June 24 – ATLANTA, Ga. – Bethany College Director of Athletics Brian Rose announced Wednesday that the school will be joining the Southern Athletic Association as an affiliated member in the sport of field hockey beginning in the 2016 season.
Starting in the 2016-17 academic year, the Bison will have an opportunity to win the SAA conference championship and will be eligible for any and all post-season accolades both as a team, as well as for individual players.
“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to join the Southern Athletic Association as an affiliate member for field hockey,” said Rose. “The SAA is an extremely competitive conference featuring some of the top academic institutions in the country.
“We have competed against SAA programs in field hockey since it returned as a varsity sport in 2012 and joining the league as a member provides the student-athletes the opportunity to play for a conference championship and earn all-conference recognition. Those opportunities will be a boost for Bethany Field Hockey and we can’t wait to begin SAA play in 2016.”
The Bison, along with fellow newcomer Ferrum College in Virginia, will join five other member schools of the SAA to make up the conference in field hockey. The other five institutions include Centre College, Hendrix College, Rhodes College, Sewanee and Transylvania University.
Pending NCAA approval, the seven participating members (including Bethany and Ferrum) could see the winner of the SAA begin to earn an automatic berth in the NCAA Championship Tournament.
“We are very excited to be able to have a chance to join the SAA,” remarked second-year head coach Kylie Hrehor. “The ability to be able to not only play for conference championships and post-season awards, but to also have the possibility of getting to develop healthy competition with other fine institutions, is something that we are really looking forward to.”
"All of us associated with the SAA are delighted to add Bethany and Ferrum as field hockey affiliate members for 2016," commented SAA commissioner Jay Gardiner.
The Bison, who graduated no seniors from last year’s squad, earned four wins in 2014 for their best season since the team returned to action in 2012. Bethany played just one team from their new conference last season, but picked up the victory, a 4-0 win over Transylvania on October 25.