Hot off UCLA win, men’s volleyball will play GCU

first_imgThe USC men’s volleyball team plays No. 14 Grand Canyon University Friday evening.Redshirt junior outside hitter Jack Wyett jumps to go for the kill. Austin Paik | Daily TrojanThe team is coming off its biggest win of the season, with a down-to-the-wire 3-2 victory over crosstown rival UCLA on Senior Night. Coming into the game, UCLA was the No. 3 team in the nation riding a five-game win streak. Meanwhile, USC had just lost two games straight to UC Irvine and Pepperdine, respectively, two schools the Bruins had defeated. However, the Trojans took head coach Jeff Nygaard’s comments to heart about trusting the process and honoring their four seniors: setter Gert Lisha, outside hitter Jack Wyett, opposite hitter Jon Rivera and middle blocker Conor Inlow. As a former Olympian himself, Nygaard made sure to give every senior the reverence he knows they deserve, inserting Rivera into the starting lineup alongside the three other seniors. The rest of the players did their part in respecting their graduating teammates. Junior outside hitter Gianluca Grasso had 20 kills, two aces and two blocks while hitting .441 to lead the Trojans, while freshman middle blocker Sam Lewis added ten kills and five blocks. Usual starting opposite hitter Ryan Moss came off the bench to record nine kills, one ace and two blocks. It was Nygaard’s first victory over his alma mater, where he was a two-time National College Player of the Year in the mid-1990s, in six games.Meanwhile, Grand Canyon is coming off an easy 3-0 win against Benedictine University at Mesa on their own Senior Night for GCU’s nine graduating players. Their senior class is arguably the most important in the program’s brief history to date (GCU became the first for-profit university to participate in NCAA D-I athletics in 2004). Some of their accomplishments include reaching the 2017 MIVA finals, remaining in the top 15 for every week of this season, and compiling the best four-year win total in program history. Senior outside hitter Shalev Saada led the Lopes with 14 kills and seven digs on a .524 hitting percentage. Senior setters Puna Kaniho and Zachary Melcher split time, with Melcher leading GCU with two aces and 23 assists, while Kaniho drew the start and recorded 11 assists. All in all, Grand Canyon head coach Matt Werle made sure to play every single one of his seniors as a testament to all they have contributed to the program’s remarkable success over the past four years.For GCU, this will be their final game of the season, while USC has one more at Concordia University in Irvine after playing GCU. Now with a 7-17 record on the year, including a 3-7 record in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play, the Trojans look to build upon the momentum of the Senior Night festivities with two strong wins over two ranked schools. Both games have playoff implications in terms of USC’s seed.According to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation website, USC would clinch the MPSF Tournament’s No. 4 seed and quarterfinal home court with two wins this week.If USC splits the games, they will need to beat Concordia and lose to GCU. This is the only way that USC could earn the four seed in a possible four-way tie when factoring in Stanford — if the Cardinal wins once this week.If the Trojans, Eagles, Antelopes and Cardinal all finish with four MPSF wins, they would all have a 3-3 record in matches against each other. If USC wins 3-0 against CUI and loses 3-2 vs. GCU, USC’s set record vs. the tied teams would be 14-12 for the highest percentage within that tied group.Essentially, the Trojans can control their own destiny by securing victories in their two remaining matches; a single win or two losses makes things a bit more complicated. Regardless of what happens, it will be very interesting to see on Friday night if USC has finally flipped the switch on during this rollercoaster of a season.last_img read more

Sim game Saturday will be a two-for-one – Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill to throw

