During the 2004-05 season, sophomore Kate Benz will chronicle her experiences with the Cougar basketball team. Visit wsucougars.com for future thoughts from Kate throughout the season.
Not many things in life are black and white. We tend to live in the gray a lot, whatever that may mean. In basketball, however, things are unfortunately black and white. There are wins and there are losses - there is no in-between.
As a rebuilding team, we could sure use that gray. It would really help us validate the point that we are about to turn the figurative corner.
We are halfway through conference -- how time flies -- and we are inevitably on a roller coaster. We have had some serious highs. One came when we took USC to overtime, only to lose by two. Yet, we have also had some rock-bottom lows such as our recent loss to Oregon State. We entered the game with identical records, but the Beavers prevailed and we were the ones who had to leave with another loss.
Traveling to and from Pullman has proved to be quite the roller coaster as well. We were scheduled to fly directly to the Pullman airport following the Oregon road trip, with a scheduled arrival of 11 a.m. Imagine our excitement to have an entire day to relax after two tough losses.
If only it would have panned out like that. After pulling into the Eugene airport at around 5:30 in the morning, we were told our flight had been cancelled -- not due to the storm which hit Oregon -- but because of mechanical errors. The next flight out didn't leave until 7 that night, and we would have had to lay over in Seattle as well. What was a team to do?
After weighing the options, our coaches decided the only viable thing to do was to bus back. Yep, that's right…in the midst of the worst weather conditions in Oregon, our bus driver, Mac, agreed to maneuver the charter back to Pullman.
What troopers - our coaches, manager Andrew, and even Jason the SID helped ol' Mac chain up the bus, and the 12 of us watched the scenery pass as we made it through the Gorge at a steady 35 mph.
We left our hotel in the dark hours of the morning, and we finally made it back to Pullman a smidge past six o'clock that same night. Oh and the irony of our coaches handing us money to eat at the athletically-taboo McDonald's and Taco Bell! There are few words to describe this road trip - only tired faces and aching bodies.
In other news, the Apple Cup of women's basketball is on the horizon. The home-court advantage and hatred for all things Purple and Gold prove to add to the excitement for this game. With a week to prepare for the Dawgs, I am confident this game will be a good show for the fans. There's nothing like a bitter rivalry to bring out the best in the players and coaches.
Before every game I tell myself, "It's never too late to be what you might have been." I'm not sure who first spoke these words, but it's the most inspiring piece of advice in my opinion. Rest assured, we're not throwing in the towel on this season. We still have 10 games left in conference - plenty of chances to show just what we really are made of.
Official Website of Washington State University Athletics | Bohler Athletic Complex | PO Box 641602 Pullman, WA 99164-1602 | 1.800.GO.COUGS