John Brown University of Siloam Springs, Ark., likely will join the Sooner Athletic Conference by the end of the month, expanding that NAIA league to eight schools.
JBU was a member of the SAC during the 1981-82 and 1982-83 school years and is currently in the Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference. The AIC is being dissolved after this school year because of the departure of the league's football-playing schools to NCAA Division II.
JBU, a private church school which doesn't have a football team, has been looking for a new conference home. The SAC, whose current seven members are also private church institutions, needs another school to balance its league basketball schedule.
"They have applied, so it's all procedural now," SAC commissioner John Hudson said on Monday. "The earliest a vote could take place will be late this week or early next week. " Falling: Oklahoma City University's first-year women's soccer team dropped four spots to No. 8 in this week's NAIA rankings after suffering its first loss of the season, a 4-3 decision at NCAA Division I Texas Christian last Wednesday. OCU, 10-1, has beaten No. 5 Park (Mo.), and five teams with two losses are ranked ahead of the Lady Chiefs.
OCU and No. 17 Southern Nazarene (11-4) have qualified for the NAIA Southwest Independent Section tournament, set for Nov. 9 and 11 in San Antonio, Texas. The winner of that qualifies for the Southwest Region tournament. OCU has beaten SNU twice this season, including a 3-2 overtime decision on Saturday.
On the Road Again: Central Oklahoma's volleyball team won at Lone Star Conference rivals Abilene Christian and Angelo State last week, giving UCO a 20-3 overall record and a 6-2 LSC mark. UCO was second in last week's NCAA II South Central Region rankings, and the top four teams in the final poll qualify for the national tournament.
UCO has recorded its third straight 20-win season and needs six wins to break the school record of 25, set in 1990. The Lady Bronchos face two more road tests this week: against perennial LSC power West Texas A&M on Friday and defending LSC champ Eastern New Mexico on Saturday.
UCO senior middle blocker Angie Schoof leads the LSC in hitting percentage at .348, while senior outside hitter Carrie Hare of Norman leads the team in digs (297) and kills (283).
Scouting Around: Darrell Withem of Missouri Southern, a senior goalkeeper-forward from Broken Arrow, was the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association soccer player of the week for Oct. 2-8. He played in goal for one half in a 2-0 win over Northeastern on Oct. 5. Three days later, he posted a scoreless second half in goal against Missouri-Kansas City before switching to forward in OT and scoring the winning goal in a 2-1 win. . .
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