CMC – WEST Indies women have been placing heavy emphasis on personal fitness, even though the novel coronavirus pandemic has ruled out any possibility of on-field action for the foreseeable future.Lead selector Ann Browne-John said each member of the squad had been issued with fitness plans, allowing them to remain in shape in preparation for the resumption of international cricket.“In the interim from a senior team perspective, I’m aware that all the coaches and all the training staff have given the girls work to do that they can be doing at their home even if they’re on lockdown,” Browne-John told DBS Radio here.“We’ve seen videos where so many people are doing work in their home gyms, on their balconies, in their yards; so our girls are doing the same, and they have their programmes and we hope when they’re able to come back to camp or when we’re able to start back any series, that they’ll be fit, raring and ready to go.“So, I know the coaches are in contact with them constantly and we hope that we all will get through this safely.”West Indies Women were preparing for a hectic schedule before the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis, which disrupted the Caribbean and global cricket itinerary.The regional side were scheduled to be involved for their respective territories in the Regional Super50 Cup in Guyana starting last month, before taking on South Africa Women in a five-match One-Day International series from May 30 to June 10 in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.They were also expected to feature in World Cup qualifiers in Sri Lanka in June and July, in preparation for next year’s 50-overs World Cup in New Zealand.While neither international assignment has been officially cancelled, they are highly unlikely to take place, leaving the Caribbean side devoid of match practice.However, Browne-John said the safety of all players amidst the pandemic remained the priority for administrators.“The coronavirus is affecting all aspects of life in the entire world. This is something that is unprecedented and it is also affecting sports, sportsmen and sportswomen worldwide,” she explained.“As the Caribbean public would be aware, cricket has not been spared, so it has badly affected not only men’s cricket,but girls cricket, boys, juniors and everybody.“It has come at a time when West Indies women had a lot of cricket ahead of us because South Africa was supposed to come … and then we were supposed to have the World Cup qualifiers and before that we had the regional tournament … and the Under-19 girls’ tournament that was to be held in Trinidad and Tobago.”She continued: “But it has affected everyone and we just have to ensure that the players remain safe, that when this is all finished, we have all the players available to return to cricket.”West Indies Women are coming off a poor showing in the T20 World Cup in Australia earlier this year when they failed to reach the semi-finals for the first time in six appearances, after winning just one in four matches to finish third in their group.
Silverstein stressed his belief that the team won’t be “truly satisfied” until it completes a clean sweep of the season, winning every tournament it enters. The Trojans’ competitions include the Windy City Collegiate Invitational starting at the end of September, Stanford Intercollegiate in October and the Pac-12 Preview in November. The Trojans will play throughout the weekend in a tough competition field that includes No. 10 Pepperdine and No. 2 Arizona State. As for the rest of the season, the men’s team will compete in several tournaments including the Nike Collegiate in Portland, Ore. and the Cypress Point Classic at Pebble Beach. As the men’s team is coming in at No. 11 in the Golf Coaches Association of America’s preseason poll, the expectations will certainly be high for the team at the invite in Scottsdale, Ariz. The starting lineup includes senior Kyle Suppa, junior Issei Tanabe, junior transfer Leon D’Souza, freshman Yuxin Lin and sophomore Charlie Reiter. “[Lin] is playing some really good golf,” Zambri said. “His game looks like he’s ready to make a huge impact right now.” Men’s head coach Chris Zambri and women’s head coach Justin Silverstein said that they placed emphasis on competition amongst the players in the preseason. Both teams held intrasquad competitions where the five strongest performers earned spots in the starting lineup. “It’s a process for sure,” junior Jennifer Chang said. “Obviously we had a great year last year and, you know, we just want to keep it going, keep that momentum.” The men’s golf season begins this weekend as USC hits the road for the Maui Jim Invitational, while the women start off at the Annika Invitational Monday. The Trojans are debuting fresh faces and hoping for successful results at both courses. Zambri also suggested that although Suh’s talent will be missed, the Trojans’ depth may make them a better all-around team this season. According to senior Kyle Suppa, the team’s objective this season is placing well in tournaments to establish a solid ranking for the postseason. “Every tournament our goal is to win,” Suppa said. “That’s our main focus … We have to avoid bad tournaments because that can really hurt our ranking and affect our seeding going into the postseason.” WGCA, Golf Week and Golf Channel all ranked the women’s golf team No. 1 in their preseason polls. Coming off a seven-win season with all ten players returning, Silverstein’s squad is experienced and looking to continue its success. “I think we’re a little deeper this year than we were last year, and so it’s going to be hard for anyone to match the kind of year that Justin had, the kind of career that he had, but everyone clearly is hoping to,” Zambri said. “But even if we weren’t to get that kind of performance out of any one person, in total, I think we have a better team this year. “I think we’re so talented and so deep, that it helps prepare us for the end of the season with the tougher teams,” Silverstein said. As the competition season begins, both the men’s and women’s teams hope to prove that the work they put in during the preseason will show on the course. Their performances this weekend will indicate if the men’s team can recover from the loss of a star player and if the women’s team can maintain its all-star reputation. The women’s team will be heading to Lake Elmo, Minn. to compete in the Annika Invitational Monday. As a past champion of the event, the Trojans will face the top competitors in women’s college golf with No. 6 UCLA, No. 12 Arizona and No. 10 ASU all in the 54-hole stroke play. The starting lineup includes senior Aiko Leong, senior Allisen Corpuz, junior Jennifer Chang, junior Gabriela Ruffels and junior Alyaa Abdulghany. After losing two-time All-American Justin Suh last season, whom Zambri called USC’s best men’s golfer ever, the Trojans will have to find strength in their younger players. The Maui Jim Invitational marks Lin’s first appearance in a college tournament, and Zambri is expecting big things out of the freshman.