By: Aubrie Laufenberg
INDIANAPOLIS –For the first time in Summit League history, two teams will represent the league in the NCAA Tournament as announced Sunday evening by the selection committee. The South Dakota Coyotes will open their first-ever NCAA Tournament with Creighton, while the Denver Pioneers earned the program's first-ever at-large bid and will open the tournament with Utah.
The 2018 Summit League champion South Dakota (21-9) will see Creighton (28-4) Friday, Nov. 30 in Omaha, Neb., at 6 p.m. CT. The Coyotes are in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in the school's Division I history after defeating Denver in a five-set thriller in the Summit League championship match. Creighton is the Big East Conference champions and enters the tournament as the No. 9 overall seed in the 64-team tournament.
Denver (27-2) earned its fifth-consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament after a historic season, having swept 16 matches on the year and earned a program-best 24-match win- streak. The Pioneers will face Utah (18-13) in Provo, Utah, at 4 p.m. MT on Friday, Nov. 30. The Pios previously saw Utah on Aug. 25 this season where they fell in a tough five-set match.
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Through 36 years of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of nearly 115,000 at nine institutions, including three located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Purdue Fort Wayne (Purdue University Fort Wayne), the University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced 12 NCAA Champions along with over 100 Academic All-Americans, nearly 125 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague.