TENNIS : Syracuse rides aggressive play to sweep in final homestand

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Down 5-4 in the third set of her senior day match, with the game tied at 30, Emily Harman ripped a hard serve that caught Boston University’s Vivien Lazsloffy off guard. Laszloffy managed to make contact, but the ball sailed up to hit the roof.The play was a microcosm of Syracuse’s focus on aggression and dictating tempo this weekend.‘Aggression is everything,’ head coach Luke Jensen said. ‘We’ve got to come at them with a little bit more force, and I thought we did that.’No. 47 Syracuse (12-4, 5-1 Big East) earned a weekend sweep of Binghamton (5-8, 1-1 America East) and BU (5-8, 1-1 America East) with back-to-back 7-0 shutouts in the last home matches of the season. The team’s match scheduled for next weekend against Army has been canceled due to Army travel budget restrictions. The Orange extended its winning streak to five, and has won 10 of its last 11.The team is peaking at the right time, making NCAA tournament aspirations an attainable goal this season. The surge correlates with Syracuse’s increased ability to put its up-tempo game plan into action.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFreshman Komal Safdar used her aggressive mentality to jump out to an early lead and wear her opponent down. Steadily working her way back from injury, Safdar put together a strong offensive performance against BU, attacking the net and forcing her opponent off balance.‘The first and last thing (volunteer assistant) coach (Len) Lopoo said to me was ‘quick start,’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, quick start,” Safdar said. ‘I started off with some momentum, kept going and then kept the energy.’The team’s seniors, Harman and Alessondra Parra, each earned victories in their final matches at Drumlins Tennis Center. Parra maintained her desired tempo throughout the match despite her opponent’s efforts to slow down the pace.But Parra didn’t get a chance to make a play for the last point of her home career. BU’s Monika Mical committed a double fault on match point, giving Parra the victory. Parra constantly misdirected shots against Mical and played with a mix of power and precision.Parra was fired up for her last home match, coming out aggressive from the beginning.‘I didn’t want to let up at all, and I wanted to give it everything I had,’ Parra said. ‘I didn’t want to look back and wish I would have tried harder.’Syracuse forced the tempo right again against Binghamton. Harman and Parra were paired together at No. 1 doubles, and they pushed their opponents into the backcourt on most points.When Harman and Parra were serving, a distinct pattern emerged. One produced a hard serve, causing Binghamton to send a weak return that was usually in the air for more than a second. The other then attacked the net, spiking the ball and winning the point.Parra felt that Harman could have almost won without any help.‘Honestly, Harman is so good at doubles,’ Parra said. ‘She makes my job super easy. I really feel like I just stand there sometimes.’The seniors defeated both doubles opponents this weekend 8-2.In both matches, Harman worked especially hard for the victory, with a similar pattern emerging. She would come out firing, producing misdirection and change-of-pace shots that seemed to confuse the opponent. Harman’s Binghamton opponent, Jill Santos, repeatedly shook her head and smiled after falling victim to constant changeups.‘My game is a lot different than a lot of other people,’ Harman said. ‘Anytime I come out and play very aggressive against someone, that’s not something that they see a lot, and they’re going to be confused a little bit.’But then Harman struggled in the second set, losing it to each opponent. She failed to make quick adjustments after receiving new balls, and she lost many points by overshooting the court.But she found a way to win. Her match Sunday was the last in play, for a good half-hour. All eyes were on Harman, and she was two points away from losing the final home match of her Syracuse career.She made sure that wouldn’t be the case.‘It’s great to see Harman tough out that win,’ Jensen said. ‘It would have just been a bad taste in our mouth if we lost that final match. But she finished strong, very confident. The team is very confident.’kmprisei@syr.educenter_img Published on March 25, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Kevin: kmprisei@syr.edulast_img read more

