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Discovery launches Singapore venture

first_img22 July 2013South African health insurer Discovery has launched a joint venture with pan-Asian life insurer AIA Group to introduce a wellness programme in Singapore, marking the company’s entry into the Asia-Pacific region.The venture, AIA Vitality, will combine AIA’s distribution and life insurance product leadership and 80-year experience in the Asian market with Discovery’s wellness-based expertise.“The new venture provides a significant opportunity for Discovery to expand our footprint in the high-growth Asia-Pacific region,” Discovery chief executive officer, Adrian Gore, said in a statement last week.“Like elsewhere in the world, the Asia-Pacific region is fast becoming vulnerable to the chronic diseases of lifestyle; we have a unique opportunity to help arrest this and positively transform the life insurance market in the process.”AIA Vitality will provide protection products by linking wellness incentives to life and health insurance, much like Discovery’s Vitality programme in South Africa.Customers will be offered discounts on premiums as personal health goals are achieved in partnership with a network of well-known health, wellness and rewards partners.“The intended result is a life insurance model which will have immediate financial and health benefits for participating policyholders, while enhancing sustainable value creation for AIA, and providing positive long-term benefits for the people, communities and countries in which AIA operates,” Discovery said.“This represents a powerful new means by which we can engage with our customers while helping to address the important social issues of the need for better health,” said AIA Group chief executive officer, Mark Tucker.“Discovery Vitality has a successful 16-year track record as the world’s largest and longest-standing wellness programme, with more than 5-million customers across four continents,” Gore said.“AIA is a leading Asian life insurer, making it the ideal partner for us to introduce the Vitality programme in the region.”SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Ohio’s Crop Progress Report – June 15th, 2015

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Widespread heavy rains last week brought most fieldwork to a halt in Ohio, according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Regional Office. There were 3.8 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending June 14th. Heavy rains through the state have brought many concerns for producers. Ponding has occurred in low lying areas, drowning out crops and favoring disease.  The muddy, wet fields have prevented producers from being able to spray and fertilize at ideal times causing concerns over disease, pest, and weed pressure. Hay producers are concerned that delays will adversely affect quality. Despite the predominantly wet conditions in the northern part of the State, dry conditions persist in many areas, mainly in the south. Southwestern, and parts of the south central and southeast Ohio were identified as abnormally dry on the Drought Monitor Report released June 11th. Rainfall over the past week was insufficient for relief, and many weather stations are still reporting cumulative deficits going back to April 1st.View the complete report for the week ending June 14th, 2015last_img read more

