|University of Houston-Victoria Athletic Director Ashley Walyuchow announces the Jaguars will host the golf, baseball and softball Association of Independent Institution Conference championships during the week of April 28-May 4. Several UHV student-athletes and coaches attended the press conference announcing the news Monday afternoon in the University Center Multi-Purpose Room.|
The University of Houston-Victoria will break new ground in the Association of Independent Institution Conference this year when they play host to all three A.I.I. conference spring championships.
Making the announcement Monday in a news conference at the UHV multi-purpose room, UHV athletics director Ashley Walyuchow said the Jaguars will be hosting the golf, baseball and softball conference championships during the week of April 28-May 4.
The men’s and women’s golf championships are set for April 29-30 with the men participating in a 54-hole tournament at Victoria Country Club and the women a 36-hole event at The Club at Colony Creek.
The A.I.I. Conference Softball and Baseball Tournaments will be May 1-3 with softball held at the Victoria Youth Sports Complex and baseball at historic Riverside Stadium.
“I’m very excited that the A.I.I. Spring Championship Festival is going to be held in Victoria, Texas,” said A.I.I. Commissioner Ted Breidenthal. “The bring all the A.I.I. baseball, softball and golf qualifying teams together April 29-May 4 will provide a unique, week-long celebration that will feature character-driven college athletes at its finest.”
Following Tuesday’s final round of the men’s and women’s golf tournament, a banquet for all the participating teams in all three sports will be hosted by UH-Victoria.
“This is a great opportunity for the university and the citizens of Victoria to come together and promote the city of Victoria,” said Walyuchow. “We will have teams from Canada, California, Iowa, Louisiana and other parts of the country here participating in this unique event.”
Walyuchow pointed out that it will be the first time for an A.I.I. school to host all three events at the same time. The Jaguars hosted the baseball championships in 2009, softball championships in 2010 and golf championships in 2011.
The week’s activities open with up to nine men’s and eight women’s teams competing for the conference championship with an automatic berth to the NAIA National Championships going to the winner.
The University of British Columbia is the defending men’s conference champion, while Victoria British Columbia is the defending women’s conference and NAIA national champion.
The five-team double elimination softball tournament begins on May 1 with the Jaguars earning an automatic bid as the host school. The other four qualifying spots will be selected via the conference rating system and will be announced in April. The champion and runner-up will earn berths to the NAIA National Championships opening round tournament.
Baseball play will also get under way on May 1 with the Jaguars also earning an automatic berth. The other four qualifying spots will also be determined by conference ratings and will be announced in April. Only the champion will receive an automatic berth to the NAIA National Championships opening round tournament.
California State-San Marcos is the defending champion in softball, while a new champion will be crowned in baseball with the departure of 2012 champion Arizona Christian from the conference.
“These qualifying tournaments will feature some of the top programs in the NAIA, and the fans who attend will get to see great competition,” Breidenthal said. “I would like to thank the leadership team at Houston-Victoria for all their hard work to host our Spring Championships Festival, and for the Victoria community for all its support to make this a great event.”
The economic impact for Victoria will be huge as well.
“We expect the UHV Spring 2013 NAIA college tournaments to generate about 1,000 hotel room nights over nine days just from the teams and coaches,” said Larue Roth, Director of the Victoria Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We expect family and friends will travel to Victoria to watch the tournaments as well, filling more hotel rooms. In addition, these tournament visitors will shop, dine and tour the town, contributing to our robust economy.”
More details on the championships will be released at a later date as championship week approaches.