Written by Sean Dahlin
BUENA VISTA, Va.—The Southern Virginia University women's basketball team today received a No. 6 seed at the 2013 USCAA Division I Women's Basketball National Championship hosted by Penn State University-Fayette in Uniontown, Pa., from Feb. 26 to Mar. 2.
"This is what we've been working for all season," said fourteen-year Head Coach Michael Harmon. "Our team deserves this chance to play in the national tournament and compete against the best in the USCAA."
Southern Virginia enters this year's tournament with a 14-8 overall record and the second-highest regular-season winning percentage (.636) in program history. After opening the season at 5-5, the Knights came on after winter break winning nine of their final 13 contests in 2013, including five of their last six regular-season games.
Southern Virginia also went undefeated (7-0) at home this season, highlighted by a thrilling 63-60 comeback win over Washington Adventist University on Senior Night six days ago.
Senior captain Amaris Newkirk (Folsom, N.M.) has fueled the Knights' resurgence this semester and currently leads the team in scoring (13.2 ppg) and steals (2.9 spg), while ranking second in rebounds (9.4 rpg), assists (3.4 apg) and blocks (0.8 bpg).
Freshman center Crystal Cleveland (Delran, N.J.) has been another significant contributor to Southern Virginia's success providing an imposing paint presence for the Knights, while averaging a double-double with 10.6 points and a team-high 11.3 rebounds per game in her first collegiate season.
Senior Abigail Logan (Buena Vista, Va.)—averaging 11.4 points and 6.2 rebounds per game—and junior-college transfer Ann Kuroki (Hershey, Neb.)—registering 8.2 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.6 steals per game—have also been key components to Southern Virginia's winning season.
This year's trip to the tournament marks the third consecutive postseason appearance for Southern Virginia women's basketball. Last season the Knights went 1-1 at nationals, defeating Berkeley College of New York 73-55 in their opening game of the tournament before falling to Selma University 62-57 in the second round.
Women's basketball will open this year's tournament on Wednesday, Feb. 27 against No. 3 seeded Lindenwood University-Belleville at 10 a.m.