For the first time in program history, the Oregon Ducks women’s volleyball team is off to the NCAA Final Four after beating host Nebraska, 3-1, in the regional final in Omaha. Alaina Bergsma led the way with 23 kills, setting up a date with Penn State in the national semifinal. The Ducks and Nittany Lions will be met in Louisville by Texas and Michigan. Best of luck to the Ducks in Kentucky!
That means Stanford didn’t make it to the Final Four. After defeating Iowa State, the Cardinal lost to Michigan in the Berkeley regional final, 3-1, after taking the first set. Despite 13 kills and six blocks from middle blocker Carly Wopat, the Cardinal lost to Michigan for the third time in the postseason over the last four years.
USC didn’t make it, either. After a win over Wichita State, USC was swept by Texas in the Austin regional final. However, kudos are in order for senior Katie Fuller, who completed her USC career with 1,115.5 points – 10th all-time in Trojan history.
Washington, meanwhile, saw its 2012 volleyball campaign come to a close in the regional semifinals as the Huskies lost to Nebraska in three sets. It was the first time Washington had lost in the round of 16 under head coach Jim McLaughlin.
Now for some basketball finals. Arizona State highlighted the Saturday action with an 87-76 win over a good Cal State Northridge squad. Most notably, however, Jordan Bachynski recorded the first triple-double in Arizona State history, as noted by our very own “other” Kevin (the great Kevin Cohen). [Editor's note: We love all our Kevins the same.]
The Forks’ rivals might take offense to that whole “highlighted the Saturday action” phrase, because No. 8 Arizona rode a late run to beat Clemson on the road. Who’da thunk that with all the good seasons the ‘Cats have had in the past two-plus decades that this 7-0 start is the best beginning to a season in 14 years in Tucson?
Utah must really hate its in-state rivals right now. Despite a double-double from Taryn Wicijowski, the Utes women’s basketball team dropped a 53-48 contest to BYU, while Utah’s men’s basketball squad lost to BYU, 61-58, after missing its last eight shots from the floor to conclude the game.
Texas must really hate UCLA right about now. On Saturday, Ben Howland and Co. beat the Longhorns, 65-63, using a 13-2 run late to knock off Rick Barnes’ squad, while Cori Close and Friends handled the 12th-ranked Longhorns women’s team, 62-42.
The good news in Boulder: The Colorado women’s basketball team is off to a 7-0 start and is making a strong case for a top-25 ranking. The bad news in Boulder: The Colorado men’s basketball team was humbled at Kansas on Saturday.
Oregon State made quick work of Grambling State in men’s basketball. Leading the way for the Beavers with 26 points was Roberto Nelson, who has had anything but an easy road.
Cal fans, I hope you’re ready for the “Bear Raid,” because new head coach Sonny Dykes comes from an innovative coaching tree. Already salivating over Cal-Washington State next year…
Buoyed by another NCAA tournament run from the women’s soccer team, it was a strong outing overall for Washington State’s fall sports.
Lastly, I’d like to wish myself a happy 26th birthday. Checks can be delivered via snail mail. [Editor's note: Happy birthday to our favorite morning link roundup guy! You're also our only morning link roundup guy, but, uh, yeah.]