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Seven GNAC Programs from Six Schools Set to Compete in 2019 NCAA Division III Spring Tournaments


MLAX: Norwich Draws NAC/NECC's New England Coll. in NCAA Tournament Opener

NORTHFIELD, Vt. - For the second time in program history, the Norwich University men's lacrosse program will play in the NCAA Tournament after capturing the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship on Saturday afternoon and earning the conference's automatic bid to the tournament. They'll travel to Tufts University to take on the Pilgrims of New England College in the first round on Tuesday at 4:00 PM.

The Cadets enter the tournament as winners of eight straight under Head Coach Neal Anderson. In his eleventh season at the helm, the three-time GNAC Coach of the Year (2012, 2013, 2016) notched his 100th career win against Emmanuel on April 20th, the first Norwich lacrosse coach to reach a triple-digit win total. In his 11 seasons, Norwich has seen 31 All-Conference recipients and 31 All-Academic selections while posting a 59-19 record against conference opponents.

On the other sideline, Jedd Brown leads the Pilgrims in his sixth season with the program. He's built New England College into a perennial contender, as the Pilgrims have captured four straight conference titles and five overall in his six seasons. They've advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament the last two years, defeating Albion College last year in the first round by a 10-9 score in overtime before falling to the number one nationally ranked team from Rochester Institute of Technology by a 26-3 final score. The Pilgrims have won six straight games and posted a 9-8 overall record on their way to the NAC/NECC Alliance Championship.

The Cadets and Pilgrims have met 34 times in the two program's histories, with NEC commanding a 29-5 advantage. The last four meetings have all gone to NEC, but by just a 39-30 combined final score and an average margin of victory of just 2.25 goals. This year's regular season matchup was a testament to that, as the Pilgrims scored four first-quarter goals on their way to a 7-5 victory on their home field. This will be the first-ever postseason meeting between the two teams.

Courtesy of Norwich Athletics Communications.

WLAX: JWU to Open Third Straight NCAA Tournament against Morrisville State at Middlebury

The Middlebury College women's lacrosse team will make its 25th NCAA Tournament appearance when it hosts games on May 11-12 on Kohn Field. In the opening first-round contest, Johnson & Wales will battle Morrisville State on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. The winner of Saturday's matchup will play Middlebury on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Tickets are priced at $6 for adults, $3 for students and will be available on site.

Courtesy of Middlebury Athletics Communications.

SOFTBALL: USJ Draws Tufts in NCAA Regionals

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) softball team, who captured the 2019 Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship on Saturday night, will play Tufts University (TU) in their first game of the Regional Round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament. The Blue Jays looked on in anticipation during the team's viewing party, as each of the 62 teams in the bracket were revealed Monday in a selection show on

Tufts will host the regional May 10-12 on Spicer Field. Joining USJ and TU in their pool are Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and Eastern Connecticut State University (ECSU) who will square in the other opening round game on Friday (May 10). The double-elimination tournament continues on Saturday and Sunday (May 11-12). Game times and ticket prices are not yet available.

The Blue Jays (27-17) defeated Simmons University (SU), 3-0, in the GGNAC Championship game Saturday, capping the season on a six-game win streak, including a perfect 4-0 in the GNAC Tournament.

The NCAA championship bracket consists of 62 teams across 16 regional sites. 42 teams were given automatic bids as conference champions, while the remaining 20 were selected at large. Regional competition is double elimination and will be played May 10-12. The 16 advancing schools will then play at eight two-team best-of-three super regionals beginning May 17. The eight super regional winners will move on to play in Tyler, Texas for a double-elimination tournament from May 23-28. The final two teams standing will play a best-of-three championship series to decide the national champion on May 27 & 28. All final site games will be live streamed on

Courtesy of USJ Athletics Communications.

WTENNIS: Colby-Sawyer to Play Nichols in NCAA First Round

NEW LONDON, N.H. – The Colby-Sawyer women's tennis team will play Nichols College on Friday in the NCAA Tournament First Round. The match will be played in Brunswick, Maine at Bowdoin College, taking place at 8 a.m. at the Pickard Courts on the campus of Bowdoin. If there is bad weather, the match will move indoors to the Foreside Fitness & Tennis Club in Falmouth. 

Colby-Sawyer (12-6) will make its seventh-straight NCAA Tournament appearance and eighth overall. Back in October, the Chargers won the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) title over Johnson & Wales, a team they defeated in last year's NCAA First Round, to earn the conference's automatic bid. Colby-Sawyer became a member of the GNAC this season. Colby-Sawyer has won a first round match in its last three NCAA Tournament appearances.

The Chargers are led by GNAC Player of the Year Yashu Yang (Kunming City, China) at the top singles flight. Yang is 15-4 in singles action. First-year Anna Kopituk (Morristown, Tenn.), the GNAC Rookie of the Year, teams with Yang at the top doubles spot. The duo is 14-8 and went 6-0 in conference play. Kopituk also was undefeated in GNAC singles matches. Senior Aislinn O'Connor (New Fairfield, Conn.) is 15-2 in singles this season and has climbed the all-time ranks in Colby-Sawyer history. She is third in career wins with 120, fourth in singles wins with 55 and third in doubles wins with 65.

