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first_imgIn what was potentially the biggest match of the season for the women’s beach volleyball team, a new-look USC squad took on the No. 2-ranked Pepperdine Waves at Merle Norman Stadium Tuesday, falling short 2-3.Junior Brianna Sizemore (right) and sophomore Joy Dennis (left) fought valiantly against No. 2 Pepperdine on Tuesday night. Ling Luo | Daily TrojanThe dual opened up with an almost brand new pair, senior Jenna Belton and freshman Haley Hallgren, taking on the dominant Pepperdine duo of Skylar Caputo and Alexis Filippone.On paper, the two pairs were total opposites. Hallgren and Belton had only played once together prior to Tuesday, while Caputo and Filippone came in with a nearly impeccable 20-1 record. Early on, Belton and Hallgren held their own, keeping the first set close at 11-10 before falling 21-19.In the second set, Caputo and Filippone showed their dominance by jumping early over USC with a score of 12-4. Though Belton and Hallgren fought back to make it 13-8, the chemistry between Caputo and Filippone proved too much to overcome and Pepperdine took its first points of the dual by winning the set 21-12.On the fifth court, graduate transfer Alexandra Poletto and junior Katrina Kernochan took on Maddie Dilfer and Nikki Lyons of Pepperdine. Like their counterparts on the fourth court, Kernochan and Poletto fought hard in the first set and gained a 18-17 lead, but were unable to seize the moment and the Waves used a 4-1 run to take the opener 21-17.Much like the first set, Kernochan and Poletto found themselves in a good position tied at 16-16. Despite the effort, Lyons and Dilfer were simply too much to handle and took the second set 21-19. A common theme of Poletto and Kernochan’s matches is the tendency for opponents to target Kernochan on serves. At one point, Kernochan had received 23 serves while Poletto only received two.After the dual, head coach Anna Collier hinted that there could be some more big changes at the fourth and fifth slots for USC moving forward. She had already decided to make some “shake-ups” after last week’s UCLA loss. After losing both courts Tuesday, Collier said that another change could be expected.With their backs against the wall again, the Women of Troy looked to their first three pairs to ignite a comeback.Once again, the first slot pair of junior Abril Bustamante and freshman Tina Graudina proved to be a bright spot for USC. Taking on Corinne Quiggle and Deahna Kraft of Pepperdine, Graudina and Bustamante made their presences felt early by going up 12-8 and taking the first set 21-17. In the second set, Quiggle and Kraft were unable to handle the onslaught of powerful shots coming from USC’s most consistent pair and the Women of Troy were able to get their first point of the dual off a 21-15 second set win.Graudina attributed their success to an “opposites attract” type of relationship.“I couldn’t have hoped for a better partner,” she said of Bustamante. “She is always excited and I have to calm her down sometimes but that’s why it works well.”USC would pick up their second point of the dual on the third court with senior Terese Cannon and freshman Sammy Slater taking on Heidi Dyer and Gigi Hernandez of Pepperdine.Cannon and Slater came out firing early, taking an 11-5 lead early, winning the first set 21-15. In the second set, Roh and Bauer responded by going on a run of their own and jumping on USC 9-12 early in the second set. With their backs against the wall, Cannon and Slater fought back, going on a 12-7 run the rest of the way to tie the dual for USC.With the dual tied at 2, all eyes turned to the second slot where junior Brianna Sizemore and sophomore Joy Dennis squared off against Madalyn Roh and Brook Bauer. Early on, it was Pepperdine who seemed able to handle the pressure, taking the first set 21-13 despite the match being close at 13-10 early on. In an intense second set, both sides traded blows, at one point tying at 19. Eventually it was Roh and Bauer who would finish strong and secure the dual for Pepperdine by winning 21-19.With the Women of Troy unable to consistently defeat elite teams, Collier said she would continue to find the “missing piece” for USC as the regular season winds down.“We don’t get in the flow to win when we need to,” Collier said. “When we need to make a push on the other team, we rock on our heels. If you let these good teams know that you are rocking, they will push you all the way back.” The Women of Troy will travel to Seattle this weekend for the Pac-12 North Invitational where they will take on the Cal Bears, Oregon Ducks, Stanford Cardinal and Washington Huskies.last_img read more

first_img First Published: 19th December, 2019 16:08 IST He reiterated his opinion that the WADA ban was politically motivated. “The WADA decision contradicts the Olympic Charter,” Putin added. WATCH US LIVE SUBSCRIBE TO US Press Trust Of India READ |  NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars Release Top Executive After Pressure From NFLPA Written By “If WADA does not have any issues with our national Olympic committee our team must compete under its flag,” Putin said during an annual end-of-year news conference, insisting that most of Russia’s athletes were clean. “Any punishment should be individual,” he added. “If a majority of our athletes are clean how is it possible to slap sanctions against them for someone else’s actions?” center_img FOLLOW US READ | Serena Williams Gets Boxing Lessons From “Iron” Mike Tyson, Watch VideoWADA this month banned Russia for four years from major global sporting events, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, over manipulated doping data. Russia’s anti-doping agency was set on Thursday to decide whether to launch an appeal against the WADA ban. This formal disagreement with WADA would trigger the process of appeal against the ban at the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.READ | Playoff Participants Also Contend For Team Recruiting Title President Vladimir Putin on Thursday insisted Russia’s athletes should be allowed to compete under the Russian flag, despite a four-year ban handed down by the World Anti-Doping Agency from major sporting events over systematic violations.READ | Larry Holmes Cried After Defeating The Legendary Muhammad Ali Back In 1980 Last Updated: 19th December, 2019 16:09 IST Putin Says Russia Must Compete Under Flag At Sports Events President Vladimir Putin on Thursday insisted Russia’s athletes should be allowed to compete under the Russian flag, despite a four-year ban handed down by WADA LIVE TV COMMENTlast_img read more