Trump’s comments on anthem, Curry resonate across sports

first_imgFire hits houses in Mandaluyong City LATEST STORIES BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC ____“This is the supremacist attitude at its worst. Trump is dishonoring the country and the flag with such a bold threat.” — the Rev. Jesse Jackson in an interview with The Associated Press.____“I was in favor of the team visiting the White House and thought it was a rare opportunity for these players to share their views directly with the president. I am disappointed that that will not happen. More importantly, I am proud of our players for taking an active role in their communities and continuing to speak out on critically important issues.” — NBA Commissioner Adam Silver.____“I support my son 100 percent. I know he respects the Office of the Presidency and I applaud him for standing up for what he believes in.” — former NBA player Dell Curry, Stephen Curry’s father.____“Comments like we heard last night from the president are inappropriate, offensive and divisive. We are proud of our players, the vast majority of whom use their NFL platform to make a positive difference in our society.” — New York Giants owners John Mara and Steve Tisch.____“The behavior of the President is unacceptable and needs to be addressed. If you do not Condemn this divisive Rhetoric you are Condoning it!!” — Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks. MOST READ ____“With everything that’s going on in our country, why are YOU focused on who’s kneeling and visiting the White House??? #StayInYoLane.” — Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets.___“Our country needs unifying leadership right now, not more divisiveness. We need to seek to understand each other and have civil discourse instead of condemnation and sound bites. I know our players who kneeled for the anthem and these are smart young men of character who want to make our world a better place for everyone. They wanted to start a conversation and are making a difference in our community, including working with law enforcement to bring people together. We all can benefit from learning, listening and respecting each other.” — Stephen Ross, Miami Dolphins owner and founder of the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality.____“Steph very well thought, and eloquently presented. Thank you for speaking for the majority. A Mr October tip of the cap.” — baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson.____“The callous and offensive comments made by the president are contradictory to what this great country stands for. Our players have exercised their rights as United States citizens in order to spark conversation and action to address social injustice. We will continue to support them in their peaceful pursuit of positive change in our country and around the world. The San Francisco 49ers will continue to work toward bringing communities, and those who serve them, closer together.” — San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York.____“That’s why this is the best country in the world. And that’s why I want to be in this country for the rest of my life because you have freedom of speech and it shouldn’t go away.” — Buffalo Sabres goalie Robin Lehner, a Swede who wore a Trump sticker on the back of his goalie mask in November. “Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players.” — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.____FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“The peaceful demonstrations by some of our players have generated a wide array of responses. Those opinions are protected speech and a freedom that has been paid for by the sacrifice of men and women throughout history.” — DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association.____ Ayo rues La Salle defense in loss to UP Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president “U bum @StephenCurry30 already said he ain’t going! So therefore ain’t no invite. Going to White House was a great honor until you showed up!” — LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers.____“In lieu of a visit to the White House, we have decided that we’ll constructively use our trip to the nation’s capital in February to celebrate equality, diversity and inclusion — the values that we embrace as an organization.” — Statement by the Golden State Warriors.ADVERTISEMENT Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients center_img Screenshot of LeBron James’ tweetReactions to President Donald Trump’s comments about football players who kneel during the national anthem, and his decision to rescind a White House invitation to Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors:At a rally in Alabama on Friday night, Trump suggested that NFL owners fire players who kneel during the anthem, and fans should consider walking out in protest. On Saturday morning, Trump tweeted that he withdrew the invitation to Curry because the two-time NBA MVP hesitated to attend the traditional trip by the NBA champions. Hours later, the Warriors said they would skip the White House visit as a team.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary ____“Stick together, stand up for each other, ride with each other, because believe me we all we got. It has nothing to do with football or business. Y’all are our stars. You represent us. Y’all are our strong heroes. Let’s show that strength, please.” — music mogul Diddy.___“It’s unfortunate that the President decided to use his immense platform to make divisive and offensive statements about our players and the NFL. We strongly believe that players are leaders in our communities and positive influences. They have achieved their positions through tremendous work and dedication and should be celebrated for their success and positive impact. We believe it is important to support any of our players who choose to peacefully express themselves with the hope of change for good. As Americans, we are fortunate to be able to speak openly and freely.” — Green Bay Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy.RELATED VIDEOStephen Curry: Trump tweet ‘further cemented’ stance on White House1.9K viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 “By acting and not going, hopefully that will inspire some change when it comes to what we tolerate in this country and what is accepted and what we turn a blind eye to.” — Stephen Curry, on skipping the White House visit, during the Warriors’ media day on Friday.____Curry on Lebron’s tweet against Trump: Bold, Courageous1.7K viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes PLAY LIST 01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss00:58Trump blames media, Democrats for impeachment during Kentucky rally01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  Read Next Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa View commentslast_img read more

Maria Sharapova warns Eugenie Bouchard: My tennis will do the talking

first_imgRussian tennis star Maria Sharapova, who made a return from her 15-month doping ban earlier this month, has vowed that her tennis will do the talking when she meets Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard in the second round of the Madrid Open later today.Earlier, Sharapova was handed a wildcard entry at Stuttgart Open as she made it to the semifinals of her first tournament since testing positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.The five-time Grand Slam champion had previously also received wild cards for Madrid (May 7-13) and Rome (May 15-21) tournaments.Labelling Sharapova as a ‘cheater’, Bouchard had last week suggested that the Russian player should have been kicked out of the sport for life, instead of welcoming her with a series of wildcards for high-profile tournaments.Hitting back at Bouchard, Sharapova claimed she has had enough experience of listening such kind of things since making her breakthrough by winning Wimbledon at the age of 17 years.”I’ve been in the public eye since I was a very young girl. I’ve heard a lot of things. If everything affects you on and off the court, I think that would be a really challenging position to be in,” Sport24 quoted Sharapova as saying.”It’s not the way I think. My tennis speaks for itself, and that’s what I focus on,” she said after struggling past Mirjana Lucic-Baroni 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 in the opening clash.Despite the constant criticism following her comeback, Sharapova asserted that she doesn’t care about the same and likes to remain very much in her element.advertisement”I love being quiet about it and letting everyone around speak or have the noise. I’m very much in my element. I think it’s always great to be the person that’s kind of in control of your actions while everything around you is moving in a different way,” he added.If Sharapova manages to extend her unbeaten record over Bouchard to five matches, she will edge closer to qualifying for Wimbledon in June without the need of a wildcard from the All England Club.”I would love to be in a position to compete in that event. It’s very meaningful to me,” she added.Sharapova’s initial two-year ban was earlier reduced to 15 months following an appeal to the court of arbitration for sport, which concluded she had not intended to cheat.last_img read more

