Time to celebrate spring sports

first_imgI would like to make a toast … to the many USC squads that have put up with a  good amount of the Trojan faithful that seem to only care about football.Now that 2015 National Signing Day is finally behind us and USC football has once again asserted itself as a recruiting powerhouse, I feel like it’s finally time to shift our focus to the USC varsity sports that are actually in full swing of competition.With the spectacle of recruits signing their letters of intent on national television and illustrating their commitments in intricately produced videos, it’s pretty easy to get caught up in what I call the “USC football 365” type of mentality, but it’s very important to not take for granted the 19 other teams that represent the cardinal and gold every year.As the sports editor of this publication, I believe that it’s my duty to ensure that these teams receive the proper recognition they deserve for all of their hard work in and out of competition, resulting in a plethora of individual and team awards that contribute to USC’s athletic tradition of excellence.The greatest thing about the winter and spring seasons, really, is the great range and diversity of sports and world-class venues in which they offer.Whether it’s a basketball game or volleyball match at the Galen Center, a tennis match at Marks Stadium, a sand volleyball tournament at Merle Norman Stadium, a ball game at Dedeaux Field or even a swim meet at the newly renovated Uytengsu Aquatics Center, one is able to cater to their sporting tastes by spending an afternoon or evening in just about any of these settings.One of the coolest sights for me so far this year actually was when the women’s lacrosse team, in just its third year as a program, nearly took down the No. 5-ranked Northwestern Wildcats, a national powerhouse, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum last Saturday. Unfortunately, the Women of Troy fell to the Wildcats 11-12 in overtime, though, it’s this type of spectacle that I’m sure Athletic Director Pat Haden envisioned when he brought women’s lacrosse to the West Coast.There’s really no better time than the winter and spring to highlight these teams because these seasons feature some of the school’s most celebrated and accomplished teams that fall under most people’s radars.Let’s start off with the No. 6 nationally ranked women’s golf program, who started their spring campaign off on a high note on Tuesday after placing second at the annual Grumman Regional Challenge in nearby Palos Verdes, California.The Women of Troy will once again have championship aspirations after losing by just two strokes to Duke in the  2014 NCAA Championships, which would have have been its second consecutive national title and fourth in program history under the direction of head coach Andrea Gatson, who is in her 19th year with the program as one of the most highly respected coaches in the country.Gatson’s team features a few of the nation’s best golfers including senior Doris Chen, who won the 2014 NCAA individual crown and is a three-time All-American. Junior Annie Park is also one of the country’s finest golfers and began this season tied for most wins in school history.Nonetheless, watch out for the Women of Troy showing off their technical swings on courses across the country.The program I’m most excited to watch this spring, though, is USC women’s sand volleyball.In just two years, head coach Anna Collier has taken the Women of Troy to the top of the the sport with her team finishing third nationally during both seasons and coaching the past two national champion pairs teams of Kirby Burnham and Stevi Robinson in 2013, along with Burnham and Sara Hughes in 2014.With the help of the program’s stunning facility and star-powered coaching staff, Collier has helped pioneer the sport of collegiate volleyball, which will become an NCAA division one championship officially in 2016.Shifting to the men’s side of things indoors, we know how well the men’s volleyball team is doing based on how my fellow columnist Luke Holthouse exclaimed his love for senior setter Micah Christenson in his weekly party.Head coach Bill Ferguson and his No. 2-ranked program is off to its best start in 24 years, going undefeated with a perfect 7-0 record before losing to Hawai’i last week.I know it’s hard to keep up with all of the different sporting events that are going on around us, but I recommend making the effort to become familiar with as many of them as possible.Now that we’ve all tapped our glasses and this toast has been made, let’s all promise to go out and show these accomplished squads our support this season.Darian Nourian is a junior majoring in print and digital journalism. He is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. His column, “Persian Persuasion,” runs Thursdays.last_img read more

O’Mahony extends IRFU deal.

first_imgThe 22 year old came off the bench in Irelands win over France last Saturday. Munster’s Peter O’Mahony has signed a new 3 year contract with the IRFU.The Cork native will remain with Munster until 2018.Ulster’s Iain Henderson has also put pen to paper on a new 3 year contract.last_img

