For the first time since 2011, Webster University will make a return to the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament as they will travel to Waverly, Iowa, to face No. 2 ranked Wartburg on Friday, March 2 in first round action at Wartburg's Levick Arena.
The Gorloks, who is the No. 4 seeded team in Wartburg's four-team pod, is making its fourth-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first since 2011 when they fell 82-70 in the first round at Illinois Wesleyan. Webster also played in the NCAA Tournament in 2002 and 2005. Overall, Webster is 2-3 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including advancing to the third round (sectional semifinals) in 2002.
Webster, who is sporting a 20-6 record on the season, earned its spot in the NCAA Tournament thanks to claiming the automatic bid from the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference thanks to its 63-61 win on Saturday night over fourth-seeded Westminster in the championship game of the 2018 SLIAC Tournament at Greenville University.
In addition to Webster facing Wartburg in Friday's first round, the other first-round game at Levick Arena will feature George Fox taking on 25th-ranked Saint Benedict at 5:30 p.m.
The winners of Friday's first-round games will meet on Saturday at 7 p.m. with a chance to advance to the NCAA sectionals, which are scheduled for the weekend of March 9-10.
Wartburg, who is making its 12th all-time and third straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament, is sporting a 27-0 record and earned the automatic bid from the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference after defeating Luther, 86-74, in the IIAC Tournament championship game. The 27 wins this season by the Knights are a school record. Wartburg is 13-11 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including advancing to the national semifinals in 2016.
Webster and Wartburg have met once previously, in 2005, a game the Gorloks won, 76-71 in Webster Groves.
Meanwhile, George Fox, who is currently ranked 12th in the latest WBCA Coaches' Poll, comes into the NCAA Tournament sporting a 24-3 record and is making its 14th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Bruins earned an automatic qualifying spot into the tournament thanks to its 60-50 win over Willamette in the Northwest Conference Tournament Championship game.
Saint Benedict, who is ranked 25th in the latest WBCA Coaches' Poll, comes into the NCAA Tournament sporting a 22-4 record and earned one of 21 at-large spots in this year's NCAA Tournament after falling 61-53 to Gustavus Adolphus in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament game. This marks the first time Saint Benedict has made the tournament since the 2008-09 season and is making its 17th overall all-time appearance.
Ticket prices for the regional games at Wartburg will be $8 for adults and $5 for students/seniors. The doors will open 90 minutes prior to the tip of the first game.
Complete schedule for the Wartburg Pod of NCAA Division III Tournament
Game 1 - Saint Benedict (22-4) vs. George Fox (24-3)
Game 2 - Webster (20-6) vs. Wartburg (27-0)
Game 3 - Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner
STORY COURTESY OF WEBSTER UNIVERSITY SPORTS INFORMATION