The additions will give WilmU a total of 13 NCAA sports — eight women’s and six men’s.
In making the announcement, Director of Athletics Linda Van Drie-Andrzjewski says: “The addition of these programs shows the commitment our administration has to our athletic program and to student-athletes. It also helps attract more prospective student-athletes to our campus.”
While the other 12 Wildcat programs compete in NCAA Division II, women’s bowling is a bit of an anomaly. It is classified as an NCAA “National Collegiate” sport. There is only one division and a single national champion, with members of all three NCAA Divisions eligible. That means a first-year program like Wilmington will contend against the likes of the University of Nebraska (five-time National Champions since 2003).
It’s required that six programs inside the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference carry the sport to be recognized as a conference championship sport, and the Wildcats will be the sixth team to sponsor women’s bowling. Caldwell, Chestnut Hill, Felician, and Post already sponsor keglers, while Georgian Court and the Wildcats will add the sport in 2016.
The addition of women’s tennis will give prospective student-athletes the chance to immediately compete for a conference championship, since the CACC already has eight institutions fielding a team. Concordia collected its sixth straight CACC Women’s Tennis Championship last fall.
“We chose to add these two sports in particular because it allows student-athletes to compete for a conference championship right away,” Van Drie-Andrzjewski says. “We’re excited for them, and for the future of the Wilmington University Athletics Department.” WU