Commissioner Doug Elgin has announced a list of dates and sites for the various Missouri Valley Conference sports championships for the 2014-15 athletic season. Notably, that includes a recommendation from the league’s Joint Committee (faculty athletics representatives, directors of athletics and senior woman administrators of each institution) to bring the 2014 MVC Women’s Soccer Championship to Normal, Ill., the 2014 MVC Men’s Soccer Championship to Peoria, Ill.; the 2014 MVC Volleyball Championship to Cedar Falls, Iowa; the 2015 MVC Men’s and Women’s Tennis Team Championship to Evansville, Ind.; the 2015 MVC Softball Championship to Wichita, Kan.; and the 2015 Baseball Championship to Wichita, Kan.
All site awards are subject to ratification at the Missouri Valley Conference Presidents’ Council meeting, which takes place June 6.
WOMEN’S SOCCER: The 2014 MVC Women’s Soccer Championship will be at Normal, Ill., and Illinois State will host the event at Adelaide Street Field, on Nov. 7-9. The top six teams (of seven) advance to the championship, and the top two seeds receive a bye in the first round. First-round games are on campus sites - Sunday, Nov. 2. The semifinals are Friday, Nov. 7, and the championship is Sunday, Nov. 9. The winner of the tournament receives an automatic bid to the 2014 NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship. Last season, Illinois State won the tournament and represented the MVC in the NCAAs, becoming the first MVC team to advance to the second round. Adelaide Street Field has been the home of Redbird women’s soccer since the program began in 1996, but this will mark the first time that ISU has hosted the conference’s women’s soccer championship.
MEN’S SOCCER: The 2014 MVC Men’s Soccer Championship will be in Peoria, Ill., and will be played at Shea Stadium, on Nov. 12-14-16. The tournament is a Wednesday-Friday-Sunday format, with six (of seven) teams advancing to the championship. The opening round will be played Wednesday, the semifinals on Friday, and the championship match on Sunday, Nov. 16. The winner of the tournament receives an automatic bid to the 2014 NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship. It will mark the third-straight year (fourth in the last five, and seventh time overall) that Bradley has hosted the men’s soccer championship, previously doing so in 1999, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2012, and 2013. The playing surface at Shea Stadium is grass. The official seating capacity is 1,700, but the facility can accommodate in excess of 3,000 fans. In 2013, Bradley represented The Valley in the NCAA Tournament, advancing to the second round.
VOLLEYBALL: The 2014 MVC Volleyball Championship is in Cedar Falls, Iowa, at McLeod Center. The tournament will be held on Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 27-29, with the winner receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The league’s top six teams advance to the single-site championship tournament. Last year, Wichita State represented the Missouri Valley Conference in the NCAAs after winning the title. UNI and Wichita State had shared the regular-season crown. It will mark the fourth time in the past 10 years that UNI has hosted the MVC Women’s Volleyball Championship (2005, 2010, 2011 were the others). McLeod Center can accommodate 6,480 fans for volleyball. UNI led the league in average attendance in 2013 (3,267), which ranked No. 8 nationally.
SOFTBALL: The 2015 MVC Softball Championship will be played at Wilkins Stadium in Wichita, Kan. Wichita State will host the tournament, which will be played May 7-9. The champion of the tournament, which was awarded on a bid basis, receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The MVC Softball Championship has featured eight teams in a single-elimination format, with the top two seeds receiving byes to the semifinals. Wilkins Stadium, which has a capacity of 1,000, has been home to Wichita State softball since the 1998 season. Wichita State last played host to the Missouri Valley Conference Softball Tournament in 2005. Bradley won this year’s softball tournament crown and represented the MVC in the NCAA Championship.
BASEBALL: The 2015 MVC Baseball Championship will be played at Eck Stadium-Tyler Field in Wichita, Kan. Wichita State will host the tournament, which will be played May 19-23. The champion of the tournament, which was awarded on a bid basis, receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The 2015 MVC Baseball Championship will feature all eight teams. Wichita State has hosted 25 of the last 36 MVC Baseball Championships, but last hosted in 2010. The attendance totaled 41,425 fans in 13 games that year. Dallas Baptist earned this year’s baseball title and, with at at-large selection Indiana State, will represent the MVC in the NCAA Championship field.
TENNIS: The 2015 MVC Men’s and Women’s Tennis Team Championship will be in Evansville, Ind., and Evansville will serve as host. The championship will be played April 24-26. The Evansville Community Tennis Association has 12 outdoor courts and six indoor courts and can accommodate seating for 150 fans (outdoor) or 100 fans (indoor). Evansville had not hosted the league’s tennis championship since 1997 (men) and 1996 (women). Drake’s women and Wichita State’s men won this year’s MVC tennis titles and represented the league in the NCAA Championships.
In addition to the recommendation of the championship sites up for bid, the Joint Committee reaffirmed the following pre-assigned sites for 2014-15:
The MVC Men’s Basketball Championship -- the 25th consecutive men’s tournament in St. Louis -- will feature all 10 Missouri Valley Conference schools and will be played at Scottrade Center. For the 10th-straight year, the tournament will begin on Thursday and end on Sunday (March 5-8). All nine games will be televised, and the championship game will be carried on CBS Sports.
The MVC Women’s Basketball Championship -- the eighth consecutive women’s tournament in St. Charles -- will feature all 10 Missouri Valley Conference schools and will be played at The Family Arena. The tournament will begin on Thursday and end on Sunday (March 12-15).
Other hosts for league championships in 2014-15 include Drake (women’s individual tennis and men’s individual tennis); Missouri State (men’s golf at Porto Cima at the Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., and men’s and women’s outdoor track & field); UNI (women’s golf at Spirit Hollow in Burlington, Iowa, and men’s and women’s indoor track & field); and Southern Illinois (men’s and women’s cross country, and women’s swimming & diving).
2014-15 Missouri Valley Conference Championship Sites
Date Championship Site (Host School)
Oct. 3-5 MVC Individual Tennis Championship (W) Des Moines, Iowa (Drake)
Oct. 31-N2 MVC Individual Tennis Championship (M) Des Moines, Iowa (Drake)
Nov. 1 MVC Cross Country Championship (M/W) Carbondale, Ill. (Southern Illinois)
Nov. 2, 7-9 MVC Soccer Championship (W) Normal, Ill. (Illinois State)
Nov. 12-14-16 MVC Soccer Championship (M) Peoria, Ill. (Bradley)
Nov. 27-29 MVC Volleyball Championship Cedar Falls, Iowa (UNI)
Feb. TBD MVC Swimming & Diving Championship (W) Carbondale, Ill. (Southern Illinois)
Feb. 28-M1 MVC Indoor Track & Field (M/W) Cedar Falls, Iowa (UNI)
Mar. 5-8 MVC Basketball Championship (M) St. Louis, Mo.
Mar. 12-15 MVC Basketball Championship (W) St. Charles, Mo.
April 19-21 MVC Golf Championship (W) Burlington, Iowa (UNI)
April 24-26 MVC Tennis Championship (M & W) Evansville, Ind. (Evansville)
April 27-28 MVC Golf Championship (M) Lake of the Ozarks, Mo. (Missouri St.)
May 7-9 MVC Softball Championship Wichita, Kan. (Wichita State)
May 15-17 MVC Outdoor Track & Field (M/W) Springfield, Mo. (Missouri State)
May 19-23 MVC Baseball Championship Wichita, Kan. (Wichita State)
*The opening round of the MVC Women’s Soccer Championship will be on Sunday, Nov. 2, at campus sites.