Horizon League and OVC announce partnership with men’s tennis programs
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WFIE) - The Horizon League and the Ohio Valley Conference announced on Wednesday a partnership of their men’s tennis member institutions beginning in the 2022-23 academic year.
The partnership in Division I athletics combines the men’s tennis membership of the two conferences to ensure NCAA championship access under the umbrella of Horizon League competition. It will provide the men’s tennis member institutions a full complement of conference matches, a conference championship experience at the Horizon League championship and the opportunity for those teams eligible per NCAA rules to earn an automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Championship.
”We are very excited about this innovative collaboration with the Ohio Valley Conference to ensure the long term future of the Horizon League Men’s Tennis Championship and our automatic qualifier to the NCAA Championship,” said Horizon League Commissioner Julie Roe Lach. “Special thanks to Commissioner DeBauche and the OVC athletics directors for creatively working towards a win-win for our collective men’s tennis programs. We would also like to welcome Chicago State as an affiliate member for both men’s and women’s tennis.”
”The changing landscape of intercollegiate athletics requires we have an openness to identifying new and creative ways to provide our student-athletes with outstanding competitive opportunities,” said OVC Commissioner Beth DeBauche. “The OVC programs and Belmont University are delighted to join the Horizon League programs and grateful to Commissioner Roe Lach and the Horizon League directors of athletics for their willingness to collaborate and embrace a new partnership model that illustrates how two likeminded conferences can work together to help provide opportunities for student-athletes, strengthen the sport of men’s tennis and maintain regional competition.”
The partnership also includes the addition of Belmont (Missouri Valley Conference) and Chicago State (independent) as affiliate programs. With those additions the League will have a total of 11 men’s tennis teams split into two divisions. The North Division will include Chicago State, Cleveland State, IUPUI, Northern Kentucky and Youngstown State, while the South Division will consist of Belmont, Eastern Illinois, Lindenwood, Southern Indiana, Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech.
Final conference schedules and championship format will be announced at a later date.
Courtesy: Ohio Valley Conference
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