Women of Troy head up to Washington

first_imgAfter a 6-0 start to the season, USC’s women’s volleyball team (7-5) has fallen flat, going only 1-5 since. The team remains winless on its home floor (0-4) and has won only seven total sets since Sept. 6. The Women of Troy (7-5, 0-2 Pac-12) hope to shift the momentum to their side during a two-match road trip to Washington to take on Pac-12 rivals No. 4 Washington on Wednesday and Washington State on Friday.Killer instinct · Junior outside hitter Samantha Bricio is averaging a team-high 3.43 kills per set. She also leads the team with 39 service aces. – Brian Ji | Daily TrojanThe Women of Troy have lost some close contests recently. In the last six matches, USC has dropped 11 sets by five points or fewer. Service errors have been a major weakness for the Women of Troy, who have given up 55 points on service errors in the last six matches alone. As a result of the losses, USC has tumbled down the NCAA rankings to No. 19.Despite a tough couple of weeks, individual players on the Women of Troy continue to impress this season. Junior outside hitter Samantha Bricio continues her dominance on offense, leading the team with 151 kills and 39 service aces. Bricio has also been a force on defense, collecting 125 digs.Freshman outside hitter Lauryn Gillis ranks second on the team with 108 kills and has recorded 103 digs.Sophomore libero Taylor Whittingham and senior setter Hayley Crone have also been leaders in the dig column for the Women of Troy, with 152 digs and 101 digs, respectively. There are also seven players on the Women of Troy with a double-digit number of total blocks, including junior middle blocker Alicia Ogoms, who leads the team with 44 blocks.The Women of Troy have a great opportunity to prove why they should still be considered a top team in the nation against No. 4 Washington. The Huskies have had a much easier schedule than the Women of Troy this season, but the Huskies have proven they belong where they are at this point in the season with wins against BYU and Wisconsin, which are teams ranked in the NCAA Top 10 rankings.The unbeaten Huskies (13-0, 2-0) will bring a strong offensive presence, led by outside hitter Krista Vansant who has a team-high 198 kills on the season (4.30 kills per set, which ranks 24th in the nation). Outside hitter Kaleigh Nelson, who has 126 kills on the season, will be the other main offensive threat from the Huskies.Defensive specialist/libero Cassie Strickland has provided strong defense for the Huskies, totaling a team-high 143 digs this season.  But Strickland is also statistically the worst server on the team, recording 37 service errors so far this season. Middle blocker Lianna Sybeldon will also be a player to watch for in the match as she is productive on both defense and offense. She leads the Huskies in total blocks with 81 and has contributed on offense with 86 kills.Washington State (9-5) should be the easier contest for the Women of Troy during their two-match road trip. The Cougars are winless in Pac-12 play, and they have lost their last three matches, albeit all three came against teams in the NCAA Top 25 rankings. Nevertheless, the Cougar squad boasts a lot of talent.Outside hitter Kyra Holt, middle blocker Chelsey Bettinson and outside hitter Jaicee Harris have dominated the offense for the Cougars, with all three  producing kill numbers in the triple-digits this season. Bettinson also leads her team in blocks with 73. Another player the Women of Troy will need to keep an eye on is defensive specialist/libero Kate Sommer, who has recorded far more digs than any of her teammates with 194.With all the tough losses at home, head coach Mick Haley said that going on the road might actually help his team start winning matches again.“I just think when you get in a situation like this, you want to play again as soon as possible,” Haley said. “We were just in a bad place here for a couple of weeks. I don’t know that it’ll be any easier on the road. The good thing is, when you travel, you’re all together and you’re together for the whole time. That might, in fact, give us some advantages to get a little bit tighter as a team while we’re traveling. I think, basically, we just got to keep working on our fundamentals and keep improving individually.”Haley also stressed how October will be the most crucial month of the season for his team.“I think all of the matches in October are going to be critical because by the end of October, we’re going to know whether we’re going to challenge for this [NCAA] tournament or not,” Haley said. “Whether we can challenge for the Pac-12 conference, I don’t know, but we want to get in the NCAA tournament and get a chance to play for the championship. So, we have to earn that right, probably in October.”Today’s match at Washington begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday’s tilt against Washington State kicks off at 6 p.m. Both matches will air live on Pac-12 Networks.last_img read more

