COVID-19: The difficult process of counting the dead

first_imgThe daily count of fatalities of the COVID-19 pandemic, whose official toll has now passed 210,000, is a sensitive business, with data often incomplete and differing methods between countries. Germany, Luxembourg, South Korea and Spain count all deaths of those who have tested positive for COVID-19, whether they take place in hospital or elsewhere.In Belgium, where care homes have officially accounted for more than half the deaths, the figures include even people who have not been tested, but are suspected of having been infected.France also counts deaths in care homes, which make up more than a third of the number.Other countries, such as China and Iran, only count deaths in hospital in their daily tolls. Topics : That is also the case in Britain. More complete figures are published every week by the Office for National Statistics, but with a time lag of 10 days, and these figures do not include deaths in Scotland and Northern Ireland.In Italy, which has Europe’s highest official death toll, only the biggest retirement home hotspots are accounted for, according to the Civil Protection.In the United States, which has the highest death toll in the world at more than 50,000, the counting method varies from one state to another: while New York counts deaths in care homes, California does not. Hospitals, care homescenter_img Lack of tests, delaysDuring an epidemic, it takes time to gather and process information, even if attempts are made to speed things up, according to Gilles Pison and France Mesle, experts from the French Institute for Demographic Studies (INED), in early April.”You need several weeks or several months to be able to precisely count all the deaths,” they said.In the United States, even if there has been no test carried out, death certificates must mention whether COVID-19 is the “probable” cause of death. But these certificates take time to mount up and cannot be taken into account for real time death tolls.Due to a lack of tests, Spain carries out very little post-mortem screening. So if a person was not screened before dying, he is not counted by the health authorities.Data collected by the judicial authorities is less restrictive and reveals a much higher toll: legal authorities in the Spanish region of Castilla La Mancha, for example, recorded in March three times more deaths “due to COVID or suspected COVID” than those recorded by the health authorities.In Bergamo in Italy’s coronavirus epicenter Lombardy, in the first half of March 108 more deaths were recorded compared to the same period last year. That is an increase of 193 percent, but only 31 deaths were linked to the coronavirus. China, Iran accused of lying Some countries have been accused of lying about their death statistics.In Iran, the official figures have been disputed, particularly at the start of the epidemic, by officials in the provinces and parliamentarians. Washington has in particular accused Tehran of covering up its real figures.China, where the epidemic started in December, has been criticized by several world leaders for its management of the crisis. On April 17 it revised upwards by nearly 40 percent its toll.The central city of Wuhan, where the virus first emerged, counted an extra 1,300 fatalities, saying that some had not been included because they had died at home. COVID-19, or another disease? Some countries, such as Belgium, Britain, Italy, Luxembourg, South Korea and Spain include in their figures all the people who have tested positive for the coronavirus, even those who died of complications from a pre-existing condition. Other countries are more selective.Iran excludes from its toll patients who have tested positive but die of another serious respiratory illness.In the United States, there are an increasing number of complaints from people whose relatives have died, officially of pneumonia, before COVID-19 tests became available.In Germany, no distinction is made in the statistics between those who died directly from COVID-19 and those who could have died of a pre-existing condition, or the two combined.That lack of differentiation has been a bone of contention between the national institute which oversees epidemics and some of the country’s regions which presented lower death tolls because they carried out autopsies in order to determine the precise cause of death.last_img read more

Every square metre of this Upper Mount Gravatt home was maximised

first_img44 Kempsie Rd, Upper Mount GravattA NEAR-NEW two-storey house at Upper Mount Gravatt sold for $922,500 under the hammer earlier this month.Ray White Mt Gravatt principal Grant Boman said the family home at 44 Kempsie Rd had generated a lot of interest because it was spacious and open despite being on a relatively small 405sq m block.The sellers designed the four-bedroom home, which was built in 2016, to make the most of the limited space availableMore from newsCrowd expected as mega estate goes under the hammer7 Aug 2020Hard work, resourcefulness and $17k bring old Ipswich home back to life20 Apr 2020“They used the space well,” Mr Boman said. He added that the bidding started at $750,000 at auction on February 10. 44 Kempsie Rd, Upper Mount Gravatt“There were 10 registered bidders at auction,” Mr Boman said.“A young couple ended up buying it. They sold a townhouse last year and are planning to start their own family.”He and the sellers were happy with the result because it was much more than they thought it would sell for.Mr Boman recently sold two new family homes in the area that attracted a similar price. He said family homes that were move-in ready often attracted lots of potential buyers because they were in such short supply.last_img read more

