IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National Point Standings Through July 25

first_imgIMCA Modifieds – 1. Jordan Grabouski, Beatrice, Neb., 1,173; 2. Cory Sample, Winnemucca, Nev., 1,160; 3. Chaz Baca, Mesa, Ariz., 1,133; 4. Kelly Shryock, Fertile, Iowa, 1,119; 5. Jeffrey Abbey, Comanche, Texas, 1,111; 6. Jay Noteboom, Hinton, Iowa, 1,101; 7. William Gould, Calera, Okla., 1,080; 8. Bryce Garnhart, Shannon, Ill., 1,075; 9. Matt Guillaume, Haslet, Texas, 1,073; 10. Drew Armstrong, Alexander, Ark., 1,070; 11. Troy Cordes, Dunkerton, Iowa, 1,054; 12. Colin Deming, Hobbs, N.M., 1,051; 13. Rob Slott, New Waverly, Texas, 1,044; 14. Tim Ward, Chandler, Ariz., 1,040; 15. Josh McGaha, Abilene, Texas, 1,033; 16. Bricen James, Albany, Ore., 1,009; 17. Chris Morris, Taylor, Texas, 1,006; 18. Kelsie Foley, Tucson, Ariz., 1,003; 19. Shane DeMey, Denison, Iowa, 998; 20. Nick Meyer, Whittemore, Iowa, 996.IMCA Late Models – 1. Matt Ryan, Davenport, Iowa, 781; 2. Jeremiah Hurst, Dubuque, Iowa, 777; 3. Todd Cooney, Pleasant Hill, Iowa, 776; 4. Andy Nezworski, Buffalo, Iowa, 769; 5. Rob Toland, Colona, Ill., 746; 6. Ryan Dolan, Lisbon, Iowa, 709; 7. Joe Zrostlik, Long Grove, Iowa, 663; 8. Chuck Hanna, Port Byron, Ill., 662; 9. Chad Holladay, Muscatine, Iowa, 623; 10. Eric Sanders, Sherrard, Ill., 615; 11. Joe Ross, Thomson, Ill., 594; 12. Darrel DeFrance, Marshalltown, Iowa, 583; 13. Curt Schroeder, Newton, Iowa, 580; 14. Gary Webb, Blue Grass, Iowa, 577; 15. Shawn Cooney, Bondurant, Iowa, 550; 16. Nick Marolf, Moscow, Iowa, 543; 17. Tim Simpson, Iowa City, Iowa, 523; 18. Chad Coyne, Orion, Ill., 511; 19. Terry Neal, Ely, Iowa, 492; 20. B.J. Jackson, Clinton, Iowa, 481.IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars – 1. Kevin Ramey, Fort Worth, Texas, 787; 2. Tyler Drueke, Eagle, Neb., 753; 3. Matt Richards, Lincoln, Neb., 735; 4. Austin Mundie, Carrollton, Texas, 727; 5. Mike Houseman, Des Moines, Iowa, 681; 6. Robert Vetter, Wolfe City, Texas, 669; 7. Colin Smith, Sheldon, Iowa, 644; 8. Casey Burkham, Combine, Texas, 633; 9. Zach Blurton, Quinter, Kan., 630; 10. Jason Martin, Lincoln, Neb., 625; 11. Kenneth Duke, Selinsgrove, Pa., and Chip Graham, Lewisville, Texas, both 618; 13. Tucker Doughty, Sunnyvale, Texas, 612; 14. Steve McMackin, Greenville, Texas, 596; 15. Kyle A. Ganoe, Thompsontown, Pa., 587; 16. Elliot Amdahl, Flandreau, S.D., 561; 17. Stuart Snyder, Lincoln, Neb., 560; 18. Zach Newlin, Millerstown, Pa., 552; 19. Toby Chapman, Panama, Neb., 546; 20. Andy Shouse, Oklahoma City, Okla., 544.IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars – 1. Mike Nichols, Harlan, Iowa, 1,200; 2. John Oliver Jr., Danville, Iowa, 1,160; 3. Damon Murty, Chelsea, Iowa, 1,119; 4. Mark Adams, Fort Worth, Texas, 1,101; 5. Westin Abbey, Comanche, Texas, 1,085; 6. Andy Roller, Waco, Texas, 1,077; 7. Troy Burkhart, Hays, Kan., 1,076; 8. Damon Hammond, Burleson, Texas, 1,065; 9. Bryce Pritchett, Combine, Texas, 1,055; 10. Dan Mackenthun, Hamburg, Minn., 1,031; 11. Colin Heim, Hoxie, Kan., 991; 12. Calvin Lange, Humboldt, Iowa, 986; 13. Jason Rogers, Selden, Kan., and Tyler Pickett, Boxholm, Iowa, both 970; 15. Shelby Williams, Bonham, Texas, 965; 16. Jay Schmidt, Tama, Iowa, 959; 17. Aaron Corley, Meadow, Texas, 957; 18. Kevin Opheim, Mason City, Iowa, 954; 19. Chris Heim, Hoxie, Kan., 935; 20. Troy Jerovetz, Webster City, Iowa, 914.IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks – 1. Shannon Anderson, New Virginia, Iowa, 1,195; 2. Leah Wroten, Independence, Iowa, 1,151; 3. Jeff Ware, Columbus, Neb., 1,137; 4. Tathan Burkhart, Hays, Kan., 1,118; 5. Cody Williams, Minneapolis, Kan., 1,100; 6. Brady Bencken, Oakley, Kan., 1,060; 7. Justin Wacha, Vinton, Iowa, 1,041; 8. Adam Goff, Minot, N.D., 1,026; 9. Bryce Sommerfeld, Fort Dodge, Iowa, 1,024; 10. Cory Probst, Brewster, Minn., 975; 11. Adam Ayers, Adair, Iowa, 955; 12. Drew Barglof, Sioux Rapids, Iowa, 942; 13. Brooke Russell, Hays, Kan., 931; 14. Cameron Wilkinson, Neligh, Neb., 928; 15. Allyn Myers, Berwyn, Neb., 925; 16. Colby Kaspar, Columbus, Neb., 913; 17. Tim Gonska, Brainerd, Minn., 908; 18. Brandon Nielsen, Spencer, Iowa, 887; 19. Luke Wassom, Broken Bow, Neb., 883; 20. Roy Armstrong, Beatrice, Neb., 863.Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods – 1. Chase Alves, Chandler, Ariz., 1,164; 2. Jason George, Laveen, Ariz., 1,150; 3. Tyler Soppe, Sherrill, Iowa, 1,145; 4. Cody Thompson, Sioux City, Iowa, 1,121; 5. Dakota Sproul, Hays, Kan., 1,120; 6. Tony Olson, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 1,115; 7. Ethan Braaksma, Newton, Iowa, 1,106; 8. Colby Fett, Algona, Iowa, 1,103; 9. Austin Howes, Memphis, Mo., 1,095; 10. Matthew Looft, Swea City, Iowa, 1,090; 11. Austen Becerra, Carthage, Ill., 1,089; 12. Brandon Setser, Davenport, Iowa, 1,083; 13. Jake McBirnie, Boone, Iowa, 1,071; 14. Austin Svoboda, David City, Neb., and Arie Schouten, Blair, Neb., both 1,036; 16. Johnathon D. Logue, Boone, Iowa, 1,032; 17. Austin Luellen, Minburn, Iowa, 1,031; 18. Tyler Watts, Beloit, Kan., 1,030; 19. Lucas Lamberies, Clintonville, Wis., 980; 20. Justin Svoboda, David City, Neb., 973.Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMods – 1. Gabe Tucker, Carbon, Texas, 1,165; 2. Rodney White, Ector, Texas, 1,144; 3. Jake Upchurch, Grand Prairie, Texas, 1,113; 4. Tyler Bragg, Springtown, Texas, 1,090; 5. Trevor Raney, Sherman, Texas, 1,089; 6. Taylor Florio, Copperas Cove, Texas, 1,064; 7. Kyle Wilkins, Italy, Texas, 980; 8. Dustin Robinson, Post, Texas, 961; 9. James Skinner, Burleson, Texas, 800; 10. Cory Williams, Slaton, Texas, 745; 11. Hayden Wade, Waco, Texas, 718; 12. J.P. Vasquez Jr., Lubbock, Texas, Justin Nabors, Kemp, Texas, James Hanusch, Belton, Texas, and Ryan Thomas, Lubbock, Texas, each 705; 16. Chris Cogburn, Robinson, Texas, 695; 17. Edward Grmela Jr., Hewitt, Texas, 688; 18. Nick Clinkenbeard, Weatherford, Texas, 673; 19. Chase Vineyard, Davis, Okla., 664; 20. Brayden Wyatt, Wichita Falls, Texas, 660.Mach-1 Sport Compacts – 1. Bubba Brown Jr., Jackson, Minn., 1,124; 2. Oliver Monson, Clear Lake, Iowa, 1,064; 3. Howard Watson, Weatherford, Texas, 1,051; 4. Julia Childs, Weatherford, Texas, 1,050; 5. Dustin Virkus, Clarkfield, Minn., 1,039; 6. Ramsey Meyer, Pierce, Neb., 1,021; 7. Scott Newbury, Rhome, Texas, 1,015; 8. Andrew Harris, South Sioux City, Neb., 1,011; 9. Curtis Miller, Lewis, Iowa, and Alex Dostal, Glencoe, Minn., both 1,008; 11. Jay DeVries, Spencer, Iowa, 986; 12. Barry Taft, Argyle, Iowa, 981; 13. Shawn Hein, Beatrice, Neb., 977; 14. Kaytee DeVries, Spencer, Iowa, 934; 15. Terry Tritt, York, Neb., 808; 16. Jeff Klinkefus, Golden, Colo., 774; 17. Brian Bagent, Killeen, Texas, 772; 18. Clifton Whisenant, Proctor, Texas, 771; 19. John Martinez, Beatrice, Neb., 764; 20. Harold Clifton, Stephenville, Texas, 758.last_img read more

