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Volleyball captain focuses on leadership to leave her mark

first_imgKatie Chin | Daily TrojanThis past week, Whittingham moved into the fourth position in all-time career digs at USC and is expected to move into third before she graduates.“She is a walk-on and she is setting records,” head coach Mick Haley said. “That is pretty darn special.”Whittingham is an inspiration to all walk-on athletes of what they can accomplish through hard work and perseverance. On top of that, she is also a leading force on the court for her teammates as her experience, her attitude and her presence on the court are something they have come to rely on.“She is such a calming force and is never freaking out,” freshman outside hitter Khalia Lanier said. “You just have to look to the veterans on the court and she keeps me in check.”Being chosen as captain is not something that Whittingham takes lightly either. Part of her impact on the court is through the younger players that have the chance to learn from her. However, she also feels as if she is constantly learning from them too, while helping to continue to build the legacy of USC’s program.“I really pride myself in being a calming force out there,” Whittingham said. “Any way that I can help others and that they can help me in return is something that is really important.”This season, Haley and the team had a taste of what it will be like without her, as she suffered an injury to her right knee that kept her off the court for a week. While a week is a small period of time in the grand scheme of injuries, not having the staple of their defense was felt by everyone.“There is no question it is a big difference not having Taylor out there,” Haley said. “If Taylor could have been playing with us against UCLA and Washington, we feel like we would have had a much better match in each of those situations and possibly could have won.“We want to have her in there even if it is one-legged,” Haley said, laughing.Her time out of the games was not much easier on Whittingham, as she always wants to be on the court making a difference. She had a lot of praise for the strength coaches helping her to get back so quickly — with a lot of rehab and icing — but also lauded her teammates for adjusting to her abrupt absence.“It was hard being on the sidelines, just wanting to contribute and help my team,” Whittingham said. “It was definitely a quick change and something they didn’t expect, but I think they did a great job when I wasn’t out there.”Her drive to make a difference is one of the many reasons she has been named a candidate for the 2016 Senior CLASS Award —  an award for NCAA Division I senior athletes who excel both on and off the court in the community, the classroom, their character and competition. Whittingham is the fourth candidate from USC to be nominated and the last since All-American libero Natalie Hagglund in 2013.Whittingham’s list of accomplishments in her time at USC is impressive given the countless hours she puts into the gym and school at the same time. She has a 3.00 cumulative GPA in both her major, communication, and minor, consumer behavior, has led the Pac-12 in digs in both the 2014 and 2015 season and is a three-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week winner.Off the court, she has participated in service projects at the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital and served as a counselor for USC’s annual inner-city outreach program. She was also a counselor for the Girl Scouts program in 2014-2015  and even found time to go to China with the Pac-12 All-Star Team in the summer of 2016 to put on free volleyball clinics.With all she has done for both the women’s volleyball team and the school itself, Whittingham has certainly established a legacy at USC. Whittingham’s influence and leadership are things that will stay with this team even after she is gone.last_img read more

Syracuse beat Boston College, but Paschal Chukwu and Marek Dolezaj aren’t progressing

