Women’s basketball finally tips off

Cougs look to start the 2020-21 season with a win against their rival



Former WSU forward Borislava Hristova scored 20 points against the Huskies the last time WSU went on the road to face UW last season.

DANIEL SHURR, Evergreen reporter

The WSU women’s basketball team was supposed to tip off three weeks ago against Eastern Washington University. After a plethora of postponements and a few COVID-19 scares, the team is finally set to tip off the 2020-21 season against its state rival, the University of Washington Huskies.

“It’s just crazy that it’s about to be mid-December, and we haven’t had a game yet,” said WSU head coach Kamie Ethridge.

The Cougars will travel north for the winter and visit the Huskies (3-1, 1-1) in a game that means a lot to both sides. Ethridge said the game has some extra excitement because of the preexisting rivalry.

WSU should have already played five games, but not much has gone the way it should for the Cougars this season.

The Pac-12 postponed the Cougs’ last two matchups set to take place in California against the Cal Golden Bears and No.1 Stanford Cardinal. The reason for these postponements was because the team did not have the minimum number of scholarship athletes eligible to play, according to the Pac-12

The conference has been extremely cautious in regards to its COVID-19 protocol and contact tracing, all in an effort to stop the spread of the virus.

COVID-19 concerns aside, the team can focus on the problem at hand, the rival Huskies. Last year, the Cougars defeated the Huskies in Seattle 66-59. This year the team looks to do that once more.

“We have a bunch of people who can make plays,” said redshirt sophomore guard Michaela Jones.

Jones saw a respectable amount of playing time as a freshman but was forced to sit out last season due to injury. Just like the rest of the team, Jones is itching to get back onto the court.

“I’m just excited for us to get out there and show what we’ve been working on,” Jones said.

The Washington Huskies come off an 83-50 beat down loss against No.1 Stanford, the only loss for the Huskies this year. UW’s handful of games played this season leads fans to believe they have the upper hand against the Cougars.

“We are very different from a year ago,” Ethridge said. “That is the one advantage.”

Although the Cougars have not played before Friday’s contest, this also means there is not any film from this season for opponents to scout. The Huskies, along with the rest of the conference, have no idea what WSU will throw at them.

While the team is excited to play its first game of the season, this rivalry is also a homecoming game for a WSU player.

Sophomore guard Grace Sarver, who is originally from Seattle, also drained a three-point shot right off the bench against the Huskies last season.

“I grew up watching a lot of Huskies games, so it’s cool to go back to the arena that I kind of grew up in,” Sarver said.

The Apple Cup Series is always filled with emotion, but in a season like this, who knows what we will see?

The Cougars will tip off against the Huskies at 4 p.m. Friday in the Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle, Washington.