Rugby union player Quade Cooper ready to let designer digs go

first_img Untouched home sells $100k above reserve FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON FACEBOOK Queensland’s biggest real estate turnoffs revealed Great spot to throw a party.That’s because the home — though set one back from the water — comes with its own 12m marina berth.Cooper had it extensively renovated, and the house has security intercom and smart wired security cameras and sound system, as well as a dedicated laundry, drying deck, a secure garage with space for two vehicles and additional space for three cars. Ten suburbs where you might find a bargain MORE: Property turnaround on the cards The property comes with its own marina berth. Quade Cooper greets Wallabies players following the 2019 Rugby Championship Test Match between Australia and Argentina at Suncorp Stadium over the weekend. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.One of the most talented rugby union players to come out of Queensland, Quade Cooper, has listed his stunning home — with agents considering all offers.Cooper, who has trained with the Wallabies squad in recent times but was not short-listed for the weekend’s game against Argentina in Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium, was in town anyway to support the squad, appearing on field to congratulate the team after their win. 34 Addison Ave, Bulimba, Qld 4171 has been listed by Place Kangaroo Point.He had bought the stunning four bedroom Bulimba home for $1.845m four years ago and had it listed for rent at $1600 a week. He has shared the home with partner Laura Dundovic, model, presenter and former Miss Universe Australia. The home has a rooftop deck to take in the sun set.The agents listed it as having “recently undergone an extensive renovation”.It features timber flooring and accents, sleek black tiling and cabinetry, pristine white benchtops, integrated Miele appliances, bi-fold doors and a gas-strut servery window. Cooper had the property extensively renovated. The luxury home is one block back from the riverfront. Quade Cooper shared the home with partner Laura Dundovic pictured here off his Instagram feed out on the water. Source: Instagram/@quadecooperMore from newsNoosa unit prices hit new record high as region booms: REIQ12 hours agoParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus12 hours agoThe property at 34 Addison Ave, Bulimba, was listed by Michael Bacon and Simon Caulfield of Place — Kangaroo Point last week, with the pair inviting all offers.The four bedroom, three bathroom, house sits on a 446sq m block which was described as being a type of luxurious river property “without the price tag”. The kitchen servery window has a gas lift.The home also has a stunning rooftop terrace with 360 degree views — a great spot to watch the sun set.The pool is 16m long, and the space also has a day bed for lounging and a swim-up shower (plunge pool) which can be accessed via the pool. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenHow much do I need to retire?00:58last_img read more

Shaw: Man Utd move wasn’t easy

first_imgLuke Shaw is eager to kick on and make a name for himself at Manchester United after making his first appearance in almost six weeks against Chelsea. “I am still young and coming to the biggest club in the world hasn’t been easy for me,” Shaw told various national newspapers. “I haven’t been playing and there has been a lot of negative comments about me. “It is something that isn’t nice and I’ve tried to ignore it, but hopefully the Chelsea game is the start of me coming back. I am positive. It was my first performance for six weeks, so it was great to be back on the pitch.” Shaw admitted early in the season that Van Gaal had been right to criticise his fitness levels, with some continuing to question his condition after he was substituted at half-time during the FA Cup clash against Arsenal on March 9. But Shaw insists that was not the reason for his withdrawal and that he is enjoying his relationship with the United manager. “I haven’t been playing and there have been a lot of negative comments about me,” he said. “It is something that isn’t nice and I’ve tried to ignore it but hopefully this is the start of me coming back. “I saw a comment the other day saying I was taken off at half-time against Arsenal because I wasn’t fit enough, but that’s not true at all. This is coming from me and I know what the manager pulled me off for and it was not for my fitness because I could have carried on in the game. “I spoke with the manager about it. I felt my back a little bit and he just wanted to be careful because I am young and hopefully have a long future ahead of me. “Over the last three weeks, I have learned a lot from him and credit goes to him for trusting me in a big game like this one. He has two sides to him, but he is genuinely a really nice guy and a great manager.” Press Associationcenter_img The 19-year-old has not had the smoothest of starts to his Old Trafford career, being in and out of the side after manager Louis van Gaal publicly criticised his fitness levels in pre-season. But the full-back put in a solid performance in the 1-0 defeat to the Blues on Saturday and is hoping the period of adjustment following his big-money move from Southampton is at an end. last_img read more

