With four matches left to play this season, the Ohio State women’s volleyball team finds itself in the middle of the log-jam that is the Big Ten standings. After a loss Friday to Illinois (3-1) and a victory over Wisconsin Sunday (3-2), the Buckeyes are once again .500 on the Big Ten season with a conference record of 8-8. “It’s the last mile of the marathon,” senior outside hitter Anna Szerszen said. “You’ve got to push.” The push the Buckeyes are hoping to make would land them in the NCAA Tournament. “Every match is important because you are trying to sell yourself to the NCAA selection committee,” OSU coach Geoff Carlston said. “Right now, we are trying to build a resume.” The grueling Big Ten schedule the Buckeyes have braved should help their cause. Eight Big Ten teams received votes in the Nov. 8 AVCA Division 1 Coaches Poll, with Penn State leading the charge at No. 8. Illinois followed at No. 9, Michigan at No. 16, Minnesota at No. 22 and Northwestern at No. 24. OSU, Purdue and Indiana also received votes. Eight Big Ten teams also find themselves among the top 33 in Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), the most of any conference in the country. “It was a really important win, especially in terms of Big Ten standings,” sophomore outside hitter Emily Danks said. “Every win puts us closer to making the NCAA Tournament.” With Penn State, Northwestern and Minnesota looming on the horizon, the Buckeyes’ room for error is dwindling. “We have to make sure that when we have the opportunity to make a play, we are doing it,” Carlston said. With a strong finish against three ranked teams, the Buckeyes, who are 20-9 overall this season, should have a good case to make for a bid to the NCAA Tournament. “We just need to finish strong. We can’t coast,” Danks said. “Every game is a big game so (we have to) take everything seriously, put everything we’ve got into every game.” The Big Ten championship might be out of reach for the Buckeyes, but they know late-season wins will give them momentum heading into the tournament. “That’s what differentiates champions,” Szerszen said. “How good can you be at the end of the season?”
Adjusting to college life can be a daunting task for any freshman. For those whose first quarter of classes coincides with their first season of college football, it’s even more difficult. “Being a freshman here is a tough thing,” said OSU defensive tackle John Simon. To ease the transition from high school to college, the football staff instituted a program in fall 2006 that pairs an incoming freshman with a “big brother” on the team. “The older guy just looks after the younger guy and calls him if he needs help … getting situated,” Simon said. There is no formula for determining the brothers — the decision is up to the coaching staff. “I think it mostly goes by position, but whoever they assign for you, you got,” Simon said. Coach Stan Jefferson, who serves as director of player development and runs the program, had more insight. “It could be by position, it could be by if they are from the same state, it could be if there’s a situation where we just feel that those two people will work well together,” he said. “We try to get a total staff input.” Though communication among brothers is encouraged, the level of involvement between players is up to the individuals, defensive back Donnie Evege said. Because most freshmen do not have cars, big brothers often get calls to give their little brothers rides to team events. They also go to the movies, the mall or other social activities together. Junior tight end Spencer Smith often finds himself playing online video games with safety C.J. Barnett and tight end Nic DiLillo, the two younger brothers he has had. The bottom line is that formally introducing freshmen to older players provides a level of comfort, Smith said. “I’m personally more of a … shy person and definitely when they introduced me to my big brother, he made me feel comfortable about whatever it is I needed,” Smith said. “I could ask any type of questions about practice, class and anything else.” The program can also be helpful to those who are more outgoing and don’t feel the need to reach out to their older brother. “There wasn’t a lot of times I had to go to (former OSU safety Kurt Coleman) … but just the feeling of knowing that any time I could go to him for advice made a world of difference for me,” Evege said. The freshmen football players must balance their commitment to team events with what, for many, is the most difficult academic workload they have had. Having a connection with a player who has been through the same process is helpful. “Your freshman year of college … is critical. You have to have great time management skills,” Evege said. “We are there to help them balance a whole new world where you have football also with the academics that Ohio State provides.” Jefferson pointed out that the struggle is not isolated to the football team. “There are challenges for any freshman who comes to school in terms of a new academic environment,” he said. Players are expected to remember their big brother and emulate them when they have freshmen to look out for. “Once you do have that good relationship with your big brother, you can see how they made you feel … and you can make those younger guys feel like they can come to you for anything,” Smith said. The relationship with his older brother, New York Giants practice-squad player Jake Ballard, has continued since Ballard left OSU, Smith said. Smith’s case is not an exception. “Once you have that relationship, it lasts a number of years because that’s someone you can always go to,” Evege said. “Kurt is (still) a guy I can always call for advice on and off the field.” Even though he doesn’t have a little brother this year, Smith has stayed close with DiLillo and Barnett. “I have a better relationship with those guys than I normally would have with just a regular teammate,” he said. “It is really, truly like a brother.”
