Syracuse’s ‘X-factor’ is Maxwell professor and volunteer assistant Len Lopoo

first_img Published on March 29, 2018 at 9:46 am Contact KJ: | @KJEdelman The ball landed on the line, and Syracuse volunteer assistant coach Len Lopoo was sure of it. But the umpire called it out of bounds.Lopoo, a coach who prefers to not be in the spotlight, jumped from his seat and yelled at the top of his lungs.“Are you kidding me?” Lopoo said to the umpire. “That was right on the line. That was really right on the line.”Sophomore Miranda Ramirez, who was up 4-2 in the first set of her second singles match, threw up her hands in shock but let Lopoo do the talking. After the one-sided shouting continued for almost a minute, the umpire told Lopoo to “chill out.” The call stayed in favor of Wake Forest’s then-No. 88 Eliza Omirou.Associate head coach Shelley George’s husband turned his body away from the altercation and faced the crowd.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I’ve never seen him that mad before,” he said with a smirk to nearly 30 people watching at Drumlins Country Club.After the two cooled down, Ramirez flashed a smile in the direction of Lopoo and grabbed the ball to hold serve.“He had my back,” Ramirez said after the match, “… like he always does.”Courtesy of SU AthleticsLopoo, who declined to be interviewed for this story, has become No. 34 Syracuse’s (12-3, 4-3 Atlantic Coast) “X-factor” — as head coach Younes Limam put it — during home matches and behind the scenes. His instincts with in-match decisions and willingness to compete alongside players during practice set him apart from other volunteer coaches, Limam said.A teenage Lopoo played tennis at Catholic High in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he eventually ranked nationally as a top-20 junior player. After four team and three individual state championships in high school, Lopoo joined the tennis team at Louisiana State University, per Lopoo’s bio page.Following the end of his collegiate tennis career, Lopoo received his master’s and PhD at the University of Chicago. He’s been a professor at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs since 2003. In 2011, he joined the SU’s women’s tennis team as a volunteer coach. But he isn’t an ordinary volunteer coach, Limam said.Limam was hired as head coach in 2014 to change the culture of Syracuse’s program. One of the first things he did when he arrived at Syracuse was get lunch with Lopoo, who had spent the last two seasons coaching SU.The two met at Pascale Italian Bistro, a restaurant connected to Drumlins Country Club, the site of the Orange’s home matches. They talked about everything: family, team philosophy, expectations and changes to recruiting strategy. Limam didn’t know any of the players he would coach entering the 2015-16 season, so he asked Lopoo to analyze each of their playing styles to get a better sense of his new team.Limam left that conversation with a good feeling.“I knew we saw eye-to-eye on a lot of things,” Limam said. “It was not a question to keep him on our coaching staff.”Now four years into his partnership with Limam, Lopoo puts his tennis skills to use in morning practices. Two to three times a week, Lopoo will play several sets of singles and doubles against players, including Ramirez.“He’s a bit tricky,” Ramirez said, “He doesn’t play like anyone else on the team. (He) slices his backhand a lot, has a kick serve, plays baseline-to-baseline. It’s usually a pretty even match between us, but it helps a lot.”Lopoo points out subtle strategic adjustments to the players he competes with in practice, but while coaching them, his demeanor adapts to specific situations.“He has the instinct to know what players need,” Limam said. “Usually it’s a quick decision, it’s natural.”For Ramirez, the player Lopoo most often shadows during matches this season, positivity and reinforcement help her get to a “perfect mental state,” she said. In tight positions, like her third-set tiebreak against Omirou on March 18, Lopoo insists that Ramirez is the better player on the court and convinces her to trust her shots and instincts, she said.On gameday, each of SU’s three coaches generally hones in on a specific doubles and singles match. While Lopoo is just a volunteer assistant, Limam trusts his decision-making and game plan “100 percent.”“He helped me when I first got here,” Limam said, “and now he helps (the players) a lot. He’s a big part of what we do here.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Quartet named for Dutch Junior Open

