Volleyball: Dolgner family affair

first_imgJAKE NAUGHTON/Herald photoFor sophomore outside hitter Brittney Dolgner, volleyball is a family affair. Both of her older sisters played at the collegiate level, and now, her younger sister has stepped into her shoes as the left outside hitter at Waupun High School in Waupun, Wis. “She is still trying to catch up to me, which is really cute,” Dolgner said.The family tradition of playing volleyball is what attracted Dolgner to begin playing in fourth grade. She said going to her older sisters’ high school matches and seeing the energy the crowd brought to the game is what made the game exciting and interesting for her.“I loved watching it, loved going to state and loved traveling,” Dolgner said. “I just loved the game.”Dolgner, who led Waupun High School to four consecutive state titles, is long gone from her prep glory days. Last year, Dolgner became the first freshman in Wisconsin history to be named All Big Ten. She also led the team in kills with 461, averaging 4.12 per game.This year, she leads the eighth-ranked Wisconsin volleyball team and the Big Ten in kills, averaging 4.84 per game. She has stepped up her pace during an eight match double digit kills streak, averaging 5.39 kills per game. Against No. 2 Penn State, Dolgner notched 27 kills. “Brit is an awesome athlete,” co-captain Taylor Reineke said. “She jumps through the roof.”Dolgner came to Wisconsin as one of the highest recruited players in the state. She was a three-time Mizuno All-American and 2005 PrepVolleyball.com player of the year. But she said there was no real external pressure to perform.“It was all for myself because I had high expectations and I wanted to do well,” Dolgner said. “Coming in, I didn’t want to let my team down and let my family down.”As a freshman, Dolgner made 31 starts in 33 matches and played in 112 games. Though she started right away, she had to adapt to the speed of the college game. “The first game I out, against Texas, I was terrified,” Dolgner said. “But I came out, made a couple of digs, and I’m like: ‘I can do this; this isn’t so bad.’”Now more than a year removed from her Badger debut, Dolgner says her goal is to become a well-rounded player; she wants to become a better blocker and get more digs per game, which she said comes with time and watching older teammates.“Taylor [Reineke], Audra [Jeffers] and Jackie [Simpson] are great blockers, and [I have to] just watch their fundamentals and techniques,” Dolgner said.Head coach Pete Waite agrees that she needs to improve on her blocking and defense but says her offensive ability is great.“She finds ways to score in the front row and the back row,” Waite said. “And there have been times this year when she has carried a big load for us.”So far this season, Dolgner is on pace to not only have more blocks this year, but also to have more kills. Halfway through the season, she already has 295 kills and 40 blocks.Dolgner attributes her improvement to the support of her teammates. She said even when she makes errors in games or in practice, her teammates tell her not to worry about it and move on to the next play. According to Waite, she works hard in practice, but is also able to enjoy the game.“Especially match time, she really cranks it up a notch,” he said. “Some players are going hard all the time, but they don’t have another level to take it to. She is able to, and really elevate above the rest.”It is Dolgner’s temperament and attitude toward that game that has made her successful and a great teammate.“She’s just funny and goofy, and she makes you laugh,” Reineke said. “It’s easy to feel comfortable around her. I think that’s important in a teammate.” Dolgner’s personal performance is not only important for the team now, but for the future as well. She is part of a sophomore class, which includes outside hitters Caity DuPont and Katherine Dykstra, that will prove to be the nucleus of the team in years to come.“We are glad they will be around for a while because we will be losing a lot of players out of this senior class,” Waite said. “They will really have to step up next year and lead the team.”They already have shown great promise, as Dolgner, Dykstra and DuPont account for almost half of the team’s 1,102 kills and half of the team’s 220 total blocks. For now, though, Dolgner does not have to worry about taking charge. Instead she can concentrate on being a contributor to the team and, more importantly, tending to family matters like helping her younger sister, Brandi, become yet another star Dolgner on the court.last_img read more

Opponent preview: What to know about the Pittsburgh Panthers

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse snapped its losing streak with a 79-72 win over Georgia Tech last Saturday, the first win in four games for the Orange. On Wednesday, Syracuse (15-12, 8-8 Atlantic Coast) will look for a second-straight victory when it travels to Pittsburgh for a 7 p.m. tip-off. The Panthers (15-13, 6-11) enter Wednesday following a three-point home loss to Virginia last Saturday and have lost their last four in a row. Below is the Pittsburgh scouting report before Wednesday night’s tipoff.All-time series: Syracuse leads, 72-45Last time they played: The Orange jetted out to a 20-point lead over the Panthers in the first half before hanging on for a 69-61 win. The Pittsburgh offense appeared puzzled early in the game and failed to break through Syracuse’s 2-3 zone defense. As the game carried on, Syracuse’s offense struggled too. Joe Girard III finished the game having shot 25% from the field while the ACC’s leading-scorer Elijah Hughes had just 10 points. Leading the Orange’s forward group was Marek Dolezaj with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Quincy Guerrier added 10 points and eight rebounds. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Pitt report: Pittsburgh has lost its last four games and has scored more than 60 points in just one of those matchups. Its field goal percentages both inside and beyond the arc rank in the bottom 300s nationally, including a 29.2% 3-point field goal percentage.  Outside of a high forced turnover rate, not much on the Panthers stat sheet jumps off the page. No player averages more than 12.3 points per game and Pitt lacks a dominant down-low presence. It’s the exact opposite of the formula that’s beaten down on Syracuse this year.How Syracuse beats Pitt: Syracuse beats Pittsburgh by playing the first half it did a few weeks ago. The Orange forced the Panthers to shoot outside jumpers and scored from all over the floor through the first 20 minutes. If Buddy Boeheim didn’t cool off after an 18-point first half Syracuse may have ran away with that game. Syracuse’s offense hasn’t been a major issue over the last few games and shouldn’t be on Wednesday night either. The Orange needs their usual contributors to play well and they can waltz away from Pittsburgh with an easy win.Stat to know: 34 — With a 34% offensive rebounding percentage, Pittsburgh ranks 342nd worst in the country. KenPom odds: Syracuse has a 49% chance to win the game, with a projected final score of 70-69 in favor of Pittsburgh.Player to watch: Justin Champagnie, guard No. 11The freshman from Brooklyn leads Pittsburgh in points (12.3) and rebounds (7.1) per game. At 6-foot-6, Champagnie plays a guard-forward hybrid and could end up across Hughes for parts of the game. If Pitt wins on Wednesday, watch for a dominant double-double from Champagnie.  Comments Published on February 26, 2020 at 12:37 am Contact Josh: jlschafe@syr.edu | @Schafer_44last_img read more

3 cars tractor trailer involved in crash along I95

first_imgNORTH MIAMI, FLA. (WSVN) – Three cars and a tractor trailer were involved in a crash, early Friday morning, on Interstate 95.According to the Florida Highway Patrol, one of the three vehicles ended up underneath the tractor trailer. No injuries were reported, although crews were on the scene, which caused heavy traffic delays.Only one lane remained open as officials and crews work in the area to remove the cars and truck, but traffic has since cleared.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img