Centurions Warner and Renshaw put Australia in control

first_imgDAVID Warner created history in destructive fashion and fellow-opener Matt Renshaw hit his first century as Australia dominated against Pakistan on day one of the final Test in Sydney.Record-breaking Warner blasted his way to a ton before lunch and Renshaw got in on the act in contrasting fashion to lead the Aussies – 2-0 up in the three-match series – to 365-3 at stumps yesterday.Warner scored 113 runs in a devastating display of batting, with his 100 coming off just 78 deliveries, which saw him become the first player to bring up a century in the first session of a Test in Australia.Not to be overshadowed, 20-year-old Renshaw – part of a drastic overhaul to the team heading into the third Test against South Africa in November – produced a performance beyond his tender years for his maiden Test century in his fourth match, ending the day unbeaten on 167 alongside Peter Handscomb (40).Steve Smith won the toss and the Australia captain had no hesitation sending his team in to bat on a SCG wicket expected to deteriorate throughout the match.And Warner made the most of the favourable conditions as he put Pakistan to the sword from the outset.Warner made his intentions known early, hitting 30 off 19 balls and that tally quickly grew to 51 from 41 deliveries inside the opening hour of play.Renshaw took a back seat at the other end as Warner became the first Australian since Donald Bradman in 1930 to score a century before lunch on day one of a Test.Warner – who found the boundary 17 times – added 13 runs after lunch before he edged a Wahab Riaz (2-63) delivery through to Sarfraz Ahmed.Wahab struck again in the second session, dismissing Pakistan-born batsman Usman Khawaja for 13 following a loose shot, but that is as good as it got for the tourists.Renshaw picked his shots as he brought up his three-figure landmark after tea, having seen Smith (24) fall victim to Yasir Shah’s turn, and he got better as the sun eventually set on a near-perfect day for Australia.AUSTRALIA 1st inningsM. Renshaw not out 167D. Warner c S. Ahmed b Riaz 113U. Khawaja c S. Ahmed b Riaz 13S. Smith c S. Ahmed b Shah 24P. Handscomb not out 40Extras: (b-2, lb-1, nb-4, w-1) 8Total: (for 3 wickets, 88 overs) 365Fall of wickets: 1-151, 2-203, 3-244.Bowling: M. Amir 16-1 58-0, I. Khan 17-3-81-0 (nb-2), W. Riaz 19-4-63-2 (nb-2, w-1), Y. Shah 30-2- 32-1, Az. Ali 4-0-16-0, A. Shafiq 2-0-12-0.last_img read more

Guyana wraps up participation at UCI World Masters Championships

first_imgGUYANA’s two-man team consisting of 1980 and 1984 Olympics representative, James ‘Joelyn’ Joseph and Aubrey Gordon, competed at the 2017 UCI World Masters Championships in Carson, California over the past week, at the VELO Sports Center.The Guyana team participated in the 20 laps scratch race. The race was won by Clayton Shepard of the USA, while Guyana’s James ‘Joelyn’ Joseph finished second and Michael Hines of USA, third.Gordon, who was not having a good race, was forced to abandon with 8 laps to go as he was forced off the track when two cyclists fell in front of him.The 500 meters time trial was won by USA’s Kurt Sato (34.936 seconds). David Willmott of Australia (35.915 seconds) was second and Joseph (36.088 seconds) third.The flying 200 metres is used to seed the cyclist for the Match Sprint. Joseph rode a world record time of 11.420 seconds and was seeded number one.Gordon rode the final event–40 laps point to point–and was ninth.“In Summary, Guyana did very well, however, to continue at this level the cyclists and Coach who had to foot their expenses will need financial assistance” the team’s coach, Victor Rutherford said, while adding “arriving on Saturday to commence racing on Sunday in not good enough. Especially as our cyclists do not have the luxury of a Velodrome at their disposal.”Rutherford explained that “most of the competitors have sponsors who absorb the cost and are full time cyclist. Team Guyana needs to be in place a week before the competition so as to practice on the track. Gordon and Joseph understandably have their Day job and family expenses.”“Hopefully, next year’s Championships which will be held at the said venue, we can by way of sponsors, the Guyana Cycling Federation, the GOA the ministry of sport and Guyanese at large, be able to equip the cyclists so that they can have an even playing field” Rutherford said.While advocating for Guyana to have a larger contingent, Rutherford thanked Neville and Cyril Hunte, Peter Sue, Mark Wills and Nehru Sheow for their support of the team.The VELO Sports Center is a 100,000 square foot, $15 million worth specially designed 250- meter indoor cycle racing track. The VELO Sports Center is also a part of StubHub Center’s partnership with the USOC as an Official U.S. Olympic Training Site and is a home track to USA Cycling’s national track cycling programme.The VELO Sports Center hosts training and international competitions for the world’s elite cyclists, as well as classes open to the public, at any skill level.last_img read more

