Well, a nice little Saturday has turned into a sweet Sunday for the Washington State Cougars and their fans, as the women’s volleyball team dispatched the Dayton Flyers, heretofore owners of the nation’s longest winning streak. The Cougs jumped out to a 2-0 set lead, winning by scores of 25-21, 25-15, 20-25 and 25-16, giving head coach Jen Greeny the best birthday present she could have asked for. Coming into the match, Dayton had won 27 straight matches and compiled an impressive 32-2 record, to include a perfect 18-0 run through the Atlantic 10. So much for that!
But all of that pales in comparison to the fact that THE HOUSE DIVIDED BLOOD FEUD BETWEEN MR. KENDALL’S COUGS AND MRS. KENDALL’S FLYERS GOES TO MR. KENDALL AND I AM NEVER GOING TO LET MRS. KENDALL LIVE THIS ONE DOWN!!!
Ok, so Mrs. Kendall watched but didn’t particularly invest in the goings-on. And because I know what’s good for me, I wasn’t about to try and talk any trash. Plus, I’d probably get my comeuppance if the two schools were to play a basketball game this year, so I’ll keep the old powder dry.
Back to the match. The Cougs were extremely impressive throughout, maintaining a steady consistency and answering every Dayton rally with a run of their own. The Cougs were led once again by the outstanding Magda Jehlárová, who had 15 kills and an incredible 10 blocks (!!!). We shall now refer to Magda as the Czech Spire. It is written. Pia Timmer also had a standout performance, logging another 12 kills, followed by Iman Isanovic with 11.
While the Cougs on the floor and on the bench were impressive, the boisterous fans were also incredibly awesome. How great was the crowd? THE DAYTON COACH WAS WEARING EARPLUGS! I don’t know how many people Bohler Gym holds (I could probably look it up but y’all know I’m too lazy to attempt such a thing), but every last seat was full and every vocal cord was putting in some work.
So now, for the first time since 2018, and the fifth time in program history, the Cougs head to the second weekend, where the task will get considerably taller. Not only do they travel almost all the way across the country, they do so to face #1-seeded Pittsburgh, who defeated Coppin State and noted Big Ten stalwart USC this weekend. The match will take place on Thursday, and will be the second all-time meeting, with the Panthers having taken the first meeting in 2021.
Before the proceedings in Bohler, the Cougar men’s basketball team took on Portland State in Beasley Coliseum, prevailing 71-61. Things did get a little dicey down the stretch, as Portland State took the lead midway through the second half, and was as close as three points with fewer than five minutes remaining. But the Cougs maintained their composure and slowly pulled away for the final margin. While the crowd wasn’t exactly as, um, densely-packed, the home team played well in spurts, and locked down the Vikings on defense, holding the visitors to 31% on field goal tries.
There was also a different leader on Saturday, as forward Isaac Jones took the torch from Myles Rice and poured in 27 points on 11/15 shooting. Jones also hauled down 11 rebounds and was perfect on his four free throw tries, and boy did the Cougs need it. Rice still made his presence knows, scoring 19 points on 7/14 shooting.
The Cougs stay home this week to face the mighty Highlanders of UC-Riverside on Wednesday evening. Game time says 7 p.m., and you can catch the proceedings on what’s left of the Pac-12 Netowrks.
This Week in Parenting
Last weekend was spent getting over a case of jet lag, as one would expect when one’s flight departs Honolulu at 4:30 p.m. and arrives in Atlanta at 6:00 a.m. Sunday morning was more quiet than normal, as nobody was awake when the clock struck 10. Well, nobody except me, since I’m incapable of sleeping past 7:30. So I rousted the kids then, making sure they didn’t sleep until the afternoon and ruining another night. After an hour or so, we told the 12 year-old it was time to be done with the Xbox. In response, we heard him say something, but couldn’t discern it. When we asked him to repeat, “I’VE BEEN ON THE CAN!!!” came the retort. Well then.
He also informed me this week, with a rather glum demeanor, that he did poorly on his Monday math test. I then asked how long he’d known about the test, and whether he had time to prepare over our vacation. Turned out he knew about the date before the break began. I then asked how much preparation he’d done over the ELEVEN DAYS we’d been away. “None” was the unsurprising answer. I want to think he learned a lesson. My gut tells me otherwise.
On the teenager side, it was a rather eventful week. He decided to go out for wrestling this year (good on him, I’ve always been far too cowardly), and this week brought wrestle-offs. It...did not go well. He, someone who has never wrestled ever, took on a varsity grappler, and the results were predictable. He was pretty discouraged when he came home, so on the ride to school the next day, I asked him if he’d ever heard of Teddy Roosevelt’s “Man in the Arena” speech. He had not, so I sent it to him. Here’s the excerpt of a rather lengthy talk.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Wrestling is the epitome of that in sports.
Things got better as the week progressed, fortunately. Friday night brought his Junior ROTC awards ceremony, where his flight won a semi-annual competition, and he earned some more ribbons. Afterward, he wanted to go out with his buddies. After a couple hours, they ended up at Hooters. Because of course a bunch of teenaged boys somehow found their way there. I was wondering what time he’d be home, so I could get some shuteye, when Mrs. Kendall told me that she was just glad he was out and about. “He hardly ever goes out with his friends.” He’s FIFTEEN! was my response.
Then on Saturday he had his JROTC ball, where I dropped him at the late hour of 5:30. Toward the end of the proceedings, he sent mom a text and asked to go out with his buddies again. When mom requested the planned location, he sent back, you guessed it, Hooters. Naturally, he tried to pass it off like it was someone else’s idea. Yeah, sure buddy. tl;dr the kids are going to bed at like 9 p.m. Sunday. But speaking of Mrs. Kendall...
This Week in Husbanding
Lord, forgive me for this. Last Sunday, as we were preparing dinner - meaning I was standing around and looking handsome while Mrs. Kendall cooked, she alerted us to the fact that she had no wine to drink with dinner. I reacted to this pronouncement with a mixture of amazement and confusion. No wine? What? Did someone break in and steal all of it?
I wondered this (I didn’t actually say it), because the alcohol crate the movers packed in Germany, for the move back to the U.S., weighed TWICE AS MUCH AS ANY OF OUR OTHER FOURTEEN CRATES! So you’ll understand why I was taken aback with Mrs. Kendall’s wine desert lamentation when the evidence suggests otherwise. Your honor, I’d like to enter the following exhibits into evidence:
wait, don’t forget about this!
That’s it, right? Nope!
So as you can see, your honor, Mrs. Kendall was right. The entire Kendall home is bereft of vino. Please send help.
I’m so dead.
Inside The Haiti Gang Violence Crisis Tearing The Country Apart
The violence in Haiti between rival gangs — the G9 and the G-Pep —has led to a mass exodus from the country, and there's no end in sight.