Comments After the Orange missed yet another chance at playing in the NCAA tournament last season, head coach Luke Jensen knew he needed to get his team over the hump if it wanted to compete for a spot in 2011-12.During the offseason, Jensen restructured the Orange’s schedule, filling the slate with more highly touted programs to increase SU’s strength of schedule. When the tournament’s selection committee sees the increased level of competition, Jensen hopes it’ll translate to a berth in the tournament.‘If you see our schedule this year compared to years past, we’ve had very good records, but it didn’t get us into the NCAA (tournament),’ Jensen said. ‘2012 is really the next phase of a changing landscape, and that is we have to schedule to get into the NCAA tournament.’ Jensen and his squad will begin that next phase when SU travels to Fort Worth, Texas, to take on a strong Texas Christian program this Saturday at 11 a.m. The Orange will play its second consecutive game against a tough opponent on the road to start the season, reflecting Jensen’s plan to earn a spot in the tournament.Typically, Jensen said he hasn’t scheduled single matches against distant opponents because it’s too costly for the university. In the past, Jensen has tried to squeeze two or three matches into a weekend road trip, but this season, the head coach said he believes the $5,000 it cost to head to Fort Worth will be worth it in the long run.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘We’re going to Texas to spend a lot of money on one match, and that’s usually not the case,’ Jensen said. ‘Usually we try to get two or three matches to justify the expenditure, so it’s an investment into playing better competition.’SU’s upcoming match against the Horned Frogs will also provide an opportunity for early-season improvements and adjustments for the Orange. Jensen said he defines winning by learning and hopes that Saturday’s contest will offer a lesson of sorts to kick-start his team. The sooner SU can start landing punches against big-time opponents, the better off the Orange will be at tournament time.Senior captain Emily Harman also believes a stronger schedule will benefit the Orange players earlier in the season.‘In past years, our schedule has hurt us a bit just because we haven’t seen that level of competition up until that point where we have to win in order to reach the NCAA tournament,’ Harman said. ‘Our coach has done a fantastic job at getting many more higher ranked teams, and that’s going to be a very large stepping stone for us to really make the next move for this program.’Although Syracuse has lacked strong competitors on its schedule for the last few years, sophomore Maddie Kobelt said she believes the team is ready to step up and take on the challenge.It starts with executing against TCU on Saturday. By playing tougher opponents, Kobelt said the Orange will be motivated to maximize its potential to break out into the national spotlight.‘I think we’re ready for (a tougher schedule),’ Kobelt said. ‘This is what we want. When we play TCU, we just need to execute what we’ve been practicing because we’re all capable of beating any player we face on the court.’When SU travels down to Texas on Saturday, a new chapter will be written for Jensen and his squad. The Orange will play TCU for the first time in program history. Jensen will also be facing his old friend Dave Borelli, who is the Horned Frogs’ head coach and Jensen’s former coach when he played at Southern California.The alliance can only help Jensen in his quest for competition and eventually an NCAA championship.‘Our objective is to win a national title, and you can’t win a national title unless you get into the NCAA tournament,’ Jensen said. ‘If you don’t get into the NCAA tournament, then what’s the point?’[email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 18, 2012 at 12:00 pm
Agnieszka Radwanska, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are all in action on centre court today.
(Source: klix.ba) Young national football team of B&H played tie in a friendly match with their peers from Montenegro today in Čitluk.Although there were no goals, the game was full of opportunities. The coach of B&H team, Darko Nestorović, said after the game that the tie game was realistic.“It was hard match on a hot day. Both Montenegrins and we had our chances. Even though our chances seems to be a bit more mature, generally speaking the tie is realistic. It is very important for players to freshen up before the match with Norway, since it is common that players get a little exhausted and tired at the end of the season, but we will be ready for the next match,” he said.The match with young Montenegrins served to B&H football players as a final check before the start of qualifications and match against Norway on the 13th of June in Drammen.