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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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George Kittle’s evolution into NFL star latest example of Iowa’s tight end pipeline

first_imgKittle — who has consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and has emerged as one of the game’s best blocking tight ends — can do both. That he mentioned Clark first among that list of tight ends isn’t an accident.MORE: A new standard: The ripple effects if the 49ers win sixth Super BowlClark is part of an Iowa pipeline that has produced 11 draft picks at the position since Kirk Ferentz took over in 1999. Clark was a first-round pick in 2003 and lived up to the billing with the Colts. Kittle, however, was a fifth-round selection in 2017. One might wonder how that happened, given the talent the 6-4, 250-pound tight end has flashed with the 49ers.Go back to the pipeline to find the answer.YearPlayerRound2000Austin Wheatley52003Dallas Clark12004Erik Jensen72005Tony Jackson62007Scott Chandler42009Brandon Myers62010Tony Moeaki32014C.J. Fiedorowicz32017George Kittle52019T.J. Hockenson12019Noah Fant1Ferentz likes to joke that, every time Iowa lost a game when he was an assistant coach under Hayden Fry in the 1980s, his wife would say they didn’t throw to the tight end enough. That wasn’t a problem with Kittle, even if he proved to be a late bloomer in college.”That is one of the things people maybe failed to appreciate in the NFL,” Ferentz told Sporting News. “When I was coaching there for six years, sometimes in scouting you forget that guys have the potential to grow and improve when they get to the NFL. George is a great illustration of that. He was a late bloomer in high school and fair to say that happened out of college, too.”Ferentz said Kittle, whose father Bruce was a captain on the 1981 Rose Bowl team and mother Jan was a basketball star at Drake, was a late add in the recruiting process. He was a 6-3, 200-pounder who had potential at either tight end or outside linebacker. (Getty Images) https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/62/f6/george-kittle-022020-getty-ftrjpg_cphm891yf1c61wcqysm1pwejo.jpg?t=-227006625&w=500&quality=80 “I can’t remember seeing any tight end block like he has consistently,” Ferentz said. “It’s been very, very impressive. A lot of credit goes to George.”That’s great for Iowa’s tight end pipeline, which Kittle can now rep on the biggest stage in football.”We try not to screw ’em up if we get a good one,” Ferentz said. “He was a really good player here, but he’s beyond really good right now. He’s just playing super football. As a coach, you appreciate that.” Kittle grew into his role as a tight end, playing through injuries in his final two seasons to compile 42 catches for 604 yards and 10 touchdowns: not exactly big numbers, though perhaps an explanation of how he fell to the fifth round.”He played well and had some flash plays that were like, ‘Whoa,’ but he wasn’t maybe as consistent as what they are looking for,” Ferentz said of Kittle. “Being a fifth-round pick was probably was fair. He was between a third- and sixth-round guy, but I think the moral of the story is he has continued to improve.”MORE: An apology for doubting San Francisco’s Super Bowl runFerentz sees a few things that have taken Kittle’s game to the same level as those tight ends he talked about.”He has grown since he got there,” Ferentz said. “We don’t count on that happening often. He’s a taller guy now. He looks like he’s 6-5 or 6-6 on the field.”Ferentz also recognized Kittle’s versatility, but said it’s his blocking that has stood out most in San Francisco’s last two games against the Vikings and Packers. 49ers tight end George Kittle was asked about the evolution of his position at San Francisco’s team hotel on Tuesday, part of the buildup to the Sunday Super Bowl 54 matchup against the Chiefs.”The tight end position has evolved a lot,” Kittle said. “From just the traditional wide stuff to Dallas Clark to (Rob Gronkowski), to (Travis Kelce), to (Zach Ertz). There’s Tony Gonzalez. It’s just evolved so much. You have guys who can do both.”last_img read more