The Western Hockey League announced Friday that the U.S. Division will begin the 2020-21 regular season on March 19.

This follows an update from the state of Washington regarding COVID-19 requirements for sporting activities issued Feb. 1, which allows the WHL to return to action.

The WHL’s five U.S. Division teams — the Seattle Thunderbirds, Everett Silvertips, Portland Winterhawks, Spokane Chiefs and Tri-City Americans — will play games exclusively within the division during the regular season. The schedule will be announced later.

The WHL has developed an extensive set of protocols to not only provide a safe environment for players and staff, but to protect the community.

No spectators will be permitted to enter WHL facilities.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

• Rachel Berf scored a career-high 28 points, including four straight free throws inside the final minute to lead Seattle Pacific to a 70-64 victory against Saint Martin’s in Lacey. Kaprice Boston notched her first career double-double for the Falcons (5-4) with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Claire Dingus led the Saints (3-4) with 21 points.

Men’s Tennis

• Washington got its first taste in a long time of some road match intensity as Tulsa won the final two singles matches in third sets to hold off the Huskies 4-3 at Tulsa’s Case Tennis Center.

The Huskies got a big win from Clement Chidekh at No. 1 singles over his first ranked opponent, and Han-Chih Lin and Ewen Lumsden also scored points.