The women’s volleyball team is ready for its biggest match this season. After finishing fourth in the Big Ten, the women’s volleyball team earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Buckeyes will face Cincinnati, No. 2 in the Big East, in the first round. The Buckeyes have made immense improvements since last season, when they finished 10th in the conference with an overall record of 12-20.The success of the Buckeyes, who were not expected to make it to the NCAA Tournament this season, has surprised many.“We put a lot of work in the offseason and we were ready to prove people wrong,” middle blocker Kristen Dozier said. Dozier and the rest of the team understand there is never a guarantee of going to the NCAA Tournament. She was a contributor on the 2006 team that reached the field of 64 tournament. “As a freshman I think I took it for granted and I didn’t appreciate it as much as I do this year,” Dozier said. “Now I really just want to make a statement in the tournament.” Although the Buckeyes fell short of the AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 this week, they received 39 votes, their most this season.Coach Geoff Carlston acknowledged that the tournament has higher stakes than the regular season, but the team is treating it like every other match. “The goal is the same as we have had all year, to stay in the moment and have no regrets,” Carlston said. The Buckeyes are thriving off of 3-0 sweeps against Michigan and Michigan State and hope to carry the momentum into the tournament.“[Competing in] the Big Ten prepares you for everything, every match this year was a complete battle,” Carlston said. Cincinnati is expected to play aggressively with big serves and swings. “We will not be taking them lightly in any way, shape or form,” Carlston said. “There just aren’t any weak teams at this stage in the season.” Carlston said the Buckeyes want to make the most out of the NCAA Tournament opportunity for their three seniors, Kristen Dozier, Ashley Hughes and Chelsea Noble.“We stress upon them to enjoy the experience, to play to the best of their ability, to not waste the gift,” Carlston said. “Emotions are always high but our goal is for them to not take the opportunity for granted.”Along with the team receiving the at-large bid, several Buckeyes earned individual accolades this week.Dozier received an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection. She has a team-high 83 assist blocks and is second in points and kills. Junior Katie Dull was a unanimous choice for the All-Big Ten team. She leads the team in both points and kills and ranks third in the conference in both categories.The Buckeyes hold an all-time record of 23-15 in 16 NCAA Tournament appearances. Ohio State will host the first and second round matches at St. John Arena on Friday and Saturday.The Buckeyes will play Cincinnati Friday at 8 p.m., following the California-Lipscomb match.First round winners will play Saturday at 7 p.m. for the regional semifinals, held Dec. 11 in Gainesville.
Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee voiced his support for the Big Ten conference’s investigation into the benefits of adding a 12th team in a meeting with Lantern editors earlier this month.“I’ve made very clear that I am supportive of asking the question [of how the Big Ten would benefit from adding a team],” he said.The Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors, of which Gee is a member, decided at a meeting in early December that “the timing is right for the conference to once again conduct a thorough evaluation of options for conference structure and expansion,” according to a statement issued by the Big Ten.The process is expected to take 12 to 18 months, and no action on expansion is expected in the near future, according to the statement. The conference has considered expansion several times since the addition of formerly independent Penn State in 1990, but Gee said he senses that the talks are more serious this time. “As athletic directors, we discuss it every single year. This year … we felt like the timing was right to begin to look at all the issues to see what the real pros and cons are,” OSU athletic director Gene Smith said in a December press conference.Scheduling questionsIf the Big Ten decides to add a 12th team, it raises a bevy of new questions, regardless of which school joins. At this point in the process, nobody has the answers. The Big Ten nimbly solved the problem of naming the conference when it expanded to 11 teams by subtly hiding the numeral “11” inside the conference’s logo, but the math becomes more difficult when it comes to scheduling opponents.“The dominant issue will be the fact that there is an inelegance in having 11 teams,” Gee said. “We can’t quite play each other quite like we want to.”A 12-team structure would lend itself to a format with two divisions of six teams each, similar to the structure of the Southeastern Conference and Big 12. Both of those conferences hold a championship game between the division winners as the last game of the regular season. True OSU football fans can already imagine the problem that this would create: What would happen to the OSU-Michigan game, traditionally the last game of the regular season for both teams?Along with Penn State, Michigan is assigned to a game with OSU every year, while the other eight schools follow a rotation to fill the six remaining conference games on the schedule. Each Big Ten school follows this format, with its own pair of designated opponents.