Unfortunately for two SHC athletic teams, post-season competition is not an option this semester.
Both the men’s soccer team and women’s volleyball team excelled this fall, but due to the NCAA status of SHC, athletic teams are not allowed to participate in post-season activities.
In September, SHC was been granted an additional year in the provisional membership process as it seeks to become a member of the NCAA Division II. The college is essentially repeating the previous year. The previous year was supposed to be the final year of the process, however, for this year (2017-2018), SHC teams still not eligible for conference or post-season tournaments.
The women’s volleyball team won 27 of 32 games this season. This came after winning 27 of 32 games in the 2016 season. The men’s soccer team won 12 of 15 games this past fall, whereas last season, they won three and tied one of 17 games. Each team had the potential to be a strong post-season competitor had SHC been eligible.
“We started the season with very small goals of improving each day, coming together as a team, and winning each game in front of us,” Steve Wieczorek, men’s soccer coach, said, “We never concentrated on setting any records but ultimately, we set nearly every school soccer record including wins, best record, conference wins, best conference record and many more offensive and defensive ones too.”
Peggy Martin, women’s volleyball coach, said, “Logistically It shortens our season by 10 days and about six less competitions. Obviously we had to adjust our goals at the beginning of the year. Normally our attainment goal would be a conference championship and NCAA tournament bid. For the past transition years our goals have been to win the Conference regular season and to be the best team we can possibly be on every occasion we have the opportunity to compete.”
The woman’s volleyball team accomplished winning the conference regular season. “Needless to say we will all be glad when we have this behind us but we handled it in a positive fashion and are team competes with a lot of effort every match,” Martin says.
Emmarose Neibert, team captain for volleyball team, said, “Not being able to participate in post-season kind of depletes a team's drive because at the end of the day we don't have something big to work for at the end of the season. Of course we all enjoy competing in regular season, but I think it unfortunately leaves us all with the question of what we're actually working toward.”
Neibert expressed how she has heard other athletes who would have rather continued playing in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), of which SHC was a member for many years before seeking NCAA status. This would have allowed athletic teams to play in post-season tournaments. However, Neibert is hopeful and says “I think eventually everything will work itself out.”
Wieczorek believes that next season his soccer team will be hungrier for success. “During the season we kept climbing the conference standings, so we focused on trying to finish in first place in the league. It is difficult knowing the team that won the conference playoffs was a team that we beat in the season but there is not a guarantee that we would have qualified for the NCAA tournament if we were eligible, so it is not something that should consume our focus,” he said.
The men’s soccer team finished second in the league for this season.
According to shcbadgers.com, the women’s volleyball team finished the season with a 27-5 mark overall and a perfect 18-0 record in the SIAC.
According to the Department of Athletics, the NCAA was to visit SHC for an on-site visit this fall. In May 2018, the college will submit another membership application, and the NCAA will announce the outcome in July.