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Published: Monday, 11/24/2008

Central graduate Herman is MVP as Ohio captures MAC volleyball crown

Herman Herman

Ellen Herman, a Central Catholic graduate, led Ohio University to the Mid-American Conference volleyball championship yesterday as the Bobcats defeated Western Michigan at SeaGate Centre.

Herman, who was the MAC regular-season most valuable player, was selected for the same honor in the tournament as the Bobcats topped the Broncos 17-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-23.

Herman, a junior, had 20 kills and 17 digs in the final to help her team advance to the NCAA tournament.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - As she walked down the 18th fairway, Ji-Yai Shin kept her thoughts away from becoming an instant millionaire. Or, in her nation's currency, an instant billionaire.

Her thoughts?

"Just save the par," she said.

She did that with ease, holding off Karrie Webb and an ailing Paula Creamer to win the ADT Championship with a final round 2-under-par 70. Shin captured the $1 million winner's prize, by far the biggest on tour, with a four-birdie, two-bogey day.

In her native currency, Shin collected 1.493 billion - yes, billion - South Korean won.

That's a lot of won for one win.

"A really special year for me," said Shin, who isn't even a full-fledged member of the LPGA yet but won three times on that tour this year, has 21 wins worldwide since 2007 and will likely be an instant LPGA front-runner in 2009.

Webb finished one shot back and Creamer, who spent Saturday night in the hospital because of an inflamed abdominal wall, finished tied for third with Seon Hwa Lee after both shot 74s.

Creamer needed to win yesterday to finish atop the money list, something no American player has done since Betsy King in 1993. Instead, Lorena Ochoa, who didn't make the ADT weekend, prevailed with $2,762,660. Creamer finished with $1,823,992, good for second place. Shin is set to be an instant star. Her name Ji-Yai is pronounced G.A., as in LPGA.

"I think out of all the Koreans that have come up, she's got the most potential," Webb said.

MAR DEL PLATA, Argentina - Who needs Rafael Nadal?

Even without the top-ranked player, Spain won its third Davis Cup by beating Argentina, thanks to Fernando Verdasco's five-set victory over Jose Acasuso.

Verdasco outlasted Acasuso 6-3, 6-7 (3), 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 before a boisterous Argentine crowd of nearly 10,000 at Islas Malvinas Stadium. The fans went quiet as Argentina lost at home for the first time in 10 years in Davis Cup competition.

"It's the most exciting victory of my life," Verdasco said. "Playing for my country, against the best players, it's a dream."

Spain won its first Davis Cup title on the road, adding to victories against Australia in 2000 and the United States in 2004.

Verdasco, replacing David Ferrer in the reverse singles, overcame nine double-faults to beat a shaky Acasuso. The 48th-ranked Acasuso was a late replacement for the injured Juan Martin del Potro, Argentina's top-ranked player at No. 9.

Argentina was a heavy favorite after Nadal withdrew last week because of a knee injury.

Nate Kmic, a senior running back for top-ranked Mount Union, needs 139 rushing yards in next weekend's playoff game to become the all-time leading ground-gainer in Division III history.

On Saturday, Kmic carried 20 times for 290 yards and four touchdowns in Mount Union's 56-0 win over Randolph-Macon (Va.). The Raiders had 420 yards rushing and 676 yards of total offense.

Kmic, a Delta graduate, has 7,214 career rushing yards.

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