Sports in Brief: Venus and Serena Williams reach quarterfinals

Posted: April 06, 2012

Venus Williams kept up with sister Serena by winning a third-round match Thursday in the Family Circle Cup, moving one step closer to an all-Williams semifinal in Charleston, S.C.

Venus defeated Anastasia Rodionova of Russia, 7-5, 6-2, continuing her strong comeback from an autoimmune disease that sidelined her for more than six months. Serena also advanced to the quarterfinals, ousting Marina Erakovic of New Zealand, 6-2, 6-2.

France captain Guy Forget picked Gilles Simon, who has a sore back, to play against John Isner of the United States in the Davis Cup quarterfinals.

COLLEGES: The NCAA turned down the University of Connecticut's final appeal on behalf of its men's basketball team for a waiver of recently instituted academic requirements - a decision that likely will keep the Huskies out of next year's postseason.

UConn doesn't qualify for the NCAA tournament because of several years of below-standard Academic Progress Rate scores. It had argued that recently instituted reforms have led to improved scores over the last two seasons.

Syracuse center Fab Melo is entering the NBA draft after a breakout season in which he twice was held out because of eligibility issues. The 7-foot sophomore from Brazil was the Big East's defensive player of the year.

Kyle Bonis had two goals, including a late rebound off the goaltender's pads, and Ferris State (26-11-5) skated to a 3-1 win over Union (26-8-7) in Tampa to reach the NCAA Frozen Four final. It will face Boston College or Minnesota on Saturday night.

Former Gloucester Catholic star Lisa Cermignano, who has been an assistant at Illinois and Vanderbilt, was hired as women's basketball coach at Wagner. Cermignano also worked at George Washington, her alma mater; Monmouth; and Maryland in 14 years as a Division I assistant.

Point guard Isaiah Canaan will return for his senior season after after helping Murray State (31-2) to its best season in school history.

RUNNING: Registration for the Nov. 18 Philadelphia Marathon and Half Marathon, and the Nov. 17 Rothman Institute 8K, is under way at

- Staff and wire reports

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