Sophomore outside hitter Khalia Lanier leaps into the air to spike the ball in a game against Cal at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. Photo by Kaan Demiroz | Daily TrojanThe No. 17 USC women’s volleyball team (16-7, 8-4 Pac-12) is back home after four straight away matches. On Friday, the Trojans host Arizona State, and on Sunday, they host Arizona.“This weekend we’re looking to have great games versus both Arizonas,” junior libero Victoria Garrick said. Last time the Women of Troy faced off against these two teams, they split their games. Out in Tucson, USC was stunned in a straight-sweep against the Wildcats (25-23, 25-17, 26-24). The team bounced back and picked up a four-set win in Tempe against the Sun Devils (19-25, 25-19, 25-20, 25-22). “We’re very excited for the Arizona game because they swept us,” Garrick said. “We were completely caught off guard. I don’t think we expected to lose the game, let alone get swept.”This time around, the Women of Troy will have home court advantage. As the Pac-12 is arguably the toughest conference for women’s volleyball, wins on the home court are vital. USC has fared well at the Galen Center: it has a home record of 6-1. The Trojans’ only loss at home was against then-No. 3 Stanford. Now the Cardinal has jumped up to No. 2 in the rankings. In its last four matches, USC has gone 2-2. Its offense has been missing a key component in sophomore outside hitter Khalia Lanier, who has been sidelined. In the team’s matches in Washington, freshman outside hitter Brooke Botkin continued to impress. Botkin had 30 kills on the weekend, a team high. She put up two aces and 18 digs. Rounding out the other side of USC’s attack are senior opposites Brittany Abercrombie and Niki Withers. The two combined for 52 kills in the team’s last two outings. “I know that [the Wildcats] should be a little frightened,” Garrick said. “We’re ready to get up for that match and really put the hammer on them.”To pick up two wins against the Arizona schools, the Women of Troy will need to rely on Botkin, Abercrombie and Withers. They’ll also need a resurgence of offensive strength from junior outside hitter Alyse Ford. While Ford did not play against the Huskies, she led the team with 14 kills two days later in their sweep of the Cougars. The Sun Devils are led by senior middle blocker Oluoma Okaro. Okaro has 385 kills on the season, averaging 4.48 kills per set. Arizona State’s offense is rounded out by freshman outside hitter Griere Hughes and sophomore outside hitter Ivana Jeremic. Hughes has 226 kills on the season, averaging by 2.94 kills per set. Jeremic has 221 kills on the season, averaging 2.76 kills per set. The Wildcats are led by a bevy of young talent. Freshman outside hitter Paige Whipple leads the team with 165 kills on the season, averaging 2.36 kills per set. Redshirt freshman outside hitter Elizabeth Shelton is second on the team with 132 kills on the season, averaging 2.10 kills per set. Freshman middle blocker Candice Denny is third on the list. Denny is seventh in the conference with a .356 hitting percentage overall and third in the conference with a .372 hitting percentage in league play. She’s on track to be the first freshman in program history to hit at least .350. The Women of Troy will have to limit powerful attacks from the Arizona schools to pick up two more wins at home.
The young people of Gianda Chiefdom, in Kpogbahn Statutory District #4, Grand Bassa County, have organized the Mighty Gianda Sports Association, (M-GISA), with Mr. Olu Diggs as the head of its interim leadership.According to Mr. Diggs, M-GISA will foster unity and reconciliation and development in the chiefdom. He noted that the association already has soccer and kickball teams and is considering organizing volleyball and basketball teams.He is calling on the youth of Gianda Chiefdom and those living elsewhere in the district to support the association for its growth.Diggs also urged officers and members, as well as supporters of the association to exhibit a high degree of sportsmanship and dedication for the betterment of M-GISA.He, however, said M-GISA needs materials, including footballs, jerseys and called on organizations and residents in the district to identify with them.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
But Roma’s Aleksandar Kolarov struck before half-time to spark a stirring fightback from the Serie A side.Former Manchester City forward Edin Dzeko bagged a brace after the interval to give Roma the lead, only for Hazard to spare Chelsea’s blushes with a late leveller.Chelsea remain two points clear of Roma at the top of Group C, but this was the latest in a growing list of alarming displays from the Premier League champions.Blues boss Antonio Conte reportedly held a lengthy inquest with his squad in the aftermath of Saturday’s shock 2-1 loss at Crystal Palace and this erratic performance — which extended their winless run to three matches — may well spark another dressing down from the Italian.After being penned into their own half early on, Chelsea conjured an electric counter, but Alvaro Morata, showing signs of rust after his injury lay-off, shot tamely at Roma goalkeeper Alisson Becker.Roma’s striker Edin Dzeko (C) celebrates after scoring his second goal against Chelsea with defender Aleksandar Kolarov at Stamford Bridge in London on October 18, 2017 © AFP / Adrian DENNISRoma were undaunted and Diego Perotti galloped forward for a stinging strike that whistled over.Brazil defender Luiz had been missing in action during that Roma raid, but the part-time midfielder recovered his bearings to put Chelsea ahead in the 11th minute.Stealing possession inside the Roma half, Luiz initially tried a defence-splitting pass, but when that was blocked, he seized on the rebound and curled a fine first-time finish past Becker from 20 yards.Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan wasted a golden chance to equalise when he shot straight at Thibaut Courtois.That miss seemed fatal for Roma when Hazard scored Chelsea’s second in the 37th minute.It was Hazard who started the attack, pouncing in midfield and picking out Morata.While Morata sized up his options, Hazard was sprinting into the Roma area, where he met his team-mate’s deft cross with a cool close-range finish.– Warning signs –Hazard’s first club goal of the season should have put Chelsea on cruise control, but they remained far from convincing and Roma were back in the game three minutes later.Kolarov took possession wide on the left edge of the Chelsea area, surged past Cesar Azpilicueta and blasted a fierce strike that deflected in off Andreas Christensen.Chelsea’s defender David Luiz celebrates after scoring during a UEFA Champions league match against Roma at Stamford Bridge in London on October 18, 2017 © AFP / Glyn KIRKRoma had won only once in their 15 games in England, but the way they were bossing possession suggested a memorable escape wasn’t out of the question.The warning signs were there when Courtois was forced to stick out a boot to stop Dzeko converting Kolarov’s cross early in the second half.Conte responded to Chelsea’s struggles by sending on Pedro for Luiz and moving Cesc Fabregas into a more defensive midfield role.But the switch failed to stem the tide and Roma equalised thanks to Dzeko’s moment of magic in the 64th minute.Federico Fazio spotted Dzeko’s run and lofted a perfectly-weighted high pass that dipped into the Bosnian’s path.Dzeko contorted his body in mid-air to meet the ball with a sublime volley that flashed past Courtois.Conte’s side were stunned, but Dzeko wasn’t finished yet and he put Roma ahead in the 70th minute.Kolarov’s inswinging free-kick caught Chelsea flat-footed and Dzeko headed home from close-range.But, just as Chelsea looked sunk, Hazard bailed them out, ghosting into the Roma area to equalise with a glancing header from Pedro’s 75th minute cross.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Chelsea’s midfielder Eden Hazard celebrates after scoring against Roma at Stamford Bridge in London on October 18, 2017 © AFP / Adrian DENNISLONDON, United Kingdom, Oct 18 – Eden Hazard came to Chelsea’s rescue after his side blew a two-goal lead in a dramatic 3-3 draw with Roma in the Champions League on Wednesday.Antonio Conte’s team looked on course for a comfortable victory at Stamford Bridge thanks to first half goals from David Luiz and Hazard at Stamford Bridge.