Men’s Basketball: Wisconsin blows late lead to Nebraska

first_imgUniversity of Wisconsin men’s basketball team (10-13, 3-7 Big Ten) fell to Nebraska (17-8, 8-4 Big Ten) 74-63 Monday night at the Kohl Center for their third consecutive loss in conference play.Throughout the game, Wisconsin went on hot and cold streaks that allowed the Cornhuskers to come back from significant leads. Due to the defensive adjustments that Nebraska made, Wisconsin had difficulty scoring during the final 10 minutes of the contest.Early in the game, Wisconsin had success both shooting outside and driving the lane with Ethan Happ. Eighteen of Happ’s 25 points came within the first half of a game where he even made his first career three-point shot.Daniel Yun/The Badger HeraldMen’s basketball: A recovered D’Mitrik Trice may be Badgers’ best — and final — shot at tournament bidUniversity of Wisconsin sophomore D’Mitrik Trice has been absent since Dec. 9 after a right-foot injury ruled the starting point guard Read…In the post-game press conference, a reporter asked Nebraska Coach Tim Miles what adjustments he made to contain the Badger offense. He seemed to think using a zone defense to contain the Badgers as opposed to man coverage is what marked the turnaround.Nebraska’s man defense was originally beneficial to the Badgers as the Cornhuskers chose between doubling Happ or covering the perimeter, which resulted in high efficiency for the Wisconsin offense.Until the Nebraska comeback, Wisconsin was seemingly hitting on all cylinders on offense shooting 45.8 percent from the field and 40 percent from deep.  But in the final 9:59, when the Badgers gave up their game-high 11-point lead, the team went 2-13 from the field and 0-3 from deep.Men’s Basketball: Yet another nail in coffinWisconsin (10-12, 3-6 Big Ten) lost 76-61 to No. 6 Michigan State (19-3, 7-2 Big Ten) Friday night in East Read…This stagnation on the offensive end combined with shooting just 10-19 at the free throw line killed any chance for Wisconsin to keep up their scoring production. Also, the Badgers committed four turnovers during these last 10 minutes, which allowed Nebraska’s offense great looks to score. As a team, the Cornhuskers gained 44 points over the entirety of the half compared to the 30 they had in the first period.James Palmer Jr. dominated offensively and defensively for Nebraska, scoring 28 points with eight boards in a near double-double for the guard.Wisconsin being under .500 is unusual at this point in the season as it did not happen since 2002. The Badgers will look to get back on track this Thursday night at home versus Northwestern.last_img read more

USC places 13th in NCAA Championships

first_imgOne year after finishing fourth overall at the NCAA Championships, the USC men’s swimming and diving team had a slightly more difficult time putting together the kind of team effort it would have taken to top last year’s performance. After only dropping one head-to-head meet during the regular season and finishing second in the Pac-12 Championships, the Trojans finished 13th overall at the NCAA Championships in Atlanta, Georgia.Texas, the winner of last year’s national championship, repeated this year with a dominant collective effort. Led by junior Will Licon and sophomore Joseph Schooling, who each set NCAA records in their respective events, the Longhorns never trailed on their way to the national title. With their win in this year’s championships, Texas ties Michigan for the most all-time men’s swimming titles with 12.At 13th overall, the Trojans were the second-highest finisher of all Pac-12 competitors. Cal, last year’s Pac-12 champions, finished second overall at the meet with 351 points. USC edged out Stanford — this year’s conference champion — by 4.5 points; the Trojans scored 117 to the Cardinal’s 112.5.The Trojans began the tournament on Wednesday with a ninth-place finish in the 800-yard freestyle relay to match their ninth overall ranking in the nation. Freshman Patrick Mulcare, junior Michael Domagala, senior Morten Klarskov and junior Reed Malone turned in solid times in their individual legs, but collectively they were not quick enough to repeat their title-winning performance from last year.On Thursday, the Trojans saw strong efforts from Malone and their two star divers, seniors Collin Pollard and Deon Reid. Malone placed third in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:12.55; Malone also reached the podium at the 2015 championships with another third-place finish.Pollard, last year’s Pac-12 swimmer of the month, was an NCAA “A” Finalist for the first time this season with a seventh-place finish on the 1-meter. Last year, Pollard scored twice to become a “B” Finalist for the first time, but his score this year was good enough to make him a first-time All-American, a fitting finish to his stellar collegiate career. Reid finished ninth on the 1-meter for his first-ever “B” Final.“I am so pleased with the first diving event [Thursday],” diving coach Hongping Li said. “Collin and Deon really opened it with a super performance. The key success for both divers was to dive with fun and to meet a personal target score, which they did.”Malone continued his strong showing on Friday, finishing 5th overall in the 200-yard freestyle. His time of 1:32.54 is USC’s second-best time in the event in school history, and his new personal best time in the event. Sophomore Ralf Tribuntsov also placed fifth in his event, the 100-yard backstroke, after finishing 8th last year as a freshman. Mulcare also scored points for the Trojans on Friday, finishing seventh in the “B” Final in the 100-yard backstroke.Several USC swimmers scored on Saturday, the final day of the meet. Sophomore Pawel Furtek was the first swimmer to contribute with a personal-best time in the mile, good enough for 10th overall. Mulcare, swimming in his first NCAA “A” Final, finished 8th in the 200-yard backstroke, an event he has dominated all season. Tribuntsov scored again with a 15th overall finish in the 100-yard freestyle.Two Trojans scored in the 200-yard breaststroke: junior Steven Stumph, who has won the past two conference titles in the event, won the “B” Final with a ninth place overall finish, and freshman Carsten Vissering scored his first-ever NCAA points with a 16th overall finish in the event. Tribuntsov, Mulcare, junior David Morgan Jr. and Malone placed seventh in the “B” Final of the 400-yard freestyle relay to close out the meet for the Trojans.Despite not matching last year’s top-four finish, the future looks bright for USC. All of this year’s scoring swimmers, with the exception of Klarskov, will be returning next season, and the young core of talent now has one additional postseason under their belts. The diving team will have a difficult time replacing Pollard and Reid, but whoever steps in to replace those divers will look up to rising junior Dashiell Enos and the rest of the veteran squad.last_img read more

