CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — In its final tournament of the fall season, the Wisconsin women’s tennis team used the University of Illinois’ Midwest Blast VII as a vehicle for continuing to test doubles pairings, work on singles games and, for the remarkably young Badger squad, gain valuable competition experience.”It gives us a chance to see where [players] match up next to other teams,” assistant coach Erin Boisclair said. “It helps just to introduce them a little bit to what it’s going to be like in the spring.”Boisclair oversaw the squad for the weekend while head coach Patti Henderson traveled with the team’s top-flight player, Caitlin Burke, to Ohio State for the ITA National Indoors tournament.In Friday action, the pairing of sophomore Chelsea Nusslock and freshman Elizabeth Carpenter proved Wisconsin’s only victorious doubles team, as they handily defeated the Illini’s Momei Qu and Emily Wang 8-6.”My play has been pretty well this weekend,” Carpenter said. “It’s our last tournament and I finally felt like playing my game more, and now that I feel comfortable, I started winning.”Nicole Beck and Kaylan Caiati fell to the host school’s Brianna Knue and Macall Harkins, 8-1, while Wisconsin’s Morgan Tuttle and Ali Salomone dropped 8-2 to Shivani Dave and Alejandra Cuadra.That afternoon, Beck and Carpenter both proved winners on the singles court, defeating Louisville’s Robyn White and Ariana Marshall, 6-1, 6-1 and 6-2, 6-3, respectively.”The match is good for my confidence,” Beck said. “I feel like I’ve been playing well.”Saturday would prove grimmer for the Badgers, as all three of their doubles tandems — scrambled after Friday play — dropped to Notre Dame, and only Carpenter emerged victorious on the singles court, defeating Illinois’ Dave 6-3, 0-6, 7-6(5).Sunday play wouldn’t fare much better, as Nusslock and Salomone dropped their doubles match 8-1 early in the day to Louisville, followed closely by wins from the other two Cardinal squads facing Wisconsin’s again reshuffled doubles pairings.”I think we’re having a difficult time figuring out who is going to play with who,” Boisclair said of the squad’s doubles play. “I think we’ve been moving around a lot … Patti and I need to sit down and figure out teams. And we just need to practice with those teams.”Despite a troubling win/loss record on the frame, the weekend was not without value to a Wisconsin squad filling six of its nine roster slots with freshmen and sophomores. The Midwest Blast VII was the first competition of the year to allow the Badgers to mock out a traditional team-based spring format, as opposed to the largely draw-based nature of other autumn competitions.”It’s different coming from junior tennis for the freshmen.” Boisclair said. “This is why you play a tournament like this in the fall — so that they can get exposed to how it is; it is a little bit more intense than other tournaments.”
After Meunier’s opener, Nkunku put the game beyond Metz before the half-hour mark with two low finishes.He was unlucky not to get a hat-trick, a header from Angel di Maria’s cross on the stroke of half-time disallowed for a marginal offside call.However, Mbappe did make it 4-0 before the interval by scoring after being set up by Marco Verratti.Captain Silva headed in late on to complete the scoring, as Paris maintained their perfect record at home in the league this season.Second-placed Monaco won 3-1 at Strasbourg on Friday with Stevan Jovetic, Rony Lopes and Fabinho getting their goals.– Lille fans invade pitch –Third-placed Marseille go to Toulouse and fourth-placed Lyon host Caen on Sunday.Elsewhere, hundreds of angry Lille supporters invaded the pitch at their Stade Pierre-Mauroy after their struggling side drew 1-1 at home to Montpellier.Some of the pitch invaders tried to attack the young forward Nicolas Pepe, who had scored their goal, before making their way towards the players tunnel, below where club directors were watching on.Stewards eventually managed to keep back the supporters, who are unhappy at the way their team’s season is going — Lille are in the relegation zone, with Christophe Galtier struggling to turn around the fortunes of the side after Marcelo Bielsa was sacked late last year.Nantes moved back up to fifth, which is likely to be enough for a European place, after beating Troyes 1-0 with a late Emiliano Sala goal, his 12th of the season.They replace local rivals Rennes, who came from behind to draw 1-1 with Saint-Etienne.Share on: WhatsApp Paris, France | AFP | Paris Saint-Germain brushed aside bottom club Metz 5-0 in Ligue 1 on Saturday to ease some of the pain of their Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid in midweek.Twenty-year-old Christopher Nkunku scored twice for PSG at the Parc des Princes, with Thomas Meunier, Kylian Mbappe and Thiago Silva also on target.The result restores PSG’s 14-point lead over reigning champions Monaco at the top of the table with just nine games left, keeping them on course to reclaim the title.A clean sweep of the domestic trophies for the third time in four seasons is on the cards, although that will not completely make up for the disappointment of another underwhelming campaign in the Champions League.Tuesday’s 2-1 home defeat against Madrid condemned them to a second consecutive exit from that competition in the last 16 and effectively ended any prospect of Spanish coach Unai Emery still being in charge next season.Emery, who was jeered by some sections of the home support, had to somehow lift his side for this game, with PSG missing suspended leading scorer Edinson Cavani as well as the injured Neymar.“Everyone knows that we are disappointed, that we disappointed the fans, but we are trying to move forward again,” said Mbappe.“One match is not going to allow us to forget everything. Digesting what happened is difficult but we are professionals, so we need to turn the page and move on.”Belgian right-back Meunier, who came in for Dani Alves and opened the scoring inside five minutes, added: “It was an excellent reaction after the elimination.“It is very positive. Mentally it does us good, and it allows us to put Tuesday almost definitively behind us.“There is no point living with regrets. We have three trophies to go and win still and that is the most important thing,” added Meunier, whose side are through to the French Cup semi-finals and play Monaco in the League Cup final at the end of this month.
by Malik Vincent For New Pittsburgh Courier After an appearance in the City championship last season, the Brashear Bulls have been doing what’s necessary to try to prove they belong back there this year by blowing past all their opposition. However, both defending champs Perry (4-0) and USO (4-1) have looked just as impressive this season.On Oct. 13, the Bulls added winless Oliver to that list with a 33-6 blowout at Cupples Stadium on a crisp Thursday night. TO THE HOUSE—Brashear’s Jawanza Bryant takes an interception 25 yards to the house in the Bulls 33-6 win over Oliver. (Courier Photos/William McBride) The concern at the beginning of the season wasn’t who was going to play at the skill positions, but rather, who would step up and lead Brashear (5-0, 5-1) up front on the offensive line.Brashear coach Rick Murphy mentioned that the freshman and two sophomores that are starting on the offensive line are a part of the school’s Center for Advanced Studies program.“They’re all very smart,” Murphy said. “They don’t have problems with learning what it is that we need them to do and they have the size that it takes to be successful. We’re very proud of the things that our young line has been able to do so far.”Their defense also hasn’t disappointed. Its 71 points-allowed is second in the league to University Prep’s 40.“We’re beginning to win the turnover battle,” Murphy mentioned. “Right now, as a whole we’ve been able to play good team defense. This is giving our offense opportunities to get into good field position and for us to, in turn, put points on the board.”In their most recent win, running back Joell Nesbitt rushed for 116 yards to pace the Bulls offense against the anemic Bears. Quarterback Adam Lynch added to that by completing 7 of 11 passes for 137 yards and a touchdown for Brashear.Quarterback LeAndre Harrison ran Oliver’s offense, as he completed 11 of 19 passes for 160 yards. Shakeem Cox caught five of them for 104.“I see the effort and the competition around the league and it’s been good,” Murphy said. “But we’ve just been lucky enough to win them all.”Other games:USO (University Prep, Sci-Tech, and Obama) earned their fourth shutout in five games in a 12-0 blanking of preseason favorite Allderdice on Oct. 13.Jaylen Coleman led the way for the Panthers’ offense as he carried the ball 17 times for 160 yards, which included a score from 46-out in the third quarter.Carrick picked up its first win of the season against Langley, 26-21, on Oct. 14 at Cupples Stadium.Perry edged nonconference Erie East on the road on Oct. 14, 14-12.Westinghouse went down to Morgantown (W. Va.) in a nonconference shootout, 58-36, on Oct. 14.(Follow our continuing coverage of and add your comments to our website at www.newpittsburghcourieronline.com. Malik Vincent can be reached at email@example.com.)