THE Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) has selected a final team of 28 swimmers and five officials to represent the country later this month at the regional Goodwill Swim Meet scheduled to be held at the Rodney Heights Aquatic Centre in St Lucia from August 19 to 25.The team, which consists of 12 boys and 16 girls, includes last year’s leading gold medallist, Aleka Persaud, as well as Goodwill multiple silver medallist Leon Seaton, and bronze medallists Phillip DeNobrega and Patrice Mahaica.The team also includes newcomer Nia Fraser from the USA, whose parents are Guyanese.The four officials are national coach Sean Baksh, team manager Mervin Munroe, GASA president Ivan Persaud, chaperones Shannie Rodrigues, and Lorren Mahaica.Speaking with Guyana Chronicle, Baksh noted the Association’s disappointment with not being able to take the full team, due to financial constraints.The budget for the team was approximately US$800 per person. The Association was able to secure tax exemptions that placed the tickets at US$514 per person. However Baksh noted, this was still tough on a lot of parents.“We’re a little bit disappointed because we should be taking a full team of 40 (swimmers) but it is based on economics, the cost of the ticket right now, and at the moment sponsors are not really helping because of whatever is going on in the economy at the moment so we didn’t get much,” Baksh said.The Goodwill Swim Meet is an annual developmental age group event where swimmers from Guyana compete against swimmers from Trinidad, Barbados, Suriname, and StLucia. Additionally the host nation is allowed to extend an invitation to any other country to participate. Bahamas was once again extended the invitation, after also participating last year.Each country is allowed to field a maximum 40 swimmers, a number that Guyana has continued to struggle with over the years, even when the meet is held on home turf. Last year Guyana finished fifth overall with a final tally of 29 medals – 21 from individual events and 8 relay medals. The competition was won by Trinidad and Tobago.Aleka was Guyana’s most decorated swimmer with five gold medals and one silver. This year, despite prevailing circumstances, Baksh is hopeful that the team will not come back empty-handed notwithstanding in what position we finish.“It’s a fairly good team, we have some top guns in there. Aleka Persaud, Leon Seaton, Raekwon Noel, the girls Jayden and Danielle are really stepping up, so I think we will get some medals, but based on the size of the team, we can’t really make any inroads on the overall team position.” Baksh remarked.The team is expected to depart Guyana on August 18.The complete team is as follows8-and-Under:Boys: Jayden DanielGirls: Ariel Rodrigues, Kayla Hardy, Kaylee Hardy9–10 years oldBoys: Raekwon Noel, Paul Mahaica, Lejaun MunroeGirls: Aleka Persaud, Patrice Mahaica, Antonia Dey, Nia Fraser11-12 years oldBoys: Leon Seaton, Sekhel TSedeq, Ejaz MohammedGirls: Jayden George, Danielle George, Nekita Peters, Amber De Goeas13–14 years oldBoys: Nathon Hackett, Nikhil Ramnarine, George TelfordGirls: Teshanna Hunter, Kenita Mahaica15-17 years oldBoys: Philip DeNobrega, Antonio RodriguesGirls: Anna Isaacs, Kayth Goddette, Felisha Wiliams
While it is hard to overlook the USC men’s volleyball team’s trip to the MPSF championship match just a year ago, the club’s mounting losses and inability to sustain consistent periods of execution have put an even greater premium on winning, and winning now.The Trojans will look to right the ship this weekend in Honolulu, where they will face off against Hawai’i on Friday and Sunday to conclude their four-game road trip. After christening the trip with a decisive 3-1 victory over Pacific, the Trojans fell 3-2 to Stanford on Sunday, dropping to 4-9 on the season.The triumph against Pacific was a welcome sight for USC head coach Bill Ferguson, who saw his team drop three consecutive critical matches during a four-game homestand at the Galen Center.“I thought we took care of the easy plays a lot better,” Ferguson said. “We focused the entire week on outplaying and out-competing the opponent. We talked to them about playing at an increased intensity, and we felt like we withstood their challenge, so winning was huge for us.”Not surprisingly, the Trojans were once again led by their workhorses, as redshirt junior opposite Tanner Jansen recorded 21 kills while sophomore middle blocker Robert Feathers collected 16 kills. The momentum failed to lift the team against the Cardinal, however, as the Trojans recorded 20 service errors en route to the five-set defeat.