WSU distance runner Tonya Nero.Last week, I picked Wichita State’s appearance in the title game of the MVC men’s basketball tournament as the top story of 2010.
WSU’s history in St. Louis is poor, sometimes embarrassing. To make the title game for the first time since 1987 – yes, 1987 – represented a big step. To be a consistent force in the MVC, a team must win in St. Louis. The Shockers know more about doing that now.
That wasn’t the only important story in 2010. What’s your nomination? Here are a few others that deserve discussion.
WSU volleyball returns to the NCAA Tournament for a fifth time, only to see an injury to senior Sarah McGee damage their shot at advancing.WSU’s men’s basketball team wins 25 games and plays in the NIT.A lack of quality victories, road losses to Evansville and Drake and a weak non-conference schedule keeps the men’s basketball team from building an NCAA Tournament at-large resume. The Shockers raise hopes by getting to 19-4 before losing four of their next seven games.The Shockers reestablish their home-court advantage, going 17-0 at home during the regular season and beating two ranked teams.WSU women’s cross country wins its sixth straight MVC title.WSU distance runner Tonya Nero finishes 16th at the NCAA national cross country meet and 17th in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA outdoor meet.WSU track and field excels by sweeping the MVC indoor titles and winning the men’s outdoor championship. The men’s indoor title is the first for WSU.Dustin Garza leads the men’s golf team to a third straight MVC title and a return to the NCAAs. Garza is named a Golf Coaches Association of America All-American, capping one of the best careers in Shocker history.WSU baseball misses an NCAA regional after a 17-8 loss to Illinois State in the MVC Tournament title game at Eck Stadium.WSU outfielder Bret Bascue, who didn’t hit better than .256 in three previous seasons, hits .421 with 10 home runs as a senior. Bascue starts the season as a platoon player before forcing his way into everyday duty.WSU pitcher Jordan Cooper sets a school record with a scoreless streak of 32 1/3 innings.WSU’s women’s basketball team defeats Akron in the Women’s Basketball Invitational, the program’s first post-season win in the NCAA era.WSU hires Bridgette Gordon, a Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame member and an Olympian, as an assistant coach.The Shockers win their fourth MVC women’s tennis title in five seasons and advance to the NCAAs.