USU Hires New Director of Ticket Operations

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailLOGAN, Utah-Monday, on a busy day for the Utah State athletics department, Katie Hickman, a former member of the department staff, returned to the fold.Hickman, who previously worked at Utah State from 2010-2015, was hired as the director of ticket services.In 2015, Hickman served as the USU assistant athletic director for ticketing/customer service before leaving Logan to pursue other professional opportunities.Presently, Hickman will oversee the athletic department’s ticket operations and coordinate ticket operations for all events at the university.Hickman has spent the past few years as a member of the Salt Lake C.C. athletic department, playing a key role in event management and business operations for the Bruins.Hickman is a 2008 graduate of Boise State, earning a degree in health science studies.Presently, she is pursuing a master’s degree in sports administration from Concordia University, while Hickman and her daughter, Ruby, plan to reside in Logan. Written by Tags: Concordia University/Katie Hickman/Salt Lake C.C./USU Athletics June 25, 2018 /Sports News – Local USU Hires New Director of Ticket Operations Brad Jameslast_img read more

LGBTQ students discuss life on campus

first_imgLike many students, senior Melanie LeMay decided to attend Notre Dame for an elite education, to strengthen her faith and because it was a place where she felt at home.“My story about coming to Notre Dame is pretty much like any other Notre Dame student’s,” LeMay said.Two months into her freshman year, however, LeMay said she discovered she was gay and suddenly felt isolated at the University she previously called home.“It felt right, it felt real. But at the same time, it was devastatingly scary,” she said. “I felt alone and isolated and unwelcome, like I couldn’t tell anyone.”For months, LeMay refrained from coming out to her friends, and even dated a male as she struggled to come to terms with her sexuality.“After I knew I was gay, I tried to be straight. I was worried about the ramifications of my faith life,” she said. “I cared about him a lot, but I didn’t have romantic feelings for him. We broke up in April and that is what sealed the fact that I was gay.”By April of her freshman year, she said she had come out to her friends with positive results and had been welcomed into the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community on campus.“For the first time, I felt like I was coming home to Notre Dame again like I had when I first got there as a freshman,” she said. “I could be myself and be comfortable here and flourish here, and there are people who would love me and accept me for who I am.”However, that is not to say that being gay at Notre Dame is easy.In response to T-shirts that said ‘Gay? Fine by me,’ some students made T-shirts that said ‘Gay? Go to hell,’ LeMay said.“If I had been a closeted student seeing a student wearing a shirt like that, it would have just pushed me further into the closet,” she said.Senior Patrick Bears, an openly gay male, said he knows of many students who had the word ‘fag’ written on the bulletin boards outside their dorm rooms.But Bears said it is more common for students to act uncomfortable, rather than hateful, around gay students.“When I was living in Stanford, I was pretty much the gay kid on the first floor. Some of the kids would just give me weird looks when I walked by,” Bears said. “They looked as if I was terrifying, as if I had giant talons for hands.”Senior Eddie Velazquez, who knew he was gay when he decided to attend the University, said subtle looks or comments take a toll on students who are not completely comfortable with their sexuality.“It’s the equivalent of throwing a tiny pebble at somebody. If each comment is one pebble, you think it’s just one pebble, it’s not going to hurt,” he said. “Over the course of a semester, they add up to 1,000 pebbles. Suddenly, the burden is a lot heavier.”Bears attributed students’ behavior to ignorance rather than outright discrimination.“They don’t really have any experience,” he said. “It’s more or less a fear that comes out of ignorance.”Bears said students could become more educated simply by asking questions.“For most any gay person, if you have any questions, feel free to ask us about them,” he said. “A lot of us are more than willing to talk.”Another way students can help facilitate an accepting environment for the LGBTQ community is to lead by example, Valezquez said.“When you act in a positive manner and when you show willingness to accept, good vibes are contagious,” he said.One particular challenge for gay students is finding and connecting with other gay students because currently no official student club exists for the LGBTQ community, Velazquez said.“One of the concerns for gay students who do enter into our student body is that they may not necessarily find gay students to find interests with and to talk to,” Velazquez said. “Until they do find a good group of friends, it’s difficult for students to be able to relate to their peers.”Core Council for Gay and Lesbian Students, an advisory group to the Vice President of Student Affairs, has meetings that attract a regular group of 15 to 20 students. However, many more LGBTQ students attend the University, Velazquez said.Despite having a smaller pool to choose from, LeMay said dating definitely occurs.“I was in a long-term relationship with another Notre Dame student my sophomore and junior year, so it is possible to date here,” she said. “I know that we interact a lot with the Saint Mary’s gay community as well, which helps the girls.”Velazquez said the dating patterns among the LGBTQ community at Notre Dame are quite similar to those of heterosexual students at Notre Dame.“They are gay students, but they are still Notre Dame students. So they still fall into the same range,” he said. “I know people who have been in the same relationship for three years and then other people who just do not take interest.”The students said Notre Dame, which is repeatedly ranked high on Princeton Review’s list of ‘Alternative lifestyles not an alternative,’ was more accepting than its reputation may imply.“There is this kind of idea that Notre Dame is a terrible place for you to be gay. It may be worse than other schools, but it’s better than a lot of schools,” Bears said.Though LeMay said she probably would not have come to Notre Dame if she had known she was gay, she has no regrets.“I’ve had a happy four years here, three of which I was out,” LeMay said. “I would not change my experience for anything.”last_img read more

