Month: September 2019

As Sports Data Evolve the Public May Get Left Behind

The world of sports research has grown exponentially over the past decade, a trend nowhere more apparent than at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, the industry’s highest-profile exhibition.Sloan has ballooned from 175 attendees at its inaugural event in 2007 to nearly 3,000 visitors a year ago at the sprawling Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. (This year’s attendance was slightly lower because of a smaller space, but that wasn’t a function of decreased demand. According to conference organizer Jessica Gelman, the waiting list ran into the thousands.)The flowering of sports analytics has brought lots of attention, and money, to the field. That’s good and bad. Higher-tech statistics require greater investment, which, in turn, introduces the possibility that leagues will be less willing to share new data with the public.Several notable data projects have been featured in Sloan’s panels over the years. Just last week, Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MLBAM) announced an optical-tracking technology to replace the PITCHf/x system. What does this portend for the future of open-source analytics?MLBAM CEO Bob Bowman gave assurances that “fans will be able to see these data.” I hope that he means history will repeat itself. The original PITCHf/x data was stored in public files, which early pioneers of pitch analysis quickly learned to use. Bloggers and hobbyists did such good work that teams began hiring them; Mike Fast, Josh Kalk and other PITCHf/x gurus jumped into the big leagues (yours truly was hired by the Atlanta Hawks). Thus began a symbiotic relationship between MLB insiders and outsiders, made possible by a willingness to give smart people free data and let them run with it.But you can’t help but sense the possibility that the next wave of advanced data won’t be as accessible to amateurs. The tug-of-war between intellectual curiosity and monetization serves as a microcosm of what Sloan is about. It exists in the murky territory between trade fairs and academic conferences, a stark change from its earlier, smaller incarnations.Sloan’s growth has mirrored the growth of sports analytics, but it also underscores the increasing ways in which businesses and teams are looking to profit from a new generation of sports data. I just hope they don’t shut out the public in the process. read more

Former Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez Serving a Life Sentence

Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was serving a life sentence for murder. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia, Pool, Fil)BOSTON (AP) — Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez, who was serving a life sentence for a murder conviction and just days ago was acquitted of a double murder, died after hanging himself in his prison cell early Wednesday, Massachusetts prisons officials said.Hernandez, 27, was found by guards in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley just after 3 a.m., Department of Correction spokesman Christopher Fallon said in a statement.The former New England Patriots tight end was pronounced dead at UMass Memorial-HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster about an hour later.Hernandez’s death comes the same day the Patriots are making their visit to the White House to mark their Super Bowl win. Team spokesman Stacey James said the Patriots were aware of the reports of Hernandez’s death but didn’t anticipate the club commenting Wednesday.Hernandez was in a single cell in a general population housing unit in the maximum-security state prison. He hanged himself using a bed sheet that he attached to a cell window, Fallon said.Hernandez tried to block the cell door from the inside by jamming the door with various items, Fallon said.Fallon said he’s not aware of any suicide note written by Hernandez and stressed that an investigation is ongoing. He said that officials had no concern that Hernandez was planning on taking his own life, and if there was a concern about his well-being, Hernandez would have been transferred to a mental health unit.Hernandez was moved to tears on Friday after he was acquitted of the 2012 fatal shootings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in Boston. Just before his acquittal, Hernandez was seen blowing kisses to the little girl he fathered with fiancée Shayanna Jenkins. Cameras captured the tender exchange.But, Hernandez was still serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for his conviction in the 2013 shooting of Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player who was dating his fiancée’s sister.He was tried but acquitted in the slayings of de Abreu and Furtado, whom prosecutors contended were gunned down after one of the men accidentally spilled a drink on Hernandez in a Boston nightclub. The jury in that case found Hernandez not guilty of first-degree murder but convicted him of unlawful possession of a gun, and the judge sentenced him to an additional four to five years in prison — separate from his existing life sentence.Hernandez’s lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Massachusetts State Police remain on the scene investigating the death.Hernandez grew up in Connecticut and played for the Patriots from 2010 to 2012. The team released him in June 2013, shortly after he was arrested in Lloyd’s killing. read more

