We started another periodic series on the blog this week, one looking back on the year in UNT sports now that it is finally over.
Right off the bat, we looked at one of the good aspects of last season — the program’s overall success in the Olympic sports realm. UNT made the NCAA tournament in women’s soccer, tennis and men’s golf. Steven White finished third in the 400 hurdles at the national meet. Rodolfo Cazaubon made the final rounds of the NCAA golf tournament as an individual.
The women’s volleyball team made the Sun Belt tourney final and Kimmy Phillips made the NCAAs in swimming.
And that brings us to the first tough turn of events from last year — the one that corresponds to our first highlight:
UNT didn’t break through for a win in a team sport at the NCAA level.
One could make the argument that Cazaubon making the NCAA finals was a breakthrough in golf and Phillips advancing a breakthrough in swimming.
They were, but there were times last season when it felt like UNT was in position to break through as a team.
The UNT soccer program has been the best and most consistent the school has in team sports if one looks at it from a long-term perspective going back close to two decades.
UNT faced Texas Tech in the first round of the NCAAs this year. Tech is a team UNT has been beaten in the past and had a shot to beat again. UNT just couldn’t quite break through and lost on the road.
While UNT’s soccer team has been the most consistent over the years, the school’s tennis team has been the most consistent when it comes to getting to the NCAAs recently. UNT has been to the tournament three of the last four years and drew a TCU team it was competitive with in the regular season. UNT lost that match.
And while golf is a little off the radar, UNT appeared as if it had the chance to get to the final round of nationals. UNT came up short there as well, finishing 12th in the Pullman Regional.
It was a tough turn of events for UNT. A breakthrough at the NCAA tournament level would do a host of UNT programs a lot of good.
Here’s our list:
1. A solid year across the board in Olympic sports
1. Failing to break through as a team at the NCAA level
And on the recruiting front, we mentioned yesterday that running back Vic Enwere was announcing his college destination last night. Enwere was one of the top rated prospects UNT has offered who was still on the board. Enwere committed to Cal.