Saturday, December 29, 2012

Postgame Report: Milwaukee vs. Drake

Game #12 – Milwaukee 70, Drake 80

Full Recap and Stats

Player Of The Game: Well, I will leave it up to the reader on this one ... Ashley Green led the way with a game-high 23 points and added 7 boards, 3 blocks and a pair of steals. Angela Rodriguez was right behind with 22 points and recorded 5 boards and 4 assists. You make the call!

Play of the Game: The play of the game just always seemed to be "waiting" to happen. Every time UWM made a run in the second half, Drake responded. The Panthers could just never get over the hump. They cut the deficit to 7 late in the game with 7 in a row, but the Bulldogs answered with 7 of their own to regain control.

Key Stats: UWM made 7 more 3's on the day, but came up with just 2 makes in 12 tries from distance in the second half. Also, 17 turnovers was not a huge number but seemed to come at very inopportune times.

News and Notes: The Panthers did make at least one three (they had 7) to extend their streak of consecutive games with at least one to an impressive 312 in a row. Another extremely lengthy streak nearly came to an end. UWM did not have a made free throw until Avyanna Young made the team's only successful charity stripe toss with just 29.7 seconds left IN THE GAME (UWM finished 1-for-3). In the team's NCAA D-I history, it has never gone an entire game without one (over 650 games in a row!).

Up Next: The team is off until January 10, tipping off Horizon League play when it hosts Wright State in a 7 p.m. start. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Postgame Notes - Milwaukee @ Wisconsin

Player Of The Game: J.J. Panoske posted the finest effort of his young career Saturday. The redshirt freshman, who had played just 53 minutes entering the game, played 27 minutes. He scored 13 points, grabbed six rebounds, had three blocks and added two steals.

Turning Point: Milwaukee held an early 10-8 lead as Paris Gulley started strong offensively. But the Badgers answered that surge with a 14-0 run and never really looked back.

Key Numbers: The first half shooting was the difference, as Wisconsin hit on 51.9 percent from the floor while Milwaukee converted on just 30.4 percent of its attempts.

News and Notes: Milwaukee has lost four straight and nine of its last 10 … Paris Gulley has now reached double figures in five of seven games since his return from injury … with J.J. Panoske reaching double figures in the loss at Madison, the Panthers have now had nine players post at least one double figure outing this season … Milwaukee’s 44.0 percent shooting clip was its best of the season and broke a string of five-straight games below 40 percent … after making 34 three-pointers in the first three games of the season the Panthers have made 51 in their last 10 outings.

Up Next: UWM wraps up 2012 with a Saturday afternoon home game against Ohio Dominican.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Postgame Report: Milwaukee at DePaul

Game #10 – Milwaukee 83, DePaul 94

Full Recap and Stats

Player Of The Game: Simple choice here. Angela Rodriguez set a career-high with 30 points. She was hitting from all over the court, finishing 12-23 from the floor, including 6-12 on 3's. That broke former career-bests of 25 points (vs. Bradley 12/1/10), 8 FG's (same BU game) and tied with the 6 triples.

Play of the Game: It was once again a series of plays, and it went to DePaul. After UWM had battled and battled and got it back to an 8-point deficit, the Blue Demons went on a 16-4 run that was the difference in the game. The most impressive part? They scored the 16 points in a span of just 4 and a half minutes.

Key Stats: Milwaukee continues to score. And score. And score. The team went over 80 for the 4th time in 10 games this season. For perspective, the team NEVER exceeded 80 points in a single game the ENTIRE 2011-12 campaign, topping out at a high-water mark of 79.

From DePaul's release: The Panthers used a relentless three-point barrage to hang close, sinking 14-of-33 attempts to set an opponent record for made three-point field goals at McGrath-Phillips Arena. The previous record was held by Louisville, which hit 13 from beyond the arc on January 12, 2001. The last time a DePaul opposing player went for at least 30 points was February 5, 2011 when Connecticut’s Maya Moore scored 34 points against the Blue Demons.

News and Notes: The Panthers had the rare noon start on a Tuesday to accommodate DePaul's sixth annual "ChicagoLand Field Trip Day". In a nutshell, they invite a ton of grade-schoolers to the game and they yell alot. If you want the full story, read up on the DePaul release HERE. It was unique. And it was LOUD.

Up Next: The team has its longest break in between games so far this season, a 12-day layoff before heading to Fargo for a tilt against North Dakota State Dec. 23.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Postgame Report - Buffalo and NIU

The Panthers got themselves back on the winning track with an 80-73 overtime win over Northern Illinois Friday. This came on the heels of a disappointing 20-point loss to Buffalo Wednesday. In order to combine the good with the bad, here’s a two-game postgame report.

Player Of The Game(s): Admittedly it’s hard to pick anyone out when you include long stretches of the Buffalo game. But it is very obvious the Panthers need Paris Gulley playing well. He didn’t have a great night Wednesday and Milwaukee struggled. He was stellar in the first 20-plus minutes against Northern Illinois and UWM built its lead. The Huskies clamped down on him after that and were able to get back in the game. But, his contributions on defense, his low-turnover count and his ability to spread the floor and hit a big shot continues to make him Milwaukee’s most valuable weapon.

Turning Point: The first two possessions of overtime against Northern Illinois for Milwaukee saw the Panthers touch the post. And, it resulted in paint baskets for Kyle Kelm and James Haarsma. In the end, it was those two possessions that allowed Milwaukee to salvage part of its two-game homestand.

Key Numbers: UWM was far from perfect in its win over Northern Illinois Friday but the Panthers showed improvement in some key areas. After allowing Buffalo to shoot nearly 56 percent from the floor in Wednesday's loss, the Panthers held NIU to just 39.7 percent shooting. Milwaukee also broke a recent trend of not getting to the foul line, going there 40 times while converting 29 attempts. UWM wound up outscoring NIU, 29-10, from the line.

News and Notes: Milwaukee had some luck from long distance Friday night in the win over Northern Illinois, knocking in nine 3-pointers. But UWM needed 31 attempts to make those nine and is still looking to regain the stride it had early in the season. The Panthers opened the year by making 34-of-82 on three-pointers in the first three games of the season. Then UWM made only 12-of-57 from beyond the arc in the next three outings. In the last week, the Panthers have steadily gotten better, going 23-of-75 from three-point range. On the season, that adds up to Milwaukee shooting 32.2 percent from long distance … Officially, the Panthers outrebounded Northern Illinois, 42-41, Friday night. It was just the fourth time in nine games where UWM has won the rebounding battle. But, the Huskies collected 21 offensive rebounds, with that tally coming on the heels of Buffalo having corralled 16 offensive rebounds Wednesday night. Milwaukee is being outrebounded by nearly five boards per game this season. UWM has held its own on the offensive glass, as even in giving up 21 on Friday night Milwaukee collected 15 of its own. And, its season deficit on offense rebounds is less than two per game.

Up Next: UWM heads to DePaul Sunday afternoon.

Postgame Report: Milwaukee at Toledo

Game #9 – Milwaukee 59, Toledo 83

Full Recap and Stats

Player Of The Game: It was a tough game overall for the Panthers, but I will probably roll with Angela Rodriguez on this one. She scored a team-high 13 points and drained 3 of 5 three-pointers to go with 5 rebounds and 4 assists.

Play of the Game: To me, it really wasn't a single, particular play, but rather the way the team played in the second half. Down 52-25 at halftime, no one would have blamed them for calling it a day. Instead, they sank 7-14 3's and never gave in, outscoring the Rockets after intermission

Key Stats: Milwaukee was forced into a season-high 24 turnovers and that really set them back after Toledo turned those miscues into a 25-3 advantage in points off turnovers. The Rockets also dominated the paint, scoring 41 points in the lane. On a positive note, UWM won the rebounding battle, 42-37 for just the second time this season. Toledo is off to its best start since 1996-97 and the 4,034 fans that came out to the game today were a season-high. Graduate manager Haylie Linn, who played at Toledo, was able to pick up her championship ring from last season in a pregame ceremony.

News and Notes: The UWM reserves got a chance to shine today and there were numerous highlights. Despite playing just 14 minutes, Avyanna Young scored 5 points and grabbed a team-high 8 rebounds. Macie Dorow had a great game, scoring 3 points, grabbing four rebounds and handing out 3 assists in a career-high 22 minutes. Sydney Howard also had a season-high 6 points and also had 2 steals.

Up Next: There is no rest for the Panthers, who leave Monday for a Tuesday matinee at DePaul. Rumor has it there will be 3,000 screaming kids for the noon tip for the Chicagoland Field Trip Day.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

High Traffic Videos...

At The Black & Gold Network, we look to create, produce or at least post entertaining and exciting videos. As we looked over the numbers, we have found some videos have been appreciated a lot, garnering a good number of views and some "likes" along the way. While there is still some time left in 2012, here are the top-viewed videos of the first half of the 2012-13 school year...

4. Declan Rodriguez's goal at Marquette - 662 views (at the time of this post)
Rodriguez announced his presence with authority, blasting a tremendous shot in his first collegiate game... coming in a crosstown rivalry game, no less. This could be the goal of the year (voting for that will start next month) and at just 12 seconds, it's a video you can watch over and over again.

3. Pol Narbona's buzzer-beater vs. IUPUI - 769 views
Another men's soccer selection, this video is also just a goal, so it lends well to repeated views. Buzzer-beaters in basketball are one thing, but soccer? Not so much. Nonetheless, UWM endured more than its fair share this season on the pitch, and this is one that went the way of the Panthers.

2. Ashley Green forces OT in instant classic vs. Bradley - 973 views
This video was posted TUESDAY NIGHT for crying out loud and is nearing the 1,000-view mark. Ashley Green hit an off-balance three-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime vs. Bradley. Another short and sweet video, this was the highlight of a great game. Milwaukee wins 116-112 in two overtimes, the three caps a career-high 33 points for Green and Emily Decorah's inbounds pass was Hill-to-Laettner-esque.