Baseballs Richest Just Got Much Richer

Washington Nationals+2.7 The Dodgers and Yankees punctuated a quiet deadline with a pair of last-minute trades, acquiring starting pitchers Yu Darvish and Sonny Gray, respectively. Both players strengthen already formidable rotations, readying their teams for long runs into October, and the trades cap a frenetic cycle of trade activity for the Dodgers and Yankees. Two of the richest teams in baseball are now even better.Going back to 2009, the Yankees and Dodgers tended to be quiet at the deadline, preferring to acquire players through free agency instead. They picked up only an average of about one win above replacement at the trade deadline since 2009. But this year, the two wealthiest teams in baseball decided to buy. The rich get richerTotal wins above replacement (WAR) added through trades, 2017 Chicago Cubs+4.6 Kansas City Royals+2.4 They weren’t the only good teams who did so. The Dodgers and Yankees are two of the six teams who gained the most value this trade deadline, and four of the top six are leading their respective divisions this year.Like the Dodgers and Yankees, most of the contending teams have traded for starting pitchers. Darvish and Gray are two of the best options available. Each is a nearly mirror image of the other in the events a pitcher can control most — strikeouts, walks, and home runs allowed. Both pitchers have recent injury troubles from which they’ve bounced back to produce ace-level seasons. Both command dazzling arrays of pitches, fooling hitters as much with unpredictability as raw stuff. Each ought to boost their teams’ playoff fortunes substantially.Not like the Dodgers’ playoff fortunes were ever in doubt, even with a recent injury to ace Clayton Kershaw. A mere 43 games over .500, the Dodgers have marched to a 14-game division lead while boasting one of the strongest teams (by Elo) in history.The Yankees, meanwhile, have capitalized on unexpected performances from young players like Aaron Judge and Clint Frazier, surprising resurgences from veterans like CC Sabathia and Matt Holliday, and career years from journeymen like Aaron Hicks. The confluence of production has New York narrowly edging out the Red Sox in the American League East so far. It’s hard to say any good New York Yankees season has come from “out of nowhere,” but projections didn’t expect them to be this good this year.These trades should leave baseball’s other contenders very scared. The Houston Astros have mashed their way to 68 wins so far, but they barely improved at this year’s deadline. While other teams traded for aces, the Astros managed to get erratic southpaw Francisco Liriano, a choice that could haunt them, especially given that their top two starters — Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers — have both battled through injury and underperformance in the past two months.If the Yankees and Dodgers’ 2017 prospects weren’t frustrating enough for their rivals, it gets worse: Neither of these teams are going anywhere, anytime soon. Baseball America puts their farm systems as the second and fourth-best in baseball entering 2017, and these trades didn’t get rid of the teams’ best prospects. As if that wasn’t enough, the Dodgers and Yankees also boast some of the most promising youngsters in baseball, with players like Judge and Cody Bellinger exceeding expectations.Both the Yankees and Dodgers are young, rich, and talented. The other 28 teams in baseball better watch out.CORRECTION (July 31, 8:24 p.m.): An earlier version of this story misstated how far above .500 the Dodgers are. They are 43 games above .500, not 33. New York Yankees+4.2 Atlanta Braves+2.1 Los Angeles Dodgers+2.0 Sources: MLB, Baseball Prospectus TEAMTOTAL WAR ADDED read more

