Bears gear up for Final Four showdown

Jessica Hahn
Jeff Kahntroff

The second-ranked Washington University volleyball team will compete in the 2002 Division III Volleyball Tournament Final Four on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 6 and 7, at the Williams Center in Whitewater, Wisconsin.

The Bears will take on fourth-ranked Trinity University (Texas) in one semifinal at 4:30 p.m. on Friday while fifth-ranked Juniata College and sixth-ranked Wisconsin-Whitewater will meet in the other semifinal at 7 p.m. The two losers will meet in the third place match at 4:30 p.m., and the two winners will meet in the national championship match on Saturday at 7 p.m.

WU (40-1) advanced to the Final Four for the 11th time in school history after posting a 3-1 victory over top-ranked California State University Hayward in front of 1,100 fans at the Field House on Saturday, Nov. 23. With the win, WU tied UC-San Diego for second all-time in Division III history with 54 NCAA Tournament victories.

WU and CSUH split the first two games as WU won game one 30-21 and CSUH won game two 30-25. Game three was the turning point in the match for the Bears. With CSUH leading 29-25, WU went on a 5-0 run to take a 30-29 lead. The two teams exchanged points numerous times before the Bears escaped with a 36-34 win. WU hit .421 in game four, winning the match with by a 30-25 margin.

Junior Amy Brand led the Bears with a match-high 18 kills while juniors Cindy McPeak and Katie Quinn had 12 kills apiece. Senior Rebecca Rotello added 55 assists, 14 digs and a stellar rendition of the national anthem. Sophomore Colleen Winter had 24 digs in the victory.

Ivone Aleman led Cal State Hayward (32-2) with 17 kills and 16 digs. Kari Van Fleet had 63 assists and Toni-Ann Merendino added 27 digs in the loss.

The Bears, who are making their 16th-consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament, rank second all-time in Division III with eleven Final Four Appearances.

Trinity (37-4) advanced to the Final Four for the second time in school history with a 3-1 come from behind win at Nazareth College in the Quarterfinals. The Tigers are making their 11th trip to the NCAA Tournament in school history.

WU, who owns an all-time record of 11-1 against Trinity, has met the Tigers four times previously in the NCAA Tournament with the Bears prevailing each time. WU beat Trinity 3-0 in the Elite Eight in 1994, 3-0 in the Sweet Sixteen in 1995, 3-1 in the first round in 1997 and 3-0 in the Sweet Sixteen in 1998.

Courtesy of

Leave a Reply