The Eastern Washington football team proved skeptics wrong by finishing the 2007 season with a 9-4 record. With a season-ending 38-35 loss at Appalachian State in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs, the Eagles shocked the Big Sky after a disappointing 3-8 season in 2006. Their four-game winning streak at the end of the regular season helped the Eagles advance to the quarterfinals for only the fourth time in school history.
The year 2007 also marked the end of the Paul Wulff era, as he left Eastern to become the head coach of the Washington State Cougars. Shortly after, former Eagle assistant Beau Baldwin replaced Wulff as the leader of Eastern Football.
Women’s golf ended the season with their sixth consecutive top-five finish at the Big Sky Conference Championship and a dominating league record of 27-3. The year was filled with success from underclassmen. Juniors Chloe Nelson and Marli Mikulecky finished their seasons with the university’s best and second-best scoring average respectively.
Big Sky Golf Coach of the Year Marc Hughes also saw great play from freshmen Kristina Gargaro and Kellie Holmstedt. Hughes ended their incredible season saying, “The upshot is that we have a really talented team returning next year. All three of my first team All-Big Sky players (Mikulecky, Nelson and Gargaro) return along with my lone second team All-Big Sky player (Holmstedt). This was the best year in my program’s history, so we have a bright future ahead of us.”
The Eastern Washington women’s soccer team finished their season with the record for most wins and an overall record of 9-8, 3-4 in Big Sky action. With a fifth-place finish, the Eagles fell one place short of making the BSC tournament.
On a team that finished with a record-breaking amount of wins, senior Cyeeta Mott broke a few records of her own; eight to be exact. Mott, in her senior year, will leave Eastern with the single-season records in goals (six), assists (four), points (16) and shots (58). She sits atop the career lists in goals (14), points (35), shots (135) and game-winning goals (five).
In Head Coach Kirk Earlywine’s inaugural year, the Eastern Washington men’s basketball team finished the 2007-08 season with a respectable 11-19 record overall and 6-10 in the Big Sky Conference.
Prior to the season, the Eagles were picked to finish eighth by the coaches and ninth by the media so the expectations weren’t high for the team that featured six players who had never played an NCAA Division-I game.
Despite their losing record, the team showed positive signs for the future. Guards Adris DeLeon and Gary Gibson proved they can be a factor in the Big Sky and sophomore big man Brandon Moore finished the season with solid play.
Eastern’s volleyball program advanced to the Big Sky semifinals for the 11th straight season with a 15-15 overall record and 12-4 in Big Sky play, including nine come-from-behind victories.
The Eagles will try to improve on their third-place finish in the Big Sky next year with new Head Coach Miles Kydd. Kydd, an assistant on the volleyball coaching staff the past four seasons, is now the fifth Eagles head coach of the NCAA Division-I era.
This season marked the first year that an Eastern Washington tennis program won the Big Sky Conference Championship to advance to the NCAA Championships. Eastern’s most successful tennis team compiled a record-breaking 18 wins, including seven Big Sky victories.
In his first year, Big Sky Tennis Coach of the Year Darren Haworth helped lead the Eagles to two eight-plus game winning streaks. Their season came to an end after losing a tough match to number-three ranked UCLA in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Next year, the Eagles should expect similar amounts of success with all singles players returning.
Men’s Track & Field
Eastern Washington men’s track and field produced two Big Sky Champions this year with Cameron Moore taking the triple jump and Aaron Mettler snagging the javelin as a freshman.
The year also saw great performances from runner Curtis Suver, who qualified for the NCAA West Regionals along with Paul Limpf. Juniors Armand Hopkins and Chad Butorac also turned heads in the Big Sky this year.
The women’s tennis team (10-14) earned Eastern’s fifth double-digit win total since joining the NCAA Division-I in 1984. They also won the team’s first postseason match in 14 years after beating Montana in the quarterfinals.
The team will have to play next season without seniors Kasey Knox and Iliana Petrova.
Women’s Track & Field
Women’s track and field also produced two Big Sky Champions with junior Bonnie Millard winning the discus title and senior Erika Kirley-Price taking Eastern’s first-ever Big Sky title in the women’s hammer.
Along with the Big Sky champions, senior Camille Moseley and junior Mattie Bridgmon broke school records in distance running. Moseley’s time of 4:30.33 in the 1,500 meters put her name in the record books. Bridgmon now holds the 5,000-meter record with a time of 16:33.60.
Bridgmon, Moseley, Amanda Peterson and Nicole Luckenbach will also join Kirley-Price and Millard in the NCAA West Regionals.
Eastern Washington women’s basketball has seen better years. After finishing 4-25 overall and 1-15 in Big Sky play, the team welcomed the offseason. Next season should be better for the Lady Eagles with freshmen Kyla Evans and Tatjana Sparavalo returning after solid seasons. The team’s leading scorer and rebounder Sydney Benson should also be back for one more season.