September 16, 2020

Syracuse qualifies for 1st-ever NCAA tournament, to play Yale

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ After qualifying for the NIVC last season, its first postseason tournament appearance in program history, Syracuse returned six seniors: Witherspoon, Ebangwese, Jalissa Trotter, Mariia Levanova, Anastasiya Gorelina and Christina Oyawale. Syracuse finished fourth in ACC play, with its 14 ACC wins tied for the most since joining the conference in 2013. Still, unlike her coach, Ebangwese wasn’t certain SU was safe entering the night.“All signs and logic says, ‘yes, we’re probably going to make it,’” Ebangwese said. “But it’s not real, it’s not official until you see your name.”Syracuse began its season with three tournaments away from the Women’s Building. During the Marquette Tournament, it played Brigham Young University, USC, and Marquette, three ranked opponents in three days. From there, the Orange used a 4-0 start in ACC play, its best since joining the conference in 2013, to reach 14 wins.On Oct. 28, SU knocked off then-No. 22 Louisville, its first victory over a ranked opponent since 2015. The experience of playing ranked opponents during the preseason tournaments, the Orange felt, helped prepare it for teams like the Cardinals who awaited it in the ACC.Eric Storms | Staff Writer“We didn’t necessarily win the [preseason tournament] games,” junior libero Aliah Bowllan said earlier in the season. “But we learned a lot and we were playing with the best teams in the nation.“We were playing with them and able to keep up with them.” And shortly past the midway point of the twentieth hour on Sunday night, it was rewarded for those early season losses, its five-game winning streak, and everything in between. Rewarded with more than another appearance in the NIVC, and rewarded with something that no other SU volleyball player ever experienced.After Syracuse popped up on the screen and the players erupted with cheers, Yelin remained stoic. As Ebangwese, Oyawale, and others hugged one another, he spoke to a recruit over the phone. When Yelin ended the call, his phone was already blowing up. For years his teams had searched for a tournament bid, set back by the change from the Big East to the ACC, he said.“I got so many text messages from former players and they’re so happy,” Yelin said, “and I responded back to them that [this] wouldn’t be happening if you didn’t build this kind of platform for this kind of game, for these kids.” Comments Published on November 25, 2018 at 8:36 pm Contact Eric: estorms@syr.edu SU head coach Leonid Yelin was near certain Syracuse would reach the NCAA tournament. At 8:29 p.m., one minute before the NCAA selection show was supposed to begin, Yelin strolled into the room in Manley Field House where the Syracuse watch party was being held. After pacing in and out for about half an hour, he didn’t smile, speak, or show any sign of nervousness. Instead, he started fiddling with his phone. Eventually, he took a seat next to associate coach Erin Little. “Just to know how it works for so many years, I was pretty confident,” Yelin said. Yet, everyone other than Yelin was anxious. Senior Amber Witherspoon said the wait felt like “centuries,”  and fellow senior Santita Ebangwese tried to pass the time by studying flashcards for an upcoming exam related to her bioengineering major.But soon, the Orange heard what they were waiting for. When “Syracuse” appeared on the screen beneath “Penn State” and “Howard,” the room erupted in cheer. For the first time in program history, Syracuse (18-8, 14-4 Atlantic Coast) is headed to the NCAA Tournament. The Orange earned a birth in the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Tournament and will face Yale (19-4, 14-1 Ivy League) on Nov. 30, in a match hosted by No. 8 Penn State.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textlast_img read more

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Honda’s new engines for IRL on track

first_img“So we made the change, the biggest change really was to the induction system, which was a much simpler system than we used in the past,” Griffiths said. “So with the mechanical design changes to the engine, we obviously had to do a lot of durability testing to confirm that the engine would be good for our target mileage of 1,400 miles, and then to ensure that with the new electronics package that we introduced for this coming year, that the calibrations and the strategies were suited to both oval and road course racing.” The IRL tested the new engines last week on the road course at Daytona International Speedway and Mactaggart said it was “boringly routine.” “There were no issues with the cars at all,” Mactaggart said. “I think we had one minor transmission problem with one car. But it wasn’t even worth mentioning. It was just what you would consider to be a normal, routine racing failure. There were no issues with the cars’ origins at all.” The new engines are perhaps too good. Griffiths said they are more powerful than originally planned and could produce speeds 4 percent or 5 percent better than last year. “We were quite pleased with the job we had done. Unfortunately, the Indy Racing League wasn’t so impressed with it,” Griffiths said. “Indianapolis is the one racetrack that I get beaten up regular over about how fast we’re going. So we have made some hardware changes to bring the performance of the engine back to where we were on the 2006 engine.” Griffiths said that he has regular discussions with IRL officials about how to control the speeds of the cars, especially on oval tracks. “I’m sure if we turned up last year’s 2006 engine, gave it to Sam Hornish, he’d probably go 2 miles an hour faster just based on car development alone,” Griffiths said. Drivers have said to Griffiths that the new engines create more torque and thus perform better in the corners of racetracks. “And hence it pulls more cleanly out of the corners, which ultimately leads to a faster speed down the end of the straight,” Griffiths said. “So I think we could be a mile and a half an hour potentially faster at these tracks, but if this becomes an issue then we can work with the Indy Racing League and look at what we can do to control those speeds.” Drivers have also told Griffiths that the cars with the new engines are “raceable.” Griffiths said he wants the cars to be more than raceable. “We could go and race tomorrow if we wanted to,” Griffiths said. “But we set ourselves some extremely high standards, and we’re going to keep working at it and keep improving on things to the point where people don’t go, `Well, it’s just raceable.’ It’s now, `This is a great package.”‘ timothy.haddock@dailynews.com (818) 713-3715 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Griffiths said once HPD was notified the IRL was going to use ethanol as fuel, it ran some tests on the existing 3.0-liter engines. Initial tests showed that the performance of the engines was a little down compared with running a fuel with a 90-10 methanol/ethanol blend. “We were concerned with the general transition to more oval courses that perhaps the cars would be a little bit slow,” Griffiths said. As a result, HPD suggested to the IRL that using a 3.5-liter engine with the ethanol fuel would narrow the gap in performance and remain cost-effective for the teams. “This had other benefits, which we weren’t initially looking at, one of them being that the midrange performance of the engine was significantly increased over where we were for the 3.0-liter engine,” Griffiths said. “That has given us a much more drivable engine on the road course. The initial design of the 3.0-liter engine was very much geared toward ovals as it was conceived back in 2004, when we were predominantly an oval series.” The 3.5-liter engine also has an increased durability. Griffiths said HPD was able to simplify many of the components and produce an engine that could be used over the course of two or three races. Honda Performance Development supplies every Indy Racing League team in the IndyCar series with engines. Ever since Toyota and Chevrolet left the series a year ago, Honda has been the sole provider of power to the IRL. Without competition, Honda has looked to developing technology to make its engines more durable, efficient and high-performing. center_img One of the changes in the IRL this year is the introduction of 100 percent fuel-grade ethanol for use in races. The use of ethanol led to another change: an increased engine size for all the teams in the IRL. Roger Griffiths, the race team technical leader for Honda Performance Development, which is based in Santa Clarita, and Les Mactaggart, the IRL’s senior technical director, talked about the impending changes and what teams and drivers can expect with the new engines they will be using. last_img
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