Matt Karatsu | Daily TrojanAfter coming close to taking the NCAA Championship game last season, the men’s water polo team — which opens this season ranked at No. 2 — set its sights on winning it all. Even though they ended last season with a 24-2 record, with only one loss during the regular season, the Trojans hope to win the final game this year, with the national title game at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center in December.“We are going to try to put everything through the whole year preparing for the one game at the end,” sophomore driver Marin Dasic said. “It definitely is going to be a big motivation because it is going to be our people, our crowd — like Cal had [in the championship game] last year — and at the end they beat us. We didn’t win the last three years, but I think this is the time with our people, with our pool.”While the Trojans have their end goal in mind already, they have many games to play before achieving it. They will face Cal, perennial championship contender Stanford and many more quality programs throughout the season. But the team has confidence in head coach Jovan Vavic, who is returning for his 23rd season after leading USC to the NCAA title match for the past 12 years.“Our coaches are unique, and they pick the right people, the right captains, and they know what we have to do,” Dasic said. “They are dedicated, and they are doing everything they can to make us better. I think they have a huge impact on our game and on everything we do.”With 10 returning seniors, seven of whom are All-Americans, USC is heading into the season with a veteran roster. Along with the seniors, the team also sees the return of all its goalies as well as sophomores like Olympian driver Thomas Dunstan and the 2016 MPSF Newcomer of the Year, 2-meter Matt Maier. This experience allows the team to learn from its mistakes and continue to build upon the foundations already established.“I think we want to keep the same sort of energy and the same passion that we brought to last season,” senior driver Blake Edwards said.The returning captain also said the team had to make adjustments after coming up short last year.“Just a bit of composure when we’re in front and learning how to close out games,” Edwards said. “We had a fantastic record last season, and it just fell apart for us in the last quarter due to some defensive errors, which was really just us switching off.”USC will hold an edge if the team manages to make another deep postseason run this year. The NCAA Tournament will be held at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center in December, and the Trojans will have their home crowd to help them keep their energy at a high level.For the seniors, this fall is their last chance to bring home the championship — but more than that, it is a chance to defend their home pool.“I don’t think I really need to motivate the team,” Edwards said. “I think everyone is hurting from last year’s loss, and I think there’s just a whole lot of excitement within the playing group. There has been a whole lot of hard work put in over the summer, and we are just really looking forward to putting it all together.”The Trojans will play in the UCLA Mini Invitational this weekend for their season opener. They will be taking on Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at 10:20 a.m. and Pomona-Pitzer at 11:40 a.m. on Saturday.
Tag Archiv: 爱上海EW
By now, the debacle of Serena Williams and the U.S. Open is old news. Everyone knows about the alleged cheating, the racket throw, the “thief” comment and all of its fallout. But while it might be easy to move on from this controversy, I’ve found over the last week that the incident was a frightening barometer for the attitude of the sports world towards black female athletes.It must be pointed out that the U.S. Open wasn’t having a stellar year in gender equity before Serena entered the mix. Days before, French tennis player Alizé Cornet was penalized after she rushed to change her shirt during a heat break, then took it off to turn it right-side-out on the court shortly before resuming play. In the same tournament, male stars John Isner and Novak Djokovic had removed their shirts and sat shirtless without receiving penalties, and the disparity earned mass criticism from sports fans across the country. The foundation for an apparent pattern of unbalanced violation enforcement already existed before Serena and her opponent, Naomi Osaka, even took the court on Saturday afternoon.And for Serena, maybe, it just felt like it was all just too much. This moment can’t be taken out of context for her, either. The star battled a life-threatening complication after delivering her child last year, then was banned from wearing a suit made to help her condition at the French Open. This is a woman who has been questioned and criticized with open abandon for the entirety of her career. Now, she has been accused of cheating and robbed of a game point by a man in a chair who was abnormally strict in his enforcement. Maybe on Saturday, with her game slipping against a young challenger and her body tiring after an exhausting year of competition, it all just felt like too much. As we transition away from the Open weekend, the issue now, however, isn’t whether Serena was right or wrong. The debate over Carlos Ramos’ decision raged over the weekend, but it’s midweek now, and attention is turning already away from tennis and back to Thursday Night Football and College GameDay. There won’t ever be a conclusion to that debate. Sports media thrives off of debates — Was that a catch? Was that a foul? Were those balls deflated? The question now isn’t the “right or wrong” of the debate. It’s the way that the two black women at its center have been treated by those on either side.No voice has been minimalized more in American culture than the voice of the black woman. Black women are silenced, ignored and oppressed more than almost any other figure (perhaps, besides, Native and trans people) in our country, and this pattern polices our expectation for them.Nothing is more strictly regulated than the anger of a black woman. Just look at the way Serena’s actions have been described. The most commonly used word was “meltdown,” a word that paints the picture of a woman throwing a tantrum, not of an athlete aggressively advocating for her rights. Serena’s actions are repeated by many — mainly white — men in the game, yet they are not seen as threatening or overemotional. The difference is clear. Men may voice their opinions in firm tones. Men may be bullies. But women are expected to be docile, calm, respectful. This myth of the calm woman actually comes from the fear of women who are the opposite — fiery, strong, unafraid of challenge.This fear is best represented by an Australian cartoon that ran this week, which depicted Serena in an aggressively racist fashion based off of Mammy cartoons from the 1930s. Even if the umpire’s decision wasn’t racist or sexist, the reaction to Serena’s conduct has been unendingly so. It’s not just racist caricatures, either. One of the arguments against Serena that I’ve heard most often is that she stole the show from her opponent, the 20-year-old Osaka who became the first Japanese woman to win the Open. Somehow, it became Serena’s fault that the crowd booed during the trophy presentation, that the national headlines focused on the American runner-up rather than the Japanese winner.This is not fair, and you wouldn’t see it with male competitors. Serena should not stay silent and stop advocating for herself just because Osaka is making history, and this expectation that she should step aside to lift up other women is yet another double standard that is often foisted on women in sports.Women should be allowed to be competitors. They should be allowed to argue with referees, to complain about violation calls, in the same way that LeBron James is allowed to, without nationwide controversy. This expectation of deference is common, yet it unfairly expects female athletes to put other women’s needs above themselves. That expectation must be erased in order for female athletes to be able to equally advocate for themselves.Win or lose, Serena’s willingness to speak for herself should be applauded, not condemned. And until that sentiment is widely felt, the world of sports will not be equal for men and women.Julia Poe is a senior majoring in print and digital journalism. Her column, “Poe’s Perspective,” runs Thursdays.