Nichols (15-1) won the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) title for the third year in a row after a 5-3 triumph over Endicott. Nichols enters its third-straight NCAA Tournament, fourth overall, on a two-match win streak. The Bison's lone loss of the season came at Division II Bentley, 5-4. The two teams met in the fall and the Bison came away with an 8-1 victory.

The winner of the Colby-Sawyer/Nichols match will play regional host #7 Bowdoin (14-5) on Saturday at 8 a.m. The other Friday first-round pod match is between SUNY New Paltz (17-0) and Husson (10-1) at 10:30 a.m. The winner will play #19 MIT (16-3) on Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

The teams will play a single-elimination tournament with the first, second- and third-rounds played at regional sites, Friday-Sunday, May 10-12, or Thursday-Saturday, May 9-11. Kalamazoo College will host the team championships finals, which will be held May 20-22 at Stowe Stadium in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Student-athletes selected to the individual championships will be announced Wednesday, May 8.

Courtesy of Colby-Sawyer Athletics Communications. 

MTENNIS: Eastern Nazarene Draws Yeshiva in Program's NCAA Tournament Debut


QUINCY, Mass. – Coming off of its first-ever Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) championship, The Eastern Nazarene College men's tennis team will travel to Brunswick, Maine to face Yeshiva at Bowdoin College in the its first-ever NCAA Tournament match. The NCAA Division III Men's Tennis Committee unveiled the Division III Men's Tennis Championship field Monday and the Lions are one of 43 teams competing for a national title.

Eastern Nazarene bested six-time defending champion Ramapo in the GNAC Tournament finals Saturday. The Lions sport a 16-7 overall mark and head into the NCAA Tournament riding a nine-match winning-streak against NCAA Division III foes. Yeshiva captured its sixth-straight Skyline Conference title this season and owns a 14-7 record on the year. The Maccabees earned an NCAA Tournament berth for the sixth year in a row.

For ENC, junior Henry Siercke (Hamburg, Germany) was named the GNAC Tournament Most Valuable Player while Julius Opaschowski (Hamburg, Germany) and Diego Rodriguez (Barquisimeto, Venezuela) earned All-Tournament accolades. Opaschowski and Rodriguez pace the Lions with 15 singles victories on the season. Tim Schoengens (Inden, Germany) has tallied 13 singles wins while Siercke has notched 12.

Bowdoin, the 2018 national runner-up and 2016 national champion, awaits the winner of the Eastern Nazarene vs. Yeshiva opening matchup. The Polar Bears are ranked No. 8 in the ITA National Poll and No. 4 in the Northeast Regional Rankings with a 16-4 record.

The teams will play a single-elimination tournament with the first, second and third rounds played at regional sites, Friday through Sunday, May 10-12, or Thursday through Saturday, May 9-11. Kalamazoo College will host the team championships finals, which will be held May 20-22 at Stowe Stadium in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Courtesy of Eastern Nazarene Athletics Communications. 

MGOLF: Fall GNAC Champion JWU Set to Travel to Kentucky for NCAAs


PROVIDENCE, R.I. – For the second year in a row, the Johnson & Wales University men's golf team ran away with the GNAC Championship this past October, winning their sixth conference championship with a winning score of 619 at the Blackstone National Golf Course. As a result, JWU earned the conference's automatic bid to the 2019 NCAA Championships, May 14-17 in Nicholasville, KY.

Courtesy of JWU Athletics Communications. 

BASEBALL: Saint Joseph's to Begin NCAA Regional Play on May 16

STANDISH, Maine – With Saint Joseph's College of Maine's thrilling GNAC Championship victory over JWU on Sunday night, the Monks earned the GNAC's automatic qualifier into the NCAA Tournament, which begins with regional play on Thursday, May 16. The NCAA tourney will feature a new format this spring, as each region will have two host sites with four-team pods with the winner of each pod advancing to a best-of-three Super Regional series.

The Division III Baseball selection show is set to air online on Monday, May 13 at 12:00 PM

For Saint Joseph's, the GNAC Championship is the program's seventh in 12 seasons as a member of the conference and first since the 2014 season. The Monks will be making their ninth NCAA Tournament appearance – all in the last 14 years – and have reached the 30-win plateau for the 14th time in program history. Head coach Will Sanborn '86, now in his 27th year at the helm for St. Joe's, has now skippered the Monks to 15 conference championships.

Courtesy of SJC Athletics Communications. 

The Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) is an NCAA Division III association made up of 13 member institutions and over 3,000 student-athletes across the New England region. Founded in 1995, the GNAC annually sponsors and administers 20 championships, while balancing academic integrity, athletic opportunity and community involvement in an effort to enhance the student-athlete experience. 

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