Bianca Andreescu Wasnt Afraid Of Serena Williams — Or Any Of Tenniss

As women’s tennis continues its youth movement, it just might have found its next young star.Bianca Andreescu, just 19 years old, captured her first major title on Saturday with speed, power and confidence. To win the U.S. Open, she dominated Serena Williams — the most dominant player in the history of tennis. And that may have been proof of Andreescu’s best asset: her ability to play her best against the best.The Canadian has never lost to a top-ranked opponent in her young career. Since her 2019 season began in Auckland, New Zealand — where she beat then-No. 3 Caroline Wozniacki — Andreescu is 8-0 against players ranked in the WTA Top 10. Going undefeated against the tennis elite to start a career is rare for even top players. Serena Williams went 5-3 in her first eight Top 10 matches, while Venus Williams won two and lost six. Monica Seles was 4-4, Steffi Graf was 2-6, and Maria Sharapova didn’t win a match, a perfect (or perfectly imperfect) 0-8.Andreescu has been nearly unbeatable this season, with a record of 43-4 and a streak of 13 straight matches won. When she won a title at Indian Wells in March, Andreescu won three-set duels against then-No. 6 Elina Svitolina in the semifinal and No. 8 Angelique Kerber in the final. She beat Kerber again later that month in Miami. In Toronto, Andreescu upset No. 5. Kiki Bertens and No. 3 Karolína Plíšková before her final win over Serena Williams, who retired four games into the match with back spasms.Before this U.S. Open, Andreescu had never played in the main event — failing to make it out of qualifying the previous two seasons. That’s also rare. According to the WTA, Seles was the last woman to win a major in her debut, winning the Australian Open in 1991 at the age of 17. Andreescu’s ranking, No. 178 at the end of the 2018 season, is now No. 5.“It’s so crazy, man,” Andreescu said in her post-final press conference on Saturday. “I’ve been dreaming of this moment for the longest time.”Andreescu showed on Saturday why she has rocketed to the top of the rankings. She serves well, even against a returner as deadly as Williams. Her forehand and backhand shots are deep and fast. She also plays with creativity, especially on drop shots.While Andreescu was in a zone, Williams at times looked lost. The 37-year-old had eight double faults on her serve and landed her first serves just 44 percent of the time.1Before the Open, she was landing 60 percent of her first serves for the season. She hit 33 unforced errors to Andreescu’s 17. And Williams’s second serve made Andreescu even more dangerous. Williams won just 30 percent of the points on her 43 second serves after winning 48 percent of those points this season going into the Open.Williams gave Andreescu the credit, but she was frustrated with her own play after the loss. “I honestly don’t think Serena showed up,” Williams said. “I have to kind of figure out how to get her to show up in Grand Slam finals.”Williams has lost eight straight sets in major finals since 2018, in matches at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. But she’s not the only women’s player to struggle for sustained success. Kerber beat Williams in Wimbledon last year but has fallen off lately, losing this year in the first round in the U.S. Open and French Open and in the second round at Wimbledon. Naomi Osaka won two straight majors, at last year’s U.S. Open and this year’s Australian Open, but she lost early in the French Open and in the first round in Wimbledon. (In this U.S. Open, she lost to Bencic in straight sets in the fourth round).Essentially, no one has any idea who will win a women’s Grand Slam these days. There’s a lot of up-and-coming talent, like Cori “Coco” Gauff, a 15-year-old who reached the third round at the U.S. Open. That’s why Andreescu is both a surprise and totally expected — because anything can happen.“It’s been a crazy ride this year,” Andreescu said. “I can definitely get used to this feeling.” read more

Ohio State mens lacrosse falls to Hofstra in defensive battle

OSU junior attacker J.T. Blubaugh (9) during a game against Detroit on Feb. 13 at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.Credit: Miles McQuinn | Lantern PhotographerThe offense came a little too late for the Ohio State men’s lacrosse team on Saturday, as the Buckeyes fell to No. 13 Hofstra by a score of 8-5.After a defensive struggle throughout the first three quarters, the OSU offense came alive in the fourth with three goals. However, the Pride matched them goal for goal in the period, handing the Scarlet and Gray their second loss of the season to bring their record to 5-2.The Buckeyes’ only two goals in the first three periods came from freshman attacker Jack Jasinski in the first quarter on an assist from junior attacker Austin Shanks and senior attacker Ryan Hunter in the second quarter on an assist from Jasinski.OSU was only able to attempt 10 shots in the first two quarters combined. Although the Buckeyes were able to match that number in the third quarter alone, they were unable to find the back of the net in the period.Much of that was because of the play of Hofstra goalie Jack Concannon. The sophomore, who came into Saturday’s game ranked fifth in the nation with a save percentage of 62.8 percent, had 14 saves on the day and stifled the OSU offense for much of the game.The play of the defense was a bright spot for the Buckeyes.Hofstra senior attacker and 2016 Colonial Athletic Association Preseason Player of the Year Sam Llinares was held scoreless on the day on four shot attempts. OSU senior defenseman Robby Haus was able to limit Llinares’ impact on the game, usually with the help of a double team.Though Llinares was held in check, Hofstra junior attacker Josh Byrne scored two goals to bring his team-high number of goals on the year to 16. Junior midfielder Brian von Bargen scored three goals and senior midfielder Korey Hendrickson added two more, in large part due to the increased attention paid to Llinares and Byrne.Hunter added his second goal of the game for OSU with 11:06 left in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 6-4, but a pair of Hofstra goals sealed the game for the Pride.OSU is set to get a chance to bounce back on Tuesday after a few days’ rest, but things don’t appear to get any easier. The Buckeyes are slated to play the No. 6 Towson Tigers at Ohio Stadium at 7 p.m., before traveling to Colorado to take on the No. 2 Denver Pioneers on March 12. read more

