Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Monday Morning Wash

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day!

We were on the road this weekend and put around 1200 miles on the car driving from Chicago to Bemidji, Minnesota and back for a wedding reception. It has been a long time since I drove like that in a short time period, but Bemidji is basically in the middle of nowhere. It costs less to fly to London than it does to Bemidgi. I would have rather been in London, but Bemidji had to do.

As we enter June it is going to be pretty dead over the next eight weeks. However I am going to keep you entertained with the usual malarkey, plus reviews of all of our upcoming opponents for 2007 starting next week. If there is anything else you would like to see just let me know, and I will see if I can swing it.

Spring Sports

On campus, Spring Sports are starting to come to the ends of their respective seasons.

The Washington softball team (40-17) swept Alabama in the Seattle Super Regional last week to advance to the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla., May 31-June 6. The Huskies, who are making their eighth World Series appearance, are seeded sixth and will open play against No. 14 seed DePaul (46-11) on Thursday, May 31 at 10 a.m. (PT). UW has a pretty good chance to win it all since the winner will likely come from the Pac Ten. It looks like Heather Tarr has the program back on track.

The No. 14 seed DePaul Blue Demons upset No. 3 seed Oklahoma in straight games last week at the Super Regional to advance to their fourth WCWS. DePaul is making its 14th NCAA appearance and boasts a 32-23 all-time postseason record. The Blue Demons last appeared in the WCWS in 2005 where they placed seventh. The Huskies lead the all-time series 9-1.

The Washington men's rowing team makes its annual journey to Cherry Hill, N.J. for the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Championships. The 105th-annual IRA regatta is scheduled for Thursday, May 31 through Saturday, June 2 on the 2,000-meter Cooper River course. Four crews will represent the Huskies who have entries in the varsity eights, second varsity eights, freshman eights and open fours. Washington's freshman eight and open four crews won their respective championships last year. The Huskies finished fourth in last year's second varsity eight grand final and fifth in the varsity eight. UW is aiming for its 12th IRA varsity eight title. The Huskies' most recent varsity eight championship came in 1997, which marks the last time they went undefeated through the collegiate season.

The Intercollegiate Rowing Association Regatta is the oldest collegiate crew championship in the country, and remains the premier event for national rowing honors for college men. The first IRA Regatta, on June 24, 1895, was a four-miler between Columbia, the winner, Cornell and Pennsylvania. In 1923, Washington, coached by Rusty Callow, became the first Western school to win the IRA's featured varsity eight competition, followed by another victory in 1926. When Callow left Seattle to coach at Penn, he was succeeded by his assistant Al Ulbrickson, who continued the Huskies' winning ways with six IRA varsity eight titles in 1936, 1937, 1940, 1941, 1948 and 1950. His freshman, second varsity and varsity crews "swept the river" in 1936, 1937, 1948 and 1950. Current Huskies coach Bob Ernst led his team to a modern-day sweep in 1997, when UW crews won all three races on the Cooper River, the permanent site of the IRA Championships since 1995. Washington is the favorite to win the event this year, and if they win look for the team to accept an invitation to row on the Thames at Henley.

Junior Matt Hague went 4-for-5 with a game-tying home run as the Huskies rallied for a 5-4 win over California Sunday at Husky Ballpark in the final game of the 2007 regular season. Both teams will await the NCAA tournament selection show Monday morning at 9:30 a.m. on ESPN. The Bears (29-26 overall, 12-12 in the Pac-10) finished alone in fourth place in the conference. Washington finished alone in fifth at 29-27 overall and 11-13 in the Pac-10, meaning the Bears are probably the more likely team to earn a bid despite dropping two of three on the weekend. (As it turns out Washington was not selected, while sixth place Oregon State was, which will give the Beavers the opportunity to defend their title.)

Alex Slovic was denied in his attempt to become just the third Husky ever to make the NCAA Men's Singles Championships when he was beat by No. 1 seed John Isner of Georgia in the semifinals on Sunday. Slovic is the third Husky to reach the NCAA semifinals since 1999, with all three being denied a shot at playing for the championship.

Over on the football front everything is pretty quiet as the coaches begin to finish the May evaluation period alloted to them to evaluate next years class. The coaches golf tour went well from what I hear, and the only news that came out of that is Ty is very anxious about his kicking game after the poor performance during the Spring game. Next on the agenda for the coaches will be the Ty Willingham football Camp in June. Look for a couple more verbals to come out of that event.

Molly Yannity of the PI reports that Jermiah Pharms has been playing well in the Arena Football League which means he could get his long awaited shot to show an NFL team what he can do before it become too late in his career.

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