No. 14 USC men’s volleyball looks to continue upset streak

first_imgEven though the men’s volleyball team had their winning streak snapped after losing to Long Beach State last week, the team upset three top-ranked teams in the last four games. Those upsets have gone far in establishing the Trojans’ national standing, earning the team their first ranking at No. 14 this season.The Trojans look to add another upset to their list as they take on No. 4 Hawaii in back-to-back games on Thursday and Friday in a road matchup.“[Hawaii is] doing everything well,” head coach Jeff Nygaard said. “They are playing good volleyball. Categorically, if you look at the stats, they are near the top in every category: blocking, serving, side out, opponent side out. They are just doing a lot at a high level, which means we have to perform at a high level in order to contend with that.”While taking on a top team that looks to continue its 11-match winning streak is already a challenge, the Trojans will have to deal with overcoming injuries as well.Senior outside hitter Lucas Yoder, who is currently leading the nation in kills and points, did not play in the last game due to an abdominal strain. Sophomore outside hitter Gianluca Grasso has missed four games with an ankle sprain but showed signs of recovery as he played in the final set last week.However, it is uncertain whether either will be able to contribute on the court in these two games.“It is a TBD kind of thing,” Nygaard said. “I mean Lucas was taken off the court for a shorter period of time, but I am hoping he is ready to go. We will see what Gianluca’s ankle looks like.”With or without the two starters, the Trojans not only will be playing two nights in a row, but will also be facing the same team at their opponent’s home court.However, only the first game will count as an MPSF match. The second game will serve as a friendly, but could turn into a redemption match should the Trojans lose the first bout with Hawaii.“The positive is the second night out, there are no surprises,” Nygaard said. “You’ve already seen the game plan and it is already fresh in their head, so it is more of a few tweaks here, watch some video and reaffirm the things we want to do and go back out. It becomes a little more about heart at that point because you are going to be a little bit tired two nights in a row. ”last_img read more

Iowa House passes medical marijuana bill that has governor’s backing

first_imgDES MOINES — Republicans in the Iowa House have voted to make changes in the state-regulated medical marijuana program — changes the governor has said she’ll accept. Representative Jarad Klein of Keota was the Republican assigned to lead the debate.“We base a lot of this on the advice of very smart medical professionals because in the State of Iowa we have a medical program, not a recreational program masquerading as a medical program,” Klein said, “and that’s the way we’re going to keep it.”The bill would limit patients to four-and-a-half grams of the chemical THC in the cannabis products they purchase over a 90-day period.Representative Mary Gaskill, a Democrat from Ottumwa, said that’s not enough for many Iowa patients, including her daughter.“To those who do not know what it is like to have a loved one suffering from the pain of MS, you have no idea how concerned I am tonight about reducing the allowed grams over 90 days,” Gaskill said.Klein said the limit is based on the recommendation of the state board that oversees the program.“I am not a physician. I never pretend to be, but I do listen to them on this topic,” Klein said, “because it’s very important for them to do the homework and report back to us their professional advice.”Klein added that the bill provides a waiver if a doctor believes a patient would benefit from a higher amount of THC “to allow individuals to be treated on a case-to-case basis.”Representative John Forbes, a Democrat from Urbandale, is a pharmacist who said most doctors are already reluctant to recommend cannabis products to their patients.“You know we’re going to have about 2300 patients in this state who are going to have to cut their dose down,” Forbes said, “considerably.”Representative Wes Breckenridge, a Democrat from Newton, said it’s unfair to patients currently in the system who’ve successfully switched from opioids to cannabis.“Those that have finally found relief, have a dosage amount, a system in place where they are truly getting the care they need,” Breckenridge said, “now they’re going to have to try and jump back through hoops and hope, just hope that their practitioner will allow them and give them the dosage that they’re currently on.”Other provisions in the bill would let patients get a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana as treatment for more conditions — for PTSD and autism as well as for patients with self-harming behavior.Last year, Governor Reynolds surprised lawmakers by vetoing an expansion of the state’s medical marijuana program, but she’s made it clear she’ll sign this one. Key Senators still would like to allow patients to buy up a 90-day supply of cannabis products with up to 25 grams of THC. That means it’s unclear how this year’s medical marijuana debate may be resolved as it shifts to the senate.last_img read more