Mens hockey team lets potential sweep slip away

With a 2-1 lead after two periods, the Ohio State men’s ice hockey team (5-7-1, 2-5-1-1 CCHA) seemed poised to “sweep” a two-game series with the No. 14-ranked University of Alaska-Fairbanks (8-5-3, 5-4-3-2 CCHA) Saturday at Nationwide Arena. But the Buckeyes quickly lost control of the game and gave up four third-period goals, including three in the final 5:30 of play, as Alaska skated to a 5-2 win. “It was a good team effort tonight,” Alaska coach Dallas Ferguson said. “We were missing a couple of guys but we feel like we have good depth at our positions. The guys did what they had to do to be successful.” OSU senior forward John Albert gave OSU a 1-0 lead with his wrap-around goal just 2:16 into the first period. Freshman forward Alex Lippincott gave the Buckeyes a 2-0 lead in the second period, and OSU appeared to be in control of the game. Momentum quickly shifted to Alaska’s favor when OSU junior forward Danny Dries received a major penalty for hitting an Alaska player from behind. The Buckeyes had to play a man down for five minutes. Alaska scored on the power play, the start of a 5-0 run. After the goal, OSU senior defenseman Corey Toy had to sit two minutes for a slashing penalty, giving Alaska a 5-3 man advantage. OSU coach Mark Osiecki said the two penalties in the second period changed the game in Alaska’s favor. “The difference in the game was the five-minute major and the two-minute minor in the first 40 minutes,” he said. “The penalties killed us. We wasted so much energy killing the penalties that it wore on us the rest of the game.” Despite the disappointing loss, OSU did not leave the series empty-handed. In the first game of the series Friday, the teams skated to a 3-3 tie, and OSU won in a shootout. OSU trailed 3-2 into the final minute of the game, but with just 10 seconds remaining, Dries scored for the Buckeyes to force overtime. Neither team scored in the five-minute overtime period, so the teams went into a shootout. OSU goalie Cal Heeter stopped all three of Alaska’s shootout attempts as Dries scored for OSU, giving the Buckeyes a shootout victory, 1-0. The game is considered a tie in the NCAA standings, but the shootout win benefits OSU in the CCHA conference standings. The Buckeyes will now turn their attention to Michigan as OSU starts a two-game series with the Wolverines on Friday. Michigan is second in the CCHA, but Albert said OSU will be up to the challenge if the Buckeyes play as one unit. “We have to play as a team. We can’t play as individuals,” he said. “If we do that, I hope we can get two wins next weekend.” read more

