Athletics: Spring 2010
Author: Kathryn Kirkland
Posted: June 10, 2010

Vikings play at University of WashingtonFirst to impress

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL experienced a lot of firsts during the past three seasons under head coach Sherri Murrell.

There was the school's first-ever 20-win season at the Division I level after Murrell took over in 2007-08. Then came a trip to the women's National Invitation Tournament last season, marking the first postseason appearance of women’s basketball as a Division I program. And last and definitely not least, Murrell led the team to its first NCAA Division I Tournament in March after the Vikings won its first Big Sky Conference Tournament title.

"Each goal that we set out along the way we have accomplished," says Murrell. "When I set foot on campus I let them know that we were on a championship journey. I told them that we needed to change the culture around the program and that everything we do, from lifting weights to practice, is part of that journey and will lead them toward a championship."

At the NCAA Tournament, Portland State gave the nation's ninth-ranked Texas A&M all they could handle for 20 minutes and held a 28-27 lead right before halftime. Eventually, though, the Aggies wore down the Vikings with their size and speed to move on to the second round.

The fact that the Vikings hung with Texas A&M for a half showed that they belonged on the nation's top stage and will be fuel for next season's bid for tournament champion.

Football returns to Hillsboro Stadium

UNDER NEW HEAD COACH Nigel Burton, Viking football returns to Hillsboro Stadium for its 2010 Big Sky Conference season as PGE Park undergoes renovation.

The stadium was good to the team back in 2000, when the Vikings earned a top 10 ranking in the NCAA Division I Football Championship and reached the NCAA playoffs. Hillsboro Stadium is just off Highway 26 at the Cornelius Pass exit.

Home games at Hillsboro Stadium

October 2 Idaho State, 6:05 p.m.
October 16 Montana, 6:05 p.m.
October 30 Eastern Washington, 6:05 p.m.
November 13 Northern Colorado, 1:05 p.m.

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