UAFS Heads to NCAA Regional As No. 7 Seed

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UAFS Sports Information

UAFS volleyball coach Jane Sargent fully expected her Lady Lions would draw one of the lower seeds when the South Central Region pairings for the NCAA Division II national tournament were announced on Sunday night.

She was right.

The Lady Lions (25-4) will be a No. 7 seed in the eight-team region and will play No. 2 seed Colorado School of Mines (25-3) in the first round of the tournament on Thursday at the University of Colorado-Mesa’s Brownson Arena in Grand Junction, Colo.

Match times will be released on Monday.

Colorado-Mesa, which was ranked No. 8 in the latest AVCA Division II Top 25 and ranked No. 1 in the South Central Region Poll, is the No. 1 seed and host of the South Central Region. The Lady Mavericks won the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference regular-season and conference tournament championships.

UAFS earned an automatic bid to the national tournament with its five-set, come-from-behind win against St. Edward’s in Saturday’s Heartland Conference Tournament championship match at the Stubblefield Center.

The Lady Lions, who won the Heartland Conference regular-season title for the third-consecutive time, were the only team from the Heartland Conference to receive a bid to the national tournament. St. Edward’s, which finished third in the regular season behind UAFS and provisional NCAA Division II member Lubbock Christian, was ranked No. 10 in the last South Central Region poll but did not receive an at-large bid to the eight-team tournament.

It will be the Lady Lions’ third appearance in the national tournament in four seasons (2011-12, 2014). It also will be the first time UAFS has drawn a first-round opponent other than West Texas A&M, which beat UAFS in both previous tournament encounters.

Colorado School of Mines and Colorado-Mesa tied for the RMAC regular-season title. Colorado School of Mines, which was the No. 2 seed in the RMAC Tournament, lost to Metro State in the semifinals of the RMAC Tournament.

It will be the third meeting between UAFS and Colorado School of Mines of UAFS’ six-year history as a NCAA Division II program and the second meeting this season. The Lady Lions were swept by the Orediggers, who lead the series 2-0, on Sept. 13 during the Texas A&M-Commerce Classic.