Sports update Nov. 8

Football on a six-game winning streak

Senior running back Jim O’Brien carried the ball 28 times for a season-high 150 yards with a pair of touchdowns to lead the football team to a 14-13 victory at Case Western Reserve University Nov. 6.

With the win, WUSTL improves to 7-2 overall and 2-0 in the University Athletic Association (UAA), matching its best start to a season since 2001, when the Bears also posted a 7-2 mark.

With 150 yards on the ground, Jim O’Brien increased his career total to 2,454 yards, passing Todd Hannum to move into second-place on the university’s all-time rushing list. He also tied Mike Gallo for ninth on the Bears’ all-time scoring list with 132 points. His 150 yards Nov. 6 were the most since a 163-yard performance against the University of Chicago Nov. 7, 2009.

WUSTL improved its winning streak to six, the longest such streak since the 2005-06 seasons. The Bears close out the regular season Saturday, Nov. 13, at the University of Chicago.

Men’s soccer improves to 14-4

Senior John Duncan celebrated Senior Day by scoring a goal early in the first overtime as the No. 10 men’s soccer team ended regular season play with a 2-1 victory over the University of Chicago Nov. 6 at Francis Field.

Prior to the contest, WUSTL honored its eight seniors who played their final regular season home game. Joining Duncan on the field was fellow seniors Harry Beddo, Cody Costakis, David Klein, Alex Neumann, Randall Schoen, Andrew Serio and Chris Weinstein. The Class of 2011 has led the Bears to a 51-18-10 (.709) record in their four years on the Danforth Campus.

WUSTL ends regular season play with a 14-1-4 overall record, including a 4-1-2 mark in conference play. The Bears finished second in the University Athletic Association with 14 points, one point behind conference champion New York University.

The team learned Nov. 8 it had received an at-large berth into the 2010 NCAA Division III tournament. The Bears received a first-round bye and will host either Loras College or Greenville College in secound round action at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14 at Francis Field.

The Bears are appearing in the NCAA tournament for the 19th time in school history and the first time since 2007, when the team advanced to the sectional final before falling to Trinity University.

Luenemann wins 1,000th match

With a 3-0 win over Brandeis University Nov. 5, Rich Luenemann became just the fifth volleyball coach in NCAA Division III history to win 1,000 career matches.

In 30 seasons as a collegiate head coach, Luenemann has amassed a career record of 1,001-317 (.760) and has compiled a 411-55 (.884) record in 12 seasons on the Danforth Campus. Prior to his arrival at WUSTL in 1999, Luenemann won 580 matches at the University of St. Francis, where he led the Saints to five NAIA top-five finishes.

The next day, the Bears droped a 3-1 decision to No. 3 Emory University in the University Athletic Association (UAA) championship match Nov. 6. WUSTL and Emory have met to decide the last seven UAA championships, with the Eagles winning three of the last four titles. Interestingly, the UAA runner-up has gone on to win the NCAA Division III national championship in each of the last three seasons.

WUSTL begins its defense of the title this weekend, learning Nov. 8 that it had received an at-large berth into the 2010 NCAA tournament.

The Bears will compete in the Midwest Regional Friday-Sunday, Nov. 12-14, on the campus of Carthage College in Kenosha, Wis. WUSTL’s first-round game is 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12, against Beloit College, the 2010 Midwest Conference champion.

Women’s soccer falls in regular-season finale

The women’s soccer team suffered a 1-0 loss to No. 21 University of Chicago Nov. 6 in the final regular season contest for both teams. Prior to the contest, WUSTL honored its lone senior, Julie Tembunkiart, who played her final home game.

During her four years on the Danforth Campus, the Bears posted a 60-19-7 (.738) overall record. Sophomore goalkeeper Clara Jaques made four saves in the loss for the Bears. The Bears outshot Chicago, 19-8, and had a 7-3 advantage in corner kicks.

The team learned Nov. 8 it received an at-large bid to the 2010 NCAA Division III tournament. First and second round action will be held at Otterbein University on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 12 and 13, in Westerville, Ohio.

The Bears are making their fifth straight and 10th overall NCAA appearance. The team recorded its highest finish in school history a year ago, falling to top-ranked and defending national champion Messiah College, 1-0, in the national title game Dec. 5, 2009,in San Antonio, Tex.

WUSTL (10-7-2) takes on Allegheny College in first round action on Friday, Nov. 12, while host and No. 3 Otterbein and Calvin College also take the field Nov. 12. The winners will meet Saturday, Nov. 13, for a berth in the sectional semifinal.

Swimming and diving splits dual meet with Chicago

The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams split a dual meet with University Athletic Association (UAA) foe University of Chicago Nov. 6 at the Millstone Pool in St. Louis. The WUSTL men’s squad picked up a 147-89 victory over the Maroons, but the women’s team fell 131-108.

Senior David Chao, junior Mike Rao and freshman Alex Cox each earned multiple first-place finishes in individual events. Chao dominated the sprint free races, winning the 50-yard freestyle (21.51) and the 100-yard freestyle (47.59), while Cox locked down wins a pair of distance free events, the 500-yard free (4:52.47) and the 1,000-yard free (10:11.58). Rao swept both diving events against Chicago, winning the one-meter springboard with a score of 219.80, and the three-meter with a mark of 251.20.

Freshmen Paige VanTassell and Chi Pham accomplished the same feat on the women’s side, earning a pair of victories. VanTassell won the 200-free (1:57.79) and the 500-free (5:14.70). Pham swam the 400-individual medley for the first time this season, posting an impressive time of 4:40.66, and also won the 200-yard breaststroke (2:27.49).

Both teams return to action for the Washington University Thanksgiving Invitational Nov. 20-21 at MICDS High School in Ladue, Mo.

Women’s basketball falls in exhibition

The No. 5 women’s basketball team dropped a 66-53 decision to NCAA Division I Bradley University in an exhibition game Nov. 6 at the Renaissance Coliseum in Peoria, Ill.

Senior Alex Hoover went 4-for-6 from three-point range to score a team-high 14 points for WUSTL, while senior Kathryn Berger also scored in double figures with 12 points.

The team opens regular season play at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15, at home against Fontbonne University.