“I don’t know why that would change,” said Shelly Poe, OSU’s director of athletic communications for football. Poe said that discussions about scheduling rivalry games would likely occur later in the expansion process.Big Ten spokesman Scott Chipman said that there were no updates to announce since the December meeting of the Council of Presidents/Chancellors.Notre Dame unlikely to joinBased in part on geography and academic quality, Missouri, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and Syracuse have been the subject of media speculation as candidates for inclusion in the Big Ten. The biggest name, though, is Notre Dame, which is currently a member of the Big East conference for basketball, but is independent in football.Notre Dame is a “very fine institution,” Gee said, but is not among the 62 members of the Association of American Universities, to which all 11 current Big Ten schools, as well as the other rumored candidates for inclusion, belong. “We want to play in an academic consortium in which we have like kinds of institutions,” Gee said. “That will be very important to us.”Lack of membership in the AAU would not necessarily preclude an invitation to the Big Ten, Gee said. “I would not say that it’s absolute, but we certainly want to have like-minded institutions,” he said. “For example, there could be some institutions that are really elegant undergraduate institutions that don’t meet the criteria of the AAU, [which is] made up of these massive research institutions.”Notre Dame placed 20th in the most recent edition of U.S. News and World Report’s college rankings, higher than all Big Ten schools except Northwestern.For its part, Notre Dame has stated that it does not plan on joining the Big Ten. The school’s athletic director, Jack Swarbrick, told the Chicago Tribune in December that “our strong preference is to remain the way we are.” “It’s not on the radar,” said John Heisler, a Notre Dame spokesman, in an interview with The Lantern. “When the subject was discussed, our athletic director … made it clear that the independence of our football program has been a long-standing tradition and continues to be important to us.”TV contracts figure prominentlyCollege football is tradition-heavy, but it’s also big business. Notre Dame and NBC have a contract to televise Notre Dame football through 2015. The New York Times placed the contract’s value at $15 million per year, while The Chicago Tribune reported a value of $9 million per year.By comparison, the Big Ten has contracts with multiple broadcasting companies to help fund a variety of televised varsity sports. The Big Ten Network and an agreement with Fox that runs through 2027 (with an option for five more years) could pay each school an average of $10.18 million per year if it reaches its financial projections, according to the Sports Business Journal. The network “is obviously on a very successful trajectory,” Smith said in the press conference. The conference also pulls in an average of $100 million per year from its 10-year deal with ESPN (which runs through 2016) and another $2 million per year from its 10-year deal with CBS. Combined, these deals will pay each Big Ten school about $927,000 per year over the life of the contract, according to the Sports Business Journal.Last year, OSU also signed a media rights deal with IMG College and RadiOhio worth almost $128 million over 10 years. Given the numbers involved, television contracts will undoubtedly be a major factor in determining the possibility of any Big Ten expansion.“As you look at the college landscape across the country, and look at television contracts that are coming up within the next five to eight years, this is probably the right time for us to see if there’s any value to try and add a team or teams,” Smith said.Even if a 12th team added to the conference’s television value, the conference currently shares its television revenue among its member schools. Adding another team would also mean a thinner slice of the proverbial pie for each school.“That is an issue for us; do we divide it 12 ways or 14 ways?” Gee said. “What do we do?”As for Notre Dame, the school’s decision to remain independent “has a lot more to do with our priorities than it does with business issues,” Swarbrick told The Chicago Tribune.Representatives for Missouri and Pittsburgh, the other schools subject to the most frequent speculation, did not return calls seeking comment.
Ohio State senior goalkeeper Devon Kerr (1) prepares to take a goal kick in the second half of the game against Florida Gulf Coast University on Sept. 7. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorAfter losing to Michigan on Friday night, Ohio State (7-5-1, 4-2-1 Big Ten) survived in East Lansing, prevailing 1-0 over Michigan State (5-6-3, 0-5-2 Big Ten). After a scoreless first half, sophomore forward Miranda Brizon notched the game-winner for the Buckeyes in the 51st minute of the match from 10 yards, marking her second goal so far this season. The Buckeyes won their seventh game of the season when scoring first. Ohio State has a record of 32-1-1 when scoring first since the beginning of the 2016 season. Senior goalkeeper Devon Kerr recorded her sixth shutout of the season, making two saves for the Buckeyes on Sunday. The shutout against Michigan State was the 16th of her career. Ohio State held an advantage with 10 shots, eight shots on goal and three corner kicks over Michigan State, meanwhile, the Spartans held a 7-2 edge over the Buckeyes in saves.The Buckeyes will look to continue their momentum as they head back home to take on the Rutgers Friday at 7:30 p.m.