Lambert still looking up

first_img Press Association Lambert added: “His teams are always hard-working sides. I thtink if anyone knows his sides, he wants people to put an honest day’s work in. “I know the way his teams work. I played against Stuttgart when he was manager there. “He might not have Premier League experience but he’s coached some really big clubs in a really big league so he’ll know how to handle it. “To be fair to Fulham, I watched them the other day and they are still a really good side.” Fulham’s on-loan Darren Bent is prevented from playing against his parent club but Magath has revealed that working with the striker has fulfilled the wish of his son Leonard. Leonard, 16, advised his father when he was managing clubs in the German Bundesliga including Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg and Schalke to sign Bent, his favourite player. Magath insists that now he has inherited Bent following his appointment by the Cottagers, he may have a key role to play in the quest for Barclays Premier League survival. “Darren is a very good player – he’s my son’s favourite player!” he said. “He told me for six or seven years that I had to buy Darren Bent. “I’ve known him for years and he’s a very good striker. If he has the training sessions he could be a player that can help us.” Magath and Bent appeared to be at loggerheads following Sunday’s 3-1 home defeat by Everton as mixed messages emerged over the forward’s fitness. Having selected Bent on the bench and started unknown 17-year-old Moussa Dembele, Magath stated he was carrying a knock that prevented him from coming on, a claim that was denied by the player. A family bereavement forced Bent to miss the 1-1 draw with West Brom on February 22 and he has made only two appearances in the five matches since. Adding to the disquiet at Craven Cottage are reports that Shahid Khan is ready to sack Magath with Fulham five points adrift of safety with just six games remaining. Magath said: “There are no problems with Darren. We had a special situation and he had some days off for private reasons and that unsettled him. “He didn’t join us for the game against West Brom so there were a few things that were not really good. “On Friday he stopped training and left the pitch to see the medical staff. He didn’t train. “On Saturday he was better and he told me ‘I’m fine’ so I decided to name him on the bench because he’s a player we need. “But the risk of letting him play was too high because he had been unable to train on Friday. It’s normal you have discussion about such things. “Now somebody was writing I’m out. You always have such subjects where nobody knows where it comes from. It doesn’t matter. “He came to me on Tuesday and we talked together. It’s fine for me.” Successive 4-1 losses to Stoke and Manchester United have left some at the club casting nervous eyes over their shoulders towards the relegation battle. And the news that striker Christian Benteke has been ruled out for the rest of the season with an Achilles tendon injury has hardly improved the mood ahead of Saturday’s Villa Park clash with rock-bottom Fulham. Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert insists back-to-back defeats have not diminished his desire to achieve a top-half finish in the Barclays Premier League. But Lambert is adamant his side should look up instead of down and sees the six-point gap to the 10th-placed Potters far from unbridgeable. Speaking before the extent of Benteke’s injury became apparent, Lambert told Villa’s official website: “To be ambitious you’ve always got to look at what’s above you to try to catch the teams ahead. “There’s not much in that little group there with West Ham and Stoke. “I also know it’s a tough, tough league and you have to be right on it to get a result. Saturday’s game will be no different.” Villa are in far from perfect shape as they prepare to face Felix Magath’s Cottagers, who are still stranded at the bottom of the table with bleak prospects of survival. Besides the absent Benteke, Villa could also be without Gabby Agbonlahor, who is battling to recover from a sickness bug. But there is better news over Nathan Baker, who has recovered from the foot injury which sidelined him in last week’s 4-1 defeat at Old Trafford, while Karim El Ahmadi is also set to return to contention after a thigh strain. Despite Lambert’s insistence on positivity, Villa are not yet safe and the Scot’s previous playing experience in Germany means he is fully aware of his opposite number Magath’s managerial capabilities. last_img read more

