Fireworks create a brilliant display to ring in the New Year. (Photo courtesy City of Ocean City) Due to the forecast for rough seas, the fireworks display that had been scheduled for 9 p.m. Saturday has been canceled. The display was to have been launched from a barge in the ocean off Ninth Street. All other Fall Block Party and Indian Summer Weekend events will continue as scheduled. The forecast calls for partly sunny skies, mild temperatures and light winds. See complete information on the weekend events.
Less than a week after a history-making performance against Nebraska, the University of Wisconsin volleyball team will once again be put to the test, this time against the No. 17 Purdue Boilermakers.Purdue (17-4 Overall, 8-2 Big Ten), presents a unique challenge of its own with setter Ashley Evans, a 6-foot-1 redshirt sophomore. Evans, who averages 11.1 assists per set, was part of the U.S. Collegiate National Team’s China tour in June and leads a dangerous front-line unit that averages 14.21 kills per set and is currently hitting at a percentage of .279 percent.“[Purdue] is I think 50 points higher than anybody else in the league offensively with their hitting percentage,” UW head coach Kelly Sheffield said. “So we’ve got a real big challenge defensively to go against that. They’ve got an unbelievable right side.”That right side features Annie Drews, a senior outside hitter who is top 50 in the NCAA in kills per set (4.11), and also four other players in the Boilermakers’ front-line average more than two kills per set.With that said, Purdue’s defense — despite holding opponents to a hitting percentage of .156 percent — has some serious holes and has especially struggled against ranked opponents, against whom they have posted a 2-3 record.The Boilermakers’ defense has averaged only 7.67 blocks per game against ranked opponents and has transferred poor defense into even poorer offense by hitting only .156 percent against those same opponents. That should play into the favor of the Badgers, who are coming off of their highest blocking performance of the season with 15 blocks at Nebraska.“We have worked real hard on blocking and backcourt defense,” Sheffield said. “Start of the year, I think we were probably blocking some balls that the opponent probably had as much to do with it that we did. But right now I think our hand position is getting a lot better, our footwork is getting cleaner, we’re reading a lot better in the backcourt.”The Badgers have 10 regular season matches remaining this season. The final stretch will start this Friday against Purdue at the UW Field House at 7 p.m., and will be part of a cluster of seven home games to finish out the regular season.