Sports update Feb. 22

Men earn automatic berth into NCAA tournament

The top-ranked men’s basketball team extended its winning streak to 11 games with a pair of wins at home over Case Western Reserve University and Carnegie Mellon University last weekend.

WUSTL clinched its 10th University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship and an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III championship tournament with a 65-62 win over Case Western Feb. 18.

Although the four seniors were honored prior to the game, it was junior Spencer Gay that led the team against Case Western, scoring 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting, with 10 of those points coming during the second half.

Finishing the game with a season-high 13 points, senior Zach Kelly moved over 400 points for his career. Gay led WUSTL with a career-high 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting, also pulling down six rebounds and blocking two shots.

Senior Aaron Thompson scored 15 points and was 3-of-5 from three-point range.

The Bears (22-2, 12-1 UAA) close out regular season play at the University of Chicago Saturday, Feb. 27.

Women’s basketball clinches share of 2010 UAA championship

With a pair of home victories last week, the No. 6 women’s basketball team clinched as least a share of the University Athletic Association Championship.

At 12-1 in UAA play, the Bears are one game ahead of the University of Chicago in the conference standings, and head to the Windy City Saturday, Feb. 27 to play for an automatic bid into the Division III NCAA tournament. A loss would mean the teams share the conference championship with a coin flip determining the recipient of the automatic bid.

In last week’s action, WUSTL defeated Case Western Reserve University, 71-54, Feb. 19, with junior Alex Hoover tying her career-high of 17 points in the win. The Bears went on to beat Carnegie Mellon University, 89-61, Feb. 21, with senior Zoe Unruh scoring 20 points on a career-high six three-pointers.

Men’s tennis second in tournament

The No. 3-ranked men’s tennis team suffered a 6-2 loss to No. 1 University of California-Santa Cruz in the championship match of the 10th Annual ITA National Division III Team Indoor Championship Feb. 21 in St. Peter, Minn.

The Bears advanced to the finals with a pair of victories over No. 8 Johns Hopkins University (8-1) and No. 2 Emory University (5-4).

Washington University (4-2) returns to action on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 26 and 27, at the Principia College Tournament in Elsah, Ill.

Swimming and diving compete at 2010 UAA championship

The men’s swimming and diving team finished fourth and the women placed sixth at the 2010 University Athletic Association Championships Feb. 17-20 in Atlanta, Ga.

The men’s team boasted two UAA Championship performances. Junior David Chao won the 200-yard freestyle with an NCAA “B” cut time of 1:41.42, Feb. 19, and Chao, freshman Mark Minowitz, senior Dan Arteaga and junior Kartik Anjur finished first in the 800-freestyle relay in the final event of the meet Feb. 20.

Senior Jessie Lodewyk and sophomore Karina Stridh led the women’s team. Lodewyk earned all-UAA honors with a fourth-place finish in the 500-yard freestyle (5:02.42) and she automatically qualified for the 2010 NCAA Division III championships in the 1,650-yard freestyle with a time of 17:12.67 and a second-place finish. Stridh finished third in the 50-yard freestyle (23.92) and second in the 100-yard backstroke (58.20).

Track records fall

A pair of indoor relay school records were broken as the men’s and women’s indoor track and field teams competed at the North Central College Cardinal Classic Feb. 20.

The women’s distance medley relay team of senior Molly Schlamb, sophomore Erica Jackey, junior Sangeeta Hardy and sophomore Liz Phillips posted a time of 11:51.31, which bested the old school record of 11:55.12, and served as an automatic qualifying mark for the 2010 NCAA Division III Indoor Championships. The Bears’ time is the second fastest among all posted times in NCAA Division III in 2010.

On the men’s side, the 4×400-meter relay team of senior Chris Malaya, junior Ben Harmon, sophomore Dan Davis and graduate student Pierre Hoppenot turned in a mark of 3:20.81, eclipsing the old school record of 3:20.96, and provisionally qualifying for the NCAA Championships.

The Bears’ other provisional qualifying time of the day came from junior Dave Spandorfer, who won the 5,000-meter with a time of 14:44.96.

Softball ranked 7th in preseason poll

The softball team is ranked No. 7 in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III Top-25 Poll.

The Bears return seven starters from last year’s team, which ended the season with a 27-13 overall record, made its ninth-straight NCAA tournament appearance and won the UAA title for the sixth-consecutive year.

WUSTL opens the season Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Rhodes College Classic in Memphis, Tenn.