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Women of Troy have quick turnaround for Friday game

first_imgKyleen Hengelhaupt | Daily TrojanStanding tall · Junior outside hitter Niki Withers had 13 kills in USC’s loss on Wednesday. The Women of Troy face Washington on Friday.After a tough loss to UCLA on Wednesday, the Women of Troy (8-4) look for redemption in Friday’s game against Washington (10-1). The Trojans lost to the Bruins in four sets, ending their 8-match winning streak. This weekend, they look to defeat Washington and continue working on their team communication. Though Wednesday’s match was a letdown for Trojan fans, various players stepped up to help the team. For example, junior middle blocker Jordan Dunn recorded six kills and put up four blocks against the Bruins. Junior outside hitter Niki Withers had 13 kills, while sophomore libero Victoria Garrick had a career high 24 digs during the game. The Trojans believe that they can bounce back for Friday’s game. “My focus has to be all the good things we did tonight and how much better we improved in some things,” head coach Mick Haley said. “This gave us a really good look at where we can improve to get better.”Friday will be a quick turnaround for the Trojans, especially since no one likes losing to the Bruins. However, Washington will be a good game for the Trojans to work on correcting their mistakes. Because the games are so close together, Haley said they won’t be able to get much better or improve too much in the one day they have between games. “We have to gut this Friday match out,” Haley said. “We are not going to get better or improve, but we certainly are gonna have some experiences from this that are gonna help us a little bit.”For Friday, both Haley and junior setter Reni Meyer-Whalley believe there are little things they can tweak to improve their game. The team primarily needs to emphasize communication and ball control in order to be successful this weekend. Haley said that because the team is so young, there are still small errors that they make which can be fixed with concentration and experience.“We have to focus on strategies and correcting some leaks in our reception patterns, working on whose ball is whose,” Haley said. “We have to emphasize ball control. We must have lost 5 or 7 points on just not handling the ball well. That is something we can correct with concentration and passing.”Meyer-Whalley echoed this sentiment, saying that when the ball is on their side of the court, the team needs to work on both controlling the ball and bettering the ball. She also explained that there must be a rhythm between the setters and the hitters, and once that comes, the team will be hitting a lot more balls. They have to work on trusting each other as well. “We can’t start a match with ease, you have to go in fighting,” Meyer-Whalley said. “Our body language has to be that we are ready to fight from the beginning. We have to build some momentum, because it takes momentum away from the other team.” The Women of Troy will face the University of Washington Friday night at 7 p.m. at Galen Center.last_img read more

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This Syracuse softball player is an Olympic hopeful for Team Mexico

first_imgOne day last year, Lailoni Mayfield walked into a Walmart near campus. She asked an employee where the chips were located in the store. “They told me to check the international food aisle,” Mayfield said. “That just really caught me off guard.”The subtle discriminatory comment struck Mayfield. Growing up in Cerritos, California, near Los Angeles, she said she was exposed to multiple cultures. Mayfield said that when she travels, she feels unwelcome only occasionally. Mayfield, a sophomore in Syracuse University’s College of Arts & Sciences, moved across the country last fall to start college. She was homesick. She missed her family and the place where she grew up. Returning home during winter break rejuvenated her, she said. Mayfield started in 31 of the 37 games she played in as a freshman on the SU softball team. In July, the sophomore tried out for the Mexican National Team. There were 80 high school and college players there for only a few spots. At the end of the eight-hour tryout, Mayfield was the only one selected for the team. She spent a week representing her country. AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“When I played for Team Mexico, we were looked at as the team that didn’t have a lot of money.” Mayfield said. “Yes, we don’t have a lot of money. But it was the first time I got looked at as, you know, less in a way.”Mayfield’s Mexican roots can be traced back to her mother, Miriam, and her grandparents. Her mother was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, a six-hour drive from Mexico City. Miriam migrated with her parents to the United States when she was 18 months old. Mayfield said the transition to the U.S. from Mexico proved so difficult for her grandparents that it resulted in a divorce. In September 1999, two decades later, Mayfield was born. Miriam was 21 years old. “For me, it’s immense pride when I think that I could have become a statistic,” Miriam said. “I wasn’t married with her dad. She’s doing 10,000 times better than I was.”Mayfield is a first-generation college student. When she played on the Mexican National Team, her mother said, that symbolized her growing connection to her Mexican roots. Mayfield said she wants to grow closer to her heritage, and playing for Team Mexico next summer will help her achieve that goal. She said she wants to play in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.“To wear that Mexican jersey is such a moment of pride for me and my family,” Miriam said. “She is an American-born athlete who still recognizes that she is Mexican. That’s a wonderful thing.”Mayfield is part Mexican and Filipino. She does not speak fluent Spanish — she spoke English throughout her formative years. Spanish was her first language because it’s how she communicated with her Mexican grandparents, who spoke Spanish with her. Now, she’s almost two and a half semesters through her college career at SU. She knows there “aren’t a lot of Mexicans here at all.”“It would be nice if Syracuse recruited more Mexicans to the school,” Mayfield said.Dr. Richard E. Lapchick, president of The Institute for Sport and Social Justice, said there is a “very small percentage” of college athletes, coaches, administrators and athletic directors who are Latino. “There’s not much of an expectation to have a large percentage of Latinos in Division I,” Lapchick said.Laura Angle | Digital Design EditorEarly this year, his Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport released the 2017 College Sport Racial and Gender Report Card. Of the total male student-athlete population across Divisions I, II and III in the 2016-17 academic year, Latinos represented 5.7 percent. Of the total female student-athletes across all divisions, Latinas represented 5.2 percent. “Whenever a coach of color is hired, any student athlete of color will feel the process of inclusion is opening,” he said. “There has to be a diverse pool of candidates mandated by the NCAA or the university itself to better foster inclusivity in college athletics.” To continually embrace her heritage, Mayfield said she puts her family and Christianity at the forefront. Every night, she talks with her mother over FaceTime. She helps her younger brother, Nathan, on his homework and baseball swing. She attends North Central Church on Buckley Road in Syracuse. She has the app, “Sprinkle of Jesus,” with the long-term vision that she can “use religion to positively impact the world.”Moving forward, Mayfield said she plans to get dual citizenship — the U.S. and Mexico — so that she can travel to compete for Team Mexico. “I pray for her every night,” Miriam said. “When we FaceTime at the end of the day, we focus on the positive thing that happened that day. I tell her to think back to her 9-year-old-self and what she was dreaming about then. She’s living it now.” Comments Published on September 20, 2018 at 12:45 am Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more