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

There are plenty of possibilities for Dodgers

first_imgThe Dodgers might re-sign Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner.But the odds are against it.They might trade for Chris Sale or Justin Verlander.But they probably won’t. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and his staff will no doubt be involved in conversations involving those players and many others. As much as any team in baseball, the Dodgers have both the financial resources and prospect stash to make things happen. Friedman’s philosophy is to stay “nimble” and “opportunistic” when it comes to talent acquisition and the Dodgers’ well-stocked farm system gives them ample chips to be at the forefront of any auction.But the Dodgers’ focus this winter seems less about making significant additions to the roster and more about maintaining what they have already built — an uncommonly deep roster with flexibility and a more manageable payroll.“Yeah, that’s a really, really good team,” Friedman said of a 2017 roster with the same elements intact that produced 91 wins in 2016 and fell two games short of reaching the World Series.That group would return with the prospects of improved health, Friedman points out – how could it not be better than last year’s? — and added maturity for the young players who made such critical contributions.But there is a strain of wistfulness in Friedman’s comments. He is aware just how unlikely it is that the Dodgers will be able to put last year’s band back together.Jansen, Turner and Rich Hill are all free agents this winter. The Dodgers would like to re-sign all three and team officials insist their ability to do so will not be restrained by debt service or luxury-tax penalties – only by the same kind of good sense that stopped their bidding for Zack Greinke at $160 million last winter.That was only good for third place behind the San Francisco Giants and Greinke’s new employer, the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have spent much of the past year regretting that $206 million decision.The Dodgers are closing in on re-signing Hill to a multi-year deal that would lock him in as Greinke’s replacement behind Clayton Kershaw in the rotation. When it comes to Jansen and Turner, however, market forces are working against the Dodgers this winter as well.Jansen is in a two-horse race with Chapman to set new pay standards for a closer. The target is set at five years and $100 million – the kind of early-winter pie in the sky that only seems absurd until someone offers it. Of the very limited number of top hitters available on the free-agent market, only Turner offers premium defense as well.So far, the Dodgers have elected to slow-play their pursuit of Jansen and Turner. That might need to change soon. The need to gauge the chances of re-signing either – and the search for alternatives – could gain some urgency in the next week as the Winter Meetings intensify conversations.“I think the right to be a free agent is a significant one that players earn,” Friedman said. “We’re trying to be as respectful as we can. But obviously, we have to make sure that we’re in good position as well. So at some point I expect conversations to progress – and I don’t even mean just with our internal guys, with external free agents and on the trade front. I think it’s been a little quieter this month as opposed to past years with the CBA negotiations and the unknowns surrounding it. But I expect things to pick up quite a bit in the next few weeks.”Chapman and, more affordably, Melancon (as well as potential trade target David Robertson of the White Sox) offer alternatives if Jansen leaves the Dodgers for bigger money elsewhere. At this point, it’s hard to imagine realistic options for replacing Turner that don’t take the Dodgers backwards.“Short term or long term?” Friedman responded to that. “Look – I think there are a lot of interesting players on the market. Some on the free agent market, some on the trade market. And we’re continuing to have conversations to see what makes the most sense for us.”Dodgers’ to-do list• Re-sign Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner – or not.The Dodgers would like to re-sign both but the market for each (and good sense) might make that unrealistic, particularly in light of the new CBA’s increased luxury-tax penalties for high-payroll teams.• Find alternatives.If Jansen and/or Turner won’t be back in 2017, the Dodgers need to find someone to close games and/or play third base for them in 2017. Finding replacements won’t be easy. The closer options drop off dramatically after free agents Aroldis Chapman and Mark Melancon. The options at third base are even less attractive.• Settle on a second basemanRe-signing an aging Chase Utley and pairing him with a younger right-handed bat (Kiké Hernandez, Charlie Culberson) is one option. But acquiring someone like Ian Kinsler, Brian Dozier or Josh Harrison would better address the Dodgers’ deficiencies against left-handed pitching.• Trade Yasiel Puig.The Dodgers might finally be ready to part ways with their problem child – even though his value has never been lower.• Restock the bullpenJoe Blanton emerged as the Dodgers’ most reliable setup man last season. But the 35-year-old is a free agent. Regardless of who closes games for them in 2017, the Dodgers will look to restock the relief corps in front of him. They might sign Aroldis Chapman and trade for Andrew McCutchen.But probably not.Maybe they’ll sign Mark Melancon and trade for Brian Dozier.Or maybe not.As the Dodgers head to baseball’s annual Winter Meetings in National Harbor, Maryland — “a census-designated place and development along the Potomac River” outside Washington, D.C. — they will, as usual, be featured prominently in the haze of rumor and speculation that will settle over the sprawling Gaylord Resort playing host to Major League Baseball’s movers and shakers.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Govt in the dark over spate of power outages

first_imgAlmost one week after another spate of blackouts gripped the nation, Government has said it is yet to be given by the Guyana Power and light (GPL) official reason for the blackouts.While the power company has made a public statement on the matter, it has not yet officially briefed Government. That is according to Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, who said on Friday that Government has relied on the statement made by the power company on Thursday.“I don’t have a particular statement on the matter. It did not come up at Cabinet, but I’ve read — just like you — in the public media that Mr Badal had made some statements that they were taking steps to make the electricity supply more reliable,” Harmon told the media at a post-Cabinet press conference.On Thursday, after much outcry from citizens (GPL), said “a botched tree trimming exercise and a burnt jumper” were among the reasons for the electricity woes.GPL’s Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Renford Homer, also explained that shutdown of the Demerara-Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS) on Sunday resulted from a generation shortfall occasioned by reduced generation reserve.Homer explained that when the demand was about 84 megawatts, there were 87 megawatts available for generation, which left only three megawatts of reserve capacity, instead of the normal 20 megawatts. Moreover, the machines at Skeldon and Garden of Eden were being overhauled, whilst the one at Kingston was undergoing routine maintenance.On Monday, at approximately 15:15h, GPL received a report of a burnt jumper on one of its feeders, and the transmission distribution crew quickly responded. However, while attempting to close that feeder, the system sensed an unusual surge of high current and the protection network was activated, taking the generating system offline. However, sufficient generation was available to meet the demand at that time, Homer explained.At approximately 08:45h on Wednesday, some customers on the DBIS experienced a disturbance when a number of feeders were lost due to a tree-trimming exercise being conducted by Atlantic Hotel Incorporated on Battery Road, Kingston.Homer pointed out that the trimmed branches fell across GPL’s primary network, causing a severe movement on two of the conductors which became intertwined. The generation at Kingston plant went offline.last_img read more