Venus, Kastles advance to WTT finals

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Venus, Kastles advance to WTT finals

CHARLESTON, S.C. September 15, 2012 Defending World TeamTennis champions Washington Kastles defeated their arch-rival, the New York Sportimes, 19-15 in the WTT Eastern Conference final, propelling the team into Sundays championship match for the second consecutive year and extending the teams historic win streak to 31 matches.

With the match tied and one set remaining, four-time Olympic gold medalist Venus Williams blasted her way past Ashley Harkleroad 5-1 in women's singles to clinch a spot for the Kastles in the WTT Finals for the third time in four years.

Weve been in this situation before and we knew how to win. There was a lot of pressure on us, but we just knew we had to put the ball in play and go for the shot, said Venus Williams. It shows why we are a great team.

The arch-rival Sportimes had been the Kastles toughest opponent during the regular season, including a thrilling 21-20 Washington win on July 21, when Venus Williams rallied from six games down in the final set to complete the franchise's largest comeback ever.

Next up is the Western Conference champion Sacramento Capitals. They defeated the Orange County Breakers 25-15 on Friday to advance to the WTT championship match. The Kastles defeated Sacramento 21-19 on July 18.

In posting 31 straight victories, the Kastles have the second-longest winning streak in major U.S. professional sports history and are within range of the 33-game streak by the NBAs 1971-1972 Los Angeles Lakers. They have already passed the respective records of 17 straight wins set by the NHL Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992-1993, 21 straight wins by the NFLs New England Patriots in 2003 and 2004, and 26 wins by the 1916 MLB New York Giants.

This years 14-0 regular season by the Kastles marked the first time in major U.S. professional sports history in which a team has had consecutive unbeaten regular seasons. Last season, in addition to winning a second WTT title in three years, the Kastles posted a perfect 16-0 record a first in WTT history.

Kastles closer Bobby Reynolds was named the 2012 WTT Male Most Valuable Player. Kastles Coach Murphy Jensen was selected as 2012 Coach of the Year, the second straight season he has won that honor.

The 37th WTT regular season ran July 9-28. The championship is being played this year in September to accommodate players who participated in the Olympics and US Open.

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Report: Caps prospect expected to test free agency

Report: Caps prospect expected to test free agency

With the Aug. 15 deadline approaching, it appears the Caps may lose a prospect from their 2012 draft class. Forward prospect Thomas DiPauli will become a free agent on Aug. 15 if the Caps are unable to sign him to a contract before then.

Now Craig Custance of ESPN is reporting it is unlikely the Caps will be able to sign DiPauli before Aug. 15.

The news comes as little surprise considering how long the Caps have been trying to sign him and have been unable to do so.

"We're working on trying to sign him," Brian MacLellan said at development camp. "It's been ongoing and we'd like to have him turn pro and play in Hershey next year."

DiPauli was not at the team's development camp in July.

After getting drafted in 2012, DiPauli has spent the last four years playing for Notre Dame. According to the CBA, a player who is drafted before beginning his college career and then plays the next four years in college can become a free agent on Aug. 15 four years after he was drafted if he does not sign an entry-level contract with the team that drafted him. Jimmy Vesey made headlines this spring by deciding not to sign with the Nashville Predators and is expected to head to free agency as well.

As Custance notes, the Caps are still in contention to land his services which begs the question, why would he not just sign?

Vesey was the Hobey Baker Award winner in 2016 as the top college hockey player. He will likely make the jump to the NHL right away regardless of what team he signs with, as Nashville general manager David Poile indicated. There is not the same buzz surrounding DiPauli and it is unclear just what sort of market their will be for his services past Aug. 15. No doubt there will be some interest—he is a young player with a lot of offensive skill and upside—but perhaps not as much as he may be expecting.

The Capitals selected DiPauli in the fourth round of the 2012 NHL Draft. In his senior season at Notre Dame, he was the third leading scorer on the Fighting Irish with 32 points.

RELATED: WILSON STILL LOOKING TO FIND HIS OFFENSIVE TOUCH

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Orioles optimistic after Hunter Harvey's Tommy John surgery

Orioles optimistic after Hunter Harvey's Tommy John surgery

BALTIMORE—Hunter Harvey underwent Tommy John surgery on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C. Dr. Donald D’Alessandro performed the surgery. 

Orioles Director of Player Development Brian Graham spoke with Harvey’s father, former major league pitcher Bryan Harvey, who told him the surgery went well.

“There were some good things they found in there,” manager Buck Showalter said. 

“I’m always fascinated by where they decide to take his tendon from. They took it from his hamstring. Sometimes they take it from below the knee.” 

Harvey was the Orioles No. 1 draft choice in June 2013 and has started just 30 games since then because of injuries.

He pitched five games this season, his first action since July 2014. Harvey missed time because of a flexor mass strain, a broken shin and a sports hernia. 

Last week, Orioles Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette said that he expected Harvey’s rehabilitation to take between 12-18 months. 

“I think it bodes well. They were really pleased with what they found which gave legitimacy to some of the stuff he had been experiencing, but not to the degree that you really worry about it,” Showalter said. 

“He’s in a good position now. He’s on his way, eliminate a lot of things that have been challenging him.” 

RELATED: TILLMAN CONTINUES TO STOCKPILE WINS

 

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Report: Maryland, Rutgers discussing trophy rivalry football game

Report: Maryland, Rutgers discussing trophy rivalry football game

Maryland and Rutgers have engaged in "preliminary discussions" to start an annual rivalry football game -- with a trophy on the line -- according to a report Tuesday from NJ.com. The report cites Rutgers athletic director Pat Hobbs and football coach Chris Ash. 

Rutgers and Maryland both joined the Big Ten East in July 2014 and have played two games against each other since becoming members of the conference. The Scarlet Knights beat the Terrapins in 2014, 41-38. The Terrapins won in 2015, 46-41, in the lone victory under interim head coach Mike Locksley.

The Big Ten is full of trophy games, including Illinois-Northwestern, Iowa-Wisconsin, and Minnesota-Wisconsin.

MORE TERPS: TURGEON, HUERTER WIN GOLD IN CHILE