WVU Tennis Defeats Rival Marshall

WVU Tennis returned to action Sunday afternoon against in-state rival Marshall following Saturday’s 4-3 loss to Virginia Tech. WVU entered the match with a 3-4 record. WVU has the lead in the all-time series between the two schools 21-17.

 

Second seed doubles of Habiba Shaker and Sofia Duran defeated Marshall’s Maddie Silver and Rachael Morales, 7-5. Marshall took early 2-1 lead. They stayed out front after the second change over with a 3-2 lead. WVU then won the next two games to take a 4-3 lead. Marshall took both of the next two games for a 5-4 lead. WVU then broke Marshall and was able to win their serve to push the match to 6-5. WVU took an a 15-40 lead in the 12th game before a put away at the net won the match.

 

The 3rd seeded doubles of Paula Goetz and Lyn Yuen Choo jumped out to a 2-0 lead before giving up the third game. WVU then went on to take both games of the changeover for a 4-1 lead. Marshall took 2 straight games before WVU took the 8th game for a 5-3 lead. WVU won the match, on a short lob that Choo put a way following a 20 plus shot rally between the two teams, 6-3.

 

WVU was able to take the doubles point with a third seed, 6-3, victory, and a second seed victory, 7-5. However the Mountaineers still had to fight to win the match in singles play.

 

Marshall took a 1-0 lead at the 1st, 2nd, and 4th seed. Whiles WVU jumped out to an early lead in 3rd seed singles. Marshall then took 3-0 leads in the 2nd and 4th seed matches.

 

Top seed Shaker won 5 out of the next 6 games to take a 5-2 lead in the first set. Shaker saw a 40-0 lead disappear in the 8th game of the set to lose the game. While Marshall’s Derya Turhan closed the gap to 5-3.  Marshall then won 2 straight to tie the match at 5-5. Shaker became visibly upset with Turhan’s calls in the late stages of the first set. Then Turhan called for a trainer at 5-5 for an apparent ankle injury. WVU won the first set 7-5 in an emotional match.

 

Shaker jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the second set. Shaker then split the next two games with Marshall to take a 5-1 lead. Marshall won one more game before Shaker won it, 6-2. Shaker came out on top with a big 7-5, 6-2 victory.

 

At the 2nd position WVU’s Kaja Mrgole lost the first set 6-0. WVU Jumped out to an early 2-1 led in the second set before Marshall’s Maddie Silver came thundering back to take a 3-2 lead. WVU and Marshall then split the next two matches for a 4-3 Marshall lead. The two players split two games once again before Marshall took the match with a 6-4 victory in the second set.

 

The third seed match saw Marshall’s Stephanie Smith jump out to a 5-2 lead. Paula Goetz dug out of the early hole for the Mountaineers to come within a game at 4-5, but Marshall won the first set 6-4 on a very well executed slice putaway.

 

In the same fashion as the first set, Marshall got ahead early, and Goetz had to fight her way back into the match. Marshall then reeled off 3 straight games for a 5-2 lead. WVU answered back to get the set to 5-3. However, Smith won the ninth game to win the match 6-4, 6-3.

 

WVU’s Christina Jordan won two straight games at the 4th position to fight her way back into the match at 2-3. Marshall’s Anna Pomyatinskaya then won three straight to take the first set 6-2. WVU fell into an early 3-0 hole in the second set, and Marshall won the next three games to win the set at 6-0. Marshall won the match in two sets, 6-2, 6-0.

 

After the first 4 single matches Marshall led 3-2 after winning the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th position matches. WVU had to win both remaining matches while Marshall only had to win one to secure the team victory.

 

In the 6th seed match Marshall’s Daniela Dankanych took the 1-0 lead but quickly saw the lead evaporate with Sofia Duran going up 3-2 for a WVU lead. Both player broke, for the score to stay at a game advantage for Duran. WVU won the first set 6-4.

Marshall won the first two games of the second set. Duran answered winning the next 6, all hard fought wins. Sofia Duran picked up the win for herself and the Mountaineers with her 6-4,6-2.