1. Milwaukee Volleyball Presents "Forget You" - 1,484 views
Volleyball head coach Susie Johnson devised a plan to make a parody video of Cee Lo Green's "Forget You." She enlisted the help of her staff and fellow Panther head coaches, as well as some administrators and support staff to pull off a funny video. The end product was a surprise for the Volleyball team and debuted at the team's Senior Banquet in November. A little longer than the previous three entries, this video demands repeated viewings for a whole different set of reasons.

**Notes: Rodriguez's goal footage is courtesy of a helpful fellow at Marquette ... "Forget You" is a BGN production, but is posted on assistant coach Nikki Klingsporn's YouTube page (it received too many hits early to move it over).

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

In Case you Missed it!

With the Milwaukee/Bradley game an instant classic, be sure and catch the replay of the game on Time Warner Cable Sports 32 over the next few days.

Wednesday, Dec. 5th at 1:00 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 6th at 7:00 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 7th at 9:00 a.m.

Sports 32 will also be airing the second edition of the "Kyle Rechlicz Show" this week as well.

Here is the full schedule:
Wednesday, Dec. 5th at 12:30 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 6th at 3:00 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 7th at 11:30 a.m.

Postgame Report: Milwaukee vs. Bradley

Game #8 – Milwaukee 116, Bradley 112 (2OT)

Full Recap and Stats

Wow: I still cannot wrap my head around all that happened in this game. I honestly hope you were there to see it - this is one that will be talked about for a LONG time around here.

Player Of The Game: When you look at the box score, one name jumps at you IMMEDIATELY. Ashley Green was simply fantastic all night. A career-high 33 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks and a steal. And, oh yeah, a shot she gets to tell the story about until she's 100 years old.

Watch the shot here!

She joined Scott Warras on the radio after the game. Listen to that interview HERE.

Play of the Game: The shot by Green speaks for itself. The Panthers called the timeout with 3.7 seconds left and Coach Rechlicz drew up the play with Bradley up by 2 points and still having one free throw remaining. After the make, Emily Decorah took the ball out. Her pass was just over the outstretched arms of a Bradley defender past midcourt where Green was waiting. Ashley took just two dribbles in front of the UWM bench, literally jumped off one foot with a 6-1 defender in her face, banked the ball off the backboard as the buzzer sounded and it went off the backboard and all the way around the rim before falling in.

Key Stats: Milwaukee broke numerous school records, but the most impressive one to me was the 116 points. It marked just the fifth time in NCAA D-I history that Milwaukee has scored over 100 points and blew past the old record of 104.

News and Notes: Green fouled out just into the first overtime period. No worries for Milwaukee, as Angela Rodriguez took over in the period. UWM and Bradley played to a 14-14 tie in the session - all ARod did was score 11 of those points and assist Macie Dorow's three-pointer to account for essentially all the scoring.

Up Next: The Panthers leave the comfy confines of the Klotsche Center and hit the road to take on Toledo Saturday, set for a 1 p.m. tip.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Postgame Report - Milwaukee at Northern Iowa

Rob Jeter Postgame Interview

Player Of The Game: It sure was nice to have Paris Gulley back on the floor. The senior guard marked his return from a broken hand by scoring 24 points. He knocked in three 3-pointers and made 10-of-18 shots overall.

Turning Point: Milwaukee started the second half with a surge, turning a 32-29 deficit into a 41-36 lead following an Austin Arians three with 15 minutes remaining. But UNI countered quickly to take control of the game, scoring 15 of the next 20 points. Once the Panthers pushed the lead above six, Milwaukee would get no closer.

Key Numbers: Milwaukee was pretty solid in most phases of the game, committing just nine turnovers while rediscovering its outside shooting touch in making 10 three-pointers. But UWM allowed UNI to shoot better than 60 percent from the floor in the second half.

News and Notes: Kyle Kelm made his first start of the season and responded with 16 points. He made three 3-pointers … Jordan Aaron had a season-high eight rebounds to go with 10 points … Demetrius Harris was quiet on offense but also collected eight rebounds … UWM committed a season-low nine turnovers … Milwaukee and Northern Iowa will play again in Milwaukee next season.

Up Next: UWM finally returns home, hosting Buffalo Wednesday and Northern Illinois Friday.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Postgame Report: Milwaukee at Illinois State

Game #6 – Milwaukee 54, Illinois State 75

Full Recap and Stats

Player Of The Game: Emily Decorah made three 3's and ended up leading the team with 11 points on the night as one of two players in double-figures. It marked the first time in her UWM career she has led the team in scoring.

Play of the Game: Unfortunately, it was Illinois State that had it. After the Panthers had clawed their way back into the game in the middle of the second half, the Redbirds took charge and scored 10 points in a row. That was all they needed to coast from there.

Key Stats: Milwaukee picked a tough time to go cold from the field. There was a near-eight minute stretch from 11:27 to 3:38 in the first half where it went just 1-for-10 from the field.

News and Notes: Sami Tucker scored 10 points, led the team with 8 rebounds and set a career-high with four steals. Freshman Jessica Prince made her Milwaukee collegiate debut late in the game. Less than 10 seconds later, she had her first rebound and first basket. She made it look way too easy.

Up Next: The Panthers left from Normal, Ill., and took the red-eye bus to East Lansing, Mich., for a Saturday contest against the Spartans. Tip is set for 3 p.m. CST and is part of a men's and women's doubleheader.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Postgame Report: San Juan Shootout

Game #4 – Milwaukee 57, Georgia Tech 66

Full Recap and Stats

Game #5 – Milwaukee 68, Eastern Kentucky 64

Full Recap and Stats

Quick Take: The overall field was tough – Georgia Tech, Syracuse, Virginia, Florida State, etc. – and the two teams that UWM played were a combined 5-2 coming into the San Juan Shootout. At the end of a fun and sunny week, UWM did more than hold its own – the Panthers played a Georgia Tech team that was ranked in the preseason pretty well and then closed impressively in earning the win over Eastern Kentucky.

Player Of The Game vs. Georgia Tech: It’s impressive to lead the team in scoring AND rebounding for three straight games, but that was what Ashley Green did against Georgia Tech. She led the way with 17 points (7-13 on FG’s) and tied for the lead with 5 rebounds.

Player Of The Game vs. Eastern Kentucky: Angela Rodriguez showed up big in the second half of the win, scoring 14 of her game-high 19 points in the second half. After trailing for most of the second, her 3-pointer with about 6 minutes to play finally put her team back ahead. Then, she was fouled twice with the game on the line and swished all four of her free throw attempts in the final 20 seconds of regulation.

She joined Scott Warras on the radio following the contest, hear that interview HERE.

Play of the Game: One of my favorites and Angela timed it perfectly. Taking the ball out under the basket and with a defender turning her back, Angela threw the inbounds pass of her back, stepped into play, grabbed the carom and made the layup. The next time I see that I think we will try and give the basket AND the assist to her!

Key Stats:It was interesting that free throws – which had been an issue all weekend – were what decided the game against EKU. The Panthers were 13-29 (44.8 percent) through the majority of two games in San Juan but then managed to sink 9 of their last 10 against EKU – including the final six in the last 23 seconds to close it out.

News and Notes: Senior Sammy Theut got her first two starts of the season … UWM used a 19-6 run to erase an early 10-point hole against Eastern Kentucky … Kimee Chandler hit two big shots in the win – one 3 that capped the 19-6 spurt and then a driving layup that re-tied the game after the Colonels had taken a two-point advantage with about a minute left … Milwaukee buried 7 3’s in the first half against EKU … And lastly, I managed a nice sunburn the first day.

Up Next:The team spent Monday traveling and gets back to “normal” life Tuesday, only to hit the road Wednesday for games at Illinois State Thursday and Michigan State Saturday.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Postgame Report - Hoops For Hope Classic

Saturday Recap
Sunday Recap
Saturday Postgame
Sunday Postgame

Player Of The Weekend: Demetrius Harris gets kudos again for his efforts, including a double-double in the loss to Jacksonville. But Jordan Aaron was beaten and battered all weekend long but somehow still played 76 minutes. He “only” scored seven points Sunday – his first game not in double figures – but did have 19 Saturday and also had four assists and just three turnovers against Rider.

Turning Points: The turning points in Saturday’s loss were numerous. Each time the Panthers managed to cut the lead to three Jacksonville would respond with a big basket or a call would go against Milwaukee. Sunday’s turning point likely came at the end of the half. UWM had the ball with a chance to pull within eight or even seven but a turnover resulted in a layup at the buzzer and a 12-point Rider lead. Milwaukee never got closer than 10 after that.

Key Numbers: Free throws, free throws, free throws. Milwaukee was outscored 52-27 from the line over the two games. The disparity in attempts was even larger, as Jacksonville and Rider combined for 77 attempts while UWM had 38.

News and Notes: UWM has lost three-straight games for the first time since the 2009-2010 season … Demetrius Harris has reached double figures for the third-straight game … Evan Richard became the seventh Panther player this season to hit double figures in points when he scored 11 Sunday … Thierno Niang had six assists Sunday … J.J. Panoske played his most meaningful minutes of the season Sunday, collecting two points and four rebounds in 13 minutes … after making 34 three-pointers in the first three games of the season, the Panthers have made only 12 in the last three … in fact, UWM went just 7-of-35 from three in the two games in Mexico after going 5-of-22 in Little Rock.

Up Next: UWM heads to Cedar Falls Saturday for a matchup with Northern Iowa.

Hoops For Hope Classic - Sunday Updates

• The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men’s basketball team plays its final game in the Hoops for Hope Classic, squaring off with Rider Sunday afternoon. The game tips off at 3:30 p.m. CST and can be heard live on WISN (AM 1130).

• The Panthers dropped a 71-66 decision to Jacksonville Saturday afternoon. After opening up an 11-2 lead, Milwaukee fell behind 37-23 at halftime and could never get closer than three points in the second half.