Walk Georgia Holidays

first_imgYou better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why: 5 extra pounds is coming to town — only if you allow it! No one wants to be a Scrooge, and part of the joy of the holidays revolves around food. So how are we supposed to stay extra jolly and not gain extra jiggle? The secret to having your cake and eating it too is simple — get moving! A single indulgence won’t add pounds, but they tend to become the normal fare for months around the holidays. If you don’t counteract those extra treats with extra movement, you’ll see extra pounds. University of Georgia Extension’s Walk Georgia program has created a 12-day list that will help you enjoy the season to its fullest while staying active! 12 Days of Holiday HealthGive the gift of fitness. Do some research on spring races in your community and purchase registration for yourself and your best friend. Merry Fitness!Make a big red and green salad for dinner. Share it with friends on social media (and don’t forget to tag Walk Georgia). We love a spinach salad with pomegranate, pears, walnuts and Gorgonzola cheese.Take a long walk to forage pinecones, evergreen boughs, eucalyptus and holly berries. You can make a wreath, a festive centerpiece or fresh potpourri — simply simmer evergreen, orange peels and cloves in a pot of water; your house will smell lovely. Use holiday shopping as a way to burn some calories. Wear a pedometer and commit to taking 10,000 steps. You can do it! Treat yourself. Buy boxes of your favorite flavored teas. It’s an inexpensive indulgent treat that will keep you warm all month long, without adding an extra “layer.” Turn up the holiday music and get dancing. You can burn up to 610 calories after an hour of dancing.What’s one of the best seasonal workouts? Ice-skating, of course! Find a rink and lace up those skates. Ice-skating can burn over 500 calories per hour.It’s not too early to make a new year’s commitment. Reflect on the upcoming New Year today. How will you move in 2015? Simply write these down, and place then on the refrigerator to get a head start.Did you know that regular supermarkets sell roasted chestnuts? Buy a pack to share and enjoy the health benefits, including fiber, vitamins and minerals. Plus, they are lower in fat than most nuts. Bundle Up! Take a WALK, instead of a drive to see the Christmas lights this year. None in your neighborhood? Scout out the best ones then drive, park and walk. Cookies for Santa is so passé; leave Santa some real fuel. Whole-wheat banana bread is a great substitution. Find the recipe on Walk Georgia’s blog — and don’t forget carrots for the reindeer!Have some fun. Play active games with your family as a part of the Christmas fun. Or plant a permanent tree. Buy a small cyprus or pine tree and help someone in the future enjoy the beauty of the holidays.Want more fitness inspiration? Sign up for Walk Georgia’s newsletter by visiting blog.extension.uga.edu/walkgeorgia and receive healthy recipes and fitness tips. Walk Georgia is a free, online program that enables you to track and get points for moving. The website will be re-launching February 1. Walk Georgia’s mission is to inspire Georgians to move more, so that they can live more.last_img read more

