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Cougar Spring sports step to the fore

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A couple aren’t usually playing in springtime.

Washington State Cougars communications
Washington State Cougars communications
sports photos

Good morning. While wondering whether WSU plans to actually conduct spring football in 2021 (seriously, what’s the deal?), I’d like to recognize our Pac-12 counterparts in Corvallis. The Oregon State Beavers have faced six straight elimination games and won every one of them. Yes, the same OSU team that WSU beat once and probably should’ve swept. Anyway, congratulations to Oregon State on the incredible run, and many thanks for helping line the pockets of your fellow ag school to the northeast.

Ok, now for some Cougar stuff. Our winter sports may have largely concluded, but the spring is chock full of Cougar athletics since some of the traditional fall events were delayed. One example is volleyball. The 12th-ranked Cougars are finally scheduled to play Sunday, after undergoing an extended two-week break due to COVID protocols. Unfortunately, WSU doesn’t exactly get to ease back into conference play, as they take on the 13th-ranked, 12-4 Utah Utes. The Utes split a two-game series with Colorado last weekend, so they will probably be sharper early on against WSU. Hopefully the Cougs are able to weather the storm and quickly work off the rust, as they’ll fall out of first place with a loss. Game time is 10 a.m. PDT, and can be streamed here.

Over on the soccer field, the Cougars eked out a win on the road in Boulder, netting a “golden goal” eight minutes into overtime. The game-winner was an impressive feat of athleticism, as Makamae Gomera-Stevens knifed through the Colorado defense and beat the Colorado Buffaloes goalie to clinch the game.

This was quite a battle, as you’ll see in the highlights below. Colorado’s goalie was on fire for much of the game, stopping chance after WSU chance. The Cougars got a little lucky themselves, as one Colorado shot beat WSU’s goalie but thankfully bounced off the cross bar. That opened the door for WSU to pick up its first conference win of the season.

With the win, WSU stands at 1-0-1 (if you’re a soccer fan, you know that ties come before losses in the record but it confuses me every time). Due to its own extended COVID break, the soccer team is far behind many of its Pac-12 peers, who have played five or six conference games. WSU’s next game on the schedule will hopefully take place next Friday, as they travel to Los Angeles to take on the first-place UCLA Bruins.

The news hasn’t been quite as good for the Cougar baseball team, which has come back to earth with the onset of Pac-12 conference play. After seeing four games postponed in early March, WSU started off conference play with a win over Oregon State. Since then, the Cougars have suffered four straight defeats, two to the Beavers and two to the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Saturday was especially rough, as WSU played from behind for much of the game but battled back to take a 4-3 lead into the eighth inning. ASU tied the game at 4-4 on a run-scoring single, and then scored what would prove to be the winning run on a Kyler Stancato throwing error. Oof. The Cougars will try to salvage game three of the series on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. PDT, and can be seen here. You can tune in right after hopefully watching a volleyball victory! WSU returns home afterward to prepare for a weekend series with the Stanford Cardinal.

While I won’t call it news, here’s one WSU Basketball-related piece of #content:

It would be pretty cool if Tanner headed south on 195 for a year or two. In the meantime, please don’t tweet at Tanner, because tweeting at college players will always be creepy.

Football

21 For 2021 College Football Topics 21 Thoughts On The Upcoming Season
The conventional wisdom in the 2020 offseason was that coaches would get a bit of a break as they tried to keep everything rolling through a global pandemic. Not really.

Pac-12 Football: 10 Most Intriguing Non-Conference Games of 2021
While the peculiar circumstances of last fall deprived fans of such matchups as Oregon and a Trey Lance-led North Dakota State, 2021 more than makes up for it with a loaded out-of-league slate for the Pac.

This Week in Parenting

Spring break is here for the kiddos. I’m old enough to remember when we got a week off from school. Now? Well clearly that’s not enough! The nine year-old began his break on the 24th, with the older boy starting his the next day. They don’t go back until the 7th of April! This is madness! Luckily for Mrs. Kendall, Europe is wide open for travel, and the family is free to roam about the continent without a care in the world.

Wait, it’s the complete opposite of that, as Germany is still locked down. Then it’s not. Then it is. Then it’s not but it kind of is. Then the leaders meet once again and decide, “Ok the last five lockdowns didn’t work so we better look for new solutions. Let’s go with another lockdown including grocery stores and everything, over Easter. Well ok maybe we won’t do that so sorry everyone.” Total insanity.

I was trying to think of a sports analogy to describe Germany’s year amid the pandemic, and here’s what I got: Germany is like that team that gets a couple quick turnovers in the first quarter and sprints out to a 14-0 lead. Then everybody sees the score and thinks, “Whoa! Look at Germany threatening to pull off the upset!” Finally, we look up a little bit later and see that they lost 63-14. That’s Germany vs. COVID right now.

Luckily the weather is getting a bit more amenable, so the kids aren’t stuck inside, because Mrs. Kendall would be looking for the nearest asylum in which to take refuge. Baseball practice has begun, Scouts might be next (Inshallah) and street hockey is alive and well. Meanwhile the cat is busy trying figure out how to attack the pull chain that’s attached to the ceiling fan.

Book Club

The book version of the prodigal son is back! That’s right, as you’ve surely been wondering, Scipio Africanus is finally in our possession, which has nudged Jerry Seinfeld’s book to the side for now. I mean, who would want to audibly laugh at joke after joke when instead you can read about Roman maniple formation tactics during the Second Punic War? Oh, all of you? Moving right along. Anyway, I’m gonna hack my way through this until ol’ Scipio can be put on the bookshelf.

Non-Sports

Facial Recognition: What Happens When We’re Tracked Everywhere We Go? - The New York Times
When a secretive start-up scraped the internet to build a facial-recognition tool, it tested a legal and ethical limit — and blew the future of privacy in America wide open.