Men’s hoops near top
Annual polls put the Idaho men’s basketball team close to the peak of the Big Sky Conference. The coaches’ poll projects a second place finish for Idaho and the media poll places Idaho at third.
Weber State, the 2016 BSC Champions, took first with 114 points and seven first-place votes in the coaches’ poll. Idaho followed with 104 points and one first place vote. North Dakota took third with 103 points and three first place votes.
Weber State maintained the first place pick in the media poll with 181 points and 10 first place votes. Montana placed second with 167 points and three first place votes. Idaho ranked third with 158 points and two first votes. North Dakota sat in fourth with 137 points and one first place vote.
In the 2015-16 season, Idaho earned a 21-13 record, the first 20-win season since 1992-93 season. The Vandals played in the Big Sky semifinals and continued to the 2016 College Basketball Invitational after the tournament.
Idaho opens the season with an exhibition match against Carroll College 7 p.m. Oct. 25 in the Memorial Gym.
XC keeps cruising
The Idaho women’s cross-country team took first in the Inland Empire Classic Saturday in Lewiston. The men’s team took third in the final meet of the regular season.
“On the women’s side, I was very pleased,” said assistant coach Travis Floeck in a news release. “Any time you win as a team you have to be very happy. I know we can make adjustments heading into the conference championships. Overall, lots of positives on the women’s side moving forward.”
Floeck said some men’s team members sat out the meet as a precaution.
“But we had some strong performances on the men’s side,” he said. “Grayson continues to be our front runner and he had another great race. Overall, the team had a good opportunity with some guys sitting out and they stepped up.”
This is the women’s team’s third win this season.
Redshirt freshman Kara Story led with a second place finish in 16:56. Junior Sierra Speiker finished third with a 16:58 mark.
Senior Halie Raudenbush earned seventh in 17:29. Sophomore Andrea Condie took eighth at 17:38 and freshman Maizy Brewer took ninth at 17:44.
Senior Ally Ginth took 11th and freshman Emily Wesseling earned 17th.
The men’s team ended the meet in third place. Gonzaga, one point ahead of the Vandals, took second.
Freshman Grayson Ollar finished fourth in 24:27. Sophomore Dwain Stucker took seventh at 24:38.
Senior Christopher Black finished 18th, sophomore Austin Fred in 20th, senior Santos Vargas in 21st, sophomore Skylar Ovnicek earned 31st, senior Tim Delcourt grabbed 27th and sophomore Levi Wintz finished 39th.
Idaho has a bye week before hosting the Big Sky Championship Oct. 28 at the UI Golf Course.
The final trip
The Idaho women’s soccer team completed its last road game of the regular season. The Vandals (5-4-3, 5-1-1) took a 1-1 draw against Weber State (5-7-2, 3-3-1) Friday in Ogden, Utah.
“Credit to Weber State, they’re a very good possession-oriented team, they were flying at us with a lot of numbers and we didn’t handle it as well as we needed to at times,” said Idaho head coach Derek Pittman in a news release. “We knew we had to defend really organized. We didn’t play our best, but in the end we’ll take it, get out of here with a point and move on.”
A long throw from junior defender Josilyn Daggs and a deflection sent the ball into box area. Senior forward Kavita Battan finished the play and made her fifth goal of the season.
The Wildcats scored in the 76 minute.
Senior goalkeeper Torell Stewart made a season-high nine saves. Junior forward Olivia Baggerly took six shots.
“We definitely gave up some shots that typically in the past we haven’t,” Pittman said. “But that’s why Torell is back there, she did an excellent job. She made several huge saves for us to keep the game where it was and ultimately see out the tie.”
Idaho returns home 3 p.m. Friday at Guy Wicks Field.