GRAND FORKS, N.D.-- University of North Dakota fourth-year head coach Jordan Stevens announced his team's 2017-18 schedule Monday, a slate that includes the final season in the Big Sky Conference and some key non-conference tournaments highlighted by a trip to Hawai'i.
The season begins Feb. 9 at Charleston Southern for the Wingate by Wyndham Invite. The following weekend, UND will trek to the Southwest U.S. to play in the Littlewood Classic, hosted by Arizona State. The third weekend will take the team to Nashville, Tenn., and the Belmont round robin. Hampton will host the next round robin on Mar. 2-4 then the team heads west for three straight weeks of action.
Cal Poly is the destination on Mar. 9-11 then UND goes on an excursion across the Pacific Ocean to the Hawai'i Rainbow Wahine Classic in Honolulu from Mar. 14-17. Conference play opens that next weekend with three at Portland State beginning Mar. 23.
UND's first home action is slated for Mar. 30 at Apollo Field as the Montana Grizzlies, the defending tournament champs of the Big Sky Conference, come to Grand Forks for the final time in conference play. Regional battles with South Dakota State (Apr. 3 and 17) and North Dakota State (Apr. 10) will provide a preview of UND's new conference home when North Dakota transitions to The Summit League in 2018-19.
North Dakota will also host the regular season Big Sky champion when Weber State visit Apollo on Apr. 13 and 14. A trip to Sacramento, Calif., comes the next weekend before the regular season finale series with Idaho State on May 4-5 in Grand Forks. All told, UND is slated for 14 home games before the league tournament converges on the top seed's home field May 10-12.
The Fighting Hawks are fresh off a season that saw them reach the Big Sky Tournament for the first time and etched 23 wins, marking their most since playing at the Division I level, while their nine Big Sky wins were also a program record. They return 19 players, including all-league first teamer and Big Sky Pitcher of the Year Kaylin VanDomelen.