Wisconsin will count on the help of senior middle blocker Alexis Mitchell, who ranks second on the team in kills this season, against two ranked opponents this weekend.[/media-credit]The Wisconsin volleyball team will gain national attention this weekend as it travels to Ohio State and Penn State, two of the top teams in the conference.The Badgers will take on the No. 15 Buckeyes Friday and will then have a date with third-ranked Penn State Sunday, a match that will be televised nationally on ESPN2.Wisconsin will look to build on last weekend’s range of highs and lows. The Badgers beat Illinois Friday, something they had not done in five years, and then lost a heartbreaking five-set match Sunday to Northwestern.Together, the matches featured some of the best volleyball of the season for Wisconsin and also some of the worst in Sunday’s gut-wrenching loss. UW head coach Pete Waite said moving on from that disappointment will be key in the upcoming weekend.“We don’t dwell on it,” Waite said of the loss. “We won’t dwell on that because we did a lot of good things in the match. From the way we started to the way we finished was actually really good. We need to focus on the things we need to get better at.”Wisconsin will need to improve if it wants to beat an Ohio State team loaded with talent. The Buckeyes took care of Wisconsin 3-1 in Madison earlier this season. Ohio State is coming off a weekend in which it upset fourth-ranked Nebraska on the road and swept Iowa, part of a three-match winning streak.The Buckeyes are paced offensively by senior outside hitter Mari Hole, who leads the team with 4.06 kills per set. Defensively, they are led by junior libero Davionna DiSalvatore, who averages a team-best 3.85 digs per set.The country’s No. 15 squad also features a two-setter system. Wisconsin senior middle blocker Alexis Mitchell said the Ohio State match is the first priority.“We need to focus on Ohio State first, definitely,” Mitchell said. “It’s a match that we know that we can win and our teams are very similar. We have to come back and beat Ohio State this weekend.”The Badgers will then take on perennial powerhouse Penn State after the match with Ohio State. The Nittany Lions made quick work of Wisconsin earlier this season in Madison, dominating the match to earn a three-set sweep.However, the Nittany Lions showed their vulnerability this past weekend, losing their first Big Ten match of the season to Nebraska by a score of 3-2, breaking a 15-match winning streak for Penn State.On the offensive end, Penn State is led by junior outside hitter Ariel Scott, who leads the team with 3.63 kills per set. Junior Deja McClendon adds 3.33 kills per set.Penn State is led defensively by junior middle blocker Katie Slay (1.41 blocks per set) and sophomore libero Dominique Gonzalez (3.59 digs per set). Sophomore setter Micha Hancock averages 11.61 assists per set and boasts one of the best serves in the Big Ten (41 service aces).Wisconsin junior defensive specialist Annemarie Hickey said despite their stellar r?sum?, the Nittany Lions are beatable.“I think on any given day and on how we’re playing, we can beat any team in the Big Ten,” Hickey said. “We need to have that confidence and know that we are a good team to beat these teams. It doesn’t matter if they’re ranked or how good they are. It’s just another team on the other side. We need to worry about our side and what we can do best to win that game.”The Penn State match will mark the first time since 2008 the Badgers will be featured on ESPN. The 2008 match was a loss to then-top ranked Penn State. Wisconsin is 11-7 all-time on ESPN network appearances, five of which have been against Penn State, in which the Badgers are 2-3. Waite said it will still just be another match.“Any match you go to, there are a lot of cameras and a lot of things going on,” Waite said. “For the most part, I just think they’re focused on the match and their opponent. It would be great if we play a great match and get the win on national television, but the biggest thing is us competing well and not being distracted by too many things.”
Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts is poised to host the first-ever ‘Future of Tourism & Responsible Tourism for Driving Revenue’ Summit, featuring an eminent panel of global industry speakers, on September 28, 2015 at the Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo, to mark the occasion of ‘World Tourism Day’. Powered by the national carrier, SriLankan Airlines, the summit is expected to attract 250 participants from the Sri Lankan and regional tourism industry. This noteworthy initiative by Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts reflects the brand’s thought leadership in driving Sri Lanka’s tourism industry in a strategic direction.Global experts on tourism and responsible travel and heads of sustainability in key travel organisations will be the key attraction at the summit. An eminent panel of speakers will share their vision for the industry and how it should be developed in a sustainable manner at the conference.Prof Mohan Munasinghe will be delivering the keynote speech and will cover some of the latest trends and topics related to the travel and tourism industry. Other speakers include the likes of Prof Roland Conrady; Scientific Director of ITB Berlin – world’s leading travel fair, Prof Sarath Kotagama who will be speaking on “Responsible product innovation for tomorrow’s traveller”, Dr Ian Yeoman; a professional futurologist in the field of travel, speaking on “Tomorrow’s Tourist”, Dr Robert Govers speaking on “Destination Branding” and April Rinne, advisor to the World Economic Forum; speaking on “Product Innovations: Opportunities through Shared Economy”. Leading Business Intelligence Research organisation – Euromonitor and Future Technology Specialists – TrendOne will also be represented at the Cinnamon Future of Tourism Summit.President of Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts, Ajit Gunewardene said, “Tourism has proven to be a resilient industry, creating jobs, generating revenues and opening up exciting opportunities for industry players. Now more than ever, billions of tourists are traversing the globe freely, seeking out newer destinations. Keeping in line with the ‘World Tourism Day’ theme of one billion tourists, one billion opportunities, our challenge is to strategise on how we should exploit these opportunities in a responsible manner and deliver a tourism product that will be sustainable in the long term. We felt that conceptualising the Cinnamon Future of Tourism Summit was very timely for Sri Lanka, which is experiencing a boom in tourism that is forecast to grow further in the coming years.”He further added, “As the market leader in Hospitality, we feel it is our responsibility to spearhead initiatives such as this summit so as to provide a clear direction forward for the Sri Lankan industry. We hope our peers in the industry will avail of this opportunity to witness some of the leading global industry experts share their knowledge on the future of tourism and responsible travel practices for driving revenue.”Commenting on this joint initiative to promote sustainable Tourism, Chairman, SriLankan Airlines, Ajith Dias said, “We are privileged to partner this futuristic and forward-thinking conference as envisioned by Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts. Sri Lanka tourism is poised at a momentous juncture in its history as it gears up to meet its target of 2.5 million tourists by 2016 year-end. The eminent panel of global speakers at this conference will feature some of the most prominent professionals in this industry who will impart what we believe will be useful wisdom about global tourism and trends, which Sri Lanka can use to build its national tourism strategy. Responsible travel and tourism is becoming the cornerstone of tourism in the future and SriLankan Airlines too aims to be the airline of choice for the responsible global traveller as Sri Lanka positions itself as the regional services hub in Asia.” The Future of Tourism Summit is powered by SriLankan Airlines, in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and supported by Sri Lanka Convention Bureau (SLCB), the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Landor Associates, 230 Interactive Digital Media.