Commentary Kerry Coombs makes his presence known as Ohio State football kicks

As he roamed the field for the first practice of Ohio State’s spring football season, coach Urban Meyer’s demeanor was calm. He was in control. The field was his. The loudest guy out there was not the former Florida head coach, but the newest hire on Meyer’s staff, the cornerbacks coach from the University of Cincinnati. Kerry Coombs, hired after Bill Sheridan’s departure to the NFL, was the most vocal and most engaging coach to watch on the field. Working with the cornerbacks in position drills, Coombs took command of the situation, barked out orders and asserted himself as a presence on the field you would expect from a long-time coach – not one that has been on the team for less than a month. Cornerback position drills included more than 20 minutes of footwork, ranging from side-to-side fast-feet drills, drills to keep the corners low and drills designed to have them catch a tennis ball. Coombs was the loudest on the field, yelling things such as “Stay down,” or “Get low,” or my favorite, “You have to catch the ball!” Coombs, served as the associate head coach for the Bearcats, and also as Cincinnati’s special teams coordinator, defensive pass game coordinator and defensive backs coach. Coombs was constantly challenging the corners to get lower and faster in their drills, and was not shy in making fun of redshirt sophomore defensive back Adam Griffin for his height. Griffin is listed at 5 feet 8 inches. “Adam,” Coombs shouted. “You’re already too low, I can’t even see you back there.” If Coombs’ passion is any indication of the kind of energy Meyer’s new staff will bring to the field, all signs are pointing in the right direction for the 2012 Buckeyes. Running with the 1’s The linebacker position will provide solid competition for the three starting spots, as senior Storm Klein was running with the backups on Wednesday. Redshirt senior Etienne Sabino, sophomore Ryan Shazier and sophomore Curtis Grant were running in the three linebacker spots. The offensive line position will also provide interesting matchups in spring ball, as the anchors of the offensive line will not be returning next year. Players stepping in to fill the shoes of Mike Adams, Michael Brewster and J.B Shugarts include junior Andrew Norwell, redshirt junior Jack Mewhort, redshirt junior Corey Linsley, redshirt junior Marcus Hall, tight end-turned-lineman senior Reid Fragel and many others. Also impressing on the first day of practice was freshman Taylor Decker. read more

Andrea Kacsits netting success on off court for Buckeye volleyball

Sophomore middle blocker Andrea Kacsits (4) scans the court during a match against Michigan Sept. 27 at St. John Arena. OSU won, 3-1.Credit: Mark Batke / Lantern photographerAndrea Kacsits has a future in volleyball, but it may have nothing to do with her standout play on the court.Kacsits, a sophomore middle blocker for the No. 24 Ohio State women’s volleyball team, has already started 48 matches for the Buckeyes, including each of OSU’s 20 games this season. She is one of five Buckeyes to record triple-digit kills in 2013 with 113.Senior defensive specialist Julianne Mandolfo said Kacsits is a unique player.“She’s one of the hardest working teammates I’ve ever played with,” Mandolfo said. “And the most passionate about everything and what she does.”Mandolfo called Kacsits a “powerful leader” on the team.Coach Geoff Carlston said Kacsits is important to the team, on and off the court.“She’s a great person for our team and our university as a whole and she’s hard working,” he said. “She brings a lot of positivity to our program when it comes to the outside community.”That hard work and positivity has paid off for Kacsits, as she is starting to get some recognition for her work outside of the university as well.The Rockford, Mich., native began an internship at Sports Imports over the summer, and has thrived in her new role.Sports Imports is a sports equipment company specializing in volleyball net systems. Kacsits’ job is to design the top net tape and poll pads for teams ranging from middle school to the collegiate level.“When you order a top net tape for your net, or you can order pads for the polls, I make those for different colleges, middle schools, high schools (and) sports clubs,” she said.Kacsits, a communication major at OSU, said teams send in order forms with specific details and she mocks up a design and sends them back to her internship leader. The internship leader then sends the examples back to the coach, who can decide whether or not to go forward with the design.When the Buckeyes travel to Madison, Wis., Nov. 17, Kacsits and the Buckeyes might get a chance to see her designs in person.“I did Wisconsin actually,” she said. “So when we go to Wisconsin, if they bought them, I’ll see my pads.”Sports imports marketing director Meghan Simons, who played for Carlston when he coached at Ohio University, said Kacsits designed the pads for the Side-Out Foundation’s Dig Pink fundraiser and helped design the pads for this year’s NCAA Tournament.Outside hitter Katie Mitchell, the only other sophomore on the team, said she has her own ideas for what should happen if the Buckeyes make a run in the tournament.“It would be awesome and I think we should probably politely ask to take (the pads) home afterwards,” Mitchell said. “Having a teammate with that kind of talent and ability is pretty neat.”While she has since found success, Kacsits wasn’t always on track to pursuing design.“I started my freshman year in health sciences and I hated it, just, so much,” Kacsits said.She added that she had done graphic designs for her high school teams and had always enjoyed it. After a conversation with her mother, Kacsits decided she should get back into design.At that point, she went to Carlston to tell him her plans, and he put her in contact with Simons.“(Carlston) gave me (Simons’) number and she needed an intern for the summer,” Kacsits said. “She liked my work and we just vibed really well so I got this opportunity.”Kacsits said her internship is a huge opportunity, especially since she had no job experience going in.Carlston said it is clear that Kacsits is enjoying herself, but also working hard.“Andrea is so excited about it, and she’s getting a lot out of it and learning a ton every single day,” Carlston said.If the Buckeyes want any chance to see designs created by one of their own at the NCAA Tournament, they will first have to fight their way through the rest Big Ten season.OSU is scheduled to host No. 13 Nebraska Friday at 7 p.m. in St. John Arena after coming off three games on the road. read more

