The Wisconsin volleyball team had an exceptional and unexpected season. With a new coach, a freshman setter and six preseason injuries, the expectations were not that of 28 wins and a place in the National Championship game.This season, sports fans fell in love with the Badgers and saw what it truly meant to be a team.Replacing 13-year head coach Pete Waite after his resignation, first-year head coach Kelly Sheffield came to UW from the University of Dayton, making him the 10th coach in Wisconsin volleyball history. With many honors to his name, he eagerly anticipated his time at a Big Ten school.“The goal is to compete for Big Ten championships — as it should be at Wisconsin,” Sheffield remarked at the start of the season.Throughout the season, Sheffield emphasized getting better and better each match, and when that happens, “anything is possible.”Along with the introduction of Sheffield, freshman Lauren Carlini — the top-ranked recruit in the country — stepped foot into the Wisconsin Field House as the starting setter for the Badgers. Wisconsin finished no better than seventh place in the Big Ten since 2007; Carlini’s commitment to UW could not have come at a better time. Her arrival brought a glimmer of hope for a return to the top of the conference.The 2013 season started strong, with 6 straight wins for the Badgers and their strengths continued accumulating with upsets left and right. The Badgers took down then-No. 5 Michigan State and No. 7 Minnesota, making it the first time in program history that the then 16th-ranked Badgers defeated back-to-back top 10 ranked opponents.“It was really exciting,” Sheffield said. “When you have everybody pulling in the same direction. That’s the fun part of coaching.”This was a season of firsts for many of the players, as this was the first NCAA tournament for this group of Badgers, excluding junior Taylor Morey who competed in the tournament while at Notre Dame. Prior to the tournament, many doubted the opportunity for the Badgers’ success. The players used it as fuel to catapult themselves deep into the tournament.“This is a whole new experience,” Carlini said. “Let’s prove everyone wrong.”For the first time since 2007, the Wisconsin volleyball team was chosen to compete in the NCAA tournament. They were picked as the No. 12 seed and hosted both the first and second round matches. The Badgers got one last opportunity to play in front of their home fans, which proved to be more and more loyal as the season progressed.“I think our team inspired a bunch of people,” Sheffield said. “You don’t have to be a volleyball fan. If you’re a fan of sports, I think you really learned to admire what this team did this year. We hope we made the students proud.”Wisconsin finished out the season ranking fifth in home attendance, making it the 14th-straight season the team ended the year in the top five for national attendance. The Badgers averaged 3,521 fans per match.Coasting through the first two rounds of the tournament, UW took down in-state rival Milwaukee and California in a pair of three-set sweeps advancing them to the Sweet 16.As they took on Florida State, the Badgers were the only seeded team left in their region. After taking down the Seminoles, Wisconsin would not be stopped, taking down the top-overall seed and defending national champion Texas in the national semifinals to open the door to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2000.The winning streak came to an end as the Badgers fell 3-1 to Penn State. Wisconsin finished out its season with a total of 28 victories, which are the most wins the program has seen since its first season with an NCAA finals appearance in 2000.The end of the season is bittersweet, however, as the Badgers say farewell to one of their all-time greats, senior libero Annemarie Hickey. Hickey left the Field House a legend, topping off an already strong career with an exceptional senior year. She ranks third on the UW career record list with 1,681 digs and is one of the best defensive players to wear the Wisconsin cardinal and white. Hickey set a precedent for the younger players by embodying the characteristics of a true leader and extraordinary athlete.“Annemarie is probably one of the best leaders and captains I’ve had in my career,” Carlini said. “She doesn’t get down on herself when she makes mistakes, she’s always looking out for the best of the team and she’s always looking for ways to help other people.”Hickey wants to be remembered as she says her goodbyes and leaves a lasting legacy for the Wisconsin Badgers.“I am going to be the best teammate I can be. You always want to be remembered somehow, and I’ve always been working hard to be that leader that everyone looks to, the person that keeps everyone calm but competitive and is bringing it all the time,” Hickey said. “That’s my gift to them.”With the 2013 season at a close, there is only one question: what’s next?“New year, new challenges,” Sheffield said with a laugh. “We’re hoping that we use this past season as a catapult into next year. We’re a team that’s got a shot to win it all, next week when we are all back on campus we are going to get back to work on making history even better.”