NFL free agency rumors: 49ers sign WR Jordan Matthews

first_img49ers signed former Eagles’ WR Jordan Matthews.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2019Matthews caught 20 passes for 300 yards and two touchdowns with the Eagles last season. NFL free agency rumors: Teddy Bridgewater to re-sign with Saints Matthews was originally taken in the second round by the Eagles in 2014.The wide receiver has caught 270 passes for 3,255 yards and 22 touchdowns in his career. NFL free agency rumors: AJ McCarron released by Raiderscenter_img The 49ers have added a wideout to their receiving corps.San Francisco has signed wide receiver Jordan Matthews, according to ESPN. He has spent four of his five NFL seasons in Philadelphia. He missed all of 2017 when the Eagles won the Super Bowl. Related Newslast_img read more

NFL QB power rankings: Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield rise; Jared Goff drops off for Week 11

first_img (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/ba/55/jimmy-garoppolo-110419-getty-ftrjpg_1tt8iwg55oen013kxl4jimvvq8.jpg?t=943670502&w=500&quality=80 (SN/Getty) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/21/da/daniel-jones-081219-getty-ftr_1jw8084qw8tjm1po4bqv7t7wgq.jpg?t=-2032714868&w=500&quality=80 Ranking NFL quarterbacks has never been more difficult. The league has never seen so many good passers (and runners) at the position as it has in 2019, from rising young stars to accomplished veterans with plenty of above-average players in between.Because our preseason rankings weren’t enough, we will keep doing weekly updates based on the natural fluctuation of football’s most important position. NFL quarterback power rankings Week 111. Russell Wilson, Seahawks (last week: 1)Leave it to Wilson to throw a rare interception in overtime but rebound with a big run to put his team back in position to win, anyway, without his best wide receiver. After the instant-classic win over the 49ers was mostly about his relentless dazzle, it’s him and everyone else for MVP.2. Lamar Jackson, Ravens (4)Jackson’s MVP case is strangely being hurt by how well the Ravens’ defense is playing well again at the moment. He’s headed for at least offensive player of the year with the QB rushing record. He did beat Wilson head-to-head, however, and taking a few more big QB duels just might allow him to clip Wilson at the tape.3. Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs (3)Mahomes went back to raising his game after his knee injury to try to carry the team more as reigning MVP with the defense letting Kansas City down in every way and the running game fighting through inconsistent personnel. It’s clear they need all of his very best down the stretch to return to the playoffs.4. Deshaun Watson, Texans (2)Watson can build his case behind Wilson and Jackson by outshining the latter on the same field in Baltimore. He should have his full complement of healthy receivers with whom to go to work. Watch out if Watson can deliver against a high degree of difficulty vs. a deep defensive backfield.5. Dak Prescott, Cowboys (7)Prescott had the Hail Mary interception against the Vikings, but he would have never been put in that position had Dallas allowed him to relentlessly throw the ball with the game on the line before that drive. More a red-hot Dak, less Zeke is the key for the Cowboys to not blow their playoff chances.NFL POWER RANKINGSPatriots pass 49ers; Ravens, Packers, Vikings head north for Week 116. Aaron Rodgers, Packers (5)Rodgers had another TD-less game in Week 10 at home against the Panthers but he’s still rating (102.7) right around his NFL record career efficiency (102.7). He kind of has a point when saying Aaron Jones, based on the success of the Packers’ running game, deserves more MVP talk than he does.7. Tom Brady, Patriots (8)Brady had a bye to reevaluate some limitations in the Patriots’ offense based on a shaky power running game and compressed passing game. He should come out throwing heavy into short-to-intermediate routes with now co go-to guys Julian Edelman and Mohamed Sanu. They need his GOAT-ness to keep up the momentum toward another Super Bowl after their first loss.8. Carson Wentz, Eagles (9)Wentz has played much better than his numbers would indicate because his mental toughness and hard-nosed athleticism have pushed the Eagles back in the