ELMHURST, Ill. – The Summit League announced the addition of Valparaiso University as an affiliate member for men's tennis and men's swimming and diving beginning with the 2017-18 academic year. The Crusaders were original members of The Summit League, then known as the Mid-Continent Conference, from 1982 to 2007.
"We are very pleased to have Valparaiso return to the league in the sports of men's tennis and men's swimming and diving," said Commissioner Tom Douple. "Both programs will help strengthen The Summit League in their respective sports for years to come."
Valparaiso will be immediately eligible for championships and all individual awards starting in 2017-18.
Summit League men's tennis membership will now consist of eight teams: Denver, Drake, Illinois State, IUPUI, Omaha, Oral Roberts, South Dakota State, and Valparaiso. Men's swimming and diving membership includes Denver, Eastern Illinois, IUPUI, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Valparaiso, and Western Illinois.
Valparaiso won the Mid-Continent Conference men's tennis regular season title in 2002 and totaled three Player of the Year and a trio of Coach of the Year individual accolades. As a member of the Horizon League, the Crusaders have won both the regular season and tournament crowns in each of the past two seasons, including a 23-3 overall record and 7-0 league mark this spring, and collected three Player of the Year awards and two Coach of the Year honors.
In men's swimming and diving, Valpo's Tom Weidner accounted for a pair of Mid-Continent titles, winning the 50 freestyle in both 1999-2000 and 2001-02. The Crusaders best team finish came as runner-up in 1998-99.
ABOUT THE SUMMIT LEAGUE
Celebrating its 35th season of Division I athletics, The Summit League offers 19 championship sports and has a combined enrollment of over 120,000 at nine institutions, including four located in top 60 U.S. metro populations and two land-grant universities. Member institutions include: Denver (University of Denver), Fort Wayne (Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne), IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis), North Dakota State University, Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Oral Roberts University, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University and Western Illinois University. Previously known as the Mid-Continent Conference, The Summit League rebranded in 2007 and has since produced eight NCAA Champions along with over 80 Academic All-Americans, 75 All-America selections and numerous former student-athletes competing at the highest professional level. For more information about the league, visit www.thesummitleague.org website, follow The Summit League on Twitter @thesummitleague and watch the weekly "Inside The Summit League" show at www.thesummitleague.org/itsl.