Peru surpasses 500,000 coronavirus cases, marks highest fatality rate in LatAm

first_imgPresident Martin Vizcarra, speaking earlier on Thursday from a public event to pay tribute to 120 doctors who have died from COVID-19, blamed the recent spike in infections on an uptick in social and sporting events and a lax attitude by the public.”There has been too much confidence on the part of the population,” Vizcarra said.”Let’s learn from history, correct mistakes and now we are united despite the discrepancies in some of the decisions that are made,” he added.Vizcarra on Wednesday banned family gatherings, reinstated a blanket Sunday curfew and extended lockdowns to five more regions of the country as figures revealed a 75% surge in infections among children and adolescents.The first case of coronavirus appeared in Peru, the world’s second-largest copper producer, on March 6 and a week later the government imposed a strict quarantine, halting almost all production activity. Its economy is expected to contract this year by 12% under the weight of the pandemic, according to central bank projections.  Peru surpassed half a million coronavirus cases and has the highest fatality rate in Latin America, according to health ministry data on Thursday, as the government struggles to contain a recent surge of infections.There have been 507,996 confirmed cases and 25,648 related deaths, vice health minister Luis Suarez said at a news conference.The Andean country has the highest coronavirus death rate in Latin America at 78.6 per 100,000 people, a Reuters tally shows, surpassing hard-hit regional neighbors Chile and Brazil. Topics :last_img read more

Spotted: PhilaPort Hosts Another Record-Breaking MSC Ship

first_imgImage Courtesy: PhilaPortMSC Shuba has become the largest container vessel to ever call at the Port of Philadelphia.The 12,238 TEU Neopanamax docked at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal on February 13.Operated by Switzerland’s Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the 330-meter-long MSC Shuba B arrived from the West Coast of South America.“Being able to handle a 12,200 TEU container capacity vessel is a game changer”, Jeff Theobald, PhilaPort Executive Director and CEO, commented. “This size of vessel is increasingly being used as the workhorse for shipping lines around the world. It’s the reason why we are working so hard to make the necessary capital improvements which we have planned as quickly as possible,” he added.MSC Shuba B took the title of the largest boxship to call this port from the 11,568 TEU MSC Avni which is also operated by the abovementioned company.PhilaPort is currently implementing a USD 300 million infrastructure improvement plan which includes wharf strengthening, new cranes, paving and many other terminal improvements.In 2017, the port realized 19 percent growth in its containerized cargo volumes handling 548,000 containers.“It’s great to see this new class of vessel here before we have our new cranes and the official opening of the new deeper channel”, Tom Holt, President of Holt Logistics, said.last_img read more

DPSU awaits government response to salary negotiations

first_img Tweet 11 Views   no discussions Share Share Sharing is caring!center_img LocalNews DPSU awaits government response to salary negotiations by: – April 26, 2012 Share Thomas Letang. (file photo)General Secretary of the Dominica Public Service Union Thomas Letang has said that his organization is awaiting government’s response on the issue regarding salary negotiations for public servants.Letang told an interview with the media that the government promised to respond in a timely matter “but we have not yet seen that”.“The last time we wrote to them they said the matter was being looked at and we expect them to respond to us, giving us more information,” he said.Meantime Letang said he is still concerned about the issue of the pension age.“We are concerned about the impact the social security act is having on the public. Some people retried a few months ago and they were expected to have received their pension from DSS. As it is now, this means they would have to go without a pension because it means that government would have already bridged that gap, and DSS would have taken over,” he added.He said “I am beginning to ask myself, why that level of insensitivity. Why is it taking so long when you know that people are going to be affected by a decision”.According to Letang, several persons are being affected by the amendment, “and we are not being told as to what is going to happen to these people”.He said further that a national retirement age must be looked at.“The union is taking this matter seriously. We need all citizens to rally behind us to give us support to ensure that pensioners do not suffer as a loss of income,” he added.Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