• UWM has dropped consecutive games for the first time this season and the common thread in each has been turnovers. Milwaukee committed 19 turnovers in its loss at Arkansas-Little Rock Monday and then had 20 more in Saturday’s defeat.

• Jordan Aaron and Demetrius Harris continue to lead the charge for the Panthers on offense. Aaron has been in double figures in all five of his games in a Panther uniform and is averaging 19 points per game. Harris has been in double figures in each of the last three games and is averaging 12 points per contest.

• Harris is also becoming a force on the boards for Milwaukee. The senior added 12 rebounds to his 16 points Saturday for the first double-double of his career. He is second on the team in rebounding at 5.2 per contest, just behind James Haarsma’s 6.6 Both players have a double-double this season.

• The Panthers continue to play tremendous perimeter defense. Opponents have made just 13-of-69 (18.8 percent) shots from three-point range in the first five games of the season. Milwaukee has outscored its opponents 123-39 on three-pointers.

• Speaking of three-pointers, Milwaukee made just two 3-pointers and tried only 11 in Saturday’s loss. The Panthers had entered the contest making nearly 10 per game on average while attempting over 26 per contest. UWM did have a 38-22 edge on points in the paint in Saturday’s game.

• The Panthers are returning three starters and eight letterwinners from a team that won 20 games and played in the College Basketball Invitational a season ago. UWM also has five seniors on its roster, including returning starters James Haarsma and Paris Gulley. Milwaukee has been picked to finish sixth in the Horizon League and did not land anyone on the preseason all-league team.

• UWM continues to be shorthanded, though, as Gulley has been sidelined by late October by a broken hand. The senior guard is expected to return as soon as next week.

• Rider is 3-3 this season and the Broncos beat Jacksonville Friday afternoon in the Puerto Vallerta.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Postgame Report - Milwaukee @ UALR

Rob Jeter Postgame Interview

Player Of The Game: Austin Arians did everything he could to keep the Panthers in the game. The freshman made three 3-pointers and scored 13 points, consistently hitting big shots to keep Milwaukee in touch with UALR. He also played 32 minutes, basically not leaving the game after entering early in the first half.

Turning Point: Milwaukee looked like it might be on the verge of tying the game with eight minutes to play, as Demetrius Harris scored on a follow-up basket after a missed three-pointer by Kyle Kelm. The whistle blew and it looked like Harris might be in line for a three-point play. Instead, Harris was whistled for the foul, the basket was wiped out, and the Panthers were outscored 17-4 the rest of the way.

Key Numbers: UWM never got itself going on offense. The Panthers shot just 32.7 percent from the field and had 19 turnovers. Milwaukee was near just 0.6 on points per possession after being near 0.96 over the first three games of the year.

News and Notes: Demetrius Harris scored 15 points in a return to his home state. This is the second-straight double-figure outing for the senior, who did not have a double-figure point game in 19 outings a year ago … Jordan Aaron has now been in double figures in all four games this year … three of UWM’s five starters did not score … Thieno Niang was limited to 17 minutes because of foul trouble … this game was part of the Hoops for Hope Classic which also saw Milwaukee play at South Carolina a week ago.

Up Next: UWM heads to Puerto Vallerta for games Saturday and Sunday. The Panthers play Jacksonville Saturday and Rider Sunday.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Postgame Report - Davidson at Milwaukee

Press Conference
BGN Extra

Player Of The Game: Jordan Aaron was good, and Kyle Kelm made big plays down the stretch. But Demetrius Harris shined throughout. The senior tallied a collegiate-high 17 points and added six rebounds. He lept above the field to pull down the decisive defensive rebound and then knocked in two free throws to officially seal the win.

Turning Point: Milwaukee dug itself a seven-point hole early in the second half, with Davidson going up 41-34. The Wildcats actually had one possession to go up even more, but the Panthers got a stop and then Thierno Niang responded with a three to get Milwaukee back on track. The Panthers eventually tied the game at 41 and battled their way to the win.

Key Numbers: Free throw shooting didn’t go the way of Milwaukee last weekend in South Carolina, but the Panthers were solid from the line Saturday night. UWM made 24-of-32 overall, including 6-of-6 in the final two minutes.

News and Notes: Kyle Kelm scored 11 points off the bench, his second double-figure effort in three games this season … Thierno Niang collected 12 rebounds, the second double-figure rebounding effort by a Panther this season … UWM held Davidson to just 4-of-14 shooting from three-point range and to 35.6 percent shooting overall … the Panthers have won 20 of their last 21 games at the Klotsche Center … Milwaukee will play at Davidson next season.

Up Next: UWM starts a stretch of four-straight games away from home with a Monday night contest at Arkansas-Little Rock.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Postgame Report: Milwaukee vs. Western Michigan

Game #3 – Milwaukee 88, Western Michigan 79

Full Recap and Stats

Player Of The Game: When five players score in double figures - with one of them making 5-of-6 three-pointers - it's a little tougher to make the call. But with career-highs of 20 points and 14 rebounds (setting a career-best in points for the second straight game), it's hard not to give it to Ashley Green.

She joined Scott Warras on the radio following the contest, hear that interview HERE.

Play of the Game: After leading by as many as 12 in the first half and holding a comfortable cushion of between 5 and 10 in the second, the Broncos made one last push and cut the lead to just two with about three minutes left. That was when Angela Rodriguez calmly took back the momentum, burying a three from the wing on UWM's next possession to start a game-sealing 7-0 run.

Key Stats: It's a good sign when the fans get their free chips & queso (for at least 10 made UWM 3's) with over 8 minutes left in the game! UWM buried 13 of 18 from long-distance on the night, with the 72.2% the second-best percentage in a game from distance in program history.

News and Notes: Emily Decorah made 5-of-6 three-pointers to come close to the single-game record. The standard is 5-of-5, done twice. There has also been a 7-of-8 and a pair of 6-of-7's, with Decorah's % of .833 sixth. When Sammy Theut made a pair of free throws with just seconds remaining, it gave UWM five players in double-figures. The last time that happened was 106 games ago (!!!!!) against Loyola, Jan. 24, 2009. Theut also had a perfect night: she got her 11 points on 2-2 FG (1-1 3FG) and 6-6 free throws.

Up Next: The Panthers head to Puerto Rico for the San Juan Shootout! The 10-day forecast calls for 87 and cloudy the first few days.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The "Kyle Rechlicz Show" on TWC Sports 32

With the basketball season underway, it's time to get the coaches shows rolling as well. The first edition of the "Kyle Rechlicz Show" is already finished and will be airing this week on Time Warner Cable Sports 32.

Sports 32 will also be airing the Panthers home opener against Western Michigan Wednesday evening and the first airing of Kyle's show takes place right before the broadcast.

Here is the full schedule:
Wednesday 14th at 6:30 p.m. (just prior to the live game telecast)
Thursday 15th at 5:00 p.m.
Thursday 15th at 10:30 p.m.
Friday 16th at 7:30 a.m.
Friday 16th at 8:30 a.m.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Postgame Report: Milwaukee at Wisconsin

Game #2 – Milwaukee 56, Wisconsin 74

Full Recap and Stats

Player Of The Game: An easy one on this night. Sophomore Ashley Green did not start the game, but came off the bench to score a career-high 19 points, topping her former high of 18 which she netted twice last year. She made 8-of-13 shots from the floor and tied for the team lead with six rebounds.

Play of the Game: For Milwaukee, it was the start of the night. The Panthers hit six of their first eight attempts from three-point range and raced out to an eight-point lead at one point in the first half at 27-19.

Key Stats: Wisconsin's work on the offensive glass took over. The Badgers had 10 first-half offensive rebounds that they turned into 13 points, with a pair of possessions right after UWM had taken that 8-point lead crucial in deciding the momentum of the half.

News and Notes: After leading the team in rebounds in the opener (with 9, the most-ever for a UWM freshman in a season opener), Avyanna Young did it again, tying for the team lead with six. In addition, Angela Rodriguez is off to an impressive 7-for-10 start from 3-point range after two games, easily the best in the league for any one that has made at least one 3 per game.

Up Next: UWM opens the home portion of the schedule Wednesday, welcoming Western Michigan to the Klotsche Center for a 7 p.m. tip.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Postgame Report - Milwaukee at South Carolina

Player Of The Game: Jordan Aaron took over the game on multiple occasions Sunday afternoon. He scored 12 points in the final five minutes of the first half to give UWM a 38-23 lead at the break, the poster another burst that allowed Milwaukee to respond to a big South Carolina run and re-establish a 51-36 lead. In all, Aaron had 28 points and six assists.

Turning Point: Milwaukee had an eight-point lead with four minutes remaining but would not score again in regulation. In fact, the Panthers did not strike again until over a minute into overtime.

Key Numbers: The foul line was the difference, as South Carolina converted on 26-of-31 while Milwaukee made just 9-of-19. The Gamecocks made all 12 of their tries in overtime.

News and Notes: This was Milwaukee first overtime loss since January of 2009 … UWM made 14 three-pointers and now has knocked in 27 in the first two games of the season … meanwhile, the Panthers have allowed opponents to make just 3-of-32 from three-point range, including the 0-of-11 effort from South Carolina Sunday … James Haarsma tallied 14 points and 10 rebounds for his first UWM double-double. It also marked the third time in his Panther career he reached double figures in rebounds … Jordan Aaron’s 28 points marked the most by a Panther since Anthony Hill scored 32 at UIC near the end of the 2010-11 campaign.

Up Next: UWM is back at the Klotsche Center Saturday night, hosting Davidson in a 7 p.m. contest.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Postgame Report - Milwaukee vs. Mary

Player Of The Game: Kyle Kelm delivered exactly what the Panthers are looking for. The junior came off the bench to score 15 points, including three 3-pointers. He also added five rebounds.