🎥 Head Coach Luke Walton talks following the Lakers win over Orlando pic.twitter.com/l2wXMeAawn— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 8, 2018 Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error 🎥 Brook Lopez talks about his clutch free throws down the stretch. pic.twitter.com/G9LGcfA5aX— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 8, 2018 PreviousLos Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) shoots as Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac (1) defends in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles Wednesday, March 7, 2018. The Lakers won, 108-107. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 7: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball against Evan Fournier #10 of the Orlando Magic at STAPLES Center on March 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsOrlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9 fouls Los Angeles Lakers’ Brook Lopez (11) in the final seconds of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. Lopez made the two free throws, putting the Lakers ahead. The Lakers won 108-107. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)Orlando Magic forward Wes Iwundu (25) shoots in front of Los Angeles Lakers center Thomas Bryant (31) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas drives as Orlando’s Shelvin Mack defends during Wednesday’s game at Staples Center. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton directs play against the Orlando Magic in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles Wednesday, March 7, 2018. The lakers won, 108-107. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)LOS ANGELES, CA – MARCH 7: Kyle Kuzma #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers goes up for a dunk during the game against the Orlando Magic at STAPLES Center on March 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)Los Angeles Lakers guard Alex Caruso (4) is defended by Orlando Magic guard Brandon Ingram (14) and forward Wes Iwundu (25), who fouls Caruso during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)Orlando Magic guard Aaron Gordon dunks against the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas tries to maintain possession of the ball as Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic tries to poke it loose from behind during Wednesday’s game at Staples Center. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)Orlando Magic’s Evan Fournier (10) passes the ball over Los Angeles Lakers, including center Brook Lopez (11), during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)Orlando’s Aaron Gordon makes a reverse layup in front of the Lakers’ Brook Lopez, right, during Wednesday’s game at Staples Center. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)Orlando Magic head coach Frank Vogel leads his team agaist the Los Angeles Lakers in the first half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles Wednesday, March 7, 2018. The lakers won, 108-107. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)Orlando Magic forward Jonathon Simmons (17) loses the ball as he shoots as Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) and guard Lonzo Ball (2) defend during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles Wednesday, March 7, 2018. The Lakers won 108-107. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)Lakers coach Luke Walton signals to his team during Wednesday’s game against the Orlando Magic at Staples Center. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) and center Brook Lopez (11) vie for a rebound with Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9) during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. The Lakers won 108-107. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)Lakers guard Isaiah Thomas argues with Orlando’s Jonathon Simmons during Wednesday’s game at Staples Center. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)Lakers center Brook Lopez goes up for a shot against Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic during the first half of Wednesday’s game at Staples Center. Lopez finished with 27 points, including the decisive free throws with 0.6 seconds left, in a 108-107 victory. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)Lakers head coach Luke Walton and Orlando Magic head coach Frank Vogel, hidden in a crowd of Magic players, waiting for a ruling on the final play of the game on Wednesday night at Staples Center. The Lakers won, 108-107. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)Russell Wilson and Ciara watch and NBA basketball game between Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles Wednesday, March 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) shoots as Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac (1) defends in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles Wednesday, March 7, 2018. The Lakers won, 108-107. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)NextShow Caption1 of 20Los Angeles Lakers forward Kyle Kuzma (0) shoots as Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac (1) defends in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles Wednesday, March 7, 2018. The Lakers won, 108-107. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)ExpandLOS ANGELES — What began with a jump ball ended with one as well. Brook Lopez tapped the ball out into the backcourt and what remained of the final second of the game ticked off the clock and the Lakers survived.Whether they had any idea why hardly mattered.Did Lonzo Ball understand the call that led to the jump ball that allowed the Lakers to escape with a 108-107 victory?“Not at all,” he said. #LABron: LeBron James to Los Angeles billboards appear before Lakers-Cavaliers matchup The rookie point guard scored 13 of his 16 points in the period, knocking down five of seven shots, including three of five 3-point attempts. He finished 6 for 16 from the field and 4 for 13 from 3-point range while adding six rebounds and five assists.Walton credited Ball for making winning plays all over the court, but Ball passed the credit along to Lopez.