Slumping USC tries to halt slide against Cal Baptist

first_imgIn serious need of a victory, the USC men’s volleyball team will look to right the ship this week with the first of a four-game homestand to continue Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action.William Ehart | Daily TrojanLeading the way · Sophomore middle blocker Robert Feathers (right) has tallied 34 blocks and a team-leading .490 kill percentage this season. – William Ehart | Daily TrojanThe Trojans square off against Cal Baptist Thursday night at the Galen Center in an attempt to end its current four-game losing streak. After a home loss to Pacific, the Trojans concluded a disappointing 0-3 road trip that featured losses to Pepperdine, Cal State Northridge and Long Beach State. The losing streak marks the team’s longest since 2008.“We haven’t put it together all the way yet,” USC head coach Bill Ferguson said. “The theme of our last few matches is that we’ve put together some strings of great volleyball, but we really need an extended period of good, and that’s what we’ve been talking to the guys about.”Each of the four losses has come by a 3-1 margin, with the Trojans faltering down the stretch after short periods of strong play. Against Long Beach State on Friday, USC fell behind early, dropping the first two sets and failing to put together a comeback. Though the Trojans received strong contributions from key players, such as sophomore middle blockers Ben Lam (13 kills, five blocks, .579) and Robert Feathers (10 kills and five blocks), they were out-hit .370 to .271, failing to contain the 49ers in the deciding fourth frame.“We had some matchups offensively and I thought our game plan was good. Our middle blockers and [redshirt junior opposite] Tanner Jansen executed wonderfully,” Ferguson said. “Jansen’s hitting percentage over the last three matches is .343, and he and the middle blockers are coming through for us. I see the outside hitters having better matches, so as soon as some of those guys can be a little more consistent offensively, things will start to balance out.”The loss to Northridge was particularly tough for the Trojans, who saw Jansen explode for a career-high 24 kills and a .475 attacking percentage. However, on the strength of 40 combined kills from opposite hitters John Baker and Brandon Lebrock, the Matadors put away the Trojans, who were again out-hit and out-performed defensively.“We had good matchups and a good game plan that created open looks for Jansen. That was part of our match that we were pleased with as a team,” Ferguson said. “We knew what was going on defensively, but we didn’t execute as well on the blocking, which was a step back from the Pepperdine game where we had tremendous blocking. We didn’t block or dig really well, and those are things we typically do well.”Though the losses would normally serve as a cause for concern, Ferguson stressed the need to remain positive and patient, noting in particular the youth and depth present on the roster.“We’ve been telling the guys that they’re here for a reason,” Ferguson said. “We believe in them, we trust them and we recruited them. They’re just a bit inexperienced, and we have to walk that fine line between understanding that there’s going to be a learning curve and speeding up that curve a little bit.”Thursday’s game against Cal Baptist is set to begin at the Galen Center at 7 p.m.last_img read more

Tough TG – Edwards confident in Tivoli Gardens role

first_imgTivoli Gardens FC coach, Omar Edwards, knows all too well that his West Kingston-based team is one of the toughest to lead, but considers himself a disciplined tactician, taking on a job to lead the former champions to a respectable Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) campaign. Prior to Edwards, three coaches came and went for different reasons in a short space of time at the club. “When I talk to the players, they don’t back answer or give strong opposition, and that is really a plus to coach at a team like Tivoli Gardens. So far, they are responding positively, and I must say kudos to my players for doing that,” Edwards said at the Red Stripe Premier League Press Conference, yesterday. Edwards, who is assistant coach of the national Under-17 team, as well as head coach of Denham Town High school’s Manning Cup team, says despite losing two home games and winning two on the road, his charges’ performances have been encouraging. “We are playing some good football; we created several opportunities, but we are failing to capitalise on our opportunities at home. Some persons might say it is pressure playing at home, but we are really playing some good football,” he reasoned. “I was called to coach the team, and part of that is building, and I am going to do it to the best of my ability. Many have gone before me, and I know that Tivoli is a difficult place to coach. I have also spent over a decade coaching at Boys’ Town at the highest level,” he stressed. Ahead of a visit to league leaders Jamalco FC in Clarendon tomorrow, Edwards is eyeing a win. Tivoli Gardens are in eighth place on six points. “Jamalco has started the season pretty well. They have players on their team, [one] is the leading goal scorer, so in my opinion, they are doing something pretty good, but going to Jamalco, we are going for maximum points,” the coach noted He also noted that players at his high-school team, Denham Town, could find their way in the Tivoli Gardens team if they show enough ability. “If I believe we have players there (Denham Town High) who can matriculate into the Tivoli Gardens team, and they want to go there then certainly,” he outlined.last_img read more

Runners reaching new heights at Emperor’s Challenge

first_imgFollowing a race where participants are sure to build an appetite, organizers of the event are providing complimentary hot dogs, burgers, vegetarian food and all sorts of other edible goodies to feed their hunger.For more information on the event, visit its official website. The summit of the intense 20 km marathon will be at 11 km, with a total elevation gain of 2,050 feet.The elevation of the race start is over 4,000 ft, with the summit at over 6,100 feet, so racers are being asked to dress accordingly for mountain weather.The event will also feature a kids’ distance of 2 and 4 km, with slight elevation gains of 80 or 340 feet respectively.- Advertisement -As per usual, racers will be timed on a chip system, which will attach to their bibs for an accurate reading of their time.The maximum allotted time for the 20 km event is five hours and racers must reach the 8.5 km watering station by 11:30 a.m.The race will begin at Tumbler Ridge’s Core Lodge site, which is a 45 minute drive from the city.Advertisementlast_img read more

Lamela turns focus back to Tottenham after strong Argentina showing

first_img1 Erik Lamela in action for Argentina Tottenham’s record signing Erik Lamela is keeping his feet firmly on the ground despite enjoying a successful start to the season.The Argentina international has been revitalised since the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino this summer, racking up four assists in all competitions already.Lamela also found the back of the net in his country’s 4-2 win over Germany last week, capping off a strong start to the season.However, the 22-year-old has admitted he is not getting ahead of himself after impressing for club and country.“I’m happy because it was my first goal for Argentina and even happier because we won the game”, Lamela told the Tottenham’s official site.  “It’s one goal, it was special, but it’s just one goal and I will keep my feet on the ground.“To win 4-2 against Germany, the world champions, is a special result. It was great to be part of it.”last_img read more