FREMONT, Neb. – Midland University has released their 2020 schedule. The Lady Warriors will once again play one of the most challenging schedules in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC). This year’s slate features 12 matches against teams that were ranked during the 2019 season, including two teams that spent time as the top-ranked team.
The Warriors will open the season in Fullerton, California at the Hope International Tournament. They’ll face Embry-Riddle University (Ariz.), Northwest University (Wash.), Vanguard University (Calif.), and Corban (Ore.) on August 21-22. Embry-Riddle and Corban both reached the NAIA National Championship last year and finished the season ranked No. 22 and No. 15 respectively.
The following week Midland will return home to play their season and conference opener on Wednesday, August 26. They’ll face College of Saint Mary on the eve of the start of the fall semester. First serve is set for 7:30 p.m. inside Wikert Event Center with the junior varsity team competing beforehand at 6:00 p.m.
Midland’s second weekend tournament of the season will take place on August 28-29. They’ll travel to Chicago, Illinois to face University of St. Francis (Ill.), Xavier University (La.), and Roosevelt University (Ill.) at the St. Xavier Tournament. Xavier reached the final site in Sioux City, Iowa for the NAIA Championship last year and were receiving votes in the final coaches’ poll.
After playing another conference game mid-week, the Warriors will host the 2nd Annual Warrior Invitational over the Labor Day weekend. The 2020 field features Grand View University (Iowa), Missouri Baptist University, and Viterbo University (Wis.). Each of those three teams not only reached the NAIA Championship final site but also advanced out of pool play.
Grand View won their pool but finished their season in the Round of 16 with a 30-11 season. The Vikings were ranked No. 12 in the postseason coaches’ poll. Missouri Baptist reached the quarterfinals before being eliminated. They were ranked No. 8 following with a 34-7 overall record. Viterbo reached the semifinals before losing. They finished their season with a 35-7 season and were ranked No. 3 in the final poll.
Before switching their attention solely to the GPAC, the Warriors will compete in one more weekend invitational as they compete in the Baker Invitational. They’ll take on Benedictine College (Kan.), Baker University (Kan.), and Graceland University (Iowa). Those games will be played on September 11-12 in Baldwin City, Kansas.
“We are really excited about our 2020 schedule,” commented head coach Paul Giesselmann. “As a program we will have several opportunities both in non-conference and in conference play to measure ourselves against some of the best NAIA teams in the country. Our fans who have just been amazing over the years should be excited about the level of play they will see in the Wikert Event Center. When I put the schedule together I always do it with two things in mind… I want our players to be challenged and have a schedule that gives them an opportunity to be great at the end of the year. The second thing I look at is providing our fans with great entertainment opportunities.”