Badger offense ready to go

first_imgReciever David Gilreath is part of a veteran UW recieving corps that includes four juniors or seniors.[/media-credit]Ask most Wisconsin football fans for their thoughts on last year’s offense, and all but the most cynical will tell you they were pleasantly surprised. Scott Tolzien emerged from spring competition to lead the Badgers to their third-highest passing yardage total in school history, and UW boosted its total yardage average upwards of 400 yards per game.Next, ask David Gilreath for the same, and note the difference.“It was mediocre, I’ll say,” Gilreath contested. “That’s just going off of the film we watched and how great we can be. So I think we were average, at best, last year.”This year, Gilreath expects the Badgers to score even more through the air — 22 times more, to be exact.“We looked at film, and all the passes we think could have been touchdowns, we could have easily had 38 touchdowns,” Gilreath said. “I know that sounds kind of outrageous, but we could have had 38 touchdowns in the red zone, whether it was drops, or someone being deked out on a route; it might have been overthrown, but someone being deked out on a route, that’s the thing that we got to work on, we can improve, we can do a lot better.”For Wisconsin, improving on the offensive end this season will prove more daunting than usual, as starting tight end Garrett Graham has graduated and moved on to brighter pastures as a NFL prospect. The 6-foot-3, 243 lb. Brick, NJ native was the Badgers’ second-leading receiver with 624 yards, but proved his worth in the red zone by hauling in a team-high seven touchdown receptions.Despite the void Graham leaves in Wisconsin’s offense, head coach Bret Bielema’s squad returns the rest of its skill players. Fifth-year senior Lance Kendricks will take reign of the tight end position, having enjoyed a breakout season last year behind Graham. The 6-foot-4, 239 lb. Kendricks is nearly as big as Graham, but possesses even greater athletic potential, lending credence to the magnified expectations the Badger offense is facing heading into this season.“Garrett brought a lot to the table,” Kendricks said. “I think leadership, definitely. Garrett and Mickey [Turner], they were both definitely leaders. I remember the Iowa game, when Garrett went down, it was hard to play without him because I was so used to him being there. Definitely leadership.”Although Kendricks was well known among Badger fans as the athletic complement to Graham, the Milwaukee native gained national prominence with his performance in Wisconsin’s Champs Sports Bowl upset of Miami.Having been embarrassed the previous year by Florida State in the very same bowl by a score of 42-13, the Badgers were carried by Kendricks’ career-high seven receptions and 128 yards receiving en route to a 20-14 victory. Clearly, the big game performance has paid big dividends for Wisconsin’s new starting tight end.“Definitely good,” Kendricks said of his confidence level heading into the season. “I’m more comfortable out there on the field, especially on third downs I notice. I’m out there and making more plays than I was before and that’s always good.”Kendricks will get much of the attention as Wisconsin attempts to stay atop the Big Ten in scoring offense and total yardage, but the Badger wideouts will be just as, if not more, crucial. The familiar quartet of Gilreath, Nick Toon, Isaac Anderson and Kyle Jefferson returns for UW, and each has a solid year with Tolzien under their belt. As a redshirt junior, Toon is the youngest of the four, a solid testament to the experience of the Badgers’ receiving corps.“Just details, we’re just working on details,” Jefferson said. “I mean, we know all the plays, we know the different positions, it’s just the detail of the route against different coverages and that’s the basic, main focus of what we’ll be doing for the whole spring; just working on the little details, the little things, the breaking point of a route, ways you should sit in the hole, your man-to-man breaks and different things like that.”Not having to worry about their confidence or familiarity with offensive coordinator Paul Chryst’s system, Wisconsin’s receivers have made “detail” the buzzword of their preseason preparations. Echoing Jefferson’s emphasis on fine-tuning, Gilreath displayed no hesitation in pointing out some of his own mistakes, such as executing corner routes too flat or high and misreading certain defensive schemes.As a result of their detail-oriented attitude, the Badgers have enjoyed a focused spring that will surely pay dividends later on in the regular season.“[We’re] looking really good,” Jefferson said. “We moved people around, we did different things and obviously [last year] we did some great things. We’re still learning as a group, but from my opinion, this is probably the best spring that I’ve seen since I’ve been here as a receiver, as an offensive player because we’re all complete.”last_img read more