 

Lyn Yuen Choo won the 5th position with a 6-0, 6-4 win. Choo started out of the gates strong with taking a commanding 3-0 early lead. WVU won the first set easily 6-0. Marshall’s Rachael Morales won her first game of the match to go up 1-0 in the second set. After going down 3-2 Choo won the next 4 out of 5 games to win the second set 6-4.

 

WVU improves to 4-4 on the season with a 4-3 victory over Marshall. WVU’s next match is March 4th at Indiana in the last non-conference match of the season.

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WVU Hockey Cruises past Rival Virginia Tech.

After 40 seconds, No. 10 Vince Fornes scores making it 1-0 WVU. Following a 3-minute span, with 17:20 left in the first WVU scores. No. 23 Sebastian Thomas scored with an assist by No. 9 JP Sawyer; Making it 2-0 WVU.

Following a 5-minute span of no action at 12:44 No. 16 Brendan Adams scores making it 3-0 WVU.

After a power play, Virginia Tech scores with 24.7 seconds left in the first. The score now 3-1 WVU. The first period ended with a score of 3-1.

The second period started with a power play for WVU and No. 21 Austin Crane scores making the score 4-1. Virginia Tech received a powerplay and was able to convert a man advantage into a goal with 7:12 left in the second making it 4-2. With 3:31 No. 88 Alex Ventura scores assisted by Adams.  Making the score 5-2 in favor of WVU. With 34.1 seconds left, Thomas finds the back of the net for the second time, with the assist going Sawyer bringing the score to 6-2 at the end of the second period.

The third period began with an abbreviated powerplay for WVU but nobody was able to convert. After almost 8 minutes of no action, with 13:09 left in the third, No. 18 Austin Czartorski struck, making it 7-2 WVU. After a quick reset, with 9:50 left in the third WVU scores. The goal was scored by Crane to make it 8-2 WVU.

With 6:12 left in the game VT got another power play chace  but couldn’t convert.  West Virginia wasn’t done there, as Thomas to scored again, giving him a hat trick with 1:45 left in the game. Sawyer and No. 12 Eric Keefe got credit for the assist. making the score 9-2 WVU.

That wasthe final 9-2 score as WVU takes home a win. in goal WVU is back on the ice Sunday in Charleston vs VT.

NFL Week 3 Predictions

By Ryan Decker

Last week wasn’t particularly kind to any of the U92 Pickers.

Eddie Santiago won for the second week in a row, becoming the first person to pick 20 games correctly this season. It is still very early in the season, and the standings are close behind him, so everyone still has a chance to be “top dog” at the end of the year.

NFL action starts tonight as the Redskins take on the Giants in New York in an NFC East showdown.

The Giants, and all the other 0-2 teams, including the Colts and Seahawks, are trying to get off the schneid before it’s too late.

Dallas is down another offensive weapon with the loss of Tony Romo, so it will be interesting to see if the ‘Boys can stay on top of the NFC East while Romo and Dez Bryant recover.

