Katie Chin | Daily TrojanSet up for success · Junior Gert Lisha sets the ball to teammate sophomore Matt Douglas. The team will take on BYU on Friday.After an upset victory over UCI last week, the men’s volleyball team will have to find that same perseverance, strength and even more in order to defeat nationally ranked No. 3 BYU on Friday. Having No. 6 UCI beat BYU earlier this season, though, the Trojans are focusing less on their ranking and more on how they can win.“It is the transitive property of competition, if you will,” head coach Jeff Nygaard said. “Irvine beat BYU, we play BYU, but we beat Irvine. It is not inconceivable that we go compete. What we learned from [last] week is that we can go toe-to-toe with a pretty tall, physical, jumping team and that we can just keep on competing.”The competition will be fierce, as part of the Cougars’ main strength is in their experienced and consistent players. Senior outside hitter Jake Langlois and junior opposite Ben Patch have been putting up the numbers for BYU in both kills and blocks all season long. With these two players leading the way in both the attack and the defense, they will be difficult to beat.“The more mature you are,” Nygaard said, “the more experience you have, the more comfortable you are in your own skin and the more comfortable you are with whatever is thrown your way.”USC has experienced players of their own to compete with BYU’s, though, like national kills leader and senior outside hitter Lucas Yoder. His consistency in making plays from one of the two outsider hitter positions on the court has been proven game after game. If Yoder continues at his standard of play and the rest of the team steps up, the game will be theirs for the taking..“If they pass great, the advantage is definitely on their side of the net simply by virtue that they have a strong attacker in every position,” Nygaard said. “If we can consistently put them in trouble and then be really disciplined on our side and take care of every single ball that we have an opportunity for and then try to transition score at a high rate, we have good opportunities.”With a full week of practice with no other games, the Trojans have had the time to study BYU in depth, which is not always possible with the way the schedule works out. They understand, though, that what they have been doing for some games might not work against BYU, and they are not shying away from developing new things to take this team on.“If you go in expecting that all your old patterns will be successful and you go in and do your patterns and they are not successful, you have a choice,” Nygaard said. “You can grow and learn and develop something new or keep doing the same thing. If you watch film and develop other opportunities for yourself, you can have a lot of success.”No matter what preparation goes into a game, the game itself can throw unexpected challenges, and it is up to the teams to let those challenges rule them or to rise to conquer them. It could just come down to who wants it more and who is willing to persevere until the end. If that is the case, USC is ready to put in the effort for a victory.“We are going to have to work hard and earn it,” Nygaard said. “But there has been a lot of people that have gone up and done some good things against that team.”The Trojans will take on the Cougars on Friday at the Galen Center at 7 p.m.
He was strong enough to walk away from the incident without reacting, but the issue of racism in sport and across British society has risen to the fore once more.Klopp is pleased to see offenders being singled out and punished and has hailed Sterling’s handling of a situation that has thrust him back under a media spotlight.The German coach told reporters: “I watched the game and I think I saw the situation where he went for the corner and a few guys where shouting.“I didn’t hear, I don’t know if it was possible to, but I thought his reaction was just brilliant. You saw his face. He gave the right response not to react to these people.“They don’t deserve any reaction, they don’t deserve any respect. I am obviously not surprised that these things still happen and they will not stop only because we talk about them, but I like the fact that we put the finger on it and say ‘you cannot say what you want’.“We had similar situations in Germany and other countries, Italy with [Kevin Prince] Boateng when he stopped the game because of the things people shouted from the stands.“There need to be punishments for things like this. As long as people are silly enough to do this, they need to be punished for it, that’s how it is.“What I like is, I am sure 95 per cent of people are not like this so we should try to find the right amount of attention for them. Punish them but do not talk too much about them because they do not deserve that we talk about them.”Sterling has received widespread support on the back of the abuse he received in west London, both for his reaction at the time and for his willingness to raise awareness of the issues he has to put up with. He posted on social media in the aftermath of the incident, while referencing the coverage City team-mates Tosin Adarabioyo and Phil Foden have received for recent property purchases – with the former having it pointed out that he has “never started a Premier League match” while latter is described as having “set up a future” when buying a house for his mother.“You have two young players starting out their careers – both play for the same team, both have done the right thing, which is buy a new house for their mothers who have put in a lot of time and love into helping them get where they are. Jurgen Klopp has offered his support to the cause of former Liverpool star Raheem Sterling, with the Manchester City winger having been subjected to alleged racist abuse during a clash with Chelsea.The England international found himself targeted by a group of Blues supporters during a Premier League fixture at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Getty/Goal composite https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/b1/4/raheem-sterling-gfx_1h2ibpsodv48517k973pooixwk.jpg?t=-1832042841&w=500&quality=80 “But look at how the newspapers get their message across for the young black player and then for the young white player.“I think this is unacceptable, both innocent, have not done a thing wrong but just by the way it has been worded, this young black kid is looked at in a bad light, which helps fuel racism and aggressive behaviour.”Leading figures from across the sporting world, both inside the Kick It Out campaign and from further afield, have aired their support for Sterling and condemned those who continue to make racism a subject of social debate in the 21st century.