Luenemann named coach of the year

Volleyball head coach Rich Luenemann was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Coach of the Year Nov. 26. The Bears finished the season with a 33-5 overall record and won the ninth Div. III volleyball title in school history.

Rich Luenemann talks strategy during a timeout in the Bears’ national championship game. The coach just finished his ninth season at WUSTL and picked up a national title, two career milestones and coach-of-the-year honors along the way.

It is the second time in nine seasons at WUSTL that Luenemann has earned the recognition. He also garnered AVCA Coach of the Year honors in 2003, the other year he led the Bears to the national championship.

Luenemann recorded two other milestone victories in 2007: He won his 300th match at WUSTL with a 3-0 win against New York University Oct. 14, and he won the 900th match of his career in the Bears’ 3-2 win against the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in the NCAA tournament Nov. 9.

Luenemann’s career record stands at 904-303 (.749), and he is 314-41 (.885) as the Bears’ head coach.

The volleyball team will be recognized Saturday, Dec. 8, at halftime of the men’s basketball game against Illinois Wesleyan University, which begins at 3 p.m. Festivities will include the unveiling of the championship banner and a presentation of the national championship trophy.

Men’s basketball wins Lopata Classic

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The No. 8 Bears captured the 24th Annual Lopata Classic championship with a 68-66 win against Babson College Dec. 1 at the Field House. Junior Tyler Nading earned the Robert L. Burnes Most Valuable Player honors for the second straight season, scoring 25 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the field.

The Bears hosts Illinois Wesleyan University Saturday, Dec. 8, at 3 p.m. That day, the Department of Athletics will team up with the Siteman Cancer Center and Coaches vs. Cancer to bring awareness to the fight against cancer and to help raise money for cancer research. Donations will be encouraged (admission is free), and there will be information about both organizations and how to help in this ongoing battle.

Women’s basketball splits Ohio games

The No. 9 women’s basketball team played two road games in Ohio last week, defeating Denison University, 87-76, Dec. 1, but falling to Capital University, 66-58, Dec. 2.

Junior forward Jaimie McFarlin led the Bears in their win against Denison, scoring a career-high 29 points and grabbing nine rebounds. The Bears had their most efficient scoring game of the year in the win, shooting a season-best 50.0 percent from the field as a team.

A long second-half scoring drought doomed the Bears against Capital. WUSTL led the Crusaders, 36-31, at halftime and stretched the lead to 53-45, but Capital went on an 11-0 scoring run to take the lead, 56-53.

Swimming second, sixth at invitational

The Bears competed at the seven-team Wheaton Invitational in Wheaton, Ill., from Nov. 30-Dec. 1. The men’s team placed second with 662 points, and the women’s team was sixth with 468 points.

The men’s team was led by junior Kevin Leckey, who finished first in three freestyle events: the 50-yard freestyle (20.97), the 100-yard freestyle (45.86) and the 200-yard freestyle (1:41.71). All three of Leckey’s times met NCAA “B” cut qualifying standards, which will be counted toward qualifying for the NCAA postseason.

Senior Meredith Nordbrock won three events for the women’s team, and she set a new school record in the 400-yard IM. Nordbrock’s time of 4:30.16 in the 400-IM was an NCAA “A” cut time. Her other victories came in the 200-yard IM (2:06.94) and the 200-yard back (2:06.20), both “B” qualifying times.