TENNIS : Drop shot: Jensen sees most cohesive unit in 5-year tenure despite loss of key trio

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on January 26, 2011 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Emily Harman walked off the court without finishing her match.Notre Dame had clinched a victory over the Syracuse tennis team in the second round of the 2010 Big East tournament, and there was nothing Harman could do about it. She left the court with the empty, disappointed feeling because her match could not make a difference.After congratulating her opponent, she and the Syracuse team trudged through the inclement weather to the van. The players and coaches piled in for the long drive that would conclude their season. Before they made their way back to Syracuse, however, the team had a talk.Head coach Luke Jensen congratulated his team on its hard work to get to the tournament. Every girl spoke about what the season had meant to her.‘It was a very emotional moment for all of us,’ Harman said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThat was just the start of a whirlwind, emotional offseason for SU. In the nine months since the loss to Notre Dame, three key players have dropped off the roster, including C.C. Sardinha, a freshman last season who moved up to the No. 1 singles spot, and Eleanor Peters, who had the most collective wins of any member of the Orange.Despite this, however, Jensen thinks the Orange has solidified into a more cohesive team. And in his fifth year at the helm of a Syracuse program he built from the ground up, Jensen will rely on the seniors of his first recruiting class, combined with a mix of youth, to get over the loss of those two players and departing senior Chelsea Jones. And to aim for his No. 1 target: Notre Dame.‘Notre Dame is our target,’ Jensen said. ‘It’s got to be our target.’That won’t be easy with the losses. Sardinha transferred to Oklahoma State shortly after SU’s loss in the Big East tournament. She was a highly touted recruit who quickly worked her way up from the bottom of SU’s singles lineup to the top. She went 16-5 in singles play last season.Sardinha informed the coaching staff of her decision shortly after the Big East tournament. Jensen said she left to be closer to her grandmother. But Harman thought she was considering the move even before the tournament.‘I didn’t know personally from her,’ Harman said. ‘I had my suspicions, but you never know with collegiate teams.’Peters was unable to return to the team because she wasn’t granted a redshirt year, Jensen said. Peters hovered around the middle of the lineup but had the most wins of anyone on the team.Jensen said Peters is playing in professional tournaments near her home in Washington, D.C. Harman and Jensen also said Peters is another huge, unexpected loss to the team.And the last part of those losses is Jones, a departing senior who walked on to the team the year before Jensen took over as the head coach. Jones hadn’t been on the professional circuit, unlike all of SU’s younger players. Despite being a strong doubles player, she was unable to provide the same experience on the court.With those three important pieces gone, SU will rely on three freshmen to fill the void: Maddie Kobelt, Aleah Marrow and Eva Raszkiewicz. The time they’ve spent playing professional tournaments has put them in a good position to do so.‘They’ll fight their tails off to the very end, and that’s what we need,’ Harman said. ‘No negative energy at all. It’s great to be with them. It’s great to have them on the team. They make me better every day.’This group of recruits contributes to the cohesiveness of the team because they buy into what the team is doing, Jensen said. College has more of a team aspect than playing on the pro circuit, and Jensen tries to emphasize that with his players.Each of those recruits brings something unique to the Orange. Jensen thinks Marrow is the best athlete he has had in his five years at SU. Raszkiewicz came over from Europe after much convincing from Jensen. And Kobelt has one of the best all-around games Jensen has seen at Syracuse.But the attitude of cohesion is what stood out most to Kobelt when she visited SU.‘What stuck in my mind was the attitude that the girls had,’ she said. ‘All the girls on this team — even though they were dead in the battle of their matches — they were all cheering for themselves and cheering for their teammates and being supportive.’And the second part of replacing those players includes Jensen’s first recruiting class — now seniors — stepping up. Seniors Christina Tan and Simone Kalhorn, who were already captains last year with the absence of more experienced seniors, will lead the way. Tan said beyond their ability on the court, however, it is their familiarity with SU tennis in particular that has helped the recruits.‘We’ve been through the program for three and a half years now, so the experience is there,’ Tan said. ‘In terms of knowing exactly what’s going on and really helping the newer ones with everything, with on-court stuff and off-court stuff.’The cohesion of the team also leads to an even playing field and tight competition. Tan said the entire team has a pretty even skill level, so anyone could end up at No. 1 on any given week.After close challenge matches, Alessondra Parra earned that spot for this weekend’s matches. This will be the first time in her two and a half seasons at SU that Parra will move above No. 3.‘I think we have a team that is very equal,’ Jensen said. ‘Usually on a team you get one, two, maybe three players that set themselves apart from everybody else. But this year we truly have the deepest team, the most solid across the board.’The defeat in the Big East tournament and the loss of Jones, Peters and Sardinha set SU back. At the beginning of the fall, there was no knowing what would become of the eight players who showed up for fall tennis. Yet after just a few months of playing together, the team has become a single unit. And despite the losses, Jensen thinks he has a better squad than last season.Jensen said if the 2011 team were to play the 2010 team, the former would win simply because it’s a ‘better collective.’This collective now has one objective: beat Notre Dame. Jensen said this is the goal. Harman should not have to walk off the court mid-match unless it is for a Syracuse victory.Not individual glory. Not wins against lesser teams. Notre Dame.‘They’re the dominant team in our conference,’ Jensen said. ‘They’re a dominant team in the nation. If we can beat Notre Dame, we can beat anybody.’alguggen@syr.edulast_img read more

