Warhawk Recap

Warhawk Esports Club hosts Whitewater Esports Expo
Wednesday February 19th 2020, 1:48 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

     When Joker knocked Inkling off the stage for the final victory, a massive cheer went up in the center of the UC. The crowd of about 75 people put their hands up and made some noise for the culmination of the eight-hour tournament. 

  The Warhawk Esports Club hosted their first ever Tespa-sponsored event on Saturday, Feb. 15 in UC 275, and the Joker v Inkling battle in Smash Ultimate was the last event of the Grand Final, the pinnacle of the action for the evening. While not all 150 members of the crowd stayed that late, the event was still a huge success because of turnout. The final knockout also meant that Cole “Matador” Nemec defeated his rival “Miles” after a bracket reset, and won the grand prize, which included a $180 gaming headset. 

  After running through the field of over 40 smash players, Matador, who is a student here at UWW, had to face Miles in the final event.

  “I usually am a really good player,” said Matador, who plays a wide variety of characters. “I was nervous, but I knew I still had chances to turn it around.”

  Since Miles came over from the loser’s side, it meant he would have to win two matches to be crowned champion. He reached half that goal, putting down Matador’s Capt. Falcon and Banjo Kazooie characters in the first match, forcing a bracket reset.

Matador stayed cool, calm and collected during the bracket rested. He held his spot in the chair in front of the audience, and seemed eager to get back to the game at hand.

  “I was nervous, but I knew I still had chances to turn it around,” said Matador.  

  After the reset, Matador went with Falcon again, and finished off the match getting a KO as Joker which would eventually win him the match. He finished at an astonishing 201% which left him just on the brink of elimination. 

  The event was significant because of all the sponsorships that the Whitewater Esports club received. They promoted the event well, and got sponsorships from Red Bull, Omen, Tespa, and other companies in the gaming world. 

“The turnout today was really really great. You can see how passionate everyone is just being here.”

– Brandi Moy

  “Tespa is a Blizzard subsidiary,” said Jacob Halfman, who was in charge of running the event. “They provide these services in return for pictures. It’s basically an advertising deal.”

  In fact, Tespa even sent a brand representative up from Irvine, Calif. To help administer the event. 

  “As far as I know, this is the first Elite event or big LAN tournament for UW-Whitewater,” said Brandi Moy, Tespa’s representative. She talked about how Whitewater’s Esports club is a member of their Chapter program, which means that Tespa can provide support and help facilitate these sort of events. 

  “When (a team) qualifies to be a Chapter for our program, they can furthermore apply for campaigns. These campaigns are a way for us to supply them with event goodies. The banners, a lot of the Prizing, even social media shoutouts we help them with,” said Moy. 

  The event was well executed, and featured branding from top gaming companies, including Omen, HP’s gaming division. This event saw the club clearly outside their comfort zone, reeling in huge sponsorships and reaping the rewards. Many people came in the beginning of the day, a sign to the faculty and staff that gaming is a serious avenue for students to express their creativity and internal personality. While they never have received SUFAC funding in the past, the Esports team has applied and believe they will be cut in on SUFAC next semester.

There were plenty of other games being played at WEX 2020, including Rocket League, and Overwatch. The latter game saw competitors team up for a 2v2 tournament, which ran even longer than the Smash Ultimate tourney. 

In addition to the handful of games that were being played competitively, there were also screens set up for people to play casually while the action was going on around them. Some were playing Mario Double Dash, and even Halo! 

  Even Chancellor Watson got in on the fun. He arrived as the event was winding down, but still got a chance to go through a VR gaming demonstration, and to see the Grand Finals. He looked proud to cheer on Matador and all the other UWW competitors as they faced off against the best competition the local area has to offer. He stayed until the final knockout, which saw Miles blasted off the left edge and into oblivion. 

  The event was received as a general success, especially considering the amount of people who came to support the Esports Club. 

  “The turnout today was really really great. You can see how passionate everyone is just being here,” said Moy, who flew up from Irvine, California just to attend. 

  As the event wound down Nemec was in the mood to distribute his championship knowledge.   “If you keep practicing, you’re bound to get really good,” said the champion.

Warhawks honor Raeder and Corcoran on Senior Day
Friday February 14th 2020, 5:23 am
Filed under: Basketball,Women

Becky Raeder has been a fixture in the Warhawk starting lineup, so when her name was announced as one of the five starters on Senior Day against UW-River Falls, it was no surprise to the home fans. Raeder led the Warhawks (19-2 [9-1 conf.]) to a 71-45 victory over the Falcons (5-16 [0-10 conf.]) on Saturday, Feb. 8, in what would be her 84th win for the program. The game saw Raeder and teammate Megan Corcoran honored during halftime in a tribute to both players’ careers in Whitewater. 

Raeder, who hails from Sheboygan Falls, was gracious in accepting the award at halftime, where the Warhawks were leading by 18. She was awarded a framed jersey, presented by Interim Athletic Director Ryan Callahan and Chancellor Dwight Watson, who similarly commemorated Corcoran, who has been with the team for the past two seasons, after transferring from Madison College. 

Raeder put her team in the lead in the first half, and finished the second with a huge lead, although River Falls plahed hard the entire game, and didn’t give up after going down big. 

UW-River Falls coach Blake DuDonis mentioned Raeder by name during a post-game interview. 

“We didn’t want Becky Raeder shooting the ball. We did not close down well to her,” he said of the Warhawk guard. He went on to call her a competitor, and talked about Raeder’s leadership ability. 

“She’s one of those kids you watch on film and go ‘I wish we had one of those,” said DuDonis. “It takes four years to become this great player, and this great team.” 