After earning three wins on the road and improving to a 9-4 overall, the No. 8 Ohio State men’s volleyball team will return to St. John Arena Friday for the first of two home games. The Buckeyes defeated Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Friday in four sets in OSU’s first conference match of the season. OSU is ranked first in the conference with No. 7-ranked Lewis (8-3, 2-1 MIVA) in second. IPFW ranks third. “I want to say we’re used to it,” senior outside hitter Anthony Hock said. “People say a lot of things in their interviews about how they’re going to beat us and we just keep saying ‘no.’” Ranking in the bottom half of the conference is Ball State (7-4, 1-2 MIVA). The squad from Muncie, Ind. will step onto the Buckeyes’ home court at 7 p.m. Friday. “Ball State is a unique team,” said junior outside hitter Nick Gibson. “They are great at getting the ball over the net. Very scrappy, which can be frustrating at times.” The Buckeyes will host the Carthage College Red Men (7-1) from Kenosha, Wis., at 3 p.m. Sunday. But coach Pete Hanson said he and his team are focused solely on Friday’s task. “Ball State is a league game,” Hanson said. “You have to be good on your home court, and we’ve done well against them in the past. Every year, every new match is an opportunity to play well.” Last weekend, the Buckeyes traveled to State College, Penn., to participate in the two-day Penn State Invitational. Gibson tallied a match-high 14 kills on Feb. 4 against the Mount Olive Trojans. OSU swept the Trojans without any help from the top three offensive players, including senior opposite Shawn Sangrey, senior outside hitter Mik Berzins and junior middle blocker Grayson Overman, who have a combined 391 kills on the season. “With a team like Mount Olive, it’s a good chance to work on different lineups,” Gibson said. “Everyone’s fighting for spots. It’s that kind of year.” Hanson and his coaching staff made the decision to exclude starters from the match. “We wanted to rest Sangrey. He’s a guy we’re going to need later on in the season,” Hanson said. “We need other guys to get some experience too.” The trio contributed greatly the night before in a four-set match against the Cal-Baptist Lancers. Sangrey led the team with 23 kills, another match-high. Hock said the difference between playing at home and on the road is that other school’s gymnasiums are much smaller than St. John Arena. “The fans are a lot closer and not afraid to get in our face,” Hock said. As the Buckeyes return to Columbus for the MIVA home opener, their focus is on continuing to reduce service errors. “Our offense is starting to find a good rhythm,” Hanson said. “Anytime you start to build chemistry, you allow the guys to play more freely.”
