Washington State senior Kate Benz kicks off the 2006-07 season of Kate's Chronicles as she continues to share her experiences with the Cougar women's basketball team. The forward from Portland, Ore., chronicled life as a Cougar during both her sophomore and junior seasons and will continue her accounts throughout her senior year. Please visit www.wsucougars.com for access to current and past entries.
December 14, 2006
Halloween came and went and now it's suddenly Christmas time. Thanksgiving quietly mixed in between and basketball season erupted in the middle of it all.
Yes, it's that time of year again - a time when my teammates and I live out of our suitcases and scramble to get all of our semester projects done on time. Add on a thick layer of snow, making everyday activities move in slow-motion, and the essence of this frantic time of the year is revealed. Also, the answer for the lack of recent chronicles is just that - between practices, homework and traveling, I've neglected to let everyone know how our team is doing.
Let's rewind and travel across the country to Kentucky where we competed with two nationally-recognized teams. Although we did not come away with a victory, we gained valuable experience with the "big basketball" environment and cinched our first road trip under our belts. A home-opening win was needed and accomplished against Sacramento State, and although the confetti did not fall from the roof of Beasley Coliseum, the night was capped off with a men's basketball win.
Packing our suitcases again, we headed to Portland where many family, friends and local fans came to support the Cougs. In fact, I'd wager we had more fans than the home team. There really aren't too many words to describe the debacle of the game we played at Portland, and if we could have any game back to play again, this game would run at the top of my list. Basketball is anybody's game, however, and unfortunately unlike Pac-10 play, we won't get a chance to prove ourselves against that team later this year.
Taking a brief break from our typical lives of restaurant food and airport shopping, we celebrated Thanksgiving. While many of the girls spent their Thursday with Portland-area family, the rest of the team joined my family for Thanksgiving dinner. After stuffing ourselves with an actual home-cooked meal, we shuffled down to the Bay Area for another WCC match-up against Santa Clara.
In a game of several lead changes, with a lot to prove after our loss at Portland, we fought to the bitter end against the Broncos. The game went down to the wire, and although we lost, we did not come away empty-handed. This game was an indicator of the ability of our freshmen and sophomores. I'm continually impressed by the resilience of our underclassmen. It's sometimes easy to forget there are only three upperclassmen on this Cougar team and there is a lot of learning to do this year. Even after back-to-back wins - one at home and one on the road - we were unable to make it three in a row after a tough loss to Montana.
I've been confident in our coaches since I came to WSU, and I know my teammates have the ability within, but we must make sure that we're all on the same page and, not only ready, but determined to write a successful future for the '06-'07 team.
Official Website of Washington State University Athletics | Bohler Athletic Complex | PO Box 641602 Pullman, WA 99164-1602 | 1.800.GO.COUGS