WU 2002-2003 Sports Preview
Fun Fact: The Bears have captured the UAA conference crown six times in the last 15 years and own a 159-48 all-time UAA record (.768 winning percentage).
As Dick Vitale would say, “It was awesome, baby!” How else can you describe the best season in team history, a season that saw the Bears roll off 21 consecutive wins on their way to a 25-2 record? Although the team was tripped up in the Sweet Sixteen by DePauw University 90-87, that does not diminish its accomplishments. The Bears added a sixth University Athletic Association title by going 14-0 in conference, and coach Mark Edwards was named Division III coach of the year.
Outlook for this year: Excellent. All five starters return (Jariott Rook, Dustin Tylka, Matt Tabash, Joel Parrott and Chris Jefferies), so there is every reason to expect similar dominance in the UAA – and another championship run.
Player to Watch: Chris Jefferies
He was first team all-UAA and all-Midwest region while scoring 16.9 points a game and pulling down 8.3 rebounds.
Fun Fact: The women’s average margin of victory this year in compiling a perfect 25-0 record was 24.1 points.
Okay, so they didn’t win their fifth consecutive National Championship and instead got ousted in their first game of the tournament by the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, the eventual champions. Yet that cannot diminish an undefeated regular season campaign (25-0) and a fifth consecutive UAA title.
Outlook for this year:
How can you bet against them? You can’t. Despite the fact that head coach Nancy Fahey loses two seniors, Robin Lahargoue and Kristi Eller, three starters return (Meg Sullivan, Laura Crowley, and Jennifer Rudis). There is no reason to think that a more experienced squad will not deliver another championship banner to the Hilltop.
Player to watch: Jennifer Rudis
There was no obvious pick, but Rudis gets the nod. She averaged 9.9 points a game while crashing the boards for 8.1 rebounds a contest.
Fun Fact: An eight-game winning streak in March and April propelled the Bears to a #22 ranking nationally.
Washington University baseball is back in a big way! The Bears had their best season ever, posting a 30-10 record, and a 4-2 mark in the conference. The Bears finished the year strong with four straight wins over Illinois College, Principia and Webster.
Outlook for this year:
Next year’s outlook is slightly uncertain. Losing key starters like McBride, Glover, and Crume will undoubtedly hurt the Bears. On the other hand, top young hurlers Adam Cowley and Matt Knepper return. Expect somewhat of an offensive drop-off, but another winning season should be in the cards.
Player to watch: Damien Janet
Janet was among the pitching staff’s leaders in wins, innings pitched and ERA last season, and he will have to shoulder a large part of the pitching load again for the Bears to have another successful season.
Fun Fact: The Bears outscored the opposition, averaging 22.6 points per game while opponents scored 12.6 points per game.
The 8-2 record the Bears posted does not even begin to tell the story of a season that could have been much worse. With a plethora of key injuries in the first game of the season against Westminster, things were not looking good. But sophomore running back Bobby Collins, Jr., led the Bears to an inspired season of football culminating in the Bears’ second UAA title in three years. Although the Bears were snubbed by the playoff selection committee, that does not diminish the courageous effort they put in this year in the face of so many injuries.
Outlook for this year:
Very good. While the Bears will lose starting quarterback Brian Tatom, almost all the key players will be around. Collins, Jr., returns with star kicker Jonathan Feig, who led the team in points scored, and linebacker Brandon Roberts, who led the team in tackles.
Player to watch: Bobby Collins, Jr.
He carried the team, averaging 101.5 rushing yards a game while slamming into the endzone for seven TDs.
Fun Fact: Freshman Victoria Ramsey lead the pitching staff in 2002 with a sparkling record of 11-4.
The Bears garnered a 24-19 record in 2002, going 4-4 in the UAA. Not bad considering this is only the third year for varsity softball at WU. Softball also made a trip to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. While at the Tourney, they collected their first NCAA Tournament victory with a 4-1 win over Illinois Wesleyan University in the first round.
Outlook for this year: There is no reason to think that the softball team will not continue to improve. They lose only one player, Emily Vambaketes, from the program, while the rest of the team returns to form a solid nucleus for years to come.
Player to watch: Elizabeth Swary
The freshman infielder lead the way for the Bears, finishing with 6 HRs, 35 RBIs and a .386 average.
Fun Fact: Overall, the men’s team is 91-42 in single matches for this year.
This past season, the Bears posted a 12-6 record while ending the season ranked third in the central region and ninth in the nation. Under first-year head coach Roger Follmer, WU posted victories over No. 5 Trinity and No. 25 Southwest Baptist in the regular season and No. 16 DePauw in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Bears ended their season with a loss at No. 7 Kalamazoo in the second round.
Outlook for this year: Seniors Patrick Doyle, Chad Brand and Mike Feldman all graduated, but Brian Alvo remains along with a core nucleus of young players. Look for the Bears to make another NCAA tournament next year.
Player to watch: Brian Alvo
How can you argue with a number one ranking? Brian Alvo has established himself as the strongest player at WU.
Fun Fact: Coach Lynn Imergoot has led WU to a winning record in each of her 25 years of coaching.
The women’s tennis team capped a successful year, finishing number ten in the nation, the highest-ever ranking the team has achieved. The team’s biggest stars were Kat Copiozo and Rathi Mani who were the second ranked team nationally in doubles. Players like Jenny Stein and Kacie Cook also had strong years, both finishing in the top ten regionally. The Bears definitely lived up to their high expectations from the beginning of the year.
Outlook for this year: The Bears will lose only two seniors and otherwise, the core of awesome youngsters such as Greenberg, Kacie Cook and Jennifer Stein will be intact.
Player to watch:Laura Greenberg
Greenberg went an impressive 28-2 last year in singles play, leading the women’s team to an overall singles winning percentage of .819.
Fun Fact: The Bears had 16.27 kills per game in 2001-2002.
Another year, another impressive season for the Bears as they went 32-6 on their way to their 13th UAA title. While they lost to Wisconsin – Whitewater in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament, the season was a coming out party for some quality young players.
Outlook for this year: Everybody returns, so expect a national championship quality team that is capable of winning it all. Rotello and company can only get better.
Player to watch: Rebecca Rotello
Rotello, a junior, compiled 1,465 sets, 281 digs, and 243 kills to lead the way for the Bears.
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