Trojan athletes receive end-of-season awards

first_imgAs the dust settles on USC sports for the 2017-2018 year, student-athletes and coaches were selected for awards in their respective fields.Caryl Smith GilbertCaryl Smith Gilbert was named the Coach of the Year by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Smith Gilbert, who just concluded her fifth season at USC, led the Trojans to their first Pac-12 Championship in over 20 years and their first outdoor title since 2001, edging out second-place Georgia, which won the men’s championship, and third-place Stanford. The Pac-12 Coach of the Year’s players won eight of the 21 events at the NCAA championship as well as setting numerous USC records throughout the year.Quincy WattsQuincy Watts was awarded the Men’s Assistant Coach of the Year by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Watts, who is in his fifth season on staff, is regarded as a Trojan legend himself, consistently ranked in the top 10 in the 400m during his time at USC. He also won a gold medal in the 1993 world championships. He was recognized this year for his work with Men’s Track Athlete of the Year Michael Norman, as well as for helping the team finish fourth at the NCAA championships.Kerrigan MillerSophomore Kerrigan Miller was named to the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association All-America third team. (Daily Trojan file photo).While the men’s and women’s track and field team stacked awards at the end of their season, the women’s lacrosse team also had a player recognized for her on-field performance. Kerrigan Miller, a sophomore from New York was named to the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association All-America third team this year. After being heralded as the nation’s No. 1 recruit for the 2016-2017 class, Miller has lived up to lofty expectations thus far in her first two seasons. After leading the Trojans with 31 turnovers forced and a selection on the IWLCA All-West/Midwest Region Second Team in her first season, Miller improved by making the region’s First Team, and forced 40 turnovers, good for most on USC and in the Pac-12 Conference. Michael NormanMichael Norman, who just concluded his sophomore season, was named Men’s Track Athlete of the Year by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. After an injury freshman year that hampered his performance, the former National Gatorade Track Athlete of the Year exploded in his second season with USC. Like   Watts once did, Norman specialized in the 400m and with a time of 43.61 seconds. He now holds the collegiate record that was previously held by Texas A&M’s Fred Kerley. Norman was also a part of another record, this time in the 400m relay, where he teamed up with senior Ricky Morgan Jr., junior Rai Benjamin and freshman Zach Shinnick to post a blazing 2:59:00. Norman has since decided to forgo his eligibility and turn pro, although he will remain at USC to finish his undergraduate degree. Norman is also a semifinalist for the Bowerman, an honor awarded to the nation’s most outstanding track and field athlete. Along with fellow semifinalist Benjamin, Norman will look to become the first USC student-athlete to win the award.last_img read more

Three Men Found Guilty of Brutal Murder of Indian-Origin Elderly Jeweler in UK

first_imgThree men in their twenties were found guilty for the ruthless assault and murder of an elderly Indian-origin jeweler who went missing in Leicester on Jan. 24, 2018.Ramniklal Jogiya, 74, was abducted when he was on his back from his shop at Belgrave Road, and was later found dead in a lane nearby. After a five-week trial, the Birmingham Crown Court found Thomas Jervis, 24, and Charles Frances Mcauley, 20, guilty of murder on Aug.8. The third convict, 20-year-old Callan Reeve, was found guilty of manslaughter. They will be sentenced on Sept. 10. The three had earlier admitted to abduction and robbery.  A fourth defendant, Javon Roach, 30, was acquitted of all charges. The court heard that the accused bundled Jogiya in a van, threw his mobile phone away, before torturing and beating him in an attempt to get the security codes for the alarm system and safe at his shop. The men wanted to steal the £200,000 of gold jewelry that the safe contained, the court was told, according to the BBC. Jurors were told that the victim suffered multiple serious injuries to his hands and fingers, one of his biceps was ripped away from the bone, and six of his ribs on the left side were broken, the Sun reported. He also suffered 21 distinctive circular injuries to the torso and shoulder area, suggesting that something was used to inflict repeated pain on him, the report added.The incident had been planned by the convicts for weeks, the court was informed. “Rarely have I investigated a crime so wicked and ruthless. The depravity, inhumanity and utter contempt they showed for their victim has caused untold anguish for his family and stunned the whole community,” Chief Inspector David Swift-Rollinson from Leicestershire Police said. “The only possible comfort left for the family is that the people responsible for this terrible crime will now be locked up for a very long time.”The investigation, which was initiated as a search for a missing person, was turned into a murder investigation within 12 hours. The police examined several CCTV footages that showed Jogiya locking up the shop and beginning his walk back, while other images showed three men jumping out of a white transit van parked on Brandon Street and bundling the shopkeeper into the vehicle. Another footage showed that about 50 minutes later, a man dressed in a burka and pulling a shopping trolley entered Jogiya’s shop. This person was seen deactivating the shop alarm, going to the back of the shop where the safe was kept, and emerging a little while later, seemingly empty-handed.Realizing that the safe could not be accessed due to a 12-hour clock, the attackers drove away from the crime scene and dumped the injured man in a countryside, knowing he would not be able to get help there. “Although he was still alive at this point, the injuries he had suffered were so severe that he could not be saved,” David Swift-Rollinson said. Related ItemsLeicesterUnited Kingdomlast_img read more