Leigh Ross reflects on losing season, looks ahead toward next year

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on May 2, 2015 at 12:06 pm Contact Liam: [email protected] Syracuse’s players will be watching the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament from their couches next week.But just days removed from the last game of SU’s season, head coach Leigh Ross is already looking to next year.“You’re always as a coach thinking about the next year,” Ross said. “You never really dwell on what’s happening right now because you know changes that you need to make.”In spite of its losing record, Syracuse (20-26, 4-13 ACC) was only one win away from qualifying for the ACC tournament and the head coach plans on using this year’s disappointing season as a learning experience for her team. With the team only losing three players to graduation, next year looks more promising, Ross said.The team swept its last three games of the season against Virginia, but with only one other conference win outside its last series, it didn’t matter.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“It was more mental stuff for us and not holding on to early leads that killed us (early in the season),” Ross said. “I think we started pushing past that toward the end of the season, so maybe if we had a few more games, or had gotten more in earlier without the weather affecting it, things would’ve been different.”Syracuse had three games against Boston College (25-22, 4-14) and North Carolina State (32-19, 13-8), who sat at the bottom and middle of the ACC standings respectively, each cancelled due to weather and field conditions. All six were winnable games that SU could have used to propel itself into conference tournament play.Three of Syracuse’s home conference matchups against Louisville were moved to Louisville because SU Softball Stadium was unfit to play on. Although SU remained the home team on paper, Ross said that having more games at home would have built more confidence.Jocelyn Cater pitched 182 and two-thirds of 293 and two-thirds possible innings for the Orange, carrying a pitching staff wracked with injury. With Sydney O’Hara and AnnaMarie Gatti sidelined for large chunks of the season, Ross thought Cater took a big step forward this season by embracing the role of power pitcher and “workhorse.”“She’s got another year, and in a way, if she had to be challenged and pushed to her limits,” Ross said, “this year was probably the year the way it went with everything else.”The only two holes moving into next year are left by graduating catcher Julie Wambold and centerfielder Mary Dombrowksi. But with a recruiting class of seven players coming in, Ross emphasized that “no one should feel safe” in what seems to be an open competition for starting spots. Five of the seven recruits will look to contribute immediately, Ross said, namely “big-hitter” Andrea Bombace, “all-around athlete” Hannah Dossett and “defensively stellar” Sophie Blasius.“Being associated with ACC has brought us to a new level (with recruiting),” Ross said. “What I think we learned this year is we need to play at that level. We have the kids to do it, we just need to go out and do it now.” Commentslast_img read more

South Africa gets 6th Super Rugby team

first_img‘Various options’The good news for South African rugby was confirmed by Sanzar CEO Greg Peters and Saru CEO Jurie Roux. TeamsSouth Africa will field the Southern Kings, Lions, Bulls, Stormers, Cheetahs and Sharks for the 2016 competition, while both New Zealand (Chiefs, Blues, Highlanders, Hurricanes and Crusaders) and Australia (Brumbies, Reds, Waratahs, Force and Rebels) will have five teams. Deciding which of South Africa’s six Super Rugby teams would miss out on the lucrative southern hemisphere tournament had become a political hot potato for Saru and led to a lot of criticism and dissatisfaction. Future possibilitiesSome in New Zealand would like a sixth franchise, while teams from the Pacific Islands and Japan have also been mooted. After being given an opportunity to contest the 2013 competition, the Southern Kings missed out on next year’s competition when they lost out to the Golden Lions in a home and away playoff on points difference after both had recorded wins at the others’ home ground. In future, a playoff will be longer be required, although dealing with one in the years leading up to 2016 will surely lead to more dissatisfaction. Apart from considerations to do with sponsorship, the biggest problem, if Super Rugby is expanded further, would, no doubt, be finding space on the calendar and coming up with an effective format. Now that the problem of which South African teams qualify to play in Super Rugby has been solved from 2016, more opportunities have been created for South African rugby players, which should serve to slow down their exodus to foreign clubs. Interviewed by SuperSport Blitz, Peters said: “We want to retain Super Rugby as the pre-eminent regional tournament in the southern hemisphere, and we want to keep it as one competition, and there are various options we are looking at to ensure that, but I can confirm that a sixth team from South Africa has been accepted.” Roux said: “We have a sixth team in the competition, and that is a given. All the models that are being discussed work around a sixth team from South Africa being included.” South Africa will be able to field a sixth team in the southern hemisphere’s Super Rugby competition from 2016. The decision, reached at a meeting of Sanzar in Sydney, Australia on Tuesday, will bring to an end a nightmare for the SA Rugby Union (Saru). Playoff 4 September 2013 While a team from Argentina has not been included, indications are that a move would be made in that direction in future because the Pumas are part of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship.last_img read more

