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The NCCAA Announces New DII Regional Alignment

The NCCAA Announces New DII Regional Alignment

GREENVILLE, S.C. – The National Christian Colleges Athletics Association (NCCAA) has announced a new regional alignment, which will be effective for the 2016 fall sports seasons.

The Sabercats will transition from the Midwest Region – in which they won 53 regional titles – to the newly-named North Region, which is a partial combination of the Midwest and North Central Regions.

For NCCAA regional play, five sports are affected including Volleyball, Men's and Women's Soccer, and Men's and Women's Basketball as seven schools will compete for the regional title.

The Sabercats will make the transition with former Midwest members Moody Bible Institute while former Midwest members Grace Bible College (Wyoming, Mich.) and Great Lakes Christian College (Lansing, Mich.) will stay on the other side of the lake to join the existing NCCAA Mideast Region.

The Sabercats and the Archers will join the following lineup of teams competing for the North Region crown:

Men's Soccer will maintain their regional rivalry with Moody Bible Institute, whom the Sabercats have won just 12 of the historic 42 games. Against their new regional opponents FBBC, MBI, NCU, and PUC, the Sabercats hold a combined 31-37 record.

Women's Soccer will be faced with a new challenge in NCCAA regional play, as the #2-ranked Sabercats will now have a four-team playoff (compared to the former two-team, home-away playoff with Grace Bible College). Last year, the Sabercats faced their future regional opponents NCU, PUC, and FBBC during the regular season, and outscored their opponents by a combined 20-0 scoreline over three games.

Volleyball twice competed with Providence last season. Most notably, the two teams battled for the NCCAA National Championship, where the Sabercats beat the Pilots in straight sets to claim the national title. Seven teams will now compete for the regional crown as opposed to the former quartet of the Midwest Region.

Men's Basketball maintains the regional rivalry with Moody Bible Institute, and the Sabercats will keep an eye on the Rams of NCU, who took the #4 seed into the National Championship. Against the six opponents, the Sabercats hold an all-time record of 57-19.

Women's Basketball is the other team to face a seven-team regional scheme – a step up from the three-team Midwest Region in terms of competitiveness. The Sabercats will be eager to top NCU and TBC, who both qualified for the National Championship last season. The Sabercats have enjoyed a 46-24 record against their new regional opponents since their first encounters in 1985.

MBU Athletics Director Rob Thompson offered his thoughts on the new regional alignment:

"Though we will miss our relations in the Midwest Region, the new four-region realignment of the NCCAA DII will be good for Maranatha, It will give us a new region that has multiple teams. This new region will be more competitive than the depleted Midwest Region, and regional tournaments will have more significance. We are excited about what the new region will bring."

For more information regarding the NCCAA, visit the NCCAA website.