Texas Tech Top Ten: 2017-2018 Programs Part 1

For our final top ten list, we will list the top ten programs from the past school year. Here are No. 10-6.

Here is our last Top Ten list of the summer. I hope y’all enjoyed our first few lists, and if you missed them, here they are:

Staking the Plains Top Ten
Athletes (Part 1/Part 2) Plays (Part 1/Part 2) Games (Part 1/Part 2) Moments (Part 1/Part 2) Programs (Part 1/Part 2)

This list will be pretty simple. We’re going take a look at how each program did this past season, how they have been just prior to this season, and where they project in the future. Popularity matters a little bit, but not as much as the past lists.

Now our final list will be the Top Ten programs of the past season. Due to the fact there’s a limited amount of athletic programs at Texas Tech University, there won’t be an honorable mention. You know the other programs and I don’t feel the need to list them all. On to No. 10:

No. 10 Men’s Tennis

Finish Best Matches Top Performers
6th in Big 12; 19-11 (1-4 in Big 12); Lost 4-2 to San Diego in Opening Round W4-3 at No. 15 Virginia; W4-2 vs No. 42 Iowa; W4-3 vs No. 15 Texas Alex Sendegya, Tommy Mylnikov, Connor Curry, Jackson Cobb, Matheus Leite

Why They Were Chosen?: I originally had the Men’s Tennis team a little higher since they had a .633 record and were in the NCAA tournament, but I ended up dropping them a little bit because they finished last in the Big 12 (ouch) and had no All-Big 12 players.

Despite the last two facts, they did have some good moments on the season. They had wins over four ranked teams, which includes the games listed above and a 4-3 win at San Diego (who they eventually lost to in the postseason).

They also were ranked as high as No. 21 in country and finished as the No. 30 ranked team in the country. They also started off the season with a 10-1 overall record, and began the season ranked No. 24 in the country.

Luckily for the men’s tennis team, most of the players return next season (with the exception of Connor Curry and Alex Sendegeya). Could see them doing better next season.

No. 9 Cross Country

Finish Best Meets Top Performers
5th/8th in Big 12; 16th/19th in Region Big 12 Meet/NCAA Mountain Region Jocaim Zuniga, Todd Mickey, Ebenether Wondaferw; Nokuthula Dlamini, Jasmine Torres

Why They Were Chosen?: The cross country team (both the men’s and women’s) made some strides in their program in this year. Although I can’t say too much about the past or future, much like a lot of programs on this list, they did reach a new high.

The men’s team had their tied highest overall performance at the Big 12 championship meet when they finished fifth place with 151 points. The women’s team had their second highest ever, finishing eighth with 196 points.

Both teams went to compete in the NCAA Mountain Region championship in November, with the men’s team finishing in 16th place and the women’s team in 19th place. The top runners for each team were Nokuthula Dlamini (21:45.6) for the women’s team and Todd Mickey (32:14.8) and Ebenether Wondaferew (32:18.6) for the men’s team.

A majority of the runners for both teams return next year, but the men’s team lose their top two runners from the past season. However, there’s a lot of room to grow with this group.

No. 8 Women’s Golf

Finish Best Meets Top Performers
6th in Big 12; 13th in Regional Big 12 Tournament/NCAA Austin Regional Gabby Barker, Lauren Mason, Amy Taylor, Louisa Brunt, Mami Yamamoto

Why They Were Chosen?: Much like the cross country team, the women’s golf finished around middle of the pack in the Big 12 tournament and in the lower half of their NCAA regional.

The Red Raiders shot 27 over par in the Big 12 tournament, and 35 over par in the NCAA Austin Regional. We saw great performances from Mami Yamamoto during both of these postseason tournament, which includes finishing T15 in the Big 1 tourney and 22nd in the NCAA Austin Regional.

This year also marked the end of Gabby Barker’s career at Texas Tech. Barker has been overlooked a little bit, but she has competed to two NCAA Championships and took home Big 12 player of the year honors her sophomore year along with All-American honors.

Tech returns three of the five top performers from the Big 12 and NCAA Regional, so perhaps we’ll see the women’s golf team do well next season.

No. 7 Football

Finish Best Games Top Performers
7th in Big 12; 6-7 record; L38-34 to USF in Birmingham Bowl W27-23 at Texas; W27-24 at Houston; W52-45 vs Arizona State Keke Coutee, Dakota Allen, Justus Parker, Jah’Shawn Johnson, Dylan Cantrell

Why They Were Chosen?: I don’t really know how to wrap up the football season. Depending on your expectations, they might’ve done better or worse than you thought they would do. But there were some epic moments and good stories from the past season.

There was a dramatic win over Texas in Austin, Justus Parker went from a walk-on to a cult hero, and Dakota Allen continued to become a national phenomenon. We also didn’t cringe at the defense for the first time in years and Keke Coutee broke out.

However, there was also lows. The offense went missing for several parts of the season, lost a couple games that seemed to be winnable, and were embarrassed by Iowa State at home.

That being said, they did make the postseason and have a chance to be better next season. The future of the football program is a big mystery, with a seemingly different approach in recruiting and question marks surrounding the program and the security of those involved. Next year will be interesting.

The Red Raiders have just one winning season the past four years (7-6 record in 2015). Hopefully that trend changes soon.

No. 6 Softball

Finish Best Games Top Performers
5th in Big 12; 31-28 (5-13 in Big 12); Runner-Up in Farris Field NISC Regional W4-3 (8) vs Oklahoma State;  Sweep at Kansas; W6-5 vs Baylor Jessica Hartwell, Karli Hamilton, Heaven Burton, Michaela Cochran, Erin Edmoundson, Kelcy Leach

Why They Were Chosen?: The softball team had their first postseason appearance since 2012, and their first record over .500 since the 2014 season. Despite recent declines in records the past few years, the softball team is finally trending up.

The headline of the season was Jessica Hartwell, whom I named to the Top Ten Athletes of the past school year and was named an All-American. She broke out and really became a star for the softball program.

Adrian Gregory was trending downward in her first three season, but trended upward for the first time as the head coach in Lubbock. She also has gotten some pretty good recruits from the past season, as the Red Raiders led the All-Big 12 Freshman Team with four players, two more than any other school.

And that’s the reason why I have them above football, as the program looks like they could make another step forward next season with all the young players they have on their roster. Next year will be a key year for the program.


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