Looking forward to some difficult cricket in England, says Virat Kohli

first_imgVirat Kohli exuded confidence ahead of India’s departure for the tour of Ireland and England and said his men were looking forward to some difficult cricket.India had toured South Africa earlier in the year. After losing the first two Tests, they won the third Test on a tough Johannesburg pitch before crushing the Proteas 5-1 in the ODI series. India also won the T20I series 2-1.Team India skipper Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri addressed the media hours before their flight to Ireland and both men sounded confident of the team’s chances overseas. India play two T20Is in Ireland before travelling to England for three T20Is, three ODIs and five Tests.WATCH FULL VIDEOIndia do not have pleasant memories in England as far as Test cricket is concerned. In 2011, they lost 4-0 before going down 3-1 in 2014. However, Kohli said the South African tour has given his team the confidence to do well abroad.”After what happened in South Africa, we are actually looking forward to some tough cricket,” Kohli told the media in New Delhi on Friday.India have world’s best spinners, can win in England: Kumble”When we were playing the Test series in South Africa and lost the first two matches, people thought we were outplayed. Then we won the third Test and won the two series after that. Then they realised how well we played. We are looking forward to going to other countries and playing well. We are looking forward to playing difficult cricket,” Kohli said.advertisementKohli had a horrid time in England in 2014. He scored only 114 runs from five Tests and was all at sea against James Anderson and Stuart Broad. But he is now a completely different batsman and has since scored six double centuries including four in successive series.India to play over 200 international cricket matches from 2018 to 2023Immediately after the England tour four years ago, Kohli went to Australia and hammered four hundreds in four Tests. Against England at home, he smashed 655 runs from five Tests.On the tour of South Africa, Kohli hammered 871 runs across formats and was the leading run-scorer in the Test and ODI series.He was scheduled to play for Surrey to get used to English conditions before the Test series gets underway in August but the 29-year-old had to pull out after he sustained a neck injury during the IPL.It would be fair to say Kohli is not overtly worried about his chances against the swinging red leather this English summer.June 20, 2017: When Anil Kumble announced shock resignation as India coach”People have forgotten the Champions Trophy was also played in England. I was asked what I would when I landed there, and I said I wanted to walk around the streets with a cup of coffee. My thinking is very different.”If I think like how people are thinking on the outside, then it does not go well,” he said.Meanwhile, India coach Ravi Shastri said every series is a home series for India. His logic can sometimes be tricky to understand for the casual follower but he offered an explanation.”Every series is important. Every game is a home game for us. We do not play the opposition – we play the pitch. The 22-yards.. that is what we have to try and conquer. The boys know they will be rated if they can adapt to different conditions.”We are looking forward to playing in other countries.. I am not sure too many teams want to come to India,” he said.last_img read more