Last time they played: Louisville 27, Syracuse 10

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 9, 2012 at 12:17 am Eight days. That was all it took for Syracuse to audible from a team that throttled No. 11 West Virginia to one failing to capitalize on opportunities against Louisville, sparking a five-game tailspin to end the season 5-7.Time after time, the Syracuse offense tried to take shots downfield to counteract blitzes from the 15th-ranked defense in the country. The Cardinals’ pressure left plenty of one-on-one opportunities for SU’s playmakers on the outside, but quarterback Ryan Nassib failed to connect consistently with his receivers all game long.“Against West Virginia, they had no negative-yards plays, whether it was running the ball or sacks,” Louisville head coach Charlie Strong said after the game. “We were able to get the sacks, throw for losses and our defense just played excellent today.”It all added up to a 27-10 Louisville win in front of 44,817 at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. The game pushed Louisville back to 0.500 and jump started a five-game losing streak for Syracuse.Louisville sealed the win in the fourth quarter with an option play to the left. Running back Victor Anderson saw space in front of him as he started to round the corner. SU strong safety Shamarko Thomas was all that stood between Anderson and the end zone 61 yards away. Thomas dove and swung his right hand at Anderson’s leg. He missed and Anderson scampered in for the game-clinching touchdown.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe SU offense had proven incapable of mustering any rhythm all day.Nassib overthrew Van Chew on a deep route along the right sideline when the receiver beat coverage early in the second quarter. Later, Nassib gunned a pass well out in front of an open Jarrod West in the end zone. Syracuse settled for a field goal.“You can go back, you can look at, we had some guys open early,” SU head coach Doug Marrone said. “When I say open, I’m talking about touchdown open.”Syracuse’s missed chances resulted in no pass plays of more than 20 yards. Nassib connected on a 20-yard touchdown to Jarrod West with 1:31 remaining and Louisville up by 24 points. The play was Nassib’s longest completion of the entire game.“We made plays last week, and we didn’t make plays this week,” Nassib said. “Me particularly. I definitely wasn’t accurate enough this week, didn’t make enough throws where guys were open. And those missed throws I made really cost us the game.”The Louisville defense appeared to make Nassib and the SU offense uncomfortable all day. The Cardinals collected 14 tackles for loss and sacked Nassib four times during the game.Coming into the game, the Orange planned to make big plays downfield early in each offensive series. It didn’t work out that way, as Nassib completed only eight of 14 of his passes on first down with an average of 5.25 yards per completion. That resulted in several third-and-long situations that SU failed to convert. Instead of notching first downs, Nassib dumped the ball off to running backs and tight ends.And three of the four Louisville sacks came on third down to end Syracuse drives. For the Syracuse offense, the game was riddled with short drives that ended in disappointment.With Louisville leading by 14 early in the fourth quarter, the offense trudged off the field after a six-play, 11-yard drive. The next time Syracuse took the field wasn’t much better. The Orange went 36 yards into Louisville territory before Nassib overthrew a wide-open David Stevens on fourth down. Stevens was behind the Cardinals defense and could have scored easily had the pass been on target.Against Louisville, Syracuse looked disoriented and borderline confused. It was in stark contrast to the performance against West Virginia in the Carrier Dome eight days earlier.Said Nassib: “We play so well a week prior, and then we come out and lay an egg.”—Compiled by Jon Harris, asst. sports editor, jdharr04@syr.edu Commentslast_img read more

