Red Devils denied national tourney bid

Winning 22 games and garnering a No. 13 national ranking were not enough for Allen Community College's women, who learned Tuesday they would not receive an at-large bid for an upcoming national tournament.



March 13, 2024 - 2:21 PM

Allen Community College's Abigail Alvarez (21) and her Red Devil teammates saw their season come to an end Tuesday when Allen was not invited as an at-large team to the upcoming NJCAA-Division II National Women's Tournament. Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

Allen Community College’s women, in the midst of their best season in school history, will not advance to the national tournament.

Organizers of the NJCAA-Division II National Tournament announced pairings Tuesday for the competition in Joplin, which starts Monday.

Allen (22-5) and ranked 13th in the country, was hoping for one of the four at-large bid, for schools that did not win their respective tournaments. 

The Red Devils lost in the Region VI Semifinals to Kansas City Kansas Friday. Johnson County, the top-ranked team in the country, wound up winning the tournament a day later, securing an automatic bid.

“It is disappointing,” Red Devil head coach Leslie Crane said. “Unfortunately, the only way to know for sure about getting national seeding is to win the Region VI tournament.

“We have to accept what’s been given to us and move on,” she said.

Neither Crane, nor her players, are spending much time moping.

She’s been fielding calls and texts from other coaches about her sophomores looking to play next year at four-year schools.

Additionally, Crane is in the midst of recruiting players for next year’s squad.

“We’re really in the beginning stages,” Crane said.