CHICKASHA – With both teams qualifying for the national tournament, the Drovers have six days to prepare for their 2011 NAIA National Championship Opening Round opponents after the brackets were released Sunday night.
“We are excited about the opportunity,” Hampton said. “Both teams drew quality opponents, but it’s what we expect in the final 32. We will work hard this week to do our very best.”
The Drover women, on their first nationals trip, will make the 22-hour trip to play sixth-seed Point Loma Nazarene in San Diego, Calif.
The Drovers (15-5) jumped up from unranked to No. 21 in the final NAIA Coaches’ Top 25 poll. They jumped conference opponents Oklahoma City, now ranked No. 23, and Southern Nazarene, who fell out of the rankings.
This is the first time the USAO women have been ranked in the Top 25 since being listed 22nd in October of 2009.
Point Loma Nazarene (18-1-2) are ranked fourth the polls.
USAO is one of only four schools in the 32-team bracket to be playing in the tournament for the first time.
The winner of the game, which will be played Saturday, will move on the final site, Nov. 28-Dec. 3 in Decatur, Ala.
The Drover men, in their third straight trip to the national tournament, will face ninth-seeded Missouri Valley in Marshall, Mo.
The Drovers (16-4) sit at No. 22 in the final NAIA Coaches’ Top 25 Poll. They are the only Sooner Athletic Conference school to appear on the list.
Their opponents, Missouri Valley (14-2-1), are ranked eighth in the polls.
USAO is 2-2 in the national tournament. In 2010, they played in the quarterfinals.
The Drovers will take on Missouri Valley at 5 p.m. on Saturday. The winner will move on the final site, Nov. 28-Dec. 3 in Orange Beach, Ala.