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HCAC, PAC Partner in Formation of Ohio River Lacrosse Conference

Thursday, June 05, 2014
by HCAC Sports Info/Dane Neumeister

The Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) and Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) have aligned to create the single-sport Ohio River Lacrosse Conferences (ORLC & ORWLC), which both will kick off league schedules during the spring of 2015. The College of Mount St. Joseph will have both their men's and women's lacrosse programs as members of the ORLC and ORWLC.

During its April 2014 meeting, the NCAA Division III Management Council, along with the Division III Presidents Council, considered and approved the Division III Membership Committee's recommendation to accept both ORLC's as active Division III single-sport member conferences, effective September 1, 2014.

"We are very excited to join with our Heartland colleagues in the creation of the Ohio River Lacrosse Conferences. Joining forces with the HCAC will strengthen existing lacrosse programs by giving us earlier automatic bid access to NCAA Championships, while also encouraging the growth of the sport across the region. Our two conferences share very similar philosophies, including a focus on academic excellence and varsity athletics integrated into the overall educational mission, so pairing up in this new lacrosse single-sport endeavor has been a fairly seamless process,” said PAC Commissioner Joe Onderko.

Five HCAC member schools and five PAC member schools will compete in the women’s conference, while four HCAC member schools and three PAC member schools will compete in the men’s league. For men, the conference will be comprised of: Bethany College, Defiance College, Hanover College, the Mount, Saint Vincent College, Thiel College, and Transylvania University, The women's conference will be made up of the following schools: Defiance College, Franklin College, Hanover College, the Mount, Saint Vincent College, Thiel College, Thomas More College, Transylvania University, Washington & Jefferson College, and Waynesburg University.

Both the women and men will complete a full round-robin schedule with championship tournaments to follow each regular season.

Pittsburgh native Brad Rauber will serve as the league’s coordinator of women’s officiating. Rauber has extensive football, basketball and lacrosse officiating experience across all NCAA levels of competition and has earned numerous invitations to officiate both conference championship and NCAA championship events.

"The creation of these two single sport conferences provides an exciting opportunity to further enhance the quality of the experience for the student-athletes from both the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference and the Presidents' Athletic Conference. Additionally, these alliances makes sense as they serve to reduce the challenges of an independent in scheduling, expanded travel distance, cost, and missed class time,” stated HCAC Commissioner Chris Ragsdale.  “With these new conference affiliations it is our hope that they will serve to stimulate the growth of the sport within the rest of our two conferences," added Ragsdale. 

The new web home of the ORLC will be www.ohioriverlax.org and will launch on September 1.

  Heartland Athletic Conference NCAA Mount St. Joseph University MSJ Lions