CHICAGO – The University of Chicago announced on Wednesday that the varsity women's lacrosse team will join the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin (CCIW) as an associate member at the start of the 2018-19 academic year.
UChicago's associate membership application was recently approved by the CCIW Council of Presidents. The women's lacrosse team will be elevated to varsity status for their inaugural season in spring 2019. The Maroons will continue to participate as a full member of the University Athletic Association (UAA) and as an associate football member within the Midwest Conference (MWC).
"We are honored and excited to be joining the CCIW in women's lacrosse," said Erin McDermott, UChicago Director of Athletics & Recreation. "We thank the CCIW members for welcoming a new program and accepting us as an associate member. We look forward to competing alongside them and could not ask for a better 'home' for women's lacrosse."
The CCIW began sponsoring women's lacrosse during the 2014-15 academic year. UChicago will become the eighth women's lacrosse team in the league and the second associate member alongside the University of Dubuque. The six CCIW full members include Augustana College, Carroll University, Carthage College, Elmhurst College, Illinois Wesleyan University and North Central College.
At the end of the conference schedule each season, the top four women's lacrosse teams will take part in the CCIW's conference tournament. The eventual champion will receive an automatic qualification into the NCAA Division III Championship field.
A total of 264 NCAA Division III schools sponsor varsity women's lacrosse as of 2015-16. The addition of women's lacrosse will give UChicago a total of 20 varsity sports (10 men's and 10 women's).