Year in Review: The biggest stories of 2008-2009

A looks back at some of the stories that kept on us on the edge of our seats this past year.

By Steve Saltarelli

Uh-oh and twelve

Two games, two losses. That’s where men’s basketball sat after the Midway Classic. Two losses to start the season could just be bad luck, but after two games without a win had stretched into two months without a win—and an 0–12 record—anybody could tell something was amiss. The worst of it was the variety of ways the Maroons lost. They lost by a mile and they lost at the buzzer. They lost one in double overtime, and sometimes it seemed like they’d lost by half time. Whatever was wrong, Chicago finally broke the losing streak at home in mid-January, and they won five of nine down the stretch, including one at Emory on a last second three from third-year Jake Pancratz.

Volleyball makes strides

Under the tutelage of new head coach Vanessa Walby, who took the reigns after a disappointing 2007 campaign, which saw the Maroons stumble to a 7-26 record, volleyball bounced back in a major way. Reloading with contributions from first-years Liane Rousseau and Isis Smalls, and guided by fourth-year Kerry Dornfeld, the squad jumped out a 16-7 record, and finished the year with more wins than the previous two years combined produced. Rousseau, Smalls, and Dornfeld all garnered All-UAA selections along the way.

Football protects this house, claims Cup

Undaunted by a pedestrian 2-5 record, an injury to their star running back, and Wash U’s formidable and highly-variable running attack, football pulled it all together against their arch-enemies in early November. With the squad’s fourth-years playing their last game at Stagg Field, the Maroons pulled off a 17–14 victory over the Bears. First-year Francis Adarkwa amassed 148 yards and found the end-zone twice as the South Siders claimed the Founders Cup for the first time since 2005.

Baseball ponies up

Going into the second week of April, baseball had a 6–9 record, an exhausted pitching staff, and had lost six out of their last eight games. They needed a week off. Thankfully, that’s exactly what their schedule provided them—and they used the time to the fullest. The rejuvenated crew ran the table over the rest of the season, going 14–4 behind strong performances from fourth-year first baseman Scott Hofer, first-year Steven Williams, and third-year ace Joe Pankow.