first_img Laird Shepherd, 19, (Rye) has enjoyed a run of high finishes this season starting with 13th place in the Portuguese amateur and continuing with 9th place in the Scottish men’s open and fourth in the St Andrews Links Trophy.  Todd Clements, 20, (Braintree) set a course record of seven-under 66 on the Hotchkin course at Woodhall Spa during the Brabazon Trophy, where he finished 25th. He tied seventh in the Lytham Trophy, 24th in the St Andrews Links Trophy and payed all four rounds of the European Amateur.  8 Jul 2017 Quartet named for Dutch Junior Open Bailey Gill, 20, (Lindrick) won the U21 Darwin Salver at Rye, tied seventh in the Portuguese amateur and reached the last 16 in the match play of the Spanish amateur. He also shared 10th place in the St Andrews Links Trophy. He was in Yorkshire’s winning team at the 2016 English men’s county championship. center_img Four players will represent England in the Dutch Junior Open at Toxandria Golf Club from July 19-22.  They are Todd Clements of Essex (image copyright Leaderboard Photography), Bailey Gill of Yorkshire, Laird Shepherd of Sussex and Tom Sloman of Somerset. Tom Sloman, 20, (Taunton & Pickeridge) was runner up in the Irish amateur open and took third place in the Darwin Salver. Other high finishes include 10th place in the Welsh open stroke play and 14th in the Duncan Putter in Wales.last_img read more

Joe Root sees humour in Virat Kohli’s ‘mic drop’ act

first_imgEngland captain Joe Root is relishing the competition with his counterpart as the five-match Test series got underway with an action packed first day in Edgbaston.India came back strong on Day 1 after England took the upper-hand in the first two sessions. The hosts were cruising at 216 for the loss of three wickets on the opening day of the first Test on Wednesday when an ill-judged call by Jonny Bairstow led to Root being run out on 80 following a brilliant throw by Kohli.Kohli, who was mid-wicket, quickly collected the ball and released it swiftly to the non-striker’s end for a direct hit to dismiss Root.The India captain then celebrated the dismissal with a ‘mic drop’ gesture. Earlier, with ODI series levelled at 1-1, Root slammed 100 not out at Headingley as England defeated India by eight wickets to clinch the series. Root then celebrated the win by dropping his bat with Kohli watching on. The celebration was seen as a statement made by Root prior to the Test series against India. Joe Root did the ‘mic drop’ celebration after winning the three-match ODI series for England (Getty Images)Also read – India vs England: Virat Kohli mocks Joe Root with mic drop celebration Virat Kohli’s direct throw from mid-wicket ran Joe Root out on Day 1 of the first Test (Reuters Photo)Kohli’s ‘mic drop’ gesture was clearly in response to Root’s actions in front of Kohli after the third ODI.Also read – Keaton Jennings ‘cool’ with Kohli’s mic-drop gesture after Root run outadvertisementBut, Root sees no offence to it. Instead, he feels that Kohli’s actions spice things up in the series and make it entertaining.”I actually think it adds to the whole spectacle of Test cricket, it gives a bit of humour to it, and it makes for a very entertaining series for something like that to happen so early on, so we’ll see how things pan out over the course of the five test matches,” Root told Sky before the second day’s play. Joe Root had celebrated in front of Joe Root after England won the third ODI (Reuters Photo)Root’s teammate and England opener Keaton Jennings also weighed in on the issue and said that he is completely ‘cool’ with Kohli’s actions.”It’s fine. Everybody is entitled to celebrate how they want to. He celebrated, and that’s cool,” Jennings said at the end of day’s play.On Day 2, India bowled out England for 287 and started their chase in a good fashion before calamity struck.They suffered three quick blows in their reply to England’s modest first innings total with English left armer Sam Curran pegging them back to 76 for three at lunch.The Indian openers chalked up a half century partnership but the visitors were rocked by three swift strikes by the 20-year-old swing bowler who is playing in his only second test match.Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan got the visitors off to a good start with Dhawan looking the more dangerous of the two despite some good bowling by Stuart Broad and James Anderson.But the introduction of Curran turned the tables in favour of the hosts as he dismissed India’s top three batsmen in the space of nine runs.Dhawan scored 26 off 46 deliveries peppered with some fluent strokes while Vijay made 20. KL Rahul made only four.last_img read more