Wisconsin Lutheran to face Calvin in NCAA First Round matchup
MILWAUKEE – The Wisconsin Lutheran College women's basketball team had to wait until the final eight teams were unveiled for the 2012 NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship Tournament, but their name was finally called and the Warriors will be headed to Grand Rapids, Mich. for first and second round action.
The Warriors will face off against host and fifth-ranked Calvin College, champions of Michigan Intercollegiate Athletics Association Tournament. The Warriors and Knights will tip-off at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday at the Van Noord Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich.
"We are excited to return to the NCAA Tournament," says Warriors eighth-year head coach Klay Knueppel. "Our four-team pod is tough, but we are looking forward to competing in the tournament."
Wisconsin Lutheran advanced to the tournament by winning the Northern Athletics Conference Tournament championship and receiving the league's automatic bid for the second straight season. WLC defeated Dominican in the league title game 85-61 last Saturday night.
Wisconsin Lutheran is 24-4 overall and has won 18 of its last 19 games. The Warriors are led by senior forward Rachel Johnson (Milwaukee, Wis./Wisconsin Lutheran) and junior guard Shavon Dillon (Milwaukee, Wis./Hope School), who are both averaging 12.0 points per game. WLC offers a very balanced attack as seven different players have led the team in scoring this season.
Fifth-ranked Calvin is 25-1 this season and won the MIAA Tournament championship game 65-43 over Hope College. Junior Carissa Verkaik has been the Knights' top player this season as she is averaging 18.6 points per game and 8.9 rebounds per game. Junior Julia Hilbrands is averaging 8.4 points per game as five different Calvin players are averaging at least six points per game.
The winner of the WLC-Calvin matchup will face the winner of 12th-ranked Wis.-Stevens Point (23-4), winners of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and 15th-ranked Franklin (25-2), winners of the Heartland Collegiate Athletics Conference. The second round game will take place on Saturday in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Transportation will be provided for fans interested in traveling to Grand Rapids, Mich. for the game. Travel and hotel accomadations are currently being arranged and will be announced on Tuesday. Please watch wlcsports.com throughout the week as more updates will be provided.