playoff race, playing well off more dedication to the running game to compensate for having no deep passing game.9. Drew Brees, Saints (6)Brees was roughed up a bit against the Falcons and had his worst outing of the season, two weeks removed from returning his thumb injury. The Saints are still more about the defense and the running game, so when those aren’t working, Brees can only do so much with a thin receiving corps and a still banged-up Alvin Kamara. He really needs a get-well game against the Bucs’ depleted secondary.10. Kirk Cousins, Vikings (11)Cousins came through in a big game on the road against the Cowboys, protecting the ball and finishing drives with the efficiency he’s shown all season playing of the running and receiving of Dalvin Cook. His career-best 112.0 rating is spectacular. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/72/3/russell-wilson-101719-getty-ftrjpg_1f7xqxlaeut6d1bzp0zzhlqrjs.jpg?t=-641329627&w=500&quality=80 Haskins has to be better after getting prepped to start the rest of the season during the bye, right? It starts with connecting well his fellow former Buckeyes wide receiver Terry McLaurin against a bad Jets secondary behind the blitz.32. Ryan Finley, Bengals (31)Finley looked very much like a rookie thrown into the fire in a bad supporting offense with his immediate big mistakes against the Ravens. Cincinnati should proceed with its plans (hopefully) to target a QB with the first overall draft pick. Week 11 brings a few more changes as our rankings continue to mirror the QB top-heavy MVP race. The most dynamic of the young dual threats enjoy a strong week, while at least one overpaid traditional pocket passer takes a tumble.From the best to the worst current starters for every team, let the debate continue.WEEK 11 NFL PICKS: Against the spread | Straight up 11. Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers (12)Garoppolo didn’t keep the Niners undefeated when Wilson outlasted him last Monday night, but he was doing his best while missing his two best pass-catchers (George Kittle and Emmanuel Sanders) and running game down a man (Matt Breida). There’s no question he’s rising at the right time with equally big matchups around the corner.12. Matt Ryan, Falcons (13)Ryan had more of a grinding game in the upset win over the Saints, but now he has to deal with lesser checkdown and downfield support with Devonta Freeman and Austin Hooper on the shelf. It’s been a lost season for his team but Ryan has hung in there and can help the Falcons finish strong with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.13. Derek Carr, Raiders (14)The Raiders are running the ball well with Josh Jacobs and have surprisingly made some big plays on defense. But Carr’s ability to protect the ball and distribute at such a high level shows in his 70.8 completion rate, 7.8 yards per attempt and easy career-best 104.4 rating.14. Jacoby Brissett, Colts (15)The Colts should be thrilled to have him back for the Jaguars. Their system was good enough to look OK with Brian Hoyer, but they had to appreciate Brissett’s grittiness and more careful control of the ball a lot more after losing two games late without him. He has to fight to play well to ensure a trip to the playoffs with the team having a lot of injury issues around him.15. Kyler Murray, Cardinals (17)Murray put together two great games in a row for the first time in his NFL career. They were both losses, but he put the Cardinals in position to win with his spreading the ball all over the field, where young speedsters Christian Kirk and Andy Isabella being on the field together has made a difference for his fine rookie development under Kliff Kingsbury.NFL BACKUP QB QUIZ:Can you name your favorite team’s second-stringer?16. Jameis Winston, Buccaneers (19)Winston is inching toward locking up his next big contract in Tampa Bay. He keeps backing up Bruce Arians on his improved overall play as a downfield passer. There were more interceptions against the Cardinals, but it’s more about the passes he’s been able to make with an elite receiving corps. He also keeps picking good spots to run.17. Baker Mayfield, Browns (21)Mayfield turned in a great game on Thursday night, his best of the season while in rhythm with all of his receivers short and deep against a tough Steelers pressure defense. It was a game resembling what we