Potent offense harkens back to 2005 unit

first_imgUSC had what many pundits consider the best offense in the history of college football in 2005. There were two Heisman Trophy winners in the backfield and a pair of dynamic wide receivers. Two tailbacks ran for more than 1,300 yards apiece. The offensive line was experienced and the offensive attack was as balanced as it was prolific. That team averaged nearly 50 points per game. Even the week before the 2006 BCS national title game, ESPN ran a weeklong series comparing the Trojans’ offensive unit to some of the best in the history of the sport.Man in charge · Senior quarterback Matt Barkley returns to lead an offense that averaged 35.8 points per game in 2011. Barkley threw a conference record 39 touchdowns and completed 69.1 percent of his passes. – Carlo Acenas | Daily TrojanFast forward to 2012, and the expectation for many around Los Angeles is this: USC might have as good an offense, if not better, than what fans saw seven seasons ago.Leading the USC offense will be its aerial assault, and the leader of that charge will be senior quarterback Matt Barkley. Last year, Barkley had one of the best seasons in conference history, throwing for 3,528 yards and 39 touchdown passes against seven interceptions. He set a school single season record for completion percentage at 69.1 percent.Though Barkley’s success is largely because of his own ability, the overall success of the passing game will depend on his receivers: junior Robert Woods and sophomore Marqise Lee. While Lee is at full strength, Woods has a lingering ankle injury that has limited his practice time and forced him to sit out for all of spring practice.Woods set a conference record for catches in 2011 with 111, totaling 1,292 yards and 15 touchdowns, being named a first team All-American in the process. Woods’ high school teammate Lee had 1,143 yards and 11 touchdowns during his freshman season.But if Woods is not healthy, the situation behind the two Biletnikoff Award candidates is rather murky. With no established third receiver, several young players will be competing for playing time, including sophomore George Farmer and incoming freshman Nelson Agholor.“He’s constantly banged up,” Woods said of Farmer, who was the top receiver recruit in the country coming out of high school.If healthy, though, Woods believes Farmer can play a key role for the Trojans.The other question mark for the passing game is the left tackle position. Gone is All-American Matt Kalil, who was the No. 4 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Taking his place will be sophomore Aundrey Walker, standing at 6-foot-6 and weighing 300 pounds who is slated to start at left tackle and to protect Barkley’s blind side. He has lost roughly 70 pounds since last season and is preparing himself for the rigors of the left side and of replacing a star.“Everything’s been good,” Walker said. “Practice, the last practice has been great. Just losing the weight, I feel great. I don’t know what it is, but when I was 360 [pounds], it really didn’t work; I was too slow off the ball.”This is no longer a problem, though, and Walker is excited for the possibilities. He is confident that the offense is right on track and sees a lot of potential with the group.“[The] offense is doing pretty good. We got a great group of guys [starting],” Walker said. “[There is] a lot of chemistry throughout the whole team.”The passing game was an obvious strength last season, as the Trojans averaged more than 294 yards per game, good for 15th in the country.For the 2012 Trojans to reach the heights of the 2005 team, however, the running game will have to hold up its end of the deal and must complement the passing game.Last season, the Trojans ran for 162.6 yards per game, which ranked near the middle of the pack in the college football world. Returning is senior tailback Curtis McNeal, who ran for 1,005 yards. Joining him is Penn State transfer Silas Redd.McNeal said he expects this offensive unit to put up some big numbers this season.“It could be really good,” McNeal said. “We just got to go out there everyday and get our game plan that the coaches make for us, and we just got to make plays.”He knows that the running back competition is going to make for a better unit overall.“It’s been good,” McNeal said. “All the running backs, we’re just out here competing, making each other better … and just providing the best running game that we can for the team.”McNeal believes that the work the team put in during the offseason is going to make this edition of the Trojans better than the one fans saw last year, perhaps making the comparisons to the Leinart-led Trojans not too far off.“A lot of players have just stepped up, basically the whole team just stepped up and we worked our butts off in the offseason so we can perform at our peak every game,” McNeal said. “That’s the attitude that we have, and we’re pushing it everyday.”last_img read more

