted their spring barbecue in Alumni Park.Catered Hawaiian barbecue awaited attendees on brightly colored tablecloths. The atmosphere was a fun and vibrant one, due to the music that blared loudly from speakers.Rainbow colors · Banners QuASA put up in honor of National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11 still fly proudly over Trousdale Parkway. – Razan Al Marzouqi | Daily TrojanAlec White, a sophomore majoring in political science and a QuASA member, spearheaded the spring barbecue.“QuASA is a great organization, especially for those who are not out yet. We put on events to show our support — to show that they aren’t the only ones who feel a certain way about themselves,” White said.White’s involvement with QuASA is unique as he identifies as straight in an organization of predominantly queer and gay students.“QuASA is here because it’s everyone. It reaches so many different kinds of identities, whether you are queer or straight. Maybe you are Latino or Jewish — we get everyone,” said Becca Grumet, executive director of QuASA.Grumet described how her role in such an active student group on campus serves as her main inspiration.“I love giving people what they want. Once, QuASA brought a couple of famous YouTube bloggers to campus,” Grumet said. “Seeing students shaking when meeting the stars they are obsessed with was so cool. It sounds cheesy, but it’s that feeling of making people’s dreams come true.”According to Grumet, one of the events that are currently in the works for the semester are the Valentine’s Day Sex Carnival and a dodgeball event called Everybody’s Dodgeball.Glenn Young, assistant director of QuASA, is looking forward to the Sex Carnival, in particular.“The Sex Carnival is a fair that will promote safe sex and sexual awareness and awareness of different identities,” Young said. “We plan to bring in food trucks and though I don’t want to compare it to Springfest, we want to make it big like that.”One of QuASA’s signature and most popular events is the Second Chance Prom, which will be held at The Lorenzo this year. In the past, the Second Chance Prom featured themes like “Zombies” and was held at the California Science Center.Within the next two weeks, QuASA has planned a Rainbow Skate Night and a Welcome Back Dance.One of the organizations under QuASA is OUTreach. Its service-oriented projects range from helping the homeless to working with LGBT senior citizens.As QuASA and its member organizations move forward, Co-President Dawson Ray stressed improving the partnership between LGBT students and their allies.“One thing that the USC community could do a better job of is joining the Ally Alliance group. As of right now, I feel like we have two members — the president and vice president,” Ray said. “It was started recently, but I feel like not a lot of people know about it, or those who know about it identify as queer or gay. Getting the word out about Ally Alliance would be great.”last_img read more