Turning Point: The Panthers actually trailed for the first 10 minutes but then took control. UWM wound up holding Mary to just 8 points over those final 10 minutes en route to a 34-19 halftime lead.

Key Numbers: Two numbers jump out, as Milwaukee made 13 three-pointers and committed just eight turnovers. Those numbers will win a lot of games.

News and Notes: UWM had just eight turnovers in the game. The Panthers were in single digits in turnovers four times last season ... Jordan Aaron had seven assists to go with 12 points in his official collegiate debut ... other debut performances included Thierno Niang (11 points), Austin Arians (7 points) and J.J. Panoske (4 points, 3 rebounds) ... UWM is now 11-4 in its last 15 season openers overall ... since Milwaukee returned to the Division I ranks in 1990, the Panthers are 14-9 in season openers ... UWM is 20-3 in home openers since 1990 while Rob Jeter is now 8-0 in home openers and 6-2 in season openers ... Milwaukee has now won 19 of its last 20 non-exhibition games played in the Klotsche Center and is 46-10 in its last 56 games in the building.

Up Next: UWM hits the road Sunday, playing at South Carolina. The game tips at 2 p.m. CST and is on Fox Sports Wisconsin.

Postgame Report: Milwaukee at Chicago State

Game #1 – Milwaukee 82, Chicago State 58

Full Recap and Stats

Player Of The Game: Well, all 12 players that suited up played in the game, including 10 that scored points and nine that played at least 11 minutes. But Angela Rodriguez led the charge, finishing with a game-high 18 points - including four three-pointers.

She joined Scott Warras on the radio following the contest, hear that interview HERE.

Play of the Game: There wasn't just a single play that stood out, but rather a stretch of plays. UWM came out on a mission in the second half, going out on a 16-1 run where it held CSU without a field goal on its first 13 tries. That built the lead to over 20 and it was over.

Key Stats: After scoring 88 points in the exhibition win over Hillsdale, the Panthers did not stop there, putting up 82 points in the season opener. The win was the first in a season-opener since 2009-10 and the highest scoring opener since 2007.

News and Notes: Emily Decorah returned from that knee injury last season and tied her career-high with 10 points while also setting a personal-best with seven rebounds. Macie Dorow made an impression, setting career-highs with seven points and three assists as well.

Up Next: UWM closes out the weekend with a big game Sunday, taking on Wisconsin in the Kohl Center. Tip off is set for 6 p.m.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

WSOC Match Report: Wright State (HL Championship)

Horizon League Championship
Wright State 0:1 Milwaukee (2ot)
Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012
Engelmann Stadium (Milwaukee, Wis.)

Woman of the Match
Krissy Dorre had the game's lone goal in the second overtime for the second-straight game, send the Panthers to victory. Clutch scoring often wins the day.

Dorre is the second Panther this season with back-to-back game-winners this season (Steinhauser Oct. 3-10) ... the 2012 seniors are the second-straight class to advance to all the NCAA Tournament in all four years ... Sammy Vovos is a fifth-year senior and will go to her fifth tourney ... it was the 16th instance in school history, but the first where both games were overtime games ... this also marked the first time UWM won double-overtime contests in back-to-back games ... the Panthers have won 11-straight league tournament games and are unbeaten in their last 14 (12-0-1) ... Forbes also picked up her 37th win in goal, second-most in school history ... her 87 saves this season are seventh-most in school history ... she has also played 5,422:49 in goal in her career, second all-time ... all five league tournament games this season have finished 1-0 ... Milwaukee is now 21-7-5 all-time against the Raiders, all-time and 7-1-2 in league tournaments ... the Panthers have now avenged four of their last five league losses in tournament play (they did not play YSU in this year's tournament) ... Milwaukee is now 7-3-4 in league title games, with nine championships ... Milwaukee is at .500 for the first time this season since 1-1-1 ... the Panthers have won in overtime games in back-to-back outings just twice before (10/13-15/06; 9/24-28/03), but had never won 2OT games back-to-back before.

Iron Woman Watch (Played every minute this season) 1625 minutes ... Forbes, Scott.

Next Up
The Panthers will await word on its NCAA First Round opponent. The NCAA will announce pairings Monday.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

WSOC Match Report: Loyola (HL Semis)

Horizon League Semifinals
Loyola 0:1 Milwaukee (2ot)
Friday, Nov. 2, 2012
Engelmann Stadium (Milwaukee, Wis.)

Woman of the Match
Jamie Forbes was aggressive in the back and made 11 saves to keep Loyola scoreless until the Panthers broke through for the game's lone goal in the second overtime.

Milwaukee is now 21-2-3 all-time vs. Loyola, including 3-0-2 in the league tournament ... the Panthers have won 10-straight league tournament games and are unbeaten in their last 13 (12-0-1) ... they are also 13-4-1 in league semifinals ... Forbes tied a career-high with 11 saves ... Forbes also picked up her 36th win in goal, tying Kerri St. Aubin for second-most in school history ... each of the first four league tournament games this season have finished 1-0 ... this was the first match where the higher seed won ... the shutout was her 26th and moved her into second in league history behind UWM's Erin Kane (45, 2005-08) ... her 81 saves this season are eighth-most in school history ... she has also played 5,320:20 in goal, just over 33 minutes shy of second all-time.

Looking Ahead...
The Panthers will play Wright State Sunday for the 10th time in tournament play, including the fourth time in the title game and the second-straight year ... Milwaukee is 6-1-2 against the Raiders, including a 5-1 win in the title game last season ... UWM fell to WSU in the regular season and Sunday will mark the ninth time the Panthers have played a team that beat them earlier. They at 7-1 in those games ... Milwaukee is 6-3-4 in league title games, with eight championships.

Iron Woman Watch (Played every minute this season) 1522 minutes ... Forbes, Scott.

Next Up
The Panthers take on Wright State in the Horizon League Championship Sunday at 1 p.m.

Friday, October 26, 2012

WSOC Match Report: Cleveland State

Cleveland State 0:5 Milwaukee
Friday, Oct. 26, 2012
Engelmann Stadium (Milwaukee, Wis.)

Woman of the Match
Sammy Vovos is the easy sentimental choice. Making her first collegiate start on Senior Day, she netted the game-winner less than five minutes into the match. She also added an assist on the game's fifth goal.

Milwaukee is now 13-0 against Cleveland State all-time, outscoring the Vikings 59-2 in those games … this was the Panthers’ seventh-straight shutout in the series … Vovos made her first collegiate start … Lauren Jimenez made her Panther debut … Sara Zawacki is the second UWM player to score goals in her first two collegiate appearances (Sarah Hagen, 2008) … Callie O’Donnell’s assist was the first of her career … Milwaukee previous season high for goals in a game this season was four vs. St. Bonaventure Aug. 19 … its 20 shots are also a season-best, trumping that SBU game … Forbes’ win was No. 35 of her career, third-most in school history and one back of second … the shutout was her 25th, already second in school history ... Dorre missed a hat trick by inches, hitting the cross bar on a 25-yard blast in the first half.

Iron Woman Watch (Played every minute this season) 1414+ minutes ... Forbes, Scott.

Next Up
The Panthers host the 2012 Horizon League Championship Nov. 2-4. Opponents and game times will be announced early next week.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Wrapping Up The Weekend In Ohio

There’s no question the Panthers suffered through a tough road trip to Cleveland State and Youngstown State. Milwaukee was much improved Saturday against YSU after a disappointing performance Friday against CSU. But, in the end, UWM still came away from the weekend 0-2.

Here are the news and notes from a tough weekend in Ohio

Last Week’s Results
10/19 – lost at Cleveland State, 3-0; 10/20 – lost at Youngstown State, 3-1

This Week Matches
10/26 – at Green Bay

News and Notes
UWM had just 11 kills in three sets Friday night, then had 16 in the first set alone Saturday. The Panthers got three hitters into double figures in kills in the loss to YSU … Taylor Golabowski played in a match for the first time since the first weekend of the season. The sophomore broke her hand in late August … Anna Bartz is now up to 947 career digs … Bartz is also slated to play in her 100th career match Friday at Green Bay … the Panthers are now 0-7 on the road … UWM is now locked in a three-way tie for fifth place with Green Bay and Youngstown State. One of those three teams will not qualify for the league tournament … YSU’s win over UWM was just its second against the Panthers since joining the Horizon League in 2001

Friday, October 19, 2012

WSOC Match Report: @ Green Bay

Milwaukee 2:1 Green Bay
Friday, Oct. 19, 2012
Aldo Santaga Stadium (Green Bay, Wis.)

Woman of the Match
Krissy Dorre scored both of Milwaukee's goals and was dangerous for the Panthers the entire game. The first score was a great individual effort. A special mention to Jamie Forbes for her second half performance, keeping the lead intact.

Milwaukee leads the all-time series with Green Bay 23-6-1 and has won the last 10 meetings and 17 of the last 19 ... the Panthers have won three-straight games for the first time this season ... Scott's assist was her first collegiate assist ... Dorre's two-goal performance was the team's first multi-goal game of the season ... Lewers now has a team-high six assists ... UWM also had a 12-second stretch of back-to-back goals against Illinois State in 1996.

Iron Woman Watch (Played every minute this season) 1234+ minutes ... Forbes, Scott.

Next Up
The Panthers host Oklahoma State Sunday at 1 p.m.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up

The Panthers finished up the first half of the Horizon League season by splitting two more matches. UWM beat Wright State in four sets Friday night before falling to Valparaiso in five sets Saturday.

Here are the news and notes from this October home weekend

Last Week’s Results
10/12 – beat Wright State, 3-1; 10/13 – lost to Valparaiso, 3-2

This Week Matches
10/19 – at Cleveland State; 10/20 – at Youngstown State

Player of the Week
Rachel Neuberger, junior, MB, Muskego, Wis. Neuberger put together a stellar weekend defensively, collecting an amazing 27 blocks over the two matches. She started by recording 10 in the win over Wright State Friday night before adding a collegiate-best 17 in the five-setter with Valparaiso Saturday. The 17 blocks is easily the best tally in the league this season and Neuberger’s double-figure performances this weekend are two of just six around the league this year. She became the first Panther to reach double figures in blocks in two-straight matches since Natalie Schmitting in 2007.