first_imgThe New Zealand Football Federation put an end to the ocean nation’s Premier League due to the coronavirus pandemic and the danger this poses for soccer players and fans. “Auckland City, leader with 37 points, is declared champion, which gives it a place in the next edition of the OFC Champions League“, announced on its official website the competition, which claimed to have agreed on the decision” with clubs and the government’s medical council. “ Auckland City thus added the 11th Premiership of its history, which came under the baton of the Spanish José Manuel Figueira and with Eñaut Zubikarai, Angel Berlanga Y Albert Riera in the template. Despite being benefited by the resolution Ivan Vukisch, president of the New Zealand entity, declared feeling “disappointed”. “No one wanted the season to end this way. Team Wellington was very close and Waitakere United, Eastern Suburbs AFC, Tasman United, Hamilton Wanderers and Southern United were fighting for a ‘play-off’ spot,” said the manager.The ‘Navy Blues’, who were awarded the Charity cup just a few days ago after defeating Eastern Suburbs 0-2, they were leaders, although only three points separated them from second place. At the time of suspension, two games remain for the end of the regular season. If everything had continued normally, the play-offs for the title would have been played later. Auckland was already affected by the suspension of the OFC Champions League, postponed until May 6.last_img read more

first_imgThe Permanent Fund Dividend is in the news a lot, but where does that money come from? The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation is responsible for managing the investment of the $52 billion fund. The corporation does not send out dividend checks, but its investment earnings determine the size of the PFD.KTOO’s David Purdy visited the state-owned corporation’s office in Juneau to meet some of the faces behind the investments.Download AudioWikimedia commons photo by Pen WaggenerThe new Showtime drama Billions is set in the high stakes world of New York finance – think hedge funds and Wall Street.So what kind of drama surrounds the real-life billions at the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation?“Whether it’s going well or going poorly – it pretty much looks the same,” said Jim Parise, the corporation’s director of fixed income.For a guy who manages billions of dollars, Parise seemed really calm.“It’s just a steady group of people that have been doing it a long time and know what they’re doing,” Parise said.So what’s the secret to staying so relaxed when you’re responsible for investments are worth every piece of taxable property in Juneau a dozen times over?“It’s about $52 billion total,” said Parise. “So yeah. We all are managing billions each, but we think of it as units. If you think of it as actual money, you would go crazy.”But units or not, markets can be unpredictable. The financial crisis comes to mind.“2008 was really, really tough, because no matter what you did you were getting hurt,” Parise said.In fact, in the early days of the Great Recession, the fund was literally losing millions of dollars a day.And it was tough, and we were down quite a bit, but that’s when you’re really tested to see whether or not your philosophy … and your discipline — the way that you manage money works.”Parise said at the time they placed a lot of “high conviction bets” based on their analysis.“You knew they were going to come back,” said Parise. “It didn’t feel like it at the time.”But their bets paid off, and by 2010 the fund was once again seeing positive returns. So what does a day look like when you’re dealing with that much money? Well, it starts early to match the time in New York – Parise gets in at about 5 a.m.That’s when an issuer like Microsoft may decide to bring a bond deal. They do it first thing in the morning. And so we have to be here to be able to say we’d like some of those bonds or not. And it allows us to do that. If we came in too much later then we would miss out on those opportunities.A lot of that buying and selling happens on the computer nowadays, but sometimes it still down to a negotiation on the phone.We have to agree on a price, so we go back and forth. It’s not just a guess – we have, they have very good data, we have very good data, and we use it against each other to try and figure out what the best price is.So how does he know what’s a fair price? Parise says their analysis often points to a “natural” price that they think a bond is worth. So if the price dips below this natural level, he might take the opportunity to buy it on the cheap. Or he might sell a bond that goes higher before the price comes back down.This strategy requires patience, and in general the fund relies on taking a long-term approach.“The nice thing for the fund is we have an infinite time horizon,” said Executive Director Angela Rodell. “So we can make 5-, 8-, 10-year investments, knowing we don’t need to see the returns on that, or realize the returns on that in the next year.”That kind of long-term outlook could come with some tradeoffs.Gregg Erickson owns an economic consulting firm, Erickson & Associates. He said that there may be a disconnect between long-term results and who’s responsible for them.“Well the problem with that is that, in my view, is that the Permanent Fund is a political organization that’s run on behalf of the people of Alaska, and how are the people of Alaska able to judge whether they’ve done well or not if their time horizon is 15 years?” Erickson asked. “By the time 15 years rolls around and you can prove — or 10 years, and you can prove that they’ve either done poorly or well, the people who were responsible for that are long gone.”The people responsible for that, ultimately, are the corporation’s board of trustees, who are appointed by the governor.Erickson said evaluating the fund’s performance is also difficult because it’s unique – there aren’t that many multibillion dollar funds with similar goals to compare to. One possibility is the Public Employees’ Retirement System and the Teachers’ Retirement System, often called PERS and TRS.PERS and TRS have slightly higher returns over the past 10 years, but they also have different goals and strategies: PERS and TRS have to bring in a certain amount of money to cover retirement benefits, while the Permanent Fund Corporation puts a higher priority on preserving the value of the fund.Ultimately, Parise said he has faith in his colleagues at the Permanent Fund.“Everybody here is very, very passionate about what they do,” said Parise. “And they’ve dedicated themselves to it, and I think that, you know, Alaskans should take comfort in the fact that there’s people here that really care about the Permanent Fund, they care about Alaska, and they care about managing money.”The Permanent Fund’s annualized total returns since 1985 are over 9 percent.last_img read more