SAN ANTONIO (Sept. 27, 2018) – The Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) women's basketball team has released its 2018-2019 schedule. This year, the Saints will compete for its sixth Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) title in seven years and its eighth trip to the NAIA National Championship Tournament.
The Saints have 12 home games on the calendar and 19 away competitions. They will play each of their 10 RRAC opponents twice - once at home and away. Competing in the RRAC are Huston-Tillotson University (HTU), Jarvis Christian College (JCC), Langston University (LU), LSU-Alexandria (LSUA), LSU-Shreveport (LSUS), Paul Quinn College (PQC), University of the Southwest (USW), University of St. Thomas (UST), Texas College (TC) and Wiley College (WC).
Head Coach Christopher Minner, returning for his 11th season, said, "Ours is one of the toughest schedules in the NAIA. Seven of our 11-preseason games are against teams that made the national tournament, including two teams that made the final four and three that made the round of eight. This schedule will prepare us for the RRAC schedule, and, hopefully, show us what we need to do to win a national championship. We also have exhibitions against Lubbock Christian University and Stephen F. Austin University. WE will continue to schedule anybody, anywhere at any time."
Returning for her second year alongside Minner is Assistant Coach Stacy Stephens, who came to OLLU from NCAA D1 Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, where she was assistant coach. Stephens was inducted into the University of Texas at Austin Women's Hall of Honor last year after a decorated career on the Longhorns women's basketball team from 2000-2004.
The Saints, which ended last year ranked 16th in the NAIA, will begin their season in Laredo, Texas, against NCAA D2 Texas A&M International University. The Saints hope to continue their 4-1 series lead against the Dustdevils on Nov. 2. On Nov. 10, the women will host NAIA Xavier University of Louisiana – the Gold Nuggets hold the 3-2 lead in this series.
OLLU will head out to Oklahoma City next for two games against Wayland Baptist University (3-3 series) on Nov. 16 and Oklahoma City University (OLLU-2/OCU-4) on Nov. 17. The Flying Queens from Wayland were NAIA National Tournament semifinalists in 2018. The Stars were the 2017 National Champions, and last year, they ended their season in the first round.
The Saints will host a tournament Nov. 23-24 with Dillard University (OLLU-2/DU-1), Oklahoma City University and Edward Waters College (first matchup). The weekend will begin with a game between Dillard and Oklahoma City on Nov. 23 at 2 p.m., and at 4 p.m., the Saints will play Edward Waters. On Saturday, Edward Waters will play Oklahoma City at 2 p.m., and the Saints will close out the tournament with a game against Dillard at 3 p.m. Dillard was an NAIA National Tournament first-round participant.
After a matchup against NCAA D2 Lubbock Christian University (OLLU-0/LCU-2) on Dec. 1, the Saints will begin their RRAC schedule against Paul Quinn College (OLLU-15/PQC-1) in Dallas on Dec. 6 and Texas College (OLLU-16/TC-2) in Tyler on Dec. 8.
The Saints return home for two conference games on Dec. 13 against the University of St. Thomas (OLLU-14/UST-0) and on Dec. 15 against Huston-Tillotson University (OLLU-22/HTU-1).
OLLU will travel to Arizona for the Frontier Challenge Tournament at Chandler-Gilbert College Dec. 19-21. The Saints will first face University of Montana-Western (first matchup) on Dec. 19 at 4 p.m. On Dec. 20, the Saints will play Rocky Mountain College (first matchup) at 6 p.m., and the following day, they will face Carroll College (first matchup) at 2 p.m. Montana-Western made it to the semifinals at the 2018 NAIA National Tournament, while Rocky Mountain was a first-round participant. Carroll was a second-round participant in the national tournament.
The Saints will close out the year with two games in Atherton, Calif., against Valley City State University (first matchup) on Dec. 29 and Menlo College (first matchup) on Dec. 30. Menlo made it to the quarterfinals of last year's NAIA National Tournament.
On Jan. 3, the Saints will have their first of a two-game conference series against LSUA (OLLU-8/LSUA-0) and on Jan. 5 against LSUS (OLLU-13/LSUS- 11). LSUS was a first-round NAIA National Tournament participant.
They will hit the road for their next three conference games from Jan. 12-19 against USW (OLLU-17/USW-1), WC (OLLU-15/WC-5) and JCC (OLLU-17/JCC-2). PQC and TC will come to OLLU on Jan. 24 and 26 to begin their second round of conference games. The Saints will travel to Houston for a game against the UST on Jan. 31. OLLU will continue on to HTU on Feb. 2 in Austin, Texas, LSUA on Feb. 7 in Alexandria, La., and LSUS on Feb. 19 in Shreveport, La.
The Saints will end their regular season with three consecutive home games. On Feb. 16, they will host USW, on Feb. 21, Wiley and on Feb. 23, Jarvis. During this last home game, the university will honor returning seniors Brianna Henson (SR/Dunlap, Ill.), Regina Sheffield (SR/Menifee, Calif.), Destinee King (SR/Antelope, Calif.) and Irma Jean Ealy (SR/San Diego, Calif.).
The RRAC tournament will take place at LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, March 7-9, with Wiley College hosting. Six teams will qualify for the tournament, with first rounds played between the third and sixth seeds and the fourth and fifth seeds. The semifinals match will be next with the winners of the first round against the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds. On the last day of the tournament, the championship match will be held.
The Saints have captured the tournament title twice - in 2012 and 2016. The RRAC champion receives an automatic bid to the NAIA National Championship Tournament. The tournament will begin March 13 and conclude on March 19 in Billings, Mont. The Saints will vie for their eighth trip to nationals. They first qualified in 2012 and have made trips to the tournament every year since – four ending in the first round and three in the round of 16.
The Saints will return in-game "Voice of the Saints" Rudy Rubio for his second season. Michael Thompson, the livestreaming "Voice of the Saints," will return to call all home games.
Women's basketball will have 12 home games, plus two neutral games. Fans can purchase the livestreaming games on the OLLU Saints Network for a discounted price of $80. If viewers would like to add the neutral games, the price would be $96. If the desire to purchase just the tournament games (Nov. 23-24), the price is $25 - a $6.80 discount that will broadcast on the
Admission charge for all home games are $5 for adults, $3 for children, 7-17, and free for those younger than seven. Adult season pass can be purchased for $40, and a pass for a child is $20. A family pack of four can be purchased for $100.
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