4-Star Penn State Commit Shane Simmons Tweets Turtle Emoji, PSU Fans Freak Out

first_imgShane Simmons Tweets an image of a turtle.Shane Simmons TweetThe college football recruiting Twitter world is a place full of top-10 lists, little humility and cryptic emojis. Avoid it at all costs, if you can. There are times when you can’t avoid it, though. Like when a recruit committed to a school tweets something about another school, causing a semi-freakout among fan bases. That happened today. Shane Simmons, a four-star linebacker in the 2016 class committed to Penn State, tweeted a turtle emoji, something often used by Maryland players and fans.  — Shane Simmons (@Shizzeee_) May 17, 2015 He then retweeted the following tweet from four-star quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr., who committed to Maryland on Friday.#ShizzeeeToUMD  @Shizzeee_— Dwayne Haskins, Jr. (@dh_simba7) May 17, 2015 Then Penn State fans reacted. @Shizzeee_ Booooooo!!!— E (@We_Are_Penn_St) May 17, 2015 @Shizzeee_ what’s up with the turtle emoji— Justin Muffley (@muffley10) May 17, 2015 @Shizzeee_ PSU is where it’s at— Justin Muffley (@muffley10) May 17, 2015 @Shizzeee_ He’s making fun of them…they don’t even realize it.— Brian Richards (@fuzz3307) May 17, 2015 @We_Are_Penn_St @Shizzeee_ hes making fun of Maryland lol— David (@DFi5her) May 17, 2015 @Shizzeee_ #TheMovement pic.twitter.com/9pvCyGJfZD— SaulGoodman (@Linebacker_U) May 17, 2015 @dh_simba7 @Shizzeee_ Hells No! Let every man decide his path and do not judge or scorn him for it. #WeAre!!— R. Robert Garcia (@TexasTrinity) May 17, 2015 @dh_simba7 @Shizzeee_ why would he want to play for a bunch of losers. What has Maryland ever won. Oh yeah they win at disrespect— Andrew Ball (@PhileePhan) May 17, 2015 Simmons was considering Maryland at the time of his commitment to Penn State. Now that Haskins is on board with the Terps, many recruiting analysts believe other top in-state prospects will follow. Simmons, a Hyattsville, Md., native, could be one of them.last_img read more

CGI believes its poised to take advantage of rising technology spending

first_imgMONTREAL – Despite global business tensions, companies will continue to invest in technology and CGI Group Inc. is well-positioned to take advantage of the growing market, chief executive George Schindler said Wednesday.In his view, both consumers and other citizens want access to a more digital experience, prompting companies and governments to take action.“This is really not a situation where they can decide not to invest,” Schindler said during a conference call to discuss CGI’s fourth-quarter results which topped expectations and boosted its share price on the Toronto Stock Exchange.Spending on technology and use of outsourcing are expected to increase over the next three years, according to estimates from the information technology and consulting firm.Last year, CGI conducted a survey that suggested 40 per cent of companies wanted digital strategies for all of their businesses, compared to 12 per cent the year before. The survey involved 1,300 business people and leaders, as well as government representatives in 17 countries. Canadians accounted for 15 per cent of respondents.“In many cases, we find that companies are now changing their business through IT projects, not the other way around,” Schindler said.He told analysts that new technologies, such as massive data analysis and automation, are shaking up business models and stimulating spending.CGI ended the year on a high note with earnings above expectations in the fourth quarter, during which profits and revenues increased.Investors reacted favourably, as shares closed up 2.97 per cent at $81.47 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.For the three-month period ended Sept. 30, the Montreal-based company posted net earnings of $293.5 million, or $1.03 per share, a 40 per cent increase over the same period in 2017.Quarterly revenue reached approximately $2.8 billion compared to $2.61 billion in the fourth quarter last year.“The company reported constant-currency revenue growth of five per cent year over year, above our estimate of 4.1 per cent year over year, mostly due to stronger-than-expected revenues in Europe and Canada,” said analyst Maher Yaghi of Desjardins Capital Markets in a note to clients.Excluding non-recurring items, including a $22 million restructuring charge, adjusted fourth-quarter earnings increased 12.4 per cent to $ 309.8 million or $ 1.09 per share.The performance exceeded the expectations of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, who expected adjusted earnings per share of $1.07 in the last quarter of the year.“We continue to see a market climate conducive to achieving our strategic aspirations of doubling CGI over the next five to seven years,” Schindler told analysts.Schindler did not express concern over the outcome of the mid-term elections in the United States, as Democrats seized control of the House of Representatives from President Donald Trump’s Republicans.Some observers say this could allow Democrats to block Republican efforts, particularly around government spending. CGI generates about 13 per cent of its annual revenue through contracts awarded to the U.S. federal government.For the full year, CGI generated net earnings of $ 1.1 billion or $3.95 per share, up 10.3 per cent from its 2017 financial year. Revenue soared by 6.1 per cent to $ 11.5 billion.Companies in this story: (TSX:GIB.A)last_img read more