first_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Dodgers’ Justin Turner looking rejuvenated on defense LOS ANGELES — Rich Hill is going to hitch a ride with Clayton Kershaw on Saturday.Kershaw is scheduled to throw a simulated game, four innings and approximately 60 pitches to hitters, as possibly a final test before returning from the DL next week. Hill will join him and throw two or three simulated innings as well.“Rich is very antsy right now and wants to keep his arm in shape,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He’s going to have it (the blister) covered as I understand it. But, yeah, he’s going to take part in it.”Hill has been throwing on a daily basis since going to the DL with the latest incarnation of his blister problems, whether it was playing catch in the outfield or throwing off the mound in the bullpen before games. But he has kept his middle finger covered with medical tape whenever he was throwing. Hill has said he would like to seek permission from MLB to pitch in games with his finger taped, equating it to a hitter’s ability to use padding and batting gloves to play when they have blisters on their hands. It’s unclear how Hill would go about making that request but Roberts said “I know he’s reached out and we’ve reached out and wanted to see if there’s some way we can have a conversation and see if there’s a way he can tape it up or something, not using it as an advantage.”Nothing has come of that yet.Meanwhile, Kershaw will test his recovery from biceps tendinitis by throwing to hitters for the first time since his start on May 1. If Kershaw passes the test, the earliest he could rejoin the rotation would be Thursday against the Philadelphia Phillies, the final game of this homestand.“Obviously arm strength and health is no. 1,” said Roberts who stood in the batter’s box for some of Kershaw’s bullpen session on Wednesday. “I think his last ’pen he was close to 50 pitches, something like that. But he wasn’t executing the way he would like. As you’re talking about activating a player, you want that to trend in the right way. And I know Clayton would want that too. He’s going to use his pitch mix and see the execution and how the ball’s coming out.”OKC UPDATESOutfielder Andrew Toles remains in Arizona working out at the Dodgers’ Camelback Ranch complex and recovering from a hamstring injury suffered on April 13. Toles was “ramping up” to return to game action almost two weeks ago when he aggravated the injury and had to back off.Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi said Toles is getting close to starting a rehab assignment (or simply returning to games with Triple-A Oklahoma City) and could be playing games in a week to 10 days. Toles hit .462 (12 for 26) with four doubles, a home run and seven RBIs in six games at Triple-A before suffering the injury.The OKC Dodgers have been hit by more injuries recently. Outfielder Alex Verdugo is currently day-to-day with an ankle injury, though he hasn’t officially been placed on the DL. Infielder Donovan Solano is on the DL after suffering a hamstring injury earlier this week. Solano (who was playing shortstop primarily but also played second and third base) was the OKC Dodgers’ best hitter with a .370 average and .926 OPS.UP NEXTPadres (RHP Jordan Lyles, 1-1, 3.11 ERA) at Dodgers (LHP Alex Wood, 1-4, 3.32 ERA), Saturday, 7:10 p.m., SportsNet LA (where available), MLB Network (out of market only) Whicker: Dustin May yet another example of the Dodgers’ eye for pitching “It’s healing really well,” Hill said. “I think once the training staff says that I could (throw without the tape on). I feel like I could right now but that’s not really my call. It looks great now. It’s pretty much healed.“We’ll figure it out in the next couple days, I guess. Facing hitters will be good just to stay sharp.”Roberts has set an estimate of four weeks before Hill is back in the Dodgers’ starting rotation and doesn’t seem ready to back off of that even as Hill pushes forward.“It is healing well,” Roberts said. “But as he’s been playing catch and throwing the sim game, it has been covered. You still have to understand that when he goes out there and it’s not covered and you expect him to throw a certain number of pitches that we’re still not out of harm’s way. It’s still going to take some time.Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.“So for him to throw as much as he wants to throw as long as he keeps it covered up, there really is no downside. So now the question is how long can he throw without (the medical tape) to show … he’s ready and can sustain health? We’re not to that point.”center_img Dodgers’ Dave Roberts says baseball’s unwritten rules ‘have changed, should change’ Related Articles Dodgers bench slumping Cody Bellinger for a day Dodgers’ hot-hitting Corey Seager leaves game with back injury last_img read more

Cunningham, Torres Earn Volleyball Weekly Awards

first_imgShe hit .475 for the match, adding a pair of blocks and finished with a double-double after totaling 16 digs. Cunningham’s 29 kills Saturday give her a new a career high and the most by any Southland Conference player this season. Cunningham continues to lead the league in kills per set with her 3.91 mark nearly a half kill per set higher than anyone else in the league, while her .340 attack percentage is the third best in the league. Cunningham had a match for the ages Oct. 6 in a Sam Houston (11-5, 3-1 SLC) win over Abilene Christian. The Bearkats host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Tuesday before traveling to Louisiana for a Thursday matchup at Nicholls, and then a Saturday afternoon affair at New Orleans. Defensive Player of the Week: Marisabel Torres, Stephen F. Austin – Fr. – Libero – Pearland, TexasThe freshman libero received the starting nod in both of SFA’s matches this past week and proceeded to put forth a solid two-match stretch of floor defense. Against Southeastern Louisiana, Torres scooped up 17 digs before one-upping that performance and racing down a career-best 26 digs in a 3-1 come-from-behind victory at Northwestern State. That dig total represents the most in a match by a Ladyjacks’ player this season. Torres and SFA (19-2, 6-0 SLC) continued with their stellar defense last week during wins over Southeastern Louisiana and Northwestern State. The results move the Ladyjacks’ winning streak to 16 – the nation’s second-longest active streak. The victories also mean that Stephen F. Austin remains perfect in Southland Conference action this season. SFA puts those streaks on the line Thursday when they play at UIW. Cunningham claimed offensive and defensive player of the week honors last month. FRISCO, Texas – Sam Houston State’s Taylor Cunningham and Stephen F. Austin’s Marisabel Torres are the Southland Conference Volleyball Players of the Week, the league announced Monday. All weekly awards are presented by MidSouth Bank.center_img Honorable Mention: Paige Havel, McNeese; Emily Doss, UCA Offensive Player of the Week: Taylor Cunningham, Sam Houston – Sr. – Middle Blocker – Huntsville, TexasThe senior middle blocker took a career-high 59 swings against the Wildcats, taking full advantage with 29 kills and an astonishing one error in the four-set Bearkats’ win. Southland weekly award winners are nominated and voted upon by each school’s sports information director. Voting for one’s own athlete is not permitted. To earn honorable mention, a student-athlete must appear on 25 percent of ballots. Honorable Mention: Samantha Anderson, UCAlast_img read more