Big sky d-I college sectionals
April 15-16, 2017
Big Sky D-I College Championships were held in Boise, Idaho over the first weekend of the 2017 College Series. The women's side has been known to be a notoriously close battle, with the exception of the Whitman Sweets, the dominating power of the Big Sky.
Historically, the Big Sky is a relatively young section, but in the past 5 years, it has grown from two to eight teams. Before Whitman chose D-I path, Montana Pillowfight has advanced to Regionals every year, except for 2016 (when Whitman advanced with the only bid). This year, however, the University of Utah Spiral Jetty took down Montana Pillowfight 15-12 in a very evenly matched battle to take the second bid to Northwest Regionals and advance for the first time in program history.
Both Whitman and Brigham Young University CHI Women went 3-0 Saturday during pool play, and have established themselves as the two powerhouses of the Big Sky. Whitman won all of their games on Sunday and took the top bid to Northwest Regionals. BYU, a team that is not allowed to compete on Sundays due to school policies, forfeited their Sunday games and dropped out of the tournament.
Boise State Buffalo Gals and University of Idaho Gems put up great fights, including an intense game between the two, where Buffalo Gals came out on top. The two teams showed up and had a great weekend, despite bringing very small rosters to the tournament. Regardless of their 0-3 records on Saturday, Gonzaga and Montana State left Boise with strong accomplishments under their belts. Gonzaga participated in their first Conference Championships, and Montana State played their hearts out on Sunday. They lost both games by a combined 3-point margin on Sunday, and are determined to come back next season stronger.
If the Big Sky Conference Championship is any indication, Northwest Regionals is set to be yet another exciting tournament to watch.
By Anna Thorn, Co-Sectionals Tournament Director, Northwest Women's College Regional Director, coach of Utah Spiral Jetty and played on Utah Elevate this past summer.