Subscribe to Gonzaga University's News Service RSS Feed
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY NEWS RELEASE
Dale Goodwin, Director
Peter Tormey, Associate Director
|Tracking the Zags-Women: Fans Give Warm Send-off|
By Dale Goodwin
(PALO ALTO, Calif. – 3/16/07) – A spirited and supportive group of Gonzaga faculty and staff showed up at McCarthey Athletic Center Thursday at 11 a.m. to give the women’s basketball team an appropriate send-off to the NCAA Tournament. The only problem was they were an hour early.
A Student Activities Office representative apparently got the wrong departure information and disseminated an all-campus e-mail announcing the send-off.
So, when word got to the coach and a couple of his players getting packed inside of McCarthey Athletic Center, they came out to greet the early arrivers. Coach Kelly Graves, who is taking his first Zag team but his sixth team overall to the Big Dance, was impressed by the outpouring of support.
“This is our first, but hopefully not our last trip to the tournament,” he said. “We hope to make this a regular occurrence.”
The team eventually made it to the airport and, apparently, the pilot did know the way to San Jose, delivering the team to the San Jose terminal shortly before 5 p.m. without a hitch. After getting settled into their beautiful, 400-room, NCAA-provided hotel on the San Francisco Bay some 10 miles north of Palo Alto in Redwood City, team members enjoyed a dinner at a nearby pizza place, catching the Gonzaga men’s game against Indiana while they ate. When it was over, it was time to focus on their assignment.
Gonzaga trainer Leann Stockton – yes, she is John’s sister – reports that all players are well and ready to go.
“Scarily healthy,” she said. “The week off between the West Coast Conference Tournament and the NCAA Tournament has really helped heal some aches.”
Gonzaga (24-9) will play Middle Tennessee State (29-3) Saturday at 5 p.m. at Stanford University’s Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto.
While the women were loading the bus for their trip to the airport midday Thursday, several GU baseball players were working the field across the parking lot from the McCarthey Athletic Center, preparing for the first game at Patterson Baseball Complex on Washington Trust Field. A formal dedication of this $7.9 million stadium is scheduled for April 20, at 6:30 p.m. By the way, Gonzaga defeated Rider University Thursday in the home-opener, 9-4.
While Coach Graves has received compliments all season on his players, who have worked with young girls in the area and have made themselves available for autographs after every home game, compliments were flowing Thursday for the men’s baseball players, as well.
Gonzaga Athletic Director Mike Roth and baseball Coach Mark Machtolf received an e-mail message from a businessman who travels extensively in his work. “ . . . I have had the opportunity to fly with both men’s and women’s college teams,” he wrote. “The flight on March 13 was the most enjoyable and gratifying I have ever experienced. The Gonzaga men’s baseball team (flying from Salt Lake City to Portland, Ore.) is a model of how young men should present themselves when representing their school.
“During the two-hour flight they were quiet and respectful of their passengers. I was fortunate enough to sit next to a young man whom made quite an impression on me right from the start. The player, Brandon Harmon, was a real joy to visit with and I am sure a young man who would be a great player and person to coach. As we discussed the team, he couldn’t stop talking about the skills of his teammates and when I asked him to tell me about himself, he was modest and continued talking about . . . his teammates. You both should be . . . proud of this team and the fine young men that represent your great school.”
A social for Gonzaga alumni and fans will be held Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Stanford Golf Course. A $5 fee is asked.