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Volleyball

🏀🏐

Seattle: The ceiling can’t hold us

March 25, 2021
Source: AJ Mast/AP Photo
Source: AJ Mast/AP Photo

🎓🏀Gonzaga: While we bade a teary farewell to Gonzaga women’s basketball on Monday, the top-seeded Gonzaga men rolled through 8-seed Oklahoma in the second round. Next up for the ’Zags? Their sixth consecutive Sweet Sixteen appearance, against 5-seed Creighton on Sunday at 2:10 p.m. ET/11:10 a.m. PT. 

  • Creighton’s a decent three-point shooting team, but they’re atrocious from the free throw line. It’s hard to imagine the Bluejays knocking off the ’Zags.
  • And if second-team All-American Drew Timme (pronounced TIMMY) can build off of his career-high, 30-point Monday performance, we feel pretty good about being Elite Eight-bound. That ’stache though...   

🎓🏐Volleyball: No. 8 UW is back in action with a two-game slate against historically successful Stanford starting tomorrow at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Even though the Cardinal snagged three of the last four national titles, the dominant players on those teams have graduated. Look for the Dawgs — led by Ella May Powell and Samantha Drechsel (pronounced DREX-ULL) — to take advantage. Digging it.

  • Meanwhile, tomorrow’s match for No. 13 Washington State has been canceled due to COVID-19 protocols, the third straight cancellation for the Cougs. Eek. Fingers crossed they’ll be able to return against No. 12 Utah on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT.
🏀🏐🤸

Chicago: I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it

March 15, 2021
Source: Illinois Basketball/Twitter.com
Source: Illinois Basketball/Twitter.com

🏀 MBB: For the first time since 2005 and third time in school history, the U of I Fighting Illini won the Big Ten Conference championship, and in dramatic fashion, no less, by beating the Ohio State Buckeyes 91–88 in overtime yesterday. Can we get an I-L-L?

  • Ayo Donsunmu (the game's MVP), Kofi Cockburn and André Curbelo led the team with 16 points each. Along with the ’ship, this win clinched their No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Let’s dance! 

🏐 Notre Dame volleyball: Bouncing back from their shocking 3-2 loss to the Florida State Seminoles on Friday, the No. 14-ranked Fighting Irish women’s volleyball team beat the Virginia Tech Hokies in straight sets on Saturday. The luck of the Irish is so back. 

🤸‍♀️ Women’s college gymnastics: The No. 22-ranked U of I’s women’s gymnastics team closed out their regular season on Saturday by beating the No. 7-ranked Minnesota Gophers with a total score of 197.575, breaking the school record for the best all-around score. Flippin’ rad. 

  • Next, the Illini will compete in the Big Ten Conference Championship meet this Saturday. Time to follow the men’s basketball team and bring another piece of hardware back to Urbana-Champaign. 
🏀🥎🏐

Seattle: We write wins not tragedies

March 15, 2021
Source: Red Box Pictures
Source: Red Box Pictures

🏀MBB: Surprise, surprise...Gonzaga was named the top overall seed and top dog in the West Region in yesterday’s March Madness selection show. They’ll face either Appalachian State or Norfolk State in the first round on Saturday. 

  • Eastern Washington, who claimed the Big Sky championship over the weekend, was also slotted into the West Region as the 14-seed. It’s a long shot, but we’re all for an Elite Eight intrastate showdown. 

🥎🏐UW: No. 8 UW softball finished the Husky Classic undefeated, taking down Portland State 5–2 in yesterday’s rainy affair to wrap up their non-conference slate. Now it’s time to face opponents in the Pac-12, one of the toughest softball conferences in the nation. Here. We. Go.

The UW women’s volleyball squad (also ranked eighth) served up victories of their own, concluding a weekend series sweep over USC yesterday. Middle blocker Lauren Sanders let nothing past her, posting 10 blocks. Dubs up.

🏒🏀🏐

Philadelphia: Up in the air

March 08, 2021
Source: Jeffrey Barnes/AP
Source: Jeffrey Barnes/AP

🏀Sixers: Even though we were disappointed that Simmons and Embiid missed last night’s ASG, we’re more worried about whether they’ll return to the court by the time Sixers’ regular-season play resumes on Thursday. 

  • Right now their status is still uncertain, so we’ll be anxiously waiting to see what the COVID-19 tests and the NBA protocols say later this week. 

🏒Flyers: Fans in Wells Fargo for the first time in nearly a year wasn’t enough to bring the Flyers a win last night: the Broadstreet Bullies lost 3–1 to the Washington Capitals (but it was enough for more perfect Gritty content). Goaltender Carter Hart saved 24 of 27 shots, and as much as that ratio seems okay, it’s well below the average save percentage for a starting goalie. 

  • Hart has struggled this season, boasting a .893 save percentage in comparison to the league average of .907, and hit a low point in late February when the Boston Bruins scored six goals in two periods. Since then, Hart has been splitting time with backup Brian Elliott
  • While Hart’s stats are markedly worse than last season’s, don’t expect a complete change at goaltender just yet. Just like Clare and Dale, Hart will most likely be given more chances to step it up.

🏐Lions: The No. 10-ranked Penn State women’s volleyball team won a hard-fought 3–1 battle against No. 11-ranked Purdue Boilermakers to get back to a .500 record on Saturday. Freshman Annie Fitzpatrick continued to shine for the Lions, racking up 16 kills and 13 digs on the way to her fourth double-double this season. Way to show ’em how it’s done in Happy Valley. 

🏀🏐

Seattle: Repping loud and proud

March 04, 2021
Source: Seattle Storm/Twitter
Source: Seattle Storm/Twitter

🏀Storm: Sue Bird had a busy week, from officially re-signing with the Storm on Monday to launching a new media company on Tuesday. And the Storm haven’t been sitting idle either. They announced a fire new logo on Tuesday with nods to iconic local spots like the Space Needle and Mt. Rainier. Is it May yet? ’Cause the WNBA season can’t start soon enough.

College: To tide you over until the W is back in action, postseason for women’s college hoops is here, baby! Both Washington State and UW won their Pac-12 Tournament first-round games yesterday to move on to tonight’s quarter-finals. LFG.

  • Wazzu’s opponent at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT is Arizona, who the Cougs upset back in January to earn their first top 25 national ranking ever. Let’s beat ’em again.
  • Stay tuned in for the Huskies who have a tough test against UCLA at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT. We’ll be on upset watch.

🏐Volleyball: No. 7 UW women’s volleyball is moving on up, now two spots higher in the national rankings after downing then-No. 7 Utah last week. The Huskies can utilize their one-two punch in this weekend’s two-game slate against No. 20 Oregon, which starts tomorrow at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT.