The Wisconsin volleyball team can finally chalk up a conference victory in the win column.After losing three straight games for the first time in coach Kelly Sheffield’s tenure and starting 0-2 in Big Ten play for the first time since 2010, the Badgers got a much needed conference win against a highly ranked opponent.No. 19 Wisconsin (9-4, 1-2 Big Ten) defeated No. 7 Illinois (11-3, 2-1) 3-1 after a thrilling fourth set comeback that saw the Badgers come roaring back after being down by as many as five midway through the game.After a media timeout that saw Wisconsin down 15-12, the Badgers tallied 10 of the next 12 points to put the Illini in a huge hole. Illinois tried to surmount a late rally, but a Tionna Williams spike and a final miscue from the Illinois frontline proved the Badgers to be too much for the visiting team.The Badgers got off to a hot start winning the first set 25-16 led by Haleigh Nelson’s perfect shooting percentage and Lauren Carlini’s 53.8 percent set rate.“I think we came out with a really great game plan,” Carlini said. “And the passers just putting [the ball] right down the net for me to make it way easy to execute. So, props to them for that. Every single game I’m building more and more confidence with my hitters and I think the hitters are gaining confidence in me, and knowing where I need to put the ball — giving it to them at the right time.”Carlini parlayed the Badger’s first set success into a 25-21 Game 2 victory that had the Illini on their heels.Romana Kriskova, who had arguably her best game of the season, led the Badgers with five kills in the second game and had a team high 15 for the match.“I tried to come out strong from the beginning and put pressure on the Illinois defense. I was glad that Lauren trusted me,” Kriskova said.Illinois, to their credit, would not go down without a fight, proving their high ranking by stealing the third set, 25-21, from the sweep-minded Badgers.But the Badgers know these early battles will only better prepare them for a rugged season ahead.“Being put in those situations … really trains us for other matches, where maybe we are doing well, but then in the set three and four, they’re coming back and we have to have that confidence and that stability,” Nelson said.When asked how the early season schedule will prepare the Badgers down the road, all head coach Kelly Sheffield could do was smile.“It’s the Big Ten, brother,” Sheffield said. “We’re not off the hook. This is every week.”
Jack Cichy will not step on the field again for the University of Wisconsin football team this season. A torn left pectoral suffered in the match against the University of Iowa Oct. 22 brought that cruel fate upon him.The 2017 season will arrive with Cichy back, ready to assume full-time leadership duties as one of the most seasoned veterans of a unit that will most likely return eight starters. The fact he will be in position to do so is a testament to his self-belief and work ethic.Cichy began his career at UW as a walk-on, continuing a common theme Badger fans have seen for the last couple of decades: Wisconsin grooming non-scholarship players to be among the most impactful players on the roster.Football: Three things we learned from No. 10 Wisconsin’s win over IowaThe University of Wisconsin football team took down Iowa 17-9 Saturday at Kinnick Stadium. Here’s three things we learned about Read…“My dad always told me, you work your butt off every day, you get what you earn,” Cichy said the Monday before his 2016 season would be cut short.Cichy’s father also soothed his anxiety of earning a scholarship. If it’s meant to be there, his father said, it would eventually come his way. It was a piece of advice Cichy took to heart every day.Cichy, a Somerset, Wisconsin, native, earned a scholarship in 2015 after walking onto the Badgers in 2013 and redshirting that season.Football: Wisconsin survives Halloween scare from Nebraska in 23-17 overtime winThe last two times Nebraska visited Camp Randall Stadium, the University of Wisconsin football team imposed its will in the Read…Look at just the 2016 graduating class of current NFL players who began their careers as walk-ons at UW: Joe Schobert, Alex Erickson and Joel Stave. Imagine last season without those three players. Now, this season, the Badgers will have to go through half of their season without Cichy, the seeming heir to the walk-on legacy of success.“I can go to bed every night knowing I’m trying to be the best football player I can be,” Cichy said of his work ethic.Cichy had been on a tear when he went down. His 60 tackles still leads the Badgers, even after the Nebraska game, in which he did not play. He recorded 45 solo tackles, which was more total tackles than any other UW player when he was injured. Also, his solo tackle mark ranked sixth in the nation.Twice Cichy had been named the Lott IMPACT Trophy Player of the Week, following Wisconsin’s win over Louisiana State University and the Badgers loss against Ohio State. He also earned Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors for his efforts against the Buckeyes, a 15 tackle performance. In the 2.5-game span between Michigan, Ohio State and the first half against Iowa, where he suffered the injury while tangling with Hawkeye quarterback C.J. Beathard on their out-of-bounds, Cichy recorded 37 tackles. The week leading up to his injury, Sports Illustrated named Cichy to its Midseason All-American team.Football: Ramczyk, Cichy, Watt named to Sports Illustrated’s Midseason All-America TeamThe University of Wisconsin football team’s Ryan Ramczyk, Jack Cichy and T.J. Watt earn national recognition Tuesday after being named Read…The accolades make the fact Cichy didn’t have a Division I scholarship offer awaiting him rather surprising. He said he held several Division I-AA offers and nearly decided on Holy Cross, before realizing Wisconsin was the only place for him.“My mindset was always I wanted to see how good I could really be,” Cichy said. “If I had gone to a DIII or DI-AA school, I might have asked ‘What if?’ and I never really want to ask that. When I got the opportunity to come to Wisconsin, I wanted to be the best football player I could be.”Cichy also said seeing previous walk-ons before him succeed at UW motivated him to be in the next crop. He’s well on his way to doing so.Vince Biegel, who is a close friend of Cichy’s and the leader of the defense this season, expects him to be a big part of morale the rest of 2016.“He was our energy to our defense,” Biegel said. “We’re still gonna need him to be that person if we want to get to where we want to get at the end of the season.”Come next year, Biegel will pass the baton to Jack Cichy. If his career at UW has shown anything, it’s that he will be ready to rise to the challenge.
