Want to be able to make conversation with your family during the holiday season? Talk about other people playing with balls of various varieties: It can break the tension.
Here’s a rundown of what’s going on in the sports world.
Women’s basketball is off to a 4-0 start, already doubling their win total from last year. Their four wins include a win over Highline College, which made the playoffs last season. Of 33 teams in the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC), the Phins are just one of seven to be collecting at least 10 more rebounds per game than their opponents. Their big edge on the glass is led by freshman Loriaunna Sanchez, who is leading the entire NWAC with 15.3 rebounds per game.
Men’s basketball picked up their first win earlier this week, knocking off Tacoma CC 80-63. Sophomore guard Anjaylo Lloyd had his second 30-point game of the season, and is in the top 10 of the NWAC in both scoring and three-pointers made.
UW and WSU
UW defeated Washington State (WSU) 31-13 in the Apple Cup, the annual football game between the two Pac-12 rivals. The Huskies finished off the regular season with a 7-5 record, and on Dec. 2, head coach Chris Petersen announced he would be stepping down from his position and plans on transitioning into an advisory role.
UW volleyball is the #8 national seed in the NCAA tournament. The Huskies will host Colorado State, South Carolina and Winthrop for the first two rounds on Dec. 6 and Dec. 7. WSU made the tournament as well and will travel to #12 Hawaii, playing San Diego in the first round.
UW men’s soccer is in the Elite Eight for the second time in program history after defeating 11th-seeded Marshall 4-1 last Sunday. The #6 Huskies will bid for their first-ever College Cup appearance on Dec. 7 at #3 Georgetown.
WSU women’s soccer has been the biggest story of the NCAA women’s soccer tournament, having pulled off major upsets of Virginia in the second round and then South Carolina in the Elite Eight. The Cougars will make their College Cup debut against North Carolina on Dec. 7 in San Jose, California, with fellow Pac-12 teams Stanford and UCLA meeting in the other national semifinal.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is looking like the clear MVP this year. His unique blend of running and passing puts him in rarefied air. Also, you can’t forget the NFC West, whose top two teams (the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers) have been firing on all cylinders. Both franchises have seen their defenses improve with offseason acquisitions, the Seahawks getting Jadeveon Clowney and the 49ers signing Richard Sherman.
The Seattle Sounders won the MLS Cup on Nov. 10, defeating the Toronto FC 3-1. This was the third time the two teams faced each other in the MLS Cup final, with the previous two being split in 2016 and 2017. The Sounders have made a record 11 straight playoff appearances. The final broke the Sounders’ franchise record for attendance with over 69,000 people there.
The Washington Nationals took home the most recent version of the “Fall Classic,” which is a fancy way of saying World Series. Potential fans looking to jump on a local bandwagon beware: They’re from Washington D.C. — not the Evergreen State. They’re still lovable, but the Seattle Mariners are the true lovable losers of the area.
The St. Louis Blues and Washington (nope) Capitals — the two most recent teams to have lifted the Stanley Cup — have shot out of the gate in their respective conference.
While no NHL team currently exists between Vancouver, Canada, and San Jose, California, hope is on the horizon. The plan is for the new team to play in Seattle beginning in the 2021-22 season. The team name is set to be announced in late January.
This past season, the North Carolina Courage took home the National Women’s Soccer League trophy in October. The team from Tacoma, Reign FC, is in talks to be sold to the OL Groupe, the parent company of Olympic Lyon in France. Lyon has been the best team in the world, winning their own league 13 times in a row.
The Washington Mystics (also from D.C.) defeated the Connecticut Sun to win the WNBA championship. They were led to the title by league MVP Elena Delle Donne.
Locally, forward Natasha Howard was the Seattle Storm’s best player throughout the season, leading the team in minutes, points, rebounds and blocks per game. Seattle talisman and WNBA all-time assist leader Sue Bird missed the season due to a knee injury.
About a quarter of the way through the season, the story so far has been Luka Dončić, the 20-year-old who averaged over 30 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in November. He became only the third NBA player to average a 30-point triple-double in a calendar month.
Both teams from Los Angeles have already established themselves atop the Western Conference with their newly formed duos of star players. In the East, Toronto has been resilient despite losing Kawhi Leonard to free agency.