The way he chose to have his River Falls Falcons attack Whitewater’s league leading defense was by crowding the paint, attempting to limit shots down low. Forwards Aleah Grundahl and Johanna Taylor combined for only 12 points. The Falcons style of play was meant to stop Grundahl, who averages 9.6 points per game, the top mark for a freshman in the WIAC. To some extent, DuDonis’ plan worked, and the Warhawks only led by 8 points at the end of the first quarter.  

The main beneficiary of the Falcons defensive setup was Raeder, who rained threes from the left side of the court. She really took hold of the game in the second quarter, hitting a 3-pointer with 7:59 to go, giving the Warhawks a 13 point lead. 

She got hot down the stretch, hitting threes on back to back possessions with about 3 minutes left in the half. The second three came after a scramble on the offensive boards, where Raeder pulled down the offensive rebound, showcasing her versatility. 

“When she came here it suited her a little more to play on the wing, but she still had the great qualities. It was almost like having two point guards at the same time, where you could trust Becky to get us organized if needed.” said one of her former coaches, Amy Zelinger. 

After pulling the ball off the glass, she brought the ball back behind the 3-point line, and reset the play. This allowed the offense to have another look, and they eventually found Raeder open again for a third 3-pointer of the quarter. She’d add another two minutes later, finishing the second quarter with 14 points. 

The years of Raeder’s career have seen high achievements for the Warhawks, including two WIAC championships and three National Championship tournament appearances. She has also been awarded WIAC Scholastic Honor Roll three times, as well as an appearance on the 2018-19  All-Sportsmanship team, making her one of coach Carollo’s standout players.  

The second half  of the game was never close, and the Warhawks continued their reign as the first place team in the WIAC despite the Falcons best efforts. 

“Great leader, she cares more about her teammates and winning the game more than anything else,” said Carollo of her top player. 

Raeder has worked hard to earn the trust of everyone involved with the program since her first day in Whitewater, a trait that impressed former assistant coach Zelinger, who worked closely in Raeder’s recruitment process. 

““You could trust her. She didn’t make a whole lot of silly mistakes, she had an obvious basketball IQ,” said Zelinger, who was responsible for recruiting Raeder out of Sheboygan Falls high. 

Zelinger now plays more of an advisory role in Raeder’s academic and athletic career as she transitions to the role of COBE advisor, after being with the Warhawks basketball program for more than 15 years. 

Raeder’s role on the team has been a work in progress, but this season Carollo has finally nailed what to ask of Raeder, who is the team’s emotional leader. 

Of course, Raeder’s main calling card is her scoring ability. As a freshman, she scored 4.7 points per game, seeing just over 18 minutes/game. The improvement continued, as a Junior, those numbers had almost doubled. Now, as a Senior, she sees the floor for about 33 minutes/game and  averages 12.9 points/game. 

As her on-court presence has grown, Raeder has transitioned into a new, secondary role. 

She is now expected to be the floor general, moving players around on offense and making sure everyone knows their matchup in coach Carollo’s man-to-man sets. She’s often pointing out a weak-side kickout, or calling out “Screen!” to her teammates. She acts as the de facto point guard, even if she’s guarding the other team’s wing players. 

She’s also tasked with the playmaking duties, often bringing the ball up the court to start the offense in motion. She doesn’t have eye-popping assist numbers (2.7/game) or steals (1.6/game) but makes impact plays that don’t show up in the box score. While she has the height of a wing player, she’s often confused for a point guard, because of her court vision, which she uses to help her teammates to get in position.  

““Look back at the minutes she has played over the course of her four years. She’s on the floor because she’s trusted,” said coach Zelinger. “From the perspective of a coach, you want the people in the game that you can trust.” 

Raeder has worked hard to become the emotional leader of the team. She cites team activities in August and September for creating a strong bond between teammates, which pay dividends in February and March. 

“I know my teammates pretty well. I know when they’re getting down on themselves, I know when to have their back a little bit more, or get on them about something that they should be doing better if they aren’t,” said Raeder, who has been in the program longer than any other player. She made a point of having to arrange players-only practices in summer, and having to create culture from the first day. 

“It was kinda tough, because Freshman outnumbered the returning players,” she said. 

Coming into the season, there were questions about the amount of experience this team would have. With only five healthy upperclassmen, the Warhawks were always going to have to lean on youth for minutes. The emergence of Aleah Grundahl and Abby Belschner have been bright spots for the team, and have benefitted massively from the experience and leadership the team receives from Raeder. 

“I love passing and I love setting up my teammates,” said Raeder. “ I kind of control the tempo, control the mood.” 

This role benefits Raeder, because of her ability to command the offense. She’s able to be calm in high-pressure moments, helping to lead some of the less experienced players. 

“I’m the person to keep everybody level headed when things start hitting the fan,” she said. She’s shown that ability countless times season, and used it again tonight to get a three pointer in the first half.   

“When you don’t have that, that reset button, is when people start branching out, thinking ‘I need to make the play’ When a single person starts thinking like that, people start doing their own thing.” she said during an exclusive interview. 

She also spoke about her life after college, and said she was looking for another reset, and to open a new chapter of her life. 

“Our saying is forever teammates, forever family. That doesn’t change whether you’re playing or you’re done. They’re always going to be a part of the Warhawk program,” said coach Carollo, who has been in charge for 18 seasons. 
For now, Raeder plans to fade gracefully into that role, and start a new journey in life. But she’ll always be remembered here as a member of the Warhawk family.

Comm 285 First Blog
Wednesday February 05th 2020, 9:37 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This space represents a placeholder where the first blog will be posted.

Hello world!
Monday January 27th 2020, 10:08 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Welcome to Blogs.uww.edu. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!