Sports update week of Sept. 6

Football team wins opener

Senior Jim O’Brien rushed for 119 yards and a touchdown as the football team opened the season with a 34-3 victory over Knox College Sept. 4 at Francis Field.

O’Brien picked up 104 yards on 15 carries in the first half, and played sparingly in the third quarter before giving way to sophomore Chris Castelluccio. O’Brien upped his career total to 1,792 rushing yards, moving him past Jim Burst (1951-54) into sixth on the all-time list. Castelluccio finished the day with a career-best 65 yards on 10 carries and two touchdowns as the Bears pounded out 215 yards on the ground.

The Bears also were 22-of-30 for 220 yards in the air, for a total of 435 yards of offense. The defense was not too shabby either, as WUSTL limited Knox to 134 yards of total offense in the victory.

The Bears scored on all five possessions in the first half and outgained the Prairie Fire, 275-40, as the Bears built a commanding 27-0 lead.

WUSTL (1-0) continues play at Rhodes College Saturday, Sept. 11. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. at Fargason Field in Memphis, Tenn.

Volleyball off to hot start

The top-ranked volleyball team got off to a torrid start the first week of the season posting a perfect 6-0 record.

The Bears opened the regular season with 3-0 wins over Greenville College and Harris-Stowe State University Sept. 1, and then won the Washington University Classic Sept. 4-5 at the WU Field House.

WUSTL had three student-athletes named to the all-tournament team: junior middle hitter Lauren Budde, sophomore setter Marilee Fisher and sophomore libero Kelly Pang. Budde, a six-rotation middle hitter, finished the tournament with a team-high 56 kills, hitting .298 and averaging 4.00 kills per set. She also was second on the team with 45 digs and recorded a team-high 11 total blocks. Running the offense, Fisher averaged 12.38 assists per set, tallying 161 over the four matches. She also had 29 digs and seven total blocks. Pang was superb defensively, corralling 86 digs, an average of 6.14 per set, in addition to recording 30 digs in the Bears’ 3-1 win over the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Sept. 4.

WUSTL (6-0) returns to action this weekend when it hosts the Washington University/Asics National Invitational tournament. The invitational annually hosts several top-ranked teams from around the nation. This year, the Bears welcome No. 7 Carthage College, No. 10 Ohio Northern University, No. 11 Wittenberg University and No. 19 St. Olaf College.

WUSTL opens tournament play at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, against St. Olaf.

Men’s, women’s cross country sweep WU Early Bird meet

The top-ranked men’s cross country team and the No. 4 women’s team both captured first place at the Washington University Early Bird Meet Sept. 4 at the Central Fields in Forest Park.

The men’s team submitted a score of 46 points to edge NCAA Division I Southeast Missouri State University by one point for the meet victory. In the women’s race, WUSTL placed five runners in the top 12 to submit a mark of 27 points — 90 points better than second-place Southeast Missouri.

Junior Liz Phillips placed first overall in the women’s race, completing the 4K course in just 14:37.7, a pace of 5:54. For the men’s team, senior Dave Spandorfer led the way, running to a second-place finish with a time of 19:13.7.

Both teams return to action in two weeks at the Maryville University Classic.

Women’s golf seond at Illinois College meet

Sophomores Hannah Buck and Melanie Walsh finished first and second, respectively, to lead the No. 17 women’s golf team to a second place finish at the Illinois College Lady Blues Invitational in Jacksonville, Ill. 

WUSTL shot a two-day total of 642 (322-320), to finish seven strokes behind the team champion, NAIA No. 16 William Woods University (319-316, 635).

Buck followed up her 75 Sept. 3 with an identical score Sept. 4 to complete the 36-hole tournament with a six-over 150. Walsh, who was third after day one, bettered Saturday’s score with a 77 to finish the tournament with a 155.

The Bears compete in the Wartburg College Fall Invitational Sept. 11-12 at Centennial Oaks Golf Course in Waverly, Iowa.

Men’s soccer remains unbeaten

The men’s soccer team posted an unbeaten mark through the first week of its schedule with a 2-0-1 record.

The Bears scored seven goals in the season-opening shutout victory over Webster University Sept. 1 after scoring just 21 goals in 19 games all of last season.

WUSTL played in the Birmingham Southern College Puma/Labor Day Classic last weekend, tying tournament host Birmingham Southern, 0-0, Sept. 4, and defeating Sewanee University, 3-1, Sept. 6. The Bears did not allow a goal for the first 254 minutes of the season before Sewanee scored on a rebound off a missed penalty kick in the second half.

The men’s team (2-0-1) returns to action at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, when it hosts Greenville College at Francis Field.

Women’s soccer rebounds from season-opening loss

After droppings its season opener at Division I Southeast Missouri Sept. 1, the No. 2 women’s soccer team rebounded with a pair of 1-0 victories over No. 15 Calvin College Sept. 3 and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Sept. 5.

Junior Emma Brown scored the game-winner against Calvin in the second half, while senior Julie Tembunkiart scored the deciding goal in the 19th minute against Eau-Claire. Sophomore goalkeeper Clara Jaques picked up both shutouts in goal for the Bears.

The women’s team (2-1) hosts the Washington University Classic Sept. 11-12 at Francis Field. Webster University takes on St. Olaf College at noon Sept. 11, followed at 2:30 p.m. by WUSTL and Alma College.