The women's soccer team is one of the winningest programs in the WSU athletic department, and the 2013 season hasn't been any different. Washington State finished its nonconference schedule without a loss, and the team looked to build on its record heading into conference play. To continue winning, WSU relying on its top goal scorer Micaela Castain and the rest of the upper classmen.
The Cougs took on No. 3 UCLA last Friday, and the Bruins showed that they truly deserved that number three ranking. That being said, the Cougs were able to play with the Bruins through the first half - heck, Washington State actually held a 4-3 shot advantage - but that wasn't enough to overcome the Bruins second half. UCLA scored a pair of goals in rapid succession and WSU couldn't make good on its handful of chances the rest of the way.
The Cougs then went a little further south to take on the USC Trojans. Mesa Owsley scored her second of the season in the 37th minute of the game to give the Cougs a 1-0 lead. Owsley wasn't done, as she was responsible for the assist that led to WSU's second goal of the match: this one scored by Kourtney Guetlein. Washington State outshot the Trojans 11 to nine on its way to a 2-0 victory.
The Cougs, now 1-1-1 in the Pac-12, are led by a talent-laden senior class -- there are four true seniors and one redshirt senior on this year's roster - that has seen the Cougs lose in the first round of the NCAA Tournament the last couple of years. After Castain, juniors Nicole Setterlund and Mesa Owsley are in second and third in goals scored, respectively, and their ultimate goal is to get deeper in the tournament this year.
The Cougs are now 8-1-3 on the season (with four points in the standings) and sitting at 32nd according to the NCAA's RPI. That isn't a bad spot to be sitting when it comes to the NCAA tournament selection; sitting at 32 puts the team squarely in the middle of the tournament field. That being said, this team needs to be more efficient with its offensive possessions to win more games.
The soccer team kicks off the Dad's Weekend festivities with a 2 p.m. match against Colorado at Lower Soccer Field. The Cougs will then take on Utah at 11 a.m. on Sunday in a game that will be broadcast on Pac-12 Networks.
The Cougs had a rough weekend up in the Rockies, as WSU lost both of its matches. Against Utah on Friday, the Utes were on the verge of securing a sweep, but the Cougs were able to tie the match up at two sets and force a fifth set. Utah took the fifth set, 15-8.
On Sunday, Washington State took on the Colorado Buffaloes. This match saw two squads that were looking to prove that they are capable of winning in the Pac-12. Washington State struggled with its hitting throughout the match, and Colorado secured the victory in four sets.
After this past weekend, the Cougs are now 1-3 in conference play and 14-3 overall. This is a young squad that is going to compete in the majority of their conference games, having exhilarating wins and frustrating losses. The Pac-12 is arguably the toughest volleyball conference in the country, and RPI takes that into consideration. And just like the men's basketball selection committee, it appears that the women's volleyball selection committee places a high value on RPI: WSU is currently ranked at 55 by RPI, which puts them just on the outside looking in. There's work to be done to get back to the postseason.
Volleyball continues the Dad's Weekend fun tonight by hosting No. 16 ASU tonight at 6 p.m. before hosting Arizona at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Both games will be broadcast by Pac-12 Networks.
After a couple of weeks off, the Cougar cross country team returned to action in the NCAA Inter-Regional Jamboree in Sacramento, Calif. (women's team) and the Annual Notre Dame Invitational in Notre Dame, Ind. (men's team). With the return of team captain Ruby Roberts, the women's team finished in 10th place with a team score of 263 points. The men's team struggled in Indiana, as it finished in 20th place. Andrew Gonzolez again was the first Coug to cross the line, with a time of 25:08 in his eight-kilometer race.
After their loss to Stanford, the Cougs took on the Golden Bears in Berkeley for their second dual meet of the season. It was another loss, and this time it was a blow out: the Bears beat the Cougs, 164-89. The Golden Bears so thoroughly dominated the Cougs that none of the swimmers wearing crimson and gray were able to win their individual events.
USC makes the trip up to Pullman on Oct. 18; no time has been determined.
The women's tennis team hosted the WSU Invitational over the last week. The Cougs finished in first in the second doubles draw and second in the number one doubles. Maria Biruykova and Olga Mosilovich swept the number two doubles draw by winning all five of their matches.