Season preview Boom or bust for Columbus Blue Jackets in 201718

The Columbus Blue Jackets’ Cam Atkinson (13) is congratulated on his goal in the first period against the Edmonton Oilers at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017. Credit: Courtesy of TNSAnticipation has reached an apex and optimism is high, but this isn’t unknown territory. The Columbus Blue Jackets had a franchise record 50-24-8 (108 points) and made the Stanley Cup Playoffs for only the third time franchise history last season. For all the firsts the 2016-17 season held, the Blue Jackets have been in this situation before, with thoughts of the previous season blasting the team toward a chain of success. But that has never happened. The team has never won a playoff series or even made back-to-back playoff appearances. The beginning of an 82-game regular-season journey to those goals begins Friday.The Blue Jackets open the 2017-18 NHL season Friday night at Nationwide Arena against the New York Islanders with hopes of a breakthrough and expectations to compete with the league’s elite teams, such as division rivals Washington and back-to-back Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh.Before the puck drops at 7 p.m. Friday, here’s what to look for ahead of the 2017-18 season.Storylines:Artemi Panarin: How does a front office address goal-scoring concerns on its offense? By trading for one of the top power-play forwards.The Blue Jackets acquired Blackhawks winger Artemi Panarin in a four-player deal, which included Brandon Saad and two draft picks. Panarin played on Chicago’s second line the last two seasons with superstar Patrick Kane and has been credited with a couple of Kane’s best career years, while accumulating 60 goals, 91 assists, 151 points in two seasons himself.He will likely join center Alexander Wennberg and right wing Cam Atkinson on the first line adding elite passing ability, a right-handed shot from the left wing and one of the most feared one-timers in the NHL.Foligno at center: After a down year in 2015, Foligno returned to normalcy in 2016, proving his captain status to Tortorella, who doubted the 29-year-old in his first season in Columbus. Now in 2017, Foligno will be asked to put up a similar 26-25-51 line at the center position for the first time in his 10-year NHL career.Foligno unexpectedly made the Ottawa Senators roster in 2007 and was placed at left wing because of a loaded center position. Now the captain is moving back to his original spot due to an absence of ready talent at the moment.Rookie Pierre Luc-Dubois, who was expected to fill the No. 3 center spot following the departure of center William Karlsson to Vegas in this summer’s expansion draft, will play left wing in a move to alleviate some growing pains the 2016 No. 3 overall pick might have in his first NHL season. Can Jackets have top-10 defense: With Bobrovsky between the pipes, the Blue Jackets will nearly always have a chance to win the game. He was 41-17-5 with a .931 save percentage and 2.06 goals allowed average last season, but it’s difficult to expect those numbers again from the league’s only active two-time Vezina winner without the continued emergence of a young defense.Zach Werenski, 20, and Seth Jones, 23, are two of the best young defensemen in the league and anchor the Jackets’ top defensive pair. Jack Johnson and David Savard will likely man the second pair again, but Gabriel Carlsson is probable to start on the third pair with Ryan Murray with Scott Harrington as the seventh man. Markus Nutivaara, who played in 66 games during his rookie season in 2016-17, will begin the season in Cleveland with the team’s American Hockey League affiliate following offseason hip surgery.Carlsson, 20, played in just two regular-season games last season before being thrown into the playoff series against Pittsburgh. Still qualified as a rookie, the 6-foot-5 Carlsson will become a fixture in Tortorella’s lineup if he can be a factor in the Jackets’ own zone.Josh Anderson, Boone Jenner injury: After missing all of training camp with a lengthy contract dispute as a restricted free agent, right winger Josh Anderson inked a three-year deal Tuesday, but will begin the season with Cleveland. He recorded 17-12-29 in last year’s rookie campaign.Left winger Boone Jenner will miss the season opener and likely longer than that as he is dealing with a back injury. Sonny Milano will likely start in place of Jenner Friday as Milano, a 2014 first-round pick, tries to play a full season in Columbus for the first time in his career.Schedule Outlook:The Blue Jackets being with a division opponent in the Islanders, then head on the road to face Chicago Saturday. Columbus’ first month has the potential for a fast start with seven of 12 games at home and only five of those 12 games are against playoff teams from last year.Forwards: Cam Atkinson, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Matt Calvert, Zac Dalpe, Brandon Dubinsky, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Nick Foligno, Markus Hannikainen, Boone Jenner*, Sonny Milano, Artemi Panarin, Lukas Sedlak, Alexander WennbergDefensemen: Gabriel Carlsson, Scott Harrington, Jack Johnson, Seth Jones, Ryan Murray, David Savard, Zach WerenskiGoaltenders: Sergei Bobrovsky, Joonas KorpisaloThe Lantern will post an article at the beginning of each week summing up all the Blue Jackets action and storylines that took place on the ice during the week. It will analyze the significance of the week’s action, a look ahead to the upcoming week and often include quotes from coaches and players. read more

