Volleyball team reaches Final Four

The No. 2 volleyball team is in La Verne, Calif., for the 2003 NCAA Division III Final Four today and Dec. 6. The Bears, who defeated No. 5 Ohio Northern University in the national quarterfinals, will make their 12th appearance in the semifinals when they take on the University of La Verne at 7 p.m. Pacific time (9 p.m. locally) today.

University Athletic Association rivals New York University and Emory University will also make the trip. Both Emory and NYU are making their first appearance in the Final Four. The three UAA teams in the field marks the first time in Division III history that three teams from the same conference reached the semifinals the same year.

Senior Cindy McPeak goes for a block in a match earlier this season. McPeak has 300 kills and 101 blocks this year for the Bears, who play in the NCAA Division III Final Four starting today in La Verne, Calif.
Senior Cindy McPeak goes for a block in a match earlier this season. McPeak has 300 kills and 101 blocks this year for the Bears, who play in the NCAA Division III Final Four starting today in La Verne, Calif.

The Bears are back in the Final Four for the second-straight season after finishing as the national runner-up last year. With a 3-0 tournament record so far this year, WUSTL is 58-10 all-time, giving the Bears the second most wins in tournament history. Juniata College’s 63 tournament wins rank first all-time.

La Verne, the No. 3 team in the country, is back for the second time in three seasons and sixth time overall after upending No. 4 Wisconsin-Lacrosse, 3-1, in the quarterfinals. La Verne is 29-2 and has not lost since Oct. 10, a 3-1 decision to Juniata.

Emory and NYU will face each other in the other semifinal today. The third-place match will be Dec. 6 at 4:30 p.m. and the championship is slated for 7 p.m., both Pacific times.

Other updates

The men’s basketball team dropped its home opener Nov. 25, then posted a 1-1 record at the Jackson Brothers Basketball Classic at Fontbonne University Nov. 29-30.

The Bears fell to Webster University, 80-70, Nov. 25 at the Field House. With the game tied at 59, Jerry Vogt and Scott Spinner hit back-to-back three-pointers with less than three minutes to play, sparking a 10-0 run to give the Gorloks the lead for good. Washington U. led 30-24 at halftime despite shooting just 3 of 12 from the free-throw line. Junior Rob Keller led WUSTL with 10 points at the break and 16 for the game.

On Nov. 29 against Otterbein College, Tony Borghese hit an 18-footer at the buzzer as the Cardinals defeated the Bears, 74-72, in the Jackson Brothers Classic. The Bears fought back from a 71-66 deficit with less than one minute to play after back-to-back three-pointers from Keller and Scott Stone to knot the score at 72 with 24.7 seconds left. Otterbein then ran the clock down to two seconds before Borghese provided the game-winning shot.

The next day, the Bears snapped a three-game loosing streak with a 74-59 win against Edgewood College. Senior Ryan DeBoer led four Bears in double figures with a career-high 18 points and 14 rebounds.

Washington U. (2-3) will return to action today and Dec. 6, hosting the 20th Annual Lopata Classic. WUSTL opens with an 8 p.m. game today against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges.

The No. 1 women’s basketball team went 2-1 from Nov. 25-30. The Bears opened their home slate by defeating Webster University, 77-51, on Nov. 25. Sophomore Kelly Manning led WUSTL with 15 points, including 13 in the first half. Senior center Suzy Digby added 11 points and eight rebounds, while classmate Lesley Hawley tallied 13 points.

The Bears maintained the momentum in the first game of the Third Annual McWilliams Classic Nov. 29-30 at the Field House. Washington U. upended Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, 83-67, in its tournament opener behind sophomore forward Danielle Beehler’s career-high 20 rebounds.

In the championship game, Washington U. rallied from 18 points down against Johns Hopkins University, but it was not enough as the Blue Jays held on for a 77-72 win. The Bears opened the second half with a 18-6 run, giving them their first lead (53-51) since a 2-0 edge to open the game. Beehler finished the game with a career-high 20 points and 14 rebounds.

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