News and Notes
Milwaukee has now played eight 5-set matches this season, including in four of its last five contests in league play. The five-setters haven’t gone the way of the Panthers, though, as UWM is 1-7 in 5-set contests this year … that’s quite a change from recent seasons, as Milwaukee entered this year 25-12 in five-set matches under Susie Johnson. Plus, the eight 5-setters have UWM threatening the school record of 11 five-set contests, set in 1998 … Milwaukee collected a season-high 101 digs in Friday’s win over Wright State. Three players had at least 20 digs in the contest … Elizabeth Egerer set a collegiate-best with 20 digs against the Raiders … Julie Kolinske went past 20 digs in both of the matches this weekend, tallying 22 against Wright State and 24 against Valparaiso … UWM’s 19 blocks against Valparaiso marked a team season-high … freshman Maggie Dunbar started both matches over the weekend and collected 25 total kills … Anna Bartz has now surpassed 900 digs in her collegiate career.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

In Case You Missed It ...

The UWM women's basketball team was involved with the Horizon League Media Day on Monday, with Coach Rechlicz and Angela Rodriguez representing the Panthers at the event.

The following are two of the videos from the day, the first being the "intro" video for the league's event and the second being the portion featuring the Panthers.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

WSOC Match Report: Loyola

Loyola 1:2 Milwaukee (2ot)
Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012
Engelmann Stadium (Milwaukee, Wis.)

Woman of the Match
Kelsey Holbert finished with a goal and assist to pace the Panther offense. Her goal came off a nice finish and put Milwaukee up early. Then, she made a key pass as falling on the game-winning goal. She also look very dangerous in space going forward.

Milwaukee leads the all-time series with Loyola, 20-2-3, including an 11-1-1 record at home ... UWM has won six straight in the series ... this was the Panthers fourth OT game this season and first win (1-2-1) ... Helen Steinhauser is the first UWM player with game-winners in back-to-back games since Sarah Hagen had a five-game streak last season ... Kelly Lewers picked up her team-leading fifth assist, while Steinhauser tied her for the team lead with three goals ... the last Panther golden goal was Sarah Hagen against Wisconsin Sept. 11, 2011 ... Detroit also won Wednesday, putting the Titans and Milwaukee atop the league standings with nine points on three wins.

Iron Woman Watch (Played every minute this season) 1144+ minutes ... Forbes, Scott.

Next Up
The Panthers have a nine-day layoff before returning to action at Green Bay Oct. 19.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Chicago Volleyball Notebook

The Panthers dropped a pair of five-set heartbreakers this past weekend in Chicago. UWM actually led two sets to one in both matches before seeing them slip away.

Here are the news and notes from the weekend in Chicago.

Last Week’s Results
10/5 – lost @ Loyola, 3-2; 10/6 – lost @ UIC, 3-2

This Week Matches
10/12 – home vs. Wright State; 10/13 – home vs. Valparaiso

Player of the Week
Elizabeth Egerer, Sr., OH, Sheboygan, Wis. Egerer was very good in both of UWM’s matches this past weekend. She led the way with 18 kills at Loyola Friday night and then had 20 kills and 14 digs Saturday at UIC. She now has had double-doubles in three of five league matches and has 56 kills over her last three outings.

News and Notes
Milwaukee has now played seven 5-set matches this season, including three-straight in league play. The five-setters haven’t gone the way of the Panthers, though, as UWM is 1-6 in 5-set contests this year … that’s quite a change from recent seasons, as Milwaukee entered this year 25-12 in five-set matches under Susie Johnson. Plus, the seven 5-setters have UWM threatening the school record of 11 five-set contests, set in 1998 … five of the nine players that got on the court for Milwaukee at UIC had not appeared in a collegiate volleyball match before this season, while a sixth (Hannah Blanchard) had played one-half of a collegiate match at her current position before three weeks ago … Saturday’s starters included true freshmen Sammi Herron and Maggie Dunbar along with sophomore Amber Simonton, who did not play in her first two seasons in Milwaukee … UWM’s blocking continues to get better with the addition of Amber Simonton to the starting lineup. Simonton has collected 17 blocks over the three matches and the Panthers have tallied 37 as a team.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Women's Basketball Helping a Great Cause Saturday

Milwaukee women's basketball head coach Kyle Rechlicz and members of her staff and players from the team will be out in the community Saturday (Oct. 6) to help out a great cause.

For the second year in a row, Chevrolet is partnering with the American Cancer Society to join in the fight to end breast cancer. As part of its support for the American Cancer Society, Chevy will be holding an event on October 6.

Test Drive to Donate: On October 6th, for every test drive taken at a participating Chevy dealership, a $10 donation will be made to the American Cancer Society up to $130,000. Andrew Chevrolet, a proud sponsor of UWM Athletics and located at 1500 W. Silver Spring Drive in Milwaukee (just a short drive from the UWM campus), will be a participant in the program.

Stop by and support a great cause and meet the Panthers coaches and players. The group representing the Panthers will be helping out from noon to 2 p.m.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

WSOC Match Report: Valparaiso

Milwaukee 1:0 Valparaiso
Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012
Eastgate Field (Valparaiso, Ind.)

Woman of the Match
Helen Steinhauser. Not only did Helen have the game-winning goal, but she battled like crazy in the midfield. She also did a great job connecting the defense and offense.

Milwaukee is now 14-0 all-time against Valparaiso, including a 6-0 mark in Valpo ... the Panthers have posted four-straight shutouts against the Crusaders ... Kelly Lewers is the first Panther to 10 points with her team-best fourth assist ... Jamie Forbes collected her 24th career shutout, tied for third in league history ... it was also the 198th shutout in school history.

Iron Woman Watch (Played every minute this season) 1035+ minutes ... Forbes, Scott.

Next Up
The Panthers have a week off before returning to action Oct. 10, hosting Loyola at Engelmann Stadium.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Green Bay Notebook

The Panthers pulled out a five-set win over Green Bay Friday night in their lone action of the weekend. The victory actually pushed UWM into a multi-team tie for first place in the Horizon League. In fact, just a year after the Panthers ran through the league unbeaten, every school has at least one loss just three matches into the year.

Here are the news and notes from the win over Green Bay.

Last Week’s Results
9/28 – def. Green Bay, 3-2

This Week Matches
10/5 - @ Loyola; 10/6 - @ UIC

Player of the Week
Julie Kolinske, So., OH, Big Bend, Wis. It continues to be hard to pick anyone besides Kolinske for this honor. Against Green Bay, the sophomore tied her collegiate-high with 22 kills and hit .360 in the five-set win. She also added six digs and three blocks. She is now averaging better than four kills per set and is averaging 4.5 kills per set in league matches. She also adds better than three digs per set.

News and Notes
UWM win Friday marked its 27th in its last 28 Horizon League regular season matches … the Panthers also beat Green Bay for the ninth-straight time … Anna Bartz collected 26 digs and now has 836 in her career … Hannah Blanchard tallied a collegiate-best 55 assists … Amber Simonton made her first collegiate start and had six blocks … UWM collected 12 blocks as a team … this was Milwaukee first five-set win of the season after losing its first four 5-set contests … the win turned the tables on a Green Bay team that entered Friday having won five of six 5-set matches.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

WSOC Match Report: Detroit

Milwaukee 2:0 Detroit
Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012
Titan Field (Detroit, Mich.)

Woman of the Match
This game's award is shared between Kelly Lewers (pictured) and Krissy Dorre. The pair of forwards combined nicely for both goals, though the first goes down as unassisted because of the distance Kelly ran with the ball.

Milwaukee leads the series 16-7-2 ... the Panthers are now 9-1-1 at Detroit, including a 9-0-1 mark in the last 10 meetings ... the team's losing streak of six-straight games was its longest ever ... UWM scored first in a game for the third time this season (2-1 record) ... this was the team's first shutout since the first two games of the season and the third overall.

Iron Woman Watch (Played every minute this season) 855+ minutes ... Forbes, Scott.

Next Up
The Panthers continue the road trip at Youngstown State Saturday.

Monday, September 24, 2012

News And Notes On The Opening Weekend Of League Play

The Panthers have split their first two Horizon League contest after beating Youngstown State Friday night before falling to Cleveland State Saturday afternoon.

Here are the news and notes from the first weekend of league play.

Last Week’s Results
9/21 – def. Youngstown St., 3-1; 9/22 – lost vs. Cleveland St., 3-0

This Week Matches
9/28 – home vs. Green Bay, 7 p.m.

Player of the Week
Rachel Neuberger, MB, Jr., Muskego, Wis. Neuberger had a pair of solid performances both offensively and defensively over the weekend. Friday vs. YSU, the junior tallied 16 kills and seven blocks while hitting .517. Then Saturday, Neuberger collected nine kills and a .304 hitting clip. Neuberger leads the team in both hitting percentage and blocks.

News and Notes
UWM’s loss to Cleveland State Saturday snapped a 26-match regular season league winning streak for the Panthers. It was also CSU’s first win over the Panthers in Milwaukee since 1992 … Julie Kolinske had another double-double in Friday’s win over Youngstown State, collecting 19 kills and 16 digs. She now has 13 in 16 matches this season … with Kayla Price out for the year with a hand injury, Hannah Blanchard made her first two career starts at setter over the weekend. She averaged nearly 11.5 assists per set and helped the Panthers hit .261 as a team ... Anna Bartz now has 810 career digs, keeping her on pace to pass 1,000 for her career … Bartz did pass double-figures in digs in both of the weekend matches, pushing her current string of double-figure outings to 12.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

WSOC Match Report: Wright State

Wright State 1:0 (2ot) Milwaukee
Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012
Engelmann Stadium (Milwaukee, Wis.)