USA Gymnastics files for bankruptcy after sex-abuse scandal

first_imgLights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew USA Gymnastics filed the petition in Indianapolis, where it is based. It faces 100 lawsuits representing over 350 athletes in various courts across the country who blame the group for failing to supervise Larry Nassar, a team doctor accused of molesting them. Nassar, 55, worked at USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University for decades. He is serving effective life sentences for child porn possession and molesting young women and girls under the guise of medical treatment.Kathryn Carson, the recently elected chairwoman of USA Gymnastics’ board of directors, said the organization’s goal is to speed things up after mediation attempts failed to gain traction.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“Those discussions were not moving at any pace,” Carson said. “We as a board felt this was a critical imperative and decided to take this action.”The filing does not affect the amount of money available to victims, which would come from previously purchased insurance coverage, she said. Carson said the insurance companies “are aware we’re taking this action and our expectation is they will come to the table and pay on our coverage.” Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award MOST READ ‘Mia’: Rom-com with a cause a career-boosting showcase for Coleen Garcia LATEST STORIES No.13 lucky for Orlando Bloom Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum FILE – In this Feb. 26, 2014, file photo, the USA Gymnastics logo is displayed at AT&T Stadium during an news conference announcing in Arlington, Texas. USA Gymnastics has filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, as it attempts to reach settlements in the dozens of sex-abuse lawsuits it faces and to forestall its potential demise at the hands of the U.S. Olympic Committee.(Ron Jenkins/Star-Telegram via AP)USA Gymnastics is turning to bankruptcy in an attempt to ensure its survival.The embattled organization filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition on Wednesday in an effort to reach settlements in the dozens of sex-abuse lawsuits it faces and to avoid its potential demise at the hands of the U.S. Olympic Committee.ADVERTISEMENT Nicholas Georgakopoulos, a bankruptcy expert and law professor at the Indiana University’s Indianapolis campus, said USA Gymnastics is “hoping for a miracle” with its legal maneuvering.“The USOC says you violated this relationship, here are the consequences and USA Gymnastics is saying it filed for bankruptcy, there are no consequences,” Georgakopoulos said. “This is like a gambling addict who goes to the casino and gambles every day and one day the casino says you can’t come anymore, you’ve lost too much, and addict says, I filed for bankruptcy, you can’t stop me from coming to the casino.”If the USOC wants to go forward with decertification, it must now go to court.USA Gymnastics has no timetable on how long the bankruptcy process will take and did not offer a ballpark on how much it expects to pay in settlements. Its doors, however, remain open for business.“We are continuing to pursue all aspects of our current operating model,” Carson said. “This affords us an opportunity to reorganize as well as resolve the claims with the survivors.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img After winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folk Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Flying high View comments Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Carson added: “This is not a liquidation. This is a reorganization.”John Manly, an attorney representing dozens of women who have pending lawsuits against USA Gymnastics, chastised the organization for continuing to “inflict unimaginable pain on survivors” and encouraged law enforcement officials to “redouble” their investigative efforts.“Today’s bankruptcy filing by USA Gymnastics was the inevitable result of the inability of this organization to meet its core responsibility of protecting its athlete members from abuse,” Manly said in a statement. “The leadership of USA Gymnastics has proven itself to be both morally and financially bankrupt.”USA Gymnastics insists that’s not the case, stressing that the filing is based on legal expediency, not fiscal distress.While Carson acknowledged that sponsorship is down since the first women came forward against Nassar in the fall of 2016, she described the financial condition of USA Gymnastics as “stable.”ADVERTISEMENT Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. USA Gymnastics reported assets in a range of $50 million to $100 million and a similar range of liabilities, with 1,000 to 5,000 creditors. The organization said its largest unsecured creditor is former president and CEO Steve Penny, who is owed $339,999.96. USA Gymnastics is disputing Penny’s claim, though attorney Cathy Steege declined to get into the specific nature of the dispute.Penny resigned under pressure from the USOC in March 2017. Two other presidents — Kerry Perry and former U.S. Rep. Mary Bono — have followed in what has become a revolving door amid the organization’s hierarchy.It’s that chaos at the top that led the USOC to initiate the process of removing USA Gymnastics as the sport’s national governing body at the Olympic level — a step that’s taken only under the most extreme circumstances.In an open letter to the gymnastics community in November, USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland said “you deserve better,” and that the challenges facing USA Gymnastics were more than it was capable of overcoming as currently constructed.Carson said the legal maneuvering Wednesday delays the USOC’s efforts to strip its designation as a national governing body.“We always have a dialogue going with them and intend to make it clear with them we have a lot to talk about and we want to keep that going,” she said.USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said the committee is reviewing the filing’s potential effect on decertification. “Financial stability and viability are essential for a national governing body to operate in the best interests of the athletes,” Sandusky said.USA Gymnastics believes bankruptcy protects it from having opportunities or assets taken away by a debtor. Carson acknowledged that being a national governing body “is a big part of how we raise our revenue.”Carson, who replaced Karen Golz as chairwoman last week, said she accepted the position because she believes in the direction of USA Gymnastics, which she said doesn’t need money but rather time.“We think we’re changing the dynamic and we certainly believe that we will try to remain the NGB,” Carson said. “To be clear, it is our lawyers’ firm belief that the bankruptcy will automatically stay (decertification) … and we will work with the USOC to regain credibility.”last_img read more