SPORTS DIGEST || Penn State-Shenango hires volleyball coach
Penn State-Shenango hires volleyball coach
Penn State-Shenango hired West Middlesex, Pa., native Nicole Nych to lead its women’s volleyball program.
The school is set to revive its athletic programs this year with mens basketball returning this year and volleyball coming in 2019.
Nych was previously the volleyball coach at West Middlesex High School.
Bottas, Mercedes lock up pole position
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas edged teammate Lewis Hamilton in qualifying on Saturday to secure pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix.
It is the third straight race where Mercedes has locked up the front row of the starting grid.
Bottas led Hamilton by 0.019 seconds to get his first pole of the season. The Finnish driver also started in front last year and went on to win the race.
Sebastian Vettel was more than three-tenths off the pace in third, followed by Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen. Earlier Saturday, Vettel posted the fastest time in final practice. The German trails leader Hamilton by 14 points going into Sunday’s ninth of 21 races.
Max Verstappen was fifth but his Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo was beaten by Haas driver Romain Grosjean for sixth.
Serie A to use 3D VAR
Serie A will use 3D technology from next season to make video review more effective on offside rulings.
The introduction of Video Assistant Referees in the Italian top flight last season has reduced the number of errors, and additional technology should improve the system.
Serie A refereeing designator Nicola Rizzoli says the 3D technology “will make the question of centimeters, which has caused problems in the past, even more precise.”
Rizzoli also highlighted that in the first season of VAR there was “almost 20 percent fewer yellow cards for dissent ... and 10 fewer straight red cards for dissent, which is a really exceptional result.”
NHL’s Ennis, Mason on buyout waivers
The Minnesota Wild placed forward Tyler Ennis on unconditional waivers to buy out his contract and free up salary-cap space on the eve of free agency.
A person with direct knowledge of the move told The Associated Press on Saturday that Ennis and newly acquired Montreal Canadiens goaltender Steve Mason were put on buyout waivers at noon. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the transactions had not been announced.
Minnesota saves more than $2.4 million against the $79.5 million salary cap next season by buying out the final year of Ennis’ contract. The 28-year-old, who was due to make $3.65 million and count $4.6 million on the salary cap, had 22 points in 73 games with the Wild after being acquired from Buffalo a year ago.
Ennis has 258 points in 492 games and could be a value free agent addition for a team looking for depth down the middle.
Mason was not long for Montreal after the Canadiens acquired the 30-year-old goaltender in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets earlier Saturday. The Canadiens used their abundance of salary-cap space to take on Mason’s contract and acquire young Finnish forward Joel Armia.
Montreal will have a cap hit of just under $1.4 million over the next two seasons for Mason, who becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Funtastic runs to win in Monmouth
Funtastic led all the way in a 23-1 upset Saturday in the $300,000 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth Park.
Chad Brown, the Eclipse Award winner the last two years as the nation’s leading trainer, got his third victory in the New Jersey’s biggest turf race. He won with Big Blue Kitten in 2013 and 2015.
Funtastic paid $48, $15.80 and $8.60.