The Texas Woman’s soccer team lost 2-0 to Dallas Baptist in the Lone Star Conference Tournament semifinals last week.
Nonetheless, the Pioneers will make their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance on Friday at 2 p.m. against Dixie State after finishing with the No. 4 seed in the South Central region.
“There’s a lot of excitement going on around campus right now,” coach Babak Abouzar said. “We won the most games in a single season in program history, and now we’re going to the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever. We’re really looking forward to this weekend.”
Dixie State (10-3-5) enters this weekend as the fifth seed and just recently lost in the opening round of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Tournament.
TWU’s regional bid comes just two weeks after breaking the program record for most wins in a single season.
Although this is TWU’s first NCAA Tournament appearance, Abouzar said the Pioneers won’t prepare any differently for the biggest game in program history. Their motto for this weekend. “Survive and advance.”
“We really aren’t changing much, if anything,” Abouzar said. “The only thing that’s different now is that the pressure rises, and it’s win or go home. It comes down to us focusing on the small details and fundamentals that got us this far.”
The other teams that round out the regional tournament include No. 1 UC-Colorado Springs, No. 2 Dallas Baptist, No. 3 Colorado School of Mines and No. 6 St. Edward’s.
The winner of TWU (15-5) and Dixie State (10-3-5) will advance to play the regional tournament host and No. 1 seed UC-Colorado Springs (19-1).
Volleyball: TWU sweeps Lubbock Christian to advance in LSC tournament
The Pioneers put together one of the more impressing wins of the season on Tuesday when they swept Lubbock Christian 25-15, 25-15, 25-14 in the opening round of the Lone Star Conference Tournament.
“Our coaching staff puts in work,” coach Jeff Huebner said. “I don’t think that it can be understated how hard my staff works and the amount of time that our players and coaches have invested into getting something right at a crucial time of the season.”
With the win, TWU advances to the quarterfinals to play the tournament host and No. 1 seed Texas A&M-Commerce on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
The Pioneers will need to win the LSC tournament if they want to advance to the NCAA Tournament next week.
Basketball: Pioneers looking for consistency heading into conference play
The TWU basketball team will be looking for consistency when it heads into Lone Star Conference play this weekend at Tarleton State.
The Pioneers suffered a heart-breaking 61-59 loss to Southeastern Oklahoma State last week before starting a five-game road trip Wednesday at Northeastern State.
“I just really want to see how we respond to that heartbreaking loss,” coach Beth Jillson said. “We’ve really focused on the areas we need to improve, and I’ve seen a lot of growth throughout this week. We need to do a better job of taking care of the ball and crashing the boards to earn ourselves second chance points.”
Following the game at Tarleton, TWU is at East Central, Lubbock Christian and then Angelo State over the next three weeks before returning home the week before Christmas to play Texas A&M-Commerce.
“It is a little bit tougher to prepare for league play when a conference expands like ours did,” Jillson said. “With that being said, we still have to clean up our mistakes because consistency is key in this conference if you want to win a championship. We have to start playing like that this week with the mentality of being road warriors.”