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Washington State soccer and volleyball teams pick up upset wins

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Ella Dederick is WSU's hero.

GOAT

With the football version of the Washington State Cougars on a bye, it gave other WSU teams the opportunity to shine.

And boy did the soccer and volleyball teams take advantage.

First, soccer:

The Cougs got into the NCAA Tournament as a 15 seed. No problem. They used a stellar defensive performance and a Central Florida own-goal to win 1-0 in the opening round, and met the Tennessee Volunteers yesterday in the second round.

The game moved on to penalty kicks with the score tied at two after 90 minutes plus 20 minutes of overtime. Keeper Ella Dederick made three huge saves and Maegan O'Neill, Sofie Anker-Kofoed and Jordan Branch each made their penalty kicks to give the Cougs the upset win.

They move on to the third round (essentially the Sweet 16) to play Florida tomorrow.

Not long after soccer's upset win, the WSU volleyball team took to the court in Eugene against the no. 20 Oregon Ducks. The Cougs won the first two sets, dropped the third and won the fourth, 29-27, for the 3-1 upset win.

WSU is now 16-13 overall and 5-12 in Pac-12 play.

Soccer and volleyball aren't revenue-generating sports at WSU. But they've been among the most successful at WSU in recent years, particularly last year for volleyball. The soccer team has had a run of success for a number of years, despite a bunch of coaching changes.

I'm not a soccer follower whatsoever—my beer league hockey team once tried indoor soccer and we kept using our hands and got yelled at for being to0 physical (not our fault).

But when I saw WSU had a 1-0 lead today, I followed the game via Twitter. When the game went to overtime, I suddenly had the same feeling I had when Luke Falk and the WSU offense had the ball near its own end zone in the fourth quarter against Stanford: an unhealthy heart rate.

But then Ella Dederick came up with the greatest performance by a WSU athlete this year and our Cougs are one of 16 teams left playing.

What a great day for WSU Athletics.

Football

As you know the WSU football team finally gets to rest this week. They come into today controlling their own destiny and nothing that happens today will change that.

Of course, if Stanford beats Cal, that eliminates UW from the Pac-12 North race, which is cool for fans to follow. Stanford and Cal kickoff at 5 p.m. and UW and Utah kickoff at 7:30 p.m.

That means UW could be eliminated by the end of the first quarter in its game. I'm sure Coug Twitter won't let that go unnoticed.

Jesse took a look at what probably needs to happen given the Cougs' sliver of a chance at qualifying for the College Football Playoff. And Michael gave you a good to-do list for today's football viewing.

Me? I'll be immersed in Montana-Montana State. My wife is a Montana grad, and I've actually been a casual fan of the Griz for longer than I've known my wife (I swear!). I've only recently learned how much hatred there is in that rivalry. Holy cow, it's intense.

Plus, Griz fans know how to tailgate.

Anyway, enjoy your calm, peaceful Saturday.

Links

In theory, time off a good thing for Washington State, but history indicates otherwise | The Spokesman-Review
That's an interesting quote at the end from Cole Madison.

Washington State QB Luke Falk one of four finalists for Burlsworth Trophy | The Spokesman-Review
Luke Falk and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield were two of the four finalists announced on Thursday. Memphis wide receiver Anthony Miller and Wisconsin tight end Troy Fumagalli are the other two finalists.

Washington State football chat transcript - 11/17 | The Spokesman-Review
The full replay of Friday's Washington State football live chat with Spokesman-Review beat writer Theo Lawson.

Wisconsin's Paul Chryst one of college football's 13 best coaches in 2017 - CBSSports.com
So is Mike Leach.

The signature moment for the Wisconsin Badgers, Miami Hurricanes and each top 25 team so far this season
If you can't guess WSU's signature moment this season, please go get some fresh air.

Washington State's Luke Falk assesses Sam Darnold, top QB prospects | SI.com
Washington State quarterback Luke Falk gives his scouting report for the nation's top QB prospects... including himself.

Arkansas coaching rumors: Mike Leach, Gus Malzahn among betting leaders - SBNation.com
Vegas is always thinking one step ahead.

Old YouTube Clip of the Week

In keeping with the soccer theme, I present this clip from the 2011 Women's World Cup. Let me know when you see it.