After PacWest most university’s have the opportunity to qualify for the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament with tougher opponents and a chance to win the championship.
Teams that compete in the PacWest league include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis, track and field, volleyball and softball. While PacWest games do take place during the regular season, teams can then qualify afterward to compete in the NCAA tournament postseason.
With the fall season ending, some teams have moved on the into NCAA tournament but others have not.
“It is always our number one goal to get back to the NCAA championships every year,” said volleyball head coach Robyn Felder. “We are trying to earn one of eight spots from our region. We’ve been to the sweet 16 one year and played for the regional championship [in that same year] as well.”
And although the NCAA gives teams an essence of pride for moving on past PacWest, there are other benefits to the tournament.
“We have the opportunity as an NCAA sport to help student-athletes earn scholarships and opportunities to help finance their education,” said Jonny Broadhead, head coach of men’s soccer.
DSU’s athletics are ranked as Division II and divided into regions, and teams qualify out of each region for postseason games.
“NCAA tournament teams are generally stronger opponents than what is faced in regular season conference and non-conference games,” said Steve Johnson, associate athletic director-media relations. “If you look at Dixie State’s NCAA tournament history over the first 11 years of four-year competition, we’ve fared pretty well in NCAA postseason play.
Having won the PacWest Championship last year and going to NCAA playoffs, men’s soccer was faced with having a new coach within this past year. This adjustment made it difficult for the men’s team to evolve and get back to competing in the championships for the 2018 season.
“We didn’t execute as well as last year,” said Broadhead. “We’re getting every opponent’s best game as the defending PacWest Champions. I give our players a lot of credit and am excited to continue with them.”
Men’s soccer fared with a fifth place standing in PacWest play with 21 goals and a 11-5 record, while women’s soccer is currently in fourth place with 24 goals and a 12-5 record overall.
NCAA has been in the grasps of several teams. Perhaps next fall season is the time in which these teams will successfully make it to the NCAA tournaments.