Ohio will play into the Knoxville Regional of the NCAA Tournament. 

The host school for the regional is No. 10 Tennessee. The other teams in the region are James Madison and Monmouth.

"I'm excited about it, I think its a great combination of competition for us," coach Jodi Hermanek said.

Ohio earned a third seed, and it will face a familiar foe in James Madison.

"Its a big thing that we are a three seed, we're not a four seed," Danielle Stiene said. "There is three very good teams, four if you count us, in the regional and I'm excited to play James Madison again." 

Ohio played James Madison earlier this season during the JMU Invitational. The teams split the games, with the Dukes earning a run-rule win in the first and the Bobcats getting an extra-inning win in the other.

The Bobcats won the Mid-American Conference with four consecutive tournament wins. Nothing will change for Ohio from how it been playing.

"For us, it's about continuing on doing what we've been doing and playing how we have been playing," Hermanek said.  

It's the first time that Ohio has played in the NCAA Tournament since 2014, which is also the last time the Bobcats won the MAC. It will be the Ohio’s third trip to the NCAA Tournament, with the other trip coming in 1995.

In that 2014 NCAA Tournament, Ohio was in the Lexington Regional and lost its first two games in the double-elimination tournament. The Bobcats lost to Kentucky, the host school, and DePaul.

This year’s Bobcat team, however, holds the best record (38-15, 20-3 MAC) going into the NCAA Tournament. The 1995 team (39-22, 23-13 MAC) had more wins, but played more games. The 2014 team had an overall record of 32-24.

Winning the first NCAA Tournament game in program history is the first goal for Ohio, but not the only one.

"My goal is for us to get better and take this program another step," Hermanek said. "But I don't want to win just one game, I want to get there and I want to compete in the championship series," .

The Bobcats first game will be against James Madison on Friday at 3 p.m.

Eric Walker contributed to this report.



Comments powered by Disqus