Woman of the Match
Krissy Dorre is continuing to get better after missing the first games of the season with an injury. She looked dangerous the entire game and showed some great bursts of speed at times.

Milwaukee still leads the series 20-7-5 ... this was the Raiders' first win in Milwaukee since 1989, the first meeting in the series (2-10-2) ... the Panthers' six-game losing streak ties a school record ... UWM lost its league opener for the first time since 1997 ... the loss was also just the team's second in league play at home since 2000 (40-2-1) ... Abbey Hoerchner made her collegiate debut ... she is the third true freshman to play for Milwaukee this season.

Iron Woman Watch (Played every minute this season) 765+ minutes
Forbes, Scott.

Next Up
The Panthers return to the road, playing at Detroit Thursday and Youngstown State Saturday.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Marquette Invitational Notebook

The Panthers are moving on to league play after wrapping up the early portion of their non-league slate at the Marquette Invitational this past weekend. UWM lost three hard-fought matches against a very high level of competition. In fact, the three opponents entered the weekend with a 22-6 mark.

Here is this week’s notebook from the Marquette Invitational.

Last Week’s Results
9/14 – lost vs. Iowa, 3-2; 9/15 – lost vs. Pacific, 3-1; 9/15 – lost @ Marquette, 3-1

This Week Matches
9/21 – home vs. Youngstown State; 9/22 – home vs. Cleveland State

Player of the Week
Julie Kolinske, OH, So., Big Bend, Wis. Kolinske continues to post big numbers in the early season. She claimed a spot on the all-tournament team by averaging 4.00 kills and 3.08 digs. She had a double-double in each contest this weekend and now has 12 this season. Plus, she had 22 kills against Marquette, the third time this season she has reached that number.

News and Notes
Freshman Sammi Herron emerged as a key performer for the Panthers this past weekend. She had 13 kills against Iowa and 10 more against Pacific … Anna Bartz had a collegiate-best 29 digs vs. Iowa … Bartz is now up to 772 digs in her career and remains on pace to pass 1,000 by the end of the season … Elizabeth Egerer reached double figures in kills in two of the three matches over the weekend … after its loss to Iowa, UWM is now 0-4 in five-set matches this season … the Panthers also won the first set against both Pacific and Marquette before falling … Pacific is now receiving votes in the AVCA poll after going 3-0 on the weekend.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WSOC Match Report: #13 Wisconsin

#13 Wisconsin 2:1 (ot) Milwaukee
Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012
Engelmann Stadium (Milwaukee, Wis.)

Woman of the Match
Sammy Vovos put the Panthers ahead with her second goal of the season. She now is tied for the team lead in goals with two in just 133 minutes this season. Sammy gave the team a spark off the bench and her goal came on the corner kick in which she came into the game.
This was the 30th meeting between Milwaukee and Wisconsin ... the Badgers now lead the series 20-5-5, but the Panthers are 4-3-1 in the last eight meetings ... Hannah Kaul left the game in the second half with an injury, the first time she has not played every minute in a game this season ... Krissy Dorre made her season debut in the starting lineup ... Sky Perna made her first collegiate start ... Wisconsin is the third ranked team the Panthers have faced this season (0-2-1) ... UWM donned its black kits for the first time this season.

Iron Woman Watch (Played every minute this season) 565+ minutes
Forbes, Scott.

Next Up
The Panthers return to the road to take on Iowa State in Ames, Iowa.

Monday, September 10, 2012

InnTowner Invitational Notebook

The Panthers are 5-5 after three weekends, and they’ve been tested every weekend. There’s a good chance four of the five teams that have beaten Milwaukee will be in the NCAA Tournament. Of course, things get no easier this weekend at Marquette, where the three opponents have a combined 22-7 record to date.

Here is this week’s notebook from the InnTowner Invitational.

Last Week’s Results
9/7 – lost vs. North Dakota State, 3-2; 9/8 – def. Drake, 3-0; 9/8 – lost @ Wisconsin, 3-0

This Week Matches
9/14 – vs. Iowa (@ Marquette); 9/15 – vs. Pacific (@ Marquette); 9/15 - @ Marquette

Player of the Week
Julie Kolinske, OH, So., Big Bend, Wis. Kolinske continues to post big numbers in the early season. She claimed a spot on the all-tournament team by averaging 4.45 kills and 3.27 digs. She had a double-double in each contest this weekend and now has nine this season.

News and Notes
Freshman Maggie Dunbar returned to the UWM starting lineup this weekend and tallied 22 kills over the three matches … the win over Drake was Milwaukee’s third 3-set sweep of the season … meanwhile, UWM is 0-3 in five-set matches this year … against North Dakota State, Julie Kolinske and Elizabeth Egerer each tallied 22 kills. It marked the second match this season where the duo each passed 20 kills … Taylor Golabowski continues to be sidelined by a broken wrist … Anna Bartz has now reached double figures in digs in seven-straight matches … in the five-set match with North Dakota, there were only 10 ties and four lead changes. But, in the three-setter with Wisconsin, there were 35 ties and 13 lead changes.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Panther Invitational Notebook

The Panthers are 4-3 after two weekends against good competition. Two of the three losses have come against likely NCAA Tournament teams (Duke and Western Michigan) while the other came against a vastly improved Bradley team that has won five of its first six matches of the year.

Here is this week’s notebook from the Panther Invitational.

Last Week’s Results
8/31 – lost vs. Bradley, 3-2; 8/31 – lost vs. Western Michigan, 3-2; 9/1 – def. SEMO, 3-0; 9/1 – def. East Carolina, 3-0

This Week Matches
9/7 – vs. North Dakota State (@ Madison); 9/8 – vs. Drake (@ Madison); 9/8 - @ Wisconsin

Player of the Week
Rachel Neuberger, MB, Jr., Muskego, Wis. Neuberger was again the most consistent figure for the Panthers over the weekend. She averaged 3.38 kills per set while hitting .359. That has her hitting percentage for the first two weekends of the season at .395. Her best statistical tally of the weekend came vs. Western Michigan, when she collected a collegiate-best 21 kills. Neuberger also contributed 1.12 blocks per set as UWM’s blocking improved over the course of the weekend.

News and Notes
Julie Kolinske continues to pile up some big numbers for UWM. She had double-doubles in three of the four contests and had a collegiate-best 22 kills against Western Michigan. But her dig totals are perhaps the most impressive stat. She had 61 in four matches, including 19 in a three-set win over SEMO … Anna Bartz averaged 4.44 digs per set over the weekend, while Maisey Mulvey added 3.44 digs per set … a number of new faces continue to see playing time for Milwaukee. Sammi Herron had 17 digs Friday night vs. Western Michigan while Nicole Latzig again started all four matches. The weekend also saw sophomore Arianna Wiersma make her Panther debut … Friday night’s match drew 975 fans … Western Michigan was the tournament champion after going a perfect 3-0 on the weekend … the full all-tournament team included: Emily Coon – SEMO; Rachel Neuberger – Milwaukee; Alise Tupuritis – Bradley; Lauren Zerante – Bradley; Ali Goosen - Western Michigan; Jessica Brown - Western Michigan; Lena Oliver - Western Michigan (MVP).

Sunday, August 26, 2012

WSOC Match Report: Miami (Ohio)

Miami (Ohio) 4:2 Milwaukee
Sunday, Aug. 26
Engelmann Stadium (Milwaukee, Wis.)

Woman of the Match
Not to take anything away from the players that scored, but I'm going to give the nod to Kelsey Holbert. Holbert looked the most dangerous and did a nice job setting up Amy Kauffung's goal. Kauffung was a close second and the pair give the Panthers a nice future.

This was the first meeting between the Panthers and Miami (Ohio) ... Steinhauser's goal was the eighth of her career, most among active players on the team ... the loss snapped UWM's 11-game (10-0-1) unbeaten streak at home ... the last time the Panthers scored two goals in a loss was Oct. 1, 2010, at Texas (L, 4-3) ... Milwaukee has conceded four goals in back-to-back games for the first time since 1994.

Iron Woman Watch (Played every minute this season) 380 minutes
Forbes, Scott, Kaul.

Next Up
The Panthers hit the road to take on #22 Illinois Saturday in Champaign-Urbana.

Duke Invitational Notebook

Week one is in the books for the Panther volleyball team, with two wins and a loss to a Duke team that should compete for the ACC title and be back in the NCAA Tournament.

Each week, we’ll again have a brief notebook to pick some highlights and notes.

Last Week’s Results: 8/24 - def. Fairfield, 3-1; 8/25 - def. William & Mary, 3-1; 8/25 - lost @ Duke, 3-0

This Week Matches: 8/31 - vs. Bradley; 8/31 - vs. Western Michigan; 9/1 - vs. SEMO; 9/1 vs. East Carolina

Player of the Week: Rachel Neuberger, MB, Jr., Muskego, Wis. Neuberger figures to be one of the Panthers’ leaders on both offense and defense this season and she was steady and solid all weekend long. She wound up averaging 3.64 kills per set and committed just five errors all weekend, hitting .449 over the three matches. Her efforts landed her a spot on the Duke Invitational All-Tournament Team.

News and Notes: Kayla Price joined Neuberger on the all-tournament team … the Panthers had never played either Duke or Fairfield before this weekend … UWM is now 2-0 all-time against William & Mary … Susie Johnson is now 3-3 in season openers as the Panthers’ head coach … UWM’s starting lineup in the season opener was plenty young, as freshmen Maggie Dunbar and Nicole Latzig along with sophomores Julie Kolinske and Kayla Price earned nods in the opening seven … the 9-10 person rotation for the weekend also included two other freshmen – Maisey Mulvey and Sammi Herron … Milwaukee looks like it will have a balanced defensive effort in the back row, as four players finished the weekend averaging at leads 2.3 digs per set … Latzig made a nice mark on defense in the front row, averaging better than a block per set … Kolinske had double-doubles in all three matches over the weekend and opened the year with a 19-kill effort against Fairfield.

