Women’s hoops wins, moves to sectionals

The third-ranked women’s basketball team (25-2, 13-1 University Athletic Association) secured a trip to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament with a pair of wins at the Field House, as WUSTL hosted regional contests March 3-4.

The Bears defeated Manchester College, 70-54, in the first round March 3 behind senior Kelly Manning’s 28 points. Manning found the hot hand early in the second half, scoring 11 of Washington U.’s first 12 points. She opened the half by hitting a 15-foot jumper off of an in-bounds play and followed with back-to-back three-pointers. Manning scored 19 second-half points and moved into third on the Bears’ all-time scoring list at 1,517.

Senior Danielle Beehler finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds for her 10th double-double of the season; she also moved into 10th on WUSTL’s career rebounding list (565). WUSTL held a 47-21 advantage on the glass. Junior Sarah Schell added eight points and five assists to move into fourth in the Bears’ career list (304).

WUSTL upended Carroll College, 78-66, the next night to earn a sectional berth. Manning netted a postseason career-high 32 points in leading the Bears to their 12th straight win. The Bears led 34-31 at halftime and extended their lead to nine when Manning hit a triple from the left corner six minutes into the second half. Carroll rallied with a 7-0 run, but Schell responded with a 12-footer in the lane and Beehler hit two free throws for the Bears. Schell later converted a three-point play and a fast-break layup for a 57-50 WUSTL lead.

Junior Rebecca Parker contributed a game- and career-high 16 rebounds.

The Bears are now at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., for NCAA Division III sectional play March 10-11. All games will be played in the Neal Fieldhouse in DePauw’s Lilly Center. The Bears will battle fourth-ranked Hope College (29-1) today at 5 p.m. Eastern.

Women’s tennis team splits vs. tough foes

The 15th-ranked women’s tennis team (3-1) split two matches against top-15 competition.

WUSTL fell at sixth-ranked DePauw, 6-3, March 4. Junior Erin Fleming turned in an impressive performance at No. 3 singles, winning 6-3, 6-1 against DePauw’s Alex Nelson. Freshman Carrie Preston picked up a 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 win at No. 1 singles, while senior Lauren Zwick added a 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-8) victory at No. 2 singles.

On March 5, the Bears bounced back for a 5-4 win against No. 14 Denison University. Unlike the day before, WUSTL swept the doubles points and picked up two singles wins. Preston won at No. 1 (6-4, 6-4) and Fleming rolled at No. 3 singles (6-3, 6-2). With the wins, Preston improved to a team-best 18-1 overall in singles play, while Fleming moved to 12-2 overall.

Baseball team off to best start since 1999

The baseball team went 5-0 last week to match its best start (7-0) since 1999. The Bears started with a 12-6, 7-3 sweep of Fontbonne University in a doubleheader Feb. 28 at Kelly Field. In Game 1, seniors Alan Germano and Bryan Brown each notched two RBIs and two runs. In the second game, senior Jim Haley not only pitched four scoreless innings for his first win of the season, but he also went 3 for 3 at the plate with two RBIs and a leadoff home run to start WUSTL’s first inning.

WUSTL then pounded out 21 hits in defeating Webster University, 20-10, March 2. Senior Ryan Corning and junior David Kramer led the Red and Green with four hits apiece. Corning, who moved into fourth place on the Bears’ career doubles list (35), went 4 for 4 with two walks and two RBIs, while Kramer went 4 for 5 with three runs and four RBIs.

The Red and Green closed out the week with an 11-7, 3-0 sweep against Rockford College March 4. In Game 2, junior Eddy Hoering made his first start on the mound and pitched 6 1/3 strong innings. Hoering, who pitched out of bases-loaded jams in the fourth and sixth innings, allowed just five hits and no runs with four strikeouts. Senior Ross Hempel came on in relief for WUSTL’s third straight save in as many chances.

Track & field teams both win UAA titles

The men and women’s indoor track and field teams each claimed UAA championships March 3-4 at the University of Chicago.

The women finished with 149.5 points — besting second-place University of Chicago’s 108.5 — and six individual titles on their way to their seventh consecutive and eighth overall championship. The men racked up 136 points to runner-up Carnegie Mellon University’s 97, and five individual titles helped the Bears to their second consecutive and eighth overall title.

The women’s 4×400 meter relay team’s winning time of 4:00.62 provisionally qualified them for NCAA Division III Indoor Championships. Junior Delaina Martin and sophomore Danielle Wadlington were among the individual title-winners for the women.

Senior Karl Zelik paced the men with his record-breaking performance and individual title in the triple jump. His winning leap of 14.48 meters broke the 31-year-old school record. Seniors Drew Martin, freshman Todd Mowry and junior Aaron Mangold also claimed individual titles for the Red and Green.

WUSTL will return to action March 10-11 at the Indoor Championships in Northfield, Minn.