The Utah Valley University softball team is heading to the postseason for the second time in program history.
After finishing Western Athletic Conference play in second place and making a deep run in the 2018 WAC Tournament, the Utah Valley University softball team has accepted an invitation to the National Invitational Softball Championships (NISC), presented by Triple Crown Sports, and will head to Las Vegas, Nevada, for a five-team NISC Regional at UNLV. The UNLV NISC Regional will run Wednesday to Friday, May 16-18, at Eller Media Softball Stadium.
UNLV (31-18, 13-11 MW), Nevada (25-25, 12-12 MW), UC Riverside (33-22, 10-11 Big West) and Weber State (27-24, 14-7 Big Sky) will join the Wolverines (21-29, 10-4 WAC) in Las Vegas for one of four three-day NISC First-Round Regionals. The winner of each regional will then advance to the championship round of the tournament that will be held the following week at a to-be-determined site.
UVU opens the tournament on Wednesday against in-state foe Weber State at noon p.m. PT. The Wildcats were co-champion of the Big Sky Conference this season and made a deep run in the inaugural year of the NISC a season ago. Wednesday's matchup will mark the fourth meeting of the year between the Wolverines and the Wildcats.
Nevada will then face UC Riverside on Wednesday at 3 p.m., and the winner of the opening in-state matchup between UVU and WSU will then face the host UNLV Rebels in the nightcap on Wednesday at 6 p.m.
The regional is double-elimination format, and the winner will be crowned on Friday evening. The postseason appearance marks UVU's first in the NISC, but its second postseason appearance overall after it earned the WAC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament in 2014. That season, Utah Valley won the WAC Softball Tournament to become the first team sport in school history to earn an NCAA postseason berth.
The three other NISC First-Round Regionals will be hosted by Central Arkansas, Eastern Kentucky and Northern Colorado.
The NISC is in its second season of operation. To learn more about the NISC, visit WomensNISC.com.
"We're thrilled to be offering this event for a second-consecutive year," said Tournament Director Dave King. "We've already seen programs receive a significant boost by playing in the NISC last year. With the depth of talent this year, we're looking forward to seeing this year's programs play meaningful postseason games and continue their momentum into next season."
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit GoUVU.com.