Friday, August 24, 2012

WSOC Live Blog: Milwaukee @ #13 Marquette

Follow along as the Milwaukee Women's Soccer team takes on crosstown rival #13 Marquette. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.

More Baseball Coverage From Bob Brainerd

As stated last week, Bob Brainerd, the voice and face behind the Milwaukee women's basketball TV games on Sports 32 and also the voice of the PA system for the Milwaukee men, can also write a good story.

His next featured article is on Chad Pierce, the Panther pitcher who was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 38th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft after earning Horizon League Pitcher of the Year honors as a senior.

With his permission, here is the text. If you want to see the full article with pictures, click HERE.


When the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers Opening Day roster was paraded out in early April, the media darling was local product Chad Pierce (@pierce_chad). A former 38th round pick of the Brewers, the right-hander had a following in Fond du Lac as well as Milwaukee, where he pitched for the Panthers in college.

Pierce provided the feel good sound bites of spring, hoping that the positive vibes would trickle into the season moving forward. Looking back to his Pioneer Rookie League campaign was not an option.

“Right now, the confidence is there, but last year at Helena, if I had a bad outing it played on my mind,” said Pierce. “That’s not how I really am, and this year I’ve been able to bounce back after a bad outing. If I have one, I look forward to righting the ship.”

Losing was a shock to the system for Pierce, who possessed a bulldog mentality pitching for the Panthers. His senior season was stellar, named an All-Conference first teamer and tabbed the Horizon League Pitcher of the Year. But the roll he was on came to a screeching halt in Helena.

“Last year my confidence was completely shot,” said Pierce, who went 2-4 in 15 games with an ERA of 6.64. “I don’t know if I was worn down from the college season or what but things were rolling around in my head and they shouldn’t be. Especially in this game where you fail so much you can’t have bad thoughts in your head.”

Pierce kept rewinding the tape to his high school days. His accolades included All-State, All-District and Fox Valley Athletics All-Conference honors three times. Baseball America listed the Fondy ace as the fifth best Wisconsin prospect. When his scholarship at the University of Arkansas didn’t seem like a solid fit after two seasons as a pitcher and a catcher, his transfer back to his home state was a rebirth.

But the past for Pierce couldn’t compensate for a 2011 present that jeopardized his future.

“Last summer I even had doubts in my head if I even belonged there because it was bad outing after bad outing,” said Pierce. “When you have failure that much, it gets into your head if you belong.”

His tonic was a simple return trip to his roots. Pierce insulted himself with a blanket stuffed with positive cushion. He also changed the scenery from the mountains of Montana to the campus life of Milwaukee.

“During the offseason I cleared my head, worked out hard back at school where the coaches confirmed to me that I belong,” said Pierce. “I talked to (Head Coach) Scott (Doffek) and (Pitching Coach) Cory (Bigler) quite a bit throughout the season. My parents told me how much they cared…told me I could do it.

“I just got after it and came into this season with the confidence that I had in high school and especially at UWM. I wanted to get back to who I was.”

The Pierce of the past has taken the hill in the Midwest League with a renewed purpose. The 24-year-old has been able to strap himself in and ride the baseball rollercoaster with no fear, able to exit the ride, turn right around and maneuver his way through the turnstile for another spin.

“Last summer, I can’t say I was like that,” said Pierce. “I was tip-toeing around a lot and didn’t have that mentality in me. This year, I’ve been able to clear my head and get that back.”

Confidence and consistency are the buzz words Pierce dispenses in his daily vocabulary. Beefing up his offerings to opposing hitters also assisted Pierce to a statistical turnaround.

“This year it’s all about my confidence compared to the way it was in Helena,” said Pierce. “For most of my outings I’ve been able to throw three pitches for strikes. At UWM last year, it was just my fastball and my changeup, or some days, just my fastball. This year, for the most part, it’s been more consistent…my confidence is there.”

The proper mindset has allowed Pierce to keep an even flow and counterpunch the highs and lows of professional baseball. His best start to date was on July 26 at Kane County, hurling seven shutout innings allowing just three hits and striking out eight. But two starts and two weeks later, Beloit belted Pierce off the bump scoring seven runs on eight hits in just four innings of work.

“Even in a couple of outings where I struggled, I still competed,” said Pierce. “That’s the mentality that I need. Now, even the times when I’ve gotten lit up a little bit our coaches told me ‘Way to get out of it…way to compete.’

“That’s who I am, that’s who I was in college where I would have outings and give up five or six runs in eight innings but they kept on throwing me out there because I’m still competing.”

The undo pressure of performing in front of the homefolks didn’t compound the problems Pierce was dealing with a season ago. Where some players might press to impress, Pierce lapped up the friendly surroundings of friends and family.

“I’ve felt better at home than I have on the road, and I don’t know if it’s comfort or what, but I just believe in my abilities this year,” said Pierce. “Being able to throw in front of your friends and your family all the time, it’s not an added pressure, it’s an added bonus. It’s made this season one that I’ll remember for a very long time.”

Home cooking, literally at times, helped jog the memories Pierce accumulated as a prep and collegiate standout. An easy road trip down Highway 41, Pierce has been home a handful of times this season, grabbing a meal, sleeping in his own boyhood bedroom.

“This season has definitely been one to get me back on track to be the pitcher I’ve been,” said Pierce.

Besides the comfort zone environment, Pierce was also eased into the Timber Rattlers rotation by piggy backing with right-hander David Goforth to start the season. Even though it was out of the norm for Pierce, getting a taste on the tail end of a start proved to be a settling force for the future.

“When I was coming in after Goforth, I was coming in usually in the seventh inning, sometimes in the sixth, so I didn’t have as many innings to cover,” said Pierce, who made 15 relief appearances, winning one game, saving two more. “I don’t know if my body was a little more amped up because it was only three innings I had to get through. But to be inserted into a starting role is something I have embraced. I’m a player who has a lot of routine and now instead of having to worry about my routine coming in after a guy, I now know exactly when I’m going to go in.”

Pierce has not only reclaimed his bulldog demeanor, he has pushed himself to go deep into ballgames, relishing the role of an innings eater. And while the season and postseason are still in play in Appleton, Pierce is already looking forward to an offseason on an uptick.

“Throughout the year, you always think about something I might change in the offseason,” said Pierce. “I’ve been working on a little cutter here and there and that might be something I work on in the offseason. Right now, I’ve got my three pitches and I’m trying to work with them the best that I can and leave the tinkering to after the season.”

The offseason is also where Chad Pierce will set aside his time to dream. For a kid from Fond du Lac, who grew up attending and admiring games involving the Brewers, the fantasy seems all too real and tangible at times.

“I don’t even know if words can describe it,” said Pierce. “Ever since I was a little kid I dreamed about playing at County Stadium and now, Miller Park. I’m getting that opportunity right now and it’s definitely a dream. I’ve always wanted to play for the Brewers, and right now, I’m having a good season and hopefully people in the organization have seen that and they realize I have something I can bring to the table.

“It’s a surreal moment, and people that come to the games, whether they are 20 or 70, are wishing they were still out there playing. I’m out there and it’s a dream to play here and hopefully make it up to the big club.”

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

More Information for Milwaukee/Marquette Soccer

This Friday, the Milwaukee men's and women's soccer teams will be taking on Marquette at Valley Fields. For the men, it's not only the season opener, but also the yearly battle for the "Milwaukee Cup" as the Panthers look to post their third win in a row in the series. That game time is set for 6:30 p.m.

The UWM women play their MU counterparts after that. Although it's listed as an 8:30 p.m. start time, safe to say that even if the men's game ends in regulation, starting at that time will be difficult. The guess here (mine alone) is closer to 9 p.m.

Here is some more information, sent over by the helpful folks (Luke LeNoble) in the Marquette Sports Information Office:

Tickets for the long-awaited men's soccer season opener Friday, Aug. 24, at Valley Fields are now on sale through the Marquette University ticket office. Call 414-288-GOMU to purchase your tickets in advance. Kickoff for the Milwaukee Cup derby between the Golden Eagles and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is set for 6:30 p.m. Central time.

Your ticket to the game also includes admission to the MU women's soccer match against the Panthers at 8:30 p.m. CT, immediately following the men's game. The first 500 fans in attendance will also receive a free commemorative t-shirt, courtesy of Lowland Grand Café.

Tickets for Friday's doubleheader are $7 for adults and $3 for youth. Marquette students get in free with a valid MU student ID card. Fans are encouraged to arrive early as there are a limited number of parking spots at Valley Fields. Gates will open at 5:30 p.m.

Free parking is available in the City of Milwaukee parking lot located on the west side of the stadium, or the east parking lot at Valley Fields. There is additional parking on campus at the parking structure located at 749 N. 16th Street. Cost to park in the on-campus structure is $3 after 5 p.m. (until midnight).

After the match, all soccer fans are invited to Café Benelux, (346 N. Broadway, Milwaukee, Wis., if Marquette wins) or Cafe Hollander (Downer Ave., if UWM wins) for a postgame victory party.

Additionally, Marquette men's and women's soccer season tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the MU ticket office. Single-game group tickets may be purchased for $2 for groups of 15-or-more people.

Directions to Valley Fields From Madison (Heading Eastbound on I-94) 1. Exit 26th Street (309B) 2. Take right onto St. Paul 3. Take right on 25th St. (heading south) 4. Follow 25th St. to roundabout and head east on Canal St. 5. Fields on left

From Chicago/Green Bay (Heading Westbound I-94) 1. At the Marquette Interchange head westbound on I-94 2. Exit 25th & Clybourn (309B) 3. Take a left onto to 25th St (South) 4. Follow 25th Street to roundabout and head east on Canal St. 5. Fields on left

From Campus (16th Street Viaduct) 1. South on 16th Street to middle of viaduct 2. Left at stoplight to bottom of ramp 3. Two additional lefts onto Canal St 4. Fields will be on right

Walking directions from on-campus parking structure (0.5 miles): Head towards the intersection of 16th Street and Clyborn. Continue southbound over the 16th Street bridge until you come to a set of stairs of the right-hand side of the street. Follow the stairs down to the lower street level (Canal Street) and walk west towards Valley Fields.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

WSOC Match Report: St. Bonaventure

MILWAUKEE 4:0 St. Bonaventure
Sunday, Aug. 19
Engelmann Stadium (Milwaukee, Wis.)

