Two Aussies possibly delivered the best performance in ASU athletics this season; who would have thought that.
Believe it or not, Arizona State is experiencing a bit of drought in terms of Pac-12 championships. I challenge you to name all of this season's conference champions for the Sun Devils, and I'm pretty sure it won't take you long before figuring it out.
The women's basketball team dominated the season from start to end, earning a share of the Pac-12 title alongside Oregon State. Charli Turner Thorne's girls arguably produced the best season of all ASU teams, despite early post-season eliminations in both Pac-12 Tournament and NCAA Tournament.
It was by far the easiest team to name. It is actually the only ASU team that won a conference title in 2016.
The Beavers edged the Sun Devils in men's wrestling competition, but it was close. However, ASU won three individual championships behind the stellar play of Blake Stauffer, one of the best wrestlers in the nation. The freshman Linnea Strom scooped the Pac-12 individual title in women's golf last week, an athlete that will be talked about for years to come.
One team championship, and a few individuals titles. The list is short for an athletic department that set high expectations of success.
But the light came from two girls from the land down under yesterday.
Arizona State doubles team of Ebony Panoho and Alexandra Osborne won 6-3, 6-1 over Stanford for the Sun Devils' first doubles conference championship in program history. Not only the Australian pair did not enter the tournament ranked, but this victorious run helps the No. 22 Sun Devils won the team championship for the first time in program history.
The Panoho/Osborne duo accomplished a superb season, beating then-No. 3 Taylor Davidson and Caroline Doyle of Stanford in March, then-No. 5 Catherine Harrison and Kyle McPhillips of UCLA at the beginning of April and No. 7 Giuliana Olmos and Gabby Smith of USC this week to power through the Pac-12 Championships.
Nobody saw it coming. And it is a signature win for women's tennis head coach Sheila McInerney, who excelled at her job in Tempe for 29 years.