By Scott Bruxvoort
Two new sports are being added to the athletic field at Quincy University. Women’s swimming will be eligible for competition this year in the GLVC and lacrosse will be competing in the next few years. The new teams will not only have an effect on the athletic program, but expect a change to campus life as well. The addition of the two new programs will draw in at least 100 new students to campus. There are several suggestions to this issue. A new dorm could be put up on campus to house the excess student athletes. Another is off campus housing for athletes.
Athletic Director Marty Bell is thrilled at the thought of having these two new sports being added to an already stellar lineup of successful Hawks athletic programs.
“We have received a great deal of interest on this front from a local level.” Said Bell
It is anticipated that the lacrosse team will practice and play at newly renovated QU Stadium.
Quincy will be the ninth school in the Great Lakes Valley Conference to sponsor women’s swimming according to the Quincy University athletics page. The competition features Drury University and Truman State University, which have won 17 of the last 18 national championships in swimming and diving.
Quincy University is an attractive site for prospective athletes, as well as a recruiting hot bed for areas such as St. Louis. In fact there is a member on each athletic team at Quincy University from the St. Louis area. When the announcement was made the swimming and lacrosse would be competitive sports at QU there was an instant buzz around campus surrounding the excitement that both programs would bring to campus.
“Everyone is very excited for the addition of the new teams to campus,” said Bell, “the new teams have created talk around campus that will bolster the support for both groups.”
The addition of the lacrosse team is something that is growing more popular in the Midwest.
“The time frame we have set forth will allow us to secure conference affiliation once we see how the sport continues to evolve in our region.” Said Bell.
Currently two schools in the GLVC, Rockhurst and McKendree sponsor women’s lacrosse. The minimum number for GLVC sponsorship is six. The number of NCAA Division II schools sponsoring women’s lacrosse doubled from 38 in 2008 to 76 in 2013.
While a lacrosse coach has not yet been hired, the swim team has already assigned the leader of the program. On July 28 Quincy University named Rachel Schlatter the first women’s swimming head coach in school history.
“I am excited about the opportunity to join Quincy University as the school’s first swimming coach,” Schlatter said. “I want to thank Marty Bell for the opportunity to start this program and I’m thrilled about the direction we’ll be able to take it.”
According to the Quincy athletics page, Schlatter is a former four-time NCAA qualifier at the University of Nebraska. She comes to Quincy after two years as the head coach and head Senior II coach with the Kansas City Blazers in Shawnee Mission, Kansas. Schlatter was a member of the 2011 Men’s NCAA Coaching Staff of the Year while coaching as the assistant at Division III power Denison University.
“We will make this program successful by bringing in high quality student-athletes both in the pool and in the classroom,” Schlatter said. “The GLVC is a strong swimming conference and there is an expectation of excellence.”