Members of OSU 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 (9-4, 2-0 Big Ten) has started the conference season well, but the Buckeyes are just getting started with Big Ten play as they hit the road this weekend to face No. 23 Michigan Friday and No. 16 Michigan State Saturday.The Buckeyes swept Maryland (3-0) last week at home before upsetting No. 13 Purdue (3-1) on the road Saturday.Ohio State head coach Geoff Carlston was impressed with the Buckeyes’ execution against a tough Boilermakers team on the road.“I thought we played really well in a very tough environment,” Carlston said. “They’re a really good team, so I was really proud of our group. I thought our defensive energy was really where it needed to be.”Throughout most of the preseason, Carlston worked with the team to strengthen its defensive line and its hard work has seemingly paid off. The Terrapins registered a .099 hitting percentage in their loss to Ohio State and the Boilermakers recorded a .212 hitting percentage against the Buckeyes.Middle blocker Madison Smeathers said she was equally pleased with the game against Purdue. She had a career-high 16 kills on 31 attempts, with only three errors on a .419 hitting percentage.“We had a great game plan that we practiced all week, and I think we just followed through with it really well,” Smeathers said. “We played with our heart, not just our bodies.”The team plans on playing no differently than how it has been and intends to extend its four-game win streak and follow up its first two conference wins with a victory against Michigan. Ohio State holds a 50-24 all-time record versus the Wolverines since 1974.The Buckeyes have a tighter all-time record with the Spartans (46-31), splitting their home-and-home series last season with a 3-0 sweep for each team.“Those two teams are very good at home,” Carlston said. “Michigan State has had a great weekend and Michigan is a very good team. They’re both going to serve the ball really well, they don’t make a lot of mistakes so we can’t give them easy points.”The Buckeyes will have to work hard this weekend as Michigan State won its first two Big Ten matches and went 9-2 during the nonconference portion of the season. Although Michigan lost its first two Big Ten matches, it went 9-4 in its nonconference schedule.“The coaches are making a game plan and we’re going over it every day, trying to focus on Michigan before Michigan State, taking it one game at a time,” Smeathers said.The Buckeyes have had a pair of recent setbacks as they have dealt with injuries to juniors outside hitter Audra Appold and middle blocker Jasmine Koonts.“We’re going to have a lineup we’ve never played before because of injuries, so we’re just trying to find a rhythm with that a little bit,” Carlston said.“It’s given some of our young players a much more prominent role than maybe they were expecting and [they] have risen to the occasion.”Smeathers said the team has missed Appold and Koonts in the last couple games, but that has not stopped the Buckeyes from playing a few of their best games this season.“Battling injuries and things is definitely hard, but I think we’re trying to figure out who we are,” Smeathers said. “We’re coming together really well and playing for each other despite all these things.”In advance of the weekend matchups, Carlston said he has spent time scouting his opponents to gain an idea of what his team is up against. He said the two teams are very experienced and strong, and the Buckeyes will have to remain steady this weekend.“We have to continue to work on our serving, that needs to be one of our strengths,” Carlston said. “I think both of those teams are two of the better serving teams in the conference, so I think the serving game is going to be crucial, tactically and just putting pressure on each other.”Carlston believes both teams will make great plays and Ohio State will have to let those go and focus on the next point, working just as hard as it has been.“Our team also enjoys being on the road, so we’re going to have to lock arms and go into a pretty hostile environment again like we did last weekend,” Carlston said.