CalPIRG doubles fundraising goal

first_imgThe USC chapter of CalPIRG said it wants to double its annual fundraising goal as it kicked off its pledge drive Monday to encourage long-term donations to support its professional staff.USC CalPIRG, a student-run organization that focuses on public interest issues and assuring students’ voices are heard in state government, currently advocates for issues such as banning the use of plastic bags in California and abolishing subsidies on corn products. CalPIRG uses its funds to hire lobbyists to represent its stances in Sacramento.The organization hopes to increase its donations to $75,000 by asking students to donate $10 monthly for as long as they can afford, said David Mittelstein, chair of USC CalPIRG. The group now only accepts credit card donations to facilitate long-term commitments.“The problem with cash donations is that they are not ongoing so we would have to do these fundraisers every month,” Mittelstein said. “This frees us up to focus on our campaign work.”Mittelstein said the organization wants to increase its annual fundraising so it can increase its visibility.“We really need these donations so we can be self-sufficient and compete on par with other special interest groups in getting our petitions heard and implemented in society,” Mittelstein said. “In politics, money is power, so we hire professional advocates like lawyers and lobbyists who give us a voice in the government.”CalPIRG’s current “Save the Oceans” campaign focuses on banning plastic bags in California. The campaign has received 4,700 signatures at USC this year.James DuLac, a coordinator of the campaign, said USC’s chapter has room to grow.“The USC chapter of CalPIRG is relatively young compared to other chapters in California, so we are growing rapidly every year,” DuLac said. “Its great that we are able to hire full time staff who go to Washington, D.C. and Sacramento to get our voices heard on issues.”last_img read more

Volleyball falls to UCSB, remains winless

first_imgIn their 2016 home opener, the No. 15 Trojans played a close match against the No. 9 UCSB Gauchos. but lost in four sets, 22-25, 25-23, 22-25 and 23-25.“I thought we finally put together some good stretches of volleyball, but we still have to be able to perform at every point from beginning to end,” said head coach Jeff Nygard.In the first set, the Trojans fell behind 15-12 before working it back to 17-17 after a Tommy Leonard kill. Although he and outside hitter Lucas Yoder would both finish with four kills in the set, the momentum swung back to the Gauchos who would close out 25-22.In the second set, despite dismal Gaucho hitting at .094, USC got off to an equally slow start and took a timeout to regroup after falling behind 9-6. Upon returning to the court, the Trojans fought for a 20-19 lead before a Gauchos’ timeout. Subsequently, four critical Gaucho errors down the stretch cost them the set which went to the Trojans, 25-23.In the middle of the third set, Lucas Yoder caught fire, recording seven kills in the next sixteen match points. His effort did not keep the Trojans ahead as UCSB hit .500 in the set with 20 kills, including eight from junior opposite Matt Marsh whose impressive individual effort sparked a 10-7 Gaucho run to win the set 25-22.Captain and senior outside hitter Alex Slaught liked the way his team played.“If anything, we just need to close games,” he said.Slaught pointed out that the Trojans “started playing a little hesitant in the long rallies” that gave the Gauchos unstoppable momentum in the fourth.Though the Men of Troy opened the fourth fearlessly with an early 9-6 run, the Gauchos responded with a 5-1 run and never looked back, committing zero attack errors the rest of the way to close out the fourth and final set 25-23.The Trojans fell behind at one point in all four sets and blew a five-point lead in the fourth, but Nygaard remains “encouraged by the fact that our guys are putting it together.”One sign of this improvement was Josh Kirchner’s breakout performance highlighted by eight kills and a .571 hitting percentage. His game is a sign that the team is maturing incredibly quickly in the early season, and as Nygaard said, “raising the expectations has been part of what we’ve been doing.”Saturday night the Trojans will need to defy expectations as they face crosstown rival UCLA for the first time since clinching an MPSF Tourney berth against them with a five-set victory at the Galen Center late last season. At that time, the Trojans were ranked No. 9 nationally and the Bruins were at No. 12, and while USC would finish the year at 19-9, UCLA would slide below .500 at 13-14.This year, however, the table has turned. USC is off to a poor start while UCLA has ascended to No. 1 in the nation with a perfect 6-0 record including quality wins versus both Ohio St. and Penn St., top ten programs that conquered the Trojans early in January.Indeed, the Trojans’ tumultuous start has left many questions unanswered. Understandably, they have struggled to fill the void left by graduating senior setter Micah Christenson, a two-time First-Team All-American, three-year team captain, and 4-year starter.For sophomore setter Jack Yoder, the team is generating energy as a unit.“We’re all super excited to get into Westwood and play [the Bruins],” Yoder said. “We have a lot to prove and this is a great opportunity for us.”And for junior libero Vinnie Rios the team carries over enough experience from previous years to feel “comfortable” at Pauley.“We’ve been playing against these guys for years now, so there’s nothing from this team we haven’t seen,” Rios said. “Rankings aside, we know what we have to do to win, so it’s just [a matter of] going and getting the job done.”Nygaard, who was a star player for the Bruins, had one thing to say about returning to Pauley Pavilion.“When I was there, my team learned how to win, and we intend to do the same,” Nygaard said.last_img read more