Wichita State Shockers

Wichita State’s departure doesn’t dislodge MVC from Newton

Chris Tuohey says Sand Creek Station will be host to the Valley even without Wichita State.
Chris Tuohey says Sand Creek Station will be host to the Valley even without Wichita State. File photo

The Missouri Valley Conference is welcome to play golf around here, even after Wichita State leaves the conference.

The MVC will play its women’s golf tournament April 15-17 at Sand Creek Station in Newton, the conference announced Thursday. Missouri State will replace Wichita State as the host school.

Chris Tuohey, Kemper Sports regional manager, said the course wanted to keep the tournament, regardless of WSU’s involvement. WSU officially joins the American Athletic Conference on July 1.

“To the Valley’s credit, since we had won the bid and we wanted to host, they kept it here,” he said.

MVC coaches discussed the matter at their tournament, associate commissioner Mike Kern said. Arrangements such as hotels were in place. Moving the championship would also require moving a fall tournament at Sand Creek in which the MVC schools preview the championship course.

“We’ve had a continuing push to be very neutral in our site selections for men’s and women’s (golf) championships,” Kern said. “Ultimately, it was the willingness of Sand Creek to host that was important.”

While the MVC schools play 24 miles from Koch Arena, Wichita State will likely travel to Florida for the American tournament, where it’s been held the past four years in Palm Coast.

WSU was supposed to hold the MVC softball tournament at Wilkins Stadium and the MVC outdoor track and field meet next spring. Softball will go to Drake and Indiana State will take the track meet.

Dallas Baptist will hold the baseball tournament for the first time in its five seasons as a member. Volleyball is at Illinois State. The men’s basketball tournament remains in St. Louis with the women’s tournament back in Moline, Ill.

Sand Creek regularly hosts college tournaments. The Summit League held its men’s tournament in Newton the past two years and is scheduled again in 2018. The closest Summit school is Oral Roberts, located in Tulsa.

The NJCAA played its men’s tournament in Newton in 2012 and 2015.

“We’ve got a great golf course to host top-level tournaments,” Tuohey said.

Paul Suellentrop: 316-269-6760, @paulsuellentrop