Campaigner’s support for Balotelli

first_img The text then read: “Be like Mario. He’s an Italian plumber, created by Japanese people, who speaks English and looks like a Mexican” and went on to describe a black man and a Jewish person. After people criticised the post, he deleted it before writing on his Twitter account that his mother was Jewish. And he issued a statement to apologise, explaining he was trying to be “anti-racist with humour”. Ged Grebby from Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC), an educational charity which uses football to promote an anti-racism message, was encouraged by Balotelli’s immediate apology. That was in contrast to other senior figures in football who have been criticised for making racist remarks recently, but who had not fully apologised, he said. Mr Grebby, who is the campaign’s chief executive, said: “I think it says something about Mario that he had the decency to do that.” Mr Grebby said the charity condemned Balotelli’s deleted post, and said it could not be justified. But a major message of SRtRC was to get people to recognise their own racist behaviour, to admit it and then to change. “With Mario, almost immediately, he deleted the post he had done, recognised his mistake and said sorry,” Mr Grebby said. Controversial Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has received the support of a leading anti-racism campaigner – because he immediately apologised for apparently making a racist and anti-Semitic post. The Italy forward has until 6pm on Friday to respond to the Football Association, which has asked him for an explanation, before a decision will be made whether to charge him. Balotelli, 24, had reposted an image from the computer game Super Mario on his Instagram page with the heading “Don’t be a racist”. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Dyche: We were due some luck

first_img Boss Dyche said: “You need a scratch of luck and we got that with the goal. “It can’t be said for the penalty save because I think it’s an absolutely outstanding save rather than a miss, and their lad (Victor Wanyama) put one over later in the game. “They are the margins and we’ve been on the wrong side of those margins at times. Overall I thought the luck that went in our favour was well deserved. “There’s a belief about what we do and I’ve made it clear – we didn’t come into this division thinking we’re going to have 500 passes a game and rip teams to shreds. “We knew we’d have to find different ways of winning. We did that last year. We’ve taken that mentality into this year. “I thought some of the football in the first half was very good, with pockets of it in the second half. That’s our fifth clean sheet in 15 games, which is a marker in itself at this level.” Barnes also scored the winner against Hull and appears to have established himself as the regular strike partner for leading scorer Danny Ings. Dyche signed the 25-year-old from Brighton in January, and he said: “He keeps going, he’s an awkward customer. “He can be clean at times, sometimes not so clean at others, but he’s very awkward at this level. He’s a newcomer, people won’t know much about him and he sticks at it. “His stats are through the roof and he’ll give you everything.” The game looked like a good chance for Southampton to get back on track after successive defeats to three of the Premier League’s big boys but it was not to be. Manager Ronald Koeman hailed Burnley’s “unbelievable spirit” but was disappointed with the penalty, saying: “It’s good goalkeeping but it’s a bad penalty.” Southampton had 60 per cent of the possession and 15 shots to Burnley’s seven but Koeman was left frustrated that again they could not make their chances count. “I’m very disappointed,” he said. “I think it’s the same story as the last few games. “We played well. The start of the game was difficult, they started a little bit better. They played direct football, battled for the second ball, but I think after 20 minutes we controlled the game. “We didn’t create a lot in the first half but from the start of the second half until missing the penalty we played great football. We had the best chances, had total domination and I waited for the goal. “We had good chances to kill the game at that moment and one mistake – it’s our throw-in and it ended with a goal for Burnley. “Why we didn’t win today, why we didn’t win against Manchester United, and why we had a run of winning games, it’s all about scoring chances and more mistakes in defence. “Maybe it’s a little bit confidence now as well after the four defeats.” Press Association Ashley Barnes’ deflected shot in the 73rd minute, after Tom Heaton had earlier saved Dusan Tadic’s penalty, earned the Clarets a 1-0 victory over Southampton. It was enough to lift Burnley out of the relegation zone, at least until QPR play Everton on Monday. Sean Dyche felt Burnley deserved the luck that helped them to a third win in six Premier League games.last_img read more

