WILMINGTON,NC (WWAY) -- UNC Wilmington put in a bid to host a first round game of the WNIT. The tournament apparently didn't listen. The Seahawks will begin the WNIT on the road on Thursday, March 17th against the Richmond Spiders in Richmond, Virginia. UNCW head coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke said, "It would have been nice to play here in Wilmington, but we have to pay our dues. This is our first time in the WNIT and the first time in post-season. Although we would have loved to have hosted the first round we have to pay our dues and go out on the road the first year."
UNCW enters postseason play with a 23-8 overall mark after its loss to Delaware in the semifinals of the 2011 Virginia 529 College Savings Plan Colonial Athletic Association Women's Basketball Championship on Saturday. The Seahawks established a school record for wins in a season and posted their best finish in the Colonial Athletic Association since joining the league in 1984-85 with a tie for second place. In her first season with the program, Cooper-Dyke was named CAA Coach-of-the-Year while freshman point guard Alisha Andrews was tabbed the circuit's Rookie-of-the-Year.
Richmond begins the WNIT with an 18-11 mark after falling to Charlotte in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 championship.
In its 14th season, the Postseason Women's National Invitation Tournament began as a 16-team event in 1998 and has expanded to its current 64-team format in 2010. The tournament is a single-elimination event with all games played at sites of host schools. Past winners of the event include California, Ohio State, Penn State and Wisconsin.