Welcome to Wazzu

Embrace all sports at WSU


Fall 2022 Evergreen sports section editor Sam Taylor

SAM TAYLOR, Evergreen sports co-editor

Hello and congratulations on making the excellent choice to attend WSU! Whether you are a lifelong WSU fan or just heard about Pullman during the college admissions process, you are now a Coug and we are glad you are here.

My name is Sam Taylor. I am a junior journalism major, a proud member of the Cougar Marching Band, an Eagle Scout and the editor of the Daily Evergreen’s Sports section. Meaning, I love music, the outdoors and sports, so surely we have something in common.

The fall is an exciting time in Pullman. There is a contagious buzz of anticipation. Friends reuniting in their favorite place, newcomers quickly falling in love with a near-perfect Palouse and an entire school and community stuffing Martin Stadium on select Saturdays to share in the tradition, spirit and fellowship of Cougar football.

Football game days are electric experiences. Even if you are not a sports fan, the energy of game day is addictive. 

I love the sense of fellowship that radiates when the whole stadium belts out “Back Home” by Andy Grammer, the unofficial official anthem of WSU. I love seeing the whole stadium make shark teeth in unison as the band blares music from “Jaws”. I love screaming my heart out and the sense of suspense that dissolves into joy the moment the defense sacks the quarterback with less than two minutes to go in the game.

WSU students cheer on the football team during the second half of a college football game on Oct. 23, 2021, at Martin Stadium.

While football is certainly the most popular live sport on campus, it is far from the only one.

WSU is lucky to have 15 Division-I athletic programs, at least 10 of which are active to some extent during the fall semester.

If you have never been to a college soccer or volleyball match, do yourself a favor and go.

I had been in Pullman for not even two months when I decided to wander down to Bohler Gym and watch a volleyball match. I entered a sea of students, each on their feet motivated by their love of Crimson or by their hate of Purple.

I was lucky to find myself in the student section for volleyball’s Apple Cup match against University of Washington, our bitter rivals in every sense of the word.

The Cougs led the Huskies two sets to one and were trying to seal the deal in the fourth set. In anticipation of game-winning play, I took a video of each match-point. I took over a dozen videos because the Huskies kept fighting back until eventually, they snagged the match point 46-44, the longest set in NCAA women’s volleyball history. Despite a fourth set double the length of a usual set, the Cougs took care of business to win the day for crimson and gray.

WSU volleyball under the leadership of head coach Jen Greeny is perhaps the most accomplished Cougar athletic program in school history. The Cougs have qualified for six consecutive NCAA tournaments, the most in program history and more than any other athletic program in WSU history.

This level of consistency is a joy to watch and it shows no sign of slowing down.

Star players like Pia Timmer, Magda Jehlarova and Katy Ryan decorate the scoreboard with their precise plays.

WSU outside hitter Pia Timmer (7) serves the ball, Nov. 5, 2021, in Pullman.

Another program experiencing historic success is WSU soccer. Coug games at the Lower Soccer field are certainly one of the best experiences on campus. The whole community shows up for the Cougs and you should too.

The Cougs have generated more professional-level talent within the past three years than every other school except for UCLA. Since, 2020, seven Cougs have been drafted to National Women’s Soccer League teams and three in the top 10. Morgan Weaver (2020 2nd overall pick by the Portland Thorns), Trinity Rodman (2021 2nd overall pick by the Washington Spirit) and Elyse Bennett (2022 7th overall pick by the Kansas City Current).

The Cougs have a strong history of success and with reigning freshman and goalie of the year Nadia Cooper on the team along with Grayson Lynch (11th in the Pac-12 in goals in 2021) Sydney Studer (9th in assists in the Pac-12 in 2021) and her transfer sister Jenna Studer, the Cougs look to be poised for another strong year.

The WSU women’s soccer team celebrates after defeating the University of Montana 3-0 in an NCAA Tournament match at the Lower Soccer Field, Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021, in Pullman.

I am also a huge fan of soccer head coach Todd Shulenberger, who visited marching band camp on Monday to thank the band for our efforts. It was a very thoughtful address and further proof of the quality of coaches employed by WSU Athletics.

Swimming, cross country and tennis are three more programs with events this semester. Each has generated some greatly talented athletes and are very much worth your time.

I hope to see you around campus and in the stands of as many games, matches and meets as you can muster.

If you have any story tips or want to write about sports yourself for the Evergreen, please do not hesitate to email me at [email protected]. Have a great semester and Go Cougs!