Ryan DeckerLast week: 8-8

Record: 19-13

Joel NormanLast week: 7-9

Record: 17-15

Justin MooreLast week: 8-8

Record: 18-14

Nate TempleLast week: 4-12

Record: 10-22

Eddie SantiagoLast week: 9-7

Record: 21-11

Brandon VansickleLast week: 7-9

Record: 18-14

Washington vs New York Giants Washington (-3) Washington (-4) New York Giants (-2) New York Giants (-3) New York Giants (-3) New York Giants (-6)
Atlanta vs Dallas Atlanta (-2) Atlanta (-5) Atlanta (-5) Atlanta (-5) Atlanta (-9) Atlanta (-2)
Indianapolis vs Tennessee Indianapolis (-4) Indianapolis (-8) Indianapolis (-7) (Indianapolis (-4) Indianapolis (-1) Indianapolis (-4)
Oakland vs Cleveland Oakland (-3) Cleveland (-3) Oakland (-2) Oakland (-3) Oakland (-3) Oakland (-1)
Cincinnati vs Baltimore Cincinnati (-6) Baltimore (-2) Baltimore (-2) Baltimore (-3) Baltimore (-6) Baltimore (-2)
Jacksonville vs New England New England (-12) New England (-10) New England (-10) New England (-7) New England (-10) New England (-12)
New Orleans vs Carolina Carolina (-4) Carolina (-8) Carolina (-4) Carolina (-4) Carolina (-4) Carolina (-4)
Philadelphia vs New York Jets New York Jets (-7) Philadelphia (-3) New York Jets (-3) New York Jets (-3) Philadelphia (-4) Philadelphia (-2)
Tampa Bay vs Houston Houston (-4) Houston (-2) Houston (-4) Houston (-3) Houston (-6) Houston (-3)
San Diego vs Minnesota San Diego (-2) San Diego (-6) San Diego (-3) San Diego (-3) Minnesota (-4) Minnesota (-2)
Pittsburgh vs St. Louis Pittsburgh (-3) Pittsburgh (-7) Pittsburgh (-2) Pittsburgh (-4) St. Louis (-3) Pittsburgh (-4)
San Francisco vs Arizona Arizona (-6) Arizona (-4) Arizona (-4) Arizona (-5) Arizona (-3) Arizona (-4)
Buffalo vs Miami Buffalo (-2) Buffalo (-5) Buffalo (-4) Buffalo (-4) Buffalo (-4) Miami (-2)
Chicago vs Seattle Seattle (-6) Seattle (-4) Seattle (-7) Seattle (-6) Seattle (-10) Seattle (-9)
Denver vs Detroit Detroit (-1) Denver (-3) Denver (-5) Denver (-4) Denver (-4) Denver (-5)
Kansas City vs Green Bay Green Bay (-2) Green Bay (-4) Green Bay (-6) Breen Bay (-4) Green Bay (-7) Green Bay (-7)

Can Seattle Join the 12%?

(Courtesy of Matt Levine)

By Nick Marabeti

Although the 2015 NFL season has just begun, it seems that time is running out for the two-time defending NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks. Following what Pete Carroll dubbed “the worst result of a call ever”, it seemed the Osprey of the Northwest had hit rock bottom.

In the aftermath of this epic disaster, Seattle went out and added All-Pro Tight End Jimmy Graham in exchange for Pro-Bowl Center Max Unger. They had already went after Julius Thomas in 2014 hoping to add one last weapon for Russel Wilson, so adding Graham only increased the expectation that Seattle would be competing in Levi Stadium come February 7th.

G.M John Schneider also put to bed the issues surrounding Russel Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, and Bobby Wagner’s contract situations, signing the three players to a combined average salary of $44,650,000.

Let’s not forget that in 2014 Schneider also locked up All-Pro Safety and Corner, Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman, respectively, through the 2019 season. What could go wrong from here?

Seattle has started off the 2015 season 0-2 and finds themselves last in the NFC West. Their defense is tied for 29th in points allowed, a squad that finished number 1 in overall defense during both the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Marshawn Lynch is averaging just 3.5 yds. a carry and has yet to score a touchdown. Jimmy Graham is unhappy with his situation having just 7 catches with 1 TD and has not caught a pass over 20 yds. Graham also finds himself having to block, which is something he was never asked to do while in NOLA.

Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevel was chewed out on Facebook by Lynch’s mother for poor play-calling. Oh, and they still haven’t forgotten that they were just 1 yard away from being back to back Super Bowl champions! This bird is in a nose dive.

Sure, losing an All-Pro Center in Unger may cause slight problems for Marshawn Lynch and the rest of Seattle’s offense, but let’s not be naïve to the other swirling issues in the Emerald City. Lynch is still bitter about not having the ball handed to him with the game on the line in Super Bowl XLIX.

