Sports updates week of Sept. 20, 2010

Volleyball continues to roll

The top-ranked volleyball team improved its record to 14-0, winning the DePauw University Invitational Sept. 18 and preserving its undefeated season in the process.

The Bears opened with a come-from-behind victory in a tight five-set thriller with No. 2 Juniata College in a rematch of the 2009 NCAA Division III championship match, and then followed up by beating No. 13 Carthage College, 3-0 in the championship match.

Sophomore libero Kelly Pang and sophomore setter Marilee Fisher were named to the all-tournament team. Pang was spectacular defensively, tallying 77 digs over the weekend, an average of 5.50 per set, and she also had four aces. Fisher averaged 11.7 assists per set for a four-match total of 164, also totaling 11 kills, five aces and 33 digs.

The headliner of the tournament was the battle between the top-ranked Division III teams in the nation. WUSTL won the first set against Juniata before dropping the next two, falling behind 2-1 in the match. The Bears then jumped out to sizable leads in the fourth and fifth sets, holding on for the five-set win.

Junior Lauren Budde, 24 kills, and freshman Meghan Byrne, 11 kills, led the offense against Juniata, with Fisher dishing out 52 assists and Pang recording 32 digs, eclipsing the 30-dig threshold for the second time this season.

The team has a two-week break and returns to action Oct. 2 in the first University Athletic Association round robin of the year in Atlanta.

Cross Country sweeps Maryville Invitational

The top-ranked men’s cross country team and the No. 4 women’s team both submitted first place finishes with perfect team scores of 15 points at the Maryville University Invitational Sept. 18.

Senior Erik Hinrichsen won the men’s race with a time of 28:19, while WUSTL junior Liz Phillips placed second in the women’s race, finishing in 20:30, just 10 seconds behind the winner.

Both teams return to action Saturday, Sept. 25, at the Southern Illinois University Saluki Invitational in Carbondale, Ill.

Women’s golf second at Illinois Wesleyan Classic

Freshman Andrea Hibbert and sophomore Hannah Buck each recorded top-10 finishes as the No. 17 women’s golf team tied for second place at the Illinois Wesleyan University Fall Classic Sept. 18-19.

Hibbert followed up an 80 on day one with a 75 on the second day to finish in seventh place with a 36-hole score of 155 (+11). Buck fired a 77 on day two after an 80 on the opening day to finish ninth with a two-day score of 157 (+13). This marks seven straight rounds under 80 for Buck this season.

Sophomore Melanie Walsh recorded the third top-20 finish of the fall season after tying for 16th place with a two-day score of 161 (81-80, +17).

Freshman Marcy Koonce and junior Katie Homa rounded out the lineup for WUSTL. Koonce followed up an 84 on Saturday with an 81 on day two to finish the two-day tournament in a tie for 21st place with a 165 (+21). Homa also improved on day two, shooting a 36-hole score of 172 (87-75, +28) to finish in a tie for 57th place.

Freshman Allyson Chee (84-84, 168, T-40th place) and senior Kate Pettinato (93-86, 179, T-81st place) also competed as individuals for WUSTL.

Men’s soccer team remains unbeaten

The No. 18 men’s soccer team (5-0-2) remained unbeaten following a win and a tie in a pair of games last week.

Senior midfielder Cody Costakis scored in the 89th minute to force overtime at Illinois Wesleyan University Sept. 15, where the Bears came away with a 1-1 tie.

Costakis assisted the game-winning strike against Loras College Sept. 19, when he sent a free kick to junior Patrick McLean for a volley inside the box. The Bears held on to defeat Loras, 1-0, and improve to 4-0 at Francis Field, where they have outscored their opponents, 12-0, so far in 2010.

The men’s team returns to action at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22, when it faces Fontbonne University at Clayton High School in Clayton, Mo.

Women’s soccer at 3-3 on the season

The No. 13 ranked women’s soccer team suffered a 1-0 double overtime home loss to No. 23 Loras College Sept. 19.

WUSTL (3-3) outshot Loras, 20-18, for the game, but Loras had a 6-0 shot advantage in overtime.

Football 1-2 after loss to No. 6 Wittenberg

Wittenberg University raced out to a 21-point first quarter lead en route to a 37-7 victory over the WUSTL football team Sept. 18 at Edwards-Maurer Field in Springfield, Ohio.

Senior Jim O’Brien’s 36-yard touchdown run with 3:27 left in the fourth quarter ended the shutout bid for the Tigers and cut the lead to 37-7. O’Brien finished the day with 13 carries for 81 yards, moving just 39 yards away from 2,000 for his career.

Junior linebacker Nick Hillard made a team-best eight tackles for the Bears. Senior defensive lineman Greg Larson and senior defensive back Nick Vom Brack added seven stops in the loss.

WUSTL (1-2) returns home at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, to take on Westminster College at Francis Field.