NHL reveals All-Star Game jerseys, pays homage to St. Louis

first_imgNHL All-Star Game 2020: Rosters | Last Men In ballotWithout further ado, here they are:🔥🔥🔥🔥The 2020 @Honda #NHLAllStar Game jerseys by @adidashockey are here! pic.twitter.com/wy43BEQKXj— NHL (@NHL) January 8, 2020Now, before we go any further, let’s dive into the details.Under the format in which each division makes up its own team and plays a mini-tournament, they all need to be equipped with both dark and light uniform options. When this is the case, it’s hard to make all the teams’ color schemes work with a black or white primary on a jersey. To simplify this challenge, the designers went with a monochromatic logo for each of the 31 teams, limiting their individual schemes so that, hopefully, they look better on just a black or white background.MORE: The NHL’s Winter Classic and All-Star Game still matterSome, like the Devils, Maple Leafs, Kings and Blues, look fine because they already have mostly monochromatic logos, while others, such as the Penguins, Canucks, Bruins and Blackhawks, miss the target. Also, keep in mind that some will look better on white rather than black and vice versa, so be sure to check them both out before making a purchase.There are some hidden intricacies that the league capitalized on with the event heading for St. Louis. Lines across the front represent a musical staff and the trumpets reaching out on either side of the NHL shield on the logo pay homage to the host team — the Blues — because trumpets are common instruments in the blues genre. Also, at the bottom of the patch lies the Gateway Arch, the most prominent part of the St. Louis skyline. As the NHL All-Star Game nears, anticipation grows not only for the event but for what the league’s top stars will look like on the ice.Fans around the league had that anticipation met with, well, mixed feelings Wednesday when the NHL revealed its jerseys for the 2020 All-Star Game in St. Louis. And to maybe toot their own horn (pun intended), a star noticeably sits underneath that arch. And while hockey teams do not adhere to the tradition of adding a star to their logos after winning league championships, as soccer teams do, it’s quite likely that this star is intended to bring light to the fact that the Blues are reigning NHL champions.Yes, stars have been in every NHL All-Star logo as of late because, after all, it is the All-Star game, but they are often fancied up to add some flair to the logo, whereas this one is very matter-of-fact. This one likely serves a double meaning, but maybe it’s just me.All-Star weekend kicks off Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. ET with the skills competition. The All-Star Game competition starts at 7 p.m. ET on Jan. 26. Click here for a full schedule of events.last_img read more

India, Ashwin placed second in ICC Test rankings

first_imgPublished on Ravichandran Ashwin tops the all-rounders list. File Photo   –  The Hindu × India held the second position with third-placed Pakistan breathing down its neck, while Ravichandran Ashwin topped the all-rounders list besides being placed second in bowling in the latest ICC Test rankings released here today.England takes on Pakistan in the upcoming four-Test home series knowing that it is within striking distance of overtaking the opposition in the MRF Tyres ICC Test team rankings. Trailing by a mere point, Pakistan could leapfrog India into second place if it wins the series 2-1 or 3-1.The minute difference in points between India, Pakistan and England throws up a number of interesting scenarios ahead of the Test series between hosts England and Pakistan.A win for Pakistan in the series, by a 2-1 or 3-1 margin, will help it take the second place, a position it has occupied only once since the officials rankings were launched in 2003.Pakistan even has a chance to surge to the top of the rankings, replacing current world number 1 Australia, but to make this happen it will have to win 3-0 or better.England, who recently defeated Sri Lanka 2-0 in a three-Test home series, is only three points behind Pakistan at 111. This means that margins of 2-1 or 1-0 win will be enough for it to go past world number 3 Pakistan in the points table as either of these results will see England lift to 110 points and Pakistan slipping down to 107.If England manages a 2-0 or 3-1 win, it will tie with India at 112 points. India is due to take on the West Indies in a four-Test series that ends a week after the England-Pakistan series.In case England is able to capitalise on the home advantage, it can rise to second position with a 3-0 win and to 114 points if it wins all the matches.England’s Joe Root will start as the highest-ranked batsman from either side in fourth place. The Yorkshire batsman will be keen to convert his poor run of form, which has seen him drop two places and 52 points following an ordinary series against Sri Lanka.Captain Alastair Cook (12th) and in-form Jonny Bairstow (18th) are the other England batsmen to feature inside the top 20, who along with Ben Stokes (37th) and Moeen Ali (39th) will be aiming to make upward movements.Bairstow has a chance to break into the top 10 if he continues the kind of form he showed in the recent home series against Sri Lanka, in which he aggregated 387 runs including an unbeaten 167 at Lord’s.Pakistan boasts five batsmen inside the top 20, while opener Mohammad Hafeez is just outside the top 20 in 22nd place.Younus Khan, who in the series against England in the UAE last season had become his country’s first batsman to complete 9,000 Test runs, is the highest-ranked batsman in fifth position. He trails Root by 11 points and will be eyeing a top three finish by the time the series concludes in mid-August at The Oval.Captain Misbah-ul-Haq is in 10th position and he is followed by Asad Shafiq (13th), Sarfraz Ahmed (19th) and Azhar Ali (20th).Australia’s Steve Smith leads the field and he is followed by Kane Williamson of New Zealand and South Africa’s Hashim Amla.In the MRF Tyres Player Rankings for Test Bowlers, Anderson is likely to slip from his one-number position after a shoulder injury has sidelined him from the Lord’s Test. As each player is docked one per cent of his points for each Test he misses, Anderson is set to drop behind India’s Ravichandaran Ashwin, whom he leads by six points.England’s third-ranked Stuart Broad will be the highest-ranked bowler going into the first Test. He is followed by Pakistan’s wrist-spinner Yasir Shah, who is still 24 wickets away from attaining the full ranking that comes with 100 Test wickets, but has a good chance of making it to the number one position this season. SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENT July 12, 2016center_img COMMENTS Ravichandran Ashwin tops the all-rounders list. File Photo   –  The Hindu cricket SHARE The minute difference in points between India, Pakistan and England throws up interesting scenarios ahead of the England-Pakistan Test serieslast_img read more