first_imgCHESTNUT HILL, Mass. — For as well as Syracuse played in January, its prevailing weakness came inside the paint. Over the past several weeks, SU has watched chance after chance slip away. They’ve come in several forms: rebounds, pick-and-roll opportunities and altered shots. As the offense surged, the progression of SU bigs stagnated. Wednesday night in a 77-71 win over Boston College (11-8, 2-5 Atlantic Coast), Syracuse (15-6, 6-2) bounced back from a 22-point loss at Virginia Tech to pick up its eighth win in the last 10 games. SU is taking care of the games it needs to, and its perimeter shooting has surged. But senior center Paschal Chukwu and sophomore forward Marek Dolezaj, who rotate at the center position, have remained stuck in neutral. The bigs weren’t supposed to do this — not this season. They returned after a year of growth in 2017-18. And yet, they haven’t progressed to the level they need to for Syracuse to play with more consistency. “I know I need to do more,” Chukwu said last month. Chukwu wasn’t made available for a postgame interview after scoring two points and attempting only one field goal. He failed to both set a high-ball screen and roll successfully in one fluid sequence. He collected just four rebounds at 7-foot-2. While senior point guard Frank Howard said Chukwu’s been just what SU needs — “we’re happy in his play” — he’s sometimes indecisive in ball-screen scenarios. Against the Eagles, he mishandled a couple of dump-offs inside that would have given him easy looks at the basket had he caught the pass.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Our inside guys aren’t finishing around the basket bad(ly),” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “Our rebounding is atrocious. Our defense inside is not good.”Josh Shub-Seltzer | Staff PhotographerDolezaj was no better that Chukwu, finishing with three points and going 1-for-3 from the field. Dolezaj said Boeheim wants him to be more aggressive: “Shoot when I’m open,” is the message. Yet, he’s hesitated when freed-up after setting screens, and he’s missed looks inside. When Dolezaj didn’t make an open layup Wednesday, the Eagles got the rebound and scored a transition bucket. After the game, Boeheim spoke with a concerned tone when breaking down the Orange frontcourt. He knows his bigs can do more. And he knows they need to do more. Their emergence could go a long way for a Syracuse team looking to handle the better conference opponents ahead on the schedule.“I don’t know what he was doing the first 20 minutes in there,” Boeheim said of Chukwu. “He’s 7-foot-2. He’s there, he’s got to stop shots. (Ky) Bowman had two layups right at him.”Junior shooting guard Tyus Battle, who scored a game-high 31 points with six assists, said his bigs may lack confidence. Earlier in the season, sophomore forward Oshae Brissett also said they’re not assertive enough. It shows when they don’t go up strong in the paint. It shows when they don’t jump high for boards. And it shows when they get bodied up by players several inches shorter. Last March, Syracuse’s surprise Sweet 16 run was rooted in an air-tight defense that restricted interior drives, contested outside shots and minimized high-post presence. All of that stemmed from the bigs, specifically Chukwu and Dolezaj who patrolled the inside. They were active, altering shots and cutting away lanes. Their offensive production didn’t soar, but they held their own on both ends of the court — a sentiment players said is all the frontcourt needs to do. “We can’t miss up layups and give up offensive rebounds,” Dolezaj said Wednesday. A renewed frontcourt would further stretch out a progressing offense still trying to find its true form. Big man production, albeit in small amounts, would reinforce the bottom of the 2-3 zone and make teams more reliant on outside shots. That’s what Syracuse wants: opposing offenses to fall into one-dimensionality. SU bigs have showed, in spurts, what they’re capable of. They just have to produce with more regularity. “We’ve got to get more out of our inside guys,” Boeheim said. “We’re not going to be successful if we don’t get more from them.” Comments Published on January 30, 2019 at 11:29 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Miraculous Recovery! Chapecoense Survive Relegation One Year After Plane Crash

first_imgBrazilian side Chapecoense have miraculously survived relegation almost one year after 19 playing squad members lost their lives to a plane crash in Colombia.The Southern Brazilian side defeated Vitoria 2-1 at home on Thursday night to stay up in the championship with three set of matches left to play. Related During the game, fans chanted “Vamos, vamos Chape” (Let’s go Chape) at 71 minutes as they have been doing in the other games since the crash and it is in reference to the total number of victims from the crash.Brazilian football witnessed one of its darkest days on November 29, 2016 after a plane conveying the team to the Copa Sudamericana final crashed into a hillside near Medellin, killing 71 people including majority of Chape’s board and coaching staff and several journalists.Speaking on the epic achievement, De Melo, who left the club in 2015 before returning as one of the new signings, said: “We promised to keep the team in Serie A, which is where our warriors left us.”“We had a difficult year and their memory made us fight until the very end, so Chape remains in the topflight division for the fifth year in a row.“That is no small thing for a club of our financial capabilities, and a city from the countryside that endured so much.” he concluded.It was really brave of Chapecoense to turn down the immunity from relegation offered due to the team’s totally new squad. Fans had started regretting that decision until a run of victories in the last month eased the tension.last_img read more

UKGC fines independent bookmaker Mark Jarvis £94,000 for interaction failures

first_img Busy Blueclaw bags series of betting account wins August 12, 2019 StumbleUpon UKGC shows no uplift in illegal gambling complaints May 19, 2020 Related Articles Share Submit UKGC warns of white label conduct following FSB failings  May 6, 2020 The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has fined independent bookmaker Mark Jarvis £94,000 for failing to interact with a customer that displayed problem-gambling traits.Reporting over a period of 19-months, the UKGC details that Leicester highstreet bookmaker Mark Jarvis failed to follow adequate social responsibility procedures, relating to a customer who spent £34,000 on its B2 gaming machines.In its report, the UKGC further details that £11,250 of the funds had been stolen from the customer’s employer.Further to the penalty, the UKGC has demanded that Mark Jarvis overhaul its betting shop responsibility procedures, as its staff had failed to follow ‘customer interaction codes’, which would have alerted them the early signs of problem gambling.Richard Watson, Gambling Commission Executive Director, said: “This case is a clear example of why gambling operators must have and implement effective social responsibility policies and procedures. All operators, regardless of size, need to ensure they really know their customers”. Sharelast_img read more