Rainone sisters meet as Syracuse hosts Connecticut

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Brenna Rainone has been looking forward to Syracuse’s Friday matchup against the Connecticut Huskies since January — of 2011.Rainone committed to SU as a junior from nearby Westhill High School, and though playing for an elite lacrosse program enticed her, there was another major factor involved in her decision: having the chance to play against her older sister Mackenzie, a midfielder at UConn.Mackenzie’s Huskies (6-0) travel to Syracuse on Friday to take on Rainone’s Orange (3-2) at 3 p.m. in the Carrier Dome. It will be the first and potentially last time the sisters will square off and the last time Syracuse and Connecticut play, as the Orange departs for the Atlantic Coast Conference next year.“Playing against her, that was a lot of the reason why I chose this school,” Rainone said. “I know it’ll be fun for my parents to see. It’s going to be fun to see who wins. Hopefully, I go up against her because that’s what I’ve been looking forward to for the last four years.”Rainone plays on the right side of the SU attack. Mackenzie plays defense on the same side, so the sisters could meet one-on-one several times. If they do, Rainone said it will be difficult to take the situation seriously. She said there will probably be a lot of swear words involved, but also a lot of smiling and laughing.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We’re so close that we’re competitive, but we can never get legit mad at each other,” Rainone said. “I’ll be mad if she takes the ball away from me or checks me, but I could never stay mad at her.”With a three-year age difference, the sisters’ careers only overlap for two seasons. Rainone played on Westhill’s varsity team as an eighth-grader and high school freshman while Mackenzie was a junior and senior, respectively. At Westhill, Rainone took her skill to the next level by watching Mackenzie and listening to her constructive criticism.Westhill head coach Tim Alberts called both sisters hard-nosed players with a special desire to win and a good, hard work ethic. He also noted their exceptional footwork, calling it “almost like a dance.”“As a coach, you have certain players come through that definitely leave a mark,” Alberts said. “You hope that everybody can strive to the competitiveness and level of joy those two have playing lacrosse. Their love of the game is evident. They just have this lacrosse aura about them.”But after high school, Mackenzie wanted “something different” and the chance to make a difference in an up-and-coming lacrosse program. As a lifelong SU fan, choosing a heated rival was tough. People at home tease her for going to UConn, Mackenzie said, and people in Connecticut nag her about being from Syracuse.“It’s her home team and always will be her hometown team,” Rainone said, adding that her sister still prefers SU’s men’s basketball team to UConn’s.Rainone and her sister have always been close, but their two years playing together improved their relationship even more. They talk every day, with the expected smack talk included. This week, Rainone asked Mackenzie for UConn’s defensive alignments. Her sister refused.But without question, they support each other. When Mackenzie came to the Dome her sophomore year to play the Orange, Rainone attended wearing a Syracuse sweater with a Connecticut shirt underneath. This past weekend, though, Rainone attended a UConn game in Storrs, Conn., wearing all of her Syracuse attire.On Friday, Alberts and the entire Westhill team will be on hand. Rainone family members are coming from as far as Colorado and Boston, and will be wearing specially made T-shirts. The girls’ father, Joe, will sit directly on the 50-yard line.Above all else, bragging rights will be on the line. And since this could be the last time they play, the bragging rights may last forever.Said Mackenzie: “We’ll just have to see what it comes down to on Friday.” Comments Published on March 21, 2013 at 1:08 am Contact Josh: jmhyber@syr.edulast_img read more

