Basketball teams honored before Mariners game

Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - 8:44am
Western Today staff

The Western Washington University men's and women's basketball teams, who both were NCAA Division II national semifinalists and had a combined record of 60-7, were at Safeco Field on Friday, Apr. 26, for a special tribute prior to the Seattle Mariners' baseball game with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, including ceremonial first pitches by head coaches Tony Dominguez and Carmen Dolfo.

The Vikings became the first school in the state of Washington to have both its men's and women's hoop teams reach the national semifinals in the same season.

Together, the two teams had a winning percentage of 89.6. They were both ranked among the top five nationally in their respective Division II polls, the women finishing third and the men fourth, and each won a regional title and took a Great Northwest Athletic Conference regular-season championship with a 17-1 record.

The defending NCAA II national champion WWU men finished 31-3, the win total tying the school record set last year. Their 24-0 start and 30-game winning streak over two seasons each broke school records that had stood for 41 years.

The Viking women finished 29-4, winning 22 of 23 games during one stretch. Besides the regular-season league crown, they also won the GNAC tournament title and notched the 900th victory in the program's 42-year history on Feb. 28 (current total 907), an average of 21.6 wins per year.

The WWU men were 17-0 at home this season and will take a school and conference record 26-game unbeaten streak at Carver Gym into the 2013-14 campaign. The Viking women were 16-0 at home and have won 20 in a row at Carver Gym over the last two years.

Dolfo was named CaptainU Division II National Women's Coach of the Year and Dominguez was a finalist for the Clarence "Big House" Gaines National Men's Coach of the Year. Dolfo also was the Women's Basketball Coaches Association West Region and GNAC Coach of the Year, and Dominguez was the GNAC co-Coach of the Year.