As Sunday’s match concluded, the season also on the brink of conclusion, it was the same old story for the Wisconsin volleyball team in its final weekend series at the Field House.The Badgers looked as good as anyone in the Big Ten as they easily defeated the overmatched Iowa Hawkeyes by a score of 3-0 Friday night. But Sunday, Wisconsin struggled with consistency as it looked overmatched by ninth-ranked Nebraska 3-0. The matches could not have been any greater polar opposites, just like the season for Wisconsin. Consistency -or lack thereof – has been the key for the Badgers all season long.All season long, Wisconsin has shown it can play with anyone, as they battled top-ranked Penn State in each set on national television before losing in straight sets. Then the Badgers played an Indiana team that had won just one Big Ten match all season, but managed to come into Madison and beat Wisconsin 3-1. That inconsistency continued Friday night.In the opening match of the weekend, the Badgers displayed some of their best volleyball of the season, beating the Hawkeyes 3-0. They hit an impressive .384 for the match, including a .552 percentage in the second set, which they won easily 25-16.UW head coach Pete Waite talked about the stellar play of the team on Senior Day.“I thought we really played a good match,” Waite said Friday. “I thought the seniors played well and everyone played hard for them. We had a nice balanced attack and really played a solid match.”Despite the dominating win, the Badgers still had their struggles as they committed nine service errors. Against one of the top teams in the conference, those errors would have proved to be devastating. But against a last place Big Ten team, the Badgers were able to get away with it.Sunday was much uglier. Wisconsin was not able to sneak by with errors Sunday against the ninth-ranked Cornhuskers. The match was the entire season in a nutshell: flashes of brilliance and the same errors that would prove to be crushing in defeats.Once again, the Badgers were able to play with another top-tier opponent point-for-point, but they were not able to seal the deal.The Badgers struggled with everything from hitting to even communicating. There were multiple instances Sunday when a ball would fall in between multiple Wisconsin defenders who looked at each other with apparent confusion.Junior right setter Julie Mikaelsen talked about the lack of communication.“It’s just about being aggressive,” Mikaelsen said. “We just need to call the ball and take the ball. That’s just what we got to do.”There were instances against the Cornhuskers when it looked like the Badgers would get over the hump and finally win a decisive set. Wisconsin got out to a very hot start in the second set, leading by a score of 13-6.Then a 10-1 run found UW down by two just as quickly as it had built its lead. The Badgers were never able to recover from their run and lost the set 25-20.Wisconsin continuously hurt itself Sunday as well, committing 19 attack errors in the match, including seven in the first two sets. Wisconsin hit just .171 in those two sets and hit just .100 in the third set as only one player on the team hit over .250 for the Badgers.“I couldn’t tell you,” Waite said of the reason for the errors. “That’s something we talked about in the locker room; we knew we had high errors even to start the match. That just shouldn’t happen. It doesn’t matter who’s on the other side of the net.”Wisconsin concludes the regular season this week with its final home match coming Wednesday against No. 10 Minnesota and then their final match Friday at Purdue. With their tournament hopes dwindling, senior outside hitter Bailey Reshel told an all too familiar tale for the team: the need to bounce back.“We just need to go after it,” Reshel said of the final week of the season. “It sucks to lose, but we still have a chance at the tournament and the biggest thing is to move forward.”
DETROIT (AP) — On Wednesday night, the stars were Randy Dobnak, Luis Arraez and Eddie Rosario — but really it could have been anyone.The Minnesota Twins are AL Central champions because of contributions from all over the roster.Arraez and Rosario homered, and Dobnak allowed one hit in six sparkling innings to lead Minnesota to a 5-1 win over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night. The Twins later clinched the division title when Cleveland lost to the White Sox in Chicago.It’s the first division title for Minnesota since 2010 and will be only its second postseason appearance since then. The Twins (98-60) have their highest victory total since the 1970 team also won 98 games.Minnesota wrapped up its win over the Tigers well before the Chicago-Cleveland game ended. That game was on television in the Minnesota clubhouse, where the Twins ate, played cards and waited calmly for a possible celebration.As the White Sox closed out that 8-3 victory — first letting the Indians load the bases in the ninth inning — shouts could be heard in the hallway outside the Twins’ clubhouse.The previous decade was much more successful for Minnesota, which won the division in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2009. That run abruptly came to an end another AL Central title in 2010. Now the decade of the 2010s will end the way it started — with the Twins atop the division.They’ve won with an offense that is tied for the major league lead in home runs with a record 299. That’s been a team effort, with five players hitting over 30 and three more with over 20. The homer by Arraez was only his fourth of the season.The winning pitcher Wednesday was a rookie who two years ago was playing for the Utica Unicorns of the United Shore Professional Baseball League. The Twins signed Dobnak to a minor league contract that year. The 24-year-old Dobnak (2-1) allowed no scoring by Detroit after an unearned run in the first. INDIANOLA – The NIACC women’s golf team placed third with a 362 at the Simpson College Fall Invitational on Wednesday.Host Simpson was the team champion with a 338 and Grand View was second with a 352 in the seven-team tournament at the Indianola Country Club.NIACC was led by freshman Thea Lunning with a career-best 41-38 – 79. Lunning was third in the individual medalist competition.Also for NIACC, sophomore Jordyn Barragy shot a career-best 40-43 – 83. Last spring at the Simpson College Invitational, Barragy shot a 102.Freshman Ashley Voves shot a 47-50 – 97 and Abby Murray shot a 47-56 – 103.NIACC returns to action Sunday at the Waldorf University Invitational at Wedgewood Cove Golf Club in Albert Lea, Minn. IOWA CITY — Iowa is a better than three touchdown favorite against Middle Tennessee State but freshman center Tyler Linderbaum says the 14th ranked Hawkeyes will not be looking past the Blue Raiders. Iowa enters its final non-conference game with a 3-0 record.Middle Tennessee State is averaging just over 414 yards of offense in a 1-2 start. Hawkeye defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon.A major factor in Iowa’s solid start has been the kicking of Keith Duncan. He is perfect on eight field goal attempts and kicked four of them in an 18-17 win at Iowa State.Kickoff at Kinnick Stadium is scheduled for 11 o’clock, with the pre-game show scheduled for 9 o’clock on AM-1300 KGLO AMES — Iowa State receiver La’Michael Pettway says the Cyclones are confident heading into Saturday’s Big 12 opener at Baylor. The graduate transfer from Arkansas has 12 receptions including three touchdowns in a 2-1 start to the season.Pettway says quarterback Brock Purdy shows leadership qualities rarely seen in a sophomore.Pettway says Purdy has a very high football IQ.Kickoff on Saturday between Iowa State and Baylor is scheduled for 2:30. DETROIT (AP) — Minnesota reliever Sam Dyson had surgery on his shoulder, ending the right-hander’s season and potentially putting 2020 in jeopardy as well. Dyson had the capsule repair operation Tuesday in California. Manager Rocco Baldelli said the timeline isn’t firm, but it could be a year before he can pitch in a game again. The Twins acquired Dyson from San Francisco at the trade deadline this year. WEST BURLINGTON — The NIACC volleyball team picked up a three set sweep at Southeastern Community College last night. The Lady Trojans won 25-21, 25-14, and 25-19. NIACC is now 15-5 overall and 3-1 in conference play. They’ll travel to Waverly on Friday to face the Wartburg College junior varsity.