Although the youthful Wisconsin squad struggled throughout the season, Greg Van Emburgh looks forward to the team’s future.[/media-credit]Coming off of a record-setting season, the 2010-11 Wisconsin men’s tennis team had big shoes to fill. In 2010, the University of Wisconsin was selected to enter the NCAA tournament for the fourth straight season, a school-record, and managed to make it to its first-ever sweet 16 appearance.When the 2011 season started, head coach Greg Van Emburgh knew it was going to be a rebuilding year for his young team. The Badgers went from three seniors and three freshmen on their 2009-10 roster to a 2010-11 season where the team was predominantly freshmen.The lack of experience seemed to be the Badger’s achilles’ heel.In January, the Badgers began their season with two wins and three losses before losing their first conference match against Minnesota, the team that would end their season months later in the Big Ten Tournament.After its first conference match, Wisconsin seemed to hit a high note with two wins against Marquette and UIC, 6-1 and 7-0, respectively. However, the happiness was short lived, as the Badgers struggled to continue their winning ways.Throughout the season, consistency seemed to be a major problem for the Badgers as a whole. They would win a game, and then lose two. Lose a game, and then win two. Not once in the season did they win more than two consecutive games.When March rolled around, Wisconsin ended up claiming the No. 6 seed for the Big Ten Tournament. With a win against No. 11 seed Penn State, Wisconsin was able to continue tournament play against No. 3 seed Minnesota. But their tournament play was short-lived, as Wisconsin fell early to its conference rivals.Although they struggled as a team, Marek Michalicka, Billy Bertha, Rodney Carey and Fredrik Ask proved that individually it was a different story.The seven freshmen that played as Badgers this season gained valuable experience that is needed for the success of their future seasons. Two of the freshman, the doubles duo of Carey and Ask, worked their way into the UW system perfectly and ended their season by working their way to the No. 2 doubles slot.Bertha, a sophomore, is known for his passionate, fiery play and will lead next year’s team. Bertha and Michalicka played the entire season at the No. 1 doubles spot and together they gained the lone win of the day in the Big Ten Tournament against Minnesota, ending their season with an 18-5 doubles record together.Whether in doubles play with Bertha or singles play, Michalicka led his team by example with his experience. Optimistic and focused, Michalicka was spoken very highly of during his time at Wisconsin and ended up earning Big Ten honors for his play. His team-high record of 17-6 in the No. 1 singles slot and his 8-2 record in Big Ten play earned him a spot on the first team All-Big Ten team as well as the recognition of being a Badgers’ Big Ten sportsmanship honoree.While his time at the UW is coming to a close, Michalicka’s tennis career is still booming. On Tuesday, the NCAA selection show aired and Michalicka looked to get his third-straight NCAA singles berth. Ranked No. 57 in the nation, UW’s senior captain got what he wanted and was selected as one of 64 singles players to compete in the 2011 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Tennis Championships.Although the season has come to a close, with such a young team, you haven’t seen the last of many of these Badgers. Van Emburgh is proud of his team and how far it has come and looks forward to his growing future with such a young team.
FIFA has released the draw procedure for Monday’s African Zone play-offs involving ten teams.Ten teams from the continent who topped their second round groups will be entered into a draw to be held by the Confederation of African Football – CAF in Egypt.Ghana and nine other group winners – Ivory Coast, Algeria, Nigeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Senegal and Cameroon – will be drawn for the two-leg ties, with the winners going to the finals in Brazil.African Zone Playoff Draw ProceduresPlayoff Format:– Draw on 16 September 2013 to match playoff opponents– 5 home-and-away playoff series– Playoff dates:– 11-15 October 2013: 1st leg– 15- 19 November 2013: 2nd leg– 5 playoff series winners qualify for 2014 FIFA World Cup Ranking and Seeding:According to Article 18.1 of Regulations for 2014 FIFA World Cup, groups seeded based on the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking (12th September 2013):– the 5 highest-ranking group winners will comprise Pot 1– the 5 lowest-ranking group winners will comprise Pot 2Pot 1 – Seeded teamsCôte d’IvoireGhanaAlgeriaNigeriaTunisia Pot 2 – non seeded teamsEgyptBurkina FasoCameroonSenegalEthiopiaDraw Procedures:1.One ball from Pot 1 and one ball from Pot 2 will be drawn and placed into a central pot2.The two draw balls will be stirred, then drawn one by one3.The first ball drawn from the central pot will be the home team for the first leg; the second ball drawn from the central pot will be the home team for the second leg4.Steps 1-3 will be repeated for the remaining four balls in each potTie-Breaking procedures, Article 18, paragraph 9 of the Regulations for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil: – If teams are tied after two-match series (on basis of Results, Goals Scored, Away Goals), then Cup System will take effectKnockout format:– After conclusion of second match (i.e. 90 minutes of regulatory time), 30 minutes of overtime will be played (2 x 15 minutes)– Goals scored during overtime period will be decisive•a) Team scoring greater number of goals advances•b) If both teams score same number of goals, then team with more away goals advances– If no goals are scored in the extra-time, then penalty kick procedures will apply, as described in the Laws of the Game