Sometimes heartbreak can spawn a happy ending.
Denison's 23-4 record proved to be too much to ignore as the NCAA selection committee granted the Big Red an at-large bid to the 2016 NCAA Division III Tournament.
Denison will play Ohio Northern University in Holland, Mich. on the campus of Hope College on Friday, March 4 at 5:30 p.m. In the other game, Hope will play Carnegie Mellon at 7:30 p.m. with the winners meeting on Saturday at 7 p.m.
This is the sixth NCAA Division III Tournament appearance for Denison but the first time the Big Red have qualified without the North Coast Athletic Conference's AQ.
Ohio Northern (22-4) also received an at-large bid and are making their third NCAA Tournament appearance in the last four seasons. The Ohio Northern-Denison winner will face either the host, Hope College or Carnegie Mellon in the second round on Saturday, March 5.
Junior All-American candidate Jordan Holmes, who has been posting video game numbers for the Big Red all season, leads DU. Holmes is averaging 16.0 points per game, 17.9 rebounds per game and 6.1 blocks per game. She broke the Denison and conference single-game rebounding record with 28 in the conference semifinal against Allegheny. She has had at least 12 rebounds in every game this season. She is also just 26 blocked shots away from becoming the first player in NCAA Division III history with 1,000 career points, 1,000 career rebounds, and 500 career blocks.
Kellie Arter follows at 8.7 ppg while Emily Krumpe scores 7.3 ppg. Senior wing Taylor Lindquist leads a Denison defense that ranks 10th in the nation in scoring defense as they have held opponents to just 50.2 points per contest.
Sara Lee is in her 27th season as the Big Red's head coach. She is 428-280 and over the last 13 seasons her teams have averaged 20 wins per season.
- Audio Interview with Coach Lee (North Coast Athletic Conference, March 3)
- Jordan Holmes leads Denison back to NCAA Tournament (WKYC-Cleveland, March 4)