BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) competed on the national stage this past week, with Conference teams taking part in the soccer and volleyball NCAA Division III Championships, while the MIAC's cross country programs took part in the NCAA Regional meet and the Conference's football teams finished off the regular season.
The Gustavus volleyball team won three four-set matches to earn the regional title and advance to the Elite 8 for the first time since 1984. The Gusties will take on Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the NCAA Quarterfinals on Thursday, November 16 in Grand Rapids, Mich. at 2:00 p.m. CT. MIAC regular season champion St. Thomas and Playoff champion Saint Benedict both closed out their 2017 seasons last Thursday in the Tournament's opening round.
St. Thomas won its first two NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament games to move on to the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive season. The Tommies are slated to match up with Otterbein in the third round. The game will be played at the Holmgren Athletic Complex in Chicago, Ill. Saturday, November 18 at 1:30 p.m. The St. Thomas women's team won its first round contest, 1-0, against Wartburg before coming up a goal short in the second round at Wisconsin-La Crosse. The MIAC Playoff champion St. Catherine team finished its season on Friday against Chicago.
Carleton hosted the Men's and Women's NCAA Division III Central Region Cross Country Championships on Saturday with positive results for both the Knights and the MIAC as a whole. The Carleton women's team won the Regional meet while the Carleton men came in second, each automatically qualifying for the NCAA Division III Championships on November 18. The MIAC also got at-large team berths on the women's side from St. Olaf and St. Thomas, as well as four individual qualifiers – St. Olaf's Keith Ketola in the men's race, along with Annika Halverson and Anna Hage from Bethel and Gustavus' Sadie Novak-Klug in the women's.
Principia College will host the 2017 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships on Saturday, November 18 at the North Farm Facility in Elsah, Ill. The men's race will begin at 11:00 a.m. followed by the women's race at 12:15 p.m.
For the fourth consecutive season, the MIAC will also be represented in the NCAA Division III Football Playoffs by the University of St. Thomas and Saint John's University. The Tommies won the MIAC regular season title and automatic Playoff berth with a perfect 8-0 record in Conference play this year, while the MIAC runner-up Johnnies were awarded an at-large berth in field of 32. St. Thomas will host Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) champion Eureka (Ill.) in the opening round, while Saint John's will travel to Naperville, Ill. for a first round matchup with College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) co-champion North Central (Ill.). Both games are scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 18.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Fans can use the NCAA's interactive brackets to track the progress of each tournament (links below), and they can also follow the action on the MIAC scoreboard or the MIAC mobile app, which is a free download on both the iTunes and Google Play stores. The MIAC scoreboard and app will include links to follow each game live, as well as scores, stats, recaps, photos and more.