Mountain West Conference releases formats to resume three sports

Then-sophomore+middle+blocker+Andrea+Walker+spikes+the+ball+during+the+Aztecs%27+3-1+win+over+Air+Force+on+Nov.+14%2C+2019+at+Peterson+Gym.

Sam Mayo

Then-sophomore middle blocker Andrea Walker spikes the ball during the Aztecs’ 3-1 win over Air Force on Nov. 14, 2019 at Peterson Gym.

by Kyle Betz, Sports Editor

The Mountain West Conference unveiled a press release on Oct. 29 with guidance to resume baseball, women’s volleyball and women’s soccer next spring.

Each respective season format was approved by MWC directors of athletics and is set in place to “provide student-athletes with the opportunity to conduct a Conference season while managing the challenges of the COVID-19 virus.” 

Softball and men’s and women’s tennis regular-season formats will remain unchanged.

Although both tennis programs participate in competition year-round, softball typically plays in around 50 games. Of softball’s 53 scheduled games last season, 24 were in-conference.

Here’s how each season will be conducted:

Baseball

In a double round-robin format, baseball will play a 36-game in-conference schedule starting Feb. 27 and ending May 29.

Each program will play in a 3-game weekend series scheduled for Saturdays (doubleheader) and Sundays.

On Easter weekend and the final weekend of the season, the doubleheader will be played on Friday and the series will conclude on Saturday.

Each team will also have two open dates and is eligible to play in non conference competition. The regular-season champion will automatically qualify for the NCAA tournament.

Women’s volleyball

Beginning Feb. 5 and ending April 3, each MWC team will participate in a 16-match conference-only schedule.

Each program will play six opponents twice and four opponents once. The first seven weeks of the season will feature teams playing the same opponent twice in one weekend at one site, with travel partners playing the final two weeks of the regular season.

The regular-season champion will receive an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.

Women’s soccer

Starting March 5, women’s soccer teams will play in a 10-match conference-only schedule ending on April 11. The competitions will be played in a divisional double round-robin format.

Matches will only be played on Fridays and Sundays.

The championship match will be held on April 17 at the campus of one of the two division winners from regular-season play. The winner will automatically qualify for the NCAA tournament.

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