​Martial’s resurgence has changed Man Utd transfer approach

first_img read also:Cole: Martial should show more commitment on the pitch And the Manchester Evening News believes United decided against bidding big for a striker due to Martial’s form. They instead extended the loan of Odion Ighalo until January and may go for a striker next summer depending on how Mason Greenwood develops. What is clear is that Martial is now the team’s undisputed first-choice option upfront. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted Content7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend Better9 Actors Who Stay Famous For That One Movie They Did 10 Years AgoBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of AnimeWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?Top Tastiest Foods From All Over The WorldTop 10 Most Romantic Nations In The WorldThe Funniest Prankster Grandma And Her GrandsonCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayMind-Bending Technology That Was Predicted Before It Appeared7 Facts About Black Holes That Will Blow Your Mind8 Ways Drones Will Automate Our Future Loading… center_img Manchester United have adjusted their transfer plans due to the progression of Anthony Martial. The Frenchman has been somewhat of an enigma during most of his time with the Red Devils. He started well under Louis van Gaal, but struggled under Jose Mourinho. Now Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has him firing as the central striker for the team.Advertisementlast_img read more

The Latest: Fasig-Tipton consolidating its yearling sales

first_img Associated Press A tentative national schedule has been released, leading up to the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska, in June 2021.The first meet of the TYR Pro Swim Series is set for Richmond from Nov. 5-8, followed by Knoxville, Tennessee (Jan. 13-16, 2021), San Antonio (March 3-6), Mission Viejo, California (April 8-11, 2021), and Indianapolis (May 12-15).Other meets on the tentative national schedule include the Toyota U.S. Open in Atlanta from Dec. 2-5, as well as the Speedo Juniors East and West short-course meets from Dec. 9-12, which will be held in Atlanta and Austin, Texas, respectively.___UEFA is paying 236.5 million euros ($255 million) in advance to its national federations and easing requirements on how they spend it during the pandemic. The program is worth more than 11 million euros ($12 million) in the current 4-year cycle compared to $6 million in basic funding from FIFA for 2019-22.___Organizers of the Catalonia Vuelta cycling race say this year’s edition will take place next year.The 100th edition of the race had already been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. It was originally scheduled for March 23-29.Organizers say the cycling calendar has been significantly reduced because of the pandemic and they didn’t want the Catalonia Vuelta competing with other major events. They also did not want to change the race’s format. ___There won’t be any sun or sand for beach volleyball pros amid the coronavirus pandemic.The AVP tour has created a public service announcement to urge its fans to stay home to help fight the spread of the disease. Olympic medalists April Ross and Todd Rogers and a handful of the tour’s other stars recorded videos at home that were assembled for the spot that debuted on Monday.The U.S. tour for the quintessentially outdoors sport has postponed all of its events at least until the Hermosa Beach Open in late July. The international beach volleyball tour has also come to a halt, along with qualifying for the now-postponed Tokyo Olympics.“Together, we can overcome this opponent,” says Ross, who won a silver medal in London and a bronze in Rio de Janiero. FIFA says the rule could be used by all competitions finishing this year and next and all national team games through 2021.FIFA’s proposal must be formally approved by rule-making panel IFAB.___Formula One chairman Chase Carey says he is “increasingly confident” the season can start in July despite the first 10 races being canceled or postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.The French Grand Prix decided to call off its race on June 28 rather than postponing it. That means the earliest start date is now the Austrian GP on July 5. April 27, 2020 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Fasig-Tipton will consolidate its July, Saratoga, and New York Bred yearling sales into one auction showcase on Sept. 9-10 at its Lexington, Kentucky, facility. The French Grand Prix has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.The decision further pushes back the start of the Formula One season.The race was scheduled for June 28 on the Paul Ricard circuit in Le Castellet in southern France. The French government has banned public gatherings until mid-July and race organizers decided not to try to postpone the race or try holding it without fans.French GP managing director Eric Boullier says their plans are “already turning towards the summer of 2021 in order to offer our spectators an even more original event.”F1 chairman Chase Carey says “while it is disappointing for our fans and the F1 community that the French Grand Prix will not take place we fully support the decision.” ___The title sponsor of New Orleans’ canceled PGA Tour event is donating $1.5 million to the tournament’s primary charitable foundation.The donation matches the amount raised during the 2019 Zurich Classic, which was played in a team format and won by the tandem of Ryan Palmer and Jon Rahm.Before the PGA began canceling events due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Zurich Classic had been scheduled to take place last week at TPC Louisiana, which recently completed $1.9 million in course renovations that entailed digging up and re-sodding fairways, as well as restoring greens and bunkers, and improving drainage.For more than six decades, the New Orleans-area PGA Tour event’s primary charity has been The Fore!Kids Foundation, which raises money through golf events and distributes funds to area children’s service organizations. The Latest: Fasig-Tipton consolidating its yearling sales ___Clemson has canceled all its in-person, on-campus athletic and academic camps due to the coronavirus pandemic. That includes two weeks of coach Dabo Swinney’s football camps where the Tigers coaches have the chance to meet and watch prep athletes work out each summer. The university announced its decision on Monday. It said the school will remain closed until May 8. Late spring and summer camps are popular stops for young people eager to gain instruction and contacts with Clemson coaches in all sports. Swinney and his staff have done well in attracting some of the nation’s top players, in part because they came to work out at the school’s facilities. Clemson finished with the No. 1 recruiting class for this upcoming football season, according to ESPN.com. Silverstone circuit managing director Stuart Pringle wrote an email to ticket buyers saying he is “extremely disappointed to tell you that we are unable to stage this year’s British Grand Prix in front of the fans.”Pringle says organizers left the decision for as long as possible “but it is abundantly clear given the current conditions … that a Grand Prix under normal conditions is just not going to be possible.