Volleyball heads to San Diego for Invitational

first_imgTo win this week, it will be imperative for all the players to keep stepping up as they have been with the changing lineups.  The team is hoping for another sweep this weekend against non-conference teams as it will play 4-4 University of San Diego and 3-6 Long Beach State.  The Trojans will also need a stingy defense against a USD offense that already has 418 kills and 36 aces this season.  Some of USC’s veteran players could make their return this weekend. Senior outside hitter Khalia Lanier tried to come back after being cleared for her concussion this weekend but got sick during a match. Senior opposite hitter Emily Baptista is still not back from her knee injury.  Long Beach struggles with ball handling and block errors, which is a huge advantage for the Trojans offensively. It is important for the Trojans not to get too comfortable in non-conference contests, especially after the success of the past weekend. Both opposing teams have plenty of extremely versatile players that could pose as threats to USC. Freshman outside hitter Kalen Owes, who leads the Trojans with 97 kills, serves during USC’s 3-0 over Villanova at the Trojan Invitational. (Sinead Chang | Daily Trojan) “Lanier’s missed a lot of time,” Crouch said. “We haven’t won all the matches where people were out, but we were competitive against really good teams, and that’s great.” Head coach Brent Crouch said he has a good feeling about the team this year but acknowledged that this tournament will be difficult. Although USC hasn’t been at full strength recently, other players have stepped in to fill key roles. Senior middle blocker Jasmine Gross had an exceptional performance over the weekend and received Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors. Meanwhile, freshman outside hitter Kalen Owes was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week.  “Our team, because there are so many perfectionists, [is] learning how to work through mistakes when they happen because they are going to happen every game, every match at every level,” Crouch said. “Learning how to be OK with those and connecting and coming together — that is something we’ve been working on the last week.” CSULB is also a strong offensive team, with seven players who already have at least 20 kills this season. The Trojans won’t be able to take the Beach lightly, despite its unimpressive record. USD almost collected a sweep this weekend on the road, and it figures to bring plenty of confidence to the invitational against USC and CSULB. The Trojans have kept their errors under control, but USD has not been able to do the same, committing 149 errors this season. The Trojans will need to contain their own errors and take advantage of their opponents’ mistakes.  “There’s not a team we’ve played this year that I don’t think could beat us,” Crouch said. “If they are on fire, and they are playing well, and we lose a little focus or just don’t execute as well as we can, there is nobody that can’t beat us — and kind of vice versa.”  USC cannot make the same mistakes it has in previous road tournaments, such as making too many errors. It’s important for the Trojans to stay focused and engaged in the games and learn through the previous road mistakes to ensure two wins this weekend.  After winning the Trojan Invitational last weekend, the USC women’s volleyball team will head south to the University of San Diego Invitational No. 2 Thursday and Friday.last_img read more

Raiders lose timeout after Jon Gruden throws challenge flag inside of two minutes

first_imgPatrick Mahomes ➡️ Travis Kelce 🔥RT for a #ProBowlVote pic.twitter.com/OADNTEBl4u— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) December 2, 2018In real time, however, it was unclear if Kelce held on to the ball and completed the catch. So, Gruden decided to challenge the play and send a message to New York City.​But there were two problems. All scoring plays are automatically reviewed, and coaches aren’t allowed to throw a challenge flag inside of the last two minutes of a half. All scoring plays are automatically initiated by officials. Related News Jon Gruden cost the Raiders a timeout Sunday against the Chiefs.Kansas City star Patrick Mahomes appeared to find tight end Travis Kelce for a 6-yard touchdown with a little less than 10 seconds to play in the first half Sunday. “I knew exactly what I was doing, by the way. It wasn’t a very sensible thing to do,” Gruden said, via ProFootballTalk. “I wanted to challenge Al Riveron in New York City because I have people in the press box telling me that’s not a catch. Seeing plays overturned by somebody you can’t even see, I thought with three timeouts and seven seconds left I’d use one of my timeouts by giving Al a little extra time to look at that.”But I knew exactly what I was doing.”​​ The Raiders were docked a timeout because of Gruden’s mistake.#Raiders charged a timeout after Jon Gruden throws a challenge flag with less than 2 minutes to go in a half…— Paul Gutierrez (@PGutierrezESPN) December 2, 2018Oakland went on to fall to Kansas City 40-33. This loss dropped them to 2-10 this season. Cowboys WR Amari Cooper says he has more passion in Dallaslast_img read more