expected to see a lot more of in Year 2. He still has plenty of time to end on a rookie-like high with some great matchups ahead.18. Philip Rivers, Chargers (18)Rivers had the interception meltdown against the Raiders in what’s been his worst season under Anthony Lynn. He will need to play his best game of the sason — a throwback to ’18 —against the Chiefs, by far, to save the Chargers’ playoff chances.19. Kyle Allen, Panthers (23)Allen had some turnover troubles against the Packers’ tough pass defense in the snow at Lambeau, but there was a command to his game, perhaps feeling like he can keep this job longer than just the rest of the season with Cam Newton down. He’s really making good use of his weapons beyond Christian McCaffrey.20. Ryan Tannehill, Titans (24)Tannehill has gone 3-1 as Tennessee’s starter while re-energizing the offense with both his best downfield passing in a while and fearless running. He’s really feeling it in their scheme the way Marcus Mariota should have. The Titans should really think about re-signing him now. 21. Daniel Jones, Giants (25)Jones was sneakily great against the Jets’ weak pass defense, save for not seeing an incoming Jamal Adams to strip him of the ball and take it to the house. Darius Slayton and “Danny Dimes” looks like a money combination for many years.22. Jared Goff, Rams (16)His offensive line is in pieces and his receiving corps really misses Brandin Cooks’ ability to stretch the field. But better quarterbacks with his level of his salary tend to overcome those issues and lift the team, not further sink the team. The system QB knock won’t be shaken, and the Bears won’t help.23. Josh Allen, Bills (22)Allen has been good for fantasy football because of his ability to run in touchdowns, but everyone can see his passing hasn’t improved too much from his rookie season despite better wide receivers and a special rookie back and tight end. If the Bills don’t hold on for the playoffs, it would be because of him.24. Nick Foles, Jaguars (20)We don’t know what to expect from Foles coming back from his broken collarbone because this passing game showed a ton of life with the mobile and fearless rookie Gardner Minshew. There’s no question Foles has to play well in a must-win game against the Colts or the Minshew whispers will be heard louder.25. Sam Darnold, Jets (28)Darnold put some ghosts to bed against the crosstown Giants but his play was still not all that clean or pretty. The Jets’ offensive line and play-calling haven’t been great in relation to his receivers, from Le’Veon Bell to Robby Anderson, but it’s been overall a washout of a sophomore season.NFL MOCK DRAFT 2020: Which four QBs go in the first round?26. Mason Rudolph, Steelers (27)Rudolph had his first really rough game as a second-year quarterback with his offensive line crumbling and his top running back and wide receiver hurting again. The four-interception game probably had been coming with a negative game script, and unfortunately, he’ll now need to focus on recovering from the ugly Myles Garrett incident before Week 12.27. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Dolphins (26)Fitzpatrick doesn’t look pretty running or passing but he’s definitely been a very good leader for Miami. The Dolphins respond well on both sides of the ball to his calming, grizzled presence. They’re clearly not tanking and could end up with Tua Tagovailoa, anyway.28. Mitchell Trubisky, Bears (29)Trubisky saw the Bears get into a hole against the Lions and despite mostly ineffectiveness, he dug deep to get them out of it with some clutch plays. But now the matchup raises greatly in difficulty at the Rams on Sunday night.29. Brandon Allen, Broncos (30)Allen, before the bye, threw a couple of nice TD passes to Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant in an impressive, gritty performance taking over for Joe Flacco against the Browns. He draws a tough spot on the road at the Vikings with healthier rookie Drew Lock looming.30. Jeff Driskel, Lions (not ranked)Driskel will be filling in again for Matthew Stafford, who unfortunately is dealing with back fractures during his best overall season. Driskel was a gamer against a tough Bears defense on short notice, but there was the expected big drop off and things don’t get easier at home against the Cowboys.31. Dwayne Haskins, Redskins (32)last_img read more