Championship weekend

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Softball, women’s lacrosse, and women’s tennis all won NCAC championship titles during the weekend.

At a time when most colleges’ spring sports athletes are turning in their jerseys and making their summer plans, a number of Denison’s spring teams are just beginning to heat up.

One of the most successful years in Denison athletics history continued to build momentum as three more Denison teams earned North Coast Athletic Conference championships in competition completed over the weekend.

After posting a perfect 6-0 record in regular-season conference play, the Big Red women’s lacrosse team added the NCAC Tournament championship trophy to its collection on Saturday, thanks to a thrilling 10-9 come-from-behind victory over the College of Wooster in Piper Stadium in Granville.

On Sunday, the women’s tennis team won its 10th consecutive conference title with a convincing 5-0 victory over Kenyon College in the NCAC Tournament championship finals held in Lorain, Ohio.

Not to be outdone, the Big Red softball team posted a pair of NCAC doubleheader sweeps on Saturday and Sunday in Granville, taking two games each from Allegheny College and Kenyon, respectively, to clinch the program’s eighth conference crown.

The three championships add to an already jam-packed trophy case at the Mitchell Center. Through the 2010-11 fall and winter sports seasons, women’s soccer, men’s swimming & diving, women’s swimming & diving, and women’s basketball all captured conference titles. And the Big Red men’s lacrosse squad had already earned a share of the conference crown earlier this spring after completing its NCAC schedule.

By virtue of their conference tournament championships, the women’s lacrosse and women’s tennis teams have earned automatic bids to NCAA postseason play. They now await word about whom they’ll face first — and where. For the third straight year, the top-seeded Big Red softball team will host the NCAC Tournament this Friday and Saturday, May 6 and 7, with that event determining the conference’s automatic NCAA qualifier. DU has won a record five NCAC Softball Tournament championships since the format was established in 2001.

With its 2011 regular season in the books, the championship men’s lacrosse team also must wait to hear from the NCAA about its bid for postseason play as an independent qualifier.

So hang on to those uniforms, Big Red. The so-called “second season” is about to begin.

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