“___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6center_img The person spoke to The AP on Monday on the condition of anonymity because the person is not authorized to discuss the plans of the NHL’s top minor league.The AHL responded by saying there was “nothing imminent” in terms of calling off the remainder of the season.Last week, AHL President and CEO David Andrews said the league was “pivoting” to the 2020-21 season, while adding nothing was official regarding the status of this season.The 31-team AHL joined the NHL in suspending its season on March 12.— AP Hockey Writers John Wawrow and Stephen Whyno reporting. Zurich became the event’s title sponsor in 2005 and since has helped raise more than $21 million for community charities, tournament officials said. Those charities’ missions include providing food, housing and holiday gift cards, as well as educational and recreational opportunities, for children. Beneficiaries also include organizations that assist patients with cancer or other serious ailments and disabilities.___USA Swimming has announced its plans for a return to competition, beginning with a series of regional events in August before the national schedule begins in early November at Richmond, Virginia.The governing body is canceling all national events in July and early August because of the coronavirus pandemic. The regional events will be held in August, with an eye toward limiting the need for travel and promoting a safer environment for athletes, coaches, officials and families.USA Swimming said it will announce further scheduling details in the coming weeks, subject to local health guidelines. The men’s and women’s professional tours are currently suspended until July because of the coronavirus pandemic.Brown is from Germany and his father is Jamaican. He upset Rafal Nadal in the second round at Wimbledon in 2015.Brown says on the event’s website he is “happy to have the chance to compete again. … I am looking forward to going out there doing what I love.”The shortened matches will be best of three with four games to win a set. Tiebreakers will be played at 3-3.___ ___FIFA wants to let soccer teams use five substitutes to cope with expected schedule congestion caused by the coronavirus pandemic.FIFA says the temporary plan could help prevent more injuries due to “potential player overload” as soccer competitions catch up with a backlog.The proposal gives competition organizers the option of letting teams use five substitutes in 90 minutes and a sixth in knockout games that go to extra time.Teams would still be limited to three stoppages of play to make the changes. Carey says “we are now increasingly confident with the progress of our plans to begin our season this summer” and that 15-18 races can take place.F1 plans to start racing in Europe “through July, August and beginning of September, with the first race taking place in Austria.”The plan is then to race in “Eurasia, Asia and the Americas, finishing the season in the Gulf in December with Bahrain before the traditional finale in Abu Dhabi.”Carey expects the early races to be without fans but hopes they “will be part of our events as we move further into the schedule.”___ The company made its decision after watching the progression of the coronavirus pandemic over the last several weeks.Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning says the 2-year-old sales season needs to end before yearling sales begin, which makes the usual July sale unfeasible. With details for Saratoga’s summer racing season yet to be finalized, Browning says the auction house needed to give sellers a definitive schedule so they can make plans for their yearlings.The sales will return to their traditional dates in 2021.___A person with direct knowledge of discussions tells The Associated Press it’s “quite likely” the American Hockey League will cancel the remainder of its season because of the new coronavirus pandemic. The Russian soccer league says it is hoping to resume play in late June and wants to complete its season by Aug. 2.The league says it is discussing June 21 and 28 with clubs as possible dates to resume the season amid the coronavirus pandemic. Each club has eight more league games to play.The league says it would keep promotion and relegation if the season can be completed.The league could expand from 16 to 18 teams for next season with the addition of the two best-placed teams from the second division if the season can’t be finished. It would then shrink back to its current size for the 2021-22 season. The Russian Cup could also be removed from the calendar for next season only.Players in Russia are currently training on their own at home during a nationwide lockdown and some foreign players have left the country. The league says it has discussed a return to training but didn’t announce any dates for that. The first 10 races this season have either been rescheduled or canceled.The Austrian Grand Prix on July 5 is now the earliest potential date to start the season.___British Grand Prix organizers say they are talking to the government about the viability of holding the Formula One race on July 19 with no fans amid the coronavirus pandemic.The season was due to begin in March but no races have been possible so far. Organizers say they want “to celebrate a 100th edition with the maximum guarantees and with the best world cyclists.”They say the race will be held next year in the last week of March.___A group of professional tennis players led by Dustin Brown will meet in a series of exhibition tournaments in Germany starting Friday.The live-streamed event will take place at an academy near the small town of Höhr-Grenzhausen. UEFA says each of its 55 members is getting up to 4.3 million euros ($4.7 million) they are due in central funding through next season.UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin says the money “can be used as our members see fit to rebuild the football community.”Ceferin says “this is a responsible decision to help as much as we can.”European officials are usually required to spend certain amounts in areas such as youth and women’s soccer, referee training, and operating costs. They are not subject to mandatory UEFA audits.UEFA’s funding program, called Hat-Trick, is worth twice as much to European federations as they get from FIFA. last_img read more