IMPROVING OVER TIME

first_imgMy son is in Class IX and suffers from mathematics phobia. Please suggest.Mrs. T. Sinha, Kolkata The problem your son is suffering from is very common among students. In our traditional mathematics classrooms, the subject poses a nightmare for those who have a slower grasping capacity. But mathematics can get really interesting with proper tutoring. What is fun is easy to learn. Online mathematics games, mental maths puzzles and introducing your son to the examples of day-to-day use of mathematics in the practical world can create a whole new excitement about the subject. Encourage him to spend more time with the subject and do not criticise wrong answers. Rather, emphasise on the process of solving the math problems. Changing his mindset towards mathematics no longer being a subject to be scared of and reassuring him that he too can be ‘good in maths’ can actually do wonders that might even surprise you. Good Luck! Also Read – Feel what you fearMy son is 19 years old and 5.2″ feet tall. He suffers from severe inferiority complex. What can we do? S. Pathak, New Delhi Napoleon complex or the short man syndrome hits the hardest at the age that your son is in. One way to deal with the complex is to break it down. Please help him understand that everyone on Earth is inferior to someone in some way and superior to someone in some other way. Moreover, he will be really surprised to know that the health benefits of being shorter weigh far more than its disadvantages. And as far as looks are concerned, there is much more to a man’s attributes of being tall, that can actually make him look charming and coveted in today’s world. Moreover, your son is only 19, so it can be possible to increase height up to the age of 21 years through healthy diet, regular exercise and swimming. All the very best. Also Read – Homecoming I am newly married. My husband is always travelling. I feel very depressed and lonely. M. Kanak, Noida I can understand how hard it can be for a newly married couple to stay away from each other. But in today’s economy, sometimes travelling becomes a necessity to keep a job. So, in order to cope with the ‘being away from each other’ syndrome make it a point to stay connected on calls and internet. Reinforce your commitment and trustworthiness towards each other by staying connected. Distance makes the heart grow fonder. When he is not around, you can focus on doing something that you enjoy doing. May be learn something new. Feel lucky that he is not stationed away from you or working for the military. Have some ‘me-time’ and spend your time finishing all the boring work and save your best moments to enjoy when he returns. Best wishes for the love birds. I love my husband and we dated for four years before marriage. Off late he is becoming very unromantic. What can I do? Name withheld During the courtship period, lovers put their best foot forward. But post a few years of marriage, partners usually start taking things for granted. That is where the problem creeps in. If you find your husband being unromantic, try finding ways to seduce him. Go for candlelit dinners, movies or even indulge in a long vacation together to a romantic place where there is no external interference. Try to figure out what he expects from you. Sometimes if a woman is very bossy in a marriage, the husband shuns from being himself. I would suggest you communicate with him clearly about your wants and walk towards an amicable solution. All the best! (Send your questions to [email protected])last_img read more

