March 7, 2022 - UMSL Basketball is NCAA Tournament Bound!

Dear UMSL Community,

Please join me in congratulating our men’s and women’s basketball teams for qualifying for the NCAA Division II Tournament. This marks the first time in school history that both teams will be playing in the NCAA Tournament in the same season.

I got to experience the men’s team’s thrilling victory Sunday afternoon in the Great Lakes Valley Tournament championship as our Tritons rallied from an 18-0 deficit to beat Indianapolis 66-56 and guarantee a place in the NCAA Tournament field. It is the second time Coach Bob Sundvold’s team has made the NCAA Tournament in the past three years, but the previous trip – UMSL’s first since 1988 – ended abruptly on the bus outside the Mark Twain Building when the tournament was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic while the team was waiting to depart for Indianapolis. That will make it that much more exciting to see the players take the court against Truman State at 6:30 p.m. CT Friday in North Canton, Ohio.

Sunday’s celebration didn’t end with the men’s championship because the women’s team also received an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament when the women’s bracket was announced Sunday night. This will be UMSL’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since the 2013-14 season, and it is the culmination of a season that has already seen Coach Katie Vaughn’s team set a program record for victories with 23 while finishing in first place in the GLVC Central Division and reaching the GLVC Tournament semifinals. Coach Vaughn was also voted by her peers as the GLVC Coach of the Year. The Tritons will face Drury at 11 a.m. CT on Friday morning in Ashland, Ohio.

I will be following both teams’ postseason runs closely and rooting for their success, and I hope you’ll do the same. To all of our men’s and women’s basketball players and to coaches Bob Sundvold and Katie Vaughn and their staffs, you all make us proud.

With Triton Pride,

Kristin Sobolik
University of Missouri–St. Louis