“We’re starting to rack up some more aces, which is good, but we still have a high number of errors,” Ferguson said. “We’ve had to become more of a high-risk, high-reward team. Our team has to get used to playing in that manner. We dug ourselves a hole early, but I thought we did a great job of coming back in the fourth set and staying involved in the match.”The team’s subpar performance throughout the season is glaring in comparison to the success of the 2012 squad, and it remains to be seen whether Ferguson’s optimism and emphasis on greater team effort will come as motivational tools for his players as they enter the second half of their schedule. Still, it is important to note that while last year’s team cruised to a 24-6 record and an appearance in the championship game, they were able to do so on the strength of 2012 national player of the year Tony Ciarelli and All-American middle blocker Steven Shandrick , both of whom are gone.“I think our guys understand the importance of our opponents and the importance of the season,” Ferguson said. “They know what these games mean to us and they are aware of the task at hand, so we’ll be ready to go.”Despite the team’s struggles this season, a trip to Hawai’i not only represents a homecoming for multiple players on the squad, but also provides a better playing atmosphere, in Ferguson’s eyes.“(Hawai’i) is probably the best volleyball environment in the country, and it’s something our guys look forward to because the fans are knowledgeable and there’s a lot of love for us over there,” Ferguson said. “It’s a great place to play volleyball, but we know that the Warriors serve well and pass well, so we need to focus on excelling in those aspects because they will direct the show.”Following the doubleheader, the Trojans come back home for three games, starting with a match against 2012 champion UC Irvine next Friday.
Published on March 2, 2018 at 5:23 pm Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse (18-12, 7-10 Atlantic Coast), losers of three-straight, hosts No. 18 Clemson (22-7, 11-6) on Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Carrier Dome. On the Orange’s Senior Day, it’ll have perhaps its last chance for a resume-building win as SU looks to sneak its way off the bubble. Beat writers Sam Fortier, Tomer Langer and Matthew Gutierrez break down the matchup and make their picks.See what they think below.Matthew Gutierrez (24-6)Role ReversalClemson 68, Syracuse 59A win over No. 18 Clemson would be Syracuse’s first win against a ranked opponent all season. By many accounts, that’s a must for admission into the NCAA Tournament. But unless the SU offense erupts against an excellent Clemson team, the NIT appears to be Syracuse’s home for the second-straight year. The Tigers are as balanced as any team in the conference, and they go up against a sliding SU team that has lost four of five. Besides, head coach Jim Boeheim said Wednesday that only three players on his team can score at the moment. That’s not a recipe to beat a top-20 team. While Syracuse stunned Clemson on the gridiron, the football school should have no problem beating the basketball school on Saturday.Sam Fortier (21-9)Stick a fork in ’emClemson 59, Syracuse 51AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSyracuse has made it to the finish line on fumes and waiting there is Clemson, the 5th-ranked defensive team in the country, according to KenPom.com. If the Tigers defense packs it in and makes it difficult on the Orange to one-on-one drive as other teams have, Syracuse’s offense won’t be able to score enough to win. It’s as simple as that, because Syracuse in general has recently not received either the stellar performances from key contributors or the necessary supplemental scoring to make a difference. A win here is crucial for Syracuse to have any shot at hanging around on the bubble, but it seems improbable at least.Tomer Langer (21-9)The endClemson 72, Syracuse 67Coming into the season, there was a thought that Syracuse would struggle. Four starters from last year were gone and the Orange was relying on a lot of freshman. An 11-2 nonconference start injected some life into the Orange, despite graduate transfer Geno Thorpe leaving unexpectedly early on in the season. But the Orange — partially because of injuries, partially because of a true talent deficiency — couldn’t keep pace in the ACC. Syracuse has come out flat both against Duke and Boston College, and SU’s Tournament hopes come to a complete stop with the sixth home loss of the year. Comments