Deshaun Thomas shows versatility in loss to Kansas

LAWRENCE, Kan. — On an otherwise glum day for the No. 2-ranked Ohio State men’s basketball team Saturday, sophomore forward Deshaun Thomas was one of the few bright spots for the Buckeyes. Thomas helped keep the Buckeyes competitive as they suffered their first loss of the year in a 78-67 defeat against Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse. Thomas shot 50 percent from the field, and finished the game with 19 points. Sophomore forward Jared Sullinger was absent from the OSU lineup due to back spasms he suffered during the Buckeyes’ Nov. 29 win against Duke. As a result, Thomas was forced to split time defending Kansas’ 6-foot-10 forward Thomas Robinson with Buckeyes’ freshman center Amir Williams. Robinson ended the game with 21 points, but Thomas said OSU coach Thad Matta was complimentary of Thomas’ defensive effort against Robinson after the game. “Coach just said I did pretty well with (Robinson),” Thomas said. “We tried to switch it up and confuse him.” Matta said the additional work was taxing for Thomas. “(Thomas) went 40 (minutes) tonight,” Matta said. “He wouldn’t have had to. He could have been a little bit fresher down the stretch.” Thomas still had enough left in his tank to contribute on the offensive end. Down the stretch, Thomas said his teammates wanted the ball in his hands and that Matta told him to be ready. “I came into the game hitting shots,” Thomas said. “I figured since (Sullinger) wasn’t playing, somebody has to make up for those points. So, I just kept my head in and knocked down some big (3-pointers) in the first half.” Thomas was 7-of-14 from the field and 3-of-7 shooting from 3-point territory in his 40 minutes of work. Two of his three made 3-pointers came on back-to-back possessions with just under eight minutes to play in the first half as OSU trailed, 23-16. Kansas coach Bill Self said that Thomas was a challenge for his team to guard. “In the first half… we were going to make Thomas make shots and keep Craft out of the (lane), and he made us pay,” Self said. Thomas said his shooting success was the product of working on each facet of his game during practice leading up to the Kansas game. “I mix it up in practice,” he said. “I play with the bigs and the shooters in practice. I’m versatile.” The Buckeyes wouldn’t go quietly Saturday, despite the eventual loss. OSU cut the margin to four at 62-58 with 5:39 to play. When Kansas’ lead grew to 10 points with fewer than three minutes to play, the Buckeyes cut that lead as well, coming to within six points with 1:56 to play. Comeback attempt after comeback attempt fell short in the end, but Thomas said the entire team was encouraged by how it competed. “We’re a competitive team and that’s a positive,” he said. “Without (Sullinger), we came out and competed without him. We’re a great team with him — don’t get me wrong — but we came out and competed.” OSU returns to action Wednesday against South Carolina-Upstate at the Schottenstein Center. Opening tip is set for 7:30 p.m. read more

Ohio State womens volleyball set for road matchup with No 12 Illinois

OSU junior middle blocker Tyler Richardson (23) leaps to spike a set by OSU senior setter Taylor Sherwin (8) during a match against Maryland on Nov. 7 at St. John Arena.Credit: Madelyn Grant / Lantern photographerThe No. 17 Ohio State women’s volleyball team is set for a chance at a season sweep against No. 12 Illinois when the two teams go head-to-head Wednesday night.The Fighting Illini (19-6, 11-3) and Buckeyes (18-8, 9-5) played earlier this season in Columbus in a closely contested battle. Ending in five sets, the Buckeyes prevailed, 16-14, in the final frame.Three days later, the Fighting Illini traveled to then-No. 5 Penn State and defeated the defending national champions in four sets.Coach Geoff Carlston said he expects the Fighting Illini coaching staff to motivate the team because the previous matchup was so close and either team could’ve won.“Obviously there’s going to be a little bit of a payback,” Carlston said. “I’m sure their coaching staff is going to use that, say, ‘Hey remember what happened last time?’ Whenever you play a team twice, and you win the first one, there’s some motivation there certainly, and playing at their court, they have a good crowd, and it’s a lot tougher to play on the road than it is at home.”Since playing in Columbus on Oct. 8, the Fighting Illini have won eight of nine conference matches, with the lone loss coming at Northwestern on Nov. 5. The Buckeyes have won six of nine conference matchups in that stretch.Freshman outside hitter Luisa Schirmer said she’s seen a lot of improvement in the team since playing the Fighting Illini earlier this season.“We’ve been getting better, we’ve been working hard to fix a few things that we know we wanted to make some improvements on,” Schirmer said.She added that the Buckeyes need to work on “staying steady and consistent” if they want to come out of Huff Hall with a win.Freshman defensive specialist Kalisha Goree has seen improvements in the gym, too, she said.“Every day we’re just coming here trying to get better,” Goree said. “And I can see an improvement in all the girls.”The Fighting Illini will be led by sophomore middle blocker Katie Stadick, who ranks first in the Big Ten in blocks per set with an average of 1.46. Redshirt-junior outside hitter Jocelynn Birks is also top in the conference in points per set with an average of 4.54.The team as a whole is first in the conference in blocks, averaging 2.88 per set, and second in digs with 15.01 per set.Senior outside hitter Erin Sekinger said the team will treat Wednesday’s contest like any other match, even though the Fighting Illini might be fighting for revenge.“We just have to take every road trip like it is,” Sekinger said. “We just have to really focus and do what we did against them when they came to our house.”Wednesday’s match is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. in Champaign, Ill. read more