WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY AT USC? Josh Dunst/Daily Trojan Beating UCLA at home was just magical, especially doing it on senior night for some of those guys [who are] some of my best friends today. I’m not really sure about that yet. I have a couple options — I could pursue volleyball overseas. But I’m also ready to get a job, start a life, and move on. WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? It was tough in the beginning. Of course, there’s a language barrier, understanding what your coaches want, how you’re going to make new friends. The culture’s totally different. The environment is different. It was always a challenge to adapt. It took me a while to understand more about the people. WHAT’S ONE THING ABOUT VOLLEYBALL THAT MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW? Just keep your head high. Sometimes it’s going to be a roller coaster ride. There’s going to be ups and downs. You’ve just got to keep your head up, just keep working hard. If you work hard, it’s going to pay off in the end. WHAT ABOUT TRANSFERRING FROM COMMUNITY COLLEGE? WAS THAT A CHALLENGE? DO YOU HAVE ANY REGRETS FROM THE PAST FOUR YEARS? I made a lot of friends playing volleyball. It definitely helped that all my teammates knew English, helped me develop my language as well on the court. My favorite memory so far was my junior year. We had a game against UCLA — it was senior night last year. There was a lot of people, a lot of pressure and we came up with a win that night. I’m going to remember that game forever. No regrets at all. When you don’t win a championship, you’re always like, “I wish I would’ve done that.” We’re working hard this year to reach that goal. In the U.S., it’s not really a popular sport. One of our coaches, Greg Walker, talks about entertaining people: ‘What are you going to do for people to come watch you?’ It has to be exciting. Sometimes, I feel like some people lack excitement [for the sport]. It’s something that we always work on, to put on a show for everyone to come to watch. WAS IT DIFFICULT TO ADJUST TO LIFE IN AMERICA? Coming from Orange Coast College in Orange County, of course the level of volleyball was way higher playing Division I here at USC. It’s tough to adjust to the speed of the game. After a lot of hard work and dedication, you adapt to it easily. DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR FRESHMEN ATHLETES? Volleyball is played all around the world, but the way they play it in the U.S. is totally different from the way they play it in Brazil. [In Brazil], it’s a way more emotional game. You play with your heart. You play for the fans. In the U.S., it’s more of a statistical game. In my opinion, that’s why people don’t really watch it here — the excitement that some of the players don’t have.
LOS ANGELES — They won’t retire his laptop and hang it from the stadium facade. But the Dodgers do not plan to hire a new general manager to replace Farhan Zaidi any time soon.“This offseason has been too chaotic on a number of fronts to be able to slow the game down enough to focus on that,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said, acknowledging he has not interviewed any replacement candidates. “It’s something we’ll think about over the course of the season and think about again next offseason.”Zaidi left after four years as the Dodgers GM under Friedman in early November to become president of baseball operations for the rival San Francisco Giants. He was just one of multiple departures from the Dodgers coaching and front-office staff this winter.Friedman said the team received approximately 30 requests from other teams to interview members of the Dodgers’ organization this winter. When that request was granted, the staff member involved almost inevitably received a job offer and left for a new team. Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco “We’ve got a really talented group of people in the office,” Friedman said. “Everyone’s kind of stepped up and done a little bit more.”Nonetheless, Friedman has called Zaidi’s departure “a big loss” for both the Dodgers and himself personally. Among the departures along with Zaidi this fall were coaches Chris Woodward (Rangers), Luis Ortiz (Rangers) and Turner Ward (Reds), baseball operations analyst Ehsan Bokhari (Astros) and minor-league hitting coordinator Paco Figueroa (Phillies).Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.A year earlier, the Dodgers lost Alex Anthopoulos (Braves) from the front office along with Gabe Kapler (Phillies) and Jeremy Zoll (Twins) from player development, among others.Friedman indicated there would be some restructuring of front-office roles with a number of people assuming expanded duties to make up for the absence of a GM. He has mentioned senior vice president of baseball operations Josh Byrnes, director of baseball development and scouting Alex Slater and director of player development Brandon Gomes, in particular, as stepping up to fill the needs.Related Articles “There was a real rhythm Farhan and I had gotten into,” Friedman said.“Farhan and I didn’t delineate things in perfectly clear ways. We just worked together, divided and conquered. If as we were working together one of us was kind of diving into something to focus on, the other would go focus on something else. It wasn’t necessarily perfectly laid out like, ‘These are your responsibilities and this is what I’m focusing on.’ So now, it’s just been involving more people in things and going at it that way.” read more