Nov. 5, 2010

Courtesy of Washington St. Louis Athletics

Cleveland, Ohio, -
Washington University in St. Louis head volleyball coach Rich Luenemann became just the fifth coach in NCAA history to reach 1,000 career victories as the top-ranked Bears swept Carnegie Mellon University (25-12, 25-9, 25-13) and Brandeis University (25-8, 25-10, 25-13) on the first day of the 2010 University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship on Friday, Nov. 5, in Cleveland, Ohio.

In 30 seasons as a collegiate head coach, Luenemann has amassed a career record of 1,000-316 (.760) and has compiled a 410-54 (.884) record in 12 seasons at the helm of the Washington University program. Prior to his arrival on the Danforth Campus in 1999, Luenemann won 580 matches at the University of St. Francis, where he led the Saints to five NAIA top-five finishes.

Luenemann joins elite company as just the fifth coach in NCAA history to reach 1,000 wins. Juniata College head coach Larry Bock is the all-time leader with 1,246 and is the only other Division III coach to share the accomplishment. University of Hawaii head coach Dave Shoji (1,036), Penn State University head coach Russ Rose (1,020) and Rockhurst Univeristys Tracy Rietzke (1,020) have each topped 1,000-career victories, with Rietzke also doing so this season.

Luenemann has won three national championships at Washington University (2003, 2007 and 2009) and has won at least 31 matches in each of his seasons at Washington U. He has been tabbed at the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III National Coach of the Year after each national championship, and earned AVCA Central Region Coach of the Year honors in 2003, 2005, 2008 and 2009, in addition to UAA Coach of the Year accolades on four occasions.

During his illustrious career, Luenemann has been inducted into the NAIA, University of St. Francis and Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Hall of Fame.

Luenemann will attempt to win his ninth UAA Championship on Saturday in Cleveland, Ohio, when the Bears complete play at the 2010 conference championship. Washington U. will face No. 15 New York University on Saturday morning at 10 a.m., with the winner advancing to play for the UAA title on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. The Bears last won the UAA title in 2008, when they defeated Emory University 3-2 in St. Louis, Mo.

Junior middle hitter Lauren Budde (13 kills) and freshman outside hitter Meghan Byrne (10 kills) led the Bears offensively in the win over Carnegie Mellon.

Senior defensive specialist Ali Hoffman did a tremendous job with her serve, keeping the Tartans back on their heels for long stretches of each set. She recorded three aces in the win, but was the driving force behind sustained scoring runs on multiple occasions, including a stretch of 12-straight points in the second set that allowed the Bears to build a 20-5 lead.

Washington U. hit .410 in the win, with team attack percentages of .524 and .517 in the second and third sets respectively. Sophomore setter Marilee Fisher paced the offense with 32 assists and Hoffman added a team-high eight digs to her solid serving statistics.

The Bears kept rolling in their sweep of Brandeis on Friday afternoon and in doing so recorded their highest hitting percentage for a match since the 2006 season. Washington U. hit .530 as a team against the Judges on Friday, and last topped a team-hitting percentage of .530 when it hit .579 in a victory over Monmouth College on Oct. 28, 2006.

Budde tallied a team-high 10 kills with a .562 attack percentage, while sophomore outside hitter Drew Hargrave registered eight terminations while hitting .545.

The Bearss strong serving continued, as the Red and Green scored on 10 aces in the three-set win. Budde accounted for three of those serves, with Fisher and Byrne tallying two apiece.