Vaunted volleyball, scoring soccer, tireless track, unflagging football! The marvelous Maroons this season are…could it be?…undefeated!

UChicago PhoenixAutumn unofficially begins this week, and it brings with it quite the surprise: fall athletes have not yet experienced the winter-bleak misery of defeat, the attitude most often (and a little unfairly) associated with the Maroons. It may be early in the season—and I mean only two games in so far—but it's still a remarkable moment, as the school is collectively 11-0-2 (the victories-defeats-ties math explained below). As they say down in summery, all-conquering New Orleans: Who dat? Who dat? Who dat say they gonna beat dem Saints Maroons?

Let's begin our sports round-up with volleyball, a sport that always reminds me of summer. Third-place in the UAA division last season, volleyball has won each of its six matches so far this year, and it's sitting atop the division, though tied with 6-0 NCAA champs Wash U. There are upwards of 30 matches in a season, but it's a sunny way to start, especially since it's propelled the program into the top 25 Div III teams in the nation for the first time.

Moving on to the world's game—association football: the Maroons have taken to kicking butt like a summer blockbuster. After a tie in its season opener, the third-ranked Maroons women's soccer team put its season on-target with a 6-0 dusting of DePauw University, including a new team record for goals scored in one match: 4, by senior Sarah Loh. Fifth-ranked men's soccer fared even better, winning its first two games in overtime thrillers, 2-1, then 3-2. They are a combined 3-0-1.

Cross-country is doing just as well, running faster than the guy screaming "Shark! Shaaaark!" down at the beach. The men cruised to a second place finish at last week's 17-team, season-opening meet at Elmhurst, while the women dominated, coming first of 14. Let's conservatively call their combined record 1-0-1, since winners come in first and losers last. Tough cookies, second place. That's going to have to count as a draw.

Finally, football is also undefeated, winning its first game 28-25 at Beloit Saturday night, in what sounds like a thriller. The Maroons left it late, scoring the winning touchdown in the last minute, a six-yard pass from quarterback Marshall Oium, '11, to wide receiver Clay Wolff, '11, culminating a 64-yard, two-minute drive. But the Beloit Buccaneers almost brought it back, hustling the ball to the Maroon 30-yard line in the last 40 seconds, before having a hail-Mary pass intercepted in the end zone, preserving Chicago's victory and the Maroon's unbeaten, late summer run.

Keep your ears to the ground for today's matches: men's soccer against Dominican (4:00) and two volleyball matches against Edgewood (5:30) and Ripon (7:30). Unless this post has jinxed it all, the boys and girls of autumn might keep summer here to stay.

Asher Klein, '11

September 8, 2010