Womens Volleyball Ohio State loses to Illinois beats Northwestern in 30 sweep

Members of Ohio State women’s volleyball team celebrate their final match point and victory against Maryland on Sept. 20. The Buckeyes won the match 3-0. Credit: Rebecca Farage | For The LanternThe Ohio State women’s volleyball team lost Friday night to Illinois (15-4, 6-2 Big Ten) in a 3-0 sweep, but bounced back Saturday by beating Northwestern (12-8, 2-6 Big Ten) in three straight sets.The Buckeyes moved to 11-8 overall and 4-4 in the Big Ten.IllinoisAlthough the Buckeyes had a slow start to the weekend, senior outside hitter Ashley Wenz helped her team with 15 kills, 13 digs and two blocks on the night. Senior outside hitter Luisa Schirmer contributed 10 kills and freshman defensive specialist Hannah Gruensfelder was responsible for 15 digs.Freshman middle blocker Lauren Witte was the surprise of the evening. She delivered seven kills on 11 swings with a .455 hitting percentage, with only two errors. She also played a strong defense with three blocks.Ohio State began the opening set with a 12-10 lead against the Illini. After an 18-all tie, the Buckeyes took four straight to move into a 22-18 lead before Illinois recorded seven of the next eight points to take the set, 25-23.The dramatic conclusion to the first set carried over to the next as Ohio State trailed the entire way through and lost 25-19.Although they fell behind early on in the third, Schirmer notched two kills and an ace to tie the set at 18. Unfortunately for Ohio State, Illinois converted seven of the final nine points to complete the sweep, 25-20..NorthwesternOhio State was able to come back on Saturday night against Northwestern with a 3-0 win, outscoring the Wildcats by 29 points and restricting them to a .074 attacking percentage.The Buckeyes played a convincing match with nine blocks and a .308 hitting percentage. Once again, Wenz drove the team to victory with 11 kills and three blocks of her own. Junior setter Taylor Hughes led the team with five blocks, three aces, and recorded 29 assists.Ohio State began the game on a high note with a 12-4 lead in the first set. Northwestern bounced back with a 9-3 run, but the Buckeyes scored 10 consecutive points and won the set 25-13.The second was a bit of a toss-up between both teams, but the Buckeyes pulled away late with a 5-1 run, securing the 25-18 win with an ace from SchirmerOhio State maintained its steady pace in the third set and and got some help at the net from Hughes and Witte, who tallied back-to-back blocks. The Buckeyes built a 22-10 lead, but the Wildcats fought back with four straight points. The Buckeyes continued to deliver both offensively and defensively, taking the set 25-15.Ohio State will return to St. John Arena for a match against No. 6 Minnesota at 8 p.m. Wednesday. read more