Williams: Monk’s done ‘good job’

first_img Rookie manager Monk was under the microscope at the start of the season with many pundits even suggesting Swansea would struggle by putting their 36-year-old former captain in charge. But Swansea’s 1-1 home draw with Everton on Saturday took them to the 47-point mark achieved by Brendan Rodgers’ side in the club’s inaugural Premier League three seasons ago. Swansea skipper Ashley Williams believes Garry Monk’s recruitment policy and tactical know-how is responsible for the club matching its best-ever Barclays Premier League points tally with six games to go. “We don’t want to finish with a whimper, like we have done in other seasons, we want to finish strongly and beat our targets. “Finishing eighth would be a really good season for Swansea.” Jonjo Shelvey rescued a point for Swansea and denied Everton a fourth-straight league victory when he drilled home a 69th-minute spot-kick after Seamus Coleman had handled while on the floor under pressure from Marvin Emnes. Everton manager Roberto Martinez criticised referee Michael Oliver’s decision as he felt Coleman had been bundled over by Emnes but he was far happier with Aaron Lennon’s calm finish close to half-time. The England winger on loan from Tottenham netting for the second successive away game after failing to score since December 2013. “Aaron has been terrific and he has got an incredible quality in his finishing,” Martinez said. “He works so hard and has been a big help in what we do off the ball, but on the ball he has quality in those one v one situations. “He can get in those really good goal-scoring positions and when he does that he is going to hit the back of the net. “It was a very similar profile to when he scored at QPR and he had a very good chance against Arsenal as well. “It’s good to see him enjoying his football in this fashion.” Press Association “I think anyone that watches us regularly will say this is the best team and squad we’ve had, certainly since I’ve been here,” said central defender Williams, a linchpin of Swansea sides under Rodgers and Monk. “The quality throughout the squad is good because the gaffer has done a good job in January and the summer to bring in players. “The all-round quality and the way we work in training, the shape we work on, is better. “We can play different formations and we’ve got very intelligent players in the team. “The main thing is the structure of the staff set-up and the players.” Swansea have spent all season in the top half of the table and have done the double over Manchester United as well as beating Arsenal and Southampton along the way. But Williams said there was a determination not to let the campaign fizzle out and maintain the club’s current eighth position, which would better their best Premier League finish of ninth two seasons ago. “We’re safe so that isn’t a worry or a concern and we’ve got different challenges now,” Williams said. last_img read more

Sevilla wrap up move for Nzonzi

first_img Press Association The 26-year-old has signed a four-year deal with the Spanish side, who have inserted a 30million euro (£21.5million) buy-out clause in his contract, after undergoing a medical on Thursday morning. “Sevilla FC and Stoke City have reached an agreement for the transfer of midfielder Steven Nzonzi, who arrived in Seville on Wednesday night,” said a statement on sevillafc.net. Sevilla have completed the signing of Stoke midfielder Steven Nzonzi in a £7million deal. center_img “The player has signed for four seasons and will have a buyout clause of 30 million euros.” In a short statement Stoke added: “Stoke City can confirm that Steven Nzonzi has left the Britannia Stadium to join Spanish side Sevilla in a £7million deal. “The club would like to place on record it’s thanks to Steven and offer him our best wishes for the future.” last_img read more

Akinyemi’s First Nigerian Athlete to Arrive Rio

first_imgBorn in England, Akinyemi is the first Nigerian to compete in the canoeing event of the Olympic Games.He qualified as Nigeria’s only canoeist to Rio 2016 in the men’s K-1 class by obtaining a top finish at the 2015 African Canoe Slalom Championships in Sagana, Kenya which makes him a medal prospect.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Nigerian canoeist, Jonathan Akinyemi, has arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games which begins on August 5.Akinyemi, who will represent Nigeria‎ at the Games for the second successive time in the canoe/slalom kayak event arrived Brazil on Tuesday, ahead of the rest members of Team Nigeria. He was received at the Games Village by officials of Team Nigeria.”He immediately got down to work and has not slowed down since he hit Rio”, an excited official of Nigeria Olympic Committee said yesterday.last_img read more