Brady is all ears for national deaf team

first_imgSocial MediaFacebook – www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustraliaTwitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus (be sure to use the hashtag #NTL2013)Instagram – search for ‘Touch Football Australia’YouTube – www.youtube.com/touchfootballausTouch Football Australia will be live streaming matches on their YouTube page.Related LinksDeaf team a possiblity By BEN HARRISAn historic milestone could be achieved at next year’s X-Blades National Touch League tournament if David Brady gets his way.Touch Football Australia’s general manager of business operations is hoping to set-up an Australian deaf team to play at the 2014 national competition.Brady is deaf himself and has to rely on two hearing aids.He has been hearing impaired since he was born but his disability doesn’t stop him from doing day-to-day tasks or participate at this year’s National Touch League.Brady is playing in the men’s 40s division for the ACT Pirates.After orchestrating a very successful inaugural Deaf Touch Football Australian National Championships in January, Brady wants to take that next step by establishing an Aussie representative team.“Next year we hope to have an Australian deaf team here at the tournament,” Brady said.“Already I can see it will be an interesting challenge. It will be completely different for the referees and the opposition but we have to get it together and hopefully this message goes out to all the kids out there, the boys and the girls, we will try and get a team together and come to this fantastic tournament.”Brady said touch football has a distinct advantage over many other sports in the country as it can be played by anybody.“If you can’t play footy anymore when you get to the masters you are able to still play with the ball in hand,” he said.“But more importantly for the kids, a lot of kids who have cochlear implants can’t play contact sport. Touch football is one of those sports that they can aspire to. “If their brothers or sisters play rugby or rugby union and feel left out, touch football is a way of being included and being part of it.“Anybody who is deaf or hard of hearing, get yourself to a touch team and keep on trying. Nothing is impossible.”Unable to hear while playing is very difficult but Brady said he manages.“Playing in the deaf games… it was completely different with styles and tactics and coming into a hearing competition, you see how organised they are and there is a big difference between the communications. It is a big learning curve.Brady is not the only deaf person playing at this year’s NTLs.Greg Quinn is playing for the Pirates in the men’s 45s.“Greg is one of the best players but he has a harder job because he plays in the middle and I play on the wing so I’ve probably got an easier job,” Brady said.“Greg has got to make more calls, try to work out what is happening with his teammates. He is one of the smartest players I’ve met in my life.”You can keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information from the 2013 X-Blades National Touch League in the following ways:Websiteswww.ntl.mytouchfooty.comwww.austouch.com.aulast_img read more

Grange: Everyone Needs to Work for Gender Equality

first_img Minister Grange said that achieving sustainable gender equality required “behaviour change — each person making a personal commitment to supporting gender equality, especially the men who dominate our parliaments and have considerable power to bring about change.” She said that research had shown that gender equality was good for business too, pointing out that the more gender-equal companies had higher rates of retention, higher job satisfaction and higher rates of productivity. The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange has said that what is required to achieve gender equality is men and women working side-by-side to create societies that provide equal enjoyment of the socially valued goods, opportunities, resources and rewards.Minister Grange’s comments were contained in a speech read on her behalf by Mr. Denzil Thorpe, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, at the Opening Ceremony of an Inter-Parliamentary Meeting for ParlAmericas’ Anglophone Membership taking place at the Jamaica Pegasus. The theme of the meeting is Partnerships to Transform Gender Relations.Minister Grange said that achieving sustainable gender equality required “behaviour change — each person making a personal commitment to supporting gender equality, especially the men who dominate our parliaments and have considerable power to bring about change.”She said the constituents of those in parliaments across the Americas are expecting gender equality to be achieved.“We have made progress in our region but there is much more to do. In Jamaica, for example, out of 84 parliamentarians, 16 or 19 percent are women,” Miss Grange said.She said that research had shown that gender equality was good for business too, pointing out that the more gender-equal companies had higher rates of retention, higher job satisfaction and higher rates of productivity.“There’s an overwhelming body of evidence showing the undeniable connection between women’s economic participation and prosperity. As an IDB staffer, Robert Pantzer, put it so well recently: ‘Wherever the situation of women has improved, the overall economic condition in the country had improved as well.’ ParlAmericas is the institution that promotes parliamentary diplomacy in the inter-American system. The organisation facilitates the exchange of parliamentary best practices and promotes cooperative political dialogue.The ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network for Gender Equality promotes women’s political leadership and gender mainstreaming in the operations of legislatures of the Americas including the Caribbean.Minister Grange expressed her gratitude for all the partnerships that have made the ParlAmericas meeting possible.With two days of workshops, the meeting ends tomorrow, January 25. The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange has said that what is required to achieve gender equality is men and women working side-by-side to create societies that provide equal enjoyment of the socially valued goods, opportunities, resources and rewards. Story Highlightslast_img read more