Some may say the reason to throw was to hand Russel Wilson his third touchdown of the night earning him the MVP award and preventing Lynch (24 carries, 133 all-purpose yds. & 1 TD) from speaking at the podium after what was a disastrous media day in Glendale. Although this may have some validity to it, I find it hard to believe that in the heat of the moment Carroll and Bevell were concerned about who was driving home with the GMC automobile.

The good news for Seattle is that All-Pro Safety Kam Chancellor will be back in the lineup for Sunday’s home opener against the Bears. Chancellor, who had been dealing with a contract holdout since the beginning of training camp said he had enough of watching games from the couch.

“Watching my teammates and my team play week to week, first, second game, watching those losses, it hurt me being the leader that I am” said the All-Pro Safety when he met with the media on Wednesday.

Seattle not only gets back the talent and physicality that Bam-Bam brings to the field, but also the vocal leadership which has been missing in the locker room since the start of the season.

Dating back to 1990, only 12% of the teams that start a season 0-2 have gone on to make the playoffs. Seattle is not like most teams though, they find way to win and have guys with plenty of postseason experience who know how to overcome adversity. Let’s also not forget that their two losses this season were at the hands of Aaron Rodgers and an overtime loss to divisional foe St. Louis, both games in which Seattle could have walked away victorious.

Bringing back Chancellor should help Marshawn Lynch get back to his usual Beast Mode self as the two are close friends. If Seattle can buckle down and go on a run by the time they play Arizona in mid-November, the Osprey of the Northwest may start to soar once again.

Cespedes to Challenge Harper for NL MVP

No player in Major League Baseball history has won the Most Valuable Player Award after changing teams, let alone leagues, during the course of the season.

Frank Robinson is still the only player to win the award in both leagues.

So when Yoenis Cespedes was traded from the Detroit Tigers to the New York Mets at this year’s trade deadline, that historically meant that Cespedes’ chance of being named league MVP was over. But, just like his new team the New York Mets, Cespedes is trying to beat the odds.

As a team the Mets have been besting the Washington Nationals, who were widely picked to win the National League East division, all season. They currently hold a 9.5 game lead over the Nats who have been very disappointing this year.

The lone, consistent bright spot for Washington has been the play of Bryce Harper, who leads the National League in average (.333) and is third in home runs (37).

Since coming to the Mets, Cespedes is batting a slash line of .308/.356/.691. His 17 home runs and 42 runs batted in over that time lead the National League.

Better than Harper.

Harper’s 86 RBIs on the year rank him in ninth in the NL, where as Cespedes’ 103 runs driven in would rank him second in the National League.

Despite Harper’s impressive season, and whether or not they want to admit it or not, voters tend to vote awards to players that are in the playoffs. Barring a historic meltdown by the Mets, Harper and the Nationals will be sitting at home watching the Wild Card Round games on October 6 and 7 like the rest of us.

Cespedes, on the other hand, will be right in the think of the playoffs.

Also, prior to Cespedes coming to the Mets, New York trailed Washington by one game. Since his arrival in New York, the Mets have gone 29-11 while the Nationals have played at an 19-22 pace.

Simply put, without Cespedes the Mets were probably not going to make the playoffs. With him, they’re a bonafied championship contender. And despite Harper’s season, the Nationals have been a big disappointment, and even if they did make the playoffs, they weren’t getting past the first round.

Screen Shot 2015-09-14 at 7.18.18 PM

Cespedes filled a void in the Mets lineup that was vastly average through the first half of the season. He becomes the player that opposing pitchers concentrate most on and attempt to get out the most (which hasn’t been working greatly so far), where as before pitchers squaring off against the Mets were most concerned with Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy.

The head to head matchup also bodes well in Cespedes’ favor.

In 60 at bats against the Mets this season, Harper batting just .250 with only three home runs and six RBI. He also has struck out 18 times.

Though in a much smaller sample size, Cespedes’ numbers against the Nationals are much better – a .333 AVG, .762 SLG, two home runs and seven runs batted in. A big portion of those numbers coming from an important three-game series the two teams played in last week that the Mets swept to really take a hold on the division.

Their numbers against playoff teams are comparable.

