People also tend to get sick this time of year, and you need to be healthy to give blood. (WBNG) — January marks National Blood Donor Month, making it a great time to get out and give blood. “There’s been times where, let’s say there’s been a common cold going around and a good amount of people can’t donate blood because we need people to be healthy and make sure that they’re feeling well to donate blood, so unfortunately that can have an impact as well,” said Gutierrez. “It could be a little bit more difficult just because the snow is here and it’s the Southern Tier, and maybe people are busy with work, but now we’re just starting off the new year so if people could really take time out of their day to make a difference, one blood donation has the power to save three lives. So think about that, they could really have the power to make a difference,” said Broome County account manager with the Red Cross Esperanza Gutierrez. The American Red Cross says this time of year is a great time to spread awareness about making a difference, because during the winter it can be tough to maintain a sufficient blood supply. “I’ve come across so many people in the Southern Tier, that they’ve needed blood before in their lifetime, so this is a problem here in our local area, as far as a national perspective as well. There’s always going to be a need for blood. It could be somebody in my family one day, it could be somebody in your family one day,” said Gutierrez. If you give blood before January 19, you can be entered in a drawing for a chance to win a trip to the Super Bowl. For anyone who donates this month, the Red Cross is giving out free reusable bags. That’s in part because of the winter weather, causing blood drives to be canceled and making it harder for people to get out. And while it’s National Blood Donor Month, the Red Cross’ mission hits close to home.
After a spectacular comeback bid fell just one point short against crosstown rival UCLA last week, the women’s tennis looks to return to winning ways against San Diego State on Wednesday. The Women of Troy had been looking to extend a six-game winning run going into their matchup against the Bruins, but they will now try to start a fresh streak by taking care of the Aztecs at Marks Stadium.Despite the close loss to archrivals UCLA, associate head coach West Nott insisted that “nothing has changed” in the squad’s preparations for game day.“Have a good practice, control the things you can control and just get back out there on the court and rack up another win,” Nott said when asked about the team’s mentality heading into the contest.No. 4 USC now sports a 10-2 record and an undefeated 4-0 mark at home, while San Diego State is 6-5 for the season and has not lost in almost a month. After a rough 2-5 start, the Aztecs notched four consecutive victories to push their record over .500, and they will look to make it five in their upset bid against the Women of Troy.USC travelled to San Diego in 2014 and came away with a dominant 7-0 victory, but neither the players nor the coaches are taking the win for granted this year.“If we can keep working on the things we’ve been working on, the rest will just fall into place,” Nott said. “We won’t be taking them lightly.”Six USC players are currently nationally ranked in singles, led by No. 18 junior Giuliana Olmos. The other ranked Women of Troy include two seniors, No. 36 Sabrina Santamaria and No. 46 Zoë Scandalis, while No. 88 Gabby Smith, No. 83 Meredith Xepoleas and No. 65 Madison Westby are all freshmen. Olmos and Scandalis are also the 17-ranked doubles partnership in the country, and sophomore Zoë Katz and senior Gabriella DeSimone are currently ranked at No. 27.After the loss against UCLA last week, head coach Richard Gallien identified doubles as an area for improvement, and the team has been working to improve that aspect of their game throughout the week.“We’ve got some new players, and gelling takes a little bit of time, especially just handling the pressure of a dual match,” Nott said. “We’ve been working really hard, and the kids are learning very quickly so I wouldn’t be surprised if we played great doubles [against San Diego State.]”The players and coaching staff have also been working on maintaining full, NCAA tournament-esque intensity over the course of a full match.“We’re working on our overall consistency as a team, not giving away any free points, just making every point, set and match contested from the beginning to the end and playing a full, complete performance,” Nott said.USC and San Diego State do not share many common fixtures in their seasons, as the Aztecs play in the Mountain West Championship, but comparing results against their lone mutual opponent — Pepperdine — inspires confidence. San Diego State fell to the Waves by a score of 5-2 in their lone meeting of the spring, while the Women of Troy beat Pepperdine twice in the same week back in January, with a 4-0 win at home and a 4-3 victory in Malibu.The Women of Troy know, however, that any lower-ranked team visiting Marks Stadium will be prepared to upset them and are ready to meet the challenge.“We take them very seriously even though they aren’t ranked as high[ly] as us,” Santamaria said. “We’re preparing very well, and we’re going to treat [the game] like it’s UCLA or Stanford or Cal and just take care of business.”The match begins Wednesday at Marks Stadium at 1:30 p.m., and it is the Women of Troy’s final contest before conference play begins at Washington State on Sunday.
Ivory Coast are seeking pre-Afcon friendlies with the Black Stars and Nigeria’s Super Eagles.The Ivorians, Cameroon, Mali and Guinea have been put together in Group D an all-West African affair and so, are seeking to prep themselves up for the Afcon Group D battles with friendlies against these two strong neighbouring countries.Nigeria, who won the last Afcon in South Africa failed to qualify for the 2015 edition in Equatorial Guinea while Ghana is placed in Group C alongside Senegal, Algeria and South Africa.Supersport.com understands that the Ghana FA is yet to fully accept the friendly as the body is still deliberating on a venue for the Black Stars’ pre-tournament preparations.An Abu Dhabi camping base had been initially planned but there have been reported objections to the choice within the FA ranks with head coach Avram Grant believed to be preferring a location in Spain. South Africa is the latest country that has been suggested as a possible camping base for the Black Stars.Despite having their choice of camping destination contested by the country’s sports ministry, the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF), have maintained securing the Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi for the Elephants to begin camp effective January 2, 2015.