A devoted elderly couple who were married for more than 70 years died just four minutes apart.World War Two hero Wilf Russell was 93-years-old when he passed away at a care home at 6.50am on March 29.Incredibly, his 91-year-old wife Vera then died just three miles away at Leicester Royal Infirmary four minutes later at 6.54am.Wilf, who fought in Italy and North Africa with the RAF, moved into Magna Care Home in Wigston, Leicestershire, after being diagnosed with dementia last year.Relatives said Vera’s health then began to deteriorate after her husband of 71 years became unable to recognise her during visits. Vera and Wilf Russell on their wedding day, September 5, 1945Credit:SWNS She was admitted to hospital in January and passed away without knowing her husband had died moments earlier.The childhood sweethearts were just 16 and 18 when they got engaged before they got married after the war on September 5, 1945.Granddaughter Stephanie Welch, 44, said: “My granddad was diagnosed with dementia a year ago and he had to go into the care home a couple of months back.”My nan went to see him recently and he didn’t recognise her at all, her health started deteriorating from that day.”I went to visit her at Leicester Royal Infirmary and she opened her eyes and asked me where Wilf was.”The last thing she said to me was: ‘We’re a right pair, aren’t we?'”He died at 6.50am and she died at 6.54am without being told about Wilf.”I think she was waiting for him to go. She was broken-hearted.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
“These guys … are people who have literally sacrificed their lives and sacrificed body parts to serve their country and to be with their mates,” he said. “Those are the role models that I want my kids to follow.”Prince Harry: My Journey will be broadcast on Wednesday June 21 at 8pm (UK) on Forces TV. “I’ve got plenty of issues but none of them really relate to Afghanistan, but Afghanistan was the thing that triggered everything else.”Not to get too personal, if you lose your mum at the age of 12 then you’ve got to deal with it and the idea that…. 15, 17 years later I still hadn’t dealt with it, Afghan was the moment. I was like “right – deal with it.” The Prince told Henson: “For me, Invictus has been a sort of cure for myself…There was many times in my early life and also many times in Afghan and coming back from Afghan when you actually feel helpless.”He added: “Once I plucked my head out of the sand, post-Afghan. It had a huge, life changing moment for me as well – ‘Right, you are Prince Harry, you can do this, as long as you’re not a complete tit, then you’re gonna be able to get that support, because you’ve got the credibility of 10 years’ service and therefore, you can really make a difference’.”Harry described how his own struggles had manifested themselves and said that recognising this meant he could help others. Harry said: “You just need to be there for your mate and be a pair of ears and listen, and the most comforting thing to know is that person that you’re talking to has shared similar experiences. You’ve worn the same uniform.”Describing his love of life in the forces, he added: “The military was the university of life. Afghanistan was the experience of your life.”I’ve never met anyone now who can’t speak positively of their time in the military. Of course we had bad days but the good days far outweigh that.”Harry, who is dating American actress Meghan Markle, spoke passionately about the servicemen and women taking part in the Invictus Games and described them as role models for his own future children. Harry was recently praised for revealing in a podcast with the Telegraph’s Bryony Gordon that he sought counselling as he confessed it was not until his late 20s that he processed his grief for Diana, Princess of Wales who was killed in a car crash in 1997. The Princess of Wales with Prince William, right, and Prince Harry, left, in April 1992Credit:Martin Keene/PA Prince Harry has opened up about how his time in Afghanistan was the trigger for him to get help dealing with his mother’s death.Harry, who served on two front line tours with the Army, was filmed in conversation with Paralympic medal winner and former Invictus Games captain Dave Henson for Forces TV.The Prince, who spent 10 years in the military, admitted that he has “plenty of issues” and had felt helpless at times.But he said Afghanistan was the moment he realised he had to deal with his problems and that the Invictus Games he set up for wounded service personnel had been “a sort of cure”.He said: “Going through Invictus and speaking to all the guys about their issues has really healed me and helped me. “You go through all that stuff and then you meet other lads who’ve had a similar journey … and you can help them and you can have a bit of banter….Once they realise ‘Hang on I’m not the only person here – There are so many other people who have suffered and recovered – I’m going to go and sort this out and get help’.”He stressed the importance of service personnel speaking to each other about their struggles before mental health problems snowball. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. “You can tell the signs in people…. in my case, suit and tie and every single time I was in any room with loads of people which is quite often, just pouring with sweat, heart beating bop, bop, bop, bop – literally like a washing machine – just like ‘oh my god get me out of here now. Oh hang on I can’t get out of here – I’ve got to just hide it’,” he said.
