Warhawks denied NCAA bid
Volk was upset and confused that the Warhawks were passed over for an NCAA Division III at-large bid Monday. Adding insult to injury, Whitewater is hosting a regional that begins Thursday.
The Warhawks were runners-up to UW-La Crosse in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament, fighting through the losers’ bracket to take the Eagles to the winner-take-all final game of the double elimination competition Sunday at Oshkosh.
After defeating the No. 7-ranked Eagles, 4-1, the Warhawks lost the title game, 2-0, getting blanked on three hits.
Whitewater, the two-time defending WIAC champion, was feeling good about receiving its third consecutive NCAA bid. The Warhawks had won 31 games and defeated ranked competition along the way.
On Monday morning, Volk and the Warhawks found themselves on the outside looking in.
“I was very surprised,” Volk said. “You never know until you see it in black and white, but after looking at things, I thought we were in pretty good shape.’’
Volk was at a loss for answers.
“I don’t know what we needed to do,” Volk said. “We beat ranked teams, we won 30 (31) games, and we beat a lot of teams that are in the NCAA tournament.’’
Volk said Whitewater can do nothing but accept its fate.
“I’m sure there are some reasons,” Volk said. “I just don’t want to know that we were the 61st team for the 60-team field.’’
Like all coaches, Volk turned her concern to her players.
“I feel bad for the kids,” Volk said.
The Whitewater regional begins with defending national champion and top-seeded Luther College (37-5) facing No. 8 seed St. Norbert (30-6) at 10 a.m. Thursday. No. 4 Carthage (24-13) vs.
No. 5 Alma College follows at noon.
The third game matches No. 3 University of Redlands (32-12) against No. 6 Augustana College (30-13) at 2 p.m., and No. 2 UW-La Crosse
(36-7) goes against No. 7 Aurora University (35-7) at 4.
The double-elimination Whitewater tournament continues through at least Sunday. The champion advances to the eight-team
national finals May 21-25 at Eau Claire.