Sports update week of Nov. 22

Women’s cross country second at nationals

The women’s cross country team recorded the highest NCAA Division III championship finish in school history with a second-place showing at the national championship meet Nov. 20 in Waverly, Iowa.

The men’s team placed ninth overall, earning a top-10 finish for the second year in a row.

The WUSTL women were just eight points shy of capturing the program’s first national title, tallying a team score of 193 points while Middlebury College won the meet with a score of 185. It was the sixth time in program history that the women’s team has placed in the top four at the NCAA championships, with the Bears recording third-place finishes on three occasions (2004, ’05 and ’07).

The men’s team compiled a score of 297 points. Haverford College won the men’s title, upsetting top-ranked North Central College. Not only did the WUSTL men’s team place in the top-10 for a second straight year, but it was participating in the NCAA championship meet in consecutive seasons for the first time in school history.

Senior Taryn Surtees turned in a season-best performance with a sixth-place finish and a time of 21:26.1. Surtees earns All-America accolades for the third-consecutive year, becoming the first runner in program history to earn All-America accolades in three separate seasons.

Junior Michael Burnstein became just the second runner in school history become a two-time men’s All-American in cross country, and is the first to do so since Tim Julien in 1998 and 1999. He placed 30th with a time of 24:51.8.

Volleyball falls to rival Emory in NCAA semifinal

The No. 3 volleyball team saw its run for a second-straight NCAA national title come to an end with a 3-1 loss to top-ranked Emory University Nov. 20, at the Field House.

WUSTL advanced to the national semifinal with a 3-0 win over No. 15 New York Nov. 19. Junior middle hitter Lauren Budde had 14 kills, nine digs and four blocks in the victory over the Violets, freshman outside hitter Meghan Byrne recorded 10 kills and sophomore libero Kelly Pang finished with 24 digs.

The Bears won the opening set against Emory in the semifinal, 25-18, but lost an intense second set 29-27, which proved to be the turning point in the match.

Freshman Tessa Blood’s 15 kills led the WUSTL offense against Emory. Sophomore setter Marilee Fisher finished with 48 assists and Pang notched 30 digs. WUSTL finished the season with a 35-4 overall record.

Women’s basketball splits games

The No. 5 women’s basketball team split a pair of games against top-15 opponents at the DePauw University Tip-Off Tournament Nov. 20-21, in Greencastle, Ind.

The Bears fell to No. 3 Illinois Wesleyan University, 73-68, Nov. 20, but bounced back to defeat No. 12 DePauw University, 58-56, Nov. 21.

Senior forward Kathryn Berger scored 22 points and hit three 3s, but the Bears let a 12-point second-half lead slip away in the loss to Illinois Wesleyan. Berger came back with a team-high 15 points in the win over DePauw. Sophomore Annie Sayers hit a put back as time expired to lift the Bears to the crucial road win. It was the first home loss for DePauw since 2005, snapping the Tigers’ 50-game home winning streak.

The women’s basketball team (2-1) returns to action at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 28, when it hosts Augustana College at the Field House.

Men’s basketball 1-1 at Gabe Miller Classic

The No. 20 men’s basketball team posted a 1-1 record at the Gabe Miller Classic Nov. 19-20, at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

Seniors Caleb Knepper and Spencer Gay each scored in double figures as the Bears posted a 62-57 victory over the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Nov. 19. Knepper connected on a career-high five three-pointers en route to a season-high 17 points, while Gay was 7-of-9 from the field for 16 points.

The Bears followed that up with a 64-49 loss to host UW-Platteville Nov. 20. Freshman Alan Aboona led the team with a career-high 11 points off the bench, while junior Alex Toth recorded his first career double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Following Thanksgiving break, the Bears travel to Hanover College Sunday, Nov. 28.

Swimming and diving hosts WU Thanksgiving Invitational

The women’s swimming and diving team came in second place and the men’s team finished fourth at the Washington University Thanksgiving Invitational Nov. 20-21.

The women’s team tallied a team score of 1,027.5 points at the two-day meet, while NCAA Division I Saint Louis University won the women’s team title with a score of 1,267.

NAIA member Lindenwood University won the men’s meet with a score of 1,143.5, with WUSTL totaling 613 points.

The two teams combined to boast first-place finishers in three different events. Freshman Meghan Lam placed first in the women’s 400-individual medley with a time of 4:42.75, and classmate Grace Murray came in first in the 1,650-freestyle, finishing in 17:58.61.

On the men’s side, senior David Chao won the 200-yard freestyle with a mark of 1:44.24, and earned runner-up finishes in the 50-yard freestyle (21.68) and the 100-yard freestyle (47.57).

Both teams close out the fall semester with the Wheaton College Invitational Dec. 3-4 in Wheaton, Ill.