Kiffin’s indecision is blessing in disguise

first_img“Inside the 20s” runs on Tuesdays. To comment on this story, email Nick at [email protected] or visit dailytrojan.com.Follow Nick Selbe on Twitter @NickSelbe When USC head coach Lane Kiffin announced on Saturday that, after months of evaluating redshirt sophomore quarterbacks Cody Kessler and Max Wittek, he was still unable to name a starter for the season opener, my initial reaction was to brace myself for the immediate, Twitter-induced backlash that predictably followed.Fans and media members alike were quite unanimous in their disapproval of the embattled coach’s great indecision, feeling that someone already on the perceived hot seat did not need this kind of start to an apparently make-it-or-break-it season.The criticism surrounding the extended quarterback competition has mostly come from those who believe that Kessler has outplayed Wittek for the better part of the offseason. The media’s coverage of Kessler’s perceived edge over Wittek has created a wave of fan support for a quarterback that most have never seen play a meaningful college snap.As someone who has watched a handful of practices this offseason (say, between five and 10), I would have to agree with the masses that yes, Kessler appears to play better than Wittek most of the time. Based on what relatively little football knowledge I possess, he seems to make fewer mistakes and deliver accurate passes more consistently than Wittek, both in practice and during the team’s scrimmages.But here’s the problem with that line of thinking: I don’t know anything about football compared to USC’s coaches, and I’d be willing to bet that neither does the rest of the media or fans weighing in on the Trojans’ quarterback battle.Kiffin and the rest of the staff spend an enormous amount of time around their players, so the brief window that us outsiders have to watch the competition unfold for ourselves pales in comparison to the wealth of information Kiffin has to evaluate which player is best for the job. Who knows if Wittek stands out in team meetings, or if Kessler works harder in the weight room, or even if either actually had a better practice on a given day. Because it’s the preseason, and each player has little to no game experience, we have a very small amount of evidence on which to base our opinions.When it comes to these types of decisions, it’s great fun for everyone to throw in their two cents, but the reality of the situation is that all of us are virtually just guessing. We don’t see what goes on behind the scenes (and now that in-season practices have been closed, everything will go on behind the scenes), and frankly, we are  ill-equipped to decide for ourselves which player deserves to start against Hawaii. But fans who read how much better Kessler has played than Wittek use that knowledge as more ammo against a coach who they are already looking for reasons to dislike.Kiffin’s refusal to name a starter has irritated USC fans everywhere, and I admit that I was initially perplexed when I heard the news. But after giving it some thought, his decision to hold off should be encouraging to the Trojan fan base.The easy thing for him to do would be to simply name Kessler the starter and see what happens, as he would have the public’s opinion on his side. But when college coaches or professional sports team owners begin making decisions to appease the fans rather than to help the team win, that’s when you know the team is in trouble.Kiffin could have gone with Kessler and made everyone happy, but he didn’t. Some believe his supposed favoring of Wittek is because of Wittek’s NFL body type: he’s 6-foot-4, 235 lbs. and has perhaps the strongest arm in the Pac-12. Kessler is 6-foot-1, 215 lbs., sturdy by normal means but small by NFL standards.Maybe Kiffin really thinks that Wittek’s best attributes are his height and arm strength rather than his performance, but the point is that he has not named Kessler the starter because he does not yet believe that Kessler gives the team the best chance to win.That is what’s so heartening about Kiffin’s decision. Though nearly everyone who follows the team believes his job is in jeopardy this season, Kiffin isn’t letting all the chirping get to him. If he were, Kessler would be the team’s starter already. The fact that Kiffin has the ability to not let speculation about his job security affect his decision-making should be applauded, not condemned.Kiffin’s detractors are aplenty, and they all have their reasons. But among them should not be that USC’s head coach is a slave to popular opinion, for he has proven that clamoring from outsiders merely falls on deaf ears.last_img read more

