USC organizations hosted Football 101, an event designed to help students get a better understanding of the game and culture of American football, at Heritage Hall on Friday.Football school · Alex Rios, a recruiting analyst for USC football, explains the different player positions at the Football 101 session. – Carol Kim | Daily TrojanUSC Program Board’s International Student Assembly, Graduate Student Government and Recreational Sports collaborated to host the event, with sponsorship from the Office of International Services and others.“Beat the Sun Devils” T-shirts and tote bags, as well as free game tickets, were passed out to the 100 participants.USG Wellness kicked off the event by talking about tailgating policies and safety. GSG organized a tailgate on Trousdale Parkway so all the participants of the event could experience the chaos and Trojan spirit for themselves on game day.Donald Ludwig, executive director of USC Spirit and Traditions and USC Spirituality and Sports, and Luis Nevarez, a senior safety on the Trojan football team, talked about what it means to be a part of the Trojan family. They went on to explain the game of football, everything from specifying the dimensions of the field to creating an interactive activity for the audience to understand the snap count. While a football helmet was being passed around the room, Ludwig and Nevarez helped the event’s participants feel like they would be able to yell and chant with the rest of the Trojans at the ASU game.The event ended with a jock rally and performances from the Trojan Marching Band and the Song Girls.“This is actually an annual event, and we at GSG wanted to continue this because we wanted to get the students accustomed to American culture as well as USC culture,” GSG President Yohey Tokumitsu said.He said that another purpose of the event was to familiarize international students with tailgating culture.While this event had been held in years past, this was the first time a number of USC organizations collaborated on it.“I asked the Office of International Services, and they led me to speak to Athletics, as well as Rec Sports, ISA and USG. They were very helpful and eager to work on this project with us,” Tokumitsu said.Rachel Zou, director of ISA, believed that there was a great deal of student demand for an event like this, especially because of their efforts to increase publicity for Football 101 this year. Four hundred undergraduate and graduate students at USC RSVP’d for the event. Because of limited capacity, the 100 participants were chosen through a lottery system.“I think there is a lot of student demand [for an event like this], especially for free football tickets,” Zou said. “I think there is also a lot of student demand among international students to understand how football works because football is a foreign concept to people outside of America. I grew up in America, but I am not an avid football fan. I came to USC and had no idea what the rules of football were, so Football 101 has really helped me understand that.”Participant feedback was positive.“I think I will understand more and enjoy the game more because I’ll know what and when to cheer,” said Jolie Vu, a graduate student at the Leventhal School of Accounting. “They should definitely have this event every year.”Students who had previously attended football games also found the event to be helpful.“The workshop was great,” said Danshi Li, a graduate student in mechanical engineering. “I’ve seen a lot of football games at USC, but this will be really helpful for the game tomorrow because it’s clearer how to be integrated into the Trojan community and cheer with everyone.”
After a four-set comeback victory on Friday and a heartbreaking five-set loss Sunday, the University of Wisconsin volleyball team solidified its reputation as one of the Big Ten’s most unpredictable teams.The erratic Badgers (16-9, 4-8 Big Ten) were just two points shy of mounting a stunning comeback win against the Northwestern Wildcats (15-8. 4-8) after they lost the first set by a whopping 14 points.Wisconsin beat Northwestern in late September in Evanston, marking the team’s first conference win of the season.Head coach Pete Waite said in the Big Ten, any team can win or lose on any given day depending on that team’s consistency.“It’s definitely disappointing to take that loss today,” Waite said. “We rode a roller coaster of level of play. We were really good at times and just off at other times.”While Wisconsin’s overall attack percentage was a respectable .191 for a tough league match, the team’s actual efficiency spanned the gamut throughout the match. UW put up a meager -.062 percentage in the first set with eight errors, a set in which Northwestern sustained distinct offensive runs of five, four and seven points.However, the Badgers returned the favor against Northwestern in a dominating third set, finishing with a .344 hitting percentage in a convincing 25-9 win.Waite said the players need to have a stronger sense of urgency for the duration of the match to sustain more consistent play.“It’s up to the players,” Waite said. “They know they’re very capable of playing really good ball. They’ve got to go after things with an eagerness and confidence of wanting to be great and hating to feel like this.”UW found itself in an eight-point hole early in the second set, self-imploding with unusual miscommunication errors and mishits on defense. The team created an 11-4 run midset and completed the comeback with senior middle blocker Alexis Mitchell powering three kills in the last five points of the set.After creating promising momentum in the fifth set, Wisconsin lost its grip on a two-point lead late in the set with Northwestern winning six of the final eight points of the match.Mitchell, who led the Badgers with 19 kills in the match, said nerves and little sense of resiliency factored into the team’s struggles late in the final set.“[In] the fifth set, things can change really quickly,” Mitchell said. “I think that we maybe got a little bit tense when we were at that point, and some bad things happened, but we just have to do a better job of bouncing back right away, because it does go really fast … the momentum swing can change with just one play.”Early struggles start with Fighting Illini Wisconsin had another rocky first set against the Illinois Fighting Illini (10-12, 4-8 Big Ten) Friday night. After taking a commanding 10-3 lead, UW collapsed as Illinois spurred a 14-4 run en route to a first set victory.The Badgers took the preceding three sets, with junior outside hitter Julie Mikaelsen racking up career-highs with 19 kills and eight blocks in the match.Mikaelsen praised sophomore setter Courtney Thomas for her accurate passing and helping her find critical gaps in the Illinois defense.“Courtney did a really good job setting me really fast balls,” Mikaelsen said. “The blockers on Illinois had problems getting out … so I had a big seam every single time.”Wisconsin managed strong starts in all four sets, which has not been the case for this team in recent matches. The Badgers jumped out to an 11-5 lead in the second set and a 9-5 advantage in the fourth.Waite said the team played well in the beginning of sets largely due to hurry-up drills in practice.“[During] the last couple of days, we ran a drill that was just more of a fast-paced time drill that I think they got something out of,” Waite said. “They realized you don’t have time to think, you don’t have time to walk around; you just have to hustle … I think it paid off.”Although Wisconsin committed its fair share of errors with 31, compared to Illinois’s 20, it did not surrender its lead in either the second or the fourth set.Waite said a goal of the team this season has been to let go of errors players have made in previous points.“That’s what we’ve been working on, is to come back, forget those errors and stabilize,” Waite said.