Pioneers earn highest placement of any Division III school in Kentucky, Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference
Transylvania University athletics completed a landmark 2018-2019 season by finishing within the top 50 of the Division III Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup standings.
Transylvania finished 49th out of 338 qualifying Division III teams, delivering the highest standing of any institution in Kentucky as well as in the 10-team Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, in which the Pioneers compete in the sports of women’s soccer, men’s soccer, women’s volleyball, cross country, women’s golf, men’s golf, women’s tennis, men’s tennis, women’s basketball, men’s basketball, swimming and diving, baseball, softball and track and field. The Heartland Collegiate Lacrosse Conference sponsors the sports of men’s and women’s lacrosse, under which the Pioneers compete.
The Pioneers accumulated 361.50 total points by aggregating top finishes across all NCAA-sponsored sports after a banner year which witnessed NCAA Tournament appearances by the Transylvania men’s soccer, women’s golf, women’s basketball, softball, men’s golf, men’s lacrosse and women’s lacrosse teams.
“Our ranking is indicative of the work our coaches and staff have done. They are a phenomenal group of people who strive for excellence and I feel extremely lucky to be able to be a part of this team,” said Transy Vice President Holly Sheilley, who has led the athletics department for six years. “What the rankings do not indicate, but certainly is true for Transylvania, is that we have excelled in athletics while also excelling in academics.”
Through a season’s worth of achievements, the Transylvania Pioneers further established themselves as one of the premier Division III athletic programs in the country:
- The track and field team furnished its first male All-American in program history as senior Graham Smith finished as the national runner-up in the men’s javelin at the 2019 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Geneva, Ohio, in May 2019.
- Freshman Elizabeth Moore wrote history for the inaugural season of Transylvania’s triathlon program finishing as the individual national runner-up in the Division III at the Women’s Collegiate Triathlon National Championships in November 2018.
- The 2018 Transylvania men’s soccer team won its second consecutive HCAC Conference Tournament Championships to clinch its second straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
- For the first time in program history, the Transylvania women’s golf team won the 2018 HCAC Tournament in October 2018 to advance to the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons, eventually finishing 15th in the country at the NCAA National Championships at Bay Oaks Country Club in Houston, Texas.
- The Transylvania women’s basketball team reeled off a 27-3 campaign during the 2018-19 season and entered the D3Hoops.com Top 25 poll in late January, remaining in the poll through the end of the season. The Pioneers won the HCAC regular-season and tournament titles, advancing to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. Transylvania finished the year ranked 16th in the D3Hoops.com Top 25 poll and 17th in the WBCA Top 25 poll.
- The Transylvania men’s lacrosse team won its fifth consecutive conference tournament title and clinched its third straight bid into the NCAA Tournament. The Pioneers went a perfect 8-0 in HCLC conference play and delivered an overall record of 14-5.
- The Transylvania women’s lacrosse team won its second consecutive conference regular season and tournament championships as the Pioneers stamped a ticket to their second straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The Pioneers ranked fourth in the country in scoring margin per contest.
- For the first time in the history of the program, the Transylvania softball team clinched its third straight NCAA Tournament berth after sweeping through the HCAC Conference Tournament. Sophomore pitcher Kameron Bowling was named the HCAC Pitcher of the Year in softball and also earned NFCA All-Region First Team honors.
- The Transylvania men’s golf team won the HCAC Championship for the 13th straight season, clinching an unprecedented 13th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament which was hosted by the Pioneers for the first time ever at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Kentucky.
The Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each institution’s finish in the NCAA Championships.