Ella Saada thrives in return to hitting with Kendra Lukacs out injured

first_imgThe ball rose high in the air, ready to be buried into the wooden floor of Fitzgerald Field House at the University of Pittsburgh. Kendra Lukacs set her feet, ready to launch herself above the net. Her eyes locked on the ball, but she barely made it off the ground.Two plays prior, the sophomore outside hitter landed awkwardly on her ankle. She promptly had it wrapped and returned to action, only to discover her injury was more serious than she hoped.“After I jumped,” Lukacs said. “I realized I couldn’t play.”With Lukacs out, in came Ella Saada. Saada, a freshman, quickly filled Lukacs’ role as one of Syracuse’s (11-6, 3-1 Atlantic Coast) offensive weapons. Lukacs had recorded 11 or more kills in each of her last six games before injuring her ankle. In the two games since, Saada led or tied for the lead in Orange kills, tallying 15 and 13 against Duke and Wake Forest, respectively. Both contests ended in SU victories.“It’s not a surprise to us the way she has played,” head coach Leonid Yelin said. “She’s a great player.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSaada started the season as one of Syracuse’s main hitters. In her first 10 games of the year, the 6-foot-1 freshman recorded 76 kills, second highest on the team behind Santita Ebangwese’s 91. The Orange went 6-4 in those games, a vast improvement from last season’s 1-9 start.Then, a recurring shoulder injury forced her to give up hitting, and Yelin assigned her a more defensive role.“We kind of had no choice,” Yelin said. “The doctors said it’d be a good idea to work on her shoulder and not to play (on offense).”Five games went by, and Saada didn’t record a kill. The style of play the Kfar Masaryk, Israel native was so familiar with started to slip away from her, while Lukacs and Anastasiya Gorelina established themselves as Syracuse’s primary hitters.“(Hitting) is the only volleyball I know,” Saada said. “Defense is really important, and we have to do it. But it’s a lot more fun hitting.”Despite returning to her original position as an outside hitter in Lukacs’ absence, Saada is upset with how it came to be. She didn’t want an injury to be the reason for her return to outside hitter. She wanted to earn it herself.Saada hopes to solidify her role as a key offensive tool going forward, even after Lukacs returns from injury. Saada doesn’t want to do is go back to being a defensive player, something Yelin intends to carry out.“She’s a hitter,” Yelin said. Comments Published on October 5, 2017 at 8:33 pm Contact David: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more