Neymar Charged for Comments after Loss to Man Utd

first_imgParis Saint-Germain forward Neymar has been charged with making “insulting acts against a match official” following his comments on social media about the Champions League tie with Manchester United.The 27-year-old called the decision to award United a 94th-minute penalty in the match on 7 March “a disgrace”.Marcus Rashford scored to ensure a 3-1 win and the Premier League side went through to the Champions League quarter-finals on away goals after the tie ended 3-3 on aggregate. The penalty was awarded through VAR after referee Damir Skomina had initially given United a corner when Diogo Dalot’s shot struck Presnel Kimpembe and went over the crossbar.Skomina received a signal to check for a possible handball in the box and subsequently changed his decision.Neymar missed both legs of the tie through injury but wrote in an Instagram post that the penalty “doesn’t exist”.He added: “Four guys who know nothing about football watch a slow-motion replay in front of the television.”A hearing date is yet to be confirmed.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Real estate professional elected as trustee

first_imgStephanie Argyros, a 1992 USC alumna and real estate professional, was recently elected to the USC Board of Trustees. Argyros is a board member of the Children’s Hospital of Orange County and the Orangewood Foundation in Orange County. (Photo from USC News)The Board of Trustees recently elected alumna and real estate professional Stephanie Argyros as its newest member. Argyros, who graduated from USC in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in communication, is also a member of the USC President’s Leadership Council and the Keck School of Medicine of USC’s Board of Overseers. “My favorite thing about USC is its strong sense of family,” Argyros told USC News. “I’m so proud to be a Trojan and incredibly honored to join the USC Board of Trustees.”Along with her position as principal at Arnel, a Costa Mesa-based real estate firm that oversees several properties, Argyros serves as a director of the Argyros Family Foundation. The foundation helped fund USC’s renovation of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum’s peristyle and surrounding plaza with a $7.5 million gift in January 2018, according to USC News.As a board member for the Children’s Hospital of Orange County and the Orangewood Foundation, which helps current and former foster children in Orange County, Argyros also an advocate of children’s health, well-being and education initiatives. “I’m looking forward to getting involved and giving back to the Trojan Family, especially through its support and mentorship programs for youth,” Argyros said to USC News. Argyros has also volunteered with Operation Smile, a nonprofit that provides free dental and facial surgeries to children in developing countries, and is a co-chair for WE Day California, an education initiative that encourages young people to be involved in public service and volunteerism.Interim President Wanda Austin told USC News that she believes Argyros’ public service background will make her a good addition to the Board. “Not only is Stephanie Argyros a highly regarded leader in her profession and a great Trojan, she is a dedicated community volunteer,” Austin told USC News. “Her commitment to ensuring children are healthy, happy and empowered to realize their dreams shines through in all her work … We very much look forward to her insight and contributions.”last_img read more

Badgers welcome Wolverines in Breast Cancer Awareness match

first_imgAfter a long two weeks of travel, the Wisconsin Badgers (15-3, 4-2 Big Ten) finally return home as they host No. 16 Michigan (12-5, 2-4 Big Ten) for their annual Breast Cancer Awareness match Friday at 7 p.m.Wisconsin welcomes Michigan, who was in the final four last year. The Badgers open a four-match home stand and continue their six-match stretch against ranked teams. UW is one of only three teams in the country that will play six straight matches against top-25 teams in 2013.Wisconsin also continues to climb up in the rankings under head coach Kelly Sheffield, taking over No.15 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Top-25 Coaches’ poll, making this the Badgers highest ranking since 2008.“It feels really good,” junior Courtney Thomas said. “Our expectations are really high, not saying 15 isn’t good, but we definitely want to get higher, keep moving up in those ranks. But for right now it feels really good.”Michigan is focused heavily on its offense and Sheffield knows they have to play a strong game this Friday.“ Michigan is one of the top offenses in the conference with a really diverse team,” Sheffield said. “They have some big bangers. The biggest thing we are going to have to do is keep their hitting percentage down from what they’ve been doing, because they have been tearing everybody up. This match is big if we want to stay and battle for a Big Ten championship.”Before the match, the Badgers will honor former Badger volleyball player Margie Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick was a four-year letterwinner for Wisconsin from 1984-87. She still holds season and career records for service aces. In 1991 she served as the interim head coach leading the team to a spot in the NCAA tournament.Fitzpatrick fought breast cancer twice and passed away in December of 2004 from the disease. Each year, Wisconsin Athletics recognizes Fitzpatrick and her family.“It is always important to stop and take a moment and realize how blessed we are,” sophomore Taylor Morey said. “We’re sending out a prayer for all those who are fighting.”Along with honoring her family, Wisconsin Athletics is handing out pink bracelets to the first 1000 fans. It is also Student Night on Friday paired with National Chocolate Cupcake day. All students will receive a free chocolate cupcake upon entry.last_img read more