Washington State Women's Sports Excelled in 2002-03

July 31, 2003

If the 2002-03 season for Washington State athletics were made into a Broadway production, the women's sports programs would be a featured act.

Women's sports turned in a landmark campaign in 2002-03. The season featured an individual national champion, a fifth place individual national finish, and an Elite Eight team appearance. In addition, two programs advanced to the national championships for the first time while another program reached the NCAAs for the second time in three years.

In track and field, Whitney Evans captured the NCAA high jump championship while Ellannee Richardson finished second in the heptathlon and Anna Blue finished sixth in the 5000m. The Cougars amassed a total of 21 points for 12th place, the highest placing since 1986 when the Cougars finished 10th.

For the first time, the golf and rowing programs earned team bids to the NCAA Championships.

WSU earned its ticket to the championship by finishing seventh at the NCAA West Regional. The national championships were highlighted by sophomore Kim Welch's fifth place finish. As a result of her top five effort, Welch earned All-America accolades, the first WSU player to garner such an honor.

The rowing squad continued the NCAA theme by earning one of only 12 team bids to the NCAA Championships. The Cougars garnered their bid in large part due to a fourth place finish at the Pac-10 Championships. The varsity eight placed third at the championships, defeating No. 2 California and No. 8 USC in the process.

While the golf and rowing teams made an initial appearance at the NCAA Championships, the Cougar volleyball team earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive year and ninth time in the last 12 years. The Cougars made the most of their trip, reaching the Elite Eight for only the second time in school history.

WSU finished No. 7 in the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll. Senior LaToya Harris earned an All-Pac-10 First Team selection for the third consecutive year joining an elite club of 19 other three-time All-Conference honorees in the Pac-10.

The soccer program advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three seasons. WSU finished the season 11-7-2, including 5-2-2 and third place in the Pac-10. The Cougars ran off a school-record four conference wins in a row en route to posting the program's best conference finish. Junior Nicole Wilcox was named second team All-Pac-10.

Swimming was represented at the NCAAs for the sixth consecutive year as Lindsay Henahan advanced to the championships. Henahan earned All-America status with a 16th place finish in the 100m butterfly.

In tennis, sophomore Orsolya Sallai earned Pac-10 All-Conference Honorable Mention honors becoming only the third Cougar to garner All-Conference honors in the history of the program.

Junior Bianca McCall highlighted women's basketball by earning an All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention selection. McCall led the Cougars in points (13.1/game) and rebounds (8.1/game). Her nine double-doubles was third in the Pac-10 and at one point McCall ran together a string of five consecutive double-doubles.

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