Sports update Nov. 1

Cross country teams sweep UAA championships

The men’s and women’s cross country teams swept the team titles at the 2010 University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships, hosted by New York University and held Oct. 30 at Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, N.Y.

Junior Michael Burnstein won the men’s individual championship, becoming the first WUSTL student-athlete to accomplish the feat since 1999, and just the second in school history to place first at the conference championship meet.

The WUSTL men’s team captures the UAA Championship for just the fourth time in school history and the first time since 2003, which was also the last time both teams swept the team titles.

The women’s team repeats as UAA Champions for the first time since the 2004 and 2005 seasons, which ended a string of four-straight UAA titles for the Bears. The WUSTL women’s team has now won a conference-record 10 cross country titles. Junior Liz Phillips paced the women’s team, finishing fourth overall with a time of 22:07.85 on the difficult 6K course.

Both teams will take next weekend off before returning to action Nov. 13 for the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional Championships in Credit Island, Ill.

Football defeats Carnegie Mellon

The football team overcame three first-half turnovers to rally for a 20-13 overtime victory over Carnegie Mellon University Oct. 30 at Francis Field in the UAA opener for both teams.

Trailing 13-6 late in the fourth quarter, senior quarterback Stephen Sherman orchestrated a seven-play, 63-yard drive to tie the game with 1:10 remaining. Freshman Drew Sexton caught an eight-yard touchdown pass from Sherman to send the game to overtime.

It took WUSTL just three plays to score in OT, as senior running back Jim O’Brien marched in from 15 yards out to make it 20-13. O’Brien ran the ball two times for 25 yards in the extra period, and finished the contest with 113 yards on 17 carries. He also moved past Don Polkinghorne (1954-57) into third on the WUSTL all-time rushing list with 2,304 yards.

The Tartans picked up four yards on their first play in overtime, but quarterback Rob Kalkstein was intercepted by freshman Scott O’Brien to secure the victory by the Bears.

The Bears defense limited Carnegie Mellon to 259 yards of total offense, and forced three punts, a missed field goal and an interception in five second-half possessions. Senior Kyle Huber made a career-high 12 tackles and had 1.5 sacks and 1.5 tackles for loss in the victory.

Sherman finished the day 20-of-35 for 160 yards and a touchdown, while Sexton caught a career-high nine balls for 99 yards and a touchdown. Junior punter Austin Morman shined on special teams for the Bears, with five punts for an average of 46.2.

Prior to the contest, the team honored its 17 seniors who played their final regular season game. The Bears (6-2, 1-0 UAA) continue conference play at Case Western Reserve University on Saturday, Nov. 6.

Men’s soccer aiming for league title

Following a 2-0-1 week that included a win and a tie in University Athletic Association games, the men’s soccer team remains one point behind New York University in the conference standings.

The Bears defeated Concordia College-Moorhead Oct. 25 with seniors Randall Schoen and John Duncan recording goals in the win. Freshman Jeremy Kirkwood scored twice as the Bears defeated Brandeis University 4-1 on Oct. 29, setting up a crucial conference showdown with New York Oct. 31.

That game was characterized by physical defensive play with neither team mustering many opportunities on offense, and the contest ended in a 0-0 tie, leaving the Violets one point ahead of WUSTL heading into the final week of the regular season.

The Bears (13-1-4, 3-1-2 UAA) conclude regular season action at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, hosting the University of Chicago at Francis Field.

Volleyball heads into conference tourney on a high note

The No. 1 volleyball team posted a 4-0 record to win the Washington University Invitational Oct. 29-30.

WUSTL had three student-athletes selected to the all-tournament team: sophomore libero Kelly Pang, junior middle hitter Lauren Budde and sophomore outside hitter Drew Hargrave.

Pang was tremendous on defense throughout the weekend, finishing the four matches with 80 digs, an average of 6.67 per set. Budde and Hargrave were dominant in the front row, finishing with 48 and 47 kills apiece through four matches. Budde also tallied 17 total blocks, 1.31 per set, and 32 digs, while Hargrave hit a team-high .443 with eight blocks.

The invitational was the final warm-up for the Bears before this weekend’s University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship on the campus of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

WUSTL finished UAA round robin play with a 5-2 record, earning the No. 3 seed in the conference championship. The tournament will feature two pools of round robin play, with the winner of each pool advancing to play for the conference championship.

The Bears open Friday, Nov. 5, with matches against Carnegie Mellon University and Brandeis University, before facing No. 15 New York University Saturday, Nov. 6. New York was one of two teams to beat WUSTL during round robin play two weeks ago in Waltham, Mass.

Women’s soccer splits UAA home games

The women’s soccer team split a pair of conference home games last weekend at Francis Field.

After suffering a 2-0 loss to Brandeis University Oct. 29, the Bears rallied from a one-goal deficit to post a 2-1 victory over New York University Oct. 31. Freshmen Jen Reed and Becky Berels scored for the Bears in the win over New York.

WUSTL (10-6-2, 3-1-2 UAA) moves into a tie for second place with Emory University in University Athletic Association standings with 11 points.

The Bears conclude regular season play at Franics Field Saturday, Nov. 5, against the University of Chicago. Prior to the contest, the team will honor its lone senior, Julie Tembunkiart.

Swimming and diving teams sweep meet in Louisville

The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams returned to action after a three-week hiatus to pick up a pair of first-place finishes at the Centre College Midwest Classic Oct. 30, in Louisville, Ky.

The men’s team tallied a team score of 720 points at the four-team meet, while the women’s squad finished with 734 points, edging second place Washington and Lee University by 18 points.

A trio of freshmen paced the women at the meet, as Grace Murray, Chi Pham and Paige VanTassell each placed first in a pair of individual events. Murray won the 1,000-yard freestyle (10:42.60) and the 200-yard butterfly (2:13.64), Pham finished first in the 100-yard backstroke (1:00.05) and the 200-yard individual medley (2:10.81) and VanTassell won the 200-yard freestyle (1:58.73) and the 500-yard freestyle (1:58.73).

Seniors stepped up on the men’s side, with David Chao and Michael Flanagan pacing the Bears to victory. Chao won the 200-freestyle (1:44.98) and the 100-yard freestyle (47.62) in addition to swimming the final leg for the first-place 400-freestyle relay team (3:10.91), where he swam with freshman Jason Wan, senior Kartik Anjur and sophomore Mark Minowitz. Flanagan swept the top spot in both butterfly events, winning the 100-fly with a time of 52.77 and the 200-fly in 1:56.84.

Both teams return to action at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, when they host the University of Chicago in a dual meet at the Millstone Pool.