Women’s tennis gears up for crosstown rivalry match

first_imgFollowing a 7-0 sweep of San Diego State, the No. 22 USC women’s tennis team prepares for a matchup with its crosstown rival, No. 20 UCLA. The Bruins will come to Marks Stadium on Saturday for a noon tilt with the Trojans. The match, however, will not count toward Pac-12 play.But despite the fact that it doesn’t have direct conference implications, pride will be at stake, as is the case with any matchup between the Trojans and Bruins. The match has significant weight towards the annual Crosstown Cup, with the winner of Saturday’s match taking home 5 points (out of 10 allotted for the sport) for their school. USC has won the Crosstown Cup 10 out of the past 15 years, but the Trojans are currently trailing 45-35 to the Bruins. A win this weekend against their historic rival would help the Trojans’ cause significantly.The Bruins are led by freshman Ena Shibahara, currently ranked No. 3 in the ITA rankings, and No. 91 redshirt freshman Jada Hart. Both women have been selected as Pac-12 Player of the Week recently, with Hart getting the honor on Jan. 30 and Shibahara a week later on Feb. 6. The doubles team of Hart and Shibahara is currently ranked No. 12 in the country. The doubles team of Hart and junior Terry Fleming is also ranked at No. 38. Before their match with USC, UCLA will host Pepperdine on Friday in Westwood.The Trojans have time to wait and prepare for the Bruins. With a 7-0 sweep of San Diego State nearly two weeks ago, the Trojans improved their record to 3-1 on the season. Despite its win over the Aztecs, USC slipped from No. 18 to No. 22 in the ITA rankings. Junior Gabby Smith, went from unranked to the No. 25 singles player in the country. Smith, currently riding a nine-match win streak will look to keep the train rolling. Smith’s impressive run has included beating five ranked opponents. Other Trojans in the ITA top 100 include sophomore Jessica Failla (No. 61), senior Zoë Katz (No. 62) and junior Madison Westby (No. 82). In the ITA doubles rankings, the pair of Katz and Westby rose from the No. 27 to the No. 14 ranking. USC has two other ranked doubles teams including Katz and Smith (No. 47) and Failla and sophomore Rianna Valdes (No. 55).In a historically close matchup, USC has a slight lead over their rival Bruins with a 50-44 all-time record. In their last matchup with UCLA in April 2016, the Trojans defended their home court with a 4-1 win that sent USC to the Pac-12 Championship.Weather conditions on Friday led to a cancellation of USC’s matchup against No. 1 Florida, and the match will not be rescheduled. With 17 days between their win against San Diego State and their match against their rival from Westwood, the Trojans will be well rested, while the Bruins will have to recover quickly from their match on Friday.last_img read more

Manziel says he’s battling playbook, Hoyer

first_imgCleveland Browns quarterbacks Johnny Manziel (2) and Brian Hoyer watch teammates at the NFL football team’s training camp in Berea, Ohio, Thursday, July 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Aaron Josefczyk)BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Johnny Manziel says he’s competing with more than Brian Hoyer in the competition to be Cleveland’s starting quarterback.Manziel said “it’s really me versus the playbook right now.” Following Thursday’s practice, the rookie QB acknowledged he’s had some ups and downs in his first week in training camp as he learns Cleveland’s offense. Manziel, though, believes he’s making some progress.Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said there is no clear leader between Hoyer and Manziel. Shanahan is hoping one of the QBs takes off and makes the decision easier for Cleveland’s coaching staff.Hoyer said he’s not worrying about his battle with Manziel as much as trying to make the Browns better.Manziel has yet to work with Cleveland’s first-string offense, but coach Mike Pettine said that will change soon.___Online:AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFLlast_img read more

Leafs outlast Braves 5-4 to capture home opener

first_imgNelson Leafs scored three times in the first period en route to a 5-4 victory over the Spokane Braves in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Friday night at the NDCC Arena.Kolten Nelson scored twice to lead the Leafs to a second consecutive win over the Braves.Nelson bounced Spokane 6-2 Saturday in the Lilac City. Leafs dominated the Braves early as Nelson, Sawyer Hunt and Eamonn Miller scored in the opening frame to give the home side a 3-0 advantage.After Hunt scored, the shot clock read 10-1 in favour of the Leafs.Nelson increased its lead to 5-1 in the third as Nelson and Sam Weber scored before the Braves rallied to make the game close.Blake Halfpenny and Trail Thompson with a pair made the score close in the final period. Greg Lind had the other marker, scoring on the power play, for Spokane.Jason Sandhu registered his second win of the season in goal over the Braves as Nelson outshot Spokane 33-26.Leafs travel to Castlegar Saturday to face the Rebels. Castlegar served up the first loss of the season to Beaver Valley as the Sunflower City squad outlasted the Hawks 7-6.The win was also the Rebels first of the season after losing twice on a trip to the East Kootenay.last_img read more