The Webster University volleyball team and men’s and women’s soccer teams all won their St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournaments and earned trips to their respective NCAA Division-III tournaments. All three NCAA tournament first-round contests were played within 20 miles and 24 hours of each other.
The three teams dominated in their SLIAC championship contests. Neither soccer team surrendered a goal in their games, as the men beat Westminster College (Mo.) 2-0, and the women took down Greenville College (Ill.) 1-0. Volleyball played a sweep in its match at host school Greenville by defeating the Panthers 3-0.
After the volleyball team’s win, members of the men’s and women’s soccer teams who made the trek to Greenville converged on the court to celebrate the teams’ respective SLIAC championships.
“It was almost overwhelming,” men’s soccer goalie Brian Woodward said. “I didn’t know what to expect, and I could only have heard what it was like.”
It was only the second time in school history three teams during the same season won the SLIAC championship in their sport and made the NCAA tournament.
All three of the tournament games were played on the same day, and because the teams were all playing near each other, the women’s soccer and volleyball teams were able to watch and cheer on their fellow Gorloks.
“It never gets old,” said Luigi Scire, women’s soccer coach. “I think the volleyball team was even more vocal than the Wheaton (College) fans, so that was tremendous.”
All the teams said their goal coming into the season was always to win the conference and make it to that big stage.
“I think it says a lot about how much of a challenge it is to win conference and not just in those sports,” Woodward said. “(Next year) the goal is the exact same.”
The three teams all lost their Round 1 contests, but Scire said the 2012 season was like none he had ever seen in his 25 years at Webster.
“It was truly fun,” Scire said. “It’s not only the game but the camaraderie that you have within the department and the tremendous support that each team gave to each other throughout the season is probably the best I’ve seen.”
Runner-up: Women’s soccer coach Luigi Scire wins 200th career game
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