Cespedes is batting .335, has hit three home runs and driven in 15 runs in games against playoff teams. Harper has a lower average (.295), but has hit eight long balls and has batted in 16 runs against teams that are in position to make the post season.

Harper has had quite the season; there is no denying it. But if the voters’ decision comes down to whether or not they want their MVP vote to go to a player that is going to be playing in October, Cespedes could make history in multiple ways this fall.

There’s a possibility that both the Commissioner’s Trophy and the MVP Award could be headed to New York. Not to the Bronx, though, but to Queens.

NFL Week 1 Predictions

Tonight marks the start of the National Football League regular season. After the long and boring pre season it is finally time to watch games that actually matter.

All 32 teams will be in action this week, starting with Pittsburgh taking on the defending champion Patriots tonight in Foxboro.

Twelve more games will take place Sunday afternoon before the first Sunday Night Football game of the season between the New York Giants and division rival Dallas Cowboys.

Monday night will feature two games. Philadelphia will take on Atlanta in the Georgia Dome at 6:55 p.m., followed by the Vikings taking on the 49ers at 10:15.

It’s important for teams to start the season the right way, and this is how the U92 pickers and I think Week 1 is going to go.

Ryan Decker Joel Norman Justin Moore Nate Temple Eddie Santiago
Pittsburgh vs New England New England New England New England New England New England
Green Bay vs Chicago Green Bay Green Bay Green Bay Green Bay Green Bay
Kansas City vs Houston Kansas City Kansas City Houston Houston Houston
Cleveland vs New York Jets New York Jets Cleveland New York Jets Cleveland New York Jets
Indianapolis vs Buffalo Indianapolis Indianapolis Indianapolis Indianapolis Buffalo
Miami vs Washington Miami Miami Miami Miami Miami
Carolina vs Jacksonville Carolina Carolina Jacksonville Jacksonville Carolina
Seattle vs St. Louis Seattle Seattle Seattle Seattle St. Louis
New Orleans vs Arizona Arizona Arizona New Orleans New Orleans Arizona
Detroit vs San Diego Detroit San Diego San Diego San Diego Detroit
Tennessee vs Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Tampa Bay Tennessee
Cincinnati vs Oakland Cincinnati Cincinnati Cincinnati Oakland Oakland
Baltimore vs Denver Denver Denver Denver Denver Denver
New York Giants vs Dallas Dallas Dallas Dallas New York Giants Dallas
Philadelphia vs Atlanta Atlanta Philadelphia Philadelphia Atlanta Atlanta
Minnesota vs San Francisco Minnesota Minnesota San Francisco Minnesota Minnesota

Cardinals Keep Rolling Despite Injuries

By Ryan Decker

Last Monday the St. Louis Cardinals suffered one of the worst injuries a team can go through during the course of a season when Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright stumbled out of the batters during a game in Milwaukee, tearing his Achilles and abruptly ending his season.

In a competitive division like the National League Central, that injury could’ve spelled disaster for St. Louis.

Just remember last year when Yadier Molina missed a majority of the backstretch of the season due to a thumb injury he suffered last July. The Cardinals dipped in the standings and couldn’t keep momentum during his absence from the lineup.

The difference between this year and last is Molina returned last season, and the Red Birds went on to win the division by two games.

Wainwright won’t be returning this year.

But, seemingly as only the best teams in sports can, this year, at least so far, the Cardinals haven’t missed a beat since Wainwright went down. St. Louis has won six games in a row and sits atop of the NL Central with the best record in baseball at 18-6.

Mike Matheny will continued to be tested, though, as the Cardinals announced Sunday that their setup man, Jordan Walden, has been placed on the 15-day disabled list due to an inflamed right biceps. They will call up two minor league pitchers from their Triple-A affiliate in Memphis.

However, with a 4.5-game lead on the division, St. Louis does have some wiggle room to figure out what it’s going to do at least for now with two important arms missing from the rotation and bullpen.

The Cardinals can improve on their lead over the rest of the NL Central as they start a four-game series against the Chicago Cubs today.