Two Southland Conference championship tournaments, in volleyball and softball, will return to Natchitoches and the Northwestern State campus in 2018-19.
The Southland Conference’s Championships Committee awarded the host sites along with other 2018-19 tournament locations during the recent conference spring meetings in Frisco, Texas.
It will be the ninth time NSU’s Lady Demon Diamond has hosted the Southland’s softball tournament, the last coming in 2015. A few months earlier, NSU’s Prather Coliseum was the site of the 2014 Southland volleyball championship for the first time.
“NSU is appreciative of the privilege to host these two upcoming Southland Conference championship events,” said director of athletics Greg Burke. “It is positive any time our teams can compete in their own facilities but even more so in conference tournaments which include an NCAA postseason berth for the winner.
“On an even broader scale, bringing these events to Natchitoches provides a boost to the local economy and creates additional exposure for our historic and charming community,” he said.
Eight volleyball teams from the 13-team Southland qualify for the single-elimination league tournament. Eight teams also comprise the double-elimination softball conference tournament field.
“As has been the case in the past, NSU will place much emphasis on maximizing the student-athlete and fan experience for these events,” said Burke. “We look forward to working with the Southland Conference office to that end.”
Since Burke became director of athletics in August 1996, NSU has hosted 29 conference championship events: softball (8), soccer (6), cross country (6), outdoor track and field (3), men’s basketball (2), baseball (2), women’s basketball (1) and volleyball (1).