UW-Whitewater found out its postseason destination Monday when the NCAA Division III women’s basketball tournament brackets were released Monday afternoon.
The Warhawks will host a regional that includes the University of Redlands (California), Trine University (Indiana) and Benedictine (Illinois).
UW-Whitewater will open its playoff run with the Redlands Bulldogs at 7 p.m. Friday. Trine will play against Benedictine at 5 p.m. that night.
“It’s a good matchup for us,” UW-Whitewater coach Keri Carollo said. “They have a solid balance with some nice post players and some really good shooters. I’m excited for the matchup and excited to play again.”
Trine and Benedictine each received at-large bids. The Trine Thunder earned theirs from the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The Eagles play in the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference.
Redlands (21-6) won the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament title with an overtime victory over Saturday. Redlands returns to the NCAA Tournament after going 11-15 in 2018-19.
The Warhawks (23-3) dropped to No. 10 in the most recent d3hoops.com poll after losing to UW-Oshkosh in the opening round of the WIAC Tournament.
The Titans (18-10) won the WIAC Tournament and will play Edgewood College (25-2) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Arden Hills, Michigan.
“I think there has to be a healthy balance between getting rest and recovering but still keeping your mind fresh and focused,” Carollo said. “We tried to give them some time off and had a really sharp practice (Monday), but we don’t want to overwhelm them. It’s important for us to stay sharp. You could say less is more this time of year for sure.”
Redlands last played a team from Wisconsin in 2018 when UW-La Crosse traveled to the Chapman Winter Classic in Orange, California, to earn a 56-39 victory Dec. 29.
UW-Whitewater has been eliminated in the first round each of the last four seasons except for 2014-15 when the Warhawks missed the NCAA Tournament. That streak dates back to 2013-14, when UW-W took third place in the nation.
The Warhawks have made the NCAA Tournament 13 of the last 14 seasons and played in the semifinals three times, finishing as a runner-up in 2012-13.
The Warhawks were 12-2 at home this season, losing only to the Titans and DePauw (27-1), which is hosting Webster in the first round.
“For this team, it’s great to play at home,” Carollo said. “They’re definitely comfortable in this environment. To keep the same routine, it doesn’t shift. The funny thing is, we’ve won all of the games on the road, so I don’t know if this team prepares differently from one place to the next.
“I know they definitely wanted to be at home this weekend, and they were happy that the NCAA gave them the opportunity to play these games at home.”