It seems Manchester United star David De Gea is about to switch to Real Madrid in a sensational swap deal involving Cristiano Ronaldo.The Old Trafford goalkeeper almost joined the Spanish giants in 2015, and ever since then, they haven’t taken their eyes off United No 1 as he has been the long-term target for Real.And according to Spanish news outlet Don Balon, Real Madrid have proposed a stunning swap deal to United involving De Gea and Ronaldo, via Express Uk.Man Utd intends to bring back Ronaldo to Old Trafford this summer and Don Balon say Madrid believes they can secure De Gea and £88m (€100m) for Portugal talisman, Ronaldo, as Mourinho is willing to lose his goalkeeper if that the only way of bringing Ronaldo back to Old Trafford.Ronaldo left United in 2009 for a then world-record fee of £80m as he may be leaving Real as the all-time leading goalscorer and also guided them to three consecutive Champions League triumphs.Zidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.De Gea on his own has been vocal on his future in recent weeks, refusing to rule out the possibility of a departure from United.“My future? The important thing is the World Cup and not to think of anything else that can divert you or upset you,” said De Gea.“You have to be focused on having a good World Cup – we are all good. Hopefully, we can go far and win.“Football is football and a thousand things can happen.“But I’m always calm. Come what may, I’ll be the same. It is important to be focused and be 100 per cent.”
Germany legend Lothar Matthaus says Mesut Ozil should have expected criticism.The former Germany captain believes that both the Germany Football Federation (DFB) and the Arsenal start should have expected the fallout of his controversial actions.Ozil decided to announce his retirement from international football with Germany after stench criticism from the media and public alike, and Matthaus believes the attacking midfielder should have expected the backlash of his actions prior to the World Cup in Russia.Following his country’s exit from the World Cup, Ozil released a three-part statement on social media in which he criticized the DFB and its president for their insensitivity towards his Turkish heritage.Matthaus who captained Germany to their 1990 World Cup glory in 1990 believes both the player and the football federation failed to identify how big an issue it would be following Germany’s second-round exit from the World Cup.“It is sad that things turned out this way. It could have been dealt with from the beginning,” Matthaus said, according to Goal.Report: Emery says Arsenal need Ozil George Patchias – August 31, 2019 Unai Emery has told Mesut Ozil that he and Arsenal need him.According to Goal.com, Unai Emery has told Mesut Ozil that he is not…“Anybody can take pictures with whoever they want to but they must be ready to face the criticism. The DFB underestimated how big of an issue it was from the start.”The 29-year-old Ozil, played an important role in Germany’s run to World Cup glory four years ago in Brazil after helping the country finished third in 2010.However, his performances in the German National team shirt have under intense scrutiny and Matthaus believes his performance levels have dipped.“Ozil has been important performer for the national team in the past eight years but for a year-and-half now his performances have dropped. I’ve criticized him for his performances on the pitch alone because nothing else concerns me.” Matthaus added.“I know it sounds harsh but from a sporting perspective it’s not a loss, it’s a chance to change something in that position.”
The Copa Libertadores final between Boca Juniors and River Plate has been postponed to Sunday after torrential rains in Buenos Aires left the pitch unplayable.According to AS English, the match officials carried out a pitch inspection at 19:15 CEST and confirmed the first leg of the final of the Copa Libertadores could not be played today.Tournament organisers Conmebol have confirmed the game will be played tomorrow, Sunday, at 20:00 CEST (16:00 local time)🏆 ¡A esperar un día más para la gran final de la #CONMEBOLLibertadores! 🔜 @BocaJrsOficial y @CARPoficial jugarán este domingo. pic.twitter.com/xbAfQUQ9iDMatch Preview: River Plate vs Boca Juniors Boro Tanchev – September 1, 2019 It is time for one of the most intense derby games in the world, as River Plate and Boca Juniors go head-to-head tonight at 22:00 (CET).— CONMEBOL Libertadores (@Libertadores) November 10, 2018Sources at Boca Juniors had previously told some sources that there was “no chance of the game being played”, and despite the pitch draining well continuous rain saw the game forced to be postponed.Considering the attention of the world will be focused on the first leg of the Copa Libertadores this Saturday, Boca’s ground staff had been working throughout to week to have the pitch in optimal conditions.AS’ Boca sources equally confirmed a special drainage system is in place at the Alberto J. Armando stadium to deal with the heavy rain, but the level of precipitation proved to be too much even for the up to date technology.