Triton College women's basketball granted move up to Division I by NJCAA
The Triton College women's basketball program will be making a significant jump when the modified season begins in January 2021. The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) on August 6 approved the team's move from Division II to Division I.
The program becomes the first women's sport at Triton to compete at the NJCAA's highest level, joining men's basketball, baseball and wrestling.
"After our move to Division I men's basketball the season following their Division II national championship in 2018, it was appropriate to move our women's basketball program there as well," said Triton athletic director Harry McGinnis.
Trojans head coach Marques Hatch, who led the team to a 22-10 record last season is excited about the move and is looking forward to the new challenge.
"I would like to thank President Mary-Rita Moore and the administration for allowing us to change divisions," said Hatch. "In my first three years at Triton, we have grown as a program. We have sent several players to four-year universities to continue their academic careers while they play the game they love. I also think from a recruiting standpoint, we will be a more attractive destination for potential student-athletes. I understand moving up to Division I will come with expectations that we plan to meet and hopefully exceed."
Triton is a member of Region IV, which covers 30 NJCAA institutions in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. The region has seven other women's basketball Division I programs: Harry S. Truman College (Chicago, IL), Highland Community College (Freeport, IL), Kennedy-King College (Chicago, IL), Malcolm X College (Chicago, IL), Olive-Harvey College (Chicago, IL), Richard J. Daley College (Chicago, IL) and Sauk Valley Community College (Dixon, IL).
In response to the current pandemic, the City Colleges of Chicago suspended athletics for the 2020-21 academic year. Without the CCC schools, the Region IV Division I title will be a three-team race between Triton, Highland and Sauk Valley, with the No. 1 seed hosting the regional championship game April 5, 2021. The No. 2 and No. 3 seeds will play April 3 for the right to advance to the title game. The Region IV champion will play April 10 at the site of the Region 13 champion in North Dakota or Montana for the North Central District championship and a trip to the NJCAA Division I National Tournament in Lubbock, TX, which is scheduled for April 19-24 of next year.
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