Nadiya Hussain has disclosed that she does not want her children to have arranged marriages, despite having had one herself.The Great British Bake Off star was married to her husband aged just 19 and, although she said she had grown to love him in time, she admitted that she needed to “move with the times” when it came to her own children.The mother of three told Good Housekeeping magazine: “It’s tough – you are pretty much marrying a complete stranger. We need to move with the times.”I don’t think (my children) need me to find them a husband or a wife. They will do a better job than I will.”Talking about her own experiences, she explained how she had worked at her relationship with husband Abdal. Show more Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. “I didn’t know my husband, and then we had two children, and then I fell in love with him.” Hussain, who won Bake Off in 2015, said: “I had an arranged marriage, and learnt you have to persevere and remember we are all human and all have faults.”Obviously my husband Abdal has more faults than I do! We had to live through the good and the bad, and have come out the other side.”Love is strange… it creeps up on you and then smacks you in the face. Nadiya Hussain with her husband Abdal HussainCredit:Enterprise News and Pictures Hussain added that she wanted to encourage independence in her children.She said: “They won’t be living with me when they’re 18 – I’ve got a cruise to go on.”I don’t give them pocket money for doing chores – I don’t get paid to do the dishes, so they don’t either.”The full interview appears in the September issue of Good Housekeeping, on sale August 2.
Queen Victoria, pictured on the left alongside Empress of Augusta of Germany, strongly disliked smoking and would have been “horrified” if she knew he daughter was a smoker, a historian has saidCredit:Hulton Deutsch/Corbis Historical However, the 15 shilling cigarette bill remained unpaid.Lucinda Hawksley, historian and author of The Mystery of Princess Louise, said: “Princess Louise was definitely a regular smoker and she would have had cigarettes and cigars to offer her guests when they visited, she was very sociable like that.“But Queen Victoria was very anti-smoking, so there was great excitement amongst Princess Louise and her brother when he became King, because they could smoke openly.“It was no secret amongst her friends that she smoked, but she had to keep it from her mother, who would have been furious at any suggestion that a woman might be smoking, let alone her daughter.“She didn’t even like her son smoking. She thought it was very unseemly.”The documents released earlier this year are two of the three files detailing Princess Louise’s will.Ms Hawksley said she was “very intrigued” to hear that new documents regarding Queen Victoria’s daughter had been published, as they have been kept notably private for nearly 100 years for unknown reasons.Ms Hawksley said: “It’s very very hard to find out too much about Princess Louise. So it’s really interesting that new documents have come to light, but the other ones will not be available until the 2030s.“I believe she had an illegitimate baby and several love affairs and all sorts of things that are really not very scandalous in 2018. But for some reason her files are closed. I was unable to get into them at the Royal Archives. They are completely closed to researchers.“It’s very interesting – that’s why I called my book The Mystery of Princess Louise, because it was a complete mystery researching her.” Queen Victoria’s daughter died with outstanding debt to a tobacconist due to her secret smoking habit, documents have revealed.Princess Louise, the sixth child and fourth daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, died in 1939 when she was 91-years-old with an unpaid cigarettes bill to a cigarette shop R Lewis Limited, located near Buckingham Palace.The princess, who was known for her unconventional lifestyle, was a “regular smoker” who managed to hide the habit from her mother who detested smoking.It was not until 1901, when her brother Edward VII became king, that Princess Louise could enjoy a cigarette in the smoking rooms of the royal palaces.Princess Louise’s death duties file, released by the National Archives in Kew earlier this year, show that she left £239,260, 18 shillings and sixpence, worth more than £70m today. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.
The tribunal, which… Teachers at a Steiner school thought it “appropriate” for pupils to sit on a teacher’s lap, a tribunal has heard, as schools are accused of allowing a sexualised culture among pupils to prevail. Denis McCarthy, who taught at RSSKL, Herts, for 34 years, is accused of “sexually motivated” inappropriate behaviour with pupils. The case follows Ofsted concerns about a failure to respond effectively to incidents of “sexualised behaviour” between children in Steiner schools. Inappropriate teacher-student relationships went unchallenged at Rudolf Steiner School Kings Langley (RSSKL) and people felt “at ease about touch”, the hearing into the conduct of a former teacher was told.