“He definitely saved us tonight,” Ball said. “Had two big clutch free throws for us. Don’t know what happened after that, but we got the win.” 🎥 Kyle Kuzma talks about sliding over to play the 3 and his 20/10 performance against Orlando. pic.twitter.com/aoMOOxMX8z— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 8, 2018 Alex Caruso an example of how two-way contracts can work as he nears days limit with Lakers Referees huddled. Lakers coach Luke Walton and Magic coach Frank Vogel leaned to listen in. And then Vogel erupted. He slammed his white board on the scorer’s table. The ruling made by the NBA’s replay center in Secaucus, N.J. was that there would be a jump ball at center court.Chalk it all up to a little-known nugget from deep in the NBA’s rulebook, an easily missed chunk of text: rule 13E-9-2.Lead referee Bill Spooner told a pool reporter that “the clock malfunctioned” before the ball was touched.“Anytime there is either an inadvertent whistle and/or a horn when the ball is in the air,” Spooner said, “there’s no possession and we go to center circle. Jump ball.”The Magic, who fell behind by nine on a 3-pointer by Kentavious Caldwell-Pope with 2:53 left, were deprived of their chance to steal a win on the road. Gordon called it “a terrible end to the game of basketball.”“They have to change that rule and I think they will,” he said.Even Walton was unfamiliar with the rule, saying he was initially upset that the play was being reviewed because the Lakers had stopped the play.“Obviously,” Walton said, “when I heard the explanation Frank was a little bit more upset than I was. That’s a tough rule.”The confusion – or controversy, depending on your perspective – added to what was already a dramatic ending.After Caldwell-Pope’s 3-pointer, the Magic (20-45) outscored the Lakers 12-2 over the next two-plus minutes, a run punctuated when Gordon went the length of the court after a missed 3-pointer by Ball and laid it in. The Magic led 107-106 with five seconds left.After a timeout, the Lakers inbounded to Lopez, who backed down Nikola Vucevic, drawing the foul when he spun toward the basket.Lopez had spent the fourth quarter of the first matchup against the Magic with his head buried in a towel, his frustration boiling over. On Wednesday, his curly mop freshly shorn, Lopez was all smiles after Thomas sliced through the lane and found him for a 3-pointer with 5:17 left that gave the Lakers their largest lead of the night at 99-87.He skipped to the bench and shook his head with delight. Five minutes later, he made the game-sealing free throws.“It’s been a while (since I was in that situation),” Lopez said. “But I knew I was going to hit them.”Lopez finished with 27 points, his most since he scored 34 points against his former team, the Brooklyn Nets, on Nov. 3.“With the way that we play,” Walton said, “sometimes he doesn’t get the same opportunities as he has gotten before (in his career). But he did a really nice job tonight of establishing the block for us and getting down there and scoring in the paint.”Making his third start at small forward since Brandon Ingram injured his groin, Kuzma scored 20 points to go with 10 rebounds. Julius Randle logged his 18th double-double of the season, finishing with 12 points and 11 rebounds.The Magic went up 32-17 with 1:17 left in the first quarter, but the Lakers went on a 16-3 run and eventually took the lead at 38-37 on a three-point play from Kuzma. They built a 56-51 lead by halftime.In the third period, Ball got going.Related Articles 🎥 Lonzo Ball details what changed after the first quarter that led the Lakers to the win. pic.twitter.com/ewmIOcMil8— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 8, 2018 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersKyle Kuzma?“I have never really seen nothing like that before,” he said.Everything up to that point was routine for the Lakers (29-35) of late. Just like Monday night against Portland, they built a double-digit lead in the final minutes only to lose it all. But unlike 48 hours earlier, this time it wasn’t the Lakers who were unable to get off a final play.After Lopez sank a pair of free throws with six-tenths of a second left on the clock, Orlando guard Mario Hezona inbounded the ball from the sideline. He attempted to throw a lob to Aaron Gordon, who was sandwiched by Ball and Julius Randle. The buzzer sounded.The buzzer sounded too soon.
A nearby dwarf galaxy is giving astronomers a unique view of what the first stars and galaxies in the universe may have looked like. The early universe was made up almost exclusively of the hydrogen and helium created shortly after the big bang. All the other stuff we have today was made by stars burning hydrogen and helium as fuel, fusing them into heavier elements, and then spewing them out when they explode as supernovae at the end of their lives. Models suggest that the first generation of stars, made almost exclusively of hydrogen and helium, were unlike anything we see today—huge monsters hundreds of times the mass of the sun pumping out intense high-energy radiation. Such stars are thought to have played a role in the epoch of reionization—a period before the universe was 1 billion years old during which all the gas it contained was stripped of electrons, becoming ionized—but they are too far away to be studied. Now, a team of astronomers has surveyed a dwarf galaxy called IZw 18 (pictured above), which has the least heavy elements of any galaxy in the nearby universe. They found a large region of the galaxy giving off a signal of helium being ionized. It takes intense radiation to knock electrons from helium, so the team suggests this month in The Astrophysical Journal Letters that IZw 18 may be the home of modern-day equivalents of those primordial, bright, supergiant stars. Studying them more closely could teach us more about conditions during the epoch of reionization.