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Sports >  Area sports

West Coast Conference postpones all conference fall sports competition

UPDATED: Thu., Aug. 13, 2020

Gonzaga’s women’s soccer team, along with other fall sports, will have seasons delayed after an announcement Thursday from the West Coast Conference.  (Colin Mulvany/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Gonzaga’s women’s soccer team, along with other fall sports, will have seasons delayed after an announcement Thursday from the West Coast Conference. (Colin Mulvany/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

The West Coast Conference on Thursday joined several conferences nationwide in announcing the cancellation of fall sports competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement impacts volleyball, soccer and cross country as well as traditional spring sports tennis, rowing and golf also involved in fall competition.

Gonzaga volleyball held its first practice Tuesday. Women’s soccer held a socially distanced workout Aug. 5.

“This is a trying time for Gonzaga’s women’s soccer,” coach Chris Watkins said in a Twitter post. “We are grateful for the thorough care and leadership we’ve felt within the WCC and specifically our athletic department. I look forward to the next time we can proudly wear the Gonzaga logo at our next match!”

The WCC said it “strongly supports efforts” encouraging the NCAA to move fall championships to the spring.

“It is tough news to take, but I am proud of the resilience of our guys and know we will be stronger because of this,” GU men’s soccer coach Paul Meehan said. “Our leaders have had very difficult decisions to make during these very challenging times and whenever we’re able to compete again we’ll be ready.”

The WCC said “low-risk sports” – golf and tennis – have the option of scheduling nonconference fall competitions, but Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth said the school has decided against it for safety reasons.

“It’s not a shock to any of these student-athletes, but at same time it’s extreme disappointment and same for the coaches,” Roth said of the WCC announcement. “The biggest thing we’ve been emphasizing with the student-athletes and our staff is we need to be part of the solution. We need to do our part, wear masks, social distance, to reduce the spread of the virus so we can get back to playing.”

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