Woman of the Match
Amy Kauffung scored a goal and assisted on another to get today's Woman of the Match Award. Her goal was a great shot, while she did a nice job of setting up Vovos' score. Just before coming off, she did well to beat her defender going to goal and missed a second score just wide.

This was the first meeting between the Panthers and St. Bonaventure ... the shutout was Forbes' 22nd career clean sheet, second-most in school history, and her second-straight to start the season ... Forbes started the 2009 season with four-straight shutouts ... Zawacki scored a goal in her first collegiate appearance, the first to do so since Sarah Hagen in 2008 ... Kauffung started 21-of-22 games last season (primarily as a defender), but did not score a point ... Behnke's goal was her second career and her first game-winner ... Vovos' goal was her first since Oct. 26, 2009 at Green Bay ... Henschel's first win at UWM is also the 291st of his career (men and women) ... Milwaukee is unbeaten in its last 11 games at Engelmann Stadium (10-0-1) ... there was a 38-minute lightning delay in the 71st minute.

Iron Woman Watch (Played every minute this season) 200 minutes
Forbes, Scott, Kaul, Steinhauser.

Next Up
The Panthers head to Valley Fields Friday to play Marquette. Kickoff is at 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

WSOC Match Report: #24 South Carolina

Friday, Aug. 17
Engelmann Stadium (Milwaukee, Wis.)

Woman of the Match
Jamie Forbes made eight saves for shutout, including a couple big saves to maintain her 21st career clean sheet.

Some notable performances from Kelly Lewers, Helen Steinhauser and Demi Price. I was impressed by Lewers fitness and edge on the field. Steinhauser was everywhere in the midfield and played great. Price coming on seemed like a turning point, giving the Panthers confidence and more energy.

Six players played all 110 minutes (Forbes, Bestwina, Scott, Kaul, Condon, Steinhauser and Lewers) ... UWM now has eight results (2 wins, 6 draws) in 34 all-time games against ranked opponents ... this was the first meeting between the Panthers and SC, while Milwaukee is now 4-6-3 all-time against SEC teams ... the shutout was Forbes' 21st career clean sheet, second-most in school history ... Bestwina and O'Donnell made their first collegiate starts

Iron Woman Watch (Played every minute this season) 90 minutes
Forbes, Bestwina, Scott, Kaul, Condon, Steinhauser and Lewers

Next Up
The Panthers remain home, hosting St. Bonaventure Sunday at noon.

Friday, August 17, 2012

In Case You Missed It...

Bob Brainerd, the voice and face behind the Milwaukee women's basketball TV games on Sports 32 and also the voice of the PA system for the Milwaukee men, can also write a good story.

Recently, he penned a great article on Eric Semmelhack, the Panther pitcher who was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 12th round with the 395th overall pick of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft.

With his permission, here is the text. If you want to see the full article with pictures, click HERE.


Home may be where the heart is, but it also appears to be where Wisconsin Timber Rattlers pitcher Eric Semmelhack (@ESEMMEL33) builds his career on the bump.

The former Oak Creek standout parlayed his way into a Division 1 roster spot on the UW-Milwaukee Panthers, and then got drafted by his hometown Milwaukee Brewers back in June. After some initial seasoning in Helena with Milwaukee’s Pioneer League rookie squad, Semmelhack is back in the comfortable surroundings of Appleton.

“I can’t say that it has sunk in, really,” said Semmelhack, a 12th round selection by the Brewers in the First-Year Player Draft. “I know I’m a part of the organization, I know I’m here for a reason and a purpose, but it just feels like I got incorporated into Appleton’s team and I think that’s the way I’m going to approach things.

“I’m with one team, and if I try doing the best I can with that one team, eventually it leads to better teams, if I have success.”

How Semmelhack even positioned himself to begin his climb up the Brewers company ladder as an armed prospect is worthy of review when you consider this pitcher didn’t really pitch until late in the game.

“I was always a hitter,” said Semmelhack, who played in a utility role at Oak Creek High School. “I really started pitching my junior year of high school. I was very raw, throwing it around here and there. They needed arms, and I had an OK one at the time, so that’s how that happened.”

What happened next was a transformation. Semmelhack’s arm began to blossom but the right-hander was barely aware, fixated on maintaining the strong tradition of Knights baseball, State Champions a record three years in a row prior to his stint with the Knights.

“I wanted to go there and keep the tradition rolling,” said Semmelhack. “It’s kind of a legacy that the guys left behind and you don’t want to be the ones to go in there and mess up the tradition. You try to maintain that and do as well as you can. It was pretty hard to repeat what they did, but I just tried to keep the tradition going of good baseball players coming out of Oak Creek.”

Semmelhack was very good, a workhorse during his senior season, logging more than 85 innings on the mound, notching ten wins and nearly 100 punch outs. UW-Milwaukee saw the upside, while Semmelhack saw an opportunity to continue the climb up the learning curve.

“I got stronger as a person in college because I peaked kind of late,” said Semmelhack. “When I first got to college I was still just throwing the ball…they called me a thrower, because I didn’t have awesome pitches, just going out there and threw my fastball as hard as I could and tried to get it in the strike zone. That worked for a little bit in college, but then throughout the years, it was about developing better mechanics, more off-speed pitches, and toward the end, trying to stay down in the zone.

“That’s what it was all about and now I’m here learning a bunch of new things and hopefully keep incorporating them and getting better.”

From Head Coach Scott Holler at Oak Creek, to Panthers skipper Scott Doffek, Semmelhack was all ears no matter which Scott was in them. With such a small sample size on the mound, there were plenty of lessons to be learned for this true student of the game.

“I had a lot of good people giving me a lot of help,” said Semmelhack. “I try to take in what everybody tells me, and through the course of all the people and instruction I was given in high school and college it led me to where I am right now.

“I’m still very raw and new and I learn something new every day and that’s what keeps me going…that I can keep getting better and piece it together.”

Listening may be one of Semmelhack’s bonus traits, but he also possesses the ability to keep a keen eye on his counterpart on the hill.

“If something is working for somebody else I want to have the edge on that too,” said Semmelhack. “I take listening very seriously and the more you can take in the more you can see what works and what doesn’t. It’s all part of trying to grow as a pitcher and as a person. I appreciate all the advice I get and I try to use it to the best of my advantage.”

One feature film he just won’t watch is one starring himself in the lead role. Semmelhack chooses to let others watch that action flick.

“I always think about if I was hitting, what would I look like in the batter’s box?” wondered Semmelhack. “I don’t really watch myself, I just know how I did then let the coaches tell me what they think and work on it.”

Someone who has been watching Semmelhack play and pitch from an early age is Eric’s father, Mike. A basketball player back in his day, Mike never played baseball on an equal level as his son, but he was able to coach and team Eric the value of competing at a very high level.

“He was always coaching my traveling teams and fall league teams, and he coached me right up until eighth grade and high school,” said Semmelhack. “It was about going out there and doing the best with what you have. That’s been my drive since I started playing baseball. I might not have the best stuff but as long as I can go out there and compete and give my team a chance to win, that’s the main point.

“That’s what he preached and struck home with me…you’re not always going to have great days, fight your way through it and that’s what makes you a better player.”

The bond is somewhat detached now, at least for Mike. Like an expecting father, Eric’s dad paces the ballpark when his son is in the spotlight on the mound, too jittery to sit still in one place for a nine inning affair.

“That’s what he’s done since high school, just paces,” laughed Semmelhack. “Even with people he knows, like when Chad (Pierce) pitches, he’ll be pacing around.”

Eric’s pace has been hectic, to say the least, since he was plucked from the talent pool by the Brewers in June. Mike was the one who flagged down his son with news from the draft while his son was running pregame drills with the Lakeshore Chinooks of the Northwoods League. After six games in Helena, shuffling within the Milwaukee organization brought Semmelhack back to Wisconsin to continue his work in progress two hours from his home base.

Priority one: Continue to stop, look and listen.

“As a junior in high school I was throwing well, we went to State, and during the whole recruiting process I picked up tips,” recalled Semmelhack. “I even picked up stuff watching other people, watching Major League games and college games. I kind of have my own mechanics, that’s always been the harp on me that my mechanics were not always the cleanest, but it’s a lot of learning from other people and trying to incorporate things that may drastically fail, but other things kind of work.”

Cataloging all of these helpful tidbits is a job itself, which may help explain why the overpowering notion of a kid from Wisconsin playing in the Brewers organization isn’t so overwhelming after all.

“I think the other stuff comes in the offseason when people talk about it,” said Semmelhack. “We’re playing games and every day you have a focus and it’s not about being with the Brewers, it’s about improving my game.

“Sometimes you get glimpses of it, you’re able to step back and say I am a part of the organization and that’s a cool feeling. But in the grand scheme of things it’s all about focusing and worrying about that next start and getting through it.”

Eric Semmelhack may exhale at season’s end and savor the thought of home cooking on his plate. An Oak Creek Knight, Milwaukee Panther, and now Wisconsin Timber Rattlers pitcher…does he dare to dream of padding his hometown resume as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers?

“I don’t really consider it a dream, I think of it as a goal,” said Semmelhack. “We put all that time and effort that we can into this, traveling, playing baseball, working every day at it, so I think it’s more about achieving the goal. If I can, that’s great, and if I fall short with all the work I’ve put into it, that’s OK, and it’s back to the real life.

“But I’ll try putting off the real life as long as I can.”