With Pullman’s commencement ceremony taking place today, thus ends the academic year at Washington State.
That gives me a convenient excuse to look back at the highlights of the academic year. We aren’t going to focus on the lowlights, because it’s a nice day where I’m at and who has time for negativity?
And yes, I know there are teams competing past the academic year but the bulk of the college sports calendar takes place from August to May.
Football’s perfect home record
The last time WSU lost at home was Nov. 26, 2016. The Cougs went 7-0 at home in 2017, including an incredible three overtime comeback win over Boise State, a Friday night defeat of USC and a satisfying senior day win over Stanford to complete the perfect homestand.
It’s difficult for me to pick my favorite home game. The Boise State comeback was unbelievable, and the atmosphere in Pullman for that USC game was something I’ve never felt. I’m going with the Stanford game, though. It was cold, and a light snow fell, which made for some cool visuals, at least from my spot in the lower level of Section 25.
The game-winning drive and Frankie Luvu’s game-saving interception are all-time moments.
Soccer advances to third round of the NCAA Tournament
Perhaps the most successful program at WSU over the past ten years, the WSU soccer team found themselves in the NCAA Tournament once again. They defeated then-no. 2 UCLA in Pullman on Oct. 19 and beat no. 8 UCF in the first round of the NCAAs. They won their next match on penalty kicks against Tennessee before bowing out to Florida in two overtimes.
Good on you, Coug soccer.
Volleyball returns to the NCAA Tournament
A program on the rise, the Cougs made it to the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back years. They beat Florida State in the first round before being ousted in three sets by Nebraska.
Jen Greeny, a former WSU volleyball player herself, has that program on the right track. Volleyball is an exciting sport to watch, particularly in person. If you ever find yourself in Pullman on a Friday before a football game, wander over to Bohler Gym and catch a match.
Men’s basketball receives votes in Top 25 poll
And then what happened?!?!?!
Pat Chun hired as Director of Athletics
When Bill Moos left, it nearly sent Coug Nation into a panic.
But after the panic and anxiety settled down, fans realized that, hey, this might not be the end of the world. After all, fundraising has lagged, and there is that whole Ernie Kent contract. And just this week, it was revealed there are issues of compliance in the athletic department.
Enter Pat Chun, and a new day in Cougar Athletics. Chun has Coug fans optimistic and he’s been out on the fundraising trail pretty much since his new employee orientation ended. He’s new and still has a lot to prove for WSU fans, but his hire was widely praised.
Baseball throws two no-hitters
In what is otherwise a down season, the Coug baseball team has two no-nos to smile at.
First, it was Scotty Sunitsch throwing a no-hitter at Oregon on April 8. It was the first solo no-hitter for WSU since 1976.
Next, it was a four-man effort against Santa Clara on April 22. This was the second year in a row WSU had a combined no-hitter, as the Cougs also no-hit Stephen F. Austin last year by committee.
That’s why baseball is weird and awesome all at the same time.
Tennis has its best season ever
Tennis isn’t exactly atop everybody’s minds, but this year’s squad won 21 matches, the most ever for a WSU tennis team. They advanced to the Pac-12 semis before falling to Stanford. The coolest tidbit about the tennis team, to me at least, is all seven members are from foreign countries.
I played a lot of racquetball at the rec center in college, foolishly thinking I would transition without any problem to the tennis courts. So once a buddy of mine and I went to the tennis courts, I soon realized I was not fit for that sport. It’s tough, and anybody who plays tennis is in incredible shape.
OK, that’s my list of highlights. What’s on yours?
Ranking the Pac-12 quarterback comfort levels: Oregon's on top with Justin Herbert
The Pac-12 has several quarterbacks with star potential, but most teams possess unproven starters, inexperienced backups, or both. The Pac-12 Hotline dives deep into the depth charts.
Why Luke Falk is in the perfect situation as the Titans 3rd-string QB
Luke Falk is nowhere near a finished product, but by placing him behind two quarterbacks, the Tennessee Titans are doing him, and Marcus Mariota, a huge favor.
Mike Leach’s Texas Tech lawsuit is still in the news
Mike Leach Case Continues: Court Hearing For Public Documents - EVERYTHINGLUBBOCK
A Houston based investigative communications firm, Dolcefino Consulting, filed a lawsuit against Texas Tech University requiring documents involved in the termination investigation of former head coach Mike Leach.
Anderson Takes Home All-Pac-12 Honors - Washington State University
Closing out his collegiate career, senior Zach Anderson picked up a final award from the Pac-12 Conference as the fourth year Cougar was named an All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention as released by the conference office Thursday afternoon.