MVC selects Valparaiso to join league

Malcolm Fuller
May 10, 2017

The Missouri Valley Conference has invited Valparaiso to join the league, replacing Wichita State.

The Crusaders were invited to join the Missouri Valley Conference for the 2017-18 season, the league announced Tuesday.

Murray State, Omaha, and others were also rumored contenders for an MVC invite before the league made a decision to expand only by one.

After finishing the regular season with a record of 31-19, the Wichita State softball team has been tabbed as the No. 4 seed for the upcoming Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, May 11-13, at Illinois State. They stayed in the remained Summit League through 2006-07, then jumped to the Horizon League.

However, Missouri State president Cliff Smart quote-tweeted the official Valley tweet by noting that the conference's expansion committee would continue meeting over the next nine months to consider other opportunities. The MVC poached Loyola from the Horizon League in 2013 to replace Creighton.

Valparaiso is a private school, giving the MVC a balance of five public and five private moving forward.

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If accepted, Valpo would join the Valley without any delay, officially becoming a member on July 1 and beginning competition this fall.

The impact on men's basketball has been the main consideration, in addition to the fit geographically, financially and institutionally.

The Horizon League most recently had two teams in the NCAA tournament in 2009, the only time it has received more than one bid during the Crusaders' tenure.

The award is the third career Valley Pitcher of the Week citation for Young and the 10 weekly MVC honor overall for a Bear this season.

Michigan State's Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne hold Valparaiso's Kevin Van Wijk off a first-half rebound during the men's NCAA basketball tournament at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan, Thursday, March 21, 2013. "There are so many good things happening here, I couldn't be more excited about the upcoming year and the future of this program". Someday, it could even be Valparaiso, which has an excellent chance to be an upper-echelon team in its new league within the next few years.

One wild card to keep an eye on: Phoenix's Grand Canyon, a member of the Western Athletic Conference.

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