The Owls Athletic Department had one of its best seasons since the return of sports programs in 2017. Men’s Soccer, women’s soccer, volleyball and men’s basketball posted their best records with both soccer teams and cross country teams participating in the 2019 USCAA Fall Championships in Virginia Beach, Virginia. With such a successful year, The W Athletics was ranked 15th in the final standing for the 2019-20 United States Collegiate Athletic Association Director’s Cup.
With an overall record of 10-7-1, The W women’s soccer team finished the regular season as the third seed to enter the championship tournament for the first time in the history of the program. To reach the tournament, the Owls claimed victories against tough opponents including NCAA Division III foes Louisiana College and Millsaps College. Both matches were forced into double-overtime with the Owls taking wins of 2-1 in both. Seniors Britain Welzein and Caroline Grafe were given All-American honors for their efforts during the 2019 regular season.
In both rounds of the tournament, The W took on the University of Maine – Fort Kent in a pool play style of competition. In the first round of competition, after regulation and two periods of overtime, the match concluded in a 1-1 tie. In the second round, the game also lasted to a second overtime but the Bengals scored a last minute goal to defeat the Owls, 3-2. Welzein and senior midfielder Sarah Walden performed well during the tournament to receive All-Tournament Team recognition.
The Owls men’s soccer team also saw its best record since the start of the program in 2017. Closing the season 7-8-4, the men’s team had five victories decided by five or more points. On the road, The W defeated Welch College, 8-0 and Arlington Baptist University, 9-1. A 5-1 home victory against ABU signed the Owls ticket to the fall championship tournament as the sixth seed. In the first round, the men’s soccer team also faced UMFK. After two periods of overtime and a score of 1-1, the game was decided by penalty kick shootout. UMFK won 3-2. In the second round, The W fell 4-1 to the eventual champions Florida National University.
David Young, Jonathan Mathis, David Standifer, Joshua Maughan and Chase Norsworthy represented the Owls men's cross country team at the 2019 USCAA National Championship while Madeline Newman and Caroline Greer ran for The W women's cross country team. The men's cross country team finished 12th in a field of 14, running an 8k at the Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Newman and Greer ran as individuals in the 6k competition with Newman breaking the school's record with a time of 30:27.16.
During Brian Merkel's second season as the head coach of The W men's basketball team, the Owls completed the 2019-20 regular season with a 10-13 record. The W peaked at 9th in the USCAA Coaches Poll and concluded the season ranked 13th. Senior guard Keith Harris led the Owls in several statistical categories to receive an All- American honorable mention.
The W women's basketball team peaked at 12 in the 2019-2020 USCAA Coaches Poll and finished the season ranked 13th. The Owls held a 7-16 record with victories over NCAA Division III opponents Centenary College and Sewanee: The University of the South. Senior forward My’Neka Frazier tallied 15 double-doubles with 14.1 points per game and 13.1 rebounds per game. Because of her effort, the McComb native was named to the 2020 USCAA All-American First Team.