The good, the bad and the dirty in the week of boxing

first_imgWell, with future Hall of Fame trainer Buddy McGirt in his corner for the first time, Kovalev showed he can still be one of boxing’s best in routing Alvarez to an easy decision victory to become a three-time light heavyweight champion.The impressive thing was the fact Kovalev stayed composed. He didn’t overcommit on his punches and didn’t expend useless energy whenever there was a tie-up. In turn, that helped Kovalev when he got to later rounds as he was fresh as a daisy. The flicking of the jab setup his combinations, which still had pop in later rounds when he rocked Alvarez in the final minute of the 10th round.Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearThe win resurrects Kovalev’s career and puts him back in the thick of things at 175 pounds. You have WBA titlist Dmitry Bivol, IBF titleholder Artur Beterbiev, and WBC champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk that are on the table.As long as the 35-year-old keeps McGirt around and listens to what he tells him to do, we could see “The Krusher” version 2.0.- Teofimo Lopez passes his first real test: Lopez had made the first 11 fights of his career look pretty easy. He had never gone past the sixth round and won nine of those fights via stoppage.Diego Magdaleno was supposed to be the litmus test to see how Lopez was progressing. Lopez aced it with flying colors, running through the former two-time world title challenger to win by seventh-round knockout. The only bad thing on this night was Lopez didn’t need the excessive post-fight celebration when he stood next to Magdaleno and did a mock sweep up, but he will learn to cut that type of nonsense out as time goes on.Is he ready to take Vasiliy Lomachenko by the end of 2019? I don’t know, but it would be fun to see the charismatic rising star give it a try and attempt to knock off one of the sport’s elite.The 21-year-old, yes he’s only 21-years-old, checks off all the necessary tools to be one of the premier fighters in the sport. He possesses excellent speed and power. Ultimately, it’s up to Lopez. If he can continue to grow inside and outside the ring, Lopez can become a superstar.- Richard Commey wins gold: The native of Ghana was very close to his first world title back in September 2016, when he lost a razor-thin split decision to Robert Easter Jr. Many boxing pundits felt Commey had done enough to earn the IBF belt. Then, in his next time out, Commey lost another split-decision to Denis Shafikov.Losing back-to-back fights usually signals long road back to title contention. To Commey’s credit, he fought his way back with three impressive victories in a row to earn another crack at the IBF title against Isa Chaniev.Commey didn’t waste too much time, as the 31-year-old sent Chaniev to the canvas with a vicious straight right hand with 25 seconds remaining in the first round. Commey made sure Chaniev didn’t make it out of the second when he blasted Chaniev with a hard left hook to send him to the mat one more time. Somehow Chaniev got up, but Commey put him away with a barrage of shots and the referee finally waved it off for the first title win in Commey’s career.The win earned Commey a shot at Lomachenko on April 12 in a title unification bout. If Commey shows the type of ability we saw on Saturday, then we could see an upset.The Bad- Abner Mares out of his scheduled bout with Gervonta Davis: Last week, Mares pulled out of the bout due to an elbow injury.But during an appearance Sunday on “Inside PBC Boxing,” the three-division world champion revealed that he really had to bow out of the fight because he suffered a detached retina in his right eye at a sparring session on Jan. 23. Mares had surgery last Wednesday to repair the eye.The injury is career-threatening, but Mares feels like he will return someday. He’s going to leave the decision up to his doctors.This is the second time Mares has suffered the injury. It happened in 2008, but Mares won four world titles in three different weight classes since then.But at 33-years-old and having this issue happen again definitely raises some issues whether he should continue on. Long-term health is more important than continuing inside the ring and potentially making the matter worse. You would rather be able to see out of two eyes and live a full life instead of only having one functional eye.The Dirty- Referees need to start looking out for the safety of fighters: The three undercard fights leading up to Alvarez-Kovalev ended by stoppage. And in those instances, the referees failed to stop them in a timely manner.In the Commey-Chaniev fight, Chaniev was out like a sack of potatoes and anyone with any boxing knowledge would have seen Chaniev struggling to get up. But the referee let it go to only see Chaniev get battered and dropped one more time before calling it off in the second round.Then, in the Oscar Valdez-Carmine Tommasone bout, Tommasone got sent to the canvas for the third time in the sixth round. You could see Valdez had the fight well in hand and Tommasone had no shot at winning, but once again, the ref let it go a round too long, as Tommasone got knocked down in the seventh round and the fight was finally stopped.To cap the absurdity off, in the Lopez-Magdaleno fight, Lopez dropped Magdaleno nearly head first with a right hand to the body followed by a short left hook. It should have ended there, but the madness continued into the seventh when Lopez wound back with a brutal left hook. Seeing Magdaleno standing there ripe for the picking, Lopez put everything he had into his last shot and threw a scintillating left hook with evil intentions to violently send Magdaleno’s head bouncing off the mat.  It was a roaring week in boxing. Here are the highs and lows of the week.The Good- Sergey Kovalev is back: Kovalev had a lot to prove heading into his rematch with Eleider Alvarez. He blamed his performance on overtraining when he got stopped by Alvarez in August. He also used the same reasoning in the first and second loss to Andre Ward. What would be any different this time around? Kovalev was always a quick starter, but would fade down the stretch. Join DAZN and watch more than 100 fight nights a yearPeople will say the corners are there for a reason. In theory, they’d be correct. But the corners want their fighters to win. Part of the referee’s job is to protect the fighters and they failed horribly.Every fighter has a different pain threshhold, but with concussion issues running rampant in sports, safety is of the utmost importance. You see a fight well out of hand and a fighter absorbing too much punishment — stop the fight. That’s your job. Fortunately, no one was hurt. But next time, it could be a different story.last_img read more