By Mason Nesbitt, TMU Sports Information Director
The Master’s University women’s basketball team’s schedule for 2018-2019 looks something like the NAIA Division 1 national tournament bracket from a year ago.
The headliner of a slate that includes seven games against 2018 tournament teams is a date with Wayland Baptist University (Texas) on Dec. 17 at TMU.
“It’s great having that here,” said TMU head coach Dan Waldeck.
The Plainview, Texas, university advanced to the NAIA semifinals last season, losing by two points to Westmont College, a team Master’s will see twice in Golden State Athletic Conference play.
The Mustangs will also face perennial power Lewis-Clark State College in a non-conference tournament on Dec. 18 in Santa Barbara. The Warriors missed last season’s tournament but were the 2017 runners-up.
Then there’s the Montana swing, a season-opening, three-game trip that will see TMU face off with two teams that made the second round of last year’s NAIA Division 1 tourney: Carroll College and the University of Providence.
Waldeck figures both teams will open the season ranked in the nation’s top 15. He also knows his team will have to deal with elevation during its stop in Great Falls, Mont., to play Montana Tech. All three schools hail from the tough Frontier Conference.
“I think the Frontier Conference is one of the most underrated conferences in the country,” Waldeck said.
It’s hard to believe anyone is underrating the GSAC after Westmont reached the 2018 final before falling to Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.). For its part, Vanguard University reached the quarterfinals. And Master’s reached the tournament for the sixth straight season.
Its quest for a seventh straight bid starts Nov. 6 in Butte, Mont., against Montana Tech.