Facebook55Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Ronelle Funk Insurance, Inc. Ronelle Funk, president and CEO of Ronelle Funk Insurance, Inc., was recently recognized by the Thurston County Multiple Listing Service Association (MLSA) with its “2016 Affiliate of the Year” award. The award was presented at the large business organization’s annual Officer Installation and Holiday Social earlier in December at the Hotel Red Lion in Olympia. Ronelle Funk is the president and CEO of Ronelle Funk Insurance, Inc. with multiple locations in Thurston County. Photo courtesy: Ronelle Funk Insurance.“Ronelle is well-respected in our community and participates in many community and charity events,” 2016 MLSA President Rae Anne Toth explained. “Her business success reflects the respect that she’s earned, having grown significantly—enough to require opening her second insurance office in Lacey. She is a stellar example of a strong business woman that younger women can look up to and learn from. She is a wonderful asset to our community.” Funk owns and manages two of the area’s Allstate Insurance offices, one in the city of Lacey and another in Yelm. She has been a resident of Thurston County for 29 years and attended South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC), later graduating from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. In 2005, Funk earned her master’s degree in mental health and counseling from Saint Martin’s University. She has advised people on their insurance needs for the last 18 years.A member of the Allstate Against Abuse Team, Funk joined efforts to help victims break free from domestic violence through financial education and empowerment. She is a Yelm Community Schools Business Partner and sponsors local baseball and tee-ball teams, Yelm Dollars for Scholars, the Nisqually Home and Car Show, the YWCA and many other events and organizations. She and her family participate in and sponsor the annual Olympia Toy Run, joining motorcyclists that donate money and toys to the Salvation Army for children in need.Ronelle Funk is very active in community building and charitable events such as the Olympia Toy Run. Photo courtesy: Ronelle Funk Insurance.Funk has served as the president of the Yelm Chamber of Commerce and was named its 2014 Business of the Year. Ronelle Funk Insurance was also recognized as the Best Insurance Agency in the Nisqually Valley in 2010 and Allstate customers voted it number one in customer service within a five-state region. Her business has been nominated as the “Best of South Sound” Insurance Agency by The Olympian newspaper readers. “This MLSA award is very meaningful to me,” said Funk. “The organization is an amazing local group of professionals that serve the real estate industry and have a great read on our communities. Like so many MLSA members, my company and staff truly care about the families and households that trust us to help them protect their most important assets and we want to give back to the place where we live and work.” Thurston County’s MLSA is a networking group of nearly 200 professional members and affiliates that include real estate brokers, loan officers, inspectors, insurance agents, builders/contractors, movers, interior designers and other real estate industry services. The group meets Tuesday mornings for breakfast at Pellegrino’s Tyee Event Center in Tumwater, Wash.
“Despite this, Logan Wright was able to earn some meet records in the 25m butterfly, 25m freestyle and 25m backstroke,” Afford added.Trail Stingrays continue to be the team to beat on the Kootenay circuit, finishing on top of the standings with 1317.5 points.Rival Castlegar Aquanauts took second followed in third by host Kimberley.Golden, Grand Forks, Creston and Nelson finished respectively through seventh position.Cranbrook and Colville were eighth and ninth.Afford continues to be impressed with the competitive fight from Cowan and Matthew.“The division swimmers that did come did a tremendous job and many of them put up some great times that I know they will be able to improve at the coming meet,” explained Afford, who also grabbed a bronze medal in Division seven girls.The Neptunes travel to Colville, Wash., this weekend for the Kootenay Regional Championships.The top swimmers qualify for the Provincial meet later this month in Nanaimo. The Nelson Neptunes may be small in numbers, but the club is huge on heart.The Neptunes took a, dwarfed by recent standards, team to the East Kootenay to compete in the Kimberley meet — the final regular season stop on the Kootenay Summer Swim Association campaign.Still Nelson won three aggregate medals, two my stalwarts Sage Cowan and Samuel Matthew.Cowan finished second in Division four girls while Matthew also earned the runner-up prize in Division four boys.“Kimberley was a really small meet for us,” Neptune coach Rebecca Afford commented.“We only had 14 swimmers in attendance and five of them were novices who swim exhibition meaning they do not score the team any points.”
Things have not really gone according to Hoyle this Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season for the Nelson Leafs.However, there’s nothing like a strong playoff run to erase some of those bad memories that materialized from the regular season.The Leafs gave the fans a brief taste of optimism